Police and Fire Reports
By Annette Christie Police respond to Hagar suspicious death Personnel from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office along with other first responders were dispatched to a residence in the 3900 block of Fikes Road on May 31 in response to an infant child not breathing. When the first responders arrived, they determined that a 6-week-old child was deceased. An autopsy was performed on Friday, June 1 at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker School of Medicine. An investigation into the death is still ongoing with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau, the Medical Examiner’s office, the Forensic Pathologist, and member of Children’s Protective Services. Upon completion of the investigation, the report will be forwarded to the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office for review, which is customary in suspicious death investigations.
Family rescue on the Paw Paw River The Watervliet Fire Department responded to a need for a rescue on the Paw Paw River last week due to impending darkness, unexpected river blockage, and traveling with children. The group of seven individuals that called for a rescue knew where they had put in, but was unsure just how far they had gotten down the river prior to needing assistance, causing a delay in the rescue time. Watervliet Fire Chief Dan Jones said that once they were rescued, all of the individuals were fine, with the exception of being cold and a little scared (for the young ones). “We are thankful they had their life jackets on,” Jones said. Jones said he would like to work with the different agencies that are working on cleaning up and making the Paw Paw River more accessible to install markers on the river that could help assist in their location if the need for a rescue arises. Other tips for paddling include: Wear a life jacket; know your limits; dress for the weather and especially dress children for the weather; dress for visibility; plan for changing weather conditions; carry drinking water and snack bars; keep a signaling device on the craft on your person; carry a fully charged cell phone in a waterproof case; know the area you are paddling in; and file a paddling plan that includes who you are with, where you are putting in and plan on taking out; when you estimate that you will launch and when you should return; and what someone should do if you don’t return in a timely manner. More tips can be found at canoekayak.com/safely and Americancanoe.org/instruction. For up to date river flow conditions, visit waterdata.usgs.gov. Coloma Township Police Activity A Coloma Township Police Officer observed a subject walk out from behind a closed business during regular patrol on May 26. The time of the incident was approximately 1:12 a.m. The officer made contact with the subject near the business at the intersection of Paw Paw Lake Road and Johnson Road. It was determined that the individual had a valid arrest warrant. The 61-year-old Coloma resident was not able to post bond and was lodged in the Berrien County Jail. On May 29 at approximately 6:50 p.m., a Coloma Township Police Officer stopped a vehicle at N. Paw Paw Lake Road and Logan Street after receiving information about open intoxicants in the vehicle. There were not open containers observed in the vehicle, however, the passenger appeared to be intoxicated. There was a full can of beer in the truck and matching empty beer cans in the bed. The driver, a 42-year-old Hartford man was cited for operating a vehicle with an expired license and he was released. State Police urge pet owners to create emergency prep kits In honor of National Pet Preparedness Month, the Michigan State Police (MSP) Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (EMHSD) is encouraging Michiganders to create an emergency preparedness kit for their pets to ensure complete family readiness during an emergency or disaster. “Being prepared for emergencies and disasters means having a plan for everyone in your family including pets,” said Insp. Chris Bush, Assistant Division Commander for the MSP/EMHSD. “Pet Preparedness Month is the time of year to make sure you and your pets are ready when disaster strikes. This month, take a few moments to consider what you will do and where you will go with your pets during an incident.” More than half of households in the United States include pets, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. To create a pet preparedness kit, ensure the following items are readily available in a safe location: Food; water; leash and collar; bowls; photo of your pet or ID and a photo of you with your pet; medications your pet needs; immunization and veterinarian records; first aid kit; contact list of pet-friendly hotels, veterinarians, and out-of-town friends and family; toys; rope; sanitation bags; and a pet carrier. North Berrien Fire Rescue Department activity The North Berrien Fire Rescue Department responded to 32 calls for the month of May. Of those calls, there were two in the City of Coloma, 13 in Coloma Charter Township, and 12 in Hagar Township. The department assisted Covert Fire on a building fire. The department responded to motor vehicle accidents, medical assists, power line down instances, and wind storm assessment.