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1.15.18 Fire destroys trailer A mobile home was destroyed by fire, Sunday morning, in South Haven Township. Firefighters from South Haven Area Emergency Services were called to Lakeshore Mobile Home Park (formerly Mitchell Brothers) on 16th Avenue shortly before 8 a.m. When they arrived the home was fully involved in fire. The occupant escaped but was taken to Bronson South Haven Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.
Several pet dogs, however, may not have escaped the fire. (Photo courtesy of South Haven Area Emergency Services) 1.8.18 Andy Klavins and Anna Nichols are shown after being crowned, Saturday, as Miss and Mr. South Haven 2018. (Photo by Becky Kark) Miss and Mr. South Haven crowned for 2018 By BECKY KARK Editor and general manager Neither snow, below-freezing temperatures, nor slippery road conditions could keep people from attending the Miss and Mr.
South Haven pageant Saturday. South Haven area residents and visiting queens from outlying areas packed South Haven High School's Listiak Auditorium to watch Anna Nichols and Andy Klavins crowned as Miss and Mr. South Haven for 2018. “It's pretty amazing,” Nichols said when asked how she felt being crowned the new Queen. Both Klavins and Nichols will now be eligible to compete in the regional Miss Blossomtime Pageant in March to represent their hometown, as well as Mr.
South Haven runners-up Nickolas Gildea and Justin Postma. Other contestants crowned at Saturday's pageant included Anna Bocock as first runner-up, and Laila Klavins (Andy Klavins' twin sister) as second runner-up and Miss Congeniality. Nichols, a 17-year-old senior at South Haven High School, wore a red, full-length gown with gold sequins. She is the daughter of Amy and Brent Nichols II. Nichols is quite active in school and in the community.
She is a member of the National Honor Society, high school robotics team, varsity soccer team, high school drama department, student council, and the Be Nice Committee. Outside of school she is a volunteer for the National Blueberry Festival, Harborfest, Light Up the Night 5K fundraiser and the South Haven Farmers Market. After graduation she plans to attend college to study aeronautics and professional flight technology to one day become a commercial airline pilot.
Bocock, 17, is a senior at South Haven High School. For the pageant, she wore a white, full-length gown accented with silver sequins. The daughter of Brian and Elizabeth Bocock, she too is active in school and the community. She is secretary for the National Honor Society and a member of student government, Girl Scouts, varsity softball team, high school drama departments, indoor soccer, Science Olympiad, and has performed with the high school band, chorale, marching band and orchestra.
After graduation she plans to attend the University of Michigan to become an applied kinesiologist. Laila Klavins, 17, is a senior at South Haven High School. She is the daughter of Andy and Marcy Klavins. For the pageant, she wore a blue and silver colored full-length gown. She has earned academic honor awards throughout high school for maintaining a 4.0-plus grade point average. She has served as drum major for the high school marching band for the past two years.
She is also a member of the National Honor Society, women's chorus, student council, jazz band, concert band and has been involved with plays and musicals at high school. In the community, she has volunteered for the Warm Your Heart heating assistance program, the middle school solo and ensemble festival and the local Haven Harvest Festival. After graduation she plans to attend college to student astronomy, hoping one day to work for NASA.
Andy Klavins, 17, is a senior at South Haven High School, and is the son of Andy and Marcy Klavins, Like his twin sister, Laila, he has earned academic honor awards throughout high school for maintaining a 4.0-plus grade point average. He is a member of the National Honor Society, student council, varsity baseball team, varsity basketball team, concert band and marching band. In the community he has volunteered for the National Blueberry Festival, Ice Breaker Festival, Harborfest, and has served as a stage manager and member of the stage crew for the high school's drama department.
Postma, 17, is a senior at South Haven High School and the son of Dr. Jeff and Sheryl Postma. Postma is a member of the National Honor Society, track team, swim team and student government. He also achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and was a state qualifier in swimming. After graduation he plans to attend college to major in biochemistry and hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon. Gildea, 17, is a senior at South Haven High School.
He is the son of Jud and Gabriella Gildea. He is an honor student and is a pitcher for the varsity baseball team. He also has competed on the swim team as a diver, and has worked with Our Town Players theater troupe. He also is active in helping with South Haven Junior Youth League, Little Rams basketball and Rocket Football. After graduation, he plans to enlist in the U.S. Navy. he theme for this year's pageant was “Rolling out the Red Carpet for the Fruit That Made South Haven Famous.
..Blueberries.” Scott Jackson, assistant principal at South Haven High School, served as emcee for the pageant. Brandie Rainey served as chairwoman for the Miss South Haven Pageant committee. 12.26.17 Divers from South Haven Area Emergency Services look for a 22-year-old Bangor man, Dec. 22, in School Section Lake in Bangor Township. (Photo courtesy of South Haven Area Emergency Services) Bangor man dies after car crashes into School Section Lake in Bangor Twp.
A Bangor man died this past weekend after the car he was riding in crashed into a lake in Bangor Township. Jezreel Wallace, 22, was pulled from the water by the South Haven Area Emergency Services dive team and transported to Bronson South Haven Hospital but died later despite lifesaving efforts. Michigan State troopers report the crash happened at approximately 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 22 when the driver of the vehicle drove into School Section Lake in Bangor Township.
Police say the driver, a 21-year-old South Haven woman, was headed west on the dead-end portion of 36th Avenue, just west of County Road 687 when the incident occurred. The driver was able to swim to shore and walked to a home on CR 687 where the homeowner called 911. Wallace was not able to make it to shore and disappeared beneath the water's surface. The lake was covered with 3-4 inches of ice at the time of the crash.
Troopers found the passenger car submerged to the top of the windows, approximately 50 yards from shore. Wallace was located about an hour later. The woman was taken to Bronson South Haven for injuries she suffered in the crash. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the accident. Troopers were assisted at the scene by officers from Bangor Police Department, Covert Township Police Department, deputies from the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office, Bangor Fire Dept.
, Pride Care EMS, SHAES dive team and the Van Buren County dive team. 12.20.17 Firefighters from South Haven Area Emergency Services extinguish a fire that occurred in the rear portion of a charter bus parked outside a church in South Haven. There were no injuries. Photo courtesy of South Haven Area Emergency Services Charter bus catches fire during holiday concert The phrase, “On with the show,” certainly applies to the South Bend Chamber Singers.
The group traveled to South Haven, Tuesday, to perform a holiday concert when their charter bus caught fire. The incident occurred during the Chamber Singers concert at Peace Lutheran Church, 06321 Blue Star Hwy., according to a report from South Haven Area Emergency Services. As the singers were performing, the charter bus driver began to move the bus when he noticed a fire in the rear of the vehicle where the engine is located.
The driver attempted to douse the flames with a fire extinguisher, but was unable to do so. When firefighters arrived the rear of the bus was engulfed in flames. News of the fire spread to the audience with some going outside to see what was going on. But the singers continued their concert, ending the program with a candlelit performance of “Silent Night.” No injuries resulted from the fire, however, another bus from the charter service company had to come to South Haven for the Chamber Singers' return trip to South Bend.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. 12.19.17 Geneva Township home damaged by fire December has proven to be a busy month for South Haven Area Emergency Services. Firefighters have battled four house fires, with the latest one occurring Monday afternoon at a home on County Road 687 near 16th Avenue in Geneva Township. The residents in the home escaped without injury, while firefighters confined the blaze to the rear of the home.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Bangor Community Fire Department provided mutual aid. 12.18.17 Vandalism forces brief closure of Walmart At the height of the holiday shopping season, South Haven Walmart was forced to close its doors for 3.5 hours, Friday, after water pipes in the men's restroom were vandalized, causing extensive flooding in the front of the store near the pharmacy entrance.
South Haven Police responded to the incident at 10:30 a.m. Store officials told them that a suspect or suspects entered the men's restroom and vandalized water pipes. The store had to be shut down in order to clean up the mess. It reopened shortly after 2 p.m. according to an assistant store manager. “We did have water damage,” she said. “We haven't yet been able to estimate the amount of damage at this time.
” Walmart surveillance video captured images of two persons of interest including a vehicle. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact South Haven Police. PHOTO: Video surveillance captured an image of one of the persons of interest police were seeking to interview following the damage that occurred to the men's restroom at South Haven Walmart. 12.11.17 The architectural drawing, above, shows what the proposed splash pad will look like in Riverfront Park.
South Haven in line for two state grants; One will help fund a new splash pad By ALEXANDRA NEWMAN HP Staff Writer Recreational development is on the way for South Haven thanks to Michigan Department of Natural Resources grants. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board has recommended $40.3 million in grants for outdoor recreation and land acquisition projects to the state Legislature.
Among the recommendations was $37,500 to South Haven to replace skid piers at Black River Park and $300,000 for a splash pad. The recommendations go to the state Legislature as part of the appropriations process. Upon approval, the Legislature will forward a bill to the governor for his signature. fter confirmation the grants are approved, city staff in South Haven will begin the planning stages for construction on a splash pad and new skid piers.
“The MNRTF’s recommendation of funding for the splash pad means that the community will be able to offer a safe, fun activity to children on the occasion that Lake Michigan is dangerous for water activities due to rip tide conditions,” South Haven Mayor Bob Burr said. “The splash pad will also be a free activity to users and designed to follow ADA/universal design guidelines to accommodate all mobility levels of users.
” The city will put “South Haven Splash Pad” at the west end of Riverfront Park near South Beach. The design mimics the Michigan Maritime Museum’s historic replica tall ship Friends Good Will with elements likened to the maritime history in South Haven and Lake Michigan. The city will provide matching funds in the amount of $268,506 for the total cost of the project of $568,506. The replacement of the skid piers is in part due to their age, built in 1974, and broken wood decking and the loosening steel structure.
The city will provide matching funds in the amount of $12,500 for a total project cost of $50,000. 12.7.17 Pileup forces closure of I-94 near Paw Paw UPDATE: As of 11:02 a.m., today, the freeway has been cleared and is open to traffic. A 32-car pileup has forced the closure of a portion of Interstate 94 near Paw Paw as motorists try to deal with the first snowfall of the winter season. The westbound lane of the interstate at exit 66 in Mattawan interstate is currently closed to allow emergency workers to clear vehicles from the freeway.
Michigan State Police reports several motorists were injured, however, their injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. The westbound lane near Mattawan is expected to be closed until approximately noon, today. In the meantime, Michigan State Police troopers are asking motorists to avoid that stretch of highway. Troopers are also reminding drivers to exercise extra care when driving in snowy conditions.
Reducing speed and increasing following distance between vehicles can prevent these crashes, said F/Lt. Dale Hinz of the Paw Paw post. 11.27.17 Ushering in the holidays Santa's elves, representing Jaqua Realtors, wave to the crowd, Friday, Nov. 24, during South Haven's Holiday Parade. After the parade, participants and spectators went to Dyckman Park for caroling and the official lighting of downtown's Christmas lights.
(Photo by Becky Kark) 11.20.17 Santa's coming to town Santa Claus is shown waving to the crowd during the 2015 South Haven Holiday Parade. This year's parade is scheduled at 4:30 p.m., Friday, in downtown South Haven. The theme for this year's parade is "Into the Woods." After the parade the downtown will be lit up with holiday lights. There were also be pictures with Santa, carolers, music and ice skating (weather permitting) at the downtown pavilion.
11.13.17 From one vet to another Vietnam War veteran and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Jim McCloughan (right) of South Haven shakes hands with World War II veteran Gerry Sherman of South Haven during the Veterans Day ceremony and dinner, Friday, Nov. 10, at the South Haven Elks Lodge. The program included guest speakers McCloughan, Rep. Beth Griffin, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, a free dinner for veterans and music by the South Haven High School jazz band.
(Photo by Tom Renner) 11.8.17 South Haven voters elect new mayor, council members By BECKY KARK Editor and general manager A South Haven resident with nearly 10 years experience as a city councilman will become the city’s new mayor. City voters chose Scott Smith in Tuesday’s election by a 703-389 tally over Paul VandenBosch, who retired as the city’s assistant city manager two years ago. Smith said he campaigned in all three of the city’s wards to talk with constituents.
“I want the town residents to feel like they have a voice,” he said. “We have a good attitude about our town. We want to bring businesses and families here. We have talented business people and talented retirees. There’s a wealth of talent here.” Smith will replace Mayor Bob Burr, who was term-limited after serving four two-year terms as mayor. A little over one-third of South Haven’s registered voters voted in Tuesday’s election.
“For a City Council election there has been a steady stream of people voting,” City Clerk Travis Sullivan said at midday Tuesday. Voters chose three new council members to replace Andy Klavins, Vickiy Kozlik- Wall and Jeff Arnold, who also faced term limits. In the Ward 1 race, Joe Reeser defeated Ahmmad Goodwin, 225-157. In Ward 2, Chris Campbell, who was running unopposed, won with 263 votes, while in Ward 3 George Sleeper defeated Holly Boyd, 206-150.
The new mayor and council members will begin their terms in January. South Haven Township police millage passes South Haven Township voters Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a 0.75-mill renewal for police services provided by the neighboring South Haven Police Department. Voters approved the millage, 218-50. The millage will last through 2021 and is expected to generate about $108,000 per year. 10.
30.17 Newcomers vie for mayor, council seats in upcoming SH city elections Editor's note: The photograph of Ward 1 candidate Ahmmad Goodwin was accidentally left out of our Oct. 29 print edition. It is included with this article and it, along with the other candidate photos, will also be included in a shorter version of the election advance that will be printed in the Nov. 5 Tribune edition. The Tribune regrets the error.
By BECKY KARK Editor and general manager South Haven voters will head to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 7 to choose a new mayor and three new city council members. The winners will replace Mayor Bob Burr and council members Vickiy Kozlik-Wall, Jeff Arnold and Andy Klavins, who have all reached the end of their term limits. Mayoral race City council member Scott Smith and former South Haven assistant city manager Paul VandenBosch hope to become the town's next mayor.
Smith, 50, has been a city council member for nearly 10 years. He first served from 2002-2009 and was elected again in 2016. He said he is running for mayor to help South Haven diversify its economy and encourage job growth. “I believe that the city needs to have a more regional approach to economic development,” he said. “I will work to strengthen our relationships with the economic development experts at Southwest Michigan First and Kinexus.
I will work hard to build partnerships with South Haven Charter Township, Van Buren County, South Haven Public Schools, Lake Michigan College, and the State of Michigan. It is through these types of partnerships that South Haven will see new job growth and a stronger 12-month economy.” Smith also thinks communication with constituents is important. “If elected as your Mayor, I will make customer service and community input a priority and will bring my high energy and positive attitude to the job and work to build a stronger community,” he said.
Smith came under fire recently by several Ward 1 constituents who think he was not responsive to people who opposed the growth of short-term rentals in South Haven. Smith disagrees, saying he voted for the city's short-term rental ordinance in 2016 and favored short-term rental registrations the first time he served as a council member. “We need a balanced approach toward short-term rentals,” he said.
“As mayor, I will listen to all sides of the issues,” he said. “I am the only elected official that can say that I voted for rental registrations two times during my terms on the city council. Additionally, I have sent letters of opposition to the proposed legislation in Senate Bill 329 and House Bill 4503 which seek to preempt local control of short-term rentals.” Smith is an occupational therapist at Bronson South Haven Hospital and an adjunct professor for Western Michigan University's Department of Occupational Therapy.
He has a bachelor of science degree in biology from Alma College, a master's degree in occupational therapy from Western Michigan University, and two other master's degrees from WMU in public administration and business administration. He is a member of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum board, an assistant coach for South Haven Junior Youth League and a troop leader for South Haven Boy Scout Troop 188.
He and his wife, Listy, have three children. VandenBosch, 56, said he is running for mayor because he is concerned about the city's future. “I would like to live in South Haven for the rest of my life but I am concerned with the direction that city council is currently taking us,” he said. “I want to feel secure in my home knowing that the city will protect my neighborhood.” As mayor, VandenBosch said he would focus on the fundamentals of city government — protecting stable neighborhoods, fixing streets and providing good customer service.
“My big focus is our streets,” he said. “The key focus for capital improvements needs to be streets.” He also wants to make roadways safe for pedestrians and bicyclists, particularly along the city's business loop, which includes Broadway, Phoenix, Phillips and LaGrange streets. Cost-effective utility services provided by the city is also a focus of his campaign, as well as adding more floral and ornamental landscaping throughout the city.
“I'd like to preserve the character and charm of South Haven and focus on a high quality of life,” VandenBosch said. Another concern of his is improvement of communication between the city and residents. “In some cases we've had investors come in to town to make developments, but the input of residents has not been taken into account,” he said. VandenBosch served as assistant city manager in South Haven for 19 years before retiring two years ago.
He graduated from the University of Michigan and has an advanced degree in urban planning from Radboud University in the Netherlands. He is a board member of Two Rivers Coalition and is married to Anne-Marie VandenBosch. City council races Ward 1 Two candidates, Joe Reeser and Ahmmad Goodwin, are vying for the seat currently held by Vickiy Kozlik-Wall. Goodwin, 36, said he's running for city council to become more involved in city government and to make a positive difference in Ward 1.
“I'm running because I went to a lot of (city council) meetings and they'd ask me, 'Why don't you run?''” Goodwin said. “I'm trying to put my legs to my words.” Goodwin went on to say there are several issues that should be addressed in Ward 1, including making bike trails safe for bicyclists, easing parking restrictions along streets that border Elkenburg Park and providing more recreational activities or even encouraging commercial businesses to develop in Ward “They (city officials) need to address what they're going to do with the Overton property,” he said, referring to the former Overton factory at the corner of Elkenburg and Indiana streets that was torn down last year.
In terms of what he thinks should be addressed in the city, as a whole, Goodwin said the council needs to do a better job of listening to the concerns of residents. “I think they should take a look at issues fairly that people bring to city council and they should be resolved in a timely manner.” Goodwin is employed in the test lab engineering department at Vibrocoustic. He also is the youth minister at Solomon's Temple Ministries and a certified personal trainer.
He graduated from South Haven High School and has an associate's degree from Grand Rapids Community College. He and his wife, September, have one child. Reeser, 68, is seeking election to improve communication between city officials and residents, address short-term rental issues, promote economic growth and create more housing for middle-income and working class residents. “I will push for a citywide open discussion with the residents concerning solutions to the short-term rentals issue,” he said.
“I will listen and support what the majority of the residents want, without interference from special interest groups. “I have been working a specific plan, now supported by numerous organizations, that will create a pool of skilled labor, thereby attracting high paying employers to South Haven,” Reeser went on to say. “This would afford families the ability to buy homes in South Haven and encourage builders to build homes at all income levels thereby reducing the number of short term rentals.
” Reeser is a retired business owner who currently serves as a substitute teacher and as a business consultant. He has a marketing degree from Temple University and is a board of director for Colleagues International, a non-profit organization bringing people with various occupations from other countries to the USA to promote global connections. He is married to Linda Reeser. Ward 2 Chris Campbell is running unopposed for the seat currently held by Jeff Arnold.
Campbell, 38, said he hopes to make a positive impact as a council member. “I'm at a point in my life where I feel I can make a difference,” said Campbell, who is a downtown business owner. “The city has been good to me, I want to give back.” Campbell thinks the city needs to continue revitalizing the downtown. “Our downtown is one of our main focuses,” he said. “I don't feel like it gets enough attention.
” He also thinks the city and community needs to come up with ways to attract and retain the 18-35-year-old age group. “I think we're making the issue that more jobs are needed,” he said. “I don't think it is an issue of jobs. Even if we have jobs, what will make the 18-35 year olds stay here? We're seeing an age gap in South Haven that is big.” Campbell owns SoHa Surf Shop, downtown. He graduated from South Haven High School and Kalamazoo Valley Community College.
He and his wife, Heather, have two children. Ward 3 Holly Boyd and George Sleeper are seeking the seat that will be vacated by Andy Klavins. Boyd, 53, said she's running for office to give back to the community. “When we moved here we were accepted, welcomed and made part of this wonderful community. My daughters have excelled and enjoyed growing up here. We have made many great and lasting friendships.
” There are several issues facing the city that Boyd said need to be addressed. “I think the council has made strides on addressing our community infrastructure,” she said. “The new council will need to continue the implementation of the planned projects to ensure quality public utilities.” Short-term rentals and the ability to attract and retain residents are two other issues important to Boyd.
“As a north side resident, I see first-hand the impact of short-term rentals, and will work hard to implement the previously adopted rules and will advocate for possible refinement of the rules,” she said. “As a parent of two daughters, I want to work hard to make South Haven a great community and a place my girls will wish to return to after college.” Boyd is employed as a regional sales specialist in the pharmaceutical industry.
She has a bachelor's degree from Albion College and took post graduate courses at Western Michigan University. She is a member of South Haven High School Athletic Boosters, a board member for Smiley Family Charities and volunteers with the Miss South Haven Scholarship Pageant committee. She and her husband, Scott, have two grown children. Sleeper, 59, also wants to give back to the community. “I've been involved with my church and a lot of activities with my kids when they were younger,” he said.
“As they've gotten older, I've been looking for some way to give back to the community. I thought being on city council might be a good way.” As other candidates have stated, the growth in the number of short-term rentals and diversifying the economy and community are important issues to Sleeper. “I think the city has made a step in the right direction with the short-term rental ordinance. I think we need to give it time to see if it works,” he said.
“I feel to a certain extent, we may be losing some strength that we had previously in the area of being a more diversified community. I think it's more difficult now for younger families to find housing.” Sleeper is an engineer at Palisades Nuclear Power Plant. He obtained a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University. He is an active member at First United Methodist Church and a leader for Boy Scout Troop 198.
He and his wife, Margaret, have two grown children. Halloween's coming During the Haven Harvest Festival, Oct. 21, Colyn Johnston and 18-year-old horse Nokota Sue rode through South Haven's downtown streets, Oct. 21 portraying The Headless Horseman, a fictional character from the short story, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," by Washington Irving. Nokota Sue is owned by Sue Yankovich of Covert.
(photo by Tom Renner) Halloween events, trick-or-treating planned Tuesday 31 — Halloween celebration, 4-7 p.m., Glenn Community Center, 6958 114th Ave., Glenn.31 — Trick-or-Treating family event, 4-6 p.m., Michigan Maritime Museum, 260 Dyckman Ave. The event is for children ages toddler to 10 years. Children must be in costume and accompanied by an adult.31 — Bangor city trick-or-treating hours, 5:30 p.
m.-7 p.m.31 — Grand Junction trick-or-treating hours, 5-7 p.m.31 — Bloomingdale trick-or-treating hours, 5-7 p.m.31 — Breedsville trick-or-treating hours, 5-7 p.m.31 — South Haven city trick-or-treating hours, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.31 — Covert Township community Halloween gathering, 5 p.m.-6 p.m., Covert Township's former fire hall, M-140 Hwy.31– Trick-or-Treating at the Scott Club, 5:30-7 p.
m., 652 Phoenix St., South Haven.31— Trick-or-Treat Open House, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Countryside Nursing Home, 120 Baseline Rd., South Haven. 10.25.17 UPDATE Heavy rainfall causes sewer overflow into Black River Steady rainfall over the past two days caused a sanitary sewer overflow into the Black River in South Haven. The overflow occurred at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday on Dunkley Avenue, approximately 300 feet north of Dyckman Avenue, according to a news release from the city's Department of Public Works.
It ended at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. It was the same location of another sewage overflow that occurred earlier this month when Southwestern Michigan experienced heavy rainfall that resulted in significant flooding situations in Kalamazoo. Like the first overflow that occurred Oct. 14, Tuesday's overflow was caused by inflow and infiltration into the wastewater collection system upstream from the city's main lift station.
“Older sanitary sewers throughout portions of the collection system are susceptible to inflow of storm water during heavy rainfall and/or snow melt periods,” City Engineer Larry Halberstadt explained. He went on to say as the additional water moves downstream in the collection system, it must be pumped at various locations. At the time of the overflow, the pumps at the main lift station were unable to keep up with the large quantities of storm water flowing through the wastewater collection system.
Excess flow which cannot be handled by the pumps overflows into the Black River via a storm drain located in Dunkley Street. As a result of the overflow, approximately 75,000 gallons of diluted wastewater flowed into the storm drain and the Black River. “City staff will continue to monitor the situation and file reports on the discharge with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Van Buren County Health Department,” Halberstadt said.
To avoid future overflows into the Black River, the city is currently constructing new interceptor sewers, a new main pump station, and an equalization basin to address the overflows that occasionally occur at Dunkley and Dyckman. The improvements are anticipated to cost in excess of $11 million and will be significantly completed by the end of 2017. Halloween events, trick or treat hours lined up South Haven area communities and organizations will be celebrating Halloween with a variety of events.
Here is a schedule of the events and trick-or-treat hours in various communities: 28— Trunk-or-Treat, 3-6 p.m., St. Paul Lutheran School, 718 Arbor Ct., South Haven. For more information, 269-637-4459. 28 — 6th Annual Halloween Costume Party, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., South Haven Memorial Library, 314 Broadway. Crafts, food and prizes for best costumes. 31 — Halloween celebration, 4-7 p.m., Glenn Community Center, 6958 114th Ave.
, Glenn. Variety of activities including candy giveaways, games, prizes, costume contest, a hot dog dinner and chili cook off. Sponsored by Glenn Community Center and Ganges Township Fire Department. 31 — Trick-or-Treating family event, 4-6 p.m., Michigan Maritime Museum, 260 Dyckman Ave. Trick-or-treaters can collect candy at six different stations and take part in a scavenger hunt. The event is for children ages toddler to 10 years.
Children must be in costume and accompanied by an adult. 31 — Bangor city trick-or-treating hours, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. 31 — South Haven city trick-or-treating hours, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. 31 — Covert Township community Halloween gathering, 5 p.m.-6 p.m., Covert Township Fire and Police complex, 33805 M-140 Hwy. Businesses and groups will be handing out candy and other treats. 10.16.17 South Haven police officer disciplined for shooting incident By BECKY KARK Editor and general manager A South Haven Police Officer has been placed on unpaid leave following a lengthy investigation that occurred after he shot his pistol at a fleeing vehicle this past summer.
“After a thorough investigation, we have taken significant disciplinary action against South Haven Police Detective Kevin Wildey for actions he took in June,” South Haven City Manager Brian Dissette said Friday afternoon. “The officer discharged his firearm at the vehicle of a suspect who was fleeing the scene...The suspect was later apprehended and remains in the Van Buren County Jail.” The disciplinary action being taken against Wildey included placing him on unpaid leave for “a substantial time,” Dissette said.
However, Dissette would not elaborate just how long the unpaid leave will last. When Wildey does return to duty he will be reassigned and will have to participate in department-issued training. The city's disciplinary action followed an investigation by the Michigan State Police, who later recommended that Wildey be charged with felonious assault, however, on July 25th, Van Buren County Prosecutor Mike Bedford declined to do so, according to Dissette.
When that decision was made, South Haven Police Department conducted its own investigation and decided to take disciplinary action against Wildey. “The actions that this officer took are of great concern to city leaders,” Dissette said. “While police officers may, from time to time, use significant and even deadly force, such a decision should always be a last resort. As a department, the safety of our community, its residents and our officers remains a top priority.
” The events leading up to the shooting incident occurred in June when Wildey responded to a 911 call. He found the suspect's vehicle on Ruggles Road in South Haven Township. According to WWMT-TV, the suspect was Leo Berry, who had four felony warrants against him. Video that WWMT obtained from Wildey's body camera showed him pointing a weapon at the suspect's vehicle and telling Berry to put his hands up.
However, the car pulled away. As it did so, Wildey started firing his pistol behind the vehicle. Berry was not hit by the bullets, nor were a woman and child who were inside the vehicle. Berry was apprehended shortly afterwards and arrested on the outstanding warrants. 10.9.17 Motoryclist dies in Paw Paw Twp.; police looking for vehicle that may have been involved A Kalamazoo man died Saturday in a motorcycle accident in Paw Paw Township.
According to a Michigan State Police news release, the crash claimed the life of Richard Setty, 76. Setty was westbound on Red Arrow Highway near Territorial Road when he apparently lost control of his motorcycle. He was taken by ambulance to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo where he later died as a result of his injuries. The crash remains under investigation. Witnesses reported seeing a tan-colored sedan following westbound immediately behind the motorcycle at the time of the crash.
The vehicle is described as being an older, 4-door sedan with rust on the passenger side lower door area. According to police, the tan sedan may have played some role in the crash. It left the scene westbound on Red Arrow Highway immediately after the crash. Troopers are seeking help from the public to identify the tan vehicle and its driver. Any witnesses to the crash are asked to call the MSP Paw Paw Post at (269) 657-5551 or MSP Dispatch at (866) 411-0018.
10.6.17 UPDATE Woman shot during domestic dispute in South Haven A Covert Township man is in jail after shooting his girlfriend early this morning. The 50-year-old man, shot the 49-year-old victim at 4 a.m. at a residence in South Haven Trailer Park,73561 Chambers St. Police are not yet releasing their names. A domestic dispute led to the altercation, according to South Haven Police Sgt. Patrick Carlotto.
When police arrived the woman was taken to Bronson Methodist Hospital where she is expected to recover. “The suspect fled the scene and drove away,” Carlotto said. Police found him two hours later at a family member's residence eight miles away from the crime scene and arrested his for assault with intent to murder. He is expected to be arraigned Monday. Three of the woman's children, who are in their teens, were taken from the home to stay with a relative.
10.8.17 Boil water advisory lifted UPDATE: The boil water advisory has been lifted. The city, in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality determined Saturday it is no longer necessary to use bottled water or boild water before drinking or cooking, according to a news release from the City of South Haven. Follow-up sampling confirmed no coliform bacteria was present in the water supply.
Water main break forces closure of South Haven Schools today; Boil water advisory issued By BECKY KARK Editor and general manager South Haven Public Schools students and staff got an unexpected day off today due to a water main break that occurred Thursday. The break occurred Thursday afternoon in a line near the intersection of Blue Star Highway and M-140 Highway, according to a news release from the city's Department of Public Works.
“To repair it we had to shut down water service in several areas,” said Bill Hunter, DPW director. Workers repaired the main by 9 p.m. Thursday, and water pressure was restored by midnight, however, people in portions the South Haven area are being advised to boil their drinking water for the next 48 to 72 hours. “We have to develop a water sample plan and submit it to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
They give us their blessing for the plan and then we take two sets of water samples,” Hunter said. “Testing could take up to 72 hours.” As a result, Sunday is the soonest the boil advisory will be lifted. And that's what prompted school officials to close school today. “The high school and Lincoln Elementary School aren't affected by the boil water advisory, but we had to shut down our three other buildings because they are in the affected area,” said Kevin Dee, director of non-instructional services for the school district.
“We could have probably held school at the high school and Lincoln, but anytime you have less than 75 percent attendance in the district the state won't count it as a school day,” Dee said, referring to the amount of days each year districts are required to hold school. Although school was canceled today, the high school homecoming football game will still take place at Ratcliffe Field tonight, however, some weekend activities at various schools may be canceled if they occur in the buildings in the areas affected by the boil water advisory.
The areas where people are being advised to boil their water follow: Casco Township Covert Township Portions of South Haven Township east of I-196, west of I-196 and North of M-43 Highway. Portions of the City of South Haven east of I-196, west of I-196 and north of M-43, Baseline Road, Kentucky and Virginia avenues and Bailey Avenue north of Wells Street, Wells Street east of Bailey Avenue, Blue Star Highway, and North Shore Drive from Webster to Baseline Road.
To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water used for drinking, cooking or making ice should be boiled and cooled prior to consumption, according to a news release from the City of South Haven. Water should be brought to a rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes. In lieu of boiling, bottled water can be consumed. 10.2.17 A Mattawan man's fishing boat is shown after it capsized on Lake Michigan, Saturday, about 400 feet from the South Haven shore.
(Photo courtesy of South Haven Area Emergency Services) Mattawan man rescued from Lake Michigan after boat capsizes Thanks to a Good Samaritan, a 56-year-old Mattawan man was rescued from Lake Michigan, late Saturday afternoon, after his boat capsized. The boater was in a small fishing boat about 400 feet from the South Haven shore when the incident occurred at approximately 6 p.m. The water temperature was 61 degrees and waves were about a foot or less.
“The boat's single occupant stated he was adjusting something on his motor. Either the boat swamped or tipped over, and he was unable to get back into the boat,” said South Haven Area Emergency Services Director Ron Wise. Occupants from a boat passing by, named the Misty, rescued the man from the water and took him to a waiting ambulance at the South Haven Yacht Club. The man was taken to South Haven Bronson Hospital and treated for hypothermia.
His boat was later recovered from Lake Michigan by the U.S. Coast Guard from St. Joseph. Bangor man dies in motorcycle accident A 37-year-old Bangor man died last week after losing control of a motorcycle he was riding in Covert Township. Corey Hale was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which was reported to emergency responders at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 29. The accident occurred in the 73000 block of 26th Avenue, east of M-140 Highway, according to a Covert Township Police news release.
”Friends of the deceased observed the driver lose control of the motorcycle,” said Police Chief J. Allen. After losing control of the 2000 KTM, SX 85 dirt bike, Hale was thrown from it. “Friends ran to his aid and discovered he was not conscious or breathing,” Allen said. Hale's friends began CPR and continued until emergency personnel arrive. First responders continued to administer aid, but were unable to revive Hale, who had not been wearing a helmet.
Police believe speed could have been a factor in the accident, and are still investigating. 9.28.17 Entergy, Consumers call off agreement to close Palisades in 2018 COVERT — The deal to shutter the Palisades nuclear power plant in 2018 has been called off, meaning the plant will remain open until at least the spring of 2022, according to a news release issued this morning by Palisades plant owner Entergy Corporation.
The decision to prolong the life of the plant was made in light of the announcement last week by the Michigan Public Service Commission to reduce the amount Consumers Energy would receive as part of the buyout deal to terminate the power sharing agreement between the two companies. “In light of the Michigan Public Service Commission’s order issued Sept. 22, which granted Consumers Energy recovery of only $136.
6 million of the $172 million it requested for the buyout of the PPA, the parties have agreed to terminate the buyout transaction,” said Charlie Arnone, site vice president and Entergy’s top official at Palisades, in the release. Entergy said it remains committed to its strategy of exiting the merchant nuclear power business. “We greatly appreciate the continued patience of our employees and the local community in Southwest Michigan throughout this regulatory process, and we will continue to focus on the plant’s safe and reliable operations,” Arnone added.
“Entergy will continue to make all necessary investments and maintain appropriate staffing, in accordance with strict licensing standards.” Palisades employs about 600 workers. It opened in 1971. State Rep. Beth Griffin, R-Mattawan, said she was pleased with the news that Palisades will remain open for at least the next four years. “First, I want to thank the Michigan Public Service Commission staff and Commissioners for their thorough and detailed work throughout this process.
I also want to acknowledge Entergy and Consumers Energy for being good partners in our community during a difficult discussion for local leaders in Van Buren County. “I am pleased to hear that Entergy will continue to operate Palisades through spring of 2022, protecting 600 local jobs. Entergy has a proven record of safe and reliable operation of Palisades, and I am confident they will continue to be good partners moving forward.
Palisades is an important contributor to our state’s electric supply and produces over 800 megawatts of virtually carbon free electricity. “While this is great news for the short-term future of our community, I will be continuing my work with local leaders to prepare for that time when the Palisades plant does indeed close. Continuing that process now will ensure that all levels of government can prepare to serve our communities well into the future.
” 9.25.17 Police arrest armed robbery suspect; Other one still at large South Haven Police are looking for a suspect involved in an armed robbery, early Sunday afternoon. The armed robbery occurred at 1 p.m. in the 400 block of Huron Street. When police arrived, they observed two subjects who fled on foot. After a short search, one of the suspects, whose name has not been released, was found.
Police were also able to recover a stolen handgun, cocaine, marijuana, $1,000 in counterfeit money, and $30 that was taken during the robbery. The other suspect, Michael James Gray II, 21, of North Carolina, was not located. He may still be armed with a black semi-auto handgun. He is believed to be in the South Haven or Grand Rapids area. Anyone with information is asked to call the South Haven Police Department, 269-637-5151.
PHOTO; Michael James Gray II 9.20.17 Dr. Kristyn Hunter, a veterinarian with Hartford Animal Hospital & Arrow Pet Clinic, is shown tending to one of the puppies displaced by Hurricane Irma in Florida. The puppy is one of 18 dogs that are available for adoption from Van Buren County Animal Control in Hartford. (Contributed photo) Dogs rescued from Hurricane Irma available for adoption By BECKY KARK Editor and general manager HARTFORD — Eighteen dogs from hurricane-torn Florida may soon find new homes in Southwest Michigan, thanks to efforts by the Van Buren County Sheriff's Department to bring them here for adoption.
The dogs are currently being housed at Van Buren County Animal Control in Hartford. “What a lot of people don't realize is when this (Hurricane Irma) hit, over 100,000 dogs had to be surrendered (to shelters),” said Van Buren County Sheriff Dan Abbott. People couldn't take their pets to motels or hurricane shelters.” When Abbott found out about the sudden influx of dogs at shelters in Florida, he contacted the Humane Society of the United States, which was making arrangements to have the animals transported to other shelters for adoption.
“We had room in our shelter, and long story short, it wasn't going to cost the taxpayers of Van Buren County anything,” Abbott said. The humane society and two other non-profits dedicated to the welfare of animals — Grand Rapids-based Bissell Foundation and Zoetis Foundation of Kalamazoo — underwrote the cost of providing healthcare for the dogs before they left a shelter in Gainesville, Fla.
, Friday, Sept. 15. “They covered all the costs of treating these dogs - getting them vaccinated and everything. A private person used his private jet and took them to Lansing. All we had to do was drive the animals back to our shelter,” Abbott said. The dogs arrived to the shelter Sept. 15. Since then, several have already been adopted, Abbott said. “A lot of these dogs are very obedient,” Abbott said.
“They're nice animals.” Area residents interested in adopting the dogs can contact the Van Buren County Animal Shelter at 269-621-4624. Saturday, the shelter will host a Bissell adoption open house from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. All dog adoption fees will be waived except the $10 license fee. 9.18.17 Police find drugs, stolen car at home; Two fugitives, others facing charges Two Van Buren County men were arrested this past weekend during police recovered a stolen vehicle and drugs from a home in Grand Junction.
Van Buren County Sheriff's deputies arrested Ronald McNally, 58, of Grand Junction and John Verile, 43 of Gobles, after discovering they had outstanding warrants against them. Deputies were originally called to the home near 50th Street and 15th Avenue at 4 p.m., Saturday, after receiving a report that a domestic assault suspect may be hiding there. When deputies arrived they saw McNally, who fled to the home's attic.
He was arrested a short time later. Deputies also discovered Verile in the home, who was arrested without incident. In the process of apprehending the two suspects, deputies saw methamphetamine, marijuana and a firearm inside the home. They obtained a search warrant and found additional meth, marijuana and drug-related items. Deputies also found a stolen 1969 Chevy Camaro. Verile and McNally were arrested only for their outstanding warrant at this time, but could be facing other charges.
Police also expect to seek charges for a 38-year-old Grand Junction woman, a 61-year-old Grand Junction woman and a 39-year-old Paw Paw man. Charges the various suspects could face include possession of methamphetamine, felon in possession of a firearm, resisting and opposing a police officer, possession of marijuana and receiving and concealing a stolen motor vehicle. PHOTOS: Ronald McNally (top photo) and John Verile 9.
13.17 Man arrested for arson, breaking and entering, escapes from police custody By TRIBUNE STAFF UPDATED: Bangor Police reported Tuesday evening that Dominick Wheeler was apprehended in Pullman by police agencies. He now faces arraignment on multiple charges, including arson. BANGOR — Bangor Police are looking for a 21-year-old suspect who escaped from a squad car after being arrested for breaking into a local business and starting a fire in its office.
Police Chief Tommy Simpson said the incident occurred at 11 p.m., Saturday, when officers were called to MS Laundry Mat, 107 E. Monroe St., for a reported break-in. When police arrived they apprehended the suspect, Dominick Wheeler, of Pullman. “He had broken into the laundromat, stole money and set fire in the office,” Simpson said. “We apprehended him and he was secured and placed into a patrol unit.
” However, as police continued to process the scene, Wheeler managed to get out of the squad vehicle and run. “He was put in the care of another officer,” Simpson said. “He (the suspect) compromised the cage in the vehicle and fled.” If caught, Wheeler faces several criminal charges, including arson, malicious destruction of property to a police cruiser, resisting and obstructing and breaking and entering.
His bond has been set at $250,000, according to Simpson. 9.11.17 First responders invited to Sept. 11 Memorial Service Michigan House of Representatives legislators invited first responders from their district to take part in the Michigan House of Representative's annual Sept. 11 Memorial Service at the Capitol in Lansing. The ceremony, which took place Sept. 7, honors first responders and members of the military from Michigan who died in the line of duty in the past year.
State Rep. Beth Griffin, R-Mattawan (center) invited Van Buren County Sheriff Dan Abbott (right) and Undersheriff Chad Hunt. Two injured in head-on crash in Geneva Township LACOTA — Two people suffered injuries when two vehicles collided, head-on, Sunday, in Geneva Township. The incident occurred at 6:25 a.m., on Baseline Road near 63rd Street, according to a news release from Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel Abbott.
The news release indicated that a 19-year-old driver from Pullman drove his vehicle over the center line while traveling east on Baseline and crashed, head-on into a vehicle driven by Randall Kammeraad of Fennville. The Pullman man, whose name is not yet being released, was taken to Bronson South Haven Hospital for medical treatment. Kammeraad suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene. Both men were wearing seat belts, however, the Pullman driver may be facing criminal charges.
The news release stated the Pullman driver was possibly under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, but deputies are waiting on test results. When the investigation is complete it will be forwarded to the Van Buren County prosecutors office for review. Cub Scout sign-ups this week Youngsters interested in becoming a Cub Scout can do so this week at various communities throughout Van Buren County.
Sign-ups for Cub Scouts, kindergarten-fifth grade, are scheduled at the following locations: • Thursday, Sept. 14, 6 p.m.-7 p.m., South Walnut Elementary School in Bangor. • Thursday, Sept. 14, 6 p.m.-7 p.m., Paw Paw Early Elementary School in Paw Paw. • Thursday, Sept. 14, 6 p.m.-7 p.m., Mattawan Early Elementary School in Mattawan. Motorcyclist loses part of his leg after colliding with semi-truck A motorcyclist's leg was amputated below the knee after his bike collided with the back of a semi-tractor on Interstate 94.
The incident occurred shortly before 6 p.m., Friday, near the 47.6-mile marker in Hartford Township, according to a news release from the Van Buren County Sheriff's Department. Deputies and Michigan State Police were called to the accident and found the motorcyclist, a 22-year-old St. Joseph man, laying on the ground near his bike. Civilian passersby were assisting and rendering medical assistance.
First responders also applied medical assistance. According to the news release, the accident victim's leg ended up being amputated below the knee and a tourniquet applied to stop bleeding. He was then taken to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo. In investigating the accident, deputies determined the motorcyclist rear ended the semi after it had slowed to a near stop due to a traffic backup. The motorcyclist was not able to stop before colliding with the semi-trailer.
9.6.17 Niña and Pinta tours extended in South Haven UPDATED If you didn't get a chance to tour the Columbus ships, Niña and Pinta last week, this week is your opportunity to do so. The ships were supposed to set sail Tuesday morning, Sept. 5 from the Michigan Maritime Museum to Michigan City, Ind., but ongoing strong winds and weather on Lake Michigan prompted the ships' crews to cancel the trip there.
Instead, the public can continue to view the ships in South Haven from Thursday, Sept. 7 through Sunday, Sept. 10. The public can visit the ships during the day for a walk-aboard, self-guided tour after purchasing tickets from the Michigan Maritime Museum, 260 Dyckman Ave. Museum tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $5 for children. Admission charges for the ships are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors 60 and older, and $6 for children ages 5-18.
Children 4 and younger are free. No reservations are necessary. The Niña was built by hand and without the use of power tools and is considered to be the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built. The Pinta was recently built in Brazil and is a larger version of the archetypal caravel. 9.6.17 A rare sight South Haven area residents who ventured to the beach this morning were treated to the sight of a full rainbow over Lake Michigan.
(Photo by Becky Kark) 9.5.17 The Columbus replica ships Niña and Pinta are staying one more day in South Haven at the Michigan Maritime Museum docks. The ships will be open for dockside tours from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Photo by Tom Renner) Niña and Pinta dock one more day in South Haven If you didn't get a chance to tour the Columbus ships, Niña and Pinta, today is your opportunity to do so.
The ships were supposed to set sail today from the Michigan Maritime Museum to Michigan City, Ind., but strong winds and weather on Lake Michigan prompted the ships' crews to stay in South Haven one more day. The public can visit the ships from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. for a walk-aboard, self-guided tour after purchasing tickets from the Michigan Maritime Museum. Museum tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $5 for children.
Admission charges for the ships are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors 60 and older, and $6 for children ages 5-18. Children 4 and younger are free. No reservations are necessary. The Niña was built by hand and without the use of power tools and is considered to be the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built. The Pinta was recently built in Brazil and is a larger version of the archetypal caravel.
8.28.17 Gas prices expected to go up due to Hurricane Harvey Hurricane Harvey has caused widespread devastation in Texas, and is expected to have an effect on the cost of gasoline throughout the country, according to GasBuddy, an online site that tracks gas prices throughout the United States. “Gas prices are up in many places and motorists should be gearing up for more in the coming weeks, thanks to Hurricane Harvey inundating significant refineries along the Texas coastline, leading to closures and tilting the delicate balance of supply and demand," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.
"Prices will likely rise nearly country wide heading into Labor Day, from rural towns in the Rockies to major cities in the Midwest and West Coast- nearly everyone will feel a bit of a pinch at the pump from Harvey. The impact could linger for several weeks or longer, depending on how long it takes Texas refiners to return to normal operations. In addition, the situation could worsen should more shutdowns or outages happen in the coming week as Harvey continues to drop feet of rain on already flooded Texas.
" Gas prices in the South Haven area hovered around $2.35 this morning and are cheaper than the average price in Michigan, which was $2.46 Sunday, according to GasBuddy. At-home hunter safety course offered The South Haven Rod and Gun Club will be offering a hunter safety education course for are youth. Youth who pass the course will be able to obtain a permit to hunt in Michigan. Students can receive Michigan Hunter Safety Education home study packages by contacting Vern Hosier, 269-214-0170 or emailing vhosier@comcast.
net Study packages must be picked up by Sept. 2. The Rod and Gun Club will then offer t raining and testing from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sept. 9, at their facility, 68611 8th Ave., South Haven Township. 8.21.17 Motorist distracted by traffic stop causes accident on Interstate 94 A motorist who showed more interest in watching a traffic stop than keeping his eye on the road caused an accident, Sunday, injuring himself and three others.
The incident unfolded at 4:45 p.m. on Interstate 94 in Paw Paw Township when Van Buren County sheriff's deputies received calls about two people in a vehicle smoking marijuana. Deputies spotted the vehicle and stopped it. In questioning the driver they noticed the front seat passenger, an 18-year-old young woman from Lawrence, eating something. When she opened her mouth, marijuana fell out. The 17-year-old male driver from Watervliet was asked about his marijuana use and admitted to being under the influence of it.
As deputies arrested the driver for operating under the influence of drugs, a 40-year-old driver glanced over at the traffic stop, and rear-ended a vehicle in front of him, causing the highway to be shut down for nearly 30 minutes until medical and additional law enforcement could arrive. The 40-year-old man who caused the accident was taken to Bronson Lakeview Hospital to be treated for his injuries.
The 27-year-old driver of the car that was hit was treated at the scene, along with his wife and two small children. The 40-year-old man was cited for failure to yield. The 17-year-old teen from Watervliet was taken to Van Buren County Jail for operating under the influence of drugs, while his 18-year-old passenger was cited and released for possession of marijuana. 8.18.17 Mom, daughter rescued after being swept off pier Thanks to the quick thinking of two bystanders, a mother and daughter from Jackson are safe and sound after being swept off South Haven's South Pier, earlier today.
The mom and her middle-school age daughter were with other family members walking toward the lighthouse shortly at approximately 12:15 p.m., according to South Haven Area Emergency Services Assistant Fire Chief Tony Marsala. “They turned around and walked back to shore because the waves were getting more intense,” he said. But the waves caught the mom and her daughter and swept them off the pier and into Lake Michigan, along the lake side of the pier.
Two bystanders, one who was part of the family from Jackson, threw life rings to the mother and daughter, who were then pulled safely back onto the pier. The two victims were not injured and did not want medical treatment, according to Marsala. “They were just shaken up, quite naturally,” he said. Red flags were up along South Beach when the incident happened and waves were crashing over the South Haven pierheads, prompting safety officers once again to warn people of the dangers of Lake Michigan's waves.
18-year-old Pullman woman dies in car crash GANGES TWP. — A two-vehicle crash in Ganges Township claimed the life of a Pullman woman and critically injured a Saugatuck man. The accident occurred at 4 p.m., Thursday at the intersection of 118th Avenue and Blue Star Highway, according to a report from the Allegan County Sheriff's office. The report indicated that 18-year-old Raven Ay-Shawnti Morrison of Pullman was traveling west on 118th Avenue when her car struck a vehicle driven by a 38-year-old Saugatuck man, who was headed north on Blue Star.
Morrison died at the scene of the accident. The Saugatuck man suffered critical injuries and was flown from the scene to a hospital by West Michigan Air Care. His 38-year-old female passenger suffered non life-threatening injuries. Families are still being contacted and the accident is under investigation by the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office accident reconstruction team. The Sheriff’s Office was assisted on scene by AMR from Fennville and Holland, and Ganges Township Fire Department.
8.15.17 Motorcyclist injured in collision with SUV A Bangor man suffered head injuries when his motorcycle collided with an SUV on M-43, Monday afternoon. South Haven Police and ambulance were called to the accident at 4:50 p.m. near Park Meadows Apartments in South Haven Township. When arriving officers found the 67-year-old Bangor man laying near his motorcycle being attended to by citizens who had stopped to help.
He was not wearing a helmet and was suffering from head wounds, according to a South Haven Police news release. The driver and occupant of the SUV were not injured. According to police. the point of impact of the collision showed the motorcycle was driving east in the westbound lane. The motorcyclist was taken to Bronson South Haven Hospital for treatment. Officers were assisted by Bangor Police Department.
The investigation is continuing. 8.14.17 SH Library provides protective viewing glasses for solar eclipse South Haven Memorial Library will be hosting a solar eclipse viewing from 12:30 p.m.-4 p.m., Monday, Aug. 21. Protective viewing glasses will be available at the library, located at 314 Broadway. “While South Haven will not experience a total eclipse of the sun, we are expected to experience an 85 percent coverage.
,” said Jim France, library director. The duration of the eclipse will be approximately 2 hours and 46 minutes, with the maximum blockage of the sun occurring at 2:22 p.m. Live streams of the total eclipse will be aired in the library’s community room in case of uncooperative weather. M-43 detour starts today, continues through Thursday If you plan to drive in or out of South Haven along M-43 this week, you'll have to use a different route.
Starting today and continuing through Thursday, a small section of M-43, from Blue Star Highway to Aylworth Avenue, will be closed to traffic to allow the Michigan Department of Transportation to install new sections of concrete along the aging roadway. Traffic will be detoured on Blue Star Highway and Aylworth Avenue, according to a news release from MDOT. For the past three weeks, MDOT workers have been repairing M-43, west of Aylworth Avenue toward Bronson South Haven Hospital.
Even though they have been working on that section of the road, they have been able to keep one lane open using a traffic signal. The section of roadway west of Aylworth is scheduled to be completed Friday. 8.12.17 The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department released this security camera image of a robber holding a gun to the head of a clerk at the Quick-Stop in Geneva Township. The clerk was not injured.
The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department released this security camera image of a robber holding a gun to the head of a clerk at the Quick-Stop in Geneva Township. The clerk was not injured. Gunman robs Geneva Township store Clerk runs after perp holds gun to her head By HP STAFF SOUTH HAVEN — Police are searching for a gunman who held up a Geneva Township convenience store Friday and terrorized a clerk, the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department reported.
Police responded to a 8:50 a.m. call to the Phoenix Quick-Stop at 4237 County Road 687. Sheriff’s officers, South Haven police and state police could not find the attacker, who fled in a car. The masked robber entered through the front door, pulled a handgun, pointed it at the clerk’s head and demanded cash from the two registers, sheriff’s officers reported. When the clerk refused to comply, he rushed behind the counter – still pointing the gun – and the woman then complied and opened the registers.
The robber became distracted with taking the money, which allowed the clerk to run out the front door, deputies reported. The gunman chased the woman, but he gave up and drove away southbound on CR 687. Witnesses said the gunman drove off in an older model, black Chevrolet Impala with a damaged right front. The car had a Michigan license plate but numbers could not be discerned. The attacker wore dark blue pants, black shoes, a light-blue hooded sweatshirt, a baseball cap with a camouflage bill and some type of black mask on the lower part of his face.
Anyone with information in the case is urged to call the sheriff’s department at 657-3101, Crime Stoppers at 800-342-7867 or Silent Observer at 269-343-2100 or your local police department. 8.9.17 Two SH Ward 1 candidates advance to November election By BECKY KARK Editor and general manager Two candidates will be squaring off in November to become a Ward 1 city council member for the City of South Haven.
Voters selected Joe Reeser and Ahmmad Goodwin in Tuesday's primary election from a field of three candidates. The winner of the November election will take the place of Vickiy Kozlik-Wall who can't run again due to term limitations. According to unofficial results submitted after Tuesday's election by South Haven City Clerk Travis Sullivan, Reeser was the top vote getter with 96 votes. Sixty seven people voted for Goodwin, while Steve Runkle received 36 votes.
Approximately 20 percent of the city's registered voters in Ward 1 cast their ballot in the primary. Prior to the primary election, Goodwin, 36, said he's running for city council to become more involved in city government and to make a positive difference in Ward 1. “A lot of times I went downtown (to city council meeting) and spoke about different things,” Goodwin said. “I'm trying to put my legs to my words.
” Goodwin went on to say there are several issues that should be addressed in Ward 1, including making bike trails safe for bicyclists, easing parking restrictions along streets that border Elkenburg Park and providing more recreational activities or even encouraging commercial businesses to develop in Ward 1. In an interview before Tuesday's primary, Reeser, 68, said he's running for city council to listen to the residents of Ward 1, as well as the rest of the city, and bring more year-round residents and jobs to South Haven.
“I believe I can help the city,” he said. “You do that by bringing in new employers and having a better balance between tourism and year-round residents.” In November, South Haven voters will also be headed to the polls not only to vote for a new Ward 1 council member, but also a new mayor to replace Bob Burr, who is being term limited, and Ward 2 council member Jeff Arnold, and Ward 3 council member Andy Klavins, who also face term limitations.
There weren't enough candidates for the positions of mayor or the Ward 2 and 3 council seats to necessitate a primary vote, Sullivan said in an earlier interview. The other candidates for November's election are mayoral challengers Scott Smith and Paul VandenBosch; Ward 2 candidate Chris Campbell, who is running unopposed; and Ward 3 candidates Holly Boyd and George Sleeper. 8.7.17 Photo by Tom Renner In good company Congressional Medal of Honor recipients Jim McCloughan (left) and Duane Dewey share a light-hearted moment during Sunday's dedication of the Michigan Vietnam Memorial Wall at the South Haven American Legion.
McCloughan of South Haven, received the Congressional Medal of Honor last week from President Donald Trump for saving the lives of 10 soldiers during the Vietnam War. Dewey, formerly of South Haven, received his Congressional Medal of Honor from President Dwight Eisenhower for jumping on a grenade to save fellow Marines during the Korean War. McCloughan served as the keynote speaker during the decication ceremony, which included Honor Guard from Fort Custer National Cemetery, the United States Marine Corp Color Guard from Battle Creek and the South Haven High School Band.
South Haven Area Emergency Services paramedics and South Haven Police respond to the scene of an accident late Friday night that claimed the life of a 20-year-old South Haven man. (Photo courtesy of SHAES) Pedestrian killed on Blue Star Hwy. A 20-year-old South Haven man died late Friday night after he was struck by a vehicle while walking on Blue Star Highway. The accident occurred at 11:20 p.
m. near Superior Street. Police have not yet released the name of the pedestrian or the driver. "The accident is still under investigation," said Sgt. Patrick Carlotto of the South Haven Police Department. According to Carlotto, the victim, who had moved to South Haven very recently, was heading from Briar Hills Apartment complex to Walmart when he was struck by a vehicle driven by a Vicksburg area man.
Carlotto said the victim was wearing dark clothes and the driver of the vehicle said he did not see the man in time to avoid hitting him. The driver volunteered to give police a blood sample and his cell phone to determine whether he was driving distracted or was under the influence of alcohol. "There's no indication that was the case," Carlotto said. However, police are still reviewing the evidence and double-checking information obtained from an accident reconstructionist.
7.31.17 Jim McCloughan to receive Congressional Medal of Honor today from President Trump By BECKY KARK Editor and general manager Jim McCloughan's Vietnam War buddies refer to him as “Doc” for his courageous actions as a medic. Today, President Donald Trump will be referring to McCloughan as America's latest recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. It was May 25th that McCloughan received a phone call at home from the President himself letting “Doc” know he would receive the medal.
In an interview with Army Times, McCloughan recalled saying to the President, “Can my wife pick up another phone?” Trump allowed her to and proceeded to spend 10-15 minutes talking with McCloughan. Monday, the two men will be face to face at the White House where McCloughan, his wife, Cherie, and other immediate family members will witness the President giving the former Army medic the U.S. Military's highest honor for valor during combat.
McCloughan was 23 years old during the Battle of Nui Yon Hill on May 13-15, 1969. Under heavy fire, he saved the lives of 10 fellow platoon members. He received many military awards and honors, including two Purple Hearts, but the Congressional Medal of Honor eluded him until his former platoon leader sent in a request in 2009 that he receive the Distinguished Service Cross, according to the Army Times.
However, then Defense Secretary Larry Ash upgraded the request to the Medal of Honor. But there was one hitch. The medal could only be awarded within five years of a military personnel's lifesaving actions. That glitch was resolved in 2016 when President Barack Obama signed legislation proposed by Michigan lawmakers Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Sen. Gary Peters and Rep. Fred Upton, allowing for the exception.
Since being informed that he would receive the Medal of Honor, McCloughan has been a busy man. “He's been writing a lot of speeches,” said McCloughan's uncle, Jack McCloughan of South Haven, referring to the dozens of organizaitons the Medal of Honor recipient has been asked to speak to. “But Jim likes being busy.” Jim McCloughan also has been interviewed by state and national news outlets, including 60 Minutes, whose film crew came to McCloughan's South Haven home in June where he was interviewed along with several of the soldiers he saved during the Vietnam War.
“I'm waiting proudly and anxiously to see the show,” Jack McCloughan said. Jack McCloughan watched his nephew and his two brothers grow up over the years and said he wasn't a bit surprised that Jim would risk his own life to save others during the Vietnam War. “It doesn't come as a surprise at all,” Jack McCloughan said. “My brother (Scotty McCloughan) raised his boys to do what had to be done in whatever situation they were in.
” 7.17.17 Amanda Creeden (left) and Jim Ollgaard (center) of the Historical Association of South Haven glance at the new donor plaques that give recognition to major donors to the South Haven Lighthouse Restoration fundraising campaign. Will Hart (right) owner of Improvisational Craftsman, created the cast iron supports and foundation for the plaques. The support columns resemble the South Pier catwalk.
(Photo by Tom Renner) Thank you! Historical association plans to officially recognize donors who paid for lighthouse restoration By BECKY KARK For the Tribune More than 1,000 people donated money to help restore South Haven's historic lighthouse and now they'll be officially recognized when the Historical Association of South Haven hosts a dedication ceremony this week. The ceremony will take place at the new Lighthouse Plaza next to South Beach as well as at the lighthouse, itself.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 19 with what else but the serving of cookies shaped like a lighthouse? The dedication will also include recognition of commemorative brick donors and major donors whose names are listed on a new plaque at the lighthouse plaza. Other activities include the official dedication of the restored lighthouse by Mayor Bob Burr, maritime-related musical performarnces by local musicians and singers Pam Chappell, Joe Foster and Jim Hughey, and the reading of “I am the Light” by Gary Horton.
More than 500 brick pavers line the walkway next to the new donor plaque, which contains the names of more than 150 major contributors, but there were also hundreds of people who simply gave money ranging from a couple of dollars to $100 at various lighthouse fundraisers, said Amanda Creeden, president of the Historical Association of South Haven, which owns the lighthouse and raised more than $300,000 in 2015-16 to restore it to its original glory.
They too will be recognized in a general way at the dedication ceremony. “There were people who would just stop by and donate money,” Creeden said. “They didn't want recognition. They just wanted the lighthouse to be preserved and maintained.” Even though it was impossible to keep track of every person who donated money, bought a commemorative T-shirt or other memorabilia during the fundraising campaign, the donor plaque pays tribute to those individuals as well.
“We couldn't have done it without them,” Creeden said. The historical association is especially pleased with the design of the plaque. The two beams that supports the plaque resemble the South Pier catwalk. “Will Hart (owner of Improvisational Craftsman in Pullman) fabricated them,” Creeden said. “He did a great job. It (the donor plaque) looks like it belongs at the lighthouse plaza.” 7.
12.17 A delivery driver for Van Eerden Foodservice gets caught in a downtour shortly before noon, today, while making a delivery in downtown South Haven. (Tribune photo) Severe thunderstorms, possible flooding predicted today and this evening in South Haven area A word to the wise today – stay inside if at all possible. The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook calling for severe thunderstorms from mid afternoon through tonight.
Damaging winds, large hail, isolated tornadoes and heavy rainfall will be possible with these storms. Some areas of southwestern Michigan and west Michigan could see rainfall of more than 5 inches, which has prompted the Weather Service to issue a flood watch, as well, through Thursday morning. Rainfall rates could top two inches per hour in the areas of southwest and west Michigan hit hardest by the storms.
Storm total rainfall amounts could exceed five inches which could be enough to trigger flooding, according to the National Weather Service. Road commission weighmaster injured while pursuing vehicle WATERVLIET — A Berrien County Road Commission weighmaster suffered injuries after his patrol car rolled over during a chase. The incident occurred shortly after noon, Tuesday, on County Line Road near 48th Avenue, according to a news release from Michigan State Police.
Weighmaster Don Goulooze stopped a vehicle driven by a 42-year-old Watervliet man for disregarding a traffic control device. When Goulooze talked to the man he fled from the stop dragging Goulooze. Goulooze was able to free himself and return to his patrol car where he then began to pursue the suspect north on County Line Road. But he lost control of the patrol car on 70th Street near 48th Avenue at the border of Van Buren and Berrien counties.
The vehicle ran off the road and overturned. Goulooze suffered injuries and was taken to a hospital where he was treated and released. Police located the suspect's vehicle, abandoned, and learned the suspect had fled on foot into a wooded area in Van Buren County. A Berrien County K9 found the suspect hiding in the woods. The suspect was arrested for fleeing and eluding; operating while impaired, third offense; and driving with a suspended license, second offense.
Troopers were assisted by Van Buren and Berrien County sheriff's departments, and Watervliet, Covert and Pokagon Tribal police departments. 7.10.17 Van Buren Sheriff's marine patrol divers and a U.S. Coast Helicopter comb the waters of Lake Michigan, Saturday after a person was reported to have fallen off the South Pier Friday evening. (Photo courtesy of South Haven Area Emergency Services) Search for possible drowning victim called off By HP STAFF A search of Lake Michigan off South Haven was called off this weekend after emergency workers could find no evidence to support a reported possible drowning Friday night.
Van Buren County Sheriff Dan Abbott said the search Friday night through Saturday afternoon proved unfruitful. He said it’s possible the person seen entering the water from the South Pier at 10:55 p.m. may have swam to shore unbeknownst to the person reporting the incident. South Haven Area Emergency Services and the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department scoured the water off the South Pier with boats and divers.
The U.S. Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter from Muskegon and a boat from St. Joseph to join the search. SHAES Chief Ron Wise said his agency and city police were dispatched to the South Pier at 10:55 p.m. Friday after a witness saw someone halfway down the pier fall into the water. He said his crew searched the water surface with the department’s rescue boat, spotlights, a thermal imager and a portable light tower.
The sheriff’s dive team searched the water for several hours into the morning and continued the effort to about 4:30 p.m. Saturday. There are no missing person reports so there is no plan to resume the search, he said. Anyone with information regarding a possible missing person should contact South Haven police at 637-5151. 7.3.17 Photo courtesy of South Haven Area Emergency Services South Haven Area Emergency Services first responders get ready to transport a 33-year-old Kalamazoo man to Bronson South Haven Hospital, Sunday afternoon, after a bystander rescued him from Lake Michigan at South Beach.
Bystander rescues man from Lake Michigan A Kalamazoo man was taken to Bronson South Haven Hospital, Sunday, after being rescued from Lake Michigan in South Haven, by a good Samaritan. The 33-year-old man told first responders he went into Lake Michigan at South Beach around 5 p.m. to retrieve swim toys when he began to struggle and went under the water. A bystander witnessed the victim going under and pulled him to the surface and brought him to shore, according to Ron Wise, South Haven Area Emergency Services fire chief.
When police and other first responders arrived they found the victim had a pulse with shallow respirations, but was not responding to questions. After a few minutes the victim was able to respond and was taken to Bronson South Haven Hospital's emergency room. “Unfortunately we didn't get his (the good Samaritan's) name,” Wise said. “As we got to the scene it started to rain heavily and everybody (at the beach) scattered.
” The man's name was not released nor was his health condition as of Monday. En Garde! Violinist Michael Corman shares a humorous "sword fighting" moment with a youngster during the South Haven Art Fair, Saturday. Corman wielded his bow while the youngster used his sword-shaped balloon to compete in a duel of sorts. Corman, of Battle Creek, once played in several symphonies in Michigan as well as on cruise ships.
He said he comes to the art fair each year to play on Williams Street by the Dyckman drawbridge. (Photo by Becky Kark) 6.26.17 Nearing completion Blue Star HIghway's new Black River bridge in South Haven is nearing completion, as this photo, taken Saturday, shows. The $3.2 million project began in the fall of 2016 and is expected to be completed in time for the 4th of July holiday. (Aerial photo by Tom Renner) Man accused of stealing woman's purse Police are looking for a man who allegedly stole a woman's purse, Sunday, at a gas station parking lot in Sister Lakes.
The incident happened at 10 p.m., at the Sister Lakes Marathon on M-152 Hwy., according to a Van Buren County Sheriff's report. The 21-year-old woman from Watervliet told deputies she had pumped gas for her vehicle and went inside the store to purchase some items. Store surveillance video showed a 30-35-year-old Hispanic man, parked in a blue mini-van next to the woman's car, take the purse out of her car as she entered the store.
The suspect then left in an unknown direction. Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call the Van Buren County Sheriff's office. PHOTO: Store surveillance camera shows the suspect accused of stealing a purse from a woman's vehicle while she was in a convenience store. 6.19.17 Vietnam War veteran Jim McCloughan salutes the crowd during South Haven's Memorial Day parade. (file photo) Ready to meet the president Jim McCloughan to receive Medal of Honor July 31 from President Trump By HP STAFF and THE ASSOCIATED PRESS President Donald Trump will hang the Congressional Medal of Honor on South Haven’s James McCloughan in a July 31 White House ceremony, legislators announced Tuesday.
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton and Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow announced details. “Then-Private First Class James McCloughan is an American hero. There is no doubt about that,” Upton, R-St. Joseph, said in the joint news release. “During close combat, when his fellow soldiers were in dire need, PFC McCloughan stepped up. His selfless efforts saved lives.” McCloughan was an Army medic during the Battle of Nui Yon Hill on May 13-15, 1969.
Under heavy fire, he saved the lives of 10 fellow platoon members. McCloughan grew up in Bangor and played football and wrestled at Olivet College. He was drafted after college graduation. He further earned two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts and the Combat Medical Badge. After the Army, he became a teacher and coach in South Haven schools. “I feel honored to be able to accept this for the 89 men that fought that battle,” McCloughan told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Then a 23-year-old private first class who was drafted a year earlier after earning a degree in sociology from Olivet College, McCloughan repeatedly entered the “kill zone” to rescue wounded comrades, despite being pelted with shrapnel from a rocket propelled grenade. McCloughan “voluntarily risked his life on nine separate occasions to rescue wounded and disoriented comrades,” the White House said in an emailed statement Tuesday.
“He suffered wounds from shrapnel and small arms fire on three separate occasions, but refused medical evacuation to stay with his unit, and continued to brave enemy fire to rescue, treat, and defend wounded Americans.” McCloughan described the shrapnel as “a real bad sting,” during an interview with The Associated Press at his South Haven home. “But at that particular time, I was tending to two guys and dragging them at the same time into a trench line.
“I looked down, and I was covered with blood,” McCloughan said of the wound that prompted a captain to suggest he leave the battlefield to receive aid. McCloughan had different ideas. “He knew me enough to know that I wasn’t going, and he better listen to me.” He did. McCloughan stuck around until the battle’s conclusion, coming to the aid of his men and fighting the enemy, at one point knocking out an enemy RPG position with a grenade.
In all, the Pentagon credits McCloughan with saving the lives of 10 members of his company. McCloughan called the battle “the worst two days of my life.” The Department of Defense can award the Medal of Honor within five years of the heroic deeds. Afterwards, it’s up to Congress. Congress included the honor in the 2017 defense spending bill, signed last year by President Barack Obama. Upton guided House action regarding the award.
Peters and Stabenow spearheaded the Senate action. Peters said in the release that McCloughan “exemplified the values of honor, courage and camaraderie that makes our military the finest in the world.” Peters is on the Armed Services Committee and is a former Naval Reserve lieutenant commander. 6.16.17 Fight at North Beach concerns South Haven police By BECKY KARK Editor and general manager South Haven Police are investigating a fight that occurred on North Beach in which two teens were injured, this past week.
The fight occurred Tuesday afternoon when a 16-year-old boyfriend and girlfriend were sunbathing at North Beach when a group of seven to eight young adults and teens confronted them, according to Sgt. Kyle Griffith of the South Haven Police Department. “There was a verbal altercation then the fight happened,” Griffith said. The girl and boy, from Lawton and Paw Paw, respectively, both suffered injuries.
Police were called right away, however, the parent of the boy didn't want to prosecute initially, according to Griffith. Even so, police began investigating. They came upon a group of young adults at South Beach and cited one for minor in possession charges. Then one of the young adults took off in a car that was later recovered that evening and found to be stolen from Kalamazoo. The person driving the car was arrested by Kalamazoo Public Safety on several outstanding warrants.
In the meantime the father of the 16-year-old boy took his son to the hospital to be examined. The father told WWMT, Wednesday, that his son suffered a concussion. Grifith reported that police have not yet been officially notified of that but said , “there were visible injuries on both the guy and girl.“ South Haven police are continuing to investigate the incident and worry that similar incidents could happen on South Haven beaches.
“It's not regular for fights like this to occur (at South Haven beaches), but it's becoming more usual,” Griffith said. “If you look on YouTube, it seems like a new phenomenon. It's the new bar of our era. So we're always concerned.” 17-year-old kicks out back window of police vehicle PAW PAW — A 17-year-old Paw Paw area man is in jail after kicking out the back window of a police vehicle.
Blaine Steven Michaels was arrested Thursday morning following the incident and now faces felony charges for malicious destruction of police property and resisting and obstructing an officer. Van Buren County Sheriff Dan Abbott said in a news release that deputies were sent to a home in the 31000 block of Red Arrow Highway for a blight issue. When deputies arrived they found two people in the home — Michaels and a 43-year-old woman from the Paw Paw area — who weren't supposed to be living there.
Deputies discovered both of the people had outstanding misdemeanor warrants. Deputies placed Michaels in the back of a squad car so they could talk to the female. While trying to arrest the female for her warrant, Michaels kicked out the back window of the squad car and ran from the car. He was apprehended a short time later and arrested. The woman was taken to another police agency for her misdemeanor warrant.
6.15.17 Cemetery sexton faces embezzlement charges HARTFORD TWP. — A longtime cemetery sexton faces criminal charges for embezzling between $50,000-$100,000 from Hartford Township. Gerrie Lee Heskett, 61, of Hartford, was arraigned Wednesday in Seventh District Court, according to a news release from the Van Buren County Sheriff's Department. Her next court date is July 5. The charges against Heskett resulted from a six-month investigation by the sheriff's department into the alleged missing funds.
The investigation began at the request of the Hartford Township Board. According to the sheriff's news release, the funds went missing between 2011-2016. A forensic auditor assisted the Sheriff’s Office in investigating the township's financial and bookkeeping documents. 6.12.17 Damage to a home in Geneva Township is shown in the above photo after a the driver of a truck smashed into it. Driver falls asleep, crashes into home A Geneva Township man faces criminal charges after crashing his vehicle into a residence on 66th Street near County Road 388.
Van Buren County Sheriff's deputies report that the 56-year-old man was driving a pickup truck on 66th Street at 11:30 p.m., Thursday, when he fell asleep behind the wheel and passed his own home. He then drove through a stop sign at the intersection of 66th Street and CR 388 and crashed into a home. The elderly couple who lived in the home called 911 as the driver was attempting to flee the scene.
The driver and his truck were gone prior to deputies' arrival, but were located soon after. The driver was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. A copy of the report will be forwarded to the prosecuting attorney's office for review. Minors cited for underage drinking on pontoon boat KEELER — A party on a pontoon boat in Crooked Lake ended abruptly, Saturday afternoon, for a group of young adults, who ended up with minor in possession citations.
Van Buren County Sheriff's deputies received a report that many people on a boat in Crooked Lake were drinking alcoholic beverages and using a beer funnel. Marine patrol deputies launched a patrol boat, which the pontoon passed. The pontoon immediately turned toward the opposite side of the lake attempting to reach shore, but the deputies caught up to the boat. After investigating the deputies issued citations to six underage drinkers, ages 16-19, from Orland Park, Ill.
They were released to family members. 6.5.17 Honor Credit Union plans to build a new branch office in South Haven that will look like the one shown above. Honor plans groundbreaking ceremony for new office in South Haven Honor Credit Union officials plan to break ground, Thursday, for a new branch office in South Haven. The ceremony will take place at 2:30 p.m. at the site, 72113 County Road 388, South Haven (across from Sherman Dairy Bar).
The new facility will take the place of the credit union's Phillips Street location in South Haven. That facility does not have drive-through service or other amenities that Honor Credit Union facilities throughout Southwest Michigan offer. 5.30.17 Popular car show cruises into South Haven this weekend By KIM INGALLS For the Tribune Hundreds of antique, classic and custom cars, trucks and motorcycles are expected to rumble into town Saturday, June 3 for the 18th annual South Haven Festival of Cars/Kruisin’ For Kylie.
Held in the Huron Street parking lot, the show will run from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with registration from 7:30 a.m. to 11a.m. Judging will take place at 11 a.m. A limited number of goody bags and dash plaques will be given to registered vehicles. Entertainment will include the Black Ice Band from noon to 2 p.m., and a DJ from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will also be a silent auction from 10 a.m. to 2 p.
m. A fundraiser for the Kentwood-based Hunt For A Cure, the event has raised $40,000 for the non-profit as it searches for a cure for the terminal disease, cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease characterized by the buildup of thick, sticky mucus that can damage many of the body's organs. Event organizer Kim Morse, whose teenage daughter Kylie was diagnosed with CF when she was six months old, knew she had to join the fight to cure the disease, and, with the help of friends from the Team Thunder and Lighting Car Club, typically raises $10,000 at the car show, alone.
“I couldn’t do it without them,” she said about the car club members. “They are a great group of individuals who go above and beyond to help others.” A junior at Fennville High School, Kylie plans to attend a college in Arizona after graduation. While she is managing her disease, the past winter was a little rough health-wise. Fortunately, she was still able to play volleyball for Fennville and spend a lot of time with her black lab Rollo.
A total of 62 awards will be given at the car show. Trophies include: Best Car, Best Truck, Best Motorcycle, Best Engine, Best Interior, Best Paint, Most Likely to be pulled over, DJ Pick, Fire Chief's Choice, Police Chief's Choice, Mayor's Choice and Kylie's Choice. For registration information or to donate an item to the auction, visit www.SHFestivalOfCars.com, Facebook, Kim Morse (269) 214-0981, Deryck Gruber (269) 637-2785 or Jacob Taylor (616) 893-8426.
Dogs attack, kill livestock at home near Bangor BANGOR — Deputies are looking for the owners of two dogs who attacked and killed livestock at a home, east of Bangor, this past weekend. The incident began Sunday morning at a residence on M-43 Highway by 48th Street in Arlington Township. The homeowner noticed two mix breed dogs attacking his sheep and goats. The man fired several warning shots but the dogs kept attacking the animals, who were in an enclosed area.
The man then called 911. When Van Buren County sheriff's deputies arrived they found several sheep and goats in the enclosed area who were either injured or dead. The larger of the two dogs was still chasing sheep and when deputies tried to get the dog away from the livestock it turned on them. Deputies ended up shooting the dog, and found the other dog in the barn, uninjured. Of the livestock owners' 21 sheep and goats, 14 were injured, two were killed and two ended up being euthanized because of the severe injuries they sustained in the attack.
The owners have been treating the injured animals, but worry they may succumb to their injuries. Deputies took the live dog to Van Buren County Animal Control Shelter to be quarantined. The deceased dog was also taken to the shelter to be examined for possible diseases. The dog that was shot is described as a large breed, black in color. The other dog was described as a medium black-and-brown-colored dog.
Anyone who has information about the two dogs' owners is asked to call the sheriff's office. 5.22.17 Van Buren County Sheriff's Department's Honor Guard took part in the National Police Memorial Day Observance in South Haven, May 19. Remembering the fallen, honoring the standing Police from several different law enforcement agencies took part in the National Police Memorial Day Observance, May 19, in South Haven.
The ceremony included guest speakers District Court Judge Michael McKay and South Haven City Councilmember Scott Smith, laying of the wreath and a flag ceremony at the Police Memorial at South Haven City Hall, a gun salute by the Van Buren County Sheriff Honor Guard, the playing of Taps by Baseline Middle School Director of Bands Sarah Bopp, prayers by Pastor Darryl Williams and a roll call by South Haven Police Sgt.
Chris Mersman of police who have died in the line of duty. South Haven Police Department and chief Natalie Thompson hosted and took part in the ceremony. The National Police Memorial Day came about in the early 1960s when President John F. Kennedy signed a law designating a day to honor police who have died in the line of duty. 5.17.17 Damage to the Auto Value store in South Haven is shown after a vehicle smashed into it, Tuesday.
(Photo courtesy of South Haven Area Emergency Services) Man injured after vehicle smashes into storefront A 66-year-old South Haven man was taken to the hospital, Tuesday afternoon, after his pickup truck left the roadway and smashed through the front window of a store. The accident occurred shortly before 3 p.m., according to South Haven Police Officer Shawn Olney. The man was traveling in his vehicle on M-140 Highway when it left the road, headed into the parking lot of Auto Value, 8668 M-140, and hit the front of the store.
“It took out the front window and some cement blocks and some products,” said Kevin Novotny, store manager. “Nobody (in the store) got hurt.” The store is open today for business. There was speculation the driver of the vehicle may have suffered a medical problem prior to the accident, but police are still investigating. The driver was transported by ambulance to Bronson South Haven Hospital.
5.15.17 Summer's on its way South Haven's Beach Safety Flag Program for the 2017 summer season begins today. South Haven Area Emergency Services installed the flags this past weekend. The red, yellow and green flags alerting swimmers to current water conditions are flown at the seven Lake Michigan beaches in the City of South Haven.Lake conditions are monitored seven-days-a-week by South Haven Area Emergency Services (SHAES) personnel with flags flown from 9 a.
m. to 9 p.m.The program continues until Sept. 15.SHAES personnel also check the life-rings and throw-ropes on the piers and monitor the swim-zone buoys on the lake. Police continue probe into Hartford man's death By BECKY KARK Editor and general manager COVERT — Police continue to investigate the death of a Hartford man found dead in a vehicle Monday afternoon, May 8. Covert Township Police Chief Jay Allen identified the deceased as David E.
Reyna, 23, of Hartford. Covert Township Police discovered him in the passenger seat of a 2002 gold Chevy Impala parked in the 27000 block of 72nd Street. An autopsy was performed Tuesday to determine how Reyna died, however police still are not saying what led to his death. “We are waiting on the toxicology report before we can officially have a cause of death,” Allen said. “We are looking in to many leads that are coming in from members of the community.
” No weapons were found in the vehicle, according to Allen, however police are investigating Reyna’s death as a “suspicious” one. When police began their preliminary investigation, witnesses told investigators the vehicle had been parked at that location for “some time.” Police now believe the vehicle was parked in the field for at least 24 hours before they found Reyna. A look at Reyna’s Facebook site shows it was last posted to on May 6.
Reyna’s family members have set up a Go Fund Me page, online, for help with funeral expenses because Reyna did not have insurance. The online page can be accessed at https:// www. gofundme.com/help-lay-our-loving-david-reyna-to. 5.9.17 Covert police investigate death of man found in parked vehicle Covert Township Police are investigating what led to the death of a young man found dead in a car on 72nd Street, Monday afternoon.
Police were dispatched at 1 p.m. to investigate a “suspicious” vehicle parked in a field in the 27000 block of 72nd Street, according to a police news release. When they arrived and walked up to the 2002 gold Chevy Impala, they discovered a deceased man in the passenger seat. They described him as a white male in his 20s. Police are not releasing the man's name until a positive identification has been made and next of kin notified.
According to Covert Police Chief Jay Allen, an autopsy is being performed today to help determine the cause of death. Witnesses told investigators the vehicle had been parked at that location for some time. Police are continuing to investigate the man's death. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Covert Township Police Department, 269-764-8100. 5.3.17 South Haven voters OK $2.
3 million proposal to upgrade library By BECKY KARK Editor and general manager Voters gave the green light, Tuesday, for a $2.3 million plan to upgrade and expand South Haven Memorial Library. The 40-year, .25-millage proposal passed, overwhelmingly, 766-265. City of South Haven voters approved the millage, 536-136, while electors in South Haven Township cast 230 ballots in favor of the project and 129 against it.
The millage is expected to generate approximately $143,000 in its first year. The last renovation of the 60-year-old library occurred in 1989, according to Library Director Jim France. “As time has passed deficiencies in the current building have become apparent, and in seeking to continue to serve the community to the best of our ability we are requesting help in making needed improvements and updates,” France said in an earlier interview.
Now that the millage has passed, upgrades can occur at the library, 314 Broadway. Improvements will include making the entrance to the library handicap accessible, upgrading the heating and cooling system, updating the electrical system, insulating exterior walls, installing energy efficient lighting, updating public restrooms, installing new carpeting and furniture, expanding the space for community events and library programs, expanding the space for book collections and computer usage, expanding storage space and making better use of office space for library staff.
Bangor parks millage passes easily Bangor will be able to proceed with improving its park system after voters approved a millage proposal, Tuesday, by nearly a three-to-one margin. The five-year .35-millage passed 148-61. It's expected to generate about $9,000 annually, according to City Manager Regina Hoover. “It isn't a fortune, but would certainly help,” Hoover said prior to Tuesday's vote.
“All of the parks need improvement.” Bangor is home to 10 parks. One of the city's biggest park priorities will be to place security cameras at Lions Park and Donald S. Mora Ballpark. The city then intends to turn its attention to replacing broken or worn out park fixtures, including picnic tables and playground equipment. The millage also can be used to help the city obtain state grants. Bangor voters also re-elected three city council members, who were running unopposed.
Dan Fry and Harold Bator will serve three more years on the council, while Geno Aleman was chosen to fill a partial term that ends May of 2020. Aleman received 160 votes; Fry, 154; and Bator, 117. Voters turn down county courthouse, jail improvement project By ROD SMITH For the Tribune PAW PAW — Van Buren County may end up doing what school systems do: Use portables. Van Buren County voters Tuesday resoundingly rejected a $32 million bond proposal to construct a jail addition, a court building and renovate the buildings in the courthouse square in downtown Paw Paw by 4,795 no to 1,884 yes in unofficial figures.
The 0.7-mill proposal for 20 years passed only in Precincts 1 and 3 in the city of South Haven--the yes votes outdistancing the no votes by 16 and 37 respectively. It was shot down more than 5 to 1 in Keeler Township at 143 no versus 27 yes. "I guess we didn't inform the voters well enough," Commission Chair Richard Godfrey said after the votes were tallied. While the county will abide by the decision of voters, Godfrey said, it still is to be determined how the needs of residents and county employees will be met.
Also a concern is complying with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. "We'll have to get the Building and Grounds Committee together and look at what alternatives might be," Godfrey said. "I know we've talked about portables. That might be one of the solutions." Godfrey had said previously that the historic 1901 courthouse doesn't meet current needs and needs work, especially on the HVAC system.
There are also security concerns in that jail inmates are taken to and from court through the public hallways. The plan was to also consolidate the Paw Paw-based courts in one 60,000 square foot new building that also was to house the public defenders offices, which is now a state requirement. The South Haven courthouse would continue to operate in South Haven. The jail would also be enlarged and there'd be renovations to the Annex Building and the Administration and Land Services Building across the street for the courthouse.
That building has water problems in the basement, according to Godfrey. A mill is one dollar of tax per $1,000 of taxable valuation of a property. The tax on a property with a taxable valuation of $50,000 would have run $35. Had it passed, the levy was expected to raise $2,030,000 in 2017. 5.1.17 Fire destroys barn A fire destroyed a barn, early Sunday morning on 111th Avenue near 67th Street in Casco Township.
Firefighters from South Haven Area Emergency Services responded to the blaze at 6:10 a.m., but the barn was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived. The barn contained equipment for a fruit-farming operation. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. SHAES received mutual aid from Columbia, Ganges and Lee township fire departments. (Photo courtesy of South Haven Area Emergency Services) South Haven Area Emergency Services firefighters are shown learning how to use a pet oxygen mask on Abby, a pet dog owned by firefighters Jim and Kristina Lindemulder.
Invisible Fence of Southwest Michigan donated six pet oxygen mask kits to South Haven Area Emergency Services and fire departments in Bangor, Columbia Township and Covert Township. Company donates pet oxygen masks to firefighters By BECKY KARK Editor and general manager When South Haven firefighters successfully revived a semi-conscious dog consumed by smoke from a house fire in March, their lifesaving effort not only caught the attention of people in the South Haven area, but a regional company, as well.
At the time of the fire, South Haven Area Emergency Services did not have an oxygen mask made especially for dogs. Now they do, thanks to Invisible Fence of Southwest Michigan's Project Breathe program. This past Thursday, Harold Bruns and Shanna Hubbard of Invisible Fence donated six pet oxygen mask kits to South Haven Area Emergency Services as well as to first responders from Bangor, Columbia Township and Covert Township fire departments.
Ron Wise, fire chief for SHAES, was grateful for the kits. “The masks fit a dog's facial features, which are much different from humans,” he said. “The long snout on dogs makes it difficult to use a human oxygen mask on them. The pet oxygen mask kits have three different sizes to fit most domestic animals.” Invisible Fence Brand's Project Breathe program was established with the goal of equipping every fire station in America and Canada with pet oxygen masks, according to Ed Hoyt, director of the company.
So far, the company has donated more than 18,200 pet oxygen masks to fire stations all over the U.S. and Canada. To date, 170 pets have been saved by the donated masks. “When a family suffers the tragedy of a fire, lives are turned upside down,” Hoyt said. “Pets are valued family members, so we want families to know that their pet can be cared for if tragedy strikes. “We realize that humans are the first priority, but in many cases, pets can be saved if firefighters have the right equipment.
Project Breathe program is simply a way of giving firefighters the tools necessary to save pets’ lives.” Although the number of pets that die in fires is not an official statistic kept by the U.S. Fire Administration, industry web sites and sources have cited an estimated 40,000 to 150,000 pets die in fires each year, most succumbing to smoke inhalation, according to a news release from Invisible Fence Brand.
4.24.17 Police recover $1,200 of merchandise taken from South Haven Walmart A woman and two men faces criminal charges after allegedly stealing merchandise from Walmart and then leading police on a chase through Van Buren and Berrien counties. The incident began 8 a.m., Saturday, April 23 when South Haven Police responded to a complaint that two individuals had stolen a large amount of merchandise from South Haven Walmart and left in a vehicle.
The vehicle was spotted traveling south on Interstate 196, according to South Haven Police Sgt. Chris Mersman. Officers from South Haven and Covert Township police department tried to stop the vehicle. When the female driver pulled over, two male suspects jumped from the vehicle and were taken into custody. The driver stopped briefly but then accelerated at a high rate of speed. Officers pursued the vehicle into Berrien County where the driver was then taken into custody in Benton Harbor.
Approximately $1,200 in stolen merchandise was recovered. Multiple charges are being sought by police agencies in both Van Buren and Berrien countiest against the three suspects. 4.15.17 Missing teen found dead near Paw Paw PAW PAW — A teen with an autism spectrum condition has been found dead after being reported missing from his Paw Paw Township home, state police reported Friday. Foul play is not suspected.
Friday afternoon a state police tracking dog found the body of Shawn Capaccio, 18, in a wooded area, the Paw Paw post reported. The Michigan State Police was contacted by the Paw Paw High School administration with the following statement: “As Shawn was a senior at Paw Paw High School, counseling staff and crisis workers will be available at Paw Paw High School on Saturday, April 15, from 8-11 a.
m.” Capaccio, who had Asperger's, was last seen at home at about 6 a.m., Thursday, the post reported. Based on prior threats and actions, Capaccio was believed to be in danger. 4.14.17 Police seek public's help in locating missing man Police are asking for the public's help in locating a missing 18-year-old man. Shawn Thomas Capaccio, who is believed to have Asperger’s, was last seen at home in Paw Paw Township at approximately 6 a.
m. On Thursday, April 13, 2017. Based on prior threats and actions, Cappaccio is believed to be in danger. Cappaccio is described as a white male of medium build, approximately 5’8’’ and weighing 160 pounds. He has ear-length brown shaggy hair, brown eyes, and wears black framed glasses. Cappaccio was last wearing a darker gray hoodie that resembled leather. Cappaccio may attempt to hide in wooded areas and may avoid contact/detection.
If you have any information contact the Van Buren County Dispatch at 269-657-3101 or the Michigan State Police Paw Paw Post at 269-657-5551. Fire breaks out in Geneva Twp. home Residents of a home in Geneva Township were able to safely escape from a fire that broke out in their home. The fire was reported at 9:40 p.m., Thursday. South Haven Area Emergency Services SHAES responders, with assistance from Bangor and Columbia firefighters, quickly extinguished the blaze that damaged the home, located on County Road 380 near 68th Street.
The fire was confined to an area at the home's heat source. An exact cause is under investigation. (Photo courtesy of SHAES) 4.10.17 Teens caught trying to break into building Two juveniles could face charges after police caught them trying to break into a local business. The incident occurred Saturday when callers told South Haven Police that two individuals wearing masks were trying to break into Pat's Pronto Print, 400 Broadway.
When officers arrived they saw the suspects with a hammer trying to break the handle off the door of the business, which was closed at the time, according to Sgt. Chris Mersman. When seeing the officers, the two juveniles tried to walk away, but were apprehended by the officers, who searched them and found a hammer and BB pistol. The suspects admitted they were trying to break into the business to steal money.
They are both lodged at youth homes in Allegan and Ottawa counties. 4.3.17 Toddler dies after being hit by vehicle LEE TWP. — A 17-month-old child died this past weekend when he was hit by his grandfather's truck. Allegan County sheriff's deputies were called shortly before 8 p.m., Saturday, April 1 to a home on 106th Avenue near 48th Street in Lee Township. There they found Brentyn Allen Combs-Easterday unresponsive and not breathing.
First responders and ambulance personnel tried to revive the little boy, but were not able to do so, according to a report from the Allegan County sheriff's office. Deputies say the accident occurred at Brentyn's grandparents' home where the toddler was staying at while his mother was at work. The sheriff's news release indicated that Brentyn's grandmother was holding onto him as his grandfather got into his truck to leave.
As the truck was leaving Brentyn broke away from his grandmother and was immediately struck by the vehicle which was traveling at a slow speed. The sheriff's office accident reconstruction team is investigating the tragedy, but the news release is labeling the incident a “tragic accident.” No foul play is suspected and alcohol was not a factor in the accident. 3.27.17 Car catches fire on North Shore Drive Navigating sections of North Shore Drive that are under construction can be a difficult task, as a motorist found out Friday afternoon.
Mark Beams of South Haven was driving his vehicle on North Shore near Webster Avenue when his car got stuck in the mud. As he tried to get his vehicle unstuck it caught fire. Firefighters from South Haven Area Emergency Services had to stretch 200 feet of hose to get to the vehicle, which was engulfed in flames when they arrived. No injuries were noted, according to Ron Wise, director of SHAES. It is not yet known what caused the car to catch on fire.
(Photo courtesy of South Haven Area Emergency Services) 3.22.17 Al-Van a finalist for $50,000 renovation award By BECKY KARK Editor and general manager Vote early. Vote often. That's that Al-Van Humane Society is telling people to do after receiving word that it could be the recipient of a $50,000 grant from Discovery Channel's Animal Planet. The popular TV show has chosen Al-Van as one of five finalists in its Pet Nation Renovation contest.
The winner will receive $50,000 worth of renovations to their pet shelter, courtesy of Animal Planet and sponsor Delta Faucet Co. “This would be a huge help in getting us closer to moving our shelter animals into our new adoption center to celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2018,” said Lisa Galdikas, president of Al-Van Humane Society's Board of Directors. But to win the grand prize, Al-Van will need help from the public.
As part of the contest rules, the general public has to decide which pet shelter should receive the $50,000 grand prize. People can cast their vote online by visiting www.animalplanet.com or www.al-van.org and clicking on the Pet Nation Renovation logo on the home page. People have until April 2 to cast their votes. “You can vote as often as you like,” Galdikas said. But there's one thing to keep in mind: According to the contest rules, the grand prize may or may not be awarded to the potential winner who receives the most public votes.
In other words, it isn't just a popularity contest. Pet shelters that entered the contest had to provide a video showing why their shelters need renovations. They also had to show their organization's impact on the community, commitment to animal welfare, and enthusiasm and character of shelter employees and volunteers. Further consideration was given to shelters that operate a kennel that houses at least 30 animals, and ones that could provide two letters of recommendation from veterinarians and proof of annual donations of $100,000 or more in 2016.
The judges must have liked Al-Van's entry because the local shelter was named one of the five finalists. The other four are Westminster Adoption Group & Services of Westminster, Calif.; La Plata County Humane Society of Durango, Colo.; and Friends of Animal Rescue in Laguna Vista, Texas. Unlike the other shelter finalist videos, Al-Van chose a young volunteer — 10-year-old Alexander Torzewski — as the narrator for its video, which can be viewed on the voting site.
“Alexander seemed like the perfect person to pitch our story,” Galdikas said. “He has volunteered for over two years with his parents. He lives in Chicago but his family has a second home in South Haven and Alexander spends all his free time at the shelter helping us adopt animals, especially cats.” If Al-Van receives the $50,000 grand prize it will help bolster the organization's $500,000 capital improvement campaign to create two animal shelter facilities.
“To date, we've raised around $300,000,” Galdikas said. Two years ago, Al-Van embarked on the fund-raising campaign after it acquired a building at 07951 Blue Star Hwy., to expand its involvement in animal welfare. Al-Van is now in the process of renovating the building to create space to provide care for more adoptable animals, create a permanent home for Rescued Treasures resale shop and establish a space to provide community education about animal care.
Funds will also be used to convert the current animal shelter at 73303 8th Ave. for intake and isolation of stray animals until they are well enough to be taken to the larger animal shelter. Both buildings are about 500 yards from each other. 3.20.17 Two men drown in Keeler Lake UPDATED By HP STAFF PAW PAW — Two men drowned Saturday while fishing on Keeler Lake in Van Buren County after their boat capsized, the Michigan State Police Paw Paw Post reported.
The victims, have been identified as Douglas Charles McIntyre, 45, of Decatur, and Robert E. Novick, 64, of Evergreen Park, Ill. State police were called to the scene in Keeler Township on the report of possible drownings. The caller said that two of his friends were fishing on the lake and had called out for help. Troopers went to the southwest corner of the lake and saw a capsized boat about 75 feet from shore.
Police used watercraft to recover the victims and administered lifesaving measures. One victim was taken to Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital in Dowagiac and the other was transported to Lakeland Hospital in Watervliet. They were pronounced dead at the hospitals. The state police were assisted by Van Buren County sheriff’s deputies, Sister Lake Fire Department and Dive Team, Hartford Fire and Rescue, Pride Care EMS, and Victims Services of Van Buren and Cass Counties.
3.13.17 Car smashes into deputy's vehicle in parking lot LAWRENCE — A Hartford man faces charges after driving his car into a marked police car in a Lawrence Township parking lot, the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department reported Saturday. Deputies said they arrested the 25-year-old after the 10:55 p.m. Friday incident outside a gas station at County Road 681 and Red Arrow Highway.
Deputies said a blood test showed the driver’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. Furthermore, the man’s 2-year-old son was in the car. No injuries were reported and the suspect’s name was not released. The incident began when deputies checked on what appeared a suspicious car. As deputies approached the car, the driver put the vehicle in reverse and slammed it into the sheriff ’s car.
Driver hurt Saturday in South Haven crash A South Haven man suffered serious injuries in a one-car crash early Saturday in the 11000 block of M-140, South Haven police reported. Police found the man, 28, outside the car and began treatment until South Haven Area Emergency Services staff arrived. They took him by ambulance to Bronson Hospital South Haven, and from there he was flown by helicopter to Bronson in Kalamazoo.
Police did not release his name. 3.8.17 Thousands of people lose power from today's wind storm By BECKY KARK Editor and general manager Several thousand Van Buren and Allegan County residents lost electrical power today after winds as high as 60 miles per hour swept through southwestern Michigan. An estimated 4,700 Consumers customers were without electrical power in Allegan County by noon today, along with 2,200 others in Van Buren County, according to a Consumers Energy news release.
The power outages forced the closure, this afternoon, of three Van Buren County school districts — Gobles, Paw Paw and Bloomingdale — along with the Van Buren County Courthouse and administration building in Paw Paw. High winds damaged the roof of Bangor District Library, as well. Consumers customers in Van Buren County that lost power live in Bangor, Breedsville, Grand Junction and a small part of Covert Township.
In southwest Allegan County, Consumers customers living in portions of Lee and Casco townships lost their power as well. South Haven, which gets its electricity from Indiana and Michigan Power, was spared the brunt of today's high winds. However, I&M reported outages in other areas of Van Buren County that it serves including portions of Bloomingdale, Decatur, Dowagiac, Paw Paw and Mattawan. Sustained high winds cut power to more than 200,000 Consumers Energy customers in Michigan on Wednesday, Consumers officials said.
High winds started Tuesday, mainly in northern Michigan and were predicted to continue throughout the southern portion of the state until around 6 p.m., tonight. Because of the storm’s duration and statewide impact, some Consumers customers in the worst impacted areas may not have power restored until late Saturday, according to Roger Morgenstern, senior public information director for Consumers Energy.
“We don't have exact information (regarding when service will be restored for specific locations),” he said Wednesday afternoon “Our focus right now it to make everything is as safe as possible. We have 3,000 downed wires across the state. Hundreds are down in Van Buren and Allegan counties.” Wind gusts in excess of 60 miles per hour brought down many trees and limbs, which snapped power poles.
“We have over 500 broken poles we're dealing with (across the state),” Morgenstern said, estimating that Wednesday's wind storm is the worst one Consumers has dealt with since December of 2015. I&M customers who want updates on when their power will be restored can visit https://indianamichiganpower.com/account/alerts/default.aspx Consumers Energy customers can visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/OutageCenter to get updates of power restoration times.
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Music. Food. Culture. Sports. Step right up and have a good time with friendly folks who share your passions. From South Haven's Fourth of July activities and August’s annual Blueberry Festival to February’s Ice Breaker party and November's weekend just for the ladies - there are events to keep you busy all year long. There are also plenty of Pure Michigan delights across Southwest Michigan! Take a look and make plans for a good time.
Title: South Haven Art Fair