Local News Archives

OK2Say Tip Line Gets 500 Tips In July

Michigan’s OK2Say student safety tip line continues to receive a large number of calls and texts, even though it’s the summer. The Michigan Attorney General’s office tells us OK2Say received 510 tips in July. The most common types of tips are about suicide, followed by cyberbullying, self-harm, and threats. Attorney General Bill Schuette says the tip line, launched in 2014, has proven to be a success. The AG’s office increased its promotions of OK2Say following the school massacre in Parkland, Florida this year. The office notes it regularly holds assemblies regarding OK2Say at schools around the state. Presentations are currently scheduled in 162 schools in 26 counties for the upcoming school year. OK2Say has received more than 15,000 tips total since launching. You can find out more at Michigan.gov/OK2Say.. ...Read Full Story

Cass County Accepting Applications For Treasurer

Applications are now being accepted by the Cass County Treasurer Appointment Committee for that post. It became open with the death of Treasurer Linda Pruett in late July. Probate Judge Susan Dobrich, County Clerk Monica McMichael and Prosecutor Victor Fitz make up the committee authorized by state law to find someone to serve the remainder of Pruett’s term, which ends December 31, 2020. Prospective candidates need to be at least 18, be registered to vote in Cass County or able to move there if appointed, have an accounting background, experience managing a small staff and be familiar with real estate matters. The deadline to apply is 4 p.m. on August 31. The person selected will be eligible to run for a full term in 2020.. ...Read Full Story

Commission Settles Marijuana Question

Applications to open a medical marijuana business in Benton Harbor will become available on September 1. That’s following a meeting this past week of the city commission. The commission previously had set the application date about a month later, but a shift in state rules prompted bumping the local dates up. Commissioner Mary Alice Adams on Monday pushed for an even earlier date, but Mayor Marcus Muhammad didn’t want to overwhelm city staff.. ...Read Full Story

Study Looks At Future Of Waterfront

An ongoing study on the future development of the riverfront in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor will result in some workshops to seek public input next month. At this week’s Benton Harbor City Commission meeting, commissioners heard from Don Carpenter, a consultant working on the Twin Cities Harbor Visioning Charrette. It’s a grant-funded effort to plan for riverfront development in a sustainable way.. ...Read Full Story

Cornerstone Pursuing Retailers

Cornerstone Alliance is making an aggressive push to bring more retailers to Benton Township. Cornerstone President Rob Cleveland tells WSJM News the group has hired The Retail Coach, a national retail recruitment and development firm, hoping to get some spaces filled along M-139 between I-94 and Napier Avenue.. ...Read Full Story

Program To Find Missing Adults, Kids

The Michigan State Police post in Niles and the Niles Police Department are the first law enforcement agencies in Berrien County to be picked for a statewide program to help identify vulnerable adults or impaired children. MSP Lieutenant Melinda Logan tells WSJM News the VIP program was created by legislation to protect those individuals.. ...Read Full Story

New Mural In Downtown St. Joseph

A new 14 by 12 foot mural has been painted on the outside brick wall of the St. Joseph Welcome Center downtown. St. Joseph Today’s Amy Zapal tells WSJM News the organization hired Houston-based artist Anat Ronen to spruce up the alley wall that faces Main Street. The mural was finished late last week.. ...Read Full Story

Road Funding Fallout

With the failure this week of a road millage in Van Buren County, it’s back to the drawing board for the road commission. The body had asked voters for an additional three mills for 12 years to fix up the county’s roads. That would have generated more than $10 million per year. Van Buren County Road Commission Engineer-Manager Larry Hummel tells WSJM News the talks now begin on what to do next.. ...Read Full Story

New MDOT Traffic Site

The Michigan Department of Transportation has updated its Drive website to be more user friendly. Spokesperson Nick Schirripa tells WSJM News MDOT recently discontinued the MI Drive phone app, and redesigned the website to work better with mobile devices.. ...Read Full Story

New Admins At Niles Community Schools

A couple of new principals have been hired at Niles Community Schools. Superintendent Dan Applegate tells us the district has hired Jeron Blood as the new Ballard Elementary principal and Jennifer Shabazz as the principal of Northside Child Development Center. Blood has previously served as the assistant principal and associate principal at Edison Middle School in the Unit 4 School District of Champaign, Illinois. Shabazz joins the Niles Community Schools from the South Bend Community School Corporation where was the assistant principal at Brown Intermediate Center. Blood says he looks forward to working collaboratively with the Ballard Elementary teachers and staff, and contributing to a positive learning environment. Shabazz says she wants to support the needs of teachers, staff, and families. Applegate says the district is excited to welcome both.. ...Read Full Story