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Michigan reports first flu-related child death

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the first influenza-associated pediatric deaths of the 2019-20 flu season in Michigan. The reported deaths involve children infected with Influenza B. They were from Shiawassee and Wayne counties. Nationally, there have been 32 influenza-associated pediatric deaths reported during the current flu season. Rebecca Burns, health officer with the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph …

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Conservation District selling seelings

The Kalamazoo Conservation District is taking orders for its 2020 seedling sale, now through April 10. A variety of tree and shrub seedlings are available for sale, as well as tree tubes, animal repellent, books and more. Pickup for any orders is April 17 and 18. More information is available by calling 269-775-3368, or online at: kalamazooconservation.org.

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Identities released in standoff case

Cass County authorities have released identities of the people involved in a standoff last week in Milton Township. Sheriff Richard Behnke said 41-year-old Adam Neiman and Clemie Brandy Jean Chapman, also 41 and both of Niles, were taken into custody following the incident that started Thursday afternoon and ended early Friday. They were arraigned Friday. Neiman is charged with kidnapping, …

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Prep begins to fill cistern

The weight of a garbage truck broke through a long-unused cistern Friday in the alley behind Mamma Mia’s Pizza in downtown Burr Oak. Village council member Joe Bogucki, overseer of the streets department, said before the era of hydrants, the fire department with horse-drawn engines had various cisterns throughout the village to gather rain water for firefighting. Kevin Norton, former …

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Whitmer, advocates seek hand-held phones ban while driving

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and safety advocates want to combat distracted driving by restricting the use of cellphones, though pending legislation does not go as far as what she proposed nearly a year ago. The bill would prohibit motorists under 18 from using a phone while operating a vehicle, except in emergencies. Adults, however, would be exempt from the ban that …

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Police search for wanted man

A St. Joseph County man is wanted by Branch County authorities after eluding state police troopers this week. According to a department media release from Branch County, Jeffery James Elliot fled from authorities Monday at a residence in Kinderhook Township. Elliot, who has warrants out of St. Joseph County, allegedly resisted and obstructed law-enforcement officers, and damaged private property when …

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Constantine names interim superintendent

Members of Constantine Public Schools Board of Education appointed an interim superintendent this week. During a work session Monday, the panel agreed to hire John Jarpe. He was chosen after two finalists interviewed Jan. 2. The other candidate was Tom Stobey. A Niles native, Jarpe has worked in Detroit, Niles and St. Joseph, retiring as superintendent of Niles Brandywine in …

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Cass County standoff ends in arrests

Two people were arrested early Thursday following a standoff in Cass County’s Milton Township. Sheriff Richard Behnke said members of the county’s Fugitive Apprehension Street Team responded at 1:35 p.m. Wednesday to the 33000 block of Redfield Street, in conjunction with the U.S. Marshal’s Service Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force They were attempting to take into custody a wanted …

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County commission meetings remain the same

The time and days of St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners meetings will remain the same in 2020 as it was last year. During Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners agreed to maintain their long-standing meeting time and days of 5 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of the month. In addition, its executive committee meetings will also remain the same this year …

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Focus groups will help steer TR master plan

The city of Three Rivers is in the process of creating a master plan to help steer it into a vibrant, thriving and sustainable future. Strides toward those goals will culminate with a five-session focus group Jan. 20 at city hall. The sessions will take place during 45-minute slots. They are as follows: Noon to 12:45, focus group on downtown development …

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