Local News Archives

Manufacturer Honored For Saving Energy

A check for $50,000 was presented Friday to Kay Manufacturing in St. Joseph by Indiana Michigan Power for Kay’s efforts to become more energy efficient. Kay Manufacturing President Brian Pelke tells WSJM News the company has invested $115,000 in installing LED lighting in its 120,000 square foot facility.. ...Read Full Story

Pagel To Hold Senior Safety Event

State Representative Dave Pagel is hosting a senior safety event on Monday. Set to take place at the senior facility, Brentwood at Niles in Niles, the gathering will be held with the help of the Michigan Attorney General’s Consumer Education Division. Pagel tell us the presentation will be focused on teaching seniors how to detect phone, email, mail, and text scams. He says it’s important for those who are the most common target for scammers to be aware of what to look out for and the problems they can cause. The senior safety event will be Monday from 2 to 3 p.m. and everyone is welcome.. ...Read Full Story

KitchenAid Saluted This Month

Now on display at businesses throughout Berrien County are specially-decorated KitchenAid stand mixers. St. Joseph Today’s Amy Zapal tells us it’s a project called “Stand Mixers on Parade,” intended to thank the appliance maker for its support of the community as the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship takes place at Harbor Shores this month. You can find the stand mixers at businesses from Stevensville to St. Joe.. ...Read Full Story

Cook Plant Unit Back Online

Unit 2 at the Cook nuclear power plant is now back up and running. Cook plant spokesperson Bill Schalk tells WSJM News the unit was shut down in March for a regular refueling outage. The 67 day outage featured a variety of repairs and other maintenance in the reactor.. ...Read Full Story

OutCenter Lake Effect Pride Event

The OutCenter in Benton Harbor has announced the details of its 2018 Lake Effect Pride event. The annual party is held to recognize the organization’s successes for the year and to celebrate the LGBTQ community. This year’s Lake Effect Pride event will be held on Saturday, July 16 at Four Winds Casinos’ Silver Creek Event Center in New Buffalo. The theme this year will be “Bet on Love, You Will Always Win,” and the party will also raise funds for OutCenter programs. You can find out more right here.. ...Read Full Story

Girl Scouts Give Cookies To Veterans

372 boxes of cookies are being given to southwest Michigan American Legion posts by a Girl Scout troop as the girls thank veterans for their service. On Friday, Elise Voglewede and Alexandria Smith from Girl Scout Community 201 stopped by the Y Country Radio studio to hand off 31 cases of s’mores — that’s more than 5,000 cookies — to morning host Matt Malone. Smith told us it’s for Y Country’s May We Say Thank You Tour.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joe Street Project

A major street reconstruction project is about to get started in St. Joseph. City Engineer Tim Zebell tells WSJM News they’re going to get to work on June 11 not only repaving but also installing new water mains on Wallace Avenue. The work will be from Lakeshore Drive to South State Street and Stadium Drive from Wallace Avenue to the St. Joseph High School entrance. Traffic to the west side of the high school will be maintained this summer, but Wallace between Lakeshore Drive and Lakeview Avenue will be closed.. ...Read Full Story

Relay For Life Registrations

Relay for Life of Van Buren County is once again holding its yearly event at Bangor High School. If you are a cancer survivor or know someone who is, there’s an open invitation for you to attend the event on Saturday, June 9. You’re encouraged to pre-register this Friday at Peace Lutheran Church in South Haven from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or, on Saturday at the Lawrence Library from 10 a.m. to noon. The Relay for Life event on June 9 will feature purple carpet photo ops, sparkling juice, a celebratory Survivor lap around the track, a Survivor speaker, and a dinner in honor of all the survivors. All activities are free and open to all who have survived cancer. You can find out more about Van Buren County’s Relay for Life event right here.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department Salutes Police

Local police have been honored by the Berrien County Health Department with its 2018 Friend of Public Health Award. Spokesperson Gillian Conrad tells WSJM News the award is given each year to an individual or organization that has advanced public health. Police were picked this year because of all their efforts to fight the opioid epidemic. Conrad tells us police in Berrien County have been at the forefront when it comes to including anti-overdose medications in their equipment.. ...Read Full Story

Grant For Niles Library

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has picked the Niles District Library to be the recipient of a grant. This week, the foundation announced a round of more than $145,000 in grants for organizations around Michigan that include schools, non-profits, and libraries. The Niles District Library is receiving $2,000 for its adult, family, and summer literacy programs. The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is giving out 35 grants this summer around the state to organizations within a 20 mile radius of one of its stores. The library in Niles is the only Berrien County organization selected.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmaker Honored By Firefighters

The Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union has named state Senator Tonya Schuitmaker its Legislator of the Year. Schuitmaker, a Republican from Lawton, is also running for Michigan Attorney General, and says it’s an honor to receive the award. She shares it this year with state Senator Rick Jones of Grand Ledge, a former county sheriff. Schuitmaker tells us we “depend on first responders in difficult situations in life and we are truly grateful for their courage, skill, and professionalism.” She has previously been named the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association Legislator of the Year.. ...Read Full Story

Engler Addresses Nassar Case

Former governor and now Michigan State University President John Engler spoke about the Larry Nassar sexual abuse at a breakfast event in Birmingham Thursday morning. He said he was surprised with how things were being handled at MSU when he took the job.. ...Read Full Story

I&M Offers New Renewable Energy Program

If you support renewable energy and want Indiana Michigan Power to invest more in it, you now have a chance to put your money where your mouth is. I&M spokesperson Tracy Warner tells WSJM News the company has now rolled out its Green Power Option to Michigan customers. With it, you can sign up to attribute a portion or all of your monthly energy usage to I&M’s renewable energy programs.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department Talks Lyme Disease

This is the time of year when infections of Lyme disease increase, and the hazard is a particular concern here in southwest Michigan, Berrien County Health Department spokesperson Gillian Conrad tells WSJM News Berrien County has a much higher rate of Lyme disease infections than the rest of state. We’ve got the terrain that ticks love.. ...Read Full Story

More Info On Fatal Crash

A 23-year-old Hartford Township man is dead following a crash last week. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department tells us the crash happened on the evening of Wednesday, May 2 on County Road 362 east of 70th Street in Keeler Township. Witnesses told sheriff’s deputies the vehicle lost control and ran off the south side of the road while headed east. It overturned several times and then ejected the driver, Adam Lee Hess. Despite life-saving efforts made by first responders, Hess died at an area hospital. Police say blood work shows the driver’s blood alcohol level was within the legal limits.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Talks GOP Debate

State Senator John Proos liked what he heard in Wednesday night’s Republican gubernatorial debate. Dr. Jim Hines, state Senator Patrick Colbeck, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, and Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley squared off at a forum organized by WOOD TV. Proos tells us the issues discussed matched when he hears about in southwest Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

State Police Cracking On I-94 Drivers

You can expect to see more Michigan State Police troopers on patrol on I-94 this spring and summer, all the way from the Indiana border to Wayne County. As traffic crashes on I-94 went up last year, MSP Fifth District Commander Captain Kyle Bowman told Michigan News Network this week they’ll be looking for distracted driving, aggressive driving , and drivers who follow too closely.. ...Read Full Story

Peters Makes Open Internet Appeal

An effort is underway in the United States Senate to block the FCC from implementing its repeal of net neutrality protections, and Senator Gary Peters of Michigan is a part of it. Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Peters said it’s necessary that Americans have access to open internet so they can compete with the rest of the world.. ...Read Full Story

AARP Grants For Cities

With the nation facing an aging population, many communities are examining ways to become places where people of all ages can thrive. Now, cities and towns in Michigan ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work on livability projects have an opportunity to get some financial help. Mark Hornbeck with AARP Michigan tells us the AARP Community Challenge is offering grants for innovative improvement ideas that will allow all residents to make the most out of where they live.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmaker Praises Veterans Office

State Representative Beth Griffin of Mattawan is hailing word that Van Buren County has now hired a veterans services officer. She’s been behind legislation to create grant programs for counties to have full-time staff that work to connect veterans with services that can help them.. ...Read Full Story

GOP Gubernatorial Candidates In Michigan Hold 1st Debate

Republicans running for Michigan governor have made their cases to voters in their first debate. Attorney General Bill Schuette emphasized his endorsement from President Donald Trump and his plans to cut taxes and auto insurance rates during a Wednesday night debate hosted by WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids. Rival Brian Calley touts Michigan’s economic gains during his time as lieutenant governor and calls Schuette a “career politician.”. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Short-Term Rental Moratorium

The South Haven City Council has approved a six month moratorium on new short-term rentals in Wards 1 and 2. Those wards consist of the southern portion of the city along the lakeshore and the eastern portion of the city south of the Black River. City staff will not accept or process applications for new rentals in Wards 1 and 2. Mayor Scott Smith tells us the city has been gathering data about what’s working and what needs improving under the current ordinance. Year-round residents have expressed displeasure over noise levels, parked cars blocking emergency vehicle access, and the behavior of some of the people renting houses short-term in the city. Short term rentals have long been a controversy in South Haven. The six-month moratorium on them was approved on Monday by the South Haven City Council.. ...Read Full Story

LaSata Talks “Kayak Tax”

State Representative Kim LaSata is among the Michigan lawmakers calling on the Michigan State Waterways Commission to drop plans for a tax on small watercraft like canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards. She tells WSJM News the House overwhelmingly voted this week for a resolution opposing the move.. ...Read Full Story

SJ Company Saluted For Energy Efficiency

A check for $50,000 will be presented this week to Kay Manufacturing in St. Joseph by Indiana Michigan Power for Kay’s efforts to become more energy efficient. Kay Manufacturing President Brian Pelke tells WSJM News the company has invested $115,000 in installing LED lighting in its 120,000 square foot facility.. ...Read Full Story

Andrews Team Helps In Puerto Rico

A group of 20 Andrews University faculty, staff, students, and graduates have returned from a trip to Puerto Rico to help provide mental health services there following Hurricane Maria. Andrews Associate Professor of Psychology Melissa Ponce-Rodas tells WSJM News following natural disasters, mental health issues do arise.. ...Read Full Story

Lakeshore Leaders Look Ahead

There is still work ahead for leaders at Lakeshore Public Schools after this week’s failure of a bond proposal. Voters rejected the $21 million bond on Tuesday on a vote of 2,300 to 1,907. Lakeshore Superintendent Phil Freeman tells WSJM News the need for building improvements and new technology is still there.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Speaker Series Tomorrow

“Why Our Political Is Behaving So Oddly” is the topic South Haven Speaker Series guest Phil Power address on Thursday, May 10th at the Lake Michigan College South Haven campus. Speaker Series Board President Mark Odland tells WSJM News Power is the founder of the Center for Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

House Opposes “Kayak Tax”

It doesn’t look like you’re going to be forced to pay any fees to register paddle boards, canoes, and kayaks with the state. The Michigan House has voted overwhelmingly to oppose the so-called “kayak tax” floated by the Michigan State Waterways Commission. Representative Curt VanderWall of Ludington sponsored the resolution, which received bipartisan support.. ...Read Full Story

Roadside Park Arson Under Investigation

An arson at the Flowing Wells Roadside Park in Bainbridge Township is under investigation. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells WSJM News someone noticed the bathrooms at the park on fire around 10 p.m. last Friday and called 9-1-1. The sheriff’s office and Fire Marshall’s Division of the Michigan State Police determined the fire had been intentionally set, and a reward is being offered by Crime Stoppers for information leading to the arrest of those responsible. At this point, authorities have not identified any suspects. The roadside park and the structures on the property are owned by the Michigan Department of Transportation.. ...Read Full Story

State Police To Target Dangerous Driving On I-94

Michigan State Police plan to target dangerous driving behaviors of motorists using Interstate 94 between the Indiana state line and Wayne County in southeastern Michigan. More troopers will be assigned to patrol the highway during the spring and summer, focusing on distracted and aggressive driving, following too closely, improper lane use and excessive speed.. ...Read Full Story

Treasurer Reminds Homeonwers Of Tax Program

If you’re behind on your taxes, Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski wants you to know a state program to help pay them off is still available. Last year, Witkowski and other treasurers promoted the Step Forward Michigan program. It was offering $35 million in no-interest loans around the state to homeowners who needed some help. Witkowski tells WSJM News there’s still plenty of money available.. ...Read Full Story

Mackinac Conference This Month

1,700 business leaders and politicians will attend the Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island later this month. Highlights include a keynote speech from former Speaker of the House John Boehner and a governor’s debate between the top three candidates from each party. Ray Telang is the Mackinac Policy Conference Policy Chair and told Michigan News Network beyond the programs, networking is important.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Election Results

Voters headed to the polls on Tuesday is some communities around Berrien County, in all cases deciding school funding. The biggest was a bond for Lakeshore Public Schools, which voters rejected. The vote was 2,300 no to 1,907 yes. The district was seeking $21 million in bonds for building improvements, the purchase of equipment, and work on athletic facilities and playgrounds. Now, it’s back to the drawing board.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren County Election Results

A couple of Van Buren County communities held elections on Tuesday. In South Haven, voters were asked to renew the operating millage for South Haven Public Schools. It accounts for more than 42% of the district’s operating revenue, and voters approved it. There was also a city council election in Bangor, but it was uncontested. Elected to the city council were Fred Hicks and Steven Lowder.. ...Read Full Story

Commission Approves Medical Marijuana Rules

Medical Marijuana is a step closer to coming to Benton Harbor. At a Monday meeting, the city commission approved updated zoning rules recommended by the planning commission that will permit up to 25 medical marijuana facilities in the city. The commission also approved a resolution in support for the sale of the vacant Alreco Metals property to medical marijuana outfit the Harvest Group. Harvest Group has offered the Berrien County Land Bank more than $400,000 for the foreclosed 11 acre property to produce medical marijuana there. It’s said its plans would mean $7 million in investment and between 150 and 200 jobs. Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells WSJM News the land bank can now act more quickly to approve the Alreco sale to Harvest.. ...Read Full Story

More Testimony On Nassar Legislation

Victims of Larry Nassar are at the state capitol this week to testify in favor of new child protection legislation. Former diver Sterling Riethman from Kalamazoo was abused by Nassar at his MSU clinic. She testified on Tuesday that many girls don’t report the abuse until later in life.. ...Read Full Story

SJ Public Safety Plans This Summer

St. Joseph City Commissioners and the public have been updated by Public Safety Director Brian Uridge on plans to better police the community this summer. Last summer, St. Joe Public Safety changed traffic patterns to reduce congestion while making more parking spaces available, and this summer will bring a return to many of those practices. Uridge also said at Monday’s city commission meeting there will be more community engagement from police this summer.. ...Read Full Story

Reward Increased For Murder Suspect

The reward for information leading to the arrest of Benton Harbor murder suspect Antwan “Tank” Mims has been doubled from $10,000 to $20,000. At a press conference Tuesday, Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety Director Dan McGinnis said Mims is the main suspect in the shooting deaths of Michael Johnson and Cortez Miller on March 25.. ...Read Full Story

New Hot Dog Seller For Lions Park

There will be another vendor selling hot dogs at a St. Joseph summer attraction this year. On Monday, the St. Joseph City Commission gave its thumbs up to Myles Hambley to have a hot dog cart at Lions Park Beach. He told commissioners he plans to keep it simple, serving a few different types of dogs to beach goers along with a few other treats. Lions Beach is one of five locations where the city allows things like hot dog carts to be located in the summer months, and there was a vacancy there. Also Monday, the commission voted to allow Scoot Joe’s to put up a 20 by 30 foot tent on its property to protect a fleet of bicycles the places rents out in the summer.. ...Read Full Story

Voters Heading To Polls In Parts Of SWMI

There are school elections in a few areas of southwest Michigan today. In Van Buren County, school millage requests are on the ballot in Coloma, Dowagiac, South Haven, and Watervliet, while the city of Bangor is also holding elections today for its city council. In Berrien County, Lakeshore Public Schools have a bond proposal before voters. The district says a “yes” vote would keep the current millage rate of 4.2 mills in place over the next 20 years, bringing in $21 million for the district. If the proposal fails, the rate will decrease this year by about 1.3 mills. Polls are open until 8 p.m.. ...Read Full Story

Orchards Mall Up For Auction

The Orchards Mall is up for sale. WSJM News has learned the owner of the mall is auctioning it off through a Farmington Hills-based company, with a starting bid of $750,000. The auction is scheduled to be held from June 4-6. The Orchards Mall has a 45% occupancy rate and has been in various states of disrepair for years, with former tenants complaining about the electricity being shut off at times and the heating and air conditioning system not working in several stores. The mall’s current owner is also behind on property taxes to Berrien County, and has narrowly avoided foreclosure the past two years. Details of the auction can be found here.. ...Read Full Story

Cancer Claims State Superintendent Brian Whiston

Michigan State Superintendent Brian Whiston has died at the age of 56 from cancer. Whiston had begun a long-term medical leave from the Michigan Department of Education on Friday on the advice of his doctors, and had announced he would be stepping away to fight the illness in March. He revealed he was battling cancer at a State Board of Education meeting in January. Prior to taking the job as the state’s top educator, Whiston had been the superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools and was a lobbyist of Oakland Schools. In announcing his leave Friday, Whiston said Chief Deputy Superintendent Sheila Alles would be running the Department of Education in his absence.. ...Read Full Story

EPA Tests Water At MI Tannery

From the Associated Press — Federal environmental officials are resuming an investigation into contamination at a former tannery in western Michigan five years after the Environmental Protection Agency left the site under state control. The Grand Rapids Press reports that the EPA says new testing will begin this month at the former manufacturing site where Wolverine World Wide used chemicals
to waterproof shoe leather. The EPA has requested Wolverine conduct extensive soil and groundwater sampling across the Rockford property. The site has been open to the community and used as a space for events since 2010. Recent testing found extremely high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances at the site. But the EPA is focusing its probe on other contaminants as well. Wolverine says it’s working with regulators and expects to begin fieldwork this summer.. ...Read Full Story

National Nurses Week

This is National Nurses Week. It’s a time to celebrate and honor those who give so much on the job. Many nurses like Beaumont Hospital orthopedic nurse Maureen Cooper tells Michigan News Network it’s not so much a job as a calling.. ...Read Full Story

Man Gets Life In Girl’s Beating Death

From the Associated Press — A man has been sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole for the beating death of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter, who was found wrapped in blankets and duct tape in southwestern Michigan. A judge handed down the mandatory punishment Monday for 35-year-old Matthew Longenecker. He was convicted earlier by a jury of charges including murder and child abuse in the asphyxiation death of Desaray Thompson in Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports Longenecker declined to speak at Monday’s
hearing. Last month, his 34-year-old girlfriend Kelly Ballinger was ordered to serve between 23 years, nine months and 50 years. Jurors convicted Ballinger of child abuse and involuntary manslaughter. Authorities say the couple restrained Desaray with blankets and duct tape in July 2017. An autopsy found evidence of past abuse.. ...Read Full Story

SJ Commission Discusses Rates

Residents of St. Joseph will be paying a bit more in taxes under a plan given its first reading by city commissioners Monday night. After a lengthy discussion, the commission gave its initial green light to a street millage increase of 2.55 mills, or about $200 a year for a home with a taxable value of $140,000. Mayor Mike Garey told WSJM News people seem to understand the streets need to be fixed, and that it’s going to cost something.. ...Read Full Story

Wednesday Bike To School Day

This Wednesday is Bike to School Day, and thousands of students around Michigan are expected to take part. Organized by the Michigan Fitness Foundation and the Safe Routes to School program, Bike to School Day is designed to promote health, wellness, and physical activity. Everyone is encouraged to take their bicycle to school as Safe Routes to School partners with the Michigan Department of Transportation to enhance active transportation through a variety of modes. Schools officially signed up to be part of Bike to School Day include St. Basil Catholic School in South Haven. In all, more than 175 schools have signed on. Governor Rick Snyder has officially recognized May 9 as Michigan’s Bike to School Day this year, promoting the importance of physical activity.. ...Read Full Story

Renaissance Fair Planned In Niles

Set for this month is the first ever Niles Renaissance Faire. Niles History Center Director Christina Arseneau tells WSJM News the city decided to hold a renaissance faire because the events are increasingly popular in the region, attracting both history buffs and fans of fantasy. On hand will be food vendors and performers.. ...Read Full Story

State Naloxone Order

Michigan residents are being reminded of the state’s standing order on anti-overdose drug naloxone. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Lynn Sutfin tells WSJM News the order was issued in May of last year, making it possible for anyone to get their hands on doses of naloxone.. ...Read Full Story

Bicyclist Hit By Vehicle

A Niles man is recovering from serious injuries after he was struck by a vehicle while riding a bicycle on Sunday evening. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us 18-year-old Justin Copper was headed west on Bell Road at the South 11th Street intersection in Niles shortly before 6 p.m. when he was struck by a southbound vehicle on South 11th. Police say witnesses have told them the vehicle, driven by 54-year-old Judy Vallieres of Niles, had the right of way. Vallieres tried to stop, but was unable to do so. Copper was taken to Memorial Hospital in South Bend to be treated.. ...Read Full Story

Reward Offered For BH Murder Suspect

A $10,000 reward is now being offered for information that leads to the arrest of a murder suspect in Benton Harbor. The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety tells us 40-year-old Antwan “Tank” Mims is the main suspect in the double homicide of Michael Johnson and Cortez Miller on March 25. The victims were found shot at a home in the 900 block of LaVette in Benton Harbor, and died at an area hospital. Since the incident, detectives from the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety, Michigan State Police, and the FBI have been looking for Mims. Anyone who knows where he is can contact Benton Harbor Public Safety. Police plan to update the public on the case at a press conference Tuesday.. ...Read Full Story

Illinois Seeks Talks On Asian Carp

From the Associated Press — Illinois says it will work with federal officials and other states on a strategy for fortifying a Chicago-area lock and dam to keep Asian carp out of Lake Michigan. Governor Bruce Rauner has sent letters to his counterparts in the Great Lakes
region proposing negotiations toward an agreement on using the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet to block the path of the invasive fish. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a $275 million draft plan last year proposing an array of defenses at the site, including an electric barrier, noisemakers, and water jets. The region’s eight states are divided over the plan. Illinois says it would disrupt Chicago’s transportation system. Rauner proposed that representatives of each state meet regularly with the Corps to seek an agreement.. ...Read Full Story

KitchenAid Food Truck Drumming Up Excitement For Golf Tournament

KitchenAid is gearing up for its role as the title sponsor of the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores later this month by hitting the road with a food truck serving cookies and prizes. Deb O’Connor is the appliance maker’s director of global partnerships and spoke to Morning Sportsbeat on 957 & 1400 WSJM Sports about the food truck tour, which will be going all over up until May 19.. ...Read Full Story

Statewide Gas Prices Steady With Last Week

Gas prices are mostly unchanged around the state compared to last week. According to the latest survey from Triple-A Michigan, the statewide average is the same as a week ago at $2.85. Prices in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph are at the statewide average, also unchanged. The survey finds the most expensive gas in the areas looked at by AAA to be in Ann Arbor for the second straight week at $2.91, and Marquette drivers have the state’s lowest prices at $2.78. South Haven is not part of the Triple-A survey and has some of the area’s lowest gas prices. You can find unleaded along the Lake Michigan shore in Van Buren County for as low as $2.68 a gallon. The statewide average is about 50¢ more than what we were paying a year ago.. ...Read Full Story

Five Hurt In Two Cass County Crashes

Several people are recovering from injuries suffered in a pair of crashes in Cass County over the weekend. 75-year-old Gerald Keesler of Dowagiac had to be airlifted to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo after he was tossed from his motorcycle when it was hit by a Dowagiac man in Pokagon Township in front of Four Winds Casino. Keesler was passing a car that was turning into a gas station when the car that hit him pulled out of the same business. The sheriff’s department says Keesler was wearing a helmet. Deputies were also called to a crash on M-51 in Pokagon Township just under an hour later at noon for a crash that left four people with minor injuries. In that incident, an 85-year-old Niles man did not notice a car in front of him slowing down to allow a third vehicle to turn into a driveway. Both crashes are still being investigated.. ...Read Full Story

More Broadband Coming To Van Buren

A Bloomingdale-based company is planning to invest $12 million in the expansion of broadband internet in Van Buren County over the next few years. Bloomingdale Communications General Manager Steve Shults tells WSJM News the company is rolling out fiber to areas north of Bloomingdale to about Allegan County and south to about M-43. He says the need for broadband in Van Buren is great.. ...Read Full Story