Local News Archives

Group Supports Paycheck Fairness Act

The proposition that women ought to make the same amount of money as men for the same job is back in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Paycheck Fairness Act was reintroduced on Wednesday and is backed by every Democrat in the chamber. House Resolution Seven would build on the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which was signed into law ten years ago this week. Michele Leber, chair of the National Committee on Pay Equity, tells us one important provision would forbid companies from using a person’s salary history in employment decisions.. ...Read Full Story

School Districts Get Three Extra Snow Days

Students don’t have to worry about this week’s blast of severe weather pushing their school year into the summer. The Michigan Department of Education told districts this week they will get an extra three days of snow days, as many in the Lower Peninsula were closed all week. All school districts have enough time in the academic calendar for six snow days a year before days have to be tacked on to the end of the last semester. Interim state superintendent Sheila Alles also told districts that Governor Whitmer’s State of Emergency in Michigan doesn’t mandate schools have to close and that remains a local decision.. ...Read Full Story

MI House Speaker: No Changes To Elliott-Larsen For LGBTQ

The National Human Rights Campaign for Equity is once again this year ranking Michigan low on their State Equity Index because it is still legal to discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Michigan Human Rights campaign is renewing their call for the Legislature to add the LGBTQ community to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, but House Speaker Lee Chatfield it’s not going to happen.. ...Read Full Story

Report: Hundreds Of MI Communities Ban Marijuana

From the Associated Press — More than 250 Michigan communities have banned marijuana businesses just two months after the state became the first in the Midwest to legalize the drug for recreational use. MLive reports that some cities and townships have enacted temporary bans until the state creates regulations to govern the recreational marijuana industry. Josh Hovey is the spokesman for the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association. He believes that some communities are being cautious because of legal concerns, while others are following their community’s values. Barton Morris is one of the lawyers involved with the marijuana legalization campaign. He believes attitudes will change over time. Many of the state’s biggest cities, including Detroit and Lansing, haven’t passed any restrictions. Michigan voters in November endorsed recreational marijuana for adults who are at least 21 years old.. ...Read Full Story

Task Force Calls For Local Human Trafficking Resolutions

The Southwest Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force is hoping to see communities around Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties take a page from South Bend and approve their own anti-human trafficking resolutions. Task Force founder Cathy Knauf tells WSJM News the South Bend City Council recently approved a resolution stating its opposition to the crime and warning residents about it. She asks why not communities here in southwest Michigan?. ...Read Full Story

State Police Responded To 183 SWM Crashes This Week

Michigan State Police say they responded to 183 traffic crashes across southwest Michigan this week. Thanks to the severe weather, the highways were the scene of crashes throughout the region. In addition to responding to all of those incidents, the patrol vehicles of five Michigan State Police troopers were struck by drivers, although none of the troopers were seriously hurt. MSP reminds everyone that drivers are responsible for maintaining control of their vehicles at all times. If you crash because it is slick on the road, you could still get a ticket because you weren’t going slow enough. Also, police say state law requires that when drivers see a stationary emergency vehicle or tow truck pulled over with its lights on, passing drivers must move over at least one lane. If that’s not possible, they must slow down and pass with caution.. ...Read Full Story

Warm-Up Could Mean Slight Flood Threat

With the weather expected to quickly warm up this weekend and into next week, FEMA is advising everyone to watch their homes for signs of possible flooding. Region V Administrator James Joseph tells WSJM News low-lying areas could be affected, and the agency is keeping an eye on southwest Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Dowagiac Ice-Time Festival This Weekend

South Haven isn’t the only southwest Michigan community with an ice fest this weekend. Saturday will bring the 23rd Ice-Time Festival in Dowagiac. There will be ice carving all over the downtown area starting at 8 a.m. The day also features snow globes at the library, a sled dog meet and greet, games, ice castle building, and the always-popular frozen fish toss competition. There be a snow shuttle around town and ice cream. The day will end with a daddy-daughter dance. You can find the full festival line-up right here.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Ice Breaker Fest This Weekend

One of South Haven’s largest annual events is happening this weekend. It’s the 26th annual Ice Breaker Festival running Friday through Sunday. With the weather forecast calling for a warm up, organizers say the conditions should be perfect. Kathy Wagaman with the South Haven Chamber tells that ice carvings are a big draw on Saturday.. ...Read Full Story