Local News Archives

Pscholka Taking Part In Mackinac Conference

Kinexus Vice President of Government Affairs Al Pscholka will be part of a roundtable discussion on talent development at next week’s Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island. Pscholka tells WSJM News “Prioritizing Michigan’s Policy Agenda for Cultivating 21st Century Talent” will feature education and business leaders talking about state policies that could help their regions better develop. He has a few suggestions.. ...Read Full Story

Tiscornia Scholarship Winner Announced

A $20,000 scholarship is going to a student from Lakeshore High School thanks to the Tiscornia Foundation. The foundation tells us Erin Lafrenz has been picked for the Lester C. Tiscornia Scholarship this year. The award goes to a student “who has exemplified not only outstanding academic achievement but also a commitment to community service.” Lafrenz plans to attend the University of Michigan and major in biomedical engineering. She has been active in the Rotary Interact Club and traveled to the Dominican Republic last summer to install water filtration systems in rural homes. She’s also active in her school, serving on the Lakeshore Honor Society, the Lakeshore Advisory Assets Committee, and the Volunteer Tutor Program.. ...Read Full Story

Trail Expansion Coming

The next phase of work on a trail project in Niles Township will now move forward following approval from the Berrien County Board of Commissioners Thursday. Commissioner Jim Curran tells WSJM News the Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail will now be extended from US-12 in Niles Township to the city of Niles.. ...Read Full Story

McCloughan Addresses Senate

Remembering those who gave their lives for our country. That’s what the Michigan Senate did Thursday with a speech by 2017 Congressional Medal of Honor recipient James McCloughan. He was an Army medic in Vietnam who saved ten soldiers and was also wounded himself.. ...Read Full Story

Legislation Aims To Protect Students

The Michigan House has approved legislation from state Representative Kim LaSata to expand the OK2SAY tip line to include reporting on sexual abuse, assault, and rape. The bill was part of an 18-bill package approved Thursday intended to better protect students following the Larry Nassar debacle. LaSata tells us about it.. ...Read Full Story

Legislation To Expand Broadband

Testimony was taken this week in the Michigan House regarding new legislation designed to help roll out broadband internet services around the state. The Broadband Investment Act would create a seven-member board made up of townships, counties, and internet providers tasked with identifying areas in Michigan that are under-served. They would then work on grants to help bring those areas broadband. A sponsor is state Representative Mary Whiteford of Casco Township.. ...Read Full Story

Paw Paw Teen Pleads Guilty In School Threat Case

Sentencing will be held June 5 for a 15-year-old Paw Paw boy who threatened a school shooting at Paw Paw High School in March. The teen entered a guilty plea in juvenile court Thursday to one charge of explosives – violation vulnerable target and a weapons possession charge. Van Buren County Prosecutor Michael Bedford tells WSJM News the teen will only serve time until he’s 19 because he was charged as a juvenile, and had been facing up to 20 years in prison had he gone to court as an adult. He was turned in to police by his parents when they found evidence of his plans, including several guns that had been stolen from his grandfather and sawed off to fit into a bag. His parents have previously said they took him to police in an attempt to get him some mental health care after he said he had been pushed to that point by bullying at school and had not anticipated charges being filed.. ...Read Full Story

MDOT Suspending Work For Weekend

The Michigan Department of Transportation plans to do what it can to make Memorial Day travel easier for drivers. Spokesperson Nick Schirripa tells WSJM News MDOT will suspend most of its summer construction projects and remove traffic restrictions all weekend.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmakers Clash Over Mandated Reporters

From the Associated Press — Michigan lawmakers are at odds over a decision to scale back the proposed expansion of the state’s mandatory reporter law after the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. A House committee on Wednesday is expected to pass a bill that would add
physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to the list of professionals who must report suspected child abuse or neglect. House
legislators backed away from adding youth coaches, athletic trainers and university employees due to costs and other concerns. A senator says he will move to make paid coaches and trainers mandatory reporters when the measure gets to the Senate. Some Nassar victims say they told Michigan State University coaches and trainers about being molested by Nassar under the guise of treatment but were dissuaded from reporting.. ...Read Full Story

Child Safety Forum

The Michigan Child Passenger Safety Conference started Wednesday in Mt Pleasant. Kettering University Crash Safety Center Director Janet Brelin-Fornari told Michigan News Network this week there have been advancements made in protecting kids in car seats from side impact crashes.. ...Read Full Story

Excitement Builds For PGA Championship

For the fourth time, Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor is hosting the best senior golfers in the world for the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Tournament play starts this morning at 7:30 and runs through around 6 p.m. Sunday. Championship director Ryan Ogle tells WSJM News he expects the course will challenge the golfers, but low scores are likely.. ...Read Full Story

SJ Farmers Market This Weekend

The St. Joseph Farmers Market returns to Lake Bluff Park this Saturday. St. Joseph Today’s Amy Zapal tells WSJM News the market will be held downtown every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through mid-October. It’s your chance to pick up some locally-grown fruits and veggies.. ...Read Full Story

Drain Commissioner On Flooding Issues

February’s flooding around Berrien County did a number of the drainage system, and it’s still feeling the effects. Berrien County Drain Commissioner Christopher Quattrin tells WSJM News lots of melting snow and rain led to flooding never before seen. This spring’s weather hasn’t exactly helped.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Gives DACA Update

The effort to force a vote on a replacement of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program continues in the U.S. House. Congressman Fred Upton tells WSJM News he and other backers of a discharge petition are just rising to the president’s call for a legislative DACA replacement while the issue lingers in committee.. ...Read Full Story

Senate Approves Bicycle Rules For Drivers

From the Associated Press — Michigan motorists would have to allow 3 feet of clearance while passing a bike on the road under legislation approved by the state Senate. Senators also voted Wednesday to require teen drivers to learn about laws pertaining to cyclists and other vulnerable roadway users as part of their initial driver education course. Michigan is among 11 states with no “safe passing” law, and bicyclists have been lobbying lawmakers to act. The House passed similar bills in March, so the legislation could soon move toward Governor Rick Snyder’s desk. As introduced, the bills would have made drivers wait for 5 feet of clearance before passing a bike – a wider berth than all but one other state. The 3-foot distance requirement would be in line with many other states.. ...Read Full Story

Group Fights Minimum Wage Proposal

A group that represents small businesses says a proposal to raise Michigan’s minimum wage to $12 per hour would lead to more than 180,000 jobs lost over ten years if approved. National Federation of Independent Business of Michigan Director Charlie Owens tells us the wage increase would be especially harmful to businesses like restaurants. He says tipped workers would also be affected, meaning some could actually lose out.. ...Read Full Story

Former Champ Montgomerie Ready For SPGA

Two-time Senior PGA Championship winner Colin Montgomerie is ready to try to win his third this week at Harbor Shores. He won his first major on the senior tour here in 2014, and followed that up with a win the next year at French Lick Resort in Indiana. Montgomerie says Harbor Shores plays to his strengths.. ...Read Full Story

Warren Dunes Stewardship Event

Volunteers are needed to help protect Warren Dunes State Park from invasive plant species this weekend. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources tells us those who show up Saturday will be pulling garlic mustard from areas off-trail, sometimes in hard to reach locations. Garlic mustard is a pesky invasive plant that is considered one of the most dangerous invasive species. Each plant can produce thousands of seeds which can be spread by wildlife, humans, or water. Those who want to help rid Warren Dunes State Park of the plant this Saturday can show up at 10 a.m. at the organizational campground parking area on Floral Lane. The stewardship event will continue through about 2 p.m. Everyone is advised to wear hiking shoes, long sleeves, and pants.. ...Read Full Story

Nicklaus To Return To Harbor Shores

Golf great Jack Nicklaus will make a return to Harbor Shores this week as part of the 2018 Senior PGA Championship. The PGA tells us Nicklaus is coming back for the first time in six years. As part of an event featuring Nicklaus on Friday, the PGA will make a new community announcement in honor of the World Golf Hall-of-Famer. The organization adds Nicklaus is dropping by Benton Harbor to “see firsthand the continued growth and change in the community since he first conceptualized Harbor Shores.” Friday’s presentation will also feature information on the development of the golf course.. ...Read Full Story

Plan To Save Monarch Butterflies

Wildlife officials say the “king” of butterflies could meet the same fate as the passenger pigeon unless people step in to plant more of the monarch caterpillars’ only food source — milkweed. The monarch butterfly population has crashed, according to Naomi Edelson with the National Wildlife Federation, and can only be revived with a conservation strategy that improves its habitat by increasing its food supply.. ...Read Full Story

Busy Week At Harbor Shores

There’s a lot going on at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor this week. The 79th KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship kicked off Tuesday with the Championship ProAm. That gave some golf fans a chance to tee off right alongside some of their favorite pros. For example, retired Whirlpool CEO Jeff Fettig teamed up with 2016 champion Colin Montgomery. Practice rounds for the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship will be Wednesday, and then the tournament itself starts Thursday. The championship will wrap up on Sunday just in time for everyone to relax for Memorial Day. New features for this year’s event for those who plan to head to Harbor Shores include a YMCA Kids Zone, a special tent featuring southwest Michigan-made wines and beers, and a special Amtrak train to bring people to the golf course from Chicago. Go to SRPGA.com to find a full list of this year’s action.. ...Read Full Story

Report Recommends New Education Policies

A new report on the strengths and weaknesses of Michigan’s educational system shows the state is lacking in achieving goals that have needed to be reached over the last 14 years. The five-point plan suggested by the Education Trust Midwest is one that has been seen before, and the group’s Brian Gutman tells Michigan News Network it can be frustrating.. ...Read Full Story

LaSata Talks Surplus

Michigan lawmakers are facing a possible surplus of $500 million over the next two years, and it’s looking like at least some of that money will go toward fixing the state’s roads. State Representative Kim LaSata tells WSJM News she was hoping for a tax cut.. ...Read Full Story

Commission Discusses Short-Term Rentals

It was a packed South Haven City Hall Monday as the city council considered a motion to amend the short-term rental ordinance. The ordinance amendments would be presented to the planning commission, but first, the city council had to take public comment. Around 30 members of the public took to the podium to speak while attorneys for the city clarified some public misconceptions in a four hour public meeting, after which the council went into closed session. The overwhelming opinion of those attending the meeting was to end the current six month moratorium on new short-term rentals in Wards 1 and 2 because it is presenting a hardship for people who depend on rental income during the summer months. In the end, the city council voted to send the six amendments to the planning commission and also voted to request that body to expedite its review of the proposed amendments. Details on the proposed amendments can be found on the City’s website.. ...Read Full Story

Judicial Forum This Week

Working on issues that affect Native American children in Michigan. That’s what is happening at a forum of state, federal, and tribal judges in Petoskey this week. Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bridget McCormack is taking part in the forum and told Michigan News Network the state has 12 federally recognized tribes.. ...Read Full Story