Local News Archives

UPDATE: AMBER Alert Issued For Missing Boy

Police have issued an AMBER Alert for a one-year-old Grand Rapids boy taken by his babysitter, and Grand Rapids police say they may be in either that city or Benton Harbor. The young boy has been identified as Miquis Jenkins, who was last seen with 19-year-old babysitter Iyesha Gibbs at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Gibbs is believed to be driving a silver SUV with a broken passenger side window covered in plastic. Grand Rapids PD is working with Benton Harbor Public Safety to try to locate the two. Gibbs is 5’4″ with short black hair, and weighs around 250 pounds. Police say she often babysits Jenkins. Anyone with information is being urged to call Grand Rapids Police at (616) 456-3338, (616) 456-3422, or call 911.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren County Phone Scam

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department is warning the public about the latest phone scam. It tells us it has been hearing from residents who have been called by someone claiming to be working for the sheriff’s department. The caller tells the intended victim they owe money for warrants and will be arrested if they don’t pay up. The caller ID on the phone will show a true sheriff’s office number and the scammer will even tell the victim to check the internet for the number, but the sheriff’s department said it’s fake. The scammers are spoofing the number. Police advise the public not to fall for the scam and to just hang up.. ...Read Full Story

Vigil For Motel Victims

The victims in a deadly motel fire on Saturday have been honored with a vigil. Mourners gathered on Wednesday night at the Cosmo Extended Stay Motel on M-139 in Sodus Township where a fire killed 26-year-old Kiarre Curtis and five of her children. At the vigil, family of Kiarre Curtis remembered her as someone who was struggling the best she could for her family.. ...Read Full Story

Upton On PFAS Contamination

Congressman Fred Upton is hoping to hold hearings on the PFAS contamination found in the water system serving Parchment and Cooper Township in Kalamazoo County. He tells WSJM News making sure such a problem doesn’t happen again — or happen elsewhere — will depend on figuring out how the situation occurred. In the meantime…. ...Read Full Story

Saugatuck Night Out

Next Tuesday is the National Night Out and the first ever held in Allegan County. You’re invited to Saugatuck’s Coghlin Park Tuesday, August 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. for food and drink, giveaways, and demonstrations of fire district and safety equipment. The Saugatuck-Douglas Convention and Visitors Bureau will be sponsoring a free parking shuttle bus. It will run between Saugatuck High School and Coghlin Park from 5:30 to 8:30. More information available at Saugatuck’s City Hall and on Facebook.. ...Read Full Story

MI Supreme Court Orders Anti-Gerrymandering Proposal To Ballot

We will get to vote on a constitutional change regarding how congressional and state legislative districts are drawn. The Michigan Supreme Court issued a ruling around 10:30 Tuesday night dismissing a lawsuit challenging the ballot proposal from Voters Not Politicians to take the responsibility of drawing the districts out of the hands of lawmakers. The lawsuit contended the proposal made too many changes to the state Constitution, and would create a new branch of government, but the state’s highest court disagreed. Katey Fahey is the executive director of the grassroots group that worked to get the measure before voters, and is very relieved.. ...Read Full Story

FBI: Benton Harbor Fugitive Antwan “Tank” Mims Caught In Georgia

Caught. The FBI says Antwan “Tank” Mims of Benton Harbor is in custody after being added to the bureau’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list earlier this summer for two murders on March 25. Mims was arrested just after 4 p.m. yesterday at a home in College Park, Georgia by FBI agents and the FBI Atlanta Metro Major Offenders Task Force. He is wanted for the murders of Cortez Miller and Michael Johnson at a house party on Lavette Street in Benton Harbor, during which witnesses say he shot them both, and then shot them again while they were on the ground. Mims is the 486th person captured of the 519 who have been on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list since it was established in March 1950. He will be brought back to Benton Harbor to face charges.. ...Read Full Story

“Thrill On The Hill” This Week

Buchanan’s summer Thrill on the Hill is this weekend. The fun actually starts Thursday at 4 p.m. with a giant Slip and Slide set up on the big hill downtown. You can pay $5 to ride an inner tube or flotation device down it. The action will continue Friday and Saturday. The “riding at high speeds down a big hill” angle isn’t the only fun taking place as part of Thrill on the Hill. Other planned activities include an adult luau on Friday from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Thrill on the Hill will also feature music, games, and contests throughout the weekend. The summer event compliments the annual winter Thrill on the Hill when they rig up the downtown hill to be extra slippery by bringing in snow. You can find out more at the Buchanan Thrill on the Hill Facebook page.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Pushes For House Rule Changes

A new effort is being launched by a bi-partisan group in Congress to get some procedural rules changed so more can get done. Spearheaded by the Problem Solvers group, Congressman Fred Upton tells WSJM News the “Break the Gridlock” campaign aims to implement new rules when the next Speaker is chosen. He said the changes are a bit “Inside Baseball,” but gave us some examples.. ...Read Full Story

Red Cross Maintaining Shelter For Motel Residents

The Red Cross of Southwest Michigan continues to provide a shelter in St. Joseph for residents displaced by a Saturday motel fire. The Cosmo Extended Stay Motel on M-139 in Sodus Township was evacuated due to the deadly blaze, leaving many residents with nowhere to go. Breeze Ettl with the Red Cross tells WSJM News they were devastated.. ...Read Full Story

Court: Shooter Statements To Be Suppressed

From the Associated Press — A Michigan appeals court has ruled certain statements made to police by an Uber driver charged with killing six people and wounding two others in southwestern Michigan cannot be used at trial. The three-judge panel said Tuesday that some of Jason Dalton’s statements should be suppressed because a detective continued questioning him after Dalton “invoked both his rights to counsel and to remain silent.” The 48-year-old Dalton is charged with murder and attempted murder. Investigators have quoted him as saying a “devil figure” on Uber’s app was controlling him on the night of the 2016 shootings in Kalamazoo County. He’s not accused of shooting customers. Prosecutors say they are reviewing the appeals court ruling. Dalton’s attorney, Anastase Markou, says the appeals court “did an excellent job rendering a very thorough and thoughtful opinion.”. ...Read Full Story

Tests: Chemicals In Well Above Standards

From the Associated Press — Tests of a groundwater well in southwestern Michigan show chemical contamination levels far above federal guidelines. MLive reports Tuesday that levels of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid of more than 900 parts per trillion and perfluorooctanoic acid over 800 parts per trillion were found in the Parchment-area well. The newspaper says the government’s lifetime health advisory is 70 parts per trillion for total PFOS and PFOA. The substances are referred to as PFAS and are used in manufacturing, firefighting and thousands of household and consumer products. About 3,000 people in Parchment and Cooper Township have been told not to drink or cook with the water, and bottled water is being distributed while the water system is flushed. Parchment is about 125 miles (200 kilometers) west of Detroit.. ...Read Full Story

Police Night Out Next Week

Next Tuesday will bring the 35th annual Police National Night Out as local police departments look to mingle with the public and establish good relations. St. Joseph Township Police Officer Rick Knapp tells WSJM News there will be a gathering at St. Joseph’s Riverview Park featuring demonstrations for the public.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department: PFAS Not An Issue In Berrien County

With the state of emergency declared this past weekend in Kalamazoo County for PFAS in the drinking water in the city of Parchment and Cooper Township along with the discovery of the chemicals in northern Kent County, the Battle Creek area, and near Selfridge Air National Guard Base in suburban Detroit, is it a problem here? We put that question to Gillian Conrad of the Berrien County Health Department.. ...Read Full Story

Honor Credit Union Expanding To Buchanan

Banking will get a little more convenient for Honor Credit Union members in Buchanan next year, as currently their closest branches are in Niles and Berrien Springs. The financial institution is announcing plans to open a branch in the city at 117 North Red Bud Trail in early 2019. The branch will be within walking distance to many restaurants and shops in Buchanan, and will open up across from the Duck Pond and Lehman’s Farm House. The building is currently being designed. Berrien Springs branch manager Karol Behrle will be the manager of the new location in her hometown. In a statement, Honor Credit Union CEO Scott McFarland said “Buchanan has been a great community partner of Honor’s for years.” He adds, “we are excited to bring the increased convenience of a local branch to our Buchanan members and look forward to getting to know new friends in this growing community.” Honor Credit Union has been a supported the Buchanan community through providing volunteers for the annual Thrill On The Hill events, sponsoring floor hockey teams, and supporting the Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce. The credit union has over 80,000 members in the state. The Buchanan branch will be its 25th in Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Group Cries Foul Over 3D Printed Guns

Gun violence prevention groups have signed onto a letter demanding Secretary of State Mike Pompeo block online publication — set for this Wednesday — of instructions on how to make a plastic gun with a 3D printer. For the past five years, the State Department fought plans by a Texas company to put the blueprints online, but the Trump administration has reached a settlement with it. Linda Brundage with the Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence tells us the settlement an outrage.. ...Read Full Story

Schuitmaker Endorses Nesbitt

State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker has endorsed Aric Nesbitt in the race for Michigan Senate in the 26th District. Schuitmaker currently occupies that post and is being term-limited out of office. She tells WSJM News Nesbitt, a former state representative and head of the Michigan Lottery, is right for southwest Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

School Mourns Students Killed In Motel Fire

Countryside Academy is mourning the loss of three of its students following Saturday’s deadly fire at a motel in Sodus Township. Six people — 26-year-old Kiarre Curtis and five of her children — were killed in the blaze at the Cosmo Extended Living Motel on M-139. Countryside Academy Lead Administrator Sarah Brookshire tells WSJM News Marquise Thompson, Gerome Randolph, and Samuel Curtis were all students remembered fondly by their teachers.. ...Read Full Story

Bond Denied In Dowagiac Shooting Case

Bond has been denied for the suspect in a Dowagiac shooting on Sunday. The Cass County Prosecutor’s office tells us 24-year-old Rolandis Russell shot and killed 42-year-old Fabian Wesaw following a fight at the Beeson Street Bar in the early morning hours. Russell was arraigned Monday on charges that include first degree murder, assault with intent to murder, carrying a weapon with unlawful intent, and possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle. He faces life in prison if convicted on the murder charge. At Russell’s arraignment Monday, prosecutors asked that bond be denied in the case, and the request was granted by Judge Stacey Rentfrow. Russell will be back in court on August 9.. ...Read Full Story

Police Investigate Dog Bite

Police in Bridgman are asking for the public’s help as they investigate a dog bite on Sunday. The Bridgman Police Department says on its Facebook page the attack happened around 6:20 p.m. on Lake Street near Toth Street. A woman who had been walking a light brown lab mix allowed a young child to pet the dog. As the child walked away, the dog bit the child in the face, which later required surgery. The woman with the dog continued walking east on Lake Street after the incident. Police ask anyone who witnessed the incident to call them at 465-3880.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmaker Calls For PFAS Ban

Michigan’s new water crisis is coming from a chemical used in manufacturing, fire suppression foam and other uses. PFAS has turned up in wells north of Grand Rapids, near Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek, and has now rendered the city of Parchment’s water system unusable in Kalamazoo County. State Representative Peter Lucido of Macomb County wants an immediate ban on the substance enacted. He spoke with Michigan News Network about it.. ...Read Full Story

DNR Sends Fire Help To California

As wildfires continue to burn across multiple states out west, some assistance is being provided by Michigan. It comes in the form of a firetruck, which is stationed at the Carr Fire in northern California. Dan Laux, Fire Supervisor with Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources, spoke with Michigan News Network about the matter.. ...Read Full Story

Lt. Gov. Declares Emergency In Kalamazoo County For Water

Residents of the city of Parchment and Cooper Township in Kalamazoo County are not being allowed to drink or use the tap water due to the discovery of PFAS contamination in Parchment’s water. Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley declared a state of emergency for the county on Sunday, authorizing the coordination of state efforts by the Michigan State Police Emergency Management Homeland Security Division. Calley says they’ve been testing smaller water systems statewide for the likely carcinogen since it was found in wells in northern Kent County and in Battle Creek.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Backing LaSata

State Representative Kim LaSata has received the endorsement of the man she is running to replace in the Michigan Senate’s 21st District. State Senator John Proos tells WSJM News he’s backing LaSata because he believes her priorities will be the best. Proos says LaSata voted to roll back the state income tax, for example.. ...Read Full Story