Sault Ste. Marie

SAULT SAINTE MARIE, MI--   The Chippewa County Health Department has identified a second possible COVID-19 exposure site.

Through contact tracing, officials were led to the Dondee Lanes Bowling Alley in Sault Ste. Marie. Anyone who was there this past Monday from 6 to 9:30 p.m. should monitor themselves for symptoms.

Earlier this week the health department said the Munoscong Golf Course in Pickford was also identified as a possible coronavirus exposure site. The time frame was Saturday, September 12 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.


MARQUETTE, MI--   A Canadian man has been sentenced in Marquette Federal Court to 3.5 years in prison for smuggling drugs. 

Abdolnasser Mahmoudikanesbi pleaded guilty in February to possession with intent to distribute opium. In December of 2019 he crossed into the U.S. at Sault Ste. Marie, claiming he was transporting towels. Customs and Border Protection X-rayed Mahmoudikanesbi’s rental truck and discovered about 100 kilograms of unrefined opium paste.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   Fire has damaged a house in Sault Ste. Marie. 

City police and firefighters were dispatched Thursday around 3:15 a.m. to the 200 block of West 12th Avenue. They say flames and smoke were coming from the house, which was unoccupied at the time. The fire was quickly extinguished.

Officials say most of the damage was contained to the main living and attic areas.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Sault Ste. Marie Fire Department and the Sault Ste. Marie Police Department’s Detective Bureau.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   The Tri-County Drug Enforcement Taskforce has arrested a second person in connection with an overdose death in Chippewa County last year.

Jessica Daley died of an overdose on September 23. Derek Erickson, 34, of Sault Ste. Marie was charged in December with delivery of a controlled substance, causing death.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved funding for the City of Sault Ste. Marie to make improvements. 

The Soo was awarded more than $4.3 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funds. The city will use the money to transform four public spaces with green areas, an interpretive pathway and way-finding signage, among other improvements.

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.