Top Stories

Deputy Laesch connects resources, communicates with the health department through mandates

NILES — Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Kelly Laesch is no stranger to wearing multiple hats. During the ... Read more | Add your comment

COA’s Handy Helpers program continues following shutdown

EDWARDSBURG — Stuart Street in Edwardsburg was alive with the hum of table saws and the uneven taps ... Read more | Add your comment

Hidden Acres Safe Haven seeks donations

DOWAGIAC — As the sun shined down over Hidden Acres Safe Haven Thursday afternoon, a chorus of animals ... Read more | Add your comment

Edwardsburg Village Council approves two marijuana businesses

EDWARDSBURG — Two marijuana businesses are blazing forward in the village of Edwardsburg. Monday, the Edwardsburg Village Council ... Read more | Add your comment

High school track

Senior bios: Cassopolis’ Jonathan Leach

Jonathan Leach is a senior on the Cassopolis track team. Activities: Football, FFA, track, robotics, Legacy 4-H, One16 youth group, mission trips, volunteer for Backpack ... Read more | Add your comment

by Scott Novak.

Berrien County

Deputy Laesch connects resources, communicates with the health department through mandates

NILES — Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Kelly Laesch is no stranger to wearing multiple hats. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has shown. She has ... Read more | Add your comment

by Christina Clark.

Breaking News

Fireside Tap and Grill damaged in structure fire

EDWARDSBURG — A popular Edwardsburg eatery was damaged in a structure fire Sunday. The Edwardsburg Fire Department was dispatched to Fireside Tap and Grill, 69245 ... Read more

by Sarah Culton, Sunday, May 24, 2020 9:02 am

Columns

WILSON: A story about the one that got away

If a person were to head southeast out of Luther, along Old M-63 (not the Old M-63 that travels east, past Howel Lake, but the ... Read more

by Larry Wilson, Saturday, May 23, 2020 8:42 am

Leader Columnists

NELDON: Class of 2020 has gone the distance

In boxing, when a boxer finishes a fight without being knocked out, it’s called “going the distance.” To earn this recognition, these athletes have overcome ... Read more

by Ambrosia Neldon, Saturday, May 23, 2020 8:42 am

Columns

FRANKLIN: A whole new outlook

Editor’s Note: This essay was an honorable mention submission written by Rebecca Franklin, a Dowagiac Union High School senior, in Leader Publications’ High School Yearbook ... Read more

by Submitted, Saturday, May 23, 2020 8:41 am

Brandywine Education

Brandywine grads continue family legacies

NILES — Two Brandywine valedictorians are continuing family legacies. Brandywine’s Connor Janowiak is continuing a family tradition by being a Bobcat valedictorian. The family was ... Read more

by Christina Clark, Friday, May 22, 2020 7:00 pm

Cassopolis

Cassopolis senior receives one of four Robert Freeze Memorial Scholarships

CASSOPOLIS — Senior Owen Gardner, of Cassopolis, did not know Robert Freeze, but his mother, Tammy Gardner, went to school with him. Using the memories ... Read more

by Scott Novak, Friday, May 22, 2020 6:00 pm

High school sports

MHSAA set to release guidance for opening up sports next week

A lot of questions have been raised since the Michigan Athletic Association suspended winter sports and ultimately canceled spring sports due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more

by Scott Novak, Friday, May 22, 2020 2:34 pm

Berrien County

Berrien County percent of positive COVID-19 tests decline, county parks open but limited

BERRIEN COUNTY— The Berrien County Health Department’s Health Officer Nicki Britten was joined on a Facebook Live by Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Undersheriff Chuck Heit ... Read more

by Christina Clark, Friday, May 22, 2020 2:13 pm

News

YMCA of Greater Michiana to close South Bend-Mishawaka YMCA branch

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The YMCA of Greater Michiana is permanently closing the South Bend-Mishawaka YMCA branch effective Tuesday. “As we navigate the COVID-19 health ... Read more

by Submitted, Friday, May 22, 2020 1:35 pm

Business

Grills grant fund awarded to Niles DDA

NILES — Tuesday, the Niles Main Street Downtown Development Authority was announced as one of the recipients of a grant from The Grills Fund for ... Read more

by Christina Clark, Friday, May 22, 2020 10:45 am

Cass County

Cass County Sheriff’s Office employees recover from COVID-19, donate plasma

CASSOPOLIS — On a Thursday in March, Captain Tom Jacobs of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office went home early from work with mild flu symptoms. ... Read more

by Sarah Culton, Friday, May 22, 2020 9:37 am

Cassopolis

Helping Hands of Cass County prepares to reopen

CASSOPOLIS — A local nonprofit store will reopen next week, following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Thursday announcement that retail stores could open by appointment. Helping Hands ... Read more

by Submitted, Friday, May 22, 2020 9:07 am

Brandywine Education

Brandywine Community Schools announce pre-Labor Day start

NILES — Brandywine Community Schools announced Tuesday the 2020-2021 school year will start earlier than in the past. The schools will begin on Monday, Aug. ... Read more

by Christina Clark, Thursday, May 21, 2020 6:00 pm

High school sports

Niles cancels summer camps

Even though Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday morning that people in groups of 10 or less could gather, the Niles Athletic Department announced Wednesday ... Read more

by Scott Novak, Thursday, May 21, 2020 4:00 pm

Berrien County

Berrien County reports six additional COVID-19 deaths as Michigan loosens COVID-19 restrictions

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — The death toll of COVID-19 rose in southwest Michigan Thursday. Thursday afternoon, Berrien County reported six additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing its total ... Read more

by Sarah Culton, Thursday, May 21, 2020 3:42 pm

Cass County

Drive-thru fair food fundraiser to be hosted at the Cass County Fairgrounds May 29-31

CASSOPOLIS — Cass County Fair fans will get a special treat as the Cass County Fairgrounds will host a fair food drive-thru May 29-31. Cass ... Read more

by Scott Novak, Thursday, May 21, 2020 3:32 pm

Cass County

Dowagiac man accepts plea deal for 2019 bomb threat

CASSOPOLIS – The Dowagiac man who caused a lockdown of Cass County government buildings last June has accepted a plea deal. Patrick Kyle McMeeken is ... Read more

by Debra Haight, Thursday, May 21, 2020 1:58 pm

Youth sports

Youth sports leagues begin to cancel seasons

Several area youth sports teams have decided to cancel their seasons as Michigan remains under its “Stay Home, Stay Safe” orders through at least May ... Read more

by Submitted, Thursday, May 21, 2020 1:36 pm

Business

New businesses move forward

NILES — New business is beginning to bloom in Niles once again. Businesses are now beginning to move forward with plans again as COVID-19 mandates ... Read more

by Christina Clark, Thursday, May 21, 2020 1:00 pm

Berrien County

United Way seeks volunteers

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the United Way of Southwest Michigan is seeking volunteers for various projects to continue to ... Read more

by Submitted, Thursday, May 21, 2020 10:15 am

Berrien County

Area Agency on Aging to host virtual conversation on aging in Michigan

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — Two area agencies are hoping older adults in southwest Michigan will lend their voices to a conversation to coordinate efforts to serve ... Read more

by Submitted, Thursday, May 21, 2020 9:14 am

Brandywine Education

MEC grant to support area schools

CASSOPOLIS — An annual grant supporting local schools is now accepting applications. Midwest Energy and Communications is now accepting applications for the 2020-21 Strengthening Schools ... Read more

by Submitted, Wednesday, May 20, 2020 6:00 pm

motocross

BREAKING: Redbud National July 4 postponed

While the Monster Energy Supercross Series announced Wednesday its seven-race schedule to wrap up its 2020 season, MX Sports did not release any information about ... Read more

by Scott Novak, Wednesday, May 20, 2020 5:23 pm

Berrien County

Windows of Hope hopes to foster community

BERRIEN COUNTY — As people continue to social distance, one new initiative is asking residents to come together to help spread hope throughout our community ... Read more

by Submitted, Wednesday, May 20, 2020 5:00 pm

High school basketball

Patterson signs with Kentucky State

The all-time leading scorer in Niles girls basketball has decided to continue her academic and athletic career at Kentucky State University. Read more

by Scott Novak, Wednesday, May 20, 2020 5:00 pm