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County commission approves hiring freeze exceptions

St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners Tuesday made exceptions to their hiring freeze and approved a trio of positions to be filled. A corrections officer for the sheriff’s department, a deputy district court clerk for its criminal division and a Juvenile Day Treatment supervisor were all granted approval to be filled as soon as possible. Undersheriff Mark Lillywhite said the …

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Police identify accident victim

The Michigan State Police have identified the man killed in a motorcycle accident Sunday night in Constantine Township. Troopers said that Spencer Minor, 28, of White Pigeon, was killed in the accident. He was riding his motorcycle southbound on U.S. 131 when another vehicle turned into his pathway, causing the accident. Minor was thrown from his bike into oncoming traffic. …

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Unemployment rate increases in St. Joseph County

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget says jobless rates during June were up six- to eight-tenths of a percentage point in southwest Michigan. Employment in St. Joseph County rose by 275 people from May, but is down by 200 compared to June 2018. There were 27,575 with jobs in June, but with the labor force increasing by 425, …

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Drug arrests in White Pigeon

Two people were arrested in White Pigeon on drug charges Tuesday evening. The incident happened in the 500 block of E. Chicago Road in the village limits. A 52-year-old White Pigeon man and a 38-year-old Sturgis woman were both arrested at the scene. The man faces charges of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house while …

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3 dead, 1 hurt in shootings at Elkhart apartments

Police say two men and a woman have been killed and a second woman has been wounded in shootings at a northern Indiana apartment complex. Elkhart police say one of the dead men is the suspected shooter. Elkhart County Homicide Unit Cmdr. Mark Daggy identified the dead victims as 66-year-old Gail Shields, her boyfriend, John Malk, along with the suspected …

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Communities get partial win in court fight over tax dollars

Local governments have won a partial victory in the Michigan appeals court in a dispute over how state government gives tax dollars to communities. The constitution requires that local governments get 48.9 percent of all state spending. But when the state makes that calculation, the appeals court says it can’t count money that pays for state-mandated activities. Attorney John Philo …

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Indiana cemetery remains said to be those of Michigan woman

Human remains found earlier this year in a northern Indiana cemetery have been confirmed to be those of a Michigan woman who vanished last year. The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office said Wednesday that the Indiana State Police laboratory has verified the remains are those of 41-year-old Natily Nacole Franklin of Decatur, Michigan. The remains were discovered March 21 on …

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US-131 reconstruction update

Here’s the weekly Michigan Department of Transportation update regarding the U.S. 131 reconstruction project in Three Rivers. MDOT officials said the Stage 2 traffic pattern remains in place and operating as two-way traffic on the southbound U.S. 131 lane. Work at the Rocky River bridge near Hoffman Street is expected to conclude this week, however, the bridge will remain closed. …

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Constantine man dies in drowning incident

Indiana conservation officers have identified a man who’s believed to have drowned in Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes State Park. They said Monday a park lifeguard noticed 32-year-old Brandon Howard of Constantine, was seen struggling Saturday evening near the edge of the designated swimming area. The man slipped under the surface of the water as the lifeguard approached. His body …

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Fatal crash – US-131 and North River Road

Michigan State Police troopers are investigating a multiple vehicle fatal car crash that occurred on US-131 and North River Road, in Constantine Township Sunday evening at approximately 10:25 pm. A 28-year-old male was driving his motorcycle south bound on US-131 when a 29-year-old male driver, who was stopped at North River Road turned into the path of the motorcycle causing …

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