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Annual free fishing weekend promotes water resources

State Rep. Aaron Miller is encouraging people to take advantage of Free Fishing Weekend, Feb. 13 and 14, by venturing on the ice to a local lake or pond. Miller said no fishing license is required for residents or non-residents during the Free Fishing Weekend. Not only is it a fun time for experienced anglers, Miller said, but it is …

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Sturgis calls for repeal of state ballot law

Sturgis city commissioners have called for the repeal of a new state law that prohibits using public funds to communicate any information to voters in the 60 days prior to any local election. City leaders said state law already prohibited use of public money to advocate for support or rejection of a ballot proposal, millage issue or candidate election. But …

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Analysis: Snyder’s second term marred by Flint water fiasco

Gov. Rick Snyder launched his second term touting Detroit’s recent emergence from bankruptcy and a new way of structuring state government so Michigan’s downtrodden residents could join a “river of opportunity.” A year later, a real river — the Flint River — and the fallout from a water crisis in another impoverished city have marred the Republican’s image as a …

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Miller praised House Republicans for meeting goals

State Rep. Aaron Miller this week praised House Republicans for efforts to attain key goals during the first half of the 2015-16 legislative session. Miller said leadership stressed meeting objectives set by the House Republican Action Plan, a document unveiled in February with an unprecedented 78 goals set to continue Michigan’s comeback. At the half-way mark of the legislative session, …

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City mayor and manager testify about tax policy in Lansing

Three Rivers Mayor Tom Lowry and city manager Joe Bippus joined state Rep. Aaron Miller in Lansing last week to testify about tax fairness before the House Committee on Tax Policy. Lowry and Bippus said big stores should be subject to common-sense property tax rates so that municipal governments don’t have to cut their budgets to adjust to the lower …

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Shaffer plans Township supervisor run

A St. Joseph County commissioner said he plans to run for Lockport Township supervisor in next year’s general election. Rick Shaffer, a 20-year commission member, said he will not seek reelection when his two-year term expires at the end of 2016. Shaffer stated he plans to remain active in the community but his main focus will be a run for …

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Roads funding topic of discussion for county commission

For the third time in three months, Florence Township Supervisor Gordon Evilszior asked members of the county commission to consider funding a rehab of what is generally considered the worst road in St. Joseph County. Evilsizor has been seeking assistance to help correct a stretch of Constantine Road in White Pigeon and Florence townships. The north-south route forms the border …

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Low voter turnout in Three Rivers

Not surprisingly, a low voter turnout was recorded in three municipalities where elections took place Tuesday. In Three Rivers, about 5 percent of the city’s 5,100 registered voters participated in an uncontested election that saw Mayor Tom Lowry secure an additional two-year term. The 59-year-old Lowry, who has served as mayor of St. Joseph County’s second-largest community for 16 years, …

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Burr Oak approves sinking-fund millage

Voters in Burr Oak Community Schools were in a generous mood Tuesday, as a sinking-fund millage was approved by nearly a three-to-two margin. The 3-mill, five-year sinking fund request was supported by a vote of 116 in favor to 71 opposed. Tuesday’s request is identical to what was on the ballot in the May 5 election, when voters defeated the …

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Sturgis dog ordinance defeated

A proposed ordinance allowing more than two dogs in a single-family residence was defeated Tuesday by Sturgis voters. The proposed measure, which would have allowed up to three dogs in a residence, was defeated, 245 opposed to 132 in favor. In May, voters rejected a proposed ordinance amendment that would have lifted any limit on the number of dogs at …

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