Local News Archives

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

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