Local News Archives

Court: Sex Offender Registry Changes Cannot Be Retroactive

A federal appeals court says changes to Michigan’s sex offender registry rules cannot be applied retroactively to thousands of sex offenders. In a 3-0 decision Thursday, a panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it’s unconstitutional to impose new restrictions on people convicted before the state’s registry law was updated in 2006 and in 2011. Michigan began prohibiting registrants from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of a school in 2006. Five years later, lawmakers added requirements that offenders be divided into three tiers based on the seriousness of their crimes. U.S. District Court Judge Robert Cleland ruled last year that those changes could be imposed retroactively. He ruled other portions of the law unconstitutional, but the 6th Circuit didn’t rule on those provisions.. ...Read Full Story

Pagel Bill Provides $6.5M To Bring Fresh Food To Underserved Areas

A southwest Michigan lawmaker is advocating for $6.5 million in funding to make fresh and nutritious food available in underserved communities across Michigan. The legislation from Representative Dave Pagel will be promoted Thursday at a farmers market on the Capitol lawn in Lansing. It would provide grants and loans for grocery stores and local public health agencies. The goal is to help retailers open, renovate or expand grocery stores primarily in low- and moderate-income areas without enough fruit, vegetables and other fresh food. Entities receiving the financing would have to accept cards from residents who qualify for government food assistance. Pagel is an apple farmer who says expanding access to healthy food will help people live healthier lives.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Commission Voting On Adding Bailiffs

A vote will be held this morning by the Berrien County Board of Commissioners to add two bailiffs to the county courthouses. One would be in St. Joseph and the other in Niles. The commission is considering reinstating the funding for the positions following the shooting deaths last month of bailiff Ron Kienzle and courthouse security director Joe Zangaro during an escape attempt by an inmate, who was killed moments later by responding officers.. ...Read Full Story

MSP Looking For Missing Decatur Woman

A 60-year-old Decatur woman is missing and Michigan State Police are asking for the public’s help trying to find her. Debra Fitz disappeared at some time yesterday, and troopers say she has medical conditions that cause her to become disorientated and confused. Fitz was last seen around 11:30 a.m. yesterday at her home, and family members returned last evening to find her gone with her personal belongings in the house. Anyone with information is asked to call Michigan State Police in Paw Paw or Van Buren County dispatch.. ...Read Full Story

Parents Who Challenged Trump To Speak In Michigan

The Muslim-American parents of a soldier who criticized Donald Trump at the Democratic National Convention are expected to visit suburban Detroit to get an award from the Arab American Civil Rights League. Khizr Khan and wife Ghazala Khan will be honored at the group’s Fight for
Justice gala in Dearborn on September 29. A Detroit-area attorney, Nabih Ayad, tells the Detroit Free Press that the Khans rightly spoke against bigotry. Khizr Khan criticized Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, for his comments about Muslim immigrants. Their son, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, was killed in Iraq in 2004.. ...Read Full Story

State Police Niles Post To Offer Citizens Academy

Anyone interested in learning more about how Michigan State Police do their job will have a chance to do so with a class coming up next month. The state police post in Niles will host a citizens police academy, an eight week course. It’s designed to give citizens a chance to learn about state police procedures, meet local troopers, and understand law enforcement’s role in the community. The classes start September 6 and run through November 1. You can find out about signing up at 683-4411.. ...Read Full Story