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Politics

New Finance Director Welcomed

St. Joseph County’s Board of Commissioners had occasion last week to meet and welcome Judie Ratering, the county’s new finance director. During the commission’s twice-a-month meeting last week, Ratering introduced herself and said despite being on the job just two days at the time, she expressed confidence in her ability to uphold the duties of her office.

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Couple To Occupy Historic House

A husband-and-wife team has been approved to occupy a historic house on the grounds of a popular county park. The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners last week reached an agreement with Dave Ludders and Caitlin Haring to live in the Dolly Reed House at Rawson’s King Mill Park. In lieu of paying rent, the couple will be responsible for …

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Goals For Three Rivers

Members of the Three Rivers City Commission last week discussed a few of their goals for 2012. The casual conversation revealed that more directional signs need to be placed around the city. Commissioner Daryl Griffith said so-called wayfinding signs to instruct motorists to key places in the city and fringe areas on its borders should be considered. In addition, Mayor …

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Business Requests Tax Exemption

A Three Rivers-based machine shop and its request for a 50-percent industrial facilities tax exemption will be at the center of a Feb. 21 public hearing. The 6 p.m. hearing for R & H Machine Products was set Tuesday by Three Rivers Mayor Tom Lowry and members of the city commission. If granted, the 12-year request would be applied to …

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Lori Issues Statement

State Rep. Matt Lori has issued a statement on Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget message. The Constantine-area legislator said he is encouraged that Michigan is headed in the right direction, thanks in part to a series of difficult choices elected officials have made in the past year. Lori said legislators were fiscally responsible when finances were down, and they will continue …

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Commissioners Looking At Combing Offices

Members of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners this week decided to look at combining the offices of community health services and mental health/substance abuse. Commissioners on Tuesday agreed to ask members of the Community Mental Health board and representatives from the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Health Agency to review the proposal. Commissioner Rick Shaffer said the proposal was initially discussed …

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New County Treasurer

The position of St. Joseph County treasurer was made official Friday during a brief ceremony, when County Clerk Pattie Bender officiated a swearing-in ceremony for Judie Ratering. A 52-year-old Park Township resident, Ratering succeeds Phyllis Bainbridge, who retired last week due to health reasons. Her remaining term, which runs through the end of the year, will be filled by Ratering. …

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Candidates Announce Political Plans

Two candidates for different offices in St. Joseph County have announced their political plans. Sheriff Brad Balk, 58, filed his nominating petition Monday. Meanwhile, Sturgis attorney Rob Pattison, 46, has announced he will run for the office of St. Joseph County District Court judge. Balk, whose first four-year term as sheriff expires at the end of the year, said he …

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Ratering To Serve As Treasurer

A lifelong Park Township resident has accepted an offer to serve as St. Joseph County treasurer. Judie Ratering will serve the rest of 2012 as treasurer following a consensus reached early Thursday by a three-member panel. The 52-year-old Ratering will succeed Phyllis Bainbridge, who is retiring next week due to health issues. Ratering currently serves as a mortgage lender at …

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Tax Filing Assistance

Tax-filing assistance for people who are elderly or in a moderate-to-low income bracket will be available in St. Joseph County. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program will be offered at Community Head Start buildings in Three Rivers and Sturgis. The free service provides tax assistance to families with a household income of $50,000 or less annually. Volunteer tax preparers are …

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