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Politics

Candidates running for State Rep

The five candidates seeking to replace Matt Lori as 59th District state representative gathered during a forum at the St. Joseph County Bar Association earlier this week. John Bippus, Aaron Miller, Mike Mroz, Roger Rathburn and Bob Still were guests of the bar association and afforded the opportunity to discuss their candidacies. ‘ The primary election is not until August, …

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Landline legislation passes the House

Legislation that could make it easier for telephone companies to end landline service has been approved by the Michigan House of Representatives. The bill removes the role of the Michigan Public Service Commission in any effort by a phone company in abandoning a local exchange. Instead, the bill leaves the regulatory role up to the Federal Communications Commission. The Senate-approved …

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“Community Conversation” in Sturgis

A number of local and statewide issues will be discussed Tuesday during a “Community Conversation” in Sturgis. The 90-minute program starts at 11:30 a.m. at Sturges-Young Auditorium and is hosted by the Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with The Center for Michigan. Organizers said the event looks to offer a forum for community members to discuss pressing issues …

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Removing the “R” word

State Rep. Matt Lori has commended the Michigan House of Representatives for approving a package of bills to remove the word “retarded” and various iterations from Michigan state law. The eight-bill package, including Lori’s House Bill 5345, puts Michigan in line with all but six other states that have removed the word from their law books. Lori, who serves on …

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Caswell will not seek re-election

State Sen. Bruce Caswell announced he will not seek re-election later this year. The 64-year-old Caswell said his tenure will end Dec. 31. He took over the position from Cameron Brown starting in January 2011. Caswell, a retired superintendent of Pittsford Area Schools, had turned in his petition to run again. However, Caswell said he will withdraw his petition and …

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Mayors’ Exchange Day

Members of the Constantine Village Council have agreed to participate in the 2014 Mayors’ Exchange Day. Organized for the past 17 years by the Michigan Association of Mayors and Michigan Municipal League, the exchange will take place in May and involve Constantine Village President Pat Weiss and other municipal officials. The exchange community has not yet been identified. Council president …

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City Commission could approve ordinance

Members of the Three Rivers City Commission could be less than a month from approving an ordinance regulating donation boxes. Following discussion on the matter during Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor Tom Lowry and commissioners ironed out a few specifics to a draft ordinance presented Feb. 4 by city attorney Pat O’Malley. With the feedback presented Tuesday, O’Malley will make revisions and …

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Possible snow removal ordinance

The Three Rivers City Commission on Tuesday took a step closer to establishing a sidewalk snow removal ordinance. After commenting on a draft prepared by city attorney Pat O’Malley, Mayor Tom Lowry and commissioners directed O’Malley to document a small number of revisions and present a potential final draft at the commission’s March 4 meeting. The issue resurfaced in January …

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Potential ordinance regulating boxes

Three Rivers city officials are in the midst of working out a potential ordinance regulating collection boxes. The matter was most recently discussed at the commission’s Feb. 4 meeting, when Mayor Tom Lowry indicated his preference for the boxes to be banned within the city limits. Lowry said the boxes take resources away from the community and do not provide …

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Amendments made to the budget

Two budget amendments were made at last week’s St. Joseph County Board of Commissioner’s meeting. Commissioners agreed to a $4,030 adjustment from the county’s general fund for an animal-control shelter study. The study will focus on a needs assessment to be performed in coming months. In addition, more than $11,200 was amended from the information technology improvement fund for the …

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