Local News Archives

Blind Voters May Struggle With New Machines

From the Associated Press — New voting machines in Michigan may cause problems for residents with a visual disability.
The Detroit Free Press reports that Tuesday’s primary will feature $40 million of new equipment that replaced aging voting machines. Blind voters in the state have used AutoMark Voter Assist Terminals for more than a decade. The terminals have a touch screen and a keypad with Braille. Most Michigan counties will now use Dominion Voting Systems. The equipment
doesn’t have keypads with Braille and feature verbal instructions that can be difficult for a blind person to follow. Fred Woodhams is a spokesman for the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office. He says the device is federally certified and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. A 2015 survey estimates that about 221,000 Michigan residents have a visual
disability.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Today Unveils New Mural

A brand new 14 by 12 foot mural has been painted on the outside brick wall of the St. Joseph Welcome Center downtown. St. Joseph Today’s Amy Zapal tells WSJM News the organization hired Houston-based artist Anat Ronen to spruce up the alley wall that faces Main Street. The mural was finished on Friday.. ...Read Full Story

Resort Community Eliminates ‘Christian Persuasion’ Bylaw

From the Associated Press — Members of a northern Michigan resort community have eliminated a bylaw being challenged in court that requires homeowners to be of “Christian persuasion.” The Petoskey News-Review reports members of the Bay View Association voted 69% to 31% Saturday to strike down the decades-old requirement. A newly adopted rule states applicants for membership must support the Bay View mission and “respect the principles of the United Methodist Church.” It eliminates a requirement that applicants submit a letter of recommendation from their pastor or church leader. A group of residents have filed a federal lawsuit to overturn the rule, alleging it violates the First Amendment. The U.S. Department of Federal Housing
notified the associated in May that it failed to prove it’s exempt from a law prohibiting discrimination.. ...Read Full Story

Plenty Of Races To Decide In Tuesday’s Primary

There is plenty to be decided tomorrow at the ballot box. Along with state races for governor and the U.S. Senate primary, Berrien County voters are choosing candidates for the state House, state Senate, and county commission along with the Democratic race for Congress. In the races for state House in the 79th District, five Republicans and two Democrats are running. The Republicans are Joann DeMeulenaere, Bruce Gorenflo, Maria Moen, Troy Rolling and Pauline Wendzel. On the Democratic side, Joey Andrews faces Marletta Seats. The seat is currently held by Representative Kim LaSata, who is trying to make the jump to the state Senate after less than one term in the House. She faces fellow state Representative Dave Pagel in the Republican primary in the 21st District. Southern Berrien County voters have six Republicans to choose from in the primary to succeed Pagel, who is term limited. They are Steve Bury, Dana Daniels, Daniel Hinkle, David Mann, Brad Paquette and Kelly Priede. Only one Democrat in the race, so Dean Hill will be on the ballot in November.. ...Read Full Story

Secretary Of State On Voting Rules

When you cast your ballot today, the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office is reminding you to stick to just Republicans, Democrats, or Libertarians. Spokesman Fred Woodhams says any ballot with more than one party selected will be tossed out and you’ll have to vote again.. ...Read Full Story

WSJM Morning News – August 6, 2018

  • Cornerstone Alliance is making an aggressive push to bring more retailers to Benton Township. 
  • Some Berrien County Commissioners have had a chance to see the county’s newest park firsthand. 
  • Rick Snyder has toured a water system project in a city near Kalamazoo. 
  • Two men are facing charges following two separate drug raids in Benton Harbor. 
  • Two men in their 50s are recovering with just minor injuries after a plane crash in Dowagiac this weekend. 
  • Two people are dead after a string of water rescues Sunday. 
  • The fraud trial of former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort begins its second week Monday.
. ...Read Full Story

Successful County Land Auction

This year’s summer auction of property tax-foreclosed properties by Berrien County is one of the most successful ever in terms of selling parcels of land that had homes or vacant businesses. Treasurer Bret Witkowski says they had a first during the Tuesday morning auction.. ...Read Full Story

First Ever Allegan County Night Out

Next Tuesday is the National Night Out and the first ever held in Allegan County. You’re invited to Saugatuck’s Coghlin Park Tuesday, August 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. for food and drink, giveaways, and demonstrations of fire district and safety equipment. The Saugatuck-Douglas Convention and Visitors Bureau will be sponsoring a free parking shuttle bus. It will run between Saugatuck High School and Coghlin Park from 5:30 to 8:30. More information available at Saugatuck’s City Hall and on Facebook.. ...Read Full Story

Minor Injuries In Dowagiac Plane Crash

Two men in their 50s are recovering with just minor injuries after a plane crash in Dowagiac this weekend. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the Saturday evening incident, which happened around 7 p.m. The 54-year-old pilot was treated at the scene, while his 51-year-old passenger was taken to Borgess Lee Memorial Hospital. He was treated and released from there. The plane was taking off when it crashed at Dowagiac Municipal Airport.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmaker Seeks Chemical Ban

Michigan’s latest water crisis is coming from a chemical used in manufacturing, fire suppression foam, and other uses. PFAS has turned up in wells north of Grand Rapids, near Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek, and most recently, rendered the city of Parchment’s water system unusable in Kalamazoo County. State Representative Peter Lucido of Macomb County wants an immediate ban on the substance enacted. He spoke with Michigan News Network about it.. ...Read Full Story

New Buchanan Credit Union

Banking will get a little more convenient for Honor Credit Union members in Buchanan next year, as currently their closest branches are in Niles and Berrien Springs. The financial institution is announcing plans to open a branch in the city at 117 North Red Bud Trail in early 2019. The branch will be within walking distance to many restaurants and shops in Buchanan, and will open up across from the Duck Pond and Lehman’s Farm House. The building is currently being designed. Berrien Springs branch manager Karol Behrle will be the manager of the new location in her hometown. In a statement, Honor Credit Union CEO Scott McFarland said “Buchanan has been a great community partner of Honor’s for years.” He adds, “we are excited to bring the increased convenience of a local branch to our Buchanan members and look forward to getting to know new friends in this growing community.” Honor Credit Union has been a supported the Buchanan community through providing volunteers for the annual Thrill On The Hill events, sponsoring floor hockey teams, and supporting the Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce. The credit union has over 80,000 members in the state. The Buchanan branch will be its 25th in Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Endorsement For Nesbitt

State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker has endorsed Aric Nesbitt in the race for Michigan Senate in the 26th District. Schuitmaker currently occupies that post and is being term-limited out of office. She tells WSJM News Nesbitt, a former state representative and head of the Michigan Lottery, is right for southwest Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Police: Watch Out For Phone Scam

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department is warning the public about the latest phone scam. It tells us it has been hearing from residents who have been called by someone claiming to be working for the sheriff’s department. The caller tells the intended victim they owe money for warrants and will be arrested if they don’t pay up. The caller ID on the phone will show a true sheriff’s office number and the scammer will even tell the victim to check the internet for the number, but the sheriff’s department said it’s fake. The scammers are spoofing the number. Police advise the public not to fall for the scam and to just hang up.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Proposing New House Rules

A new effort is being launched by a bi-partisan group in Congress to get some procedural rules changed so more can get done. Spearheaded by the Problem Solvers group, Congressman Fred Upton tells WSJM News the “Break the Gridlock” campaign aims to implement new rules when the next Speaker is chosen. He said the changes are a bit “Inside Baseball,” but gave us some examples.. ...Read Full Story

Voters To Decide Gerrymandering Proposal

We will get to vote on a constitutional change regarding how congressional and state legislative districts are drawn. The Michigan Supreme Court issued a ruling around 10:30 Tuesday night dismissing a lawsuit challenging the ballot proposal from Voters Not Politicians to take the responsibility of drawing the districts out of the hands of lawmakers. The lawsuit contended the proposal made too many changes to the state Constitution, and would create a new branch of government, but the state’s highest court disagreed. Katey Fahey is the executive director of the grassroots group that worked to get the measure before voters, and is very relieved.. ...Read Full Story

Slow Home Construction

Housing permits for single family home construction have increased nearly 4% in Michigan during the first half of this year, but production is not meeting the demand. Bob Filka is the CEO of the Home Builders Association of Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Watching For PFAS

With the state of emergency declared this past weekend in Kalamazoo County for PFAS in the drinking water in the city of Parchment and Cooper Township along with the discovery of the chemicals in northern Kent County, the Battle Creek area, and near Selfridge Air National Guard Base in suburban Detroit, is it a problem here? We put that question to Gillian Conrad of the Berrien County Health Department.. ...Read Full Story

Police Night Out Tuesday

Tuesday will bring the 35th annual Police National Night Out as local police departments look to mingle with the public and establish good relations. St. Joseph Township Police Officer Rick Knapp tells WSJM News there will be a gathering at St. Joseph’s Riverview Park featuring demonstrations for the public.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Drug Busts

Two men are facing charges following two separate drug raids in Benton Harbor in the past two weeks. The Southwest Enforcement Team tells us it raided a home in the 200 block of Hull Street on Tuesday, July 31 following a month-long investigation. There, officers say they found about 50 grams of crack cocaine and powder cocaine. A 32-year-old man was arrested on drug charges. The second raid was at a home in the 800 block of Superior Street this Thursday. Police say they found cocaine packaged for sale and distribution, a shotgun, and a possibly stolen handgun. A 44-year-old man was arrested on drug and gun charges. The Southwest Enforcement Team says the two cases are not related.. ...Read Full Story

Franklin On Campaign Tour

Michigan Sixth District candidate for Congress George Franklin is making one final push to drum up support for his primary candidacy with a tour this weekend. Franklin, seeking the Democratic nomination to take on Congressman Fred Upton in November, kicked off the tour in Three Rivers on Thursday. On Friday, it took him to Kalamazoo and Paw Paw, while he planned to appear in St. Joseph Saturday. Franklin’s St. Joe stop will be at downtown Chalk the Block festivities at 301 State Street near the St. Joseph Welcome Center from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Also Saturday, he’ll stop by Cassopolis. On Sunday, Franklin plans to be at the Coloma Open Air Market from 2 to 3, and Watervliet from 3 to 5, where he’ll be canvassing. Another St. Joseph visit and a South Haven visit are planned for Monday. Franklin worked as a lobbyist for Kellogg before starting his own consulting business. Also in the running for the Sixth District Democratic nomination are David Benac, Rich Eichholz, and Matt Longjohn. The primary will be Tuesday.. ...Read Full Story

Cornerstone Seeking New Retailers

Cornerstone Alliance is making an aggressive push to bring more retailers to Benton Township. Cornerstone President Rob Cleveland tells WSJM News the group has hired The Retail Coach, a national retail recruitment and development firm, hoping to get some spaces filled along M-139 between I-94 and Napier Avenue.. ...Read Full Story

Police: Dog Attack Report Was False

The Bridgman Police Department has closed its investigation into a reported dog attack on a child and says the story was not true. Early this week, the department on Facebook asked for the public’s help in identifying the owner of a dog that allegedly bit a 3-year-old boy on the face. The child’s father told police a woman had been walking the dog Sunday night along Lake Street near Toth Street and allowed his son to pet it. That’s when the bite supposedly happened. On Thursday, Bridgman police posted an update on the situation, saying the location and description of the woman and dog involved were false. Officers say they have located the real dog and its owner. The department is now submitting its report on the investigation to the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office for a possible charge of filing a false police report. The department thanked the public for coming forward with tips in the investigation.. ...Read Full Story

New Berrien Park Almost Finished

Berrien County’s newest park is close to opening to the public. Berrien County Parks Director Brian Bailey tells WSJM News he took some county commissioners on a tour of Paw Paw River County Park in Watervliet this week. That’s after a 90 foot pedestrian bridge was completed late last month to help people reach a 9 acre island in the river.. ...Read Full Story

Dog Flu Reported In Six Counties

From the Associated Press — Michigan officials are warning dog owners to keep their pets at home if they’re sick to prevent the spread of canine influenza. The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development said Thursday that 49 cases of dog flu have been confirmed in six Lower Peninsula counties since July 13, compared with nine cases during all of 2017. The six counties are Huron, Kent, Macomb, Oakland, Ottawa, and Wayne. The agency says dog flu is highly contagious. Symptoms include fever, lethargy, coughing, and nasal and/or eye discharge. Most cases of canine influenza are mild, and dogs usually recover within two to three weeks. However, more severe cases can occur. More information is available online .. ...Read Full Story

Interim Berrien County Public Defender Named

Berrien County officials are looking for a new chief public defender and the county commission has approved assigning chief assistant public defender Christopher Renna to head up the department on an interim basis. Renna will assume that role officially on August 5, taking over for Carl Macpherson, who is leaving to return to Oregon and says he is interested in getting the job permanently.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County To Share Employee With Cass On Transportation

Berrien County will be helping out Cass County on managing transportation services. After tabling a resolution to allow county transportation and planning coordinator Evan Smith to work one day a week for Cass County last week, commissioners voted 11-1 to approve the assistance. Berrien County Administrator Bill Wolf says Cass County will pay $33,000 a year for the help.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Hopes To Avoid Shutdown

Congressman Fred Upton isn’t terribly concerned there will be a government shut down this fall. President Trump has threatened one if he doesn’t get his border wall, but Upton tells WSJM News the spending plan outlined by the House provides something else.. ...Read Full Story

AMBER Alert Over, GR Boy Found Safe In Benton Harbor

An AMBER Alert that was issued Thursday for a one-year-old Grand Rapids boy is over. Grand Rapids police say Miquis Jenkins has been found safe in Benton Harbor this afternoon after allegedly being taken by his 19-year-old babysitter yesterday. Officers are working on getting the child back to his family. GRPD says the babysitter, Iyesha Gibbs, has also been found in Benton Harbor and will be taken to Grand Rapids to be questioned.. ...Read Full Story

Attorney For Suspected Mass Murderer Confident In Miranda Rights Ruling

Defense attorney Anastase Markou is confident a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling regarding accused Kalamazoo mass murderer Jason Dalton is going to stand. The appeals court this week ruled Dalton’s statements to police are inadmissible at trial because officers repeatedly ignored his request for an attorney. Markou said the claim by police that they didn’t allow an attorney to be present due to a danger to the public and the fear there were other victims isn’t valid in this case.. ...Read Full Story

Lt. Gov. Calley, Democrats Accuse AG Schuette Of Breaking Law

Democrats and at least one Republican are claiming the state’s highest law enforcement officer may have broken the law, and they have the email to prove it. The Detroit Free Press broke the latest angle to the story that Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley brought up in a debate this summer, and he’s using it to try to chip away at Attorney General Bill Schuette’s lead before next week’s primary. The emails show that the Attorney General asked over a dozen staff members to do political work on state time in 2015. Calley claims he has never seen anything like it.. ...Read Full Story

UPDATE: AMBER Alert Issued For Missing Boy

Police have issued an AMBER Alert for a one-year-old Grand Rapids boy taken by his babysitter, and Grand Rapids police say they may be in either that city or Benton Harbor. The young boy has been identified as Miquis Jenkins, who was last seen with 19-year-old babysitter Iyesha Gibbs at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Gibbs is believed to be driving a silver SUV with a broken passenger side window covered in plastic. Grand Rapids PD is working with Benton Harbor Public Safety to try to locate the two. Gibbs is 5’4″ with short black hair, and weighs around 250 pounds. Police say she often babysits Jenkins. Anyone with information is being urged to call Grand Rapids Police at (616) 456-3338, (616) 456-3422, or call 911.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren County Phone Scam

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department is warning the public about the latest phone scam. It tells us it has been hearing from residents who have been called by someone claiming to be working for the sheriff’s department. The caller tells the intended victim they owe money for warrants and will be arrested if they don’t pay up. The caller ID on the phone will show a true sheriff’s office number and the scammer will even tell the victim to check the internet for the number, but the sheriff’s department said it’s fake. The scammers are spoofing the number. Police advise the public not to fall for the scam and to just hang up.. ...Read Full Story

Vigil For Motel Victims

The victims in a deadly motel fire on Saturday have been honored with a vigil. Mourners gathered on Wednesday night at the Cosmo Extended Stay Motel on M-139 in Sodus Township where a fire killed 26-year-old Kiarre Curtis and five of her children. At the vigil, family of Kiarre Curtis remembered her as someone who was struggling the best she could for her family.. ...Read Full Story

Upton On PFAS Contamination

Congressman Fred Upton is hoping to hold hearings on the PFAS contamination found in the water system serving Parchment and Cooper Township in Kalamazoo County. He tells WSJM News making sure such a problem doesn’t happen again — or happen elsewhere — will depend on figuring out how the situation occurred. In the meantime…. ...Read Full Story

Saugatuck Night Out

Next Tuesday is the National Night Out and the first ever held in Allegan County. You’re invited to Saugatuck’s Coghlin Park Tuesday, August 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. for food and drink, giveaways, and demonstrations of fire district and safety equipment. The Saugatuck-Douglas Convention and Visitors Bureau will be sponsoring a free parking shuttle bus. It will run between Saugatuck High School and Coghlin Park from 5:30 to 8:30. More information available at Saugatuck’s City Hall and on Facebook.. ...Read Full Story

MI Supreme Court Orders Anti-Gerrymandering Proposal To Ballot

We will get to vote on a constitutional change regarding how congressional and state legislative districts are drawn. The Michigan Supreme Court issued a ruling around 10:30 Tuesday night dismissing a lawsuit challenging the ballot proposal from Voters Not Politicians to take the responsibility of drawing the districts out of the hands of lawmakers. The lawsuit contended the proposal made too many changes to the state Constitution, and would create a new branch of government, but the state’s highest court disagreed. Katey Fahey is the executive director of the grassroots group that worked to get the measure before voters, and is very relieved.. ...Read Full Story

FBI: Benton Harbor Fugitive Antwan “Tank” Mims Caught In Georgia

Caught. The FBI says Antwan “Tank” Mims of Benton Harbor is in custody after being added to the bureau’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list earlier this summer for two murders on March 25. Mims was arrested just after 4 p.m. yesterday at a home in College Park, Georgia by FBI agents and the FBI Atlanta Metro Major Offenders Task Force. He is wanted for the murders of Cortez Miller and Michael Johnson at a house party on Lavette Street in Benton Harbor, during which witnesses say he shot them both, and then shot them again while they were on the ground. Mims is the 486th person captured of the 519 who have been on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list since it was established in March 1950. He will be brought back to Benton Harbor to face charges.. ...Read Full Story

“Thrill On The Hill” This Week

Buchanan’s summer Thrill on the Hill is this weekend. The fun actually starts Thursday at 4 p.m. with a giant Slip and Slide set up on the big hill downtown. You can pay $5 to ride an inner tube or flotation device down it. The action will continue Friday and Saturday. The “riding at high speeds down a big hill” angle isn’t the only fun taking place as part of Thrill on the Hill. Other planned activities include an adult luau on Friday from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Thrill on the Hill will also feature music, games, and contests throughout the weekend. The summer event compliments the annual winter Thrill on the Hill when they rig up the downtown hill to be extra slippery by bringing in snow. You can find out more at the Buchanan Thrill on the Hill Facebook page.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Pushes For House Rule Changes

A new effort is being launched by a bi-partisan group in Congress to get some procedural rules changed so more can get done. Spearheaded by the Problem Solvers group, Congressman Fred Upton tells WSJM News the “Break the Gridlock” campaign aims to implement new rules when the next Speaker is chosen. He said the changes are a bit “Inside Baseball,” but gave us some examples.. ...Read Full Story

Red Cross Maintaining Shelter For Motel Residents

The Red Cross of Southwest Michigan continues to provide a shelter in St. Joseph for residents displaced by a Saturday motel fire. The Cosmo Extended Stay Motel on M-139 in Sodus Township was evacuated due to the deadly blaze, leaving many residents with nowhere to go. Breeze Ettl with the Red Cross tells WSJM News they were devastated.. ...Read Full Story

Court: Shooter Statements To Be Suppressed

From the Associated Press — A Michigan appeals court has ruled certain statements made to police by an Uber driver charged with killing six people and wounding two others in southwestern Michigan cannot be used at trial. The three-judge panel said Tuesday that some of Jason Dalton’s statements should be suppressed because a detective continued questioning him after Dalton “invoked both his rights to counsel and to remain silent.” The 48-year-old Dalton is charged with murder and attempted murder. Investigators have quoted him as saying a “devil figure” on Uber’s app was controlling him on the night of the 2016 shootings in Kalamazoo County. He’s not accused of shooting customers. Prosecutors say they are reviewing the appeals court ruling. Dalton’s attorney, Anastase Markou, says the appeals court “did an excellent job rendering a very thorough and thoughtful opinion.”. ...Read Full Story

Tests: Chemicals In Well Above Standards

From the Associated Press — Tests of a groundwater well in southwestern Michigan show chemical contamination levels far above federal guidelines. MLive reports Tuesday that levels of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid of more than 900 parts per trillion and perfluorooctanoic acid over 800 parts per trillion were found in the Parchment-area well. The newspaper says the government’s lifetime health advisory is 70 parts per trillion for total PFOS and PFOA. The substances are referred to as PFAS and are used in manufacturing, firefighting and thousands of household and consumer products. About 3,000 people in Parchment and Cooper Township have been told not to drink or cook with the water, and bottled water is being distributed while the water system is flushed. Parchment is about 125 miles (200 kilometers) west of Detroit.. ...Read Full Story

Police Night Out Next Week

Next Tuesday will bring the 35th annual Police National Night Out as local police departments look to mingle with the public and establish good relations. St. Joseph Township Police Officer Rick Knapp tells WSJM News there will be a gathering at St. Joseph’s Riverview Park featuring demonstrations for the public.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department: PFAS Not An Issue In Berrien County

With the state of emergency declared this past weekend in Kalamazoo County for PFAS in the drinking water in the city of Parchment and Cooper Township along with the discovery of the chemicals in northern Kent County, the Battle Creek area, and near Selfridge Air National Guard Base in suburban Detroit, is it a problem here? We put that question to Gillian Conrad of the Berrien County Health Department.. ...Read Full Story

Honor Credit Union Expanding To Buchanan

Banking will get a little more convenient for Honor Credit Union members in Buchanan next year, as currently their closest branches are in Niles and Berrien Springs. The financial institution is announcing plans to open a branch in the city at 117 North Red Bud Trail in early 2019. The branch will be within walking distance to many restaurants and shops in Buchanan, and will open up across from the Duck Pond and Lehman’s Farm House. The building is currently being designed. Berrien Springs branch manager Karol Behrle will be the manager of the new location in her hometown. In a statement, Honor Credit Union CEO Scott McFarland said “Buchanan has been a great community partner of Honor’s for years.” He adds, “we are excited to bring the increased convenience of a local branch to our Buchanan members and look forward to getting to know new friends in this growing community.” Honor Credit Union has been a supported the Buchanan community through providing volunteers for the annual Thrill On The Hill events, sponsoring floor hockey teams, and supporting the Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce. The credit union has over 80,000 members in the state. The Buchanan branch will be its 25th in Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Group Cries Foul Over 3D Printed Guns

Gun violence prevention groups have signed onto a letter demanding Secretary of State Mike Pompeo block online publication — set for this Wednesday — of instructions on how to make a plastic gun with a 3D printer. For the past five years, the State Department fought plans by a Texas company to put the blueprints online, but the Trump administration has reached a settlement with it. Linda Brundage with the Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence tells us the settlement an outrage.. ...Read Full Story

Schuitmaker Endorses Nesbitt

State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker has endorsed Aric Nesbitt in the race for Michigan Senate in the 26th District. Schuitmaker currently occupies that post and is being term-limited out of office. She tells WSJM News Nesbitt, a former state representative and head of the Michigan Lottery, is right for southwest Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

School Mourns Students Killed In Motel Fire

Countryside Academy is mourning the loss of three of its students following Saturday’s deadly fire at a motel in Sodus Township. Six people — 26-year-old Kiarre Curtis and five of her children — were killed in the blaze at the Cosmo Extended Living Motel on M-139. Countryside Academy Lead Administrator Sarah Brookshire tells WSJM News Marquise Thompson, Gerome Randolph, and Samuel Curtis were all students remembered fondly by their teachers.. ...Read Full Story

Bond Denied In Dowagiac Shooting Case

Bond has been denied for the suspect in a Dowagiac shooting on Sunday. The Cass County Prosecutor’s office tells us 24-year-old Rolandis Russell shot and killed 42-year-old Fabian Wesaw following a fight at the Beeson Street Bar in the early morning hours. Russell was arraigned Monday on charges that include first degree murder, assault with intent to murder, carrying a weapon with unlawful intent, and possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle. He faces life in prison if convicted on the murder charge. At Russell’s arraignment Monday, prosecutors asked that bond be denied in the case, and the request was granted by Judge Stacey Rentfrow. Russell will be back in court on August 9.. ...Read Full Story

Police Investigate Dog Bite

Police in Bridgman are asking for the public’s help as they investigate a dog bite on Sunday. The Bridgman Police Department says on its Facebook page the attack happened around 6:20 p.m. on Lake Street near Toth Street. A woman who had been walking a light brown lab mix allowed a young child to pet the dog. As the child walked away, the dog bit the child in the face, which later required surgery. The woman with the dog continued walking east on Lake Street after the incident. Police ask anyone who witnessed the incident to call them at 465-3880.. ...Read Full Story