Local News Archives

Whiteford Slams Andrews Over Tweets

Republican candidate for the Michigan House in the 38th District Kevin Whiteford is slamming Democratic opponent Joey Andrews over some tweets Andrews wrote in 2019 and 2020. Whiteford held a press conference Thursday to highlight comments Andrews made during the height of the George Floyd protests. In one dated May 30, 2020, Andrews tweeted, “Start winning local elections and defund police departments.” Whiteford disapproves.. ...Read Full Story

Drivers License Restoration Clinic Tomorrow In Benton Harbor

The Michigan Secretary of State’s office will hold a license restoration clinic Friday in Benton Harbor. The Road to Restoration clinic is being organized by the Michigan Department of State, the Michigan Department of Attorney General, and local community partners to help drivers with suspended licenses determine what steps they need to take to restore their driving privileges. In 2021, new state laws lifted suspensions for drivers who failed to pay tickets or court fines, or failed to appear in court, for certain violations. While the new laws lifted suspensions for more than 150,000, many still have to take additional action before their license is restored. The Road to Restoration clinics aim to help drivers figure out the process. The clinic Friday will be at McCoy’s Memorial Church of God in Christ on Union Avenue in Benton Harbor from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Those who attend are advised to bring their birth certificate, Social Security card, proof of residency, proof of identity, and a copy of their driving record. A copy of their driving record can be bought at the clinic for $12.. ...Read Full Story

Niles Scream Park Welcomes 500th Hayride Visitor

The 500,000th person to take a hayride at the Niles Scream Park is Rebecca Bogunia of Buchanan, who took the ride on Sunday. The Niles Scream Park Board of Directors announced the milestone this week, saying Bogunia received a special spooktacular gift bucket for her good fortune. She has been coming to the park since 1999, and along with her for her big moment was friend Barb Chandler of Buchanan. The Niles Scream Park has been operating for 49 consecutive years and is a non-profit. It’s now open weekends through October 30, and then Friday and Saturday, November 4 and 5. The Niles Scream Park is primarily run by volunteers, many of whom are local young people who get scholarships for their efforts.. ...Read Full Story

Dixon Looks To Gain On Whitmer At Michigan Governor Debate

From the Associated Press — The candidates for Michigan governor are set to debate for the first time. Republican Tudor Dixon is looking to use Thursday’s primetime debate to narrow her gap with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Dixon is a former conservative commentator endorsed by former President Donald Trump. She has never held public office and is still working to introduce herself and her ideas to voters. For months, Whitmer and fellow Democrats have been airing attack ads portraying the Republican as too exteme on issues such as abortion. Those ads have largely gone unanswered as Dixon has struggled to raise money to compete with Whitmer’s multimillion-dollar campaign fund. Dixon is expected to fire back at Whitmer and what she has described as the first-term governor’s “radical” views.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan State U. Leader, Hired After Nassar Scandal, Quits

From the Associated Press — The president of Michigan State University says he is resigning, three years after he was hired in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal. Samuel Stanley Jr. says he has lost confidence in the school’s governing board and can no longer serve. Since summer, Stanley has been under fire by some trustees, namely for the departure of a business school dean. Stanley was president of Stony Brook University in New York when he was hired three years ago at 50,000-student Michigan State. The school was trying to recover from a scandal involving Nassar, a campus sports doctor, who was accused of sexually assaulting hundreds of women and girls at Michigan State and elsewhere.. ...Read Full Story

Demolition Underway At Former South Haven Hospital Site

Demolition has begun on the former South Haven Community Hospital building, now Bronson-South Haven. Plans were announced over the summer to tear down the structure at 955 Bailey Avenue as Bronson plans for a green space at the site. It could also possibly be the site of health services in the future. The old hospital is no longer needed as Bronson has constructed a new facility on Blue Star Highway, north of the old one. Bronson bought the old hospital in 2018.. ...Read Full Story

Reproductive Rights Rally Planned In Allegan

A reproductive rights rally will be held this weekend in Allegan. The group, Speak Up, Allegan is planning the event at the corner of Marshall Street and Hubbard Street starting at 2 p.m. They’re holding the rally as the November 8 election nears. Michigan voters on that date will decide on Proposal 3, which would protect reproductive freedom in the state constitution. That includes abortion. The rally will be followed with a 3 p.m. event at the Griswold Auditorium on Hubbard Street featuring speakers discussing body autonomy and the consequences of having none. On hand will be Democratic state Senate candidate Kim Jorgensen Gane, who is running for the 20th District. The Senate 20th District covers Berrien County from around Stevensville, eastward to Paw Paw in Van Buren County, and north all the way to Saugatuck and other parts of Allegan County.. ...Read Full Story

AAA Holds Summit On Impaired Driving, Focus On Marijuana

The subject of drugged driving was part of the focus of a AAA summit on impaired driving held this week in Dearborn. AAA spokesperson Adrienne Woodland tells WSJM News representatives of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, Michigan State Police, and AAA talked about the increase in fatalities caused by impaired driving. Relatively new to the discussion is marijuana.. ...Read Full Story

Paw Paw Man Pleads Guilty For Arson At Planned Parenthood

A Paw Paw man has pleaded guilty to arson for setting fire to a Planned Parenthood facility in Kalamazoo in July. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Grand Rapids says 25-year-old Joshua Brereton set fire to the building on July 31 after purchasing tiki torch fuel, a fire starter log, a utility lighter, and a hat at the Paw Paw Walmart. He was seen on surveillance footage at Planned Parenthood breaching a fence and setting fire to the bushes before lighting the fireplace starter log and throwing it on to the roof. In his plea agreement, Brereton admitted to posting a video called “The Line Between Good and Evil” to his YouTube channel in which he referred to abortion as genocide. He also admitted posting similar anti-abortion articles and items on his Facebook page prior to the fire. At sentencing, Brereton faces a minimum of five years in prison, with a maximum possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison. He also faces a fine of up to $250,000. The Planned Parenthood building suffered minimal damage in the fire. U.S. Attorney Mark Totten says, “In our democracy, resorting to violence is never an acceptable means to address policy disputes.”. ...Read Full Story

More Home Weatherization Help Available This Year In Michigan

The state will have around three times as much funding this year for its Weatherization Assistance Program, thanks to the bipartisan federal infrastructure package. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services deputy director for opportunity Lewis Roubal tells us when someone signs up for the program, it sends technicians to their home to look for ways to protect against the elements. ...Read Full Story

Boo Bash This Weekend In St. Joseph

There will be a new way to celebrate Halloween this weekend in St. Joseph, thanks to the Silver Beach Center. It’s planning its first ever Boo Bash, to be held at the Silver Beach Carousel. The event will feature a variety of family friendly activities, including a photo backdrop for personal pictures, Boo-It-Yourself cookie decorating, fresh apple cider, popcorn and chips, and a cash bar. Everyone’s invited to come down from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at 333 Broad Street for the fun. Admission will be $10, although it’s free for those age three and under. It will include one free ride on the carousel. You can get tickets here.. ...Read Full Story

Governor Signs College Assistance Bill

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says that she’s delivering on a promise to help Michiganders lower the out of pocket cost of college. She was at Lawrence Tech in Southfield Tuesday to sign the new $250 million dollar bipartisan Michigan Achievement Scholarship bill. It would provide low and middle-income high school graduates scholarships to help offset college and trade school costs. Republican state Senator Jim Stamas was on hand for the signing and spoke with Michigan News Network.. ...Read Full Story

Absentee Ballot Numbers In Michigan Show High Voter Turnout

From the Associated Press — Some 1.6 million voters in Michigan have requested absentee ballots and 150,000 have cast ballots for the general election, which is less than a month away. The state is expecting high voter turnout because of several high-impact races — and a ballot initiative seeking to enshrine abortion in the state constitution. A spokesman for the Michigan Secretary of State said Tuesday that the early absentee numbers point toward this being the most votes ever cast in the state for a governor’s race. With returns indicating high early absentee voting, a looming debate Thursday between Republican challenger Tudor Dixon and Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer takes on added significance.. ...Read Full Story

In Brief: Jessica Simpson memoir becoming a TV pilot, and more

Amazon Freevee has ordered the half-hour scripted pilot Open Book, based on the memoir by reality TV and pop star Jessica Simpson, according to Variety. The series stars BallersKatelyn Tarver as Sadie Sparrow, “a young singer based on Simpson,” alongside Big Shot‘s John Stamos as Butch, “an older musician who’s tasked with writing songs with Sadie — but soon their connection is much more than that.” Open Book, per the streamer, “follows Sadie’s unexpected journey as she ultimately comes to embrace herself and the fact that her heart inevitably wants what it wants at every stage of life”…. ...Read Full Story

One Hurt In Cass County Fire

A Cass County man is being treated at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo after his home caught fire and exploded Sunday morning. The sheriff’s department says 53-year-old Daniel Held of White Pigeon was found outside the home by neighbors who gave him first aid until EMS personnel arrived. Held was airlifted to the hospital and his condition is not known. The sheriff’s office says foul play is not suspected. The fire happened in the 67-thousand block of Valley Road in Porter Township and remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Bonine House earns international award for underground railroad research

For its exemplifying what dedicated local organizations are capable of in uncovering and portraying regional Underground Railroad history, the James E. Bonine House Underground Railroad Research Library,  18970 M-60, Vandalia, has been awarded Underground Railroad Free Press‘s 2022 Hortense Simmons Memorial Prize for the Advancement of Knowledge, the highest honor bestowed in the international Underground Railroad community.. ...Read Full Story

95% Of Benton Harbor Pipes Lead-Free

The replacement of lead service pipes in Benton Harbor could be done this month, ahead of schedule. The state and city have so far replaced 95% of the lead piping or certified the pipes to be lead-free. Bottled water and water filters remain available for free in the city. There are 200 home inspections remaining after 4,500 have been done in the last year.. ...Read Full Story

95% Of Benton Harbor Pipes Lead-Free

The replacement of lead service pipes in Benton Harbor could be done this month, ahead of schedule. The state and city have so far replaced 95% of the lead piping or certified the pipes to be lead-free. Bottled water and water filters remain available for free in the city. There are 200 home inspections remaining after 4,500 have been done in the last year.. ...Read Full Story

Post Pandemic Alcohol Abuse In Michigan Not Dropping As Much As Other States

The number of Michigan residents abusing alcohol increased sharply during the pandemic, a problem seen nationwide. However, as other states begin to see their consumption drop back to pre-pandemic levels, alcohol abuse in Michigan is still going up. Dr. Abdulhassan Saad is a board-certified addiction specialist based in Dearborn. He told Michigan News Network new laws in the state will make this problem even worse.. ...Read Full Story

Commissioners Looking At Juvenile Center Work

The Berrien County Board of Commissioners is looking at ways to make the current county juvenile detention facility last a bit longer as preparations are made to build a new one in Benton Township. Speaking at a Thursday meeting, Commissioner Jim Curran said the administration committee has spoken with architecture and engineering firm Wightman about some reliable, short-term projects that could extend the life of the old facility in Berrien Center.. ...Read Full Story

Gas Prices Back Up This Week, Expected To Go Back Down

Don’t be surprised when you pass by a gas station this week and see higher prices. The cost of gas skyrocketed overnight from Wednesday to Thursday with the average price for a gallon of regular gas in the state now at $4.33. That’s a 10 cent jump from Wednesday’s average. Gus Buddy’s Patrick DeHaan says Midwest oil refinery fires are to blame for the price hike. Meanwhile, many are also worried about this week’s announcement from OPEC that it’s slashing oil production by two million barrels a day. However, DeHaan told Michigan News Network that impact will be minimalized for Michigan drivers.. ...Read Full Story