Reserve officer dies in motorcycle crash

NILES — A Niles man died Sunday after he swerved his motorcycle to try to avoid hitting a cat, Niles police said in a news release.

Police identified the victim as Kenneth Ray, 49. He was a reserve sergeant with the Niles Police Department and had been with the department for 24 years.

He was traveling on 17th Street near Broadway at 6:40 p.m. Sunday when he lost control of his motorcycle trying to avoid a cat that ran across the road in front of him. 

Ray was pronounced dead at the scene and a passenger on the motorcycle, a 44-year-old woman, was released after treatment at Lakeland Hospital, Niles. Police said the two were not wearing helmets.

Man hit by truck, injured

NILES — A Niles man was taken to the hospital Sunday night after he was hit by a truck while walking along a rural road in Cass County’s Howard Township.

It happened at about 11:20 p.m. on Leet Road at Beebe Road, according to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office. 

Police said Mel Wynn, 30, was walking north on Leet Road when he was hit by a southbound truck driven by Gregory Montgomery, 37, of Niles. 

Wynn was taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital by Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service. Assisting Cass County deputies were the Howard Township Fire Department and Ontwa Township Edwardsburg Police Department.

Landfill passes available in SJ Township 

ST. JOSEPH — St. Joseph Township is once again making landfill passes available to residents and business owners for use at the Orchard Hills Landfill. Each household or business will receive one free pass.

The passes will be available for pickup at the township hall after Sept. 27, and can be used at the landfill Oct. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 or 26.