Local News Archives

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

Vote On Spending Plan Likely

A major federal spending bill will be considered by the U.S. House this week to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month, and among its supporters is Congressman Fred Upton. He tells us the bill is a combination of 12 different appropriations bills that cover defense, health, education, and labor. President Trump announced on Twitter last week he’s not the biggest fan because of one thing that’s missing.. ...Read Full Story

West Nile Death In Allegan County

A death from the West Nile virus has been announced in Allegan County. West Nile, a mosquito-borne illness, can lead to serious neurological complications, especially in the elderly or people with diabetes or hypertension. The Allegan County Health Department’s Lisa Letts tells WSJM News you’re advised to avoid mosquitoes until the first hard frost.. ...Read Full Story

Planning Underway For Red Arrow Trail

The public has had a chance to review a possible Red Arrow Highway trail project being planned in Berrien County. At an open house on Wednesday, Berrien County Parks Director Brian Bailey told WSJM News the master plan for the linear trail from Bridgman to New Buffalo is being put together now.. ...Read Full Story

August SWM Home Sales Report

Home sales in southwest Michigan dropped a bit during August. The Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors tells us in August the number of houses sold dropped 7% from August of 2017. Also, the average and median selling prices once again increased. This time, the average leaped 21% and the median price went up 7%. The association tells us the August 2018 average and median selling prices and total dollar volume, along with the year-to-date prices and volume, set the highest records since 2006 in the year-over-year comparison. That average selling price in August was more than $238,000. Inventory of houses for sale decreased 4% from a year ago, meaning the availability of homes remains a concern. Meanwhile, the percentage of sales that were foreclosures went up in August to 6% from July’s 4%.. ...Read Full Story

Final Defendant Sentenced For Kalamazoo-Van Buren Meth Ring

A 39-year-old Kalamazoo man is headed to prison for more than 19 years for his part in a meth ring in Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties that operated from July 2016 until last December. Michael Neeley was the last of nine people to be sentenced in the federal case. Neeley’s 235-month sentence is the longest handed down to the drug dealers due to his extensive prior criminal history. Federal prosecutors say the drug traffickers got started with a meeting with a Phoenix, Arizona meth supplier in July 2016 and soon began selling crystal meth in southwest Michigan, receiving the drugs through UPS and the regular US mail. Among those previously sentenced were Noel Saldana of Hartford, the ringleader who was given 210 months in prison, and Justin Smith of Watervliet, who was sentenced to 10 years.. ...Read Full Story

Cass County Appoints New Treasurer

Cass County has a new treasurer. Hope Anderson of Cassopolis has been named by the Treasurer Appointment Committee as the successor to Linda Pruett, who died this summer. Anderson will serve through the end of Pruett’s term on December 31, 2020 and is eligible to run for the office in two years. The committee received seven applications and interviews with all candidates were done last Wednesday. Anderson is a Western Michigan University graduate and lives with her husband in Calvin Township. The committee says all seven who applied were excellent candidates, and they are encouraging the other six to continue working to seek public service.. ...Read Full Story

Report Looks At Needs Of 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

BH Schools Hosting Literacy Event

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

Woman Sentenced In Fatal Crash

From the Associated Press — A 22-year-old woman has been sentenced to 11/2 to 15 years behind bars for a crash into an icy southwestern Michigan lake that killed her boyfriend, who was a passenger in the SUV she was driving. The Herald Palladium reports Tara Smith learned her punishment Monday in Van Buren County Circuit after earlier pleading guilty to operating under the influence causing death. Twenty-two-year-old Jezreel Wallace of Bangor Township was pronounced dead at a
hospital following the December crash into School Section Lake in Bangor Township. Police have said Smith was able to escape from the vehicle and swim to land. She sought help at a nearby home. An investigation determined that the SUV overshot the end of a dead-end road, went onto the ice-covered lake and broke through the ice.. ...Read Full Story

LaSata, Haight To Appear At Candidate Forums

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. LaSata’s announcement comes following criticism from the League of Women Voters that LaSata has declined to take part in debates. 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

Treasurers Work Together To Investigate Homestead 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

Poll Finds Wide Support For Immediate Asian Carp Protections

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

Governor Snyder: No Deal In Sight To End Road Construction Lockout

There is still no solution to the now three-week-long lockout of union heavy equipment operators by the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association. Governor Snyder gave an update on the labor impasse today after his first face-to-face talks with both MITA and Operating Engineers Local 324, and says both sides are still far apart on even a short-term solution. He says he’s keeping several options open.. ...Read Full Story

Rail Safety Week

This week is Rail Safety Week in Michigan when everyone is reminded to follow the rules of railroad tracks. Sam Crowl with Michigan Operation Lifesaver tells WSJM News they’re holding 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

Man Injured When Car Hits Tree

A Dowagiac man is recovering from injuries sustained on Monday afternoon when he crashed his car into a tree in Cass County. The sheriff’s department tells us the crash happened around 2:20 on Brownville Street west of Diamond View Road in Jefferson Township. Arriving officers learned the driver, 31-year-old Matthew Bixby, was westbound on Brownville when he became drowsy and lost control of the car. It left the road and hit a dead tree. After the impact, the top of the tree broke off and landed on the roof of the car. Bixby was injured, but turned down medical treatment at the scene. Police say he was wearing a seatbelt, and alcohol was not involved. Bixby was later taken by private vehicle to a hospital. The crash remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Armed Robbery In Benton Harbor

Two suspects are in custody following the robbery of a cell phone store in Benton Harbor on Monday. The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety tells us it responded to the armed robbery at the Boost Mobile location at 957 Pipestone Street around 1 p.m. A male and female had gone into the store with the male flashing a handgun and demanding money from the register. The clerk complied, and the two suspects ran off with an undisclosed amount of cash. Thanks to store surveillance footage, police were able to identify the suspects. The 37-year-old male and 17-year-old female were in custody within a few hours. Police say they have not recovered the weapon. Benton Harbor Public Safety was assisted in the investigation by Michigan State Police.. ...Read Full Story

No One Hurt Following Brief Standoff In St. Joseph

The St. Joseph Department of Public Safety says no one is hurt following an incident involving a possible threat in the 2,800 block of Willa Drive Monday evening. It tells us officers were called to the area about 5 p.m. on a report of a suicidal resident making threats. The area was blocked off while the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department and St. Joseph Public Safety approached the home. As officers tried to open the door, the person inside unlocked it and spoke with them. The situation then ended peacefully with the suicidal person transported to Lakeland Hospital for evaluation.. ...Read Full Story

Great Lakes Conference Explores Adapting To Warmer Climate

From the Associated Press — A conference at the University of Michigan is bringing together experts to share ideas on dealing with a warming climate in the Great Lakes region. The biennial Great Lakes Adaptation Forum runs from Monday through Wednesday at the campus in Ann Arbor. Discussions will focus on four broad themes. They include cooperation between U.S., Canadian and indigenous peoples; getting funding for climate adaptation initiatives; developing leadership in schools, businesses and government; and the latest innovative tools such as building design and smart sensor technology. Among speakers will be dean Jonathan Overpeck of the university’s School for Environment and Sustainability and Dan Wildcat, professor at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas, and author of a book on how indigenous knowledge can help save the planet.. ...Read Full Story

Open House Looks At Napier Pedestrian Plans

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 Monday forum, 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

Strong 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

Prosecution Of Nassar Becomes Campaign Issue

The prosecution of disgraced former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar is now an issue in the gubernatorial campaign. Attorney General and Republican nominee Bill Schuette brought charges against Nassar for sexually abusing hundreds of patients over two decades, and says Democratic nominee Gretchen Whitmer should have charged him while she was the interim Ingham County prosecutor.. ...Read Full Story

Gas Prices Go Over $3 After Initially Dropping Compared To Week Ago

We started off the week paying a little less for gas, but it didn’t last long. Prices shot up around noon to as high as $3.09 in the Benton Harbor and St. Joseph area after Triple-A Michigan had noted area prices had fallen about 6¢ from last week to $2.85. The statewide average as of Monday morning was down a nickel from a week ago at $2.88. Some stations in the Twin Cities were as low as $2.75 Monday morning, with gas down to $2.74 in South Haven according to GasBuddy. Analyst Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy says higher prices could be in the cards for the fall due to global markets. He says oil prices jumped late last week as OPEC nations shrugged off President Trump’s call for them to do something to reign in high prices. Additionally, Iran’s oil is not being allowed on the market, and DeHaan says that might result in the typical autumn price slump not happening this year.. ...Read Full Story

Two Van Buren County Residents Under Investigation For Marijuana Grow-Op

Two Keeler Township-area residents are under investigation for drugs. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department seized five marijuana plants from a property in the area of 2nd Street and Territorial Road West on Saturday after the plants could be seen from the road growing higher than the fence. A 40-year-old man admitted to growing the drugs and was cooperative when questioned. A 35-year-old woman is also under investigation, but neither was arrested. The case is being turned over to the Van Buren County Prosecutor’s Office for possible charges. Deputies say the plants were between seven and nine-and-a-half feet tall with a street value of up to $5,000.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Pushes PFAS Bill

Some PFAS-related legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House by Congressman Fred Upton and three Michigan colleagues. Upton tells WSJM News the Federal Facility Accountability Act urges federal agencies to help states deal with PFAS contamination when it’s found in certain areas.. ...Read Full Story

Details On New Hospital

Coming soon to South Haven will be a new hospital and medical complex. Bronson Healthcare South Haven COO Kirk Richardson tells WSJM News the health system is planning a $22 million investment to replace its old medical facility on South Bailey Avenue. That place was first built in the 1940s, and Richardson says the new Bronson complex will be state of the art in way that benefits patients.. ...Read Full Story

Slow Land Auction

The fall Berrien County Land Auction netted about $40,000 for the foreclosure fund this week. Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells WSJM News Tuesday’s auction had lower attendance than usual.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Speaker Series This Week

With all the talk about Russian election meddling, the South Haven Speakers Series has an upcoming guest speaker who has been posted in Moscow and worked for the White House in the past. His name is Jack Segal and he will be speaking at the South Haven Campus of Lake Michigan College on September 27. WSJM News spoke with the Speakers Series Mark Odland to find out more about Jack Segal.. ...Read Full Story

Big Trail Project Coming

There will be an open house and meeting next week for Berrien County residents to learn more about plans to create a trail along Red Arrow Highway in southern Berrien County. Berrien County Parks Director Brian Bailey tells WSJM News the Linear County Park is a plan made possible due to cooperation between Berrien County Parks Department and the Berrien County Road Department as well as Lake, Chikaming, and New Buffalo townships. It would go from Bridgman to Galien River County Park. ...Read Full Story

Upcoming Napier Avenue Meeting

The Southwest Michigan Planning Commission is close to wrapping up its report on pedestrian options for Napier Avenue in St. Joseph and Benton Townships, and a meeting will be held this month for the public to offer more input. Associate planner Ryan Fellows tells WSJM News the question is whether sidewalks can be put in along Napier when the Berrien County Road Department starts repaving the road from the St. Joe River to I-94 next year. The planning commission is making recommendations.. ...Read Full Story

Highway Cleanups Underway

The final Adopt a Highway cleanup of the year will be this week. The Michigan Department of Transportation’s Dan Weingarten told WSJM News this summer Adopt a Highway is a program that allows groups of volunteers to claim a stretch of state road for themselves and then be responsible for picking up trash along it. More than 2,800 groups of all kinds make a big difference.. ...Read Full Story

Stabenow Talks Farm Bill

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are continuing to try to reach an agreement on a new five-year Farm Bill. U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan is the Ranking Member of the Agriculture Committee and co-wrote the Senate version with Kansas Republican and chairman Pat Roberts.. ...Read Full Story

Prosecutors Opposing Marijuana Proposal

There is a coordinated effort by law enforcement statewide to get out the “no” vote regarding the ballot proposal to legalize recreational marijuana. Berrien County Prosecutor Mike Sepic says he’s opposed to allowing “another mind-altering drug” to possibly get into the hands of children.. ...Read Full Story

Neurological Illness In Allegan County

A case of Eastern equine encephalitis has been found in Allegan County. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Lynn Sutfin tells WSJM News the disease is fairly rare with the last Michigan cases found in 2016. However, it has a roughly 33% fatality rate. The disease is spread by mosquitoes.. ...Read Full Story

State Police Women Recruitment Seminar

A women’s recruitment seminar is planned by Michigan State Police for next month in southeast Michigan. Michigan State Police Captain Monica Yesh tells WSJM News only about 10% of the force is women, and they’ve been improving on that the last few years. Women staff from the MSP will address the seminar to talk about what they do and the opportunities available. They range from road patrol to computer work to undercover investigations. Yesh has been with the state police for about 30 years.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joe Looking At Deer Issue

The city of St. Joseph does not currently have a plan to manage deer in the city limits, but it’s clear after a lengthy portion of Monday’s city commission meeting that people feel it’s necessary. The commission heard from Michigan Department of Natural Resources deer specialist Chad Stewart about the options some communities are undertaking to handle the problem, from using snipers in Ann Arbor to trying sterilization or other non-lethal methods. He had this response to a question from Commissioner Jeff Richards about how the city should start.. ...Read Full Story

Health Insurance Availability Saves Communities

Poverty and lack of health insurance is bad for your health – and bad for public health.  The Berrien County Health Department’s Gillian Conrad says poverty and a range of other socio-economic factors impact public health in a big way.  She says health isn’t just something delivered by hospitals and doctors.. ...Read Full Story

Dems Want Debates

Are there any debates lined up between now and the November election in the 21st District Senate race or the two state House races in Berrien County? That depends on who you ask and your definition of a debate. Berrien County Democratic Party chairman Dr. Eric Lester says there are none, and noted Republican 79th District candidate Pauline Wendzel this week pulled out of a debate with Democrat Joey Andrews before the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties.. ...Read Full Story

Andrews University Holds Change Day

Andrews University is marking another busy Change Day. Held for the second time ever on Thursday, September 13, Change Day 2018 was a chance for faculty, staff, and students to head out across Berrien and Cass counties to make a difference by working on community projects. This time around, about 1,400 people took part at 70 sites in seven neighborhoods. The volunteers spent the day at sites including the YMCA in Niles, the Curious Kids Museum, Habitat for Humanity, the Eau Claire District Library, Shamrock Park, and the Benton Harbor Public Library. Andrews University Diversity and Inclusion Vice President Michael Nixon says he led a team that worked on the Coloma-St. Joseph KOA Campground sites, telling us it was rewarding to see the difference the volunteers made to the grounds. Andrews University classes were canceled for the day to give the campus community an opportunity to join in service. Andrews started Change Day in 2017.. ...Read Full Story

Charges In Bicycle Fatality

A Niles woman is facing charges of operating while intoxicated causing death and failure to stop at a personal injury accident causing death in a crash that killed a Berrien Springs man this month. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us 32-year-old Todd Harrington of Berrien Springs was on his bicycle on Pokagon Road the afternoon of September 15 when he was hit by the woman’s SUV. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman allegedly failed to stop at the scene and was later arrested at her home thanks to a witness who provided the license plate number to police. 23-year-old Kyriea Jade Demorrow was taken to the Berrien County Jail and posted bond. The charges in the case were authorized this week by the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office following a review.. ...Read Full Story

Bank Donates Land To Three Oaks 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

National Emergency Alert Test Next Month

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

BBB On New Credit Freeze Law

The Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan is reminding consumers of a new law that could help them protect themselves from identity theft. It says the three nationwide credit reporting agencies in the U.S. — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — will be required by a new law to let people freeze or thaw their credit report for free. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act went into effect on Friday. Previously, credit freezes were governed by state laws, and could be cumbersome to enact or end. The BBB says, now, freezing and unfreezing your credit will be easier and free. A security freeze prevents the credit reporting agency from releasing someone’s credit report. If you have a freeze in place, you’re given a PIN or password that you have to use in order to unfreeze the report. The new law also allows any parent to freeze their child’s credit. Anyone with questions can call the Better Business Bureau.. ...Read Full Story

Backers Of Marijuana Proposal Strike Back

The group backing the initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan is disputing most of the claims made by law enforcement officials this week that passage of the measure in November would be bad for the state. John Truscott is the spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. He told Michigan News Network for every claim made by police and prosecutors this week, they can refute it with statistics.. ...Read Full Story

National Guard Could End Road Project Stoppage

Governor Rick Snyder is considering activating the National Guard to finish road projects now that talks between his office and the two sides have collapsed. Operating Engineers Local 324’s Dan McKernan told Michigan News Network there was an agreement reached in separate talks with Snyder’s office between the union and the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, but MITA had a new list of demands after a handshake deal was reached.. ...Read Full Story

One Killed In Head-On M-51 Crash

A head-on crash on M-51 in Dowagiac has claimed the life of a 35-year-old Decatur man. The Cass County Sheriff’s Department was called to the 54-thousand block of M-51 North around quarter-to-two Friday morning, finding a Dodge van and a Mitsubishi car with heavy front end damage to both. The driver of the Mitsubishi, Cody Jenkins, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the van, 42-year-old Marie Daisy of Hartford, was airlifted to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo, and her condition and extent of her injuries have not been released. Deputies have not said which driver crossed over to the other side of the road, but do say alcohol and drugs may have been involved. Daisy was wearing her seat belt, but Jenkins was not buckled in. The crash is still being investigated.. ...Read Full Story

Deputies Receive Life Saving Awards

Some deputies with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department have received Life Saving Awards for their work in the community over the past year. At this week’s Berrien County Board of Commissioners meeting, Undersheriff Chuck Heit saluted Deputy Paul Grenon for his work to help end a standoff in St. Joseph this summer. He also thanked Keith Matthews, Christopher Behrle, and James Kring, who helped Deputy Brandon Crosby arrest someone who was resisting late last year.. ...Read Full Story

Community Mental Health Centers Get Boost

From the Associated Press — Four Michigan community mental health centers have been selected as Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics and are getting a boost in funding. U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan on Thursday announced the designation for Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; Easter Seals Michigan in Auburn Hills; West Michigan Community Mental Health System in Ludington and HealthWest in Muskegon. Stabenow says each clinic will get $4 million in funding over the next two years to provide comprehensive behavioral health and addiction treatment services. The mental health centers are among more than two dozen selected nationwide. The aim is to provide around-the-clock crisis services; outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment services; screenings, risk assessments and diagnoses. They’ll partner with hospitals law enforcement and others.. ...Read Full Story

Transit Study To Be Unveiled

A Berrien County transit study years in the making is soon to be unveiled to the public. Berrien County Commissioner Jim Curran said at this week’s board of commissioners meeting Connect Berrien was put together by transportation consulting firm Nelson Nygaard. Curran was a member of the steering committee. He told WSJM News the goal of the study is to better serve all of Berrien County.. ...Read Full Story

Special Event At Maritime Museum

This Saturday is the Smithsonian Magazine’s 14th annual Museum Day, and the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven is joining in by accepting free tickets you can download from their website, good only this Saturday. The museum’s Ashley Deming spoke with WSJM News about plans for the weekend.. ...Read Full Story

Dozens Of Colleges, Universities At LMC Monday For College Night

High school seniors and their parents are being invited to the annual College Night on the campus of Lake Michigan College on Monday to learn more about dozens of colleges and universities throughout the Midwest. Adults who are going back to school are also being welcomed to meet with representatives from higher education institutions from across Michigan and Indiana. Jeremy Schaeffer is LMC’s director of admissions and recruitment and tells us there will be more than just school reps on hand.. ...Read Full Story

New Register Of Deeds Appointed For Berrien County

Berrien County will again have someone serving as Register of Deeds next month. Lora Freehling of Stevensville has been appointed by a three-member committee of Prosecutor Michael Sepic, Clerk Sharon Tyler and Presiding Probate Judge Mabel Mayfield. She was selected from a field of 23 applicants, which was narrowed to four finalists who were interviewed on Monday. Freehling will take office on October 15 and serve the remainder of the term through 2020 of the late Lori Jarvis, who was killed in a car crash earlier this year. She will be eligible to run for election in 2020. The other three finalists were Stephanie Bean of St. Joseph, Lee Lull of Sawyer, and Rhonda Rockhill of Benton Harbor.. ...Read Full Story

Bicyclist Killed In Cass County

A crash between a vehicle and a bicycle has killed a 50-year-old woman near Edwardsburg in Cass County. According to our partners at WNDU NewsCenter 16, the woman was biking westbound on US-12 near Garver Lake Road when she was hit and killed this morning. The driver who hit her is cooperating with police and stayed on the scene. Police say the victim wasn’t wearing a helmet or any reflective gear.. ...Read Full Story

Recycling Event His Weekend

The Berrien County Parks Department is holding a free household chemical and electronics recycling event this Saturday at Silver Beach. Environmental Property Manager Jill Adams tells WSJM News anyone will be able to drop off items including unwanted garden chemicals, used oil, old gasoline, unused medication, needles, spent batteries, spray cans, oil-based paint, and electronics free of charge. She says having these items recycled keeps them out of the environment.. ...Read Full Story

Niles Area Business Break-In Thwarted

A business break-in in Niles was thwarted by police overnight Wednesday. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us deputies on patrol in the area of the 3,000 block of South 11th Street heard loud banging noises coming from Hackers Golf and Games shortly before 1 a.m. When they went to check it out, they saw four people running from the scene. The deputies noticed the backdoor of the building appeared to have been kicked several times, and they were able to catch up with two of the fleeing suspects. One of them had a bandanna, gloves, and suspected marijuana on him. The two suspects were arrested and taken to the Berrien County Jail on charges of attempted breaking and entering. They’ve been identified as a 17-year-old and 24-old year-old from Benton Harbor.. ...Read Full Story