GALLERY: Santa Claus is coming (back) to town

NILES — A familiar face with glasses, a long white beard and a very special red and white suit made an appearance at the Niles High School parking lot, located at 1441 Eagle St., Wednesday afternoon.

Santa Claus himself came to pay a socially distanced visit to the children in the Niles area. Coming down from the North Pole for the occasion, Claus was brought to Niles High School by the Niles Fire Department in a special transport instead of his usual sleigh and reindeer.

The escort provided a window for Claus to greet and interact with children.

Claus waved and smiled at children as he arrived and was able to see them from the red truck.

The event drew families to the special event where Santa Claus waved, spreading cheer, and even tossing out candy canes to those attending his outdoor visit.

“It was an opportunity for folks to see that he is alive and well, and that Christmas will be OK,” said Lisa Croteau, coordinator of the event and director of the Niles Main Street Downtown Development Authority.

Niles Community Schools Superintendent Dan Applegate said the Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce called the school to organize the visit. Under the latest pandemic order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, high school students are learning remotely from home. With the parking lot largely unused currently, Applegate wanted to help make the visit possible.

“We wanted to make sure we could make this happen,” Applegate said. “We were excited for the opportunity. The students are going through rough times, and it can be sad. Any opportunity we have to bring hope, joy and holiday spirit to the community, we are all for it.”

Santa Claus will be making another appearance at Niles High School’s parking lot at 6 p.m. on Dec. 16.

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 551,080 cases, 14,326 deaths

News

Niles City Hall to be closed on Fridays through March 12

Berrien County

Winter weather advisory in effect for Berrien, Cass counties Monday evening

Buchanan

Driver rescued from St. Joseph River sustains minor injuries

Community News

Niles Girl Scouts host drive-thru cookie sale

Cass County

MEC announces new grant program

Cass County

Cass County 4-H announces ‘Equine Education Thursdays’

News

Niles Police Log: Jan 14-19

Cass County

Dowagiac man pleads guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct

Business

Dowagiac business cited for COVID-19 safety violations

Cass County

Cass County Chief Judge talks COVID’s impact on treatment court

News

Historians, archaeologists with ties to Fort St. Joseph to give free lectures

Buchanan

Commission votes to make One Buchanan official city board

Berrien County

Businesses in Berrien, Cass counties report disparities in mandate enforcement

Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg/Ontwa Township Police Log: Jan. 11-18

Berrien County

Berrien County’s only homeless shelter raising money for repair

Cass County

Cass County commissioners approve five-year parks plan

Cass County

Woman ordered to pay back money taken from disabled son

Dowagiac

Ascension CAO provides vaccine update to Rotary

Berrien County

Spectrum Health Lakeland, Berrien County Health Department give joint update on COVID-19 immunizations, numbers

Cass County

Niles man sentenced to probation, jail time for 27th criminal conviction

Berrien County

Michigan indoor dining to resume Feb. 1 with restrictions

Berrien County

Lakeland, health department seeking COVID-19 vaccination volunteers

Business

Canceled Ice Time Festival to impact local businesses