Police and Fire reports
By Annette Christie
Coloma Township Police Department
On March 31 at 11:46 p.m., a Coloma Township police officer responded to the area of Hagar Shore Road and Clymer Road for a single car property damage crash. The officer made contact with the driver and observed signs of intoxication.
After conducting a roadside investigation, the officer determined the driver, a 55-year-old Coloma man, was intoxicated and placed him under arrest. The subject was lodged at the Berrien County Jail for operating while intoxicated.
Coloma Township Police Chief Jason Roe said the department has seen an increase in fraud in the area. Roe warns residents to be very careful about providing personal information via telephone or the internet and that they should make sure to do research before engaging in transactions online. “If you are selling an item online and you receive a check for more than the agreed upon payment and they ask you to cash it and send the change, it is probably a scam,” Roe said.
Crime of the Week
The Crime of the Week comes from the files of the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department.
Between February 27 and March 31 there have been approximately 32 reported malicious destruction of property complaints involving damage to mailboxes, smashed vehicle windshields, slashed tires, and damage to satellite dishes in the Niles Township Fulkerson Park area.
Crime Stoppers wants the person or persons responsible for these crimes and will pay up to $1,000 for information leading to their arrest. Crime Stoppers also pays cash rewards on other felony crimes and the capture of fugitives.
Michiana Crime Stoppers is a donor-funded program that serves 12 counties in Michiana. Tipsters can contact Crime Stoppers about this or any felony crime or fugitive. Tips can be submitted online anonymously at www.michianacrimestoppers.com or through a link on the Crime Stoppers Facebook page. Tips can also be submitted at 1-800-342-STOP.
Michigan State Police
warn Michiganders to be aware of Spring flooding
April showers bring more than just flowers, they also bring the potential for flooding. The Michigan State Police Emergency Management & Homeland Security Division, (MSP-EMHSD) is encouraging citizens and businesses to be prepared.
“In Michigan, spring begins the flooding season,” says Captain Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency State Management and Homeland Security and Commander of the MSP-EMHSD. “To be prepared and safe, Michigan residents should protect their property against any flooding and double check their insurance coverage,” added Kelenske.
While flooding is most prevalent near low lying areas and bodies of water, it can occur almost anywhere, including near small streams, creeks, and in basements.
To prepare for a flood: Create an emergency preparedness kit with 72-hour supply of water, three gallons per person. Put important documents and valuables in a water proof container on the top floor of your home. Understand how to safely turn off electricity and gas lines in your home. Create an inventory of your household items and take photos of the interior and exterior of your home. Consider installing sewer backflow valves to prevent flood water from backing up into your home through drain pipes. Double-check sump pumps to insure they are working properly. If possible, have a battery back-up system. Keep materials like sand bags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber handy for emergency water proofing. Find out how many feet your property is above or below possible flood levels. When predicted flood levels are broadcast, you can determine if you are at risk. Raise or flood proof heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment by elevating equipment above areas prone to flooding. Another option is to leave equipment where it is and build a concrete or masonry flood wall around it. Anchor fuel and propane tanks. Unanchored can be easily moved by flood waters.
In addition to flooding preparedness citizens are encouraged to purchase flood insurance. Homeowners’ or property owners’ insurance does not typically cover flood damage.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) estimates that 90% of all natural disasters involve flooding. An inch of water can require property owner to replace carpet, drywall, floor boards, moldings, doors, and other belongings.
Additionally, clean-up mud and residue, as they can require repairing mold and mildew damage that may occur.
To be covered from flood damage, an individual must purchase National Flood Insurance through an insurance broker who works with the federal emergency management agency. For more information go to www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program.
For more information about what to do before, during, and after flooding, go to Michigan flood ready website at www.michigan.gov/mifloodready.
Watervliet Fire Department
Early morning on April 4, the Watervliet Fire Department responded to the call of a kitchen fire at 217 N. Pleasant. Firefighters found that the fire had started in the kitchen as a result of cooking.
The three residents in the home were able to exit the front door and warn an adjoining apartment neighbor.
The structure suffered heavy fire damage to the kitchen while the remainder of the home received heat and smoke damage. Two of the three residents had to seek medical attention at the hospital for smoke inhalation.
Chief Dan Jones noted that there were no operable smoke detectors found in either apartment.
The North Berrien Fire Rescue Department assisted with the call.