Local News Archives

BH Marijuana Applications

Benton Harbor is now taking applications for medical marijuana businesses seeking to operate in the city. In a notice put out last week, the city says those proposals could be for any medical marijuana business currently legal under Michigan law. That would include grow facilities, processors, provisioning centers, safety compliance facilities, or transporters. The Benton Harbor City Commission late last year voted to allow up to 25 such businesses in the community. In order to qualify for permission, an operator must provide the city with information on their knowledge and experience, their understanding of the law, and how they intend to operate their facility as an “integrated part of the community.” The applications come with a $5,000 fee, and must be turned into the clerk’s office by the end of business on October 1. So far, NoBo Partners out of Colorado has pursued the former Alreco Metals property, paying a deposit of $20,000 to the Berrien County Land Bank for the foreclosed parcel.. ...Read Full Story

Great Lakes Cleanups Today

Today brings the biggest effort to clean up Great Lakes of the year. Alliance for the Great Lakes spokesperson Jennifer Caddick tells WSJM News hundreds of beach cleanups are being held throughout the Great Lakes region, and everyone’s welcome to show up. The Alliance for the Great Lakes cleanup made a big difference last year. ...Read Full Story

Online Visitation To Berrien Inmates

A new internet visitation program is coming to the Berrien County Jail. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us those who want to visit an inmate over the internet will be able to do so starting Wednesday. The program will be available Mondays through Sundays with some limits on how many internet visits an inmate can have. The sheriff’s department says an inmate can only have two visits per day with a maximum of ten per week. Only three visitors are allowed at a time, and all sessions will be monitored by jail personnel. The sheriff’s department warns inappropriate behavior may cause the visit to be terminated and the visiting privileges taken away. It’s made a website available to schedule those internet visits. You can find out more right here.. ...Read Full Story

Napier Avenue Planning Meeting Coming Up

The Southwest Michigan Planning Commission is close to wrapping up its report on pedestrian options for Napier Avenue in St. Joseph and Benton Townships, and a meeting will be held this month for the public to offer more input. Associate planner Ryan Fellows tells WSJM News the question is whether sidewalks can be put in along Napier when the Berrien County Road Department starts repaving the road from the St. Joe River to I-94 next year. The planning commission is making recommendations.. ...Read Full Story

State Police Recruiting More Women

A women’s recruitment seminar is planned by Michigan State Police for next month in southeast Michigan. Michigan State Police Captain Monica Yesh tells WSJM News only about 10% of the force is women, and they’ve been improving on that the last few years. Women staff from the MSP will address the seminar to talk about what they do and the opportunities available. They range from road patrol to computer work to undercover investigations. Yesh has been with the state police for about 30 years.. ...Read Full Story

MSP Identifies Body Found In St. Joseph River

Robert Freshour Jr. is the name of the man whose body was found floating in the St. Joseph River near Niles the morning of Saturday, September 8. Michigan State Police released his identity Friday afternoon. They are still investigating his discovery and his death. Freshour was from South Bend, and his body was spotted around 11 a.m. that day by two fishermen in Bertrand Township. There’s no word yet on the cause of death.. ...Read Full Story

GM Issues Recall Over Power Steering Problem

From the Associated Press — General Motors is recalling more than a million big pickup trucks and SUVs in the U.S. because the power-assisted steering can briefly shut down. The recall covers certain 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups as well as Chevy Tahoe and Suburban SUVs. Also affected are 2015 Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon SUVs.
GM says the power steering can fail momentarily during a voltage drop and suddenly return, mainly during low-speed turns. A failure would increase the risk of a crash. The company didn’t mention any crashes in documents filed with the government.
Dealers will update the power steering software at no cost to owners. No date has been set for the recall to begin. GM recalled 2014 model year trucks last year for the same problem.. ...Read Full Story

Deadline Soon For Home Heating Assistance

Time is running out to apply for the Michigan Home Heating Credit this year. The deadline is September 30, and Consumers Energy spokesperson Brian Wheeler tells us thousands of Michigan residents who might quality for that home heating assistance may be missing out. He says people shouldn’t be reluctant to apply.. ...Read Full Story

New Anti-Crime Effort In Benton Harbor

“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

Grant Application Mistake Addressed By Berrien County Board

A massive project to clean up Ox Creek in Benton Township and Benton Harbor will continue with grant money from the state after the Berrien County commission approved a resolution to protect the county from being stuck holding the bag if the Department of Environmental Quality demanded any money back. The DEQ approved a grant of $743,000, but it was later discovered the Drain Commissioner’s office used the county’s tax ID number by mistake on the application. Drain Commissioner Christopher Quattrin said Ox Creek is the dirtiest creek in the county, and one of the dirtiest in the state, adding there are several things their project will address.. ...Read Full Story

Plan To Lock Up Opioids

A plan to require that Schedule II controlled substances be placed in special lockable bottles when they’re prescribed to patients in Michigan is before a state House committee. State Representative Joe Bellino of Monroe tells WSJM News the technology is available.. ...Read Full Story

Universities Team Up To Fight Opioids In Detroit

From the Associated Press — The University of Michigan and Harvard University are teaming up to tackle poverty and opioid addiction in Detroit. The schools announced Wednesday they will work with the city to identify steps to improve low-income residents’ livelihoods. The effort pairs Michigan’s ongoing Poverty Solutions Initiative with Harvard’s statistical and
computational research into forces influencing economic success or failure. The universities also will share what they and other experts know about the opioid epidemic and plan national summits in the Detroit and Boston areas. University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel says he called Harvard President Lawrence Bacow, who grew up in Pontiac near Detroit, after
learning of Bacow’s interest in working on national problems. They discussed areas of potential collaboration, and poverty and opioids rose to the top of their lists.. ...Read Full Story

Life Expectancy Report

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services hopes to use a new report on U.S. life expectancy to help guide health policy. Spokesperson Bob Wheaton tells WSJM News the data from the U.S. Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimates Project has made it possible for the first time to examine neighborhood by neighborhood life expectancy. He says the numbers can vary wildly in small areas.. ...Read Full Story

Library Offers Tutoring

Sometimes it can be difficult for kids to get after school help with homework, especially if both parents are working. Now, the Van Buren District Library is offering help to students of all ages with live one to one help from professional tutors online. Anyone with a valid Van Buren District Library card can access the learning suite online. If you have access to the internet, go to VBDL.org. Downloads of apps for smartphones and tablets are available as well. The offering comes from The Princeton Review with real-time tutoring from educators that are credentialed and vetted. The program also provides self-study tools and tutoring is available from three to ten daily. For more information, visit VBDL.org or call your local Van Buren District Library.. ...Read Full Story

Four Shot In Three Shootings Overnight In Benton Harbor

Four people are hospitalized, with one critically wounded, after several overnight shootings in the city of Benton Harbor. According to Deputy Public Safety Director Michael Clark, the first shooting happened in the 1000 block of Bishop around 11:40 pm when a 28-year-old man was shot in the leg. Six minutes later, officers were sent to the emergency room at Lakeland when a 29-year-old man showed up with a gunshot wound suffered in the 1000 block of Jennings. In a statement, Clark notes that man suffered serious injuries. As officers were on the scenes of those incidents, they heard shots fired at 12:30 am in the 600 block of Empire, finding two men who had been shot several times. One of those victims is in critical condition. Police have seized three long guns and a handgun, but have no information on any suspects. It’s not known if the three shootings are related.. ...Read Full Story

Lake Twp Park Improvements To Be Unveiled

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

Volunteers Needed For Lakes Cleanups This Weekend

This Saturday will bring the biggest effort to clean up Great Lakes of the year. Alliance for the Great Lakes spokesperson Jennifer Caddick tells WSJM News hundreds of beach cleanups are being held throughout the Great Lakes region, and everyone’s welcome to show up. The Alliance for the Great Lakes cleanup made a big difference last year. ...Read Full Story

Plenty Going On At BH 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

Bear Hunt Getting Underway

From the Associated Press — Bear hunting season is getting under way in Michigan. Opening dates and hunting periods depend on location. The season began Monday in the Upper Peninsula. It starts Thursday in some parts of the Lower Peninsula
and Sunday in others. Officials say 7,140 licenses were available this year. Over half of Michigan is open to regulated bear hunting. Officials say scientific indicators and public input help determine how many bears can be killed. Wildlife management specialist Kevin Swanson of the state Department of Natural Resources says hunting is an important part of making sure Michigan has a healthy bear population with suitable habitat. The state’s black bear population is estimated at 14,000 adults, including nearly 11,000 in the Upper Peninsula and nearly 3,000 in the northern Lower Peninsula.. ...Read Full Story

Naloxone Training Tomorrow In Niles

There will be a training session on the use of anti-overdose drug Naloxone on Wednesday in Niles. To be led by Nancy King with Families Against Narcotics, the event will give everyone a chance to get a better understanding of opioid addiction. King tells WSJM News efforts to spread awareness and get more Naloxone into the community have helped, and at a critical time.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Now A Judge

Berrien County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Smith is moving to the other side of the courtroom. Governor Snyder has appointed her to the 2nd Circuit Court for the county, filling the judicial vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Scott Schofield. Smith has been with the prosecutor’s office for over 20 years and had been the Chief Assistant Prosecutor since 2013. She is also on the Southwest Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force and serves on the Board of Directors for the Southwest Michigan Children’s Assessment Center and the Lakeshore Youth Baseball and Softball Association. Smith lives in Stevensville and will serve the remainder of Schofield’s term through 2020. She can run for the office in November of that year.. ...Read Full Story