Local News Archives

Niles Closes Non-Essential Services

The city of Niles has announced it has closed for Wednesday due to the extremely frigid weather. All non-essential city services, including Dial A Ride, are shut down through at least Thursday. The city manager will decide Thursday morning whether the city is to remain closed. Emergency and essential services will remain active, including police, fire, and street department crews. The city also urges anyone without functioning heat to go to a local business providing a warming station. They are UltraCamp and Michiana Heating and Cooling. Anyone needing a ride to a warming center should call the Niles Police Department’s non-emergency line at 269-683-1313.. ...Read Full Story

BH Asks Residents To Let Water Drip, Make Sure Pipes Have Heat

The city of Benton Harbor is asking residents to let their water drip until the current round of frigid weather passes. With sub-zero temperatures over the next few days, the possibility of freezing water lines is increased. The city says residents can protect themselves by allowing a small drip of water to run through Saturday. That allows for continued movement through the plumbing. Also, the city asks residents to make sure areas where their plumbing is exposed — like basements and crawl spaces — are adequately heated to avoid the possibility of water lines freezing. City Manager Darwin Watson says while there have been no indications of excessive frost penetration, it is important those measures be taken to avoid problems.. ...Read Full Story

BH Woman Killed In Allegan County Crash

A Benton Harbor woman is dead following a weekend crash in Allegan County. The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department tells us it happened around 6:30 p.m. on M-89 at Second Street in Gun Plains Township. Deputies say 25-year-old Kalyn Ann Cole was killed when her vehicle was struck as it passed some other vehicles and failed to get back into its correct lane on time. A child who was secured in a booster seat was pinned in the backseat and received injuries that were non-life-threatening. No one else was hurt. The crash remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

SWM Homes Sales Year In Review

Home sales in southwest Michigan were slightly down in December. The Southwest Michigan Association of Realtors tells us December of 2018 sales were down 4% from December of 2017. Also, looking at 2018 as a whole, the year did not pass 2017 when it came to homes sold. However, 2018 did set records for total dollar volume and selling prices. The association says for the year, the number of houses sold dwindled to just under 1,300 compared to 1,365 in 2017. When it comes to inventory, at the end of 2018 there was 5.1 month supply of houses for sale. For comparison, in 2010, the inventory in the region was a 12.7 month supply. The association says the rising home prices throughout 2018 was partly due to that tight inventory.. ...Read Full Story

Many Benton Harbor Churches Serving As Warming Stations

With the dangerously frigid temperatures this week, several warming stations are being announced in the Benton Harbor area, many of them at churches. Among the places where someone can go to warm up are Keep It Real Ministries on Pipestone, New Bethel Baptist Church on Townline Road, Brotherhood of All Nations on Emery Street, and Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church on Jakway. This information is according to the Facebook page of Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad. He challenged local churches to offer their own warm spaces. Also, First Presbyterian on Morton Hill will have a hot meal at 6 p.m. Thursday. You’re advised to call a given church to learn more about what they are offering before heading there.. ...Read Full Story

Mims Trial Could Start Next Week

As of now, one of the highest-profile murder cases in Berrien County’s history is due to get underway next week. It’s the double murder trial of Antwan “Tank” Mims, who was caught in suburban Atlanta, Georgia on July 31 after being placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives list. Authorities say he shot and killed two men, 22-year-old Cortez Miller and 29-year-old Michael Johnson, in front of roughly 100 witnesses at a house party last March. The trial is scheduled for a Monday start, but the Berrien County Courthouse has been closed for the past two days due to weather.. ...Read Full Story

Whitmer’s State Of The State Moved Back

We have a new date for Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s first State of the State address. It had been scheduled for next Tuesday, February 5, but that’s the same night that U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Trump have moved the State of the Union. Whitmer will now address a joint session of the Legislature and the rest of the state on Tuesday, February 12. While no details have leaked out, she is expected to lay out her plan as to how to pay for road repairs around the state.. ...Read Full Story

Schools Starting To Close Through Thursday

Schools around southwest Michigan are already calling off classes through Thursday. It’s due to the blowing snow and life-threatening wind chills and frigid air heading in. Along with schools, some businesses are also closing down because of the weather. As a reminder, you can always check the full list of closings and cancellations at WSJM.com.. ...Read Full Story

Wife Of Murdered Sergeant Due In Court

The woman charged with murder for allegedly plotting the death of her Army sergeant husband on New Year’s Eve is scheduled to be in court today. That, however, is weather-dependent as all Berrien County offices including the courthouse were closed yesterday due to the weather. Kemia Hassel is is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing at 8:30 a.m. in front of Judge Angela Pasula, and WSJM News will be there.. ...Read Full Story

With Shutdown Over, Scientists Rush To Salvage Wolf Study

From the Associated Press — Scientists are rushing to salvage a study of wolves and moose at Isle Royale National Park now that the government shutdown is over. Biologists and support personnel typically spend seven weeks every winter on the Lake Superior island, observing how the predator and prey species interact. But the park was off-limits during the partial shutdown, raising fears the study would be interrupted after 60 continuous years and lose valuable data. Co-leader Rolf Peterson said Monday the team hopes to get to Isle Royale this week. He said there should be enough time for the most important tasks, including darting 20 moose by helicopter so they can be fitted with tracking collars. A private foundation has raised funds to keep the project going even if the federal government shuts down again.. ...Read Full Story