Ad Spot

Niles Township residents raise concerns about theft, dangerous intersection

NILES TOWNSHIP – Residents concerned with the safety of a busy intersection and the rise in theft spoke to the Niles Charter Township Board Monday evening.

Eight residents were in attendance at the Niles township board’s meeting Monday to discuss more law enforcement, rise in crimes and a busy four-way-stop intersection.

Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Richard Johnson attended the regular board meeting to give the police report for April 2021.

Johnson reported that in April 2021, 345 complaints were made in the township, with 27 tickets issued and 16 arrests made. In Berrien County’s areas where the BCSO is the responding law enforcement agency, 1,164 complaints were worked, 196 tickets issued and 152 arrests were made.

“Stolen vehicles have been way up,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if it’s a group of kids, [but] lock your cars. Don’t leave valuables sitting on the seat that they can see from the outside of the vehicle.”

Brandywine Creek subdivision resident Peggy Hopper spoke out against what she sees as an increase in crime, saying vehicles and bicycles have been stolen from her neighborhood. She said she favors increasing funding for the BCSO in the township.

During a May 17 meeting, Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey proposed increasing the Niles Township area’s BCSO budget to accommodate 12 deputies for the area. The area currently is budgeted to accommodate seven.

“I understand that you are looking into August 2022 to pass a millage,” Hopper said. “That’s more than a year away. [With] the crime the way it is right now, it makes me very concerned.”

Hopper said the township needed to do something “now.”

Public safety concerns did not end with stolen vehicle complaints. Residents living at the Ontario road and 13th Street intersection raised concerns about the traffic at the meeting.

Larry Dash, a resident at the corner of the intersection, said his fence had been damaged “four or five times a year” by accidents.

“It’s a four-way stop, and a lot of these dummies don’t know what a stop sign is,” Dash said. “I think a blinking red light may help.”

Another neighbor voiced her concern that her child could not play in the front of the house in the family’s driveway due to the risk of people speeding and crashing at the intersection.

“I would like to have [a] speed sign or something out there,” said resident Larry Shroyer. “It’s like a drag strip. It’s terrible.”

The residents communicated their concerns to both the township board and Johnson, who took down notes of their concerns.

As the roads are Berrien County roads, Township Supervisor Jim Stover said he would take the residents’ concerns to the Berrien County Road Commission.

“We can only ask them to follow through on it,” Stover said.

The board discussed potentially exploring lower-cost solutions, including lighted or blinking stop signs, to make the intersection more visible.

Also during the meeting, the township board approved an application for a fireworks display from the Orchard Hills Country Club at 10 p.m. July 4.

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 906,538 cases, 19,947 deaths

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Dowagiac’s Stockwell named champion swine showman at Cass County Fair

Berrien County

Registration now open for Lory’s Place Run, Walk, and Rock

Berrien County

BCF Arts Challenge seeking support for Berrien County arts venues

Berrien County

Community members encouraged to donate blood, save lives

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: July 28-Aug. 2

News

Niles Township reconsiders document scanning project, rescinds special meeting vote

Giving

Niles church to host Family Fun Fest Saturday

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Niles’ Tharp wins Cass County Youth Dairy Show

Cass County

Dowagiac man gets jail time for assaulting brother-in-law

Cass County

Cassopolis teen wins sheep showman overall, grand overall market

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Cass County Fair names royal court

News

Niles man sentenced to counseling, time served following drunk driving incident

News

Niles man sentenced to prison for fleeing police

Dowagiac

Students help design SMC esports arena

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Cass County Fair kicks off with opening ceremonies, parade

Business

Event organizers, local dispensaries call inaugural Niles Cannabis Festival a success

Breaking News

Buchanan native Hannah Roberts takes silver in Olympics

News

PHOTO STORY: Inaugural Niles Cannabis Festival sells nearly 800 tickets

Cass County

Cass County Fair grand marshals are longtime advocates of the fair

Cass County

Fair organizers excited for fair after 2020 cancellation

Cass County

Fair guests in for a treat with main grounds entertainment

Cass County

COA’s Meals on Wheels program seeks delivery volunteers

Berrien County

Inaugural LIVESTRONG at the YMCA 5K to take place Aug. 7