IT’S BACK IN BUSINESS… for those traveling Red Arrow Highway between Hartford and Watervliet. The Van Buren and Berrien County road commis-sions’ joint project at the Coun-ty Line Road and Red Arrow Highway intersection reopened ahead of schedule last week af-ter just over a month of a detour which forced motorists either to back-track to I-94 or traverse a series of turns on country side roads to the north or south. The crossing has been plagued for decades with a chronic pattern of traffic accidents due to li-mited visibility of oncoming traffic from the east, prompting the redesign. The completed project includes enhanced driver visibility thanks to raising the grade of the intersection. Also shaving of the hill to the east and a new left turn lane further improves drive safety, while new curbs and storm drains will direct water off the roadway. Tom Smith Tractor Sales sits right in the middle of the project and now has almost level approach to their parking lot along with some new pavement to show for their inconvenience during the closure. Word has it that Hartford’s Four Winds Casino provided incentive to push for an earlier completion date than the originally projected target to reopen the road by Labor Day Weekend. (TCR photo by Jon Bisnett)
By Annette Christie
Coloma Township Police Department
The numbers were up for calls in the Coloma Township Police Department for the month of July. Chief Jason Roe reports that there were 296 complaints investigated, up 22% from last year.
The types of complaints for the month included 14 non-aggravated assaults, 16 family/civil situations, 10 false alarm activations, 22 suspicious situations, and 16 larcenies.
Overall, officers made 26 arrests, four of which were felonies. There were 56 traffic stops made with 19 citations issued.
Chief Roe said that this year’s Glad-Peach Festival was one of the best overall for activity. He said there were no incidents at the festival itself that required their assistance. He did want to thank the Watervliet Police Department and the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance during the festival.
Michigan State Police closes accident investigation involving Berrien County Sheriff Officer
The Michigan State Police, Niles Post investigated a four-car accident on I-94 on December 14, 2016. The accident occurred near the Watervliet exit 41.
At approximately 1:00 p.m., a Berrien County Sheriff sergeant in a fully marked patrol car was escorting a slower moving vehicle off of the freeway with his lights activated when a pickup truck came up behind at a significantly higher rate of speed. The pickup truck struck the patrol car in the rear bumper pushing it into the semi in front and another semi to the side causing extensive damage to the vehicle.
The Sheriff’s sergeant suffered injuries and was transported to the hospital by ambulance. The driver of the pickup truck, a 32-year-old man from Hartford was also transferred to the hospital by ambulance. It was stated at the time of the accident that it was believed that drugs were a factor in the crash.
Upon receiving the toxicology laboratory analysis on the pickup driver’s blood collected the day of the crash, it was confirmed that he was under the influence of morphine and codeine while driving the vehicle.
Upon further investigation, the State Trooper was informed that the suspect died of a drug overdose in April 2017. The death was not a result of the crash. In accordance with the Michigan State Police policy, the name of the driver will not be released as he was not arraigned on criminal charges, and he is no longer being sought.
No further details are available on the incident.
Berrien County deputies complete corrections officer training academy
Berrien County Sheriff’s Deputies Kristin Robbins and Miranda Bailey recently completed a local corrections officer training academy held at Olivet College. The four week academy offers a comprehensive, interactive instruction program in various disciplines for jail deputies. Training topics include custody and security, defensive tactics, first aid (including CPR and AED procedures), suicide awareness, fire safety and interpersonal communications. The academy, certified by the Michigan Sheriffs’ Coordinating and Training Council, is an important element of providing the necessary skills for maintaining a safe, secure environment for jail staff, inmates and county residents.
“I want to congratulate these deputies for their effort in completing this vital training. The skills learned at this academy will help them safely and effectively manage our inmate population,” said Sheriff L. Paul Bailey. “The training helps our deputies develop and practice the tools necessary to be successful in this high stress environment.”