Sault Ste. Marie

Chippewa County Sheriff's Office

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   A Sault Ste. Marie man has been arrested on multiple felonies related to the manufacture of child pornography.

Detectives from the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office say the initial crimes occurred outside of the city but within Chippewa County.

Investigation led to the execution of a search warrant Wednesday at a residence on Tweed Street. Duane Forrest, 47, was arrested and charged with the following:


SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   A sheriff in Sault Ste. Marie is using social media to plead for assistance for a mentally ill jail inmate. 

Chippewa County Sheriff Michael Bitnar posted a long message on Facebook, saying Michigan's mental health system is "broken.” The sheriff says he's tried “over and over” to get help for the man, a Vietnam veteran.

Bitnar says the man was found incompetent to stand trial in December, but a bed at a state psychiatric hospital won't be available until June.

The Facebook post has been shared by more than 600 people.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   The Soo Locks are closed to navigation until March 25. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will use this time to perform critical maintenance on the lock structures. The Poe Lock will be dewatered while repairs are made. It will also undergo a formal periodic inspection. The MacArthur lock has repairs partially completed to the gate operating machinery. Additional work taking place includes inspection of gate anchorages, electronics updates and operating shelter maintenance.

BAY MILLS TOWNSHIP, MI--   A Sault Ste. Marie man is lodged in the Chippewa County Jail following a single-vehicle rollover accident in Bay Mills Township.

Sheriff’s deputies were called Sunday around 8:40 p.m. to Lake Shore Drive near Monocle Lake Road. They say a vehicle had left the roadway, hit some trees and a sign and flipped onto its roof.

The driver, David Seppala, 21, was arrested for operating while impaired.

Officers believe speed was also a factor in the accident.

Bay Mills EMS/Fire and Central Dispatch assisted at the scene.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   Northbound I-75 in Chippewa County is reopen, following a fatal crash this morning.

Around 2:20 a.m. Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the scene near 6 Mile Road. Early reports indicate a young Kalamazoo man was driving and may have fallen asleep. The vehicle drove into the median and rolled over multiple times.

The passenger—a young Sault Ste. Marie female—did not survive.

I-75 was closed for about three hours while the scene was investigated and cleared.

No names are being released at this time.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI (AP)--   A man says his rights were violated when an Upper Peninsula jail refused to allow him to wear his artificial leg during a three-day stay.

Ralf Keller of Sault Ste. Marie has filed a lawsuit in federal court against Chippewa County commissioners and the sheriff's department. He says he was being held in jail in 2016 for a non-violent matter.

Keller says his rights were violated under federal disability law. The lawsuit describes him as a "small, frail, non-violent man" whose prosthetic left leg posed no risk to other people in jail.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI (AP)--   Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie has agreed to spend $1 million on chemistry equipment, partly to stock the school's new cannabis chemistry program.

The equipment will be housed in the Center for Cannabis Science, although students in other chemistry fields will use it, too. Vice President Morrie Walworth says Agilent Technologies came up with a "phenomenal proposal" for the school.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   The City of Sault Ste. Marie has been named a winner of the 2019 Michigan Main Street Photo Contest. 

The event is sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The Soo was the winner of the Active Downtown category, which focused on the overall vibrancy and activity occurring within Main Street Communities.

MEDC officials say the city’s submission demonstrates the unique character of Michigan Main Street Communities and highlights the enjoyment of the downtown experience by all visitors.

MARQUETTE, MI--   A Sault Ste. Marie man has been sentenced in federal court on child pornography charges.

On Tuesday Jason Bishop was given 20 years in federal prison by Chief U.S. Judge District Judge Robert Jonker for transporting child porn from the Soo in Michigan to Sault Ste. Marie, Canada. Bishop was also ordered to serve 10 years of supervision following his release from prison and pay $5,100 in fines.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   A Sault Ste. Marie man who pleaded to helping his cousin kill another man has been sentenced.

Aaron Lehre, 21, pleaded guilty to 2nd degree home invasion and accessory after the fact. He was given 75 months to 15 years in prison.

Lehre and his cousin Jeremy were arrested in November of 2017 following an assault on Wesley Cook, 48, in the Sault. Cook was airlifted to Ann Arbor but later died of his injuries.