Local News Archives

Man Charged In Niles Murder

A 52-year-old man is now charged with open murder in the death of a Niles woman last week. James Parker Huffman walked into the Niles Police Department on Monday and confessed to the killing of 52-year-old Angela Cluver. Police found her body in her home in the 900 block of South 14th Street not long after. An autopsy will be performed, but they believe she was strangled. Police say the victim’s body was in an advanced state of decomposition when they found it. Huffman was arraigned on Tuesday in Niles and bond was set at $1 million. He could get life in prison if convicted. Police believe Huffman and Cluver lived together at the home where the murder took place.. ...Read Full Story

Court: Charges Can Be Filed If Found Drunk Driving On Own Driveway

From the Associated Press — The Michigan Supreme Court says a driveway is no refuge for a drunken driver. The court says authorities in suburban Detroit could charge Gino Rea with drunken driving, even if his car never left the driveway. The court says a driveway is “generally accessible to motor vehicles” under state law, even if on private property. Northville police went to Rea’s home three times one day to respond to noise complaints in 2014. At one point, an officer saw him drive out of the garage and pull back in. His blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit. In a dissent Monday, justices Bridget McCormack and David Viviano say the court should be “hesitant to assume” that lawmakers wanted to extend their reach to the private property of homeowners.. ...Read Full Story

Former Veterans Home Employees Facing State Charges

From the Associated Press — Eleven former workers at a state veterans home in Grand Rapids have been charged with keeping false records.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says staff skipped room checks but reported that they performed the requirement. He announced felony charges Monday. Schuette’s office began investigating after a report by Michigan’s auditor general in 2016. The report found the veterans home failed to properly investigate allegations of abuse and neglect, among other problems. James Redford, head of veterans affairs, says the charges filed by Schuette go back to 2015. He says the company that supplied the nursing assistants was replaced. Schuette also released a five-page report with details on injuries or deaths of five people. He says there isn’t enough evidence to pursue charges.. ...Read Full Story

Presentation On History Of Hartford Next Week

Anyone interested in learning about the history of Hartford will have a chance to do so next week at the library. It’s offering a “History of Hartford” presentation on Wednesday starting at 6 p.m. The program is led by local history expert Bob Latus [[LAY-tus]], who tells us the town began around the 1840s, and really saw a development boom in the 1870s with the expansion of railroads. His presentation next week will focus on that, as well as the significant role the Pokagons have had on the area. He’s also asking people who have old photos of Hartford to bring them by so they can be copied and kept at the library. Anyone can show up.. ...Read Full Story

Preparations Underway For Cass County Fair

Preparations are now underway for the 166th Cass County Fair. The Cassopolis event is set for next week, and all kinds of attractions will be offered. The fair board tells us Sunday, the first official day, will feature the opening parade at 5 p.m. followed by the grandstand event at 7 p.m. It’s the Street Legal Pickup Truck and Semi Tractor Pulls. Next Monday will be Veterans Day, meaning free admission for vets, along with the opening of the carnival at 5 p.m. and the talent show at 7. Next Tuesday will be Kids Day with the NTPA Regional National Truck and Tractor Pulls at 7 PM. Wednesday will be Senior Citizens Day with country singer Caroline Kole on the grandstand. Other headlining events the following days will be SJO Motocross and a monster truck show. You can find the schedule at MyCassCountyFair.com.. ...Read Full Story

Police Look For Suspects In Break In To Van Buren Bar

The owners of a bar in Paw Paw are cleaning up after a couple of suspects broke into the place early Monday and did a large amount of damage. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department tells us the two broke into McCarty’s North 40 Bar on M-40 around 2 a.m. They cut the wires to some of the bar’s many security cameras, but police have been able to get a few images. The suspects were wearing bandannas over their faces and matching striped shirts. In addition to the damage, the two stole some money. Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department.. ...Read Full Story

Man Arraigned In SWM Murders

From the Associated Press — A man has been arraigned in the death of his ex-wife’s husband – one of two Michigan slayings in which he’s a suspect. MLive reports that 32-year-old Zachary Patten appeared Monday in St. Joseph County District Court on murder, home invasion and gun charges. Shane Richardson was shot Thursday night in Florence Township, just north of the Indiana state line. Patten also is a suspect in the fatal shooting of 31-year-old Graciela Portillo-Esparza in Kalamazoo about 45 minutes before the 29-year-old Richardson was shot. No charges have been filed in that killing. Patten was arrested Friday after he approached officers in South Bend, Indiana, and told them he “needed to be arrested.” A judge assigned Patten a court-appointed lawyer. An Aug. 15 preliminary examination has been scheduled.. ...Read Full Story