Top Stories

Dowagiac business celebrates 40 years

DOWAGIAC — Tom and Donna Pacheco have much to be thankful for. Their business, Pacheco Fabric Specialties, recently ... Read more | Add your comment

Gov. Whitmer reopens movie theaters, strengthens mask requirements in schools

LANSING —Today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Orders 2020-183, which amends the MI Safe Start order to reopen ... Read more | Add your comment

Sign ups now open for annual Rake a Difference event

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — As the fall leaves prepare to change, one regional organization is planning for an annual ... Read more | Add your comment

Michigan Gateway Community Foundation presents check to aid Little Bucks Bookmobile

BUCHANAN — An oversized check was presented in front of a school bus-turned-library on Sept. 14 in Buchanan. ... Read more | Add your comment

Berrien County

Region sees upward trend in house sales, values

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — The stay-at-home orders experienced across the country may have triggered a house buying wave in consumers. Recent reports on the real estate ... Read more | Add your comment

by Christina Clark.

Cass County

Cass County Fair to host Halloween campout

CASSOPOLIS — Next month, Cass County residents will have a chance to camp with ghouls, witches, goblins and more, thanks to an event hosted by ... Read more | Add your comment

by Sarah Culton.

Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re-elect Shelton for mayor

Mayor Shelton was one of the first people to welcome us to the community of Niles. He helped connect us with business owners and leaders ... Read more

by Submitted, Saturday, September 26, 2020 8:24 am


Daily Data: Saturday, Sept. 26

FOOTBALL PLAINWELL 44, DOWAGIAC 14 At Dowagiac Plainwell         6          8          24        6 – 44 Dowagiac        7          7          0          0 – 14 D – Malakai Haines ... Read more

by Scott Novak, Friday, September 25, 2020 11:17 pm

High school football

GALLERY: Friday night highlights — Week 2

It was a tough night for half of the schools in the Leader Publications coverage area. Read more

by Scott Novak, Friday, September 25, 2020 11:16 pm

High school tennis

Brandywine, Niles drop league matches

It was a tough Wednesday for Brandywine and Niles in BCS Athletic Conference tennis action. Read more

by Staff Report, Friday, September 25, 2020 3:30 pm


SMC president provides school update to Rotary

DOWAGIAC — Southwestern Michigan College was the topic at hand at the Dowagiac Rotary Club’s weekly meeting Thursday via Zoom. SMC President Joe Odenwald was ... Read more

by Max Harden, Friday, September 25, 2020 2:24 pm


Silver Creek Township considers setback amendment, short-term rentals

SILVER CREEK TOWNSHIP — Changes are still in development in Silver Creek Township. Wednesday evening, the Silver Creek Township Planning Commission met via Zoom. During ... Read more

by Sarah Culton, Friday, September 25, 2020 2:20 pm

high school soccer

Niles soccer team too much for Cassopolis in 8-0 shutout

Visiting Niles scored early and often in an 8-0 non-conference victory over Cassopolis in boys soccer Thursday night. Read more

by Scott Novak, Friday, September 25, 2020 2:08 pm


Edwardsburg Intermediate School named one of the best schools in nation

EDWARDSBURG — U.S Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced Thursday that Edwardsburg Intermediate School has been named a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School based on ... Read more

by Submitted, Friday, September 25, 2020 11:39 am


COVID-19 cases surge in Cass County

CASS COUNTY — Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have continued to rise in Cass County. Ninety-eight new confirmed cases have been reported in the past two ... Read more

by Max Harden, Friday, September 25, 2020 10:43 am

Cass County

Cassopolis teen partners with animal control to advertise adoptable animals with pizza orders

CASSOPOLIS — Cass County diners may be met with the face of a furry friend when they open their pizza boxes, thanks to a new ... Read more

by Sarah Culton, Friday, September 25, 2020 9:46 am

Leader Columnists

NELDON: Thankful for a safe version of my favorite tradition

This Saturday, Niles’ city streets will seem especially quiet, absent of the hundreds of floats and thousands of community members celebrating nonprofits, businesses, school teams ... Read more

by Ambrosia Neldon, Friday, September 25, 2020 8:14 am


Harvest Market brings vendors together

NILES — Two vendors, Sticky Spoons Jam and Cardinal Candle Co. have been excited to prepare for a market that holds the place this year ... Read more

by Christina Clark, Friday, September 25, 2020 7:34 am

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 119,597 cases, 6,700 deaths

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported an increase in COVID-19 cases Thursday. Berrien County reported 1,647 confirmed cases and ... Read more

by Staff Report, Thursday, September 24, 2020 5:05 pm


Buchanan City Commission candidates partake in forum

BUCHANAN — Tuesday, the community got to know the candidates running for Buchanan City Commission. The League of Women Voters and the Buchanan Paper hosted ... Read more

by Sarah Culton, Thursday, September 24, 2020 4:59 pm

high school volleyball

Niles sweeps Bridgman in BCS volleyball action

The Niles girls volleyball team took care of business against Bridgman on their home court. Read more

by Max Harden, Thursday, September 24, 2020 3:30 pm

high school soccer

ROUNDUP: Bobcats edge Bees, Chieftains fall to Trojans

The Brandywine soccer team used a pair of goals from Clayton Adams to edge host Bridgman 3-2 in a BCS Athletic Conference match Wednesday night. Read more

by Scott Novak, Thursday, September 24, 2020 3:14 pm


Buchanan Planning Commission considers multi-million dollar development

BUCHANAN – A new multi-million dollar development looks to be closer to moving forward after action by the Buchanan Planning Commission Wednesday night, but the ... Read more

by Debra Haight, Thursday, September 24, 2020 2:23 pm


NOVAK: You can’t have your cake and eat it too

Do not get me wrong, I am glad sports has returned. Read more

by Scott Novak, Thursday, September 24, 2020 2:11 pm

Cass County

Cass County Animal Control to host Empty the Shelters event

CASSOPOLIS — Thursday morning, Cass County Animal Control Director Ron Butts struggled as he tried to hold a wriggling, 30-pound cat in his arms. “He’s ... Read more

by Sarah Culton, Thursday, September 24, 2020 2:06 pm


Swirlyz Frozen Yogurt closes for the season due to COVID-19 setbacks

NILES — Steven Estes did not originally plan on closing down his frozen yogurt shop for the winter. On Sept. 17, Estes announced on the ... Read more

by Christina Clark, Thursday, September 24, 2020 1:36 pm


Local orchard offering fresh products, cider for fall

BUCHANAN — Driving down a gravel road slowly with grape vines and apple trees on each side is a sound of celebration for many seeking ... Read more

by Christina Clark, Thursday, September 24, 2020 11:58 am

Cass County

Committee formed to review Lewis Cass ISD name

CASSOPOLIS — The Lewis Cass Intermediate School District is moving forward with plans to consider a name change for the district. Superintendent Brent Holcomb recently ... Read more

by Sarah Culton, Thursday, September 24, 2020 11:44 am


JMG Student of the Year starts second year at SMC

DOWAGIAC — Stanford University’s loss is Southwestern Michigan College’s gain, according to SMC officials. Mia Clay, 19, a 2019 Benton Harbor High School graduate, began ... Read more

by Submitted, Thursday, September 24, 2020 10:00 am


Hale’s True Value Hardware donates paint, cleaning supplies to DUS

DOWAGIAC — Dowagiac Union Schools classrooms will be receiving a fresh coat of paint, thanks to the efforts of Hale’s True Value Hardware. The school ... Read more

by Max Harden, Thursday, September 24, 2020 8:27 am

High school sports

GALLERY: Niles volleyball remains undefeated, Dowagiac soccer falls to Trojans

Host Niles improved to 3-0 in BCS Athletic Conference volleyball with a 3-0 sweep of Bridgman Wednesday night. Read more

by Emily Sobecki, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 11:00 pm