Pedestrian dies in Niles Township accident

NILES — A woman was hit and killed by a car Sunday in Niles Township on North Fifth Street, according to police.

According to a news release, Berrien County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to North Fifth Street near Pucker Street in Niles Township around noon on Sunday.

Candace Rae Barna, 49, had walked into the roadway attempting to retrieve an article of clothing that was lost while she was a passenger on a motorcycle, police said.

Helen Jo Carpenter, 75, was driving a 2008 Toyota Camry Sedan when she saw Barna walk into the roadway, authorities said, but couldn’t stop in time.

Barna, a Niles resident, was pronounced dead at the scene by Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Services personnel. The crash is under investigation by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office.

Armed robbery reported in Niles

NILES — Police are looking for two men following an alleged armed robbery at a Niles gas station Sunday.

Shortly before noon on Sunday, two male suspects entered the Admiral Gas Station at 640 Chicago Road wearing gloves and clothing that concealed their faces, according to a news release. Both suspects were holding semi-automatic firearms and approached the clerk.

After taking cash from the cash drawer, the suspects fled the gas station on foot.

Police said the suspects shot their firearms in and outside of the gas station. No one was injured during the shooting. The robbery remains under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Niles Police Detective Bureau at 269-683-0404. Anonymous tips can be submitted online by visiting or by texting a tip to 274637; with keyword tipnilespd.

Probes lead to meth busts in Benton Twp.

BENTON TOWNSHIP — The Southwest Enforcement Team and Berrien County Sheriff’s Department made several arrests last week in connection to investigations into the sale of crystal methamphetamine.

Last Thursday arrests were made at the Quik-Way Party Store in Benton Township.

Shaquille Burton, 27, was arrested following a one-month investigation into the distribution of alleged crystal meth in the Bangor, Kalamazoo and Benton Harbor areas. SWET detectives seized what they said is around 5 ounces of crystal meth.

Burton and several other unnamed people were arrested for allegedly selling crystal meth in three different counties. Other suspect names were not released.

On Friday, SWET detectives conducted a narcotics search warrant in which James Snow, 47, was arrested following a three-month investigation into the alleged distribution of crystal meth from his Benton Township home.

SWET detectives say they located about 2 ounces of crystal meth, 18 firearms and other drug related items. Also at the house were Jessica Foster, 28, Madison Word, 22, Ashley Rawson, 28 and Kyra Bailey, 20, according to police. All suspects were lodged Berrien County Jail on several charges.

Berrien County parks plan meeting

ST. JOSEPH — Berrien County parks officials will be seeking public input on the 2020-2024 parks five-year plan at an open house meeting, 3-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21, at the New Buffalo Township Hall, 17425 Red Arrow Highway, New Buffalo.

The open house will take place prior to the Berrien County Parks Commission meeting.

The plan will cover Rocky Gap, Silver Beach, Love Creek, Madeline Bertrand, Paw Paw River, Historic Courthouse Square and Galien River County Parks, as well as the Red Arrow Linear Trail. Meetings will take place periodically at different locations around the county in 2019 to seek public input and ideas for Berrien County Parks future plans.

The public is also invited to send written comments to: Berrien County Parks, 701 Main Street, St. Joseph MI, 49085 or email comments to Have written or emailed comments in by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20.