St. Joseph trunk or treat

ST. JOSEPH — The City of St Joseph will host a Halloween trunk or treat event 4-6:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the John and Dede Howard Ice Arena, 2414 Willa Drive, according to a news release.

Fire trucks, police cars, excavators and tractors will be on hand. Local businesses will let children explore the vehicles that complete their jobs while they trick or treat from truck to truck. The Krasl Art Center will also have an art activity where attendees can alter their costumes.  

They will show the movie “Hocus Pocus” at 7 p.m. on the big screen in the arena after trick or treating. People should bring their favorite blanket and dress to be outdoors. Event parking is available at First Church of God, 2627 Niles Ave. Crossing guards will assist guests across Napier Avenue at Willa Drive.

Workshop on disability pride

ST. JOSEPH — Disability Network Southwest Michigan, 2900 Lakeview Avenue in St. Joseph, is hosting a free workshop, “Rise Up! Disability Resistance, History and Pride,” from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Nov. 21

This workshop includes discussion and activities that expand awareness of disability history and support the journey to disability pride. Pre-registration is required by contacting Miranda Grunwell at or 345-1516 Ext. 120. When registering, indicate if you require an accommodation to participate in the workshop. Information is at

Lakeland Auxiliary makes donation to pavilion

ST. JOSEPH — The Spectrum Health Lakeland Auxiliary has pledged an additional $500,000 to the Lakeland Medical Center pavilion project, bringing its total gift to $1 million, the organization’s largest pledge to the hospital to date. Funds donated will support the renovation of the Courtyard Café and Main Street which will connect the front of the hospital to the new Pavilion when the project is complete in 2020.

“Since the Foundation’s inception, the Auxiliary, which is powered by the loving strength of our volunteers, continues to be one of our top donors,” said Brandi Smith, president, Spectrum Health Lakeland Foundation, in a news release.

To date, local organizations, community members, and Lakeland team members have donated more than $5.7 million in support of the pavilion. For continued updates on the project, including architectural animations, visit

Hemp festival is today in Eau Claire

EAU CLAIRE — The first annual Eau Claire Hemp & Harvest Festival takes place today in downtown Eau Claire, running from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Main Street in the village.

Main Street will be closed throughout the village, just as it is during the annual Cherry Festival each July. The main stage will be located in the former bank parking lot across from the village hall and will be where the cooking competition, speakers and live music will be.

Organizer Rick Anstiss said the festival will offer everything from live music to children’s activities along with the hemp and harvest related items. There will be two large bounce houses, a petting zoo, pumpkin and face painting and free refreshments. There will also be horse drawn carriage rides available for a $1.

Hemp information will be available, with a CBD cooking competition as well as speakers talking about hemp, CBD and cannabis. Gina Alessandri of the Michigan Department of Agriculture will be on hand to talk about the state’s industrial hemp program which she directs. Her presentation will be at 11:30 a.m.

Fire destroys Dowagiac-area barn

DOWAGIAC — Firefighters have been unable to determine the cause of a blaze that destroyed a barn behind a house at 56770 M-51 near Pokagon Street just southwest of Dowagiac.

The Dowagiac and Wayne Township fire departments were called at 5:08 a.m. Thursday and arrived within five minutes to a wooden barn engulfed in flames and nearly collapsed.

Deputy Chief Robert Smith from the Dowagiac Fire Department said the owner, whose name was not released, had been renovating the barn and it was insured. The barn was behind an unoccupied house and it appears that it burned for some time before being noticed and reported, Smith said.

Pokagon and Indian Lake fire departments assisted with tanker support and Dowagiac and Pokagon Tribal police provided traffic assistance. The last unit cleared the scene at 6:56 a.m. No injuries were reported.