By Annette Christie
Stolen car from Hartford causes havoc on I-94
An individual who stole a vehicle from the Panel Room Restaurant in Hartford on Monday, May 14 went on to cause havoc on I-94 until he was finally apprehended by Kalamazoo County deputies. According to WWMT-Channel 3, Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Deputies were responding to calls about a white Ford Explorer that was driving all over the highway, hitting other vehicles, etc. The vehicle was finally forced off the road hear the 9th Street bridge in Texas Township where 25-year-old Dante Batiste was arrested. It was then that they learned that the vehicle had been stolen in Hartford Township. A Panel Room employee confirmed that the vehicle belonged to one of their employees. The incident caused traffic backups on I-94 for several hours as lanes were closed to deal with the multiple crashes and the suspect. Batiste was in court on Tuesday facing charges of reckless driving, resisting and obstructing police, and possessing and concealing a stolen vehicle. His bond was set at $10,000.
Berrien County Sheriff’s Kids Camp coming June 21-22
All local fourth and fifth graders are invited to attend the 10th annual Berrien County Sheriff’s Kids Camp this summer. The event will be held June 21 and 22 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and will be located at the Berrien Springs Fairgrounds at 9122 US31 Hwy. in Berrien Springs. This camp will be an action packed two-day event that will provide your children with safety tips and presentations with hands-on demonstrations by Berrien County Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agencies, fire and EMT professionals. Junior Deputies (participants) will get hands on experience in: law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical service and water rescue. They will participate in team building and problem-solving activities and learn personal and home safety tips. Participants will also get an opportunity to interact with police officers, fire fighters, and EMTs. The cost for the Sheriff’s Kids Camp is $30 and includes lunch, snacks, a goodie bag, and a Sheriff Kids Camp T-shirt. The camp is open to the first 40 fourth and fifth grade girls and boys who register. Proceeds will benefit Berrien County Law Enforcement Explorer Post 602. The registration deadline is on June 8, 2018. The registration form can be found on the website at www.BCSheriff.org under the Crime Prevention Programs section. The registration and payment may be sent to: Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, Attn: Deputy Kelly Laesch, 919 Port St., St. Joseph, MI 49085. Checks should be made out to the Explorer Post 602.
Click it or Ticket campaign underway
The annual two week “Click it or Ticket” campaign is scheduled for May 21 thru June 3, 2018, and the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office is one of the designated law enforcement agencies that are participating. During the two week timeframe, police will be stepping up seat belt enforcement as a way to increase seat belt use, save lives, and reduce injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2016 was unrestrained. Among young adults (18 to 34 years of age) killed in crashes in 2016, more than half were unrestrained, one of the highest percentages for all age groups. “As the Memorial Day holiday approaches and the busy summer vacation season kicks off, we need to remind drivers and their passengers that doing one simple thing can save them in a crash, Buckle Up,” said Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Robert Boyce. Not only is buckling up the law, but it also saves lives. “Please remind everyone, front seat and back seat passengers, children and adults, to buckle up every time, on every trip,” Boyce said. During the 2017 Memorial Day holiday period, 10 people died in traffic crashes in Michigan. Michigan law requires drivers, front seat passengers and passengers 15 and younger in any seating position to be buckled up. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are eight years old or 4’9” tall. Children under four years of age must be in the back seat. The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning is coordinating the effort which is supported by dedicated federal traffic safety funds.
Social Security delivers the most popular baby names in Michigan for 2017
The Social Security Administration announced the most popular baby names in Michigan for 2017. Liam and Emma topped the list. The top five boys and girls names for 2017 in Michigan were: for boys – Liam, Noah, Oliver, Lucas and Mason respectively; and for girls – Emma, Ava, Olivia, Charlotte and Amelia. Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, announced that Liam and Emma were the most popular baby names in the U.S. How does Michigan compare to the rest of the country? Check out Social Security’s website, www.socialsecurity.gov, to see the top national baby names for 2017. Acting Commissioner Berryhill encourages everyone to visit the agency’s website to enjoy the baby names list and create a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. my Social Security is a personalized online account that people can use beginning in their working years and continuing through to the time they receive Social Security benefits. Social Security beneficiaries can have instant access to their benefit verification letter, payment history, and complete earnings record by establishing a my Social Security account. Beneficiaries also can change their address, start or change direct deposit information, and print a replacement SSA-1099 online. People receiving benefits can request a replacement Medicare card online. Individuals age 18 and older who are not receiving benefits can also sign up for a my Social Security account to get their personalized online Social Security Statement. The online Statement provides workers with secure and convenient access to their Social Security earnings and benefit information, and estimates of future benefits they can use to plan for their retirement. The agency began compiling the baby name list in 1997, with names dating back to 1880. At the time of a child’s birth, parents supply the name to the agency when applying for a child’s Social Security card, thus making Social Security America’s source for the most popular baby names. In addition to each state’s top baby names (and names for U.S. territories), Social Security’s website has a list of the 1,000 most popular boys and girls names for 2017. To read about the winners for the biggest jump in popularity and to see how pop culture affects baby names, go to https://www.socialsecurity.gov/ news/press/releases.