Local News Archives

In Brief: Diane Keaton, Richard Gere, and Emma Roberts in 'Maybe I Do', trailer and more

Vertical Entertainment dropped the first official trailer for their new multi-generational rom-com Maybe I Do, starring Diane Keaton, Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Emma Roberts, Luke Bracey, and William H. Macy on Monday. The movie follows Michelle and Allen — played by Roberts and Bracey, respectfully — who need to decide if their relationship is heading towards wedding bells and decide to introduce their parents to each other. However, their parents already know each other well — intimately well. The film is slated to hit theaters January 27…. ...Read Full Story

Police Searching For Missing Portage Mom

Law enforcement in the Kalamazoo area are talking to a person of interest in the disappearance of a 35-year-old woman and mother of eight, Heather Kelley. She’s been missing since she left her Portage home December 10th and told her kids she’d be home shortly. She never returned. Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller says they believe foul play was involved.. ...Read Full Story

Commissioners Approve Plan For MLK Monument

Benton Harbor City Commissioners have approved the plan for a monument to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to be located at Dwight P Mitchell City Center Park. At a Monday meeting, they signed off on the proposal from the Unified Civic Monuments Project for the statue, which will match a monument to be erected in St. Joseph. Speaking Monday, Commissioner Ron Singleton said the updated plan will be an inspiration.. ...Read Full Story

Commissioners Opt To Retain Control Of Water System

Benton Harbor City Commissioners have decided the city should continue to own and operate its own water system with locally-employed staff. At a Monday meeting, commissioners heard from consultant John Young, who addressed them last month about a recently-completed analysis, required by the EPA, of the city’s possible water alternatives given the state of the current system. He outlined the report with options that included getting water from another municipality or switching to groundwater. Young wanted to dispel a misconception about the city’s water among some residents.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Comments On House Speaker Negotiations

Congressman Fred Upton says it’s a “crazy time” in Washington as it still isn’t known who will be the Speaker of the House and members of Congress are unsure of their committee assignments. Speaking to Michigan’s Big Show with just a couple of weeks left as a congressman, Upton said last week’s passage of a temporary spending measure shows the problem solvers in Congress need to keep up the fight.. ...Read Full Story

Candy Cane Lane Back In St. Joseph

The city of St Joseph is bringing back its Candy Cane Lane to Milton Park in time for Christmas. The parks and recreation department says Candy Cane Lane is a family friendly way to stroll through the park and look at multi-colored candy canes placed throughout. You can find hidden rocks with holiday pictures, grab a craft from the pergola to take home, and read How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which is posted through the park. And don’t forget to grab a real, edible candy cane before leaving. Milton Park is located at the corner of Winchester and Niles Avenue, and Candy Cane Lane will be open starting this Friday through January 8.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Gas Prices At Lowest Level Of 2022

Gas prices in Michigan are at their lowest level of the year, dropping 17¢ in the past week to an average of $3.07 a gallon. The price is down 81¢ in the past month and 8¢ lower than last year. A 15-gallon fill up costs $46 on average in the state. The highest price is in Traverse City at $3.37, while Marquette’s $2.94 is the lowest.. ...Read Full Story

Blue Star Trail Between South Haven, Holland Gets $1.344 Million Grant

The Michigan Department of Transportation is providing a grant of over $1.3 million to fill two critical gaps in the Blue Star Trail between South Haven and Holland. The city of Saugatuck along with Saugatuck Township and the city of Douglas will build 1.14 miles of trail to connect three miles of existing trail between them. The project will address the only pedestrian and bike connection possible between Saugatuck and Douglas over the Kalamazoo River.. ...Read Full Story

'Avatar: The Way of Water' tops the box office with $134 million debut

20th Century Studios

Avatar: The Way of Water made a splash in theaters this weekend, opening with an estimated $134 million domestically — impressive, but below the predicted $150 million-dollar debut. Still, it tied The Batman for the fifth-largest domestic opening this year. Add to that overseas revenues and Avatar: The Way of Water earned $442 million globally in just one weekend.. ...Read Full Story

SHAES Recognized As Patriotic Employer

South Haven Area Emergency Services has been recognized as a Patriotic Employer by the U.S. Department of Defense for its support of employee participation in the National Guard and Reserve Force. A current SHAES employee is deployed by the Michigan National Guard. SHAES was nominated for the recognition through the Guard and Reserve Participation Program (ESGR) by the employee.  Dennis Lutz, an ESGR volunteer, recently presented the award at a SHAES Board meeting to Executive Director Brandon Hinz. . ...Read Full Story

Upton Drive Work To Include New Pedestrian Path

St. Joseph City Commissioners have settled on the design for the Upton Drive reconstruction project. The street from the St. Joseph River to Momany Drive is being rebuilt while all of its underground infrastructure is replaced. Speaking to commissioners Monday night, city engineer Tim Zebell said the public was surveyed on two possible designs for the rebuilt road. One envisioned a non-motorized path on the side of the road with a more narrow roadway. The other plan had no non-motorized path. Zebell said most respondents picked Concept One.. ...Read Full Story

As Water Line Project Nears Completion, State Adjusts Benton Harbor Bottled Water Plan

With 99.4% of lead service lines now replaced in the city of Benton Harbor, the state is adjusting its bottled water distribution plan. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says changes to water distribution are being made over the next couple of weeks due to the holidays as well as a new winter distribution model. As of Wednesday, January 4, bottled water will be available for pick up at the Southwest Community Action Agency, while water distribution at the Boys and Girls Club of Benton Harbor’s Fettig Youth Campus is being discontinued. Water can be picked up at the Boys and Girls Club through December 27, and then that site will end. The goal is to have all lead service lines in the city replaced by April and the city and state are on track to meet that goal. Residents should continue to use filters or bottled water for cooking, drinking, brushing teeth, rinsing foods and mixing powdered infant formula until they have a home lead inspection. Those who need a home inspection can find an application here.. ...Read Full Story

Niles, South Haven, Cassopolis Receive Downtown Grants

Niles, South Haven, and Cassopolis are all recipients of state grants aimed at supporting small businesses and strengthening downtowns. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced 35 recipients of Match on Main grants this week. Niles, South Haven, and Cassopolis will each get $25,000 to give to downtown businesses for improvements. In the case of Niles, the grant will go to S&K Cornerstone. In South Haven, the grant will go to Decadent Dogs, and in Cassopolis, the funds will go to Curtis Place LLC. Each will use their grant for expenses that could support interior building renovations, activation of an outdoor space, business infrastructure related to COVID-19, marketing, or inventory. The MEDC says the 35 grants announced statewide this week will create or retain 296 full-time jobs and generate a total investment of more than $2.7 million.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven High School Students Can Now Apply For Scholarships

Nearly $80,000 in scholarship funds will be awarded to South Haven students attending college next fall by the South Haven Area Community Foundation. It says 22 local scholarship applications are now available for South Haven High School seniors online. The application process is provided through a partnership with the South Haven Area Community Foundation and South Haven Public Schools. The foundation says the scholarships are only available for South Haven High School students. There are more than a dozen available. The deadline to apply is March 1 and you can find applications here.. ...Read Full Story

Commission Allows Power Line Project At West Basin Marina

St. Joseph City Commissioners have signaled their support for a project that will result in the power lines at West Basin Marina being moved underground. At a meeting this past week, the city commission approved some distribution easements with Indiana Michigan Power to make way for the project. West Basin Manager Andrew Peters tells us this will benefit both the marina and the neighborhood.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department Issues Respiratory Illness Guidance

Stay home if you’re sick and avoid people who are sick. That’s the advice of Van Buren-Cass District Health Department Medical Director Larry Wile, who issued guidance this week as hospitalizations from respiratory illnesses rise. Wile says there are several hundred types of viruses that can cause cold symptoms, and the vast majority of the time, those illnesses get better on their own. However, he says there is no quick fix. Common cold treatments, like drugstore medications, along with plenty of fluids and rest, may quell symptoms. But they won’t make your cold go away faster or make you less contagious. The best thing to do if you are sick is to stay away from others, and to stay away from sick people when you are well. Meanwhile, he notes there are vaccines available and easy to get for both COVID and the flu.. ...Read Full Story

Sheriff’s Department Conducting Extra Patrols For Holidays

A Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over drunk driving enforcement campaign is now underway as police work to keep the roads safe for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Berrien County Undersheriff Chuck Heit tells us the sheriff’s department is teaming up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to have extra deputies out looking for drunk drivers. Heit has some advice for those who are celebrating.. ...Read Full Story

Buchanan Receiving $300,000 Grant For Trail Expansion

The city of Buchanan will receive another $300,000 from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund for the McCoy Creek’s Trail Extension project. The city says the goal is to extend McCoy’s Creek Trail to River St. Joe Brewery at Flatwater Farms. The existing McCoy’s Creek Trail is a roughly five-mile path that runs along McCoy’s Creek, through prairie, downtown Buchanan, and E.B. Clark Woods. The McCoy’s Creek Trail Extension Project would extend the existing McCoy’s Creek Trail a half-mile along Schirmer Parkway, down River Street across River Street Bridge and into Buchanan Township. The $300,000 Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant will enable completion of the project. Buchanan Mayor Scott Denison says, “This was the last piece we needed. Now it’s time to build a trail!” The trail extension is the first step to connect Buchanan to the Indiana Michigan River Valley Trail. Construction is planned for 2023 and 2024.. ...Read Full Story

New Medic One Director Appointed

There’s a new director of Medic One. The Medic One Board of Trustees this week approved the appointment of Jason Wiley to the role. He had been serving as interim director since October, when the board placed longtime Director Jack Fisher on paid leave. Wiley spoke to the Oronoko Township Board of Trustees this week.. ...Read Full Story

Flu Cases Rising In Michigan

Flu cases are soaring headed into the holidays and packing emergency rooms as Michigan continues to experience a “tripledemic” with the flu, RSV, and COVID-19. Dr. Matthew Sims is director of Infectious Disease Research at Corewell Health East, formerly known as Beaumont. He says RSV cases have peaked and are on the decline, but the flu is spreading at a dangerous rate.. ...Read Full Story

Edwardsburg Man Facing Federal Charges

Najeeb Khan of Edwardsburg is facing federal charges of bank fraud and attempted tax evasion. The US Attorney’s Office in Indiana says the 69-year-old allegedly wrote checks and made wire transfers for money he did not have, which is known as “check-kiting.” The scheme resulted in $150 million dollars in losses. Kahn is accused of using the money to support his now-defunct Elkhart-based payroll processing business known as IOI. He also used the money to buy cars, vacation homes, and airplanes.. ...Read Full Story

Christmas Tree Pickup In South Haven Set For January 11

South Haven residents can get their Christmas tree picked up by Best Way Disposal on Wednesday, January 11 for free. The trees need to be on the curb before 6 a.m. to ensure pickup. Trees placed on the curb any other day will be picked up, but the residents will be charged $25 for it. Garbage carts cannot be at the curb before 8 a.m. the day before collection and need to be moved back by 8 p.m. the day trash is collected. The trash utility adds recycling will be collected every other week on the same day as trash is picked up.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Company Receives Grant For Solar Project

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced more than $1.6 million in grants for businesses in Michigan to implement clean energy projects, and among the recipients is Vail Rubber Works in St. Joseph. USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan Brandon Fewins tells us the company will receive $175,000 for a solar energy initiative.. ...Read Full Story

County Seeking $996,000 Grant For Trail Project

The Berrien County Board of Commissioners has applied for a $996,000 state grant for a linear trail project along M-63. Berrien County Community Development Director Dan Fette tells us the board is seeking a SPARK Grant to help pay for the Lakeview Trail on the east side of M-63 from Klock Road to Monte Road, near the Whirlpool headquarters. The plan is to build a paved bike and walking trail to connect Harbor Shores with the 5.5 mile Whirlpool bike trail unveiled this year. The county last month applied for a state TAP grant of $900,000, also for this project. Fette says no county funds will go into it. Eventually, the Lakeview Trail would feature a tunnel going under M-63 to connect more trails Whirlpool has planned for the west side of M-63. Fette says the county could learn if it’s been approved for the SPARK grant in the spring.. ...Read Full Story

Lengthy Prison Terms For 3 Who Aided Whitmer Kidnap Plotter

From the Associated Press — A judge has handed down the longest prison terms so far in the plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor. Joe Morrison, Pete Musico and Paul Bellar were not charged with having a direct role in the conspiracy. But they were members of a paramilitary group that trained with Adam Fox, the leader of the scheme. Musico was sentenced to at least 12 years in prison. Morrison got 10 years and Bellar received seven. They had forged an early alliance with Fox before the FBI broke up the scheme in 2020. The three were convicted of providing material support for a terrorist act. Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer wanted stiff sentences, saying they’d threatened democracy.. ...Read Full Story

Upton: Legislation Will Protect Marriage Rights

When President Joe Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act this week, Congressman Fred Upton was there. Upton was one of just two Republican representatives from Michigan to vote for the bill to protect same sex and interracial marriages. He tells us marriage equality has been the law of the land for some time now.. ...Read Full Story

Authorities To Announce Arrests, Charges In Benton Harbor and Grand Rapids

U.S. Attorney Mark Totten will be joined by Benton Harbor Public Safety Director Dan McGinnis, Assistant Special Agent in Charge David Porter of the FBI and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kraig Kailimai of the ATF in announcing arrests and charges against 11. Targets were in Benton Harbor and Grand Rapids as police investigated people. The announcement will be at 3 today in Benton Harbor as the criminal complaint in federal court is unsealed. We will have the story at 5 pm today.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Expects Rough Selection Of New House Speaker

The selection of a new U.S. House Speaker is expected to take longer than usual when the new Congress convenes January 3. Congressman Fred Upton tells us Republican Kevin McCarthy is seeking the position, but it looks like he won’t be able to reach the needed 218 votes on the first ballot. So, what if there isn’t a Speaker?. ...Read Full Story

Abonmarche Expands Around West Michigan

Abonmarche is expanding around west Michigan. The engineering firm with a big presence in Benton Harbor-St. Joseph says in addition to opening an expanded Kalamazoo this month, it’s opening a brand new office in downtown Grand Rapids. Abonmarche is an engineering, architecture, and land surveying firm. It says the opening of the two new office locations is a reflection of a steady growth pattern seen in recent years. Abonmarche now employs more than 180 in 10 offices across northern Indiana and west Michigan. CEO Daryl Knip says the company’s expansion “is the result of client demands in those locations, coupled with our goal of ensuring we have the talented staff needed to continue offering a high level of service to those clients.” The new Abonmarche office in downtown Grand Rapids can be found along a city park overlooking the Grand River on Monroe Avenue, while the Kalamazoo office is downtown on East Kalamazoo Avenue.. ...Read Full Story