Local News Archives

State Issuing Food Aid Early

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has announced it will issue March and April food assistance benefits early to reduce the gap between benefits payments that resulted from the partial federal government shutdown. The department tells us food assistance recipients can expect to get next month’s benefits on March 3, 4, or 5. April benefits will be issued between April 3 and 12, and May payments will be issued as normally scheduled. The department made the changes so families don’t have to go more than 45 days without food assistance. The department issued February benefits early beginning in January at the direction of the federal government due to the shutdown that was happening at the time. About 1.2 million Michiganders receive food assistance through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program administered by the state health department. You can find out more right here.. ...Read Full Story

Sports Groups Back Asian Carp Plan

From the Associated Press — Hunting and fishing groups have teamed up to support a plan for preventing Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes. They have formed the Great Lakes Conservation Coalition, which will push for funding of a strategy proposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The $778 million plan calls for installing technologies such as noisemakers and a water-flushing lock at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Joliet, Illinois, to prevent the carp from migrating upstream to Lake Michigan. Scientists say the invasive fish could out-compete native species if they become established in the lake. The Michigan United Conservation Clubs is a member of the new coalition. Director Amy Trotter says a carp invasion could harm an outdoor sports industry that pumps $11.2 billion into the state’s economy annually.. ...Read Full Story

Peters Pushes Great Lakes Legislation

New legislation from Senator Gary Peters is aimed at boosting protections for the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Fishery Research Authorization Act would give the U.S. Geological Survey the authority to support the Great Lakes Science Center with funding. Peters tells WSJM News Great Lakes research does not receive regular funding renewals.. ...Read Full Story

Mims Found Guilty On All Counts

A man charged with two murders in Benton Harbor has been found guilty on all charges. Antwan Mims of Benton Harbor was on the FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives list at one point for the shooting deaths of Cortez Miller and Michael Johnson in front of about 100 witnesses in March of last year. Police say Mims shot the two at a party and then fled to Georgia where he was eventually apprehended. Mims claimed self-defense in court, but the jury came back with guilty verdicts on charges that include two counts of first-degree murder Friday afternoon. Sentencing will be March 18, according to WNDU.. ...Read Full Story

Murder Charges In Fatal Crash

A Benton Harbor man is charged with murder in the deaths of a 6-year-old girl and 73-year-old woman in a January crash. It happened on January 12 in Hartford Township. Police say a vehicle driven by 23-year-old Jose Canedo crossed the center line on Red Arrow Highway and struck another vehicle head-on. Killed were 73-year-old Mary Ann Fender of Paw Paw and 6-year-old Skylinn Salinas of Coloma. Canedo was found to be intoxicated at the time. He was arraigned on Friday on a variety of charges that include two counts of second degree murder, drunk driving causing death with a prior conviction, and driving on a suspended license causing death. Bond has been denied. Also injured in the crash were a 1-year-old Benton Harbor boy and a 57-year-old Paw Paw woman.. ...Read Full Story

Cornerstone Business Awards Held

Cornerstone Alliance and Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce have held their annual Business Recognition Breakfast, saluting businesses around Berrien County who have made a difference. At the ceremony on Thursday, Red Rabbit Automation received the Manufacturing Large Business Award. Cornerstone says it specializes in automation integration solutions for small and medium sized manufacturers. Getting the Economic Growth Award was DeGroot out of Coloma. Cornerstone says it’s one of the largest packaged plant suppliers in the country. The Microenterprise Award went to Lazy Ballerina Winery, which produces wine in St. Joseph, and the always prestigious Pat Moody Award went to Anna Murphy, the president of United Way of Southwest Michigan. The Small Business Award went to Competetive Edge, the Excellence in Customer Service Award went to Starks Family Funeral Home, the Economic Impact Award went to Pearson Construction, the Green Business of the Year is Michigan Energy Business solutions, and Bob Rogers of Servpro was named Ambassador of the Year.. ...Read Full Story

Sensible Bond Project Coming To Five MI Courts

From the Associated Press — Five Michigan courts, from the Detroit area to the Upper Peninsula, will participate in a program to try to reduce jail costs by setting reasonable bonds for people awaiting trial. Chief Justice Bridget McCormack says no one should sit in jail just because they can’t afford to pay bail. She wants judges to set bail amounts that protect rights and public safety as well as save money for local governments. Courts in Hamtramck, Clinton Township, Mount Pleasant, Flint and Escanaba will participate in the program. Judges will set bonds based on statistical models of risk. The state Supreme Court says more than 7,500 jail inmates are awaiting trial, and many have been charged with non-violent crimes.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Opposes Snow Day Bill

Many school districts around the state have used up all 6 of their allowable snow days for the year and have gone over due to some nasty weather the past month and a half. 175 have so far requested a waiver from the Michigan Department of Education for three additional days that don’t have to be made up, and legislation is being proposed at the Capitol to forgive a total of five days. However, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey doesn’t like it, saying more school days shouldn’t be taken away from kids.. ...Read Full Story