Local News Archives

Bill Eases Restrictions On Professional Licenses

State rules that prevent people with criminal records from seeking professional licenses would be eased under legislation that passed the Michigan House this week. State Representative Brandt Iden tells WSJM News “good moral character” regulations often disqualify someone who has already paid their debt to society from getting back on their feet.. ...Read Full Story

Special Film Screening In South Haven

A motion picture that was filmed almost entirely in South Haven and released in 2017 will be shown locally at no charge on October 13th at the Listiak Auditorium. The event is sponsored by the South Haven-Van Buren County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the South Haven Center for the Arts. Scott Reinert, Executive Director of the Bureau, tells WSJM News you may see people you know in the film.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department Offering Flu Vaccine

The Berrien County Health Department is advising everyone to get their flu shot before October ends. Spokesperson Gillian Conrad tells WSJM News the shot and the nasal spray are widely available, including at the health department. They’re going to hold Flu Shot Fridays every Friday starting next week and through December.. ...Read Full Story

FBI: Benton Harbor Is State’s Most Violent City Per Capita

Two Berrien County communities are on a list no one wants to be on. Benton Harbor is ranked as the state’s most violent city for 2017 based on FBI data, with Benton Township ranked 10th. In between them are Detroit, Flint, Muskegon Heights, Highland Park, Saginaw, Ecorse, Inkster, and Albion. The violent crime rate in Benton Harbor is 22 crimes per 1,000 residents, ahead of Detroit’s rate of 20. The city had three murders, 23 rapes, 36 robberies and 156 cases of aggravated assault last year, with a population of 9,899 people. The violent crime rate in Benton Township was 12.5 per 1,000 people, and South Haven came in 20th with 9.4 violent crimes per thousand residents. The overall numbers are much higher in Detroit with nearly 14,000 violent crimes reported, but the city also is home to almost 671,000 people. Motown was also passed by St. Louis, Missouri for the highest murder rate in the country in 2017.. ...Read Full Story

Rep. LaSata To Hold Opioid Town Hall

State Representative Kim LaSata is planning to hold a town hall forum later this month on opioids. She will convene the meeting at Kinexus in Benton Harbor and be joined by members of the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, the Health Department, Riverwood Center, Community Healing Center, Congressman Fred Upton, and Senator John Proos. LaSata says opioid addiction and overdose deaths have touched every community in the state, and says the more awareness and education that can be spread, the better. The event will be Thursday, October 25 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. with lectures from professionals and lawmakers on opioid abuse services and legislative reforms followed by the chance to talk one-on-one with health professionals. A prescription drug collection kiosk will also be provided by the sheriff’s department ahead of the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 27. No registration is necessary for the event.. ...Read Full Story

Conservation Experts: Don’t Transport Firewood

Hunting season is here, and the Van Buren County Conservation District is reminding both hunters and campers what they can do to help reduce the spread of invasive species. It says you should never move firewood, and instead just burn wood within five or ten miles of where you bought it. The district warns problems like oak wilt move around the state thanks to firewood being transported by humans. Invasive species expert Eleanor Serocki says by leaving the wood at home and picking it up at your destination, you can stop the invaders from spreading even farther. Anyone looking for more information should call the Van Buren Conservation District.. ...Read Full Story

Online Voter Registration Bills Nearing Final Approval

From the Associated Press — Michigan residents could register to vote online under bills nearing Governor Rick Snyder’s desk.
The state House approved the legislation unanimously Wednesday. The measures previously passed the Senate and are expected to receive final procedural votes later this month. Under the proposed laws, Michigan would develop an interface so voter registration applications could be submitted on the secretary of state’s website. The system would be off limits to people without a valid driver’s license or state identification card or those who submit a change of address within the previous 10 days.
People wishing to register to vote now must complete a form by hand and mail or deliver it to their local clerk. About 95 percent of Michigan’s voting-age population is registered to vote.. ...Read Full Story

Autopsy On Infant Inconclusive

Additional testing will be done on a two-month old infant found dead in Coloma Township this week after an autopsy performed on Wednesday was inconclusive. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us the case remains under investigation, and a man arrested for abuse and neglect at the scene where the infant was found has been released pending further information. Officers were called out to a home in the 5,100 block of Little Paw Paw Lake Road shortly before 10 a.m. on Monday on a report of a medical issue with a child. When they arrived, they found the two-month-old and called in detectives. The infant was taken to Watervliet Hospital and later transferred to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo where it passed away Tuesday. The sheriff’s department says the prosecutor’s office has not yet authorized charges in the case, and information gathered from more medical tests will be handed over to the prosecutor.. ...Read Full Story

State Unclaimed Property Website

A new website has been launched by the Michigan Department of Treasury for residents to search for unclaimed property. Treasury’s Terry Stanton tells us the department receives unclaimed properties like dormant bank accounts, life insurance policies, stocks and bonds, and even safe deposit box contents. The state has held on to as much as $1 billion in unclaimed property over the years, and the new website makes finding those things easier.. ...Read Full Story

Police Investigate Death Of Infant

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of an infant in Coloma Township. It tells us officers were sent to a home in the 5,100 block of Little Paw Paw Lake Road shortly before 10 a.m. on Monday on a medical call involving a two month old child. When they arrived, the officers called in detectives after finding the situation suspicious. The infant was taken to Watervliet Hospital by Pride Care Ambulance and later transferred to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo where it passed away around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. An autopsy was scheduled was to be performed Wednesday at Western Michigan University School of Medicine. The sheriff’s department says the incident is still under investigation, and no further details are being released at this time.. ...Read Full Story

Enbridge To Replace Straits Of Mackinac Pipelines With Tunnel

A tunnel will be built in the bedrock under the Straits of Mackinac to house a new pipeline to replace Enbridge Energy’s 65-year-old Line 5 pipelines. Governor Snyder’s office announced the agreement with the Canadian firm, saying Enbridge will pay the entire cost of the project. It’s expected to take between seven and 10 years and will cost as much as $500 million. Environmentalists and elected officials have been calling for the pipelines to be shut down for years, warning of dire consequences to the Great Lakes if they were to leak. Line 5 carries crude oil and natural gas from western Canada to refineries in Sarnia, Ontario. Congressman Fred Upton, Attorney General Bill Schuette, and Upper Peninsula Congressman Jack Bergman are among the elected officials hailing the agreement. Supporters say the deal protects the lakes and ensures reliable energy. But it’s sure to draw criticism from groups that oppose any oil shipments in the straits area.. ...Read Full Story

State Pushes Fire Prevention Month

With the weather turning colder and furnaces firing up, this is Fire Prevention Month in Michigan. State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer tells WSJM News there have been 91 fire deaths in the state this year, many because people don’t physically test their smoke detectors each month.. ...Read Full Story

House Approves Opioids Plan

Congressman Fred Upton is hailing last week’s passage of legislation designed to help in the fight against opioid addiction. He tells WSJM News the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act goes back about a year, and is a combination of a couple of different Senate and House opioid bills.. ...Read Full Story

Advocates Concerned About Effects Of Medicaid Work Requirement

The percentage of uninsured adults in rural Michigan dropped by 22 points since the state expanded Medicaid, according to a recent study by Georgetown University and the University of North Carolina. The state Legislature passed a bill this summer to require people on Healthy Michigan to work 80 hours a month, nine months a year, in order to maintain coverage. But Emily Schwarzkopf, a policy analyst with the Michigan League for Public Policy, calls that a “one step forward, two steps back” approach and predicts people will fall off the insurance rolls.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Buying State Property

The old Michigan State Police Post in South Haven is owned by the city and they lease out the building. The property around the building, however, is still owned by the state and they want the city to buy it. City Manager Brian Dissette spoke with WSJM News about the deal.. ...Read Full Story

House Candidate Arrested At Wage Protest

From the Associated Press — A U.S. House candidate is among 18 people arrested for disorderly conduct during a protest in Detroit for a higher minimum wage and the right to form unions. Democrat Rashida Tlaib was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon for blocking a traffic lane. She faces candidates from the Green and Working Class parties for the 13th District House seat. The protest was organized by Fight for $15, a national movement seeking to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour for fast food, child care, airlines and other workers. The group also wants the right to start unions or join existing ones. Several hundred people marched before protesting in front of a Midtown McDonalds. Deputy Police Chief Elvin Barren said those arrested would be ticketed and released later Tuesday.. ...Read Full Story

Group: $134 Million In Marijuana Taxes If Measure Passes

From the Associated Press — Organizers of a Michigan ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for recreational use say it would generate up to $134 million a year in taxes for state and local governments. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol released the projection Monday in an economic study it commissioned. The report estimates combined revenue from a 10 percent excise tax on retail sales and the 6 percent sales tax at $520 million in the first five years of implementation, including $134 million in 2023. Proposal 1 spokesman Josh Hovey says the taxes would help underfunded roads, schools and local governments. A group opposing the measure, Healthy and Productive Michigan, says the study does not factor in costs for state regulatory oversight and higher auto insurance rates due to more instances of drugged driving.. ...Read Full Story

State Police Recruit Academy Underway

128 prospective Michigan State Police troopers are now taking part in a training academy in Lansing. MSP Captain Monica Yesh tells WSJM News the recruits go through 26 weeks of all-day study that covers topics including traffic stops, defense, firearm use, criminal law, and ethics. The academy is underway as Michigan State Police look to bolster their ranks with many looming retirements.. ...Read Full Story

Anti-Overdose Training Coming Up

An opioid overdose prevention training event is set for this month in Benton Harbor. This time organized between the Berrien County Suicide Prevention Coalition and the Voice Change Hope Alliance, it will be offered in the afternoon so more people can attend. The Suicide Prevention Coalition’s Trent Watford tells WSJM News opioid overdoses and suicide are often related.. ...Read Full Story

Lakeland Now A Division Of Spectrum

Lakeland Health is now officially a division of Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health. The board for each entity has signed the deal and finalized it. Spectrum Health Lakeland President Loren Hamel tells WSJM News Lakeland’s 4,000 employees have now been added to Spectrum’s 26,000 employees.. ...Read Full Story

Man Killed In Motorcycle Crash

A Dowagiac man is dead following a motorcycle crash in Cass County on Monday. The sheriff’s department tells us it happened just before 3 p.m. near the intersection of M-51 south and Pokagon Street in Pokagon Township. The preliminary investigation shows the Dowagiac Police Department had tried to pull over a motorcycle in the area of North Paul and Spruce Street when the motorcycle took off. Dowagiac police did not try to chase it. Cass County dispatch then got calls about the crash at M-51 near Pokagon Street. Witnesses told them the motorcycle had been going fast and increased its speed going around the curve. The driver lost control and crashed into some trees. He has been identified as 32-year-old Ryan Glen Grady. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Cass County Sheriff’s Department says the crash remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

State Names 211 Schools HeartSafe

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has awarded 211 schools with the MI HeartSafe School designation for the current year. Spokesperson Lynn Sutfin tells WSJM News the HeartSafe program was created five years ago to reduce cardiac deaths in schools.. ...Read Full Story

Haight Disappointed By LaSata Decision To Not Debate

We reported in September that there will not be any debates in the state House and Senate races in Berrien County this fall, as the Republican candidates have decided against the traditional events held by the League of Women Voters. Ian Haight is running for the 21st District Senate seat against Republican state Representative Kim LaSata.. ...Read Full Story

Driver Responsibility Fees Gone

Expect longer waits at the Secretary of State branch offices in Benton Harbor, Niles, and Dowagiac over the next few days. That’s because the unpopular driver responsibility fees are now off the books, and people who have had their driver’s licenses suspended for them can now get those reinstated without having to pay the standard $125 fee. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says if there are other issues, however, those still need to be taken care of. An estimated 300,000 Michigan residents were eligible to get their licenses reinstated with the elimination of the fees, which had been in place since 2003. They were enacted to help address a budget shortfall, but that backfired because many who were charged the fees were the least able to actually pay them. The combined fees that were still owed and are being wiped off the books was $637 million as of August 2017.. ...Read Full Story

Land Donation For American Legion

A donation of land for a new storage space has been made to the Three Oaks American Legion by Horizon Bank. The bank tells us it owned about one acre of excess property in Three Oaks for some time, and when the American Legion told them it could make good use of the parcel, the donation was arranged. The property has two outbuildings, which the American Legion post will use for storage. The post also says the property gives it more space to hold events. Horizon Bank says the land donation is one way the bank could be supportive of the community.. ...Read Full Story

High Support For Asian Carp Barrier

An overwhelming number of residents of Great Lakes state support immediate action to build structural protections to keep Asian carp out of the lakes. The survey commissioned by the Great Lakes Partnership to Block Asian Carp asked people in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin about their understanding of the threat posed by the fish. Over 90% believe it’s important to immediately take steps to block the Great Lakes from the carp, and over 70% support a “fair share” funding proposal, and over 80% support having Michigan pay the share of any state that can’t pay its own portion to block Asian carp. Governor Snyder says in a statement the poll results “clearly demonstrate that Great Lakes residents understand that the time to act on Asian carp is now.”. ...Read Full Story

Portage Boy Dies After Sand Dune Accident At Van Buren State Park

The death of a 12-year-old at the Boy Scout Camp at Van Buren State Park is under investigation. South Haven police say Gage Wilson of Portage was digging into a sand dune with two other scouts when he crawled in the hole and it collapsed. Wilson was pulled from the sand by scout leaders, who performed CPR while waiting for police and a volunteer from South Haven Area Emergency Services, who took over the efforts and were able to restore a pulse. Wilson was airlifted to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo, where he was pronounced dead. Autopsy results are pending.. ...Read Full Story

Secretary Of State Talking End Of Fees

The state’s unpopular driver responsibility fees are being wiped off the books soon. Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says in a YouTube video those who have had their license suspended for not paying driver responsibility fees can get that taken care of for free next month.. ...Read Full Story

Busy Deer Season Expected

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is expecting the deer hunting season this year to be a strong one. DNR deer biologist Ashley Autenrieth tells WSJM News the 2018 forecast notes a robust herd this year due to favorable weather.. ...Read Full Story

Wide Range Of Life Expectancies In Berrien

Life expectancy and health is tied directly to race and your Zip code. In Berrien County and across America racism literally kills. Dr. David Ansell, Vice President Of Community Health at Rush University Medical Center, spoke on this shocking reality this past week at Lake Michigan College’s Hanson Theater.. ...Read Full Story

Treasurers Work Together To Fight Fraud

A partnership that allows the Berrien County Treasurer’s Office help its counterparts in Van Buren County catch fraudulent homestead claims will continue for another three years. Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells WSJM News his office lends its staff to the Van Buren County Treasurer’s Office to investigate incidents of property owners claiming a vacation or rental property as their home to get out of taxes. There are a few ways to catch them.. ...Read Full Story

State Senate Candidate Forums Coming Up

Two candidate forums featuring the Republican and Democratic candidates for the Michigan Senate in the 21st District are set for next month. State Representative Kim LaSata has announced she’ll be at a Berrien RESA Candidate Forum on Monday, October 8. That event will be at 8 a.m. at the Administrative Center at Berrien RESA in Berrien Springs. The other event will be the Niles New Tech Candidate Forum on Friday, October 26. That’ll be at 5 p.m. at the Niles Library. Democrat Ian Haight, LaSata’s opponent, tells us he will also be at both events, although he would prefer traditional debates. Haight tells us the formats of the forums won’t allow for very detailed answers. Haight and LaSata are running to replace state Senator John Proos, who can’t run again due to term limits.. ...Read Full Story

Big Emergency Drill Coming Up

Coming up next month will be a nationwide test of emergency alert systems, and officials in Berrien County want the public to let them know how it goes. Set for Wednesday, October 3 at 2:20 p.m., the Federal Emergency Management Agency in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission will conduct the nationwide test of the IPAWS system. It sends out alerts to smart phones automatically, and users don’t have to sign up it. To get those wireless emergency alerts, though, you may need to look at the system settings in your phone. Berrien County Emergency Management tells us the county also has an opt-in service called B-WARN that people can sign up for. B-WARN allows the Emergency Management Office to send out text messages, phone calls, and emergency emails to residents. The county will put up a survey on its website following the October 3 national test to find out how many people were contacted. You can find it right here.. ...Read Full Story

Traffic Changes Likely For Napier

The public has had a chance to offer input on plans to repave part of Napier Avenue in St. Joseph and Benton townships starting next year. At a forum this week, the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission talked about the possibility of adding sidewalks or bike paths along the road from the St. Joseph River to I-94. Berrien County Road Department Director Jason Latham tells WSJM News that could mean traffic changes.. ...Read Full Story

Report Recommends Support For Young Parents

A new report looks at the outcomes of kids who are born to young parents. Researchers from the Annie E. Casey Foundation found 9% of all 18 to 24-year-olds in Michigan — or about 85,000 people — have young children, and those families have about 100,000 kids between them. Alicia Guevara-Warren, Kids Count project director with the Michigan League for Public Policy, tells us one good idea would be to expand access to higher education and training.. ...Read Full Story

State Recognizes Rail Safety Week

This past week was Rail Safety Week in Michigan when everyone was reminded to follow the rules of railroad tracks. Sam Crowl with Michigan Operation Lifesaver tells WSJM News they held events all week following a proclamation by the governor. Crowl says everyone should know what to do if they get stuck on a crossing. Look for the Emergency Notification System sign.. ...Read Full Story

Local Schools To Address Literacy

Officials at Benton Harbor Area Schools are planning a new push to promote literacy. Communications Director Amy Nichols tells WSJM News “We Welcome Literacy” is a community event set for October 8 at the high school. On hand will be Dr. Patricia Edwards and Dr. Susan Piazza, experts on literacy education who will talk with parents about engaging the children in reading and learning.. ...Read Full Story

Lampricide Application Next Week In Van Buren County

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be applying lampricides to the Campbell Creek system in Van Buren County starting on Tuesday. Administrator Scott Grunder tells WSJM News the goal is to fight the invasive sea lamprey, an effort that has been underway for about 60 years. The service applied lampricide to the Paw Paw River in Van Buren County last year, and Grunder says next week’s operation is related. He tells us the sea lamprey are a threat to Great Lakes fish.. ...Read Full Story

Niles Community Schools Building Improvements

A series of celebrations is underway at Niles Community Schools as the district completes several renovation projects at its buildings. Work has been done at Niles High School, Eastside Connections, Ballard Elementary School, and Niles Cedar Lane. Thursday brought a re-dedication of Eastside Connections, and Friday brought a re-dedication at Ballard Elementary School. Next week, they’ll celebrate at Niles High School and then Niles Cedar Lane the following week. The school district tells us thanks to the work, Niles High School now has a renovated science wing, equipped with updated lab stations, safety stations, flooring, windows, and furniture. Meanwhile, At Eastside Connections, there are new ceilings, lighting, heating systems, and a boiler system. Ballard Elementary School has received new ceilings, flooring, student desks, chairs, whiteboards, and new lighting. Finally, Oak Manor, now renamed Niles Cedar Lane after the program that will be housed there, has received security upgrades and a kitchen. Niles Community Schools Superintendent Dan Applegate says the renovations will serve the district for years to come.. ...Read Full Story

New Discipline, Security Measures At Benton Harbor High School

New disciplinary and security measures are being put in place at Benton Harbor High School. District CEO Robert Herrera announced Friday it has “become apparent that a minority of students at Benton Harbor High School are not committed to the educational process, and their behavior has resulted in a significant disruption to the learning environment.” Herrera goes on to write a new Student Code of Conduct will go into effect Monday with consequences for non-compliance. He says students will learn more during first hour on Monday. Herrera tells us students are going to be held accountable for their actions, and he asks parents to “emphasize the serious consequences that will result from disruptive behavior.” Finally, Herrera says students who are disruptive to learning “will be removed from the learning environment, pending the outcome of a due process hearing.” Friday’s announcement comes hours after the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety and the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department responded to a fight at the high school.. ...Read Full Story

Andrews University Names Wellness Center

Andrews University has formally named its wellness center in honor of a former president. The university in Berrien Springs tells us it’s to be called the Andreasen Center for Wellness in recognition of Niels-Erik Andreasen, president emeritus of Andrews. Andreasen served 22 years, from 1994 to 2016, as the fifth president of Andrews University. The university tells us his time there saw a variety of improvements to the campus, including the Seminary Hall addition, the Howard Performing Arts Center, the J.N. Andrews Boulevard and Welcome Globe, and more. The $17.5 million, 70,000-square-foot Andreasen Center for Wellness is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019. It’ll have an indoor salt-water pool, a hot whirlpool, saunas, a steam bath, an outdoor wellness courtyard, a recreation center with basketball and multipurpose courts, a fitness center, and space for educational wellness programs. You can find out more about the center right here.. ...Read Full Story

ND Prices Garth Brooks Concert Parking From $20 to $60

The University of Notre Dame will be making a lot of money in parking revenue on October 20 when Garth Brooks performs at Notre Dame Stadium. Parking lots will open at 10 a.m. for the 7 p.m. show, and the university has released information on how much it will cost concertgoers on top of what they paid for their tickets. The Joyce/Stadium lot will be the most expensive at $60, while parking in the Library Lot and Innovation Park will set you back $40. Those parking passes can be purchased now. Three other lots will be available the day of the show without pre-paying to park. Those are the Burke Golf Course for $40, and parking at White Field and Bulla ADA is priced at $20 per vehicle. The gates of the stadium will open two hours before the show, and there will be alcohol served at concession stands.. ...Read Full Story

Wife Of Double Murder Suspect Pleads Guilty To Fraud

There’s a guilty plea connected to accused Benton Harbor double murderer Antwan Mims, but not in his case. His wife, Yalonda Mims, has entered a guilty plea to a charge of recording a fraudulent quit claim deed with the intent to defraud. She tried to sign his house over to herself while he was on the run from police and the FBI in June. Mims is still awaiting trial on charges of killing two men in front of more than 100 witnesses at a house party in Benton Harbor in March. He was placed on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List this summer and was caught July 31 in suburban Atlanta. Yalonda Mims will be sentenced in late October.. ...Read Full Story

Departments Team Up For Trail Project

The more than 10 mile trail being planned for Red Arrow Highway in Berrien County is a unique arrangement for the area. Instead of just being a Berrien County Parks Department effort, it’s a joint effort with the Berrien County Road Department. Road Department Director Jason Latham tells WSJM News the recent county takeover of the former road commission led to the two entities collaborating. The trail under discussion would go from Bridgman to New Buffalo. Latham says to keep the trail separate from the road, the road may need to be narrowed.. ...Read Full Story

Hundreds Busted In Drunk Driving Crackdown

Police say an end-of-summer crackdown on drunk driving across Michigan led to hundreds of arrests and citations. Michigan State Police announced Thursday the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown that started August 17 and ran through the Labor Day holiday weekend led to the arrest of 274 suspected drunk drivers. Kari Arend with the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning spoke with the Michigan News Network about the crackdown.. ...Read Full Story

Al-Van Humane Society Anniversary

The Al-Van Humane Society in South Haven is a non-profit animal welfare organization dedicated to providing emergency food and shelter for homeless pets. Providing public education is an important part of Al-Van’s efforts to reduce the number of homeless and unwanted pets. Celebrating 50 years of service to Van Buren and Allegan counties, Al-Van is inviting the public to the South Haven Brew Pub this Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. to share stories and pictures of shelter animals over the years and to have a beer named after them. Details of the event can be found at Al-Van.org.. ...Read Full Story

School Threat Suspect Arrested

The man wanted for calling in a phony threat about someone with a gun at Eau Claire High School earlier this month is now in the Berrien County Jail. Police arrested 32-year-old Justin Bashore of Niles during a traffic stop Wednesday night on M-140 near Napier Avenue. Bashore was in the back seat of the car. He was arrested on five outstanding warrants out of Berrien and Cass counties including a felony for false reporting of a felony. On September 7, police say he called Berrien County dispatch saying there was a teenager with a rifle in one of the school bathrooms, prompting an evacuation and a search. No gun or armed teenager were found.. ...Read Full Story

Governor Snyder: Road Lockout Is Over

More than 150 stalled road projects across Michigan will resume because road builders have agreed to end a lockout of a union of heavy equipment operators. Governor Snyder announced the end of the labor impasse Thursday. He says the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association is ending the more than three-week long lockout of Operating Engineers Local 324, which started September 4 after the union sought to negotiate new contracts with contractors individually rather than through MITA. Union members will report to work immediately, and the priority will be for projects that can be finished before the arrival of winter weather. Snyder met with both sides earlier this week and says the contractors and union will use professional mediation through the winter to help them negotiate a new contract. The state had been considering activating the National Guard to handle some of the work.. ...Read Full Story