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Black bear population booming in northern Michigan

Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula is experiencing a bear boom. The black bear population has risen 29 percent in the region since 2012 and almost 50 percent since 2000, according to wildlife management specialist Kevin Swanson of the Department of Natural Resources. Swanson says complaints about nuisance bears are increasing, especially in the Baldwin management unit, which extends from Muskegon County …

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Sturgis home destroyed by fire

A single-family residence in Sturgis appears to be a total loss after it sustained fire, smoke and water damage early Monday. The Sturgis Fire Department said it was called at 4:10 a.m. to the 400 block of West West Street. Crews were advised by Sturgis Police that all occupants of the residence had escaped. Fire officials arrived to the scene …

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Horizon Bank plans to merge 2 locations

Horizon Bank recently announced it is merging its two Three Rivers locations later this year. According to market president Jeff Gatton, the bank’s downtown branch at 123 Portage Avenue will close April 14. All accounts at that location will be transferred to Horizon’s facility at 1213 W. Michigan Ave. Gatton said the Michigan Avenue location is expanding and all services …

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Miller announces office hours

State Rep. Aaron Miller has announced the dates, times and locations of office hours at six area locations during February. Miller said he had planned on scheduling meetings with area residents during January, but amended those plans following the birth of his second daughter in mid-January. Miller said he is sorry for the inconveniences the January cancellations may have caused. …

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ISD superintendent retirement delayed

The retirement date of St. Joseph County Intermediate School District Superintendent Barbara Marshall has been delayed. ISD board trustee Elizabeth O’Dell made the announcement last month. The search committee requested Marshall postpone her April departure until June 1, O’Dell said, and Marshall agreed. O’Dell said Marshall staying on board an additional two months will assure enough time is available to …

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Winds blamed for toppling part of vacant Kalamazoo building

Police say high winds are to blame for knocking down part of a vacant building in Kalamazoo. Officers responded Sunday evening to the building on the city’s north side and found that two walls of the building had collapsed. No one was injured. The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety says one of the collapsing walls knocked down a power line. …

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