Gun report at ECHS proved unfounded

EAU CLAIRE — Police descended on Eau Claire High School/Middle School on Friday after a caller claimed there was a teen with a rifle in a bathroom, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department reported. The report proved unfounded, Undersheriff Chuck Heit said.

Heit said an anonymous male called 911 at 3:55 p.m. to report the incident. The caller said his phone was running out of power and he disconnected.

Classes were done for the day, but students involved in extracurricular activities remained. Police evacuated them and searched the building.

The sheriff’s department is working with state police and Eau Claire police to determine who made the call. Anyone with information in the case is urged to call investigators at 983-3060.

Hearing delayed in Cass homicide case

CASSOPOLIS — A preliminary hearing slated for Dowagiac murder suspect Rolandis Russell has been delayed for two days at the judge’s request, the Cass County Prosecutor’s Office reported Friday.

The hearing will be Wednesday instead of Monday.

Russell, 24, was arrested in connection with the July 29 shooting of Fabian Wesaw outside the Beeson Street Bar. Russell allegedly used an assault rifle to shoot into a crowd. He is charged with first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder and weapons charges.

Miss Baroda and Little Miss info meetings

BARODA — The Miss Baroda Scholarship Pageant Committee will host an informational meeting at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, the committee announced. The church is at 9193 Cleveland Ave., Baroda.

All young ladies ages 17-19 by March 10, 2019, who live in Baroda or Baroda Township are invited to attend the meeting. A parent must attend with you. Applications are due Sept. 23 and rehearsals start Sept. 23 at the Baroda American Legion.

Little girls ages 6-9 by Nov. 18, 2018, who live in Baroda or Township Township are eligible to participate in the Little Miss Baroda Pageant. An informational meeting will be at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, at St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Both pageants will be Sunday, Nov. 18 at the Bridgman High School Performing Arts Center. For more information, call Diane Mensinger at 930-0019 or Chris Getz at 930-2069.

Palisades to host public open house

BENTON HARBOR — Palisades power plant will host an informational open house for the general public next week.

The event will begin with an hour-long poster board session for community members to speak with plant subject matter experts, followed by a formal presentation and public Q & A.

The open house is from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Palisades’ Emergency Operations Facility/Joint Information Center, 330 W. Main St., Benton Harbor. Attendees are asked to park in the gravel parking lot directly across the street.

The plant holds public open house/information sessions every couple of months. This is second one this year.

Free Van Buren 4-H carnival set

HARTFORD — Van Buren County 4-H members invite local youth to a free carnival next Sunday. 

The event, from 2-4 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Van Buren County Fairgrounds, will feature free activities, a potluck dinner and awards. 

Activities may include: pony rides, ring toss, plinko, tic-tac-toe, bean bag toss, sidewalk chalk, football toss, cornhole, bowling, slime, campfire, BB guns, archery, tattoos, and a petting zoo. The activities will move indoor if the weather is bad. 

The awards ceremony for the Van Buren 4-Hers will start at 4 p.m. It will recognize them for their achievements over the last year. The potluck meal will follow, provided by the 4-H clubs.

MSP Niles post sets Citizens Academy

CASSOPOLIS — Michigan State Police from the Niles post will hold a Citizens Academy starting Oct. 24 and ending with a graduation ceremony Nov. 28. 

The academy gives citizens the chance to become familiar with the mission and operation of the state police, understand the procedures troopers follow, increase their awareness of law enforcement’s role in the community and get to know personnel from the MSP Niles post.

The academy will meet at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Cass County Council on Aging in Cassopolis. 

Anyone interested in attending the academy should call Trooper Jesse Binns at 269-569-1966, or send an email to to request an application.