Local News Archives

Pedestrian Struck By Train, Killed In Three Oaks

One person is dead after being struck by a train in Three Oaks on Sunday. The Three Oaks Police Department says officers were called to the area of South Elm Street and West Central Avenue at about 6:55 p.m. on a report of an Amtrak train hitting a pedestrian. The department is still investigating the incident, but says the rail is a high-speed line, and Amtrak trains can travel up to 110 mph. No information about the deceased has been released.. ...Read Full Story

Volunteer Day At Warren Dunes Next Weekend

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced a volunteer stewardship day at Warren Dunes State Park for next week. On Saturday, August 21, volunteers will remove spotted knapweed from the park to help protect the dune system and threatened Pitcher’s thistle. The DNR says the sun-loving spotted knapweed will crowd out native flora if left unchecked. Volunteers will focus on pulling plants from the critical area near the thistle plants. Long sleeves are recommended as some people can be sensitive to this plant. Those who wish to help can register via e-mail. The volunteers will meet at the picnic area south of the campground, and the work will take place from 10 a.m. to noon.. ...Read Full Story

Restaurant, Hotel Group Releases Labor Survey

The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association has released results of a recent statewide hospitality industry survey showing that nine in ten restaurants and nearly every hotel is operating with inadequate staffing to meet consumer demand. Association President Justin Winslow told Michigan News Network the shortage comes despite higher wages being offered by establishments.. ...Read Full Story

Drowning Victim Found In Lake Michigan In Allegan County

The body of a swimmer who drowned in Lake Michigan about a mile north of the Saugatuck pier head has been recovered. The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department says they were called to the lakeshore around 6 p.m. Saturday for a report of a missing swimmer. The victim was in the lake without a life jacket and had been swimming from a boat. The person’s body was found around 9:30 a.m. Sunday. The person’s name is not yet being released.. ...Read Full Story

Five Hurt In Cass County Crash

Five people are recovering after being hurt in a Saturday night crash in Cass County. The sheriff’s office was called to M-62 and Davis Lake Street in Jefferson Township for the crash that happened when 34-year-old Toni Allen of Cassopolis didn’t stop at the stop sign on Davis Lake Street and was hit by 53-year-old Princess Evans, also from Cassopolis. Both drivers and Allen’s three children are all being treated at South Bend Memorial Hospital. No alcohol or drugs are suspected in the crash, and everyone was buckled up. The crash is still under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Kalamazoo County Deputy Shot, Suspect Killed

A Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s deputy is hospitalized in extremely critical condition after being shot Saturday night during a police chase. Deputy Ryan Proxmire was shot after the suspect took off on 35th Street in Galesburg from the Shell gas station near I-94 and went off the road. The suspect lost control of his vehicle and went off the road in a field near 44th Street and Q Avenue and again shot at deputies, who returned fire and killed him. His name has not been released. The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office says he was previously involved in an earlier chase with other police officers.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Man Killed In Covert Township Shooting

A 28-year-old South Haven man has been killed in Covert Township. Police were called to the Van Buren United Civic Organization on a report of shots being fired around 1:15 a.m. Sunday and found Tevin Hunter on the ground, shot several times. He was pronounced dead at a hospital. No arrests have been made, and police have not given information on a suspect. Hunter was at an event at the organization on 34th Avenue when he was shot and killed.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Working On Follow Up To 21st Century Cures

Coming soon will be Cures 2.0 from Congressman Fred Upton. He tells WSJM News it will be the sequel to his 2016 21st Century Cures legislation. That law was intended to boost funding for medical research and also to expedite the approval of new drugs. Upton and Congresswoman Diana DeGette have been working on the follow up for about a year now.. ...Read Full Story

Bangor, Decatur Get Grants For Road Projects

State grants for street work have been announced for the city of Bangor and the village of Decatur in 2022. Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office on Wednesday announced the latest recipients of Transportation Economic Development Fund grants. A total of $3.7 million was announced for 25 villages and small cities around Michigan to do infrastructure projects. Bangor will get a $250,000 matching grant for improvements to Industrial Park Drive, while Decatur will get a $169,000 matching grant for South George Street. Governor Whitmer said with the grant dollars, the communities selected “can get started on fixing their roads to meet their most critical infrastructure needs at the local level right now.” The grants announced on Wednesday range from $34,000 to $250,000.. ...Read Full Story

Veggie Van Coming To Bridgman

Spectrum Health’s Veggie Van is headed to Bridgman this coming week. The Veggie Van is a mobile food pantry that gives out fresh produce to anyone who stops by. It’s been making the rounds through southwest Michigan communities this summer, most recently stopping in Hartford. The Veggie Van will be at the Southwestern Medical Clinic on Red Arrow Highway in Bridgman Tuesday, August 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will be drive through style with visitors asked to stay in their vehicles while bags of fresh veggies are brought to them. The goal of the program is to ensure fruits and vegetables are available to people who otherwise have limited access to fresh produce. The local Veggie Van visits are made possible thanks to support from Spectrum Health and the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids in partnership with Spectrum Health Lakeland and the YMCA of Greater Michiana.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Man Linked To Islamic State Gets 98 Month Sentence

From the Associated Press — A Michigan man has been sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State group. Twenty-five-year-old Mohamud Muse of Lansing was sentenced Thursday to 98 months in prison by a federal judge in Grand Rapids. He pleaded guilty last year to a conspiracy charge. Federal authorities say Muse, his brother and another man were arrested in January 2019 at the Grand Rapids airport, where his 22-year-old brother, Muse Muse, was starting a journey to Somalia to join IS. The Grand Rapids Press reports the three men conspired to
provide support and resources to the militant group.. ...Read Full Story

Census: Big Population Drops In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

From the Associated Press — Figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau show some of Michigan’s largest percentage population losses over the past decade are in the state’s Upper Peninsula, while three of the four most populous counties in the Lower
Peninsula gained people. The U.P. for years has struggled through job losses tied to downturns in the manufacturing and mining industries. Luce County along Lake Superior in the eastern U.P. had a population loss of 19.5% from 2010 to 2020, while Ontonagon County dropped 14.2% over that time. Gogebic saw its population tumble by 12.5%. Census figures released in April show Michigan’s
overall population increased slightly from 2010 to last year.. ...Read Full Story

Girls On The Run Announces New Director

Girls on the Run of Southwest Michigan has a new director. The Girls on the Run of Southwest Michigan Board of Directors has named Keshia Dickason to the position. Dickason is a longtime Girls on the Run coach who chairs her sorority’s Women’s Health and Wellness initiative, works with the American Heart Association for its Heart Walk, and serves as an ambassador for Run This Town Kalamazoo. She’s also published children’s books. She has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Cornerstone University and a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Strayer University. Girls on the Run of Southwest Michigan Board Chair Heather Cole says after a 2021 season full of challenges created by the pandemic, “we’re hopeful for a strong 2022 season where we can serve more girls and grow our partnerships in Southwest Michigan.” Dickason will start later this month.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Trial Court Announces New COVID Rules

The Berrien County Trial Court has announced there will be new COVID-19 precautions taken in its buildings per CDC recommendations as the pandemic drags on. Berrien County moved into the High category for COVID-19 transmission rates this week, and in consultation with the Berrien County Health Department, the Berrien County Trial Court says all visitors to any court facility will be required to practice standard social distancing. When unable to practice social distancing, all visitors will be required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. All participants in a courtroom proceeding will be required to wear a mask, and jurors will be required to wear a mask when doing their duty. Also, all visitors to the Berrien County Juvenile Center will have to wear a mask. The new policies take effect on Monday.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Youth Fair Next Week

The Berrien County Youth Fair starts on Monday. It’s the 75th year for the event in Berrien Springs, and the theme is “Diamonds are Fair-ever.” More than 1,500 volunteers have worked all year to make the event a showcase for the youth of Berrien County. In addition to the rides, animals, and fair food, there will be grandstand events to take in Tuesday through Saturday. Tuesday’s show will be Circus Continental, Wednesday will bring The Oak Ridge Boys, Thursday will feature a performance by Scotty McCreery, Friday will be Demolition Derby night, and Saturday will feature Bullmania with rodeo events. Exhibitors will wear special shirts each day of the fair to highlight its anniversary. Monday will be for the 40s and 50s, Tuesday will be 60s and 70s, Wednesday will be 80s and 90s, and Thursday will be for the 2000s and 2010s. In a typical year, the Berrien County Youth Fair attracts around 120,000 visitors. You can find out more at BCYF.us.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Now In High Category For COVID Transmission

Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties have moved into the High category for COVID-19 transmission. The CDC’s county by county map of the country now shows all three southwest Michigan counties in red. Counties in the High transmission category are those with new case rates of 100 or more per 100,000 people in the past seven days. It also means a percent positive rate of 10% or higher. The CDC recommends people in counties with high COVID rates to wear masks when in indoor public places.. ...Read Full Story

State’s COVID-19 Deaths Pass 20,000

Michigan has now passed more than 20,000 people who have lost their lives due to COVID-19. The Department of Health and Human Services says that number is now 20,011 after there were 29 deaths Thursday and Friday. Statewide, cases were up 3,127 those two days to reach 919,133 since the start of the pandemic.. ...Read Full Story

NWS Confirms Allegan County Tornado

An EF-0 tornado touched down in Allegan County this week. The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids confirms the tornado hit in Dorr Wednesday night. Winds were between 65 and 85-miles-an-hour and it was on the ground for five minutes between 9 and 9:05 p.m. There was tree damage from the wind, but no one was hurt. The NWS says the confirmation came from damage surveys.. ...Read Full Story

Mr. Basketball 2020 accused of rape.

A former Benton Harbor basketball star is facing charges in Indiana. Authorities in Indianapolis are charging former Tiger star Carlos “Scooby” Johnson with rape, attempted rape, and sexual battery. According to court documents, Butler University Police were called to a campus dorm after 2 a.m. on February 4th of this year. Police spoke to a woman who said was raped by a man named “Scooby.” Officers say that she was severely bleeding from her genitals, Officers then went to Johnson’s dorm room, where they report that he said “I should have told that (B****) to leave” Officers obtained a search warrant for Johnson’s room where they found a pair of his boxers with blood on them. A statement from Butler University said that Johnson no longer is enrolled at the school and has not been allowed on the university’s campus since the alleged incident. Johnson was named Michigan’s Mr. Basketball in 2020, and helped lead the Tigers to the 2018 MHSAA Class B State Championship. Johnson was unable to play this college season after tearing his ACL during Butler’s preseason conditioning.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Panel OKs Leaving Masking Up To School Districts

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s Board of Education has approved a resolution that supports allowing local school districts to make “scientifically informed decisions” about whether to mandate COVID-19 masks for all students, teachers and visitors. The Democratic-majority board signed off on the resolution in a 5-2 vote Tuesday that members stressed “supports the right of local control to mask and not to mask.” Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said she will not require masks in school, like she did last academic year. But her administration has endorsed a recommendation from the state health department for universal masking in school buildings.. ...Read Full Story

Commissioners Pleased With Flood Response

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department has deactivated the Emergency Operations Center following its opening this week due to flooding and power outages. Speaking at Thursday’s meeting of the Berrien County Board of Commissioners, Commissioner Jim Curran said the county is well prepared for emergencies.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Preparing To Unveil Cures 2.0 Legislation

Coming soon will be Cures 2.0 from Congressman Fred Upton. He tells WSJM News it will be the sequel to his 2016 21st Century Cures legislation. That law was intended to boost funding for medical research and also to expedite the approval of new drugs. Upton and Congresswoman Diana DeGette have been working on the follow up for about a year now.. ...Read Full Story

County Commissioners Discuss Gun Violence

The problem of gun violence in the Benton Harbor area has gotten the attention of the Berrien County Board of Commissioners. Two days after Benton Harbor leaders announced 21 Days of Peace for the community to reflect on the problems caused by recent gun crimes, Berrien County Commissioner Don Meeks said at Thursday’s meeting Prosecutor Steve Pierangeli spoke to the administration committee about stemming the violence.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan GOP Lawmaker Announces Bid For Attorney General

From the Associated Press — Oakland County state Representative Ryan Berman has announced he will seek the Republican nomination for Michigan attorney general. In a letter Wednesday from his campaign, Berman said he will use his background in law as an attorney and reserve police officer to build trust and accountability in Michigan’s leadership, criticizing Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel and Governor Gretchen Whitmer. He said both Whitmer and Nessel have misused their positions and backed each other as political allies rather than putting the law first. Nessel has said she will seek reelection to a second four-year term.. ...Read Full Story

Woman Hit By Vehicle In Van Buren County

A 49-year-old Bangor Township woman is fighting for her life at Bronson Hospital after being hit by a vehicle Wednesday evening. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office says she was hit in the 66-thousand block of County Road 376 in Bangor Township by a 44-year-old Illinois man and suffered life-threatening injuries. She was riding a horse with another person and got off to fix a saddle issue when she and the horse were hit. The driver stayed on scene and is not suspected of being drunk or on drugs. The horse’s injuries were not life-threatening. No names have been released yet.. ...Read Full Story

Survey Looks At Restaurant, Hotel Labor Shortage

The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association has released results of a recent statewide hospitality industry survey showing that nine in ten restaurants and nearly every hotel is operating with inadequate staffing to meet consumer demand. Association President Justin Winslow says the shortage comes despite higher wages being offered by establishments.. ...Read Full Story

Buchanan Honors Olympic Silver Medalist

The city of Buchanan is officially celebrating a local Olympic hero. This week, the Buchanan City Commission proclaimed the tenth day of August each year as “Hannah Roberts Day.” The 19-year-old Roberts won the silver medal in BMX freestyle during this year’s games in Tokyo. A proclamation from the Buchanan City Commission notes Roberts was “the first woman to land a 360 degree tail whip in competition and has become world renowned as a three time BMX freestyle World Champion.” It says she battled an injury to win a silver medal at the Olympics, becoming the youngest American medalist in cycling since 1912. On the eve of her birthday, August 10, the commission voted to declare August 10 Hannah Roberts Day henceforth in the city of Buchanan.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Holds Listening Session For Businesses

The city of St. Joseph is getting input from businesses on how doing work with the city can improve. At a listening session Wednesday night, some of the topics were speeding up how long it takes to get answers, possibly adding shuttles to the city to have people park farther from downtown, and improving communication. City Manager John Hodgson was asked if it’s difficult to hear some criticism.. ...Read Full Story

State Grants For Road Work Announced For Bangor And Decatur

State grants for street work have been announced for the city of Bangor and the village of Decatur in 2022. Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office on Wednesday announced the latest recipients of Transportation Economic Development Fund grants. A total of $3.7 million was announced for 25 villages and small cities around Michigan to do infrastructure projects. Bangor will get a $250,000 matching grant for improvements to Industrial Park Drive, while Decatur will get a $169,000 matching grant for South George Street. Governor Whitmer said with the grant dollars, the communities selected “can get started on fixing their roads to meet their most critical infrastructure needs at the local level right now.” The grants announced on Wednesday range from $34,000 to $250,000.. ...Read Full Story

Commissioners Hear About Plans For Park Improvements

A group of Whirlpool employees is proposing some improvements for Union Park in Benton Harbor. The Benton Harbor City Commission held a special meeting this week to hear a Days of Impact report from the team. Whirlpool Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility Rosa Skinner said as the company seeks to help improve the community, it spoke with residents and leaders about where it could have the biggest impact.. ...Read Full Story

I&M Continues Restoration Effort

Work continues on restoring electric service to those who lost it in this week’s storms. Indiana Michigan Power spokesperson Schnee Garrett tells WSJM News most of the Berrien County customers who lost power Monday night and Tuesday morning lost it because of the flooded substation in Bridgman.. ...Read Full Story

DeVos Not Running For Governor

From the Associated Press — Former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says she will not run for Michigan governor in 2022, putting an end to speculation about the onetime Trump administration Cabinet member and partner in one of the state’s most influential Republican couples. The 63-year-old DeVos made the announcement Tuesday. She said she never weighed a campaign to challenge Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, despite weeks of chatter in Michigan’s political class. Though a billionaire
able to finance a campaign and former state party chairwoman with key connections, DeVos would have faced complications in a Republican primary and the general election. DeVos is married to Dick DeVos, Michigan’s losing candidate for governor in 2006.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Murder Suspect In Custody

A suspect has been arrested in a fatal shooting that occurred in Benton Harbor on Sunday. The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety says officers were sent to the Sunny Spot located at 895 Pipestone around 5 p.m. on a report of a customer shot inside the store. They found the 27-year-old man lying on the floor with a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police immediately announced they were looking for 24-year-old Daniel Autrey. He was charged with open murder, felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of ammunition by a felon, and felony firearm. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department says Autrey turned himself in at the Berrien County Jail this week.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Childhood Vaccination Rates Low For Back To School

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joneigh Khaldun joined forces with school officials Monday to call on parents before school starts to catch students up on childhood immunizations that were missed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Childhood vaccination rates have dropped below 70% in more than half of Michigan’s counties. Seven counties and the city of Detroit
have dropped below 60%. East Lansing School Board President Terah Chambers said without parents catching up their kids on vaccines, she isn’t confident that students will be able to maintain an all in-person school year. That includes those 12 and up who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.. ...Read Full Story

Nessel: Don’t Deny Unemployment For Marijuana Use Outside Work

From the Associated Press — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says in a filing before the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Commission that people fired from their jobs for using marijuana outside the workplace still should be eligible for unemployment benefits. The brief was filed Monday and focuses on three cases currently consolidated before the board. It says the commission’s ruling will “directly impact many law-abiding Michigan workers who may be terminated for the use of marijuana.” Nessel points to Michigan voters’ approval in 2018 for making recreational marijuana use legal in the state.. ...Read Full Story

I&M Releases Updated Restoration Estimates

Indiana Michigan Power continues to restore electric service to those who lost it in overnight storms. It now says the New Buffalo, Lakeside and Three Oaks areas should be restored by 10 p.m. Tuesday, while remaining customers in the Bridgman area are expected to be restored by Wednesday afternoon. I&M has released the following:. ...Read Full Story

Power Being Restored After Storm

Indiana Michigan Power crews are working to restore electric service after strong storms late Monday night and early Tuesday morning. More than 15,000 lost their power, with over 14,500 of them in southwest Michigan and 13,000 in Bridgman and New Buffalo. Heavy rain flooded a Bridgman area substation, which impacted three other stations and led to the outages. I&M expects to have all the power restored this evening, but warns there are more storms expected tonight.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Approves Replacing Park Merry-Go-Round

The Tiny Tots Park in St. Joseph will be getting more new equipment. The city has already replaced the old metal slide with a plastic one and the city commission voted Monday night to replace the old, broken merry-go-round, or spinner. That recently broke and has been removed from the park. Public Works director Greg Grothous made the proposal to replace it.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Police Cuff Black Real Estate Agent, Client At Home

From the Associated Press — Police in west Michigan handcuffed a real estate agent, his client and that man’s 15-year-old son after a neighbor wrongly reported that the three Black people were breaking into a home. The agent, Eric Brown, told WOOD-TV that the Aug. 1 police response, including two out of five officers who drew their guns, felt aggressive and “threw me back.” The Wyoming Police Department defended the officers’ actions and said they followed protocol for responding to a reported home invasion. A police statement said another Black man with a similar car to the real estate agent’s vehicle was arrested after he went into the house in the Grand Rapids suburb without permission on July 24.. ...Read Full Story

United Way Releases Latest Agenda For Change

A new three-year agenda has been released by the United Way of Southwest Michigan. Director of Impact Strategies Amanda Drew tells WSJM News the organization releases its Agenda for Change every three years with the funding cycle to guide its programs moving ahead. How will the 2022 through 2025 agenda change things?. ...Read Full Story