Bridge shuts down after false alarm

NILES — The Niles police Department called the Berrien County bomb squad to investigate a suspicious-looking metal crate that was spotted on a Main Street Bridge sidewalk Wednesday afternoon.

The squad’s services were not needed, however, after Niles Police determined that the package only contained oxygen bottles.

A driver had reported the crate to Niles police at about 12:42 p.m. Police closed down the bridge and locked down the area to investigate.

Niles police Sgt. Scott Swanson said the package was found in plain sight. 

“It was sitting right in the middle of the sidewalk, right in the middle of the bridge” Swanson said. “It was suspicious. It looked like a possible improvised explosive device. The way they were placed, it looked they were intentionally there.”

About 15 minutes after the investigation began, a driver returned to the scene, and explained to police that they had lost a six-pack of oxygen bottles out of the back of their trunk while crossing the bridge.

Swanson said that after confirming the driver’s story, police contacted the bomb squad to tell them they were not needed at the scene. The bridge was reopened about 15 minutes later.

Police believe that, after the crate fell out of the car, another passerby had moved it onto the sidewalk to get it out of the street, Swanson said.

Niles Police Chief Jim Millin said police responded to the situation utilizing potential bomb protocol. 

“You have to treat it that way when you find something on a bridge,” he said.

The Niles Fire Department was also dispatched to the scene. The Niles Utility department also dispatched a drone to help investigate.

Cass County

Cassopolis man rescued from Saddlebag Lake

News

Niles graduate retiring after 50 years with American Airlines

Cass County

County health department announces 1,500 COVID-19 vaccine appointments for ages 65 and older

Business

Wounded Minnow owner reacts to proposal to extend curfew, community support amid pandemic

Cass County

Two sentenced through Cass County’s Adult Treatment Court

Dowagiac

New Dowagiac police officers ready to serve community

Dowagiac

Dowagiac city manager provides update to Rotary

Cass County

Dowagiac man heading back to jail

Berrien County

Berrien, Cass businesses awarded Michigan Small Business Survival grants

Education

Eastside Connections seventh, eighth graders finish Black History Month virtual museum

Edwardsburg

Ontwa Township installs dry hydrants

Education

EPS foundation awards physical education teacher $2,500

Cass County

Cass County Board of Commissioners to return to in-person meetings

Giving

Niles Service League’s annual Bundle-A-Buddy fundraiser kicks off on Monday

Buchanan

One Buchanan to host free online mental health forum on COVID-19 isolation, depression

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien, Cass counties report new COVID-19 deaths

Berrien County

Berrien County courts to enter Phase Three of reopening

Berrien County

Berrien County Health Department expands access to COVID-19 vaccination

Cassopolis

Cassopolis Municipal Complex wins AIA Southwest Michigan Merit Award

Dowagiac

Warrant issued for Dowagiac man accused of possession of child sexually abusive material

Cass County

COA, Dowagiac District Library partner to launch new book club

News

Niles Master Plan to seek initial approval

Dowagiac

City of Dowagiac reports untreated wastewater discharge

Berrien County

Region prepares for farm workers with new precautions