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Sheriff Balk announces retirement

St. Joseph County Sheriff Brad Balk announced Tuesday he will retire at the end of January. Balk, 65, said his last day will be Jan. 31, 11 months before the end of his four-year elected term. Sheriff since 2009, Balk appeared before county commission members and read a one-page letter in which he stated his plans to step down. He …

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Conservation District will host annual dinner

The St. Joseph County Conservation District has issued a reminder that its annual Local Food Dinner will be Sept. 11. An allotment of just 200 tickets will be made available for the $25-per-person event. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. and dinner is served at 6 p.m., according to event organizers. The four-course meal, which will feature locally-sourced food prepared by …

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Burglary suspects arrested in Cass County

Two Calvin Township residents suspected of being involved in a number of burglaries throughout the area have been arrested by deputies from the Cass County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Richard Behnke said a large quantity of stolen property was recovered from an address on Brownsville Road after the Cass County Drug Enforcement Team and deputies executed a search warrant related to …

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Long range plan approved for Parks & Recreation

The road map for St. Joseph County Parks and Recreation Department’s next half-decade was approved by county commissioners last week. The agency’s five-year plan includes one major development and a variety of minor tasks. With a portfolio of nine parks, however, the highest priority going forward will center on adhering to a consistent maintenance plan, according to department director Jaymes …

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Burglaries hit Cass County

Cass County Sheriff Richard Behnke said the department has fielded an extraordinary number of burglaries in the past month. He advises the public to be especially vigilant in locking their homes and vehicles in order to prevent from being a theft victim. From December 25 through January 15, 20 burglaries and 23 larcenies were reported to the agency. There was …

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Appointments for Animal Control Advisory Board

Seats for the St. Joseph County Animal Control Advisory Board were appointed last week. Kristina Eaton, a Burr Oak-area resident, was elected chair while Tracy Parker, from Sturgis Bank and Trust, will serve as co-chair for the year. Parker will also serve as interim secretary. Eaton said the board has two seats open: one citizen-at-large and one marketing coordinator. She …

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St. Joseph County government goals for 2019

Continued effort toward a balanced budget, development of a new Commission On Aging facility and progress toward updating the courts building are a few of the goals the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners faces in 2019. Dennis Allen, chair of the five-member board, said there is no shortage of work ahead for commissioners. Regarding the county’s finances, Allen said …

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Transportation Authority will again offer Free Ride Home

The St. Joseph County Transportation Authority has announced it will once again offer the Free Ride Home courtesy shuttle service New Year’s Eve. The service will start at 10 p.m. Monday and conclude at 4 a.m. Jan. 1. Rides will be limited to and from locations within St. Joseph County. Event organizers said rides will be given only to a …

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Commissioner Dobberteen ends 20-year run on board

An unprecedented run ended Tuesday, as St. Joseph County commissioner John Dobberteen attended his last meeting as an elected member of the board. His 20-year tenure on the county board is believed to be the longest in the county’s history. It will officially end Dec. 31, but Tuesday was the board’s final meeting of 2018. A 59-year-old Sturgis resident, Dobberteen …

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