Sault Ste. Marie

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   A Sault Ste. Marie man is jailed on child abuse charges.

Detectives from the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office and officers from the Sault Ste. Marie Police Department were working separate cases involving injured young children. The complaints involved children who at one point were under the care of Robert Guilmette, 28, and all ended up with various degrees of injury.

Guilmette was arrested Wednesday and charged with three counts of 1st degree child abuse, one count of 3rd degree child abuse, and two counts of 4th degree child abuse.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   The Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force has arrested two Grand Rapids men in Sault Ste. Marie for prescription fraud. 

On Wednesday Trident was notified someone pretending to be a doctor had called in a prescription and someone was on their way to get it. Detectives arrested the man who tried to pick up the medication. A second man was found in a vehicle and arrested.

A search of the vehicle uncovered a stolen handgun and prescriptions thought to be fraudulently obtained from another location.

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.