Local News Archives

Increase In Legionnaires Disease

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is looking into the rise in Legionnaires disease. It doesn’t spread from person to person, but through mist like the kind that comes from air conditioning units, fountains, or hot tubs. Lynn Sutfin with the state health department spoke with Michigan News Network about the issue.. ...Read Full Story

Krasl Art Fair Coming Up

This weekend will be a busy one along the bluff in downtown St. Joseph. That’s because the 57th annual Krasl Art Fair will be taking place. 200 artists from all over the country will be selling their wares in Lake Bluff Park. They’ll include everything from paintings to jewelry to artisan-blown glass. More than 1,000 artists applied to be in this year’s fair, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. In addition to the art, there will be a Kids Zone, food carts, and a beer and wine garden. Free parking and shuttle services will be able at Kelley’s Bowl and in the Edgewater business district. The Krasl Block Party to kick everything off will be Friday at 5 p.m. at the Krasl. You can find out more at the art fair’s Facebook page.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder: Request Of FBI To Investigate Schuette “A Serious Matter”

It’s “clearly a serious matter.” That’s what Governor Snyder is calling an investigation of Attorney General Bill Schuette. East Lansing attorney Mike Nichols has asked for a grand jury investigation into whether Schuette did anything illegal when he had his office workers notarize and witness personal sales of property. The governor says it’s important that the FBI be allowed to do their job. The primary election for governor is less than a month away and Schuette and three other Republicans are vying for the nomination. Nichols asked the Ingham County prosecutor for a grand jury investigation, and that office last week turned the request over to the FBI. He was the attorney for disgraced former state Representative Cindy Gamrat of Plainwell and says there are parallels between Gamrat’s actions that led to her removal from the state House a few years ago and what Schuette is accused of doing.. ...Read Full Story

Stabenow Warns About Tariff Effects

Michigan farmers may feel the consequences of the latest tariffs between U.S. and China. The Trump administration is putting 25% tariffs on 800 Chinese products worth $34 billion and China is retaliating with tariffs also totaling $34 billion in U.S. goods, including agricultural products. Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke with WKZO News about her concerns.. ...Read Full Story

Commissioners OK No Wake Zone Request

The no wake zone in the St. Joseph River in the area of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor could be moved about 176 yards to the south. At a Monday meeting, St. Joseph City Commissioners held a first reading on a plan that would allow that to happen. City Manager John Hodgson tells us property owners around Marina Island noticed boats going too fast in the area.. ...Read Full Story

Busy Summer For OK2Say

The Michigan Attorney General’s OK2Say school tip line continues to receive information from students even during the summer months. The AG’s office says 365 tips came in to OK2Say during June, with the top tip category being suicide. That accounted for 122 of the tips. Attorney General spokesperson Andrea Bitely told WSJM News this year that OK2Say is an anonymous way a young person can report a potentially dangerous situation they know about.. ...Read Full Story

Red Cross Blood Emergency

The Red Cross is once again putting out a call for blood donations due to a summer shortage. The Red Cross says more than 550 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups during the week of Independence Day. Spokesperson Todd Kulman tells WSJM News they do need a lot of blood each day.. ...Read Full Story

Another Championship For “Pellet Gun” Krause

Rick “Pellet Gun” Krause once again holds the wining title from the annual International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship. The event was held this past weekend at Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm in Eau Claire for the 45th year in a row. The event’s Lynn Sage tells WSJM News Pellet Gun came all the way from Arizona this year to spit a cherry pit more than 41 feet and eight inches.. ...Read Full Story

Whitmer Releases Water Plan

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer has released a Clean Water Policy that she’ll put in place if she’s elected. Whitmer says she would create a Department of the Great Lakes and Fresh Water. She told Michigan News Network she would work to get rid of Enbridge’s Line 5 oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac, saying it poses an environmental threat.. ...Read Full Story

Expanded Marijuana Regulations

From the Associated Press — Michigan regulators have significantly expanded the list of conditions approved for treatment by medical marijuana. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs on Monday added 11 medical conditions deemed debilitating by the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act of 2008. They are: arthritis, autism, chronic pain, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, obsessive compulsive disorder, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal cord injury, Tourette’s syndrome, and ulcerative colitis. Denied conditions include anxiety, asthma, brain injury, panic attacks, depression, and diabetes. Existing entries on the list include post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and severe and chronic pain. Officials say they received public comments related to petitions to add
conditions to the list. They add the final decisions reflect changes in state law to include marijuana-infused products and advancing research.. ...Read Full Story

Daycare Raising Money This Week

A Watervliet daycare is going to raise money this week to buy some new playground equipment by putting up a lemonade stand. Shelynn Buckley is with Senicas Daycare and tells WSJM News they’ll be selling the drinks from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday outside the daycare at 4967 North Watervliet Road.. ...Read Full Story

Downtown St. Joseph Gas Station Robbed

Two suspects are being sought by St. Joseph Public Safety for an armed robbery overnight. The two hit the AGO gas station downtown at 220 Main Street just before 2 a.m., getting away with cash. Both men are believed to be in their late teens or early 20s. One is a light-skinned black male with short hair who was in a gray Nike hooded sweatshirt, gray sweat pants and black shoes. The other suspect is a dark-skinned African-American male with short hair. He was dressed in a black hoodie, black sweat pants and white shoes. A gun was pulled, but no one was hurt.. ...Read Full Story

Man Hurt By Exploding Propane Tank At Bible Camp

An exploding propane tank has sent a Jones man to the hospital in South Bend. According to the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, 44-year-old David Stiles was doing maintenance on a cabin at Blair Lake Bible Camp yesterday morning when the tank blew up and started the cabin on fire. He was airlifted to South Bend Memorial Hospital, and his condition has not been released. The Newburg Township Fire Department put out the fire in the cabin.. ...Read Full Story

Two Arrested In South Haven Fight

Two 24-year-old men from South Haven and Covert are facing charges for a large fight in South Haven over the weekend. Police were called to Kalamazoo and Cartwright around 8:45 Saturday night on a report of shots being fired along with the brawl, but have found no evidence guns were used and say the sounds may have been from firecrackers. The two were arrested for aggravated assault and resisting and obstructing officers, and felony drug charges are pending after police found suspected heroin at the scene. Investigators are still looking for others who may have been involved and ask anyone with information on the fight to call South Haven police.. ...Read Full Story

Upton On Immigration

Congressman Fred Upton remains disappointed in the U.S. House’s failure to pass an immigration reform plan. Since President Trump signed an executive order to end the separation of families detained at the border with Mexico, Upton tells WSJM News a new fear has arisen in Congress.. ...Read Full Story

Eau Claire Japanese Knotweed Meeting

A meeting will be this coming week in Eau Claire for everyone to learn more about Japanese knotweed. The invasive plant is a threat to infrastructure in southwest Michigan as the weed can grow through concrete. The Berrien Conservation District’s Jared Harmon tells WSJM News the meeting Wednesday, July 11 in Eau Claire will cover all bases.. ...Read Full Story

AARP Hopes Seniors Rally For Election

The November election could be pivotal for Michigan’s future, and a new effort is encouraging all Michiganders to make their voices heard. AARP of Michigan is kicking off its Be the Difference campaign to engage more voters in the midterms. Manager of advocacy for AARP Michigan Lisa Dedden Cooper tells us they’ll be talking about key issues and educating voters about registration and absentee ballot information.. ...Read Full Story

Soo Lock Study

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says construction of a second Great Lakes navigation lock for large freighters will be included in its 2020 budget request to the Trump administration. Lieutenant Colonel Dennis Sugrue of the agency’s Detroit district says the Soo Locks upgrade will have to compete with others from around the nation.. ...Read Full Story

New Opioid Laws In Effect

Several new laws took effect this week in Michigan aimed at getting the opioid crisis under control. State Representative Hank Vaupel of Fowlerville sponsored one of them, which limits opioid prescriptions to just a seven-day supply. He spoke with Michigan News Network about it.. ...Read Full Story

Reps Slam Separation Of Families

Three Michigan members of Congress and one from Ohio are speaking out after visiting refugee children at Bethany Christian Services in Grand Rapids. Republican Bill Huizenga of Zeeland says Congress needs to take action now, and they can’t wait for a perfect solution on immigration.. ...Read Full Story

Property Tax Problem Resolved

A Benton Harbor woman is close to getting an unusual property tax problem resolved, thanks to action by the city commission this week. At this week’s meeting, commissioners waived about $12,000 in back taxes for the woman whose home on Edwards Street was on two parcels, even though she hadn’t been told that when she bought the one parcel she thought it was on. Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells WSJM News the situation of a house on two parcels was all due to a mix up involving the state and a now-defunct non-profit from the early 2000s.. ...Read Full Story

Mental Health Hotline

A bill is before the state House Health Policy Committee to set up a mental health phone hotline referral system. Representative Mary Whiteford of the South Haven area has worked as an emergency room nurse and wants trained professionals handling the calls.. ...Read Full Story

Apply For Rotary Grants

Applications are now being taken for the 2018 St. Joseph-Benton Harbor Rotary Club Foundation grants. The Rotary Foundation tells us a total of $61,000 will be handed out to non-profits, with special consideration being given to projects that seek to provide better opportunities for youth and special needs individuals. The St. Joseph-Benton Harbor Rotary Club Foundation notes it has awarded more than $830,000 to local organizations since it began in 1980. Its 2017 grants went to groups that include Citizens Mediation Service, the Curious Kids Museum, Sarett Nature Center, and Second Harvest Gleaners Food Bank of West Michigan. The deadline to apply for a 2018 grant is September 28. Grant requests have to be for a minimum of $5,000, and you can apply at Edgewater Bank in St. Joseph.. ...Read Full Story

City Hall Renamed

Benton Harbor City Commissioners have voted to rename city hall the Dr. Wilce L. Cooke Municipal Building. At a Monday meeting, the commission approved the move in honor of the former mayor. Cooke served from 1981 to 1987, and then from 2004 to 2011. Director of the Wilce L. Cooke Foundation Princella Tobias told WSJM News Cooke has always been about serving the community. She said he’s honored by the commission’s action.. ...Read Full Story

Voter Registration Deadline Monday

If you’ve moved since the last election or haven’t registered to vote for whatever reason and want to cast a ballot in next month’s primary, you’re short on time. Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams tells WSJM News the state has a high number of registered voters, but it’s always good to make sure you’re good to cast your ballot.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Smoking Ban

It may be smokin’ hot on South Haven’s beaches this week, but smokin’ — or vaping for that matter — are definitely not welcome. They’ve been banned by South Haven’s City Council. The ordinance approved this week bans smoking and vaping not just at beaches but in public parks as well. Expected to kick in later this month, the ban allows for designated smoking areas at the bigger parks and beaches around South Haven. That would be North Beach, South Beach Stanley Johnston Park, and Riverfront Park. Violating South Haven’s anti-smoking ordinance at parks and beaches will cost you $50 the first time.. ...Read Full Story

Conservationists Seek Bird Protections

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act turns 100 this week, leading conservation groups to dub 2018 the “Year of the Bird,” and to ask the Trump administration to live up to the spirit of the law. The MBTA made it illegal to pursue, hunt, or capture migratory birds. Last December, the U.S. Interior Department rescinded Obama-era guidelines about prosecuting companies that cause bird deaths. Bob Dreher with Defenders of Wildlife tells us the replacement guidelines amount to a license to kill.. ...Read Full Story

Holiday Fatal Crashes Down

Four people were killed on Michigan roads between July 3 and 4 this year, according to the preliminary numbers from Michigan State Police. Special First Lieutenant Jim Flegel tells WSJM News that compares to 14 people killed on the road during the Fourth of July holiday period last year.. ...Read Full Story