Local News Archives

This Is Blood Donor Month

The American Red Cross is asking everyone to make a New Year’s resolution to give blood. It’s scheduled several blood drives around southwest Michigan in the coming weeks. January is National Blood Donor Month, which the Red Cross says is appropriate because January is one of the slowest months of the year for blood donation. All those who come to donate by January 6 will get a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt while supplies last. You can schedule an appointment at RedCross.org or by using the Red Cross phone app. There’s also 1-800-RED CROSS.. ...Read Full Story

Man Charged In Death Of Child

A man accused of murdering a child in Cass County in October of 2016 has been arrested and arraigned. The Cass County Prosecutor’s Office tells us 47-year-old Lance Aaron Reeves of St. Joseph has pleaded not guilty to a charge of open murder and three charges of child abuse in the death of Savannah Gardner in Silver Creek Township. Reeves was arrested Thursday at a home in Hartford by the Michigan State Police Fugitive Apprehension Team. The prosecutor says Reeves is accused of repeatedly shaking Gardner and breaking her back. Charges in the case were authorized on December 21. Bond was denied to Reeves during Friday’s arraignment.. ...Read Full Story

Congresswoman Tlaib Makes Waves With Profanity Against President

Comments from freshman Detroit Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib are not sitting well with other members of the Democratic Party in Washington. Tlaib said this to loud cheers Thursday night regarding President Trump: “When your son looks at you and says ‘momma, look, you won. Bullies don’t win.’ And I said ‘baby, they don’t.’ Because we’re gonna go in there, and we’re gonna impeach the motherf—er.” Tlaib received a large cheer from those gathered around her at that remark, and defended what she said in a Friday tweet saying she will “always speak truth to power.”. ...Read Full Story

Upton Votes To End Government Shutdown, Saying “Enough”

Congressman Fred Upton is breaking from President Trump and hardline Republicans who want to put up a wall along the Mexican border. He is among the GOP members of the House who joined Democrats to approve bills to end the partial federal government shutdown on Thursday. On Twitter, Upton put out a statement saying “enough” but adds “much work remains” to secure the border. The government shut down in late December over the impasse regarding funding for a border wall. President Trump has vowed to veto any measure that does not include $5 billion for a wall, while Democrats and a growing number of Republicans say that it’s time to get the government open again and find other solutions for border security that don’t involve a wall. The bills that passed the House, however, are likely dead-on-arrival in the Senate, where Republican leaders are on Trump’s side.. ...Read Full Story

Conservation District To Offer Produce Safety Training

The Berrien County Conservation District is taking registrations for a produce safety training session it’s offering for free to those who bring food from the farm to the consumer. This is the first such class it’s offered, and it’s designed to get those workers compliant with federal requirements. Conservation District Produce Safety Technician Victoria Toney tells WSJM News us a good number of people in Berrien County could use the training.. ...Read Full Story

State Warns About Tax Scams

This is the time of year when tax scams are on the rise. The Michigan Department of Treasury warns scammers are likely to hit at the beginning of the year — right before tax season — so they can get personal information, file fake income tax returns, and steal that money. Spokesperson Ron Leix told Michigan News Network more.. ...Read Full Story

Road Commission Adopts Failed Roads Policy

A new failed condition roads policy has been adopted by the Van Buren County Road Commission that has the agency pulverizing and turning into gravel roads that are found not fit to be patched. The road commission tells us it pulverized nine miles of road in 2018 at a cost of about $345,000. It says those were road segments that had failed beyond the point of maintenance. In 2019, seven of those newly-gravel roads will be examined to see if they can be repaved. The Van Buren County Road Commission Board last month adopted the failed road policy after discussing it with township governments. It lays out for staff how to identify a road as failed, and then how the locals affected will be engaged as a decision is made about it. The Van Buren County Road Commission says $1.2 million of its budget in 2017 was spent on fixing potholes. It’s hoping the new policy will help it to be more efficient.. ...Read Full Story

Kinexus Secures $1.9 Million For Worker Training

Kinexus has helped to secure a $1.9 million grant for southwest Michigan businesses to train workers. The money comes from the state’s Going Pro Talent Fund to help 43 local employers enhance their staff. Kinexus Director of Business Solutions Jeff Hannan tells WSJM News the money will supplement the cost for more than 1,600 workers to upgrade their skills in the manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality fields.. ...Read Full Story

New Members Of Congress Sworn In

Several new members of Congress have taken the oath of office, some in the Michigan delegation, but it’s all in the midst of a partial federal government shutdown. President Donald Trump and congressional leaders plan to meet again Friday after a meeting Wednesday did not produce an agreement to end the shutdown. Congressman Dan Kildee, of Flint, doesn’t support building President Donald Trump’s wall.. ...Read Full Story

New Chair For Berrien County Commission

There’s a new chair in charge of the Berrien County Board of Commissioners. At Thursday’s organizational meeting of the board, Commissioner R. McKinley Elliott — more commonly known as Mac Elliot — was selected as the new chair. He replaces Jon Hinkelman in the post. Hinkelman had been the chair for six years. Elliot tells WSJM News some priorities moving forward are learning how to do more with less in an environment of static revenues and increased costs. He says he wants the county to be more efficient while still remaining an attractive employer in the face of private competition. He doesn’t expect major changes to how the Berrien County Board of Commissioners functions, telling us he’s not very excitable, except when it involves Notre Dame. Named as the county board’s vice chair Thursday was Commissioner Teri Sue Freehling.. ...Read Full Story