Local News Archives

Ambulance Driver Hurt In Paw Paw Township Crash

An ambulance driver was injured in a collision involving a semi in Van Buren County. The crash happened early Tuesday in Paw Paw Township and prompted authorities to close a stretch of M-51 as crews responded. The sheriff’s office says the truck rolled over after hitting the ambulance. The driver of the ambulance had what were described as non-life-threatening injuries. The ambulance wasn’t carrying a patient.. ...Read Full Story

Adopt A Highway Cleanup This Weekend

The final Adopt a Highway cleanup of the year will be this week. The Michigan Department of Transportation’s Dan Weingarten told WSJM News this summer Adopt a Highway is a program that allows groups of volunteers to claim a stretch of state road for themselves and then be responsible for picking up trash along it. More than 2,800 groups of all kinds make a big difference.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Commission Discusses Urban Deer Management With DNR

The city of St. Joseph does not currently have a plan to manage deer in the city limits, but it’s clear after a lengthy portion of Monday’s city commission meeting that people feel it’s necessary. The commission heard from Michigan Department of Natural Resources deer specialist Chad Stewart about the options some communities are undertaking to handle the problem, from using snipers in Ann Arbor to trying sterilization or other non-lethal methods. He had this response to a question from Commissioner Jeff Richards about how the city should start.. ...Read Full Story

Red Arrow Trail Project Planned

There will be an open house and meeting next week for Berrien County residents to learn more about plans to create a trail along Red Arrow Highway in southern Berrien County. Berrien County Parks Director Brian Bailey tells WSJM News the Linear County Park is a plan made possible due to cooperation between Berrien County Parks Department and the Berrien County Road Department as well as Lake, Chikaming, and New Buffalo townships. It would go from Bridgman to Galien River County Park. ...Read Full Story

Unity Event This Week In Benton Harbor

Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad wants to continue the momentum started last week when an anti-crime initiative called Operation Mayberry was announced. The goal is to stop violence in the community, and at Monday’s city commission meeting, Muhammad invited one and all to a unity event set for this Thursday. He said “Stop the Killing, Start the Healing: a City of Benton Harbor Family Affair” will feature youth groups, poetry readings, and conversation on solutions.. ...Read Full Story

Lincoln Twp Police Seeking K9 Unit

The Lincoln Township Police Department is looking to establish a K9 unit. The department is now fundraising so it can acquire the dog and the equipment needed to make the unit work. It says a K9 is a cost effective way of conducting building searches and finding both people and drugs. It adds a K-9 unit reduces the risk of injury to officers and offenders since, in most instances, someone challenged by a dog will give up more quickly. The fundraising goal is $25,000 and donations can be dropped off at Lincoln Township Hall, the Lincoln Township Police Department, and United Federal Credit Union. If you want to help, make you check payable to Lincoln Charter Township with “K9 Unit” in the memo line. If the fundraising goal isn’t reached by February, the money raised will go into other capital improvements at the police department.. ...Read Full Story

Secretary Of State Expecting Rush Of Business

The end of Driver Responsibility Fees is expected to create a surge of business for the Michigan Secretary of State’s office, and so it’s planning to add more staff. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson tells us adding staff will help offices manage the wave of applicants who have had their suspensions lifted due to the elimination of the Driver Responsibility Fee law last year. Some positions have been filled with part-time workers and student assistants, and the Secretary of State’s Office is seeking candidates for other part-time positions. You can apply at Michigan.gov/Jobs. Driver Responsibility Fees were created in 2003 to plug a budget hole. They were additional fees tacked on to the penalties assessed for certain driving offenses and resulted in thousands losing their licenses.. ...Read Full Story

Bronson Planning New South Haven Hospital

Bronson Healthcare has announced plans to invest up to $22 million in a new facility in South Haven. The health group says the new hospital will replace the old hospital and medical office buildings on South Bailey Avenue with a brand new building and medical offices in a health village setting. The new hospital and medical offices will be built on the east side of Bronson South Haven’s property near the entrance from Blue Star Highway. The plans include the new hospital, a 14-bed emergency department, lab and imaging services, a pharmacy, and medical offices. Construction could begin as early as the fall of 2019 with completion targeted for the end of 2020. The old hospital and medical office buildings will be demolished.. ...Read Full Story

Names Released In Deadly Crash With Pokagon Tribal Police SUV

New information is out from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department regarding the deadly crash in Bainbridge Township Sunday between a Pokagon Tribal Patrol Vehicle and a car driven by a 69-year-old woman. Police say that woman was Sherry Temple of Stevensville, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the police SUV, 45-year-old Gustavo Pop-Monroy, is out of the hospital and recovering at home with a broken left forearm and a cut to his left hand. The other officer injured is 35-year-old Earl Holbrook, who is in stable condition at South Bend Memorial Hospital with a head injury, a partially severed left ear, and a broken bone behind his ear. The officers were headed to a domestic violence call with their lights and sirens on when Temple ran a stop sign at M-140 and Territorial Road.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department On Healthcare Availability

Poverty and lack of health insurance is bad for your health – and bad for public health.  The Berrien County Health Department’s Gillian Conrad says poverty and a range of other socio-economic factors impact public health in a big way.  She says health isn’t just something delivered by hospitals and doctors.. ...Read Full Story

United Way Begins Campaign

The United Way of Southwest Michigan has kicked off its annual campaign. President Anna Murphy tells WSJM News they’re doing something a little different this year by not announcing a monetary goal, and instead using the campaign to push for more community involvement.. ...Read Full Story

One Killed In Crash With Pokagon Tribal Police Car

A 69-year-old woman has died after a crash between her car and a Pokagon Tribal Police car in Bainbridge Township. The crash happened just before 3:30 Sunday afternoon on M-140 at Territorial Road when the woman went through a stop sign and was broadsided by the police car as officers were responding to a priority domestic violence call. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department says she was pronounced dead at the scene, while her passenger was airlifted to South Bend Memorial Hospital. Everyone was wearing seat belts, and the two officers involved were not hurt.. ...Read Full Story

“Operation Mayberry” Comes To BH

“Stop the violence, stop the silence.” That’s the message from Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad as he and other community leaders spearhead a new initiative to reduce violent crime in the city. At a Thursday press conference, Muhammad stood with police and church leaders to appeal for unity in Benton Harbor.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Celebrates Passage Of STEM Plan

State Senator John Proos is pleased to see some STEM education legislation he sponsored received its final, ceremonial signing by the governor. Last week, Proos tells WSJM News he invited local students and educators to Lansing for the signing of bills that would create a special STEM certification on the transcripts of high school students.. ...Read Full Story

Report Examines Payday Lenders

A new report sheds light on the dangers of payday loans, prompting consumer advocates to call for new regulations in Michigan. Community Economic Development Association of Michigan Senior Policy Specialist Jessica AcMoody tells us by charging annual percentage rates equivalent to 340%, payday lenders cost Michiganders more than $94 million in 2016 alone. She says these loans target the vulnerable.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Looking At Downtown Future

A Chicago-based consulting firm headed up by a St. Joseph native will tackle shaping the future of the city’s downtown. Houseal Lavigne Associates was hired by the city commission this week to begin the study. The firm is led by John Houseal, who says growing up here helps him fully understand the unique needs of the city when it comes to figuring out the best way to address the needs of the entire community.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Man Killed In Kalamazoo; Suspect Arrested Near GR

A man accused of shooting and killing a Benton Harbor man at a Kalamazoo liquor store is in jail and awaiting arraignment. According to the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, 23-year-old Tykarri Lucas was shot and killed around 1:30 a.m. Saturday at J&B Discount Liquor on Stockbridge Avenue. The 27-year-old suspect was captured several hours later at a home in Wyoming, south of Grand Rapids, and taken back to Kalamazoo. The name of the suspect has not been released pending his arraignment. Police have not indicated any motive or said what led to Lucas’ shooting death.. ...Read Full Story

Niles Woman Arrested For Deadly Hit-And-Run

A 23-year-old Niles woman is in the Berrien County Jail awaiting charges for a deadly hit-and-run accident. According to the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, her blood-alcohol level was over three times the legal limit when she was arrested for the Saturday afternoon crash in Berrien Township. Deputies say 32-year-old Todd Harrington of Berrien Springs was on his bicycle on Pokagon Road when he was hit by the woman’s SUV, and was pronounced dead at the scene. A man and his young son called police with the vehicle description and license plate number, leading authorities to her home in Niles where she was arrested.. ...Read Full Story

11-Year-Old Dies In Accidental Drowning

A birthday celebration ended in tragedy in Cass County’s Howard Township this weekend. The sheriff’s department says an 11-year-old boy drowned at a pool party Saturday evening. The boy was in the pool with several other kids when someone noticed he was at the bottom of the pool. The other kids brought him up, and parents started CPR while calling 911. The boy was pronounced dead at Lakeland Hospital in Niles, and police say the drowning appears to have been accidental. The child’s name is not being released. He was a guest at the party.. ...Read Full Story

State Facing Teacher Shortage

Too many Michigan schools districts without enough teachers, according to the head of a administrators group. Wendy Zdeb of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals told Michigan News Network recruiting new teachers is tough, but keeping them is tougher, and many leave teaching after five years.. ...Read Full Story

Lake Township Park Improvements

A ribbon cutting will be held this month to mark the opening of a new feature at Lake Township Park in Bridgman. Township Treasurer Bob Clark tells WSJM News a renovation project two years in the making for the disc golf course is wrapping up. The disc golf course originally built in 2004 has expanded thanks to the 2016 purchase of ten acres next door. Clark says this expanded court will be a big improvement over the old one.. ...Read Full Story

Busy Time At Benton Harbor Area Schools

It’s been a busy time at Benton Harbor Area Schools. At a Tuesday meeting, CEO Robert Herrera told the board of education about some of the things being done as the new school year gets underway. Among them are a couple of online learning programs to help students with credit recovery. Herrera told WSJM News this is the first year Benton Harbor Area Schools has applied for a state Seat Time Waiver to have online learning.. ...Read Full Story

New Marina Possible For South Haven

The city of South Haven is taking steps to acquire another marina. City Manager Brian Dissette tells WSJM News the city council this month voted to send a grant application to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund for assistance in buying All Seasons Marine along the Black River.. ...Read Full Story

Big Equipment Purchase For St. Joe

The city of St. Joseph’s Public Works Department is moving ahead on replacing its largest vehicle, the jet/vac sewer cleaner truck. Public Works director Tom MacDonald told the city commission Monday it’s the most important vehicle they use, and it’s used a lot.. ...Read Full Story

Teen Shot In Benton Township

The Benton Township Police Department is investigating after a teen was shot early Saturday morning. It happened in the 200 block of Pine Street just after 4 a.m. Responding officers arrived to find a 15-year-old boy with gunshot wounds to his stomach area and leg.  The victim had been inside the home when several shots were fired at the house from the street out front. No one else was hurt. The victim was taken to Lakeland Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. No suspects have been identified. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the Benton Township Police Department.. ...Read Full Story