WSV’s Kay Davis writes, “During my first visit to (Sturgis’ Timm Preserve), the exposed roots and ground were wet and looked slippery. That day was warm with heavy, misty air which caused a steady tapping in the tree leaves and thick vegetation, similar to the Star Wars scene in which we were first introduced to Yoda. The fact I recognized it as such was the indicator that my entire walk on that summer day would be associated with the original movie trilogy.”

The St. Joseph County Commission on Aging (COA) joins a growing list of other agencies announcing curtailments of services in compliance with an order issued Sunday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). For COA, the order means temporary cancellation of all group activities at its Three Rivers and Sturgis enrichment centers while the HHS order is in effect starting Wednesday, November 18. The HHS order expires on December 8, 2020 but could be subject to extension.

In a hearing to determine whether certain evidence is admissible in court, 45th Circuit Court Judge Paul Stutesman ruled on Friday that the murder case against Wade Allen can go forward. However, because some parts of the events that led to the collection of that evidence are still constitutionally uncertain, Stutesman granted an immediate stay of any further proceedings to permit the defense attorney, David Marvin, an opportunity to apply to an appeals court.

Circuit Court Judge Paul Stutesman heard arguments Wednesday on the admissibility of evidence during a motion hearing for Wade Allen of Sturgis, who is accused of the murder and dismemberment of Kelly-Jien Warner-Miller and has been in custody since last year. The hearing was ultimately continued to allow Stutesman to review materials and transcripts pertaining to the case before issuing a decision.

The St. Joseph County Commission’s Executive Committee heard several proposals for review, as well as some project updates, at a meeting held Wednesday morning. County Administrator Teresa Doehring introduced a recommendation to sell a building to Covered Bridge Healthcare of St. Joseph County, which is based in Centreville. Covered Bridge currently occupies the building but leases it from the county.

As COVID-19 continues to increase the demand for internet access, and the resources normally available to those without access to broadband internet at home are limited, partners throughout St. Joseph County are working with the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC) to establish public WiFi outdoor access points at 18 school buildings throughout the county.