Local News Archives

State Police Back To School Reminder


With students in most Michigan school districts heading back to school next week, Michigan State Police are reminding everyone to take extra steps to be safe. MSP Trooper Kellie Shaffer with the Paw Paw post tells WSJM News kids who walk to school or the bus stop need to be reminded of the few things by their parents.. ...Read Full Story

Amber Alert Suspect Arrested Near Sturgis


A 37-year-old man is in police custody in Sturgis after triggering an Amber Alert overnight when police say he abducted his three children. Fernando Cruz was arrested this morning after a standoff near Sturgis. The three kids, ages 2, 4, and 5, were found safe. Police believe Cruz crossed into Indiana before being arrested back in southern Michigan. Sturgis Public Safety Chief Geoff Smith called Cruz and convinced him to surrender peacefully this morning. He was believed to be armed, and police were called to the home of the children’s mother after Cruz allegedly assaulted her and took off with the kids.. ...Read Full Story

Tornadoes Confirmed In Michigan This Week


From the Associated Press — The National Weather Service has confirmed two weak tornadoes struck northern Michigan.
It says a brief twister rated EF-1 with estimated peak winds of 100 mph Tuesday night damaged two homes near West Branch in Ogemaw County. The other rated EF-0 with estimated peak winds of 80 mph mainly damaged trees near Alba in Antrim
County. The National Weather Service says Tuesday night’s storms dumped up to 3 inches of rain in the Grand Rapids area. The Muskegon area has received 8 to 10 inches of rain since Sunday. Consumers Energy says more than 80,000 customers remained without power Tuesday afternoon and some might not get have it restored until late Friday. Separately, Great Lakes Energy reported 25,000 outages.. ...Read Full Story

PFAS Hearings Soon In Congress


Hearings inspired by the PFAS contamination in the water system of Parchment could be held soon in Congress. The Kalamazoo County community was unable to use its local water for weeks when the chemical PFAs was found in dangerously-high levels. Residents got the green light to drink the water again this week, and Congressman Fred Upton tells WSJM News he wants leaders in Washington to learn from what happened.. ...Read Full Story

Coloma Grads Searching For Time Capsule


Former classmates reunited in Coloma this past weekend to uncover a time capsule they buried 30 years ago, but they couldn’t find it. The Herald Palladium reports the seven classmates and two teachers spent two hours on Sunday digging outside Coloma Junior High School. Tracy Gilmer says she remembers putting a Michael Jackson cassette in the box, along with assignments in an accelerated writing-and-reasoning program, including a flag for a fictional country. A teacher, Sandi Sanders, says information about the capsule was filed away but lost. Coloma Superintendent Dave Ehlers says the box may have been unearthed earlier when work was performed to alleviate flooding behind the school. The group still might use a metal detector and keep hunting. Anyone who knows anything about the time capsule’s location can call Coloma Community Schools.. ...Read Full Story

Kinexus Planning Manufacturing Month


Kinexus is gearing up for its 6th annual Manufacturing Day with a new twist this year. The organization tells us they’re going to hold a whole Manufacturing Week. Slated for October 1 through October 5, the week will be a chance for local students and their parents to tour manufacturing facilities and learn about the job opportunities the industry is expected to offer in the coming years. Kinexus Director of Business Solutions Jeff Hannan tells WSJM News more than 1,200 people attended last year.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph City Commission To Hold Special Session Thursday


The St. Joseph City Commission will hold a special meeting Thursday night. They had to cancel Monday night’s regular meeting for a lack of a quorum, with City Manager John Hodgson telling us one commissioner was out of town and two others had health matters that prevented them from being there. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall and is expected to be brief with just five items on the agenda. Hodgson says those matters require attention and votes now and couldn’t be put off until the September 10 meeting. Commissioners will vote on a pavement preventative maintenance program, which will have an asphalt seal put on some roads for the first time. They will be considering a contract with an Iowa contractor to do the work.. ...Read Full Story

LMC Economic Impact Study


The Lake Michigan College Board of Trustees this week heard the results of an economic impact study on the college. Susan Hackett, a consultant with EMSI, a labor market analysis firm, said a look at 2016 and 2017 data for southwest Michigan showed LMC resulted in added regional income of more than $170 million when you consider the higher earnings for graduates, ripple effects, and direct employees. Hackett told WSJM News there are also the “social savings” of having a college.. ...Read Full Story

Engler Talks MSU Reforms Post-Nassar


Classes are underway for the year at Michigan State University, with the campus community still recovering from the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal. Interim MSU president John Engler spoke with WSJM Wednesday morning about the changes that he’s made since taking over to try to address what happened and the cover-up of the abuse at several levels.. ...Read Full Story

Charges Filed In Bridgman Dog Bite Case


Bridgman police say the story about a dog biting a three-year-old boy isn’t entirely true. The child’s father, 24-year-old Elex Dubar, is now facing charges of filing a false police report. His friend, 55-year-old Douglas Essig, is also facing charges in the case of having a dangerous animal causing serious injury and conspiracy to falsely report a misdemeanor. Investigators say Dubar and Essig made up the story about a woman walking her dog that attacked the little boy to try to cover up the bite that actually came from Essig’s dog. Dubar had told police his son was attacked by a brown lab mix that was being walked by a woman in a pink shirt and blue yoga pants, and authorities spent several days trying to find a woman that didn’t exist. Essig’s dog is quarantined, and Dubar told police the idea to come up with the story came from his friend during a phone call from the hospital.. ...Read Full Story

Judge: MI Law Burdens Independent Candidates


From the Associated Press — A federal judge says Michigan’s law governing how independent candidates can qualify for the ballot “severely burdens” the constitutional rights of attorney general candidate Christopher Graveline. District Judge Victoria Roberts issued a preliminary injunction Monday ordering the state to certify Graveline for the November ballot as long as he
submitted at least 5,000 valid voter signatures. She says the requirement to obtain 30,000 valid signatures within 180 days is arbitrary. Graveline, a federal prosecutor who quit his job to run, filed his lawsuit in July. He turned in roughly 14,000 signatures. Major- and minor-party candidates for attorney general are chosen at nominating conventions and do not have to circulate petitions. Republicans nominated state House Speaker Tom Leonard on Saturday, while Democrats backed lawyer Dana Nessel on Sunday.. ...Read Full Story

LMC Dedicates Todd Center


The former Western Michigan University building at the Benton Township campus of Lake Michigan College is now the Edward J. Todd Center at LMC. A dedication for the recently-acquired building was held Tuesday. LMC President Trevor Kubatzke told WSJM News the building will house several college programs.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmaker Meets With Students


As lawmakers spend most of their time this summer on the campaign trail, they’re still meeting with constituents. Sometimes, they’re not even old enough to vote. Representative Mary Whiteford, who represents part of Van Buren County along with Allegan County, says she asked visiting students from Allegan’s Dawson Elementary this summer about what was important to them and their family. She says one raised his hand and said he wanted to be sure there were police officers.. ...Read Full Story

Early Elk Season Opens


From the Associated Press — The opening period of Michigan’s elk hunting season is getting underway during the centennial year of the species’ return to the state. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says 100 hunters will have 12
days beginning Tuesday to pursue an elk. Seventy antlerless-only licenses and 30 any-elk licenses have been issued.
Officials say the early period lets hunters shoot an elk anywhere within the elk management unit except within the core range area. That approach is designed to keep most of Michigan’s elk inside the core range. It was 100 years ago that seven elk were brought from the western U.S. to re-establish Michigan’s herd. The population is now estimated at 1,200, exceeding the goal of 500 to 900. A September 8 celebration of the centennial is planned in Gaylord.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Remembers John McCain


Congressman Fred Upton is remembering Senator John McCain, who passed away Saturday. Upton, who campaigned with McCain in 2007 as the Arizona senator was seeking the Republican nomination for president, tells us he and McCain had a special bond. Upton tells WSJM News he remembers one early morning in February of 2007 when he and McCain were in Traverse City knocking on doors and asking for support.. ...Read Full Story

Highway Cams Visible At MDOT Site


The Michigan Department of Transportation continues to roll out traffic cameras along highways across the state. A glance at Michigan.gov/Drive will show you clusters of traffic cams all over heavily driven areas. MDOT spokesperson Nick Schirripa tells WSJM News some cameras were taken down for a while.. ...Read Full Story

Parchment Gets All-Clear For Clean City Water


The water in the city of Parchment and Cooper Township is again safe to drink. The state found extremely high levels of the suspected carcinogen PFAS in the water system last month at over 14-hundred parts per trillion, and new tests find that level is less than 10 parts per trillion now. City of Kalamazoo utilities director Jim Baker says they also found some other levels on the high side, including lead, which they have addressed.. ...Read Full Story

Gary Peters On John McCain


U.S. Senator Gary Peters of Michigan says John McCain always treated everyone with the utmost respect. Peters told Michigan News Network Monday that’s what he will remember about his Republican colleague from Arizona. McCain who died Saturday from brain cancer.. ...Read Full Story

Latest PFAS Update


As a drinking water advisory is lifted for the community of Parchment in Kalamazoo County, health officials say the job of keeping residents safe is not over. In June, groundwater wells were contaminated with chemicals known as PFAS. The water system was then flushed out by the city of Kalamazoo. Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller spoke at a news conference on the situation Monday.. ...Read Full Story

State: Time For a Flu Vaccine


This is a good time to start planning to get a flu vaccine. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Bob Wheaton tells WSJM News it may seem a bit early, but a recent rash of flu cases stemming from a mail carriers conference in Grand Rapids shows the flu can become a problem anytime. He says the flu vaccine is widely available.. ...Read Full Story

Teen Mental Health Summit This Week


The Boys and Girls Club of Benton Harbor will host a teen mental health summit this week. The club’s John Sams tells WSJM News the gathering will be all day this Wednesday at the Joel E. Smilow Teen Center. The day will include break-out sessions on controlling one’s emotions, how the legal system treats mental illness, and bullying. Sams says the 2018 Teen Summit on Mental Health is hosted by the Keystone Club, a teen leadership group at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department Back To School Bash


This Tuesday will bring the Berrien County Health Department’s third annual Back to School Bash. It’ll be held at the health department office on East Napier in Benton Township from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The health department tells us anyone can stop by with their kids to prepare them for the start of new school year. The department will provide free hearing and vision screenings, vaccines required for school entry, healthy snacks, activities, and giveaways for the kids. You can also get information about WIC, parenting education, and health insurance assistance. Police will be on hand to meet with kids and show off law enforcement equipment. Everyone is welcome to stop by.. ...Read Full Story

Ferris State Faculty On Strike


From the Associated Press — Dozens of Ferris State University faculty members took to a picket line as they went on strike for the first day of fall semester classes. Striking tenured teachers at the university in Big Rapids chanted “No contract, no work” while lining a sidewalk Monday. The strike followed a Sunday negotiating session that didn’t result in a new contract agreement with the Ferris Faculty Association, which represents some 450 full-time faculty members. The 14,000-student school says on its website that some professors might not be present for classes but that students should attend as scheduled. Faculty union President Charles Bacon tells The Detroit News that he’s frustrated with lack of progress. The two sides are split over pay increases. School spokeswoman Michelle Rasmussen says declining enrollment has reduced tuition revenue.. ...Read Full Story

Names Released In Fatal Crash


An Illinois man is dead following a crash on I-94 in Royalton Township Monday morning. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us the crash happened around 6 a.m. on the eastbound side of the highway on the bridge over the St. Joseph River between the Niles Road and Scottdale Road exits. It was between a van driven by 56-year-old Myles Ullenbrauck of Skokie, Illinois and a Jeep driven by 29-year-old Stephen Byers of St. Joseph. Ullenbrauck was killed, while Byers was taken to Lakeland Hospital. Investigators say neither driver was wearing a seat belt. The crash closed eastbound I-94 in the area for about three hours.
. ...Read Full Story

I-94 Crash Kills One In Royalton Township


One person is dead from a crash on I-94 in Royalton Township this morning. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department says the crash was between a 2013 Chrysler van and a 2002 Jeep Liberty on the bridge over the St. Joseph River between the Niles Road and Scottdale Road exits. The crash closed the eastbound lanes of I-94 for about three hours, opening back up around 9 a.m. Investigators say neither driver was wearing a seat belt, and the driver of the van was killed. The driver of the Jeep is recovering at Lakeland Hospital.. ...Read Full Story

Garth Brooks To Talk Notre Dame Stadium Show


We will know more this afternoon about the Garth Brooks concert at Notre Dame Stadium. The country music titan will be in South Bend today to talk about the details of the first-ever concert at the stadium, which was announced this summer. As yet, we don’t know the date of the show. Brooks is the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year and was the first artist to ever receive 7 Diamond awards, given for each album that has sold over 10 million copies. He is the top-selling solo artist in U.S. history, selling more than 148 million albums since his self-titled debut was released in April 1989. WSJM News will be at today’s press conference along with 97.5 Y-Country, and as of now, we are planning to air the press conference live on Y-Country at 1 p.m.. ...Read Full Story

Two Arrested For South Haven Vehicle Break-Ins


Two people are jailed in connection with vehicle break-ins in South Haven and South Haven Township. An 18-year-old man from South Haven Township and a 21-year-old woman from the city of South Haven were arrested Friday and are in the Van Buren County Jail. A witness called in a license plate early Friday after seeing the suspects trying to break into cars in the city. Police found a stolen handgun along with several items reported stolen recently from cars. They’re also trying to identify other victims and get their belongings returned.. ...Read Full Story

Fair Attendance Numbers


Preparations are already underway for next year’s Berrien County Youth Fair now that the 2018 event is all wrapped up. Berrien County Youth Fair Director Karen Klug tells WSJM News about 105,000 people walked through the fairground gates last week. That’s compared to 121,000 the previous year. The biggest attractions?. ...Read Full Story

Public Art For Benton Harbor?


There could soon be an effort to beautify areas of Benton Harbor with murals. At this week’s city commission meeting, Anna Russo-Sieber with ARS Arts and Culture Center in Benton Harbor and Detroit-area artist John Sauve made their initial pitch to commissioners. They had no details; just a proposal that murals be painted on buildings throughout the city. Sieber told WSJM News public art has been shown to be a boost for communities.. ...Read Full Story

Sen. Schuitmaker Falls Short In Bid For AG Nod


State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker will not be on the ballot this fall for the first time in over a decade. The term-limited senator from Lawton fell short in her bid to be the Republican nominee for attorney general, with delegates at the Michigan Republican Party’s convention selecting state House Speaker Tom Leonard of Mt. Pleasant, instead. Schuitmaker handed out a 14-page document to delegates to outline her qualifications and go after Leonard’s positions on issues.. ...Read Full Story

Road Commission Pushes Millage Again


The Van Buren County Road Commission is going to try again. After a ballot proposal asking the public for a millage increase to improve the roads was shot down last week, Road Commission Engineer Manager Larry Hummel says they’re now going to put it on the November ballot. He told The Herald Palladium trying again in November will allow more time to promote the millage proposal. The goal is 3 mills over 12 years, generating about $10 million per year. The ballot language will be revised to better explain how the money will be shared with local governments. The millage proposal was rejected last week with about 44% voting in favor. The Van Buren County Road Commission tells us it needs extra money in order to get the county’s roads in better shape. Hummel says about 67% of them are in poor condition.. ...Read Full Story

Secretary Of State Candidate Focuses On Security


A five point plan has been introduced by Democratic Secretary of State candidate Jocelyn Benson to ensure that upcoming elections are executed safely. The plan involves stringent post-election audits, standardized poll worker training and the formation of a commission of election experts to maintain the accuracy of Michigan elections. She was asked if her plan can be done without any input from the federal government.. ...Read Full Story

Time Almost Up For State Student Aid


Time is running out for high school graduates from the class of 2018 to apply for Tuition Incentive Program benefits from the Michigan Department of Treasury. The department tells us the grant program — commonly referred to as TIP — encourages eligible Medicaid recipients to complete high school by providing college tuition assistance. Eligible TIP students have four years from graduation to begin using their TIP benefits. The deadline to apply for this year is August 31. The program, administered by the Student Financial Services Bureau, covers 24 credit hours of tuition per academic year for a total of 80 overall credits at Michigan community colleges. TIP also covers up to $250 in fees each semester. To qualify, students must have been on Michigan Medicaid for 24 months within a 36 consecutive month period between the age of nine and high school graduation. You can find out more right here.. ...Read Full Story

City Tax Fight


A tax tribunal case between Harbor Shores and the city of Benton Harbor will continue. At a Monday meeting, the city commission rejected a settlement with Harbor Shores regarding its 2017 and 2018 assessments. The golf course wants its taxable value adjusted lower. The settlement, if accepted, would have caused a loss of about $33,000 to the city. The city assessor warned commissioners the fight could drag out for years with little chance for the city. Mayor Marcus Muhammad liked the situation to “an indecent proposal.”. ...Read Full Story

Leonard Nominated For Attorney General


From the Associated Press — Michigan Republicans have nominated Tom Leonard for attorney general and Mary Treder Lang for secretary of state. Leonard, the state House speaker, defeated state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker for attorney general on Saturday at a nominating convention in Lansing. Thousands of Republican delegates also backed accountant Mary Treder Lang over former Michigan State University assistant professor Joseph Guzman for secretary of state. The selections fill out the top of the Republican ticket after gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette and U.S. Senate candidate John James won in the primary.
Schuette’s running mate is Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons. Democrats also are meeting this weekend. They endorsed their attorney general and secretary of state choices in the spring but will officially nominate lawyer Dana Nessel and election expert Jocelyn Benson on Sunday.. ...Read Full Story

Class On Campaigning At LMC


A new kind of class is being offered this upcoming academic year at Lake Michigan College. The college tells us it’s holding a course to teach students how to run a political campaign. LMC political science professor Tiffany Bohm tells WSJM News Campaigns and Elections will cover several election-related topics, like public speaking, data analysis, and voter registration.. ...Read Full Story

Growth For Grand Rapids Airport


July marked the seventh record breaking month in a row this year for the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids. Airport spokeswoman Tara Hernandez says July of this year was the busiest July ever with passenger numbers up 16.7% year over year.. ...Read Full Story

NRC Talks Cook Plant


The duties of some of the most detail-oriented, safety minded engineers in the area were on display at the Silver Beach Center in St. Joseph Tuesday, as the resident inspectors from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission who oversee the safety efforts at Bridgman’s Cook Nuclear Plant met with the public. One of them is John Ellegood, who has been at Cook for six-and-a-half years and tells WSJM News he enjoys being able to share what they do with people.. ...Read Full Story

Donation To Bridgman STEM Lab


STEM education in Bridgman is getting a boost. The Bridgman Foundation for Educational Excellence gave the final $150,000 of $300,000 raised to support the F.C. Reed Middle School STEM Lab during this week’s school board meeting. Superintendent Shane Peters tells us the school’s approach is a little different than others when it comes to the science, technology, engineering, and math lab as all 5th through 8th graders can participate in the STEM lab.. ...Read Full Story

Mutt March Today


Animal Aid of Southwestern Michigan will hold its annual Mutt March today. The Mutt March raises money for the animal rescue organization. It’s a walk including dog owners and their friends in St. Joseph. The theme this year is “Rescue to Rescue: Honoring Rescue, Law Enforcement and Military,” and will feature participants including the St. Joseph Department of Public Safety, veterans groups, and first responders. The march starts at 11 a.m. at Lake Bluff Park in St. Joseph with an entry fee of $10. Animal Aid is an all-volunteer organization that works to find homes for animals. You can find out more about the Mutt March at AnimalAidSWMI.org.. ...Read Full Story

“Commodity Fair” Teaches Kids About Farm Risk


As county fairs are held around Michigan this summer, young future farmers have been receiving a lesson in risk management through a program of the CME Group. The company has teamed up with 4H chapters across the country for the past six years to offer its Commodity Carnival at fairs. CME Group’s Tim Andriesen tells WSJM News the carnival allows young people to simulate raising hogs by having them take part in a game in which they raise small eggs that represent livestock and weigh the costs versus revenue. The lesson they hope to teach?. ...Read Full Story

Detroit Mayor Suing Over Auto Insurance Law


From the Associated Press — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and residents have filed a federal lawsuit over Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance law. The Detroit News reports that the lawsuit was filed Thursday against Patrick McPharlin, the director of Michigan’s Department of Insurance and Financial Services. The department oversees the state’s no-fault insurance system.
The lawsuit alleges the system has caused excessive rates and is unconstitutional. The filing says Michigan’s average auto insurance premium is more than $3,000, while the national average is about $1,500. The suit says Detroit has the highest auto rate of any city in the U.S., with drivers paying an average of about $6,200 for insurance. Department spokeswoman Andrea Miller says officials are reviewing the complaint. The lawsuit is asking the court to give the state six months to change the
system.. ...Read Full Story

Red Arrow Highway Reconstruction Planned


You may have noticed that Red Arrow Highway is not in the best shape south of Bridgman in Berrien County, and at least part of that is about to change. Berrien County Road Department Director Jason Latham tells WSJM News they’re going to reconstruct two miles of Red Arrow Highway, from the south end of Bridgman to Browntown Road, starting just after Labor Day.. ...Read Full Story

Schuitmaker, Leonard Fight For Attorney General Nomination


From the Associated Press — The race to become Michigan’s next attorney general will be set this weekend, when 2,100 Republican activists choose between two state lawmakers vying for the nomination to face Democrat Dana Nessel this fall.
House Speaker Tom Leonard and Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker are battling to succeed term-limited Bill Schuette, the Republican nominee for governor. Both lawyers point to their career backgrounds to argue they are best prepared for the job, while citing different reasons why they are best positioned to win in November.The nominee selected Saturday at a Lansing convention will try to extend a 16-year run in which a Republican has served as the state’s top lawyer and law enforcement official. Nessel, who won her party’s support at an April convention, will be officially nominated in East Lansing Sunday.. ...Read Full Story

Honor Flight Next Month


Set for September 15 is the next Talons Out Honor Flight. Talons Out is an organization that provides free trips to Washington, D.C. for veterans of the Korean War and World War II so they can see their war memorials. The group’s Bobbie Bradley tells WSJM News they’ve been doing this since 2013.. ...Read Full Story

Kinexus Recognizes Offender Success Program


Kinexus is celebrating its Offender Success program. The employment agency in Benton Harbor tells us Offender Success pairs up recently-released inmates with job opportunities and programs designed to prevent them from re-offending. Offender Success Director Derek Knuth tells WSJM News the program has delivered a 61% region wide placement rate since being started in 2017. Knuth tells us it works when all parties are committed.. ...Read Full Story

Road Department Contract Approved


The Berrien County Board of Commissioners has approved its first tentative labor contract with the Berrien County Road Department since taking the road operation over last year. At a Thursday meeting, the county commission agreed to a three-year contract with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324, which includes 51 employees, says Berrien County Road Department Director Jason Latham. He spoke with WSJM News about the contract and the affected employees.. ...Read Full Story

Report: MI Schools Getting Short Changed


Michigan students will be missing out on almost $1 billion in funding this school year, and a new report blames what it calls “state budgeting gimmicks.” Voters approved the School Aid Fund more than two decades ago to support K-through-12 education, but research from the Michigan League for Public Policy shows over the past nine years, $4.5 billion from the fund was shifted to universities and community colleges. Report co-author Peter Ruark tells us it’s a tactic to prevent General Fund dollars from being used on higher education.. ...Read Full Story

Coach Charged With Lying In Nassar Case


From the Associated Press — Investigators say a former head gymnastics coach at Michigan State University lied in June when she denied that witnesses had told her in the past about being sexually assaulted by former sports doctor Larry Nassar.
Charging documents released Thursday don’t specify who allegedly reported Nassar’s abuse to the former coach, Kathie Klages.
But former gymnast Larissa Boyce has said she told Klages that Nassar had abused her in 1997, when Boyce was 16. Boyce had been training with the Spartan youth gymnastics team at the time. Klages has denied that Boyce reported abuse to her.
In his warrant request, special agent David Dwyre with the Michigan attorney general’s office says he told Klages in June that he was conducting a criminal investigation. He says she proceeded to “knowingly and willfully” make statements she knew were false or misleading. A message seeking comment was left Thursday with attorneys for Klages.. ...Read Full Story

West Nile Virus Found In Berrien County


The West Nile virus has been found in Berrien County. Berrien County Health Department spokesperson Gillian Conrad tells WSJM News the illness was confirmed in a woman in late July. She couldn’t tell us more about the specific case, but said it was the first this year in the county. West Nile is relatively rare in the county.. ...Read Full Story

Kalamazoo Planning “Graffiti Gardens”


From the Associated Press — A southwestern Michigan city is planning what are known as graffiti gardens where people can legally draw or paint on billboard-like plywood structures. Kalamazoo is working to provide more opportunities for art on utility boxes and streets to create an alternative to illegal graffiti. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports graffiti gardens in Upjohn Park and Rockwell Park would offer another legal outlet, though profanity, nudity or gang sings would be prohibited. The update comes as the City Commission is reviewing amendments to noise offenses that add other nuisances, including graffiti and issues with vacant properties. Some of these are already restricted, but the changes would add more specific language and make them enforceable by civil infraction of up to $200. A planning official is meeting with local artists to find spaces for public
art.. ...Read Full Story

MSU Searching For New President


From the Associate Press — Michigan State University trustees have appointed 19 members to a search committee looking for the school’s next president. The selections were announced Wednesday. The committee will have 10 men and nine women – including various representatives for students, faculty, the board of trustees and others. A co-chairwoman of the presidential search committee, Trustee Dianne Byrum, says the panel is “inclusive, diverse and representative of the broader MSU
stakeholders.” After Lou Anna Simon resigned in January amid fallout from the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal, Michigan State named former Gov. John Engler as interim president. The board of trustees plans to announce a new president no later than June 2019.. ...Read Full Story

Car Break-Ins Reported In South Haven


A series of car break-ins has law enforcement busy around the South Haven area. Incidents of break ins in Casco Township and South Haven have been reported, leading the South Haven Police Department to tell residents to be vigilant and not leave valuable items in sight and always lock your car. Police are asking anyone that sees suspicious activity or has information about these break ins to call your local law enforcement agency.. ...Read Full Story

MI Utilities Steadfast O Coal Plans


The Trump administration announced on Tuesday it’s loosening rules on emissions from coal-fired power plants, rolling back the requirements of President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The new rules would largely allow states to regulate emissions, and in Michigan, it’s unclear whether utilities or the Department of Environmental Quality would seek less stringent air-pollution controls for state’s 15 coal-fired power plants. Pete Ternes with DTE Energy tells us his company plans to close all of its coal plants by 2040 and is sticking with its plans to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions significantly.. ...Read Full Story

Upton On Return Of House


When the U.S. House gets back to work after Labor Day, Congressman Fred Upton will be pushing for the implementation of new rules for the chamber. He tells WSJM News November’s elections are likely to result in a shift of power in the House, and the new Speaker must not be allowed to block popular ideas just because they come from another party.. ...Read Full Story