Local News Archives

SoS Johnson Expects High Voter Turnout Tuesday

The midterm election is one week from today and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson expects a strong turnout. She says we could reach levels that would rival the 2016 presidential election, when turnout was 64.9%. Johnson says a million absentee ballots have been requested. She reminds voters there’s no straight ticket voting.. ...Read Full Story

One Killed In Red Arrow Highway Crash

A 74-year-old Lincoln Township woman has died as the result of a near head-on crash on Red Arrow Highway just north of I-94. Lincoln Township police say she was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators say the woman was heading northbound on Red Arrow when she turned into the path of a pickup driven by a 41-year-old from Fairplain Township, who was not hurt. The crash happened in the area of several fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King, and Long John Silvers just after noon on Monday. Despite the crash being fatal, Red Arrow was not closed and one lane remained open heading south while police investigated the wreck. The crash remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Two Arrested In Van Buren County Drug Bust

Two people are in the Van Buren County Jail following a drug raid in Lawrence, and charges are pending against three others. The sheriff’s department went to the home in the 55-thousand block of 56th Street last Thursday evening on a tip of drug activity and the possibility a parole absconder was at the home. That man, 31-year-old David Sewell of Hartford, was found hiding in a bathroom. Others in the home are accused of trying to destroy meth evidence. In addition to Sewell, deputies arrested 29-year-old Felina Snider of Lawrence on a probation violation. The other suspects are two men, 34 and 42-years-old and a 28-year-old woman, all from Lawrence.. ...Read Full Story

Girl Escapes Attempted Abduction In Benton Harbor

Benton Harbor authorities are looking for a man accused of trying to abduct a 14-year-old girl Monday morning. It happened around 6:45 a.m. on the city’s north side at the girl’s bus stop at the corner of Main and Hull. She tells police the man grabbed her from behind, but she was able to run off. The man is 5’9″ and was wearing a dark blue or black Nike sweatshirt. Public Safety Director Dan McGinnis tells us they don’t know the suspect’s race, but say he had been seen dressed in the same clothes and in the same area on Friday. Benton Harbor Public Safety officials are urging parents to be especially vigilant and walk their kids to the bus stop, and stay with them if possible until they’re picked up for school.. ...Read Full Story

Buchanan PD Looking For Armed Robbery Suspect

Police in Buchanan are looking for an armed robbery suspect. He pulled a gun on the clerk at a convenience store Sunday just after 11:30 a.m. in the 200 block of South Oak street and got away northbound on the street with cash out of the register. No one was hurt. Surveillance photos released by the police department show the suspect on top of the counter demanding the cash. He is described as a black male in his 20s who was dressed in a red hoodie with a face mask, black pants, black gloves and black boots. Anyone who knows anything about the robbery is urged to call Buchanan police.. ...Read Full Story

Republicans Have Fun With Clinton Endorsement Of Whitmer

The endorsement of Gretchen Whitmer for governor by Hillary Clinton isn’t necessarily a shock, but the Republican National Committee is having some fun with it. RNC communications director for Indiana and Michigan, Michael Joyce, put out a statement mocking the endorsement by saying “It’s great that Hillary Clinton endorsed Gretchen Whitmer; nobody knows how to win Michigan better than Hillary Clinton.”. ...Read Full Story

Officers Involved In In-Custody Death Returned To Active Duty

The two officers involved in the arrest of a man who died in police custody earlier this month are back on the job. Berrien Springs Oronoko Township Police Chief Paul Toliver says his officer and the Berrien County Sheriff’s deputy were returned to active duty today after being placed on paid administrative leave on October 22. 51-year-old Jack Lunneen of Berrien Springs died at Spectrum Health Lakeland that morning after being arrested for malicious destruction of property in Berrien Springs. As the officers were trying to arrest him in a bank parking lot, Chief Tolliver says Lunneen resisted and needed to be restrained, but no details on that have been released. When the officers noticed the man having medical issues, they called for an ambulance. Michigan State Police is handling the investigation, and the names of the officers involved haven’t been made public.. ...Read Full Story

Palisades Refueling Outage Underway

A $62 million refueling and maintenance outage is underway at the Palisades Power Plant. Officials with parent company Entergy say the outage will keep the nuclear plant running safely until it’s permanently shut down in 2022. It began Sunday and started 15 days after the plant was taken offline to replace a control rod drive seal and a transformer. Entergy is bringing in around 1,000 workers to help the 600 full-time employees at Palisades with the refueling outage as they do upgrades, inspections, and replacements that can’t be done while the facility is generating power. This is the 26th refueling outage in the plant’s 47-year history.. ...Read Full Story

Advocates Concerned About Federal Decision On Gender

The OutCenter in Benton Harbor is blasting some reported plans of the Trump administration regarding transgender Americans. The New York Times reported last weekend on a memo from the Oval Office to the Department of Health and Human Services directing that department to define gender as either male or female, as assigned at birth. The OutCenter’s Mary Jo Schnell tells WSJM News this is another in a series of blows to transgendered Americans.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Praises Opioid Legislation

Landmark opioids legislation has been signed into law by President Trump. The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act was put together over about the past year with input from dozens of lawmakers, including Congressman Fred Upton. He tells us it passed the House and Senate with broad support. Upton told us about some of his contributions.. ...Read Full Story

Marijuana Legalization And Employers

With the possibility of marijuana being legalized by voters in next month’s election, what will this mean for job applicants? Mary Corrado is president and CEO of the American Society of Employers and told Michigan News Network fewer employers are screening for pot use because if they did, they wouldn’t have any workers.. ...Read Full Story

DNR Talks Fish Stocking Program

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has stocked lakes and rivers around the state with more than 21 million fish so far this year. The DNR’s Elyse Walter tells WSJM News the fish stocking program goes back well over 100 years with the oldest hatchery dating back to 1901. They breed fish and pump them into waters all over.. ...Read Full Story

Jane Fonda Speaks In Benton Harbor

Actress and activist Jane Fonda has taken a get out the vote message to Benton Harbor. She spoke at the Benton Harbor Art and Cultural Center Saturday. Fonda urged everyone to head to the polls November 6 and to vote Democrat. She said that could help ensure state lawmakers don’t change the One Fair Wage proposal, which she campaigned for this year. Fonda predicted a legal fight over the issue.. ...Read Full Story

Manufacturing Award For State Lawmakers

Some state lawmakers from southwest Michigan have gotten praise from the Michigan Manufacturers Association for voting in line with its interests 100% of the time. Michigan Manufacturers Association VP of Government Affairs Mike Johnston tells WSJM News the lawmakers it saluted this month include state Representatives Beth Griffin, Kim LaSata, and Mary Whiteford. He says a top concern for manufacturers is worker development.. ...Read Full Story

Buchanan Woman Missing

The Buchanan Police Department is looking for a missing woman. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us Elizabeth Drew has been missing since Friday. She was last seen around the 100 block of Detroit Street in Buchanan. Police say she was wearing an olive green winter coat with a fur-lined hood and blue jeans. Anyone with information on her location should call the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department.. ...Read Full Story

Whirlpool Appliance Sale Underway

This weekend will bring a chance for anyone to scoop up some slightly-outdated Whirlpool appliances for big discounts. It’s time for the 2018 Whirlpool Fall Appliance Sale. The company’s Gokul Nair tells WSJM News the sale benefits the United Way of Southwest Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Council Considers Noise Rules

There has been a increasing demand in South Haven to hold special events in the parks, creating a noise problem late at night. The city council has heard resident complaints about amplified sound and has now approved changes to the Special Events Policy. Basically, amplified noise must end by 10 pm. For Saturday night events at all parks, amplified noise is prohibited from 10pm Saturday night until noon on Sunday. All noise must stay in the city’s noise ordinance. Questions regarding the noise ordinance should be directed to the police department at 637-5151.. ...Read Full Story

Volunteers To Fight Invasive Species At Warren Dunes

Volunteers are being invited to Warren Dunes State Park this weekend to help fight invasive species. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says they’ll be out there from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday removing non-native tree saplings from the dune areas. The DNR says no experience is needed to help out as it will provide the volunteers with training on what to look out for. The volunteers are told to meet at the organizational campground parking area on Floral Road at 10 a.m. so they can caravan to the areas being treated.. ...Read Full Story

Threat Leads To Evacuation Of Factory In Benton Township

No one’s hurt, but Gast Manufacturing in Benton Township was evacuated Friday morning due to a threat. The Benton Township Police Department tells us officers were called out to the Gast facility about 9:20 a.m. An employee had found a handwritten note on a disposable paper toilet seat in a women’s restroom. It alluded to death and had racial undertones, although there was no specific means or individual mentioned. The place was evacuated, and a K9 was brought in to search for any possible explosives. Police say none were found. A suspect hasn’t yet been identified, and the incident remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Jane Fonda To Hold Get Out The Vote Rally In Benton Harbor

Actress and activist Jane Fonda is returning to Michigan for a get out the vote rally along with Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors. They will be at the Benton Harbor Art and Cultural Center Saturday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. to encourage voters to get to the polls. They are also going to be calling on state lawmakers to leave alone the One Fair Wage proposal that the House and Senate passed earlier this fall during the upcoming lame duck session. Fonda campaigned this summer in Kalamazoo with fellow actress Lily Tomlin in support of that proposal before Republican leaders in Lansing decided to vote on it and prevent it from going to the ballot. By doing so, making changes only requires a simple majority in the Legislature instead of a 75% majority vote if it was approved by voters.. ...Read Full Story

Possible Policy Concerns Transgender Community

Since news this past weekend that the Trump administration is thinking about establishing a definition of gender for federal departments, people in the transgender community around southwest Michigan are concerned. Paula Camp is a facilitator for a support group at the OutCenter called the League of Extraordinary Genders. Camp told us how transgender Americans she has spoken to are feeling.. ...Read Full Story

Resource Officer Approved For BH Schools

The Berrien County Board of Commissioners has approved a contract for the sheriff’s department to provide a school resource officer at Benton Harbor High School. Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey tells WSJM News the department has been providing two deputies at the school for 25 days now. That’s since a rash of 17 fights happened to start out the school year. Bailey says they’ve had two or three since the deputies were placed at the high school.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Schools Switch To Bottled Water As Precaution

Benton Harbor Area Schools have switched to only using bottled water at every building in the district after the announcement by the city this week that eight of 30 homes tested had high levels of lead in the tap water. The district’s food service is also using bottled water for food preparation until further notice. The district’s water is currently being tested, and until confirmation comes back that it’s safe, only bottled water will be available. The city is also offering free water testing for all customers of its municipal water system. The source of the lead hasn’t been determined, but is believed to be older galvanized and lead service lines connecting homes to the city’s water system. The eight families impacted are also being given bottled water by the city.. ...Read Full Story

President Signs Opioid Legislation

Landmark opioids legislation has been signed into law by President Trump. The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act was put together over about the past year with input from dozens of lawmakers, including Congressman Fred Upton. He tells us it passed the House and Senate with broad support. Upton told us about some of his contributions.. ...Read Full Story