Local News Archives

New County Commissioner Talks Priorities

New Berrien County Commissioner Bob Harrison is ready to get to work now that he’s been sworn in. Harrison, the former president of Lake Michigan College and now county commissioner for the Seventh District, told Moody in the Morning Wednesday he sees the declining population as a major problem for Berrien County.. ...Read Full Story

Meth Ring Busted In Southwest Michigan

A major meth ring has been busted in Kalamazoo. Michigan State Police tell us after a six month investigation also involving federal and local detectives, it was found the drug trafficking organization had delivered more than 400 pounds of methamphetamine from California to Kalamazoo in the past two years. On Tuesday of this week, the Southwest Enforcement Team got information that another shipment was on the way. Officers were able to intercept it, finding 27 pounds of ice hidden in a vehicle. Officers from SWET, the DEA, and troopers from the Michigan State Police Paw Paw post then executed a search warrant in Kalamazoo, finding two men in their 50s — one from Kalamazoo and one from California — who were taken into custody. While this was going on, officers in California found another 30 pounds of meth. The case is now being turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Grand Rapids, who will be working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in California to prosecute.. ...Read Full Story

BH Schools Lead Work About Finished

All but one of the water fixtures in need of replacement due to lead at Benton Harbor Area Schools have now been replaced. That word at this week’s district CEO meeting. Benton Harbor Area Schools had the water at all of the district’s facilities tested for lead after recent issues in the community and announced in November five fixtures were found to exceed the federal action level of 15 parts per billion. In addition, the district applied the stricter state standard of five parts per billion, finding a total of 20 fixtures above that. It then announced it would replace all of them. 19 are done. The one that has yet to be replaced requires some electric work as well, causing the delay. The district COO said at Tuesday’s CEO meeting that work is slated to be completed this Thursday.. ...Read Full Story

State Announces Blight Elimination Grants

From the Associated Press — Blight elimination funding is available for land banks and governmental units in Michigan counties with fewer than 50,000 people. The Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority says the Michigan Rural Community Demolition grants are designed to help communities remove vacant and abandoned structures from neighborhoods to prepare the areas for developments that spark business investment and provide good jobs. The maximum award per proposal is $50,000 and can be used toward dealing with vacant and abandoned, blighted commercial or residential structures. Proposals will be evaluated based on their anticipated impact in promoting
public safety, enhancing economic development, public and private investment in the project and alignment with the community vision or other place-making efforts. Applications will be accepted until 2 p.m. on February 15.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmakers Look To Reform Civil Forfeiture Laws

From the Associated Press — Republicans and Democrats in the Michigan House want to make it tougher for law enforcement to take ownership of property seized in drug cases that don’t result in convictions. The first bills introduced in the 100th Legislature Wednesday relate to asset forfeiture. Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield joined Democrats, including Attorney General Dana Nessel, to back the legislation. One bill would prohibit prosecutors from permanently confiscating assets thought to be associated with criminal activity unless a defendant is convicted of a drug crime, has entered into a plea agreement or no one claims any interest in the assets. The measure wouldn’t apply in seizures of property and cash worth more than $50,000, excluding the value of contraband. The House passed similar legislation last year, but it died in the Senate.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren District Library To Host Smithsonian Exhibit This Year

The Smithsonian is bringing a traveling exhibit to Van Buren County this year. The Van Buren District Library’s Kay McAdam tells us the Decatur branch will host “Main Street’s Crossroads: Change in Rural America” this fall. It’s one of six locations in Michigan to be selected as a site for the display. It’s all about how small towns became centers of commerce, trade, local politics, and culture in the United States. McAdam says they also have to put together locally-relevant programs.. ...Read Full Story