Local News Archives

Change At The Top Of The Van Buren County Road Commission

A change has been made at the helm of the Van Buren County Road Commission. A letter from the commission to area officials confirms Larry Hummel is no longer employed as the agency’s engineer-manager, effective last Thursday. It is not clear if Hummel resigned or was fired. He had been in that capacity with the road commission for more than 17 years, starting in February 2002. According to his LinkedIn page, Hummel also worked as a highway engineer for the Van Buren County Road Commission from 1993 to 1999 and had jobs with the Michigan Department of Transportation and Montcalm County’s road commission before returning to Van Buren. Four staff members will be taking over the duties handled by Hummel on an interim basis.. ...Read Full Story

Dowagiac Man Busted After Short Chase

A Dowagiac man is facing charges after a brief chase with police on Friday night. The Dowagiac Police Department tells us an officer spotted a vehicle parked suspiciously on East Wayne Street near West Railroad Street just before 11:40 p.m. As he approached it, the vehicle took off. It started going faster, and when it ran a stop sign, the officer turned on his lights to pull the vehicle over. The vehicle fled northbound on West Railroad Street, but the driver lost control and crashed into a utility pole when he tried to make a turn. The officer got the 19-year-old driver into custody, and a search turned up a pipe that tested positive for meth. Police say the driver also had a warrant out for an assault case. He’s now facing charges that include fleeing and eluding, possession of meth, and having no operator’s license. A 22-year-old woman who was also in the car was taken to a hospital for injuries she received in the crash. She isn’t being charged.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Adoption Agency Flips LGBTQ Policy

From the Associated Press — A major faith-based foster care and adoption contractor for the state of Michigan is reversing its policy and will place children with same-sex couples to comply with a legal settlement. Bethany Christian Services and the state confirmed the change Monday. Bethany Christian Services says while it is “disappointed” with how the settlement has been implemented, it will nonetheless reverse its policy so it continues foster care and adoption work for the state. As of February, Bethany Christian Services was responsible for 1,159 – or more than 8% – of cases of children under state supervision. Democratic Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s recent settlement prevents faith-based agencies from refusing to put children in LGBT homes for religious reasons. St. Vincent Catholic Charities sued last week to challenge the deal.. ...Read Full Story

A Win For People Who Park Too Long: Tire Chalking Thrown Out

In a ruling which will be felt by local governments in several states, Saginaw’s policy of chalking tires to enforce parking restrictions has been declared unconstitutional. A federal court says chalking tires in that city to keep track of parked cars is an unreasonable search and has no role in maintaining public safety. The decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals created a new legal precedent Monday in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.. ...Read Full Story

Indiana Man Charged In Connection With Threat Against President In Grand Rapids

Posting anything on social media threatening the life of the President is bound to get you in trouble, and it did for a 20-year-old northwest Indiana man. Steffon Gonzalez of Hobart is accused of posting a photo of himself holding a rifle on his Facebook page from outside Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids on March 28, writing he had a “bullet chambered to blow his head off.” President Trump was holding a rally at the downtown venue that evening. Gonzalez then tried to delete his Facebook account, thinking that would wipe out any evidence. Doing so has led to an obstruction of justice charge, carrying a potential 20-year sentence in federal prison. He’s also charged with two counts of making threats against the President’s life, which would put him away for five years. Gonzalez was arrested at his home in Hobart on March 30, and the federal grand jury indictment was just recently unsealed.. ...Read Full Story

NWS, DNR Warn Of Wildfire Danger In Lower Peninsula

The state Department of Natural Resources is warning about the danger of wildfires all over the state’s southern lower peninsula. The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids has now issued a Red Flag Warning until 8 pm Monday, meaning that critical fire weather conditions are occurring now or will shortly. DNR wildfire prevention specialist Paul Rogers says dry weather has caused the warning to be extended to the entire Lower Peninsula.. ...Read Full Story

Dowagiac Woman Crashes Truck While Allegedly Trying To Run Over Ex

A 35-year-old Dowagiac woman is in the Cass County Jail awaiting arraignment on a charges of assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly trying to run over her ex-boyfriend with her pickup truck. He was walking along Main Street near Pennsylvania Avenue when he told police he saw the woman coming toward him, and he got behind a light pole. She crashed into and broke that, while the 39-year-old ex wasn’t hurt. The woman was treated and released into police custody from Ascension/Borgess Lee Memorial Hospital after complaining of wrist pain from the wreck. The man said the couple had just broken up on Saturday. The crash happened shortly after noon on Sunday.. ...Read Full Story