Local News Archives

Highway Cams Visible At MDOT Site

The Michigan Department of Transportation continues to roll out traffic cameras along highways across the state. A glance at Michigan.gov/Drive will show you clusters of traffic cams all over heavily driven areas. MDOT spokesperson Nick Schirripa tells WSJM News some cameras were taken down for a while.. ...Read Full Story

Parchment Gets All-Clear For Clean City Water

The water in the city of Parchment and Cooper Township is again safe to drink. The state found extremely high levels of the suspected carcinogen PFAS in the water system last month at over 14-hundred parts per trillion, and new tests find that level is less than 10 parts per trillion now. City of Kalamazoo utilities director Jim Baker says they also found some other levels on the high side, including lead, which they have addressed.. ...Read Full Story

Gary Peters On John McCain

U.S. Senator Gary Peters of Michigan says John McCain always treated everyone with the utmost respect. Peters told Michigan News Network Monday that’s what he will remember about his Republican colleague from Arizona. McCain who died Saturday from brain cancer.. ...Read Full Story

Latest PFAS Update

As a drinking water advisory is lifted for the community of Parchment in Kalamazoo County, health officials say the job of keeping residents safe is not over. In June, groundwater wells were contaminated with chemicals known as PFAS. The water system was then flushed out by the city of Kalamazoo. Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller spoke at a news conference on the situation Monday.. ...Read Full Story

State: Time For a Flu Vaccine

This is a good time to start planning to get a flu vaccine. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Bob Wheaton tells WSJM News it may seem a bit early, but a recent rash of flu cases stemming from a mail carriers conference in Grand Rapids shows the flu can become a problem anytime. He says the flu vaccine is widely available.. ...Read Full Story

Teen Mental Health Summit This Week

The Boys and Girls Club of Benton Harbor will host a teen mental health summit this week. The club’s John Sams tells WSJM News the gathering will be all day this Wednesday at the Joel E. Smilow Teen Center. The day will include break-out sessions on controlling one’s emotions, how the legal system treats mental illness, and bullying. Sams says the 2018 Teen Summit on Mental Health is hosted by the Keystone Club, a teen leadership group at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department Back To School Bash

This Tuesday will bring the Berrien County Health Department’s third annual Back to School Bash. It’ll be held at the health department office on East Napier in Benton Township from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The health department tells us anyone can stop by with their kids to prepare them for the start of new school year. The department will provide free hearing and vision screenings, vaccines required for school entry, healthy snacks, activities, and giveaways for the kids. You can also get information about WIC, parenting education, and health insurance assistance. Police will be on hand to meet with kids and show off law enforcement equipment. Everyone is welcome to stop by.. ...Read Full Story

Ferris State Faculty On Strike

From the Associated Press — Dozens of Ferris State University faculty members took to a picket line as they went on strike for the first day of fall semester classes. Striking tenured teachers at the university in Big Rapids chanted “No contract, no work” while lining a sidewalk Monday. The strike followed a Sunday negotiating session that didn’t result in a new contract agreement with the Ferris Faculty Association, which represents some 450 full-time faculty members. The 14,000-student school says on its website that some professors might not be present for classes but that students should attend as scheduled. Faculty union President Charles Bacon tells The Detroit News that he’s frustrated with lack of progress. The two sides are split over pay increases. School spokeswoman Michelle Rasmussen says declining enrollment has reduced tuition revenue.. ...Read Full Story

Names Released In Fatal Crash

An Illinois man is dead following a crash on I-94 in Royalton Township Monday morning. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us the crash happened around 6 a.m. on the eastbound side of the highway on the bridge over the St. Joseph River between the Niles Road and Scottdale Road exits. It was between a van driven by 56-year-old Myles Ullenbrauck of Skokie, Illinois and a Jeep driven by 29-year-old Stephen Byers of St. Joseph. Ullenbrauck was killed, while Byers was taken to Lakeland Hospital. Investigators say neither driver was wearing a seat belt. The crash closed eastbound I-94 in the area for about three hours.
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I-94 Crash Kills One In Royalton Township

One person is dead from a crash on I-94 in Royalton Township this morning. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department says the crash was between a 2013 Chrysler van and a 2002 Jeep Liberty on the bridge over the St. Joseph River between the Niles Road and Scottdale Road exits. The crash closed the eastbound lanes of I-94 for about three hours, opening back up around 9 a.m. Investigators say neither driver was wearing a seat belt, and the driver of the van was killed. The driver of the Jeep is recovering at Lakeland Hospital.. ...Read Full Story

Garth Brooks To Talk Notre Dame Stadium Show

We will know more this afternoon about the Garth Brooks concert at Notre Dame Stadium. The country music titan will be in South Bend today to talk about the details of the first-ever concert at the stadium, which was announced this summer. As yet, we don’t know the date of the show. Brooks is the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year and was the first artist to ever receive 7 Diamond awards, given for each album that has sold over 10 million copies. He is the top-selling solo artist in U.S. history, selling more than 148 million albums since his self-titled debut was released in April 1989. WSJM News will be at today’s press conference along with 97.5 Y-Country, and as of now, we are planning to air the press conference live on Y-Country at 1 p.m.. ...Read Full Story

Two Arrested For South Haven Vehicle Break-Ins

Two people are jailed in connection with vehicle break-ins in South Haven and South Haven Township. An 18-year-old man from South Haven Township and a 21-year-old woman from the city of South Haven were arrested Friday and are in the Van Buren County Jail. A witness called in a license plate early Friday after seeing the suspects trying to break into cars in the city. Police found a stolen handgun along with several items reported stolen recently from cars. They’re also trying to identify other victims and get their belongings returned.. ...Read Full Story

Fair Attendance Numbers

Preparations are already underway for next year’s Berrien County Youth Fair now that the 2018 event is all wrapped up. Berrien County Youth Fair Director Karen Klug tells WSJM News about 105,000 people walked through the fairground gates last week. That’s compared to 121,000 the previous year. The biggest attractions?. ...Read Full Story

Public Art For Benton Harbor?

There could soon be an effort to beautify areas of Benton Harbor with murals. At this week’s city commission meeting, Anna Russo-Sieber with ARS Arts and Culture Center in Benton Harbor and Detroit-area artist John Sauve made their initial pitch to commissioners. They had no details; just a proposal that murals be painted on buildings throughout the city. Sieber told WSJM News public art has been shown to be a boost for communities.. ...Read Full Story

Sen. Schuitmaker Falls Short In Bid For AG Nod

State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker will not be on the ballot this fall for the first time in over a decade. The term-limited senator from Lawton fell short in her bid to be the Republican nominee for attorney general, with delegates at the Michigan Republican Party’s convention selecting state House Speaker Tom Leonard of Mt. Pleasant, instead. Schuitmaker handed out a 14-page document to delegates to outline her qualifications and go after Leonard’s positions on issues.. ...Read Full Story

Road Commission Pushes Millage Again

The Van Buren County Road Commission is going to try again. After a ballot proposal asking the public for a millage increase to improve the roads was shot down last week, Road Commission Engineer Manager Larry Hummel says they’re now going to put it on the November ballot. He told The Herald Palladium trying again in November will allow more time to promote the millage proposal. The goal is 3 mills over 12 years, generating about $10 million per year. The ballot language will be revised to better explain how the money will be shared with local governments. The millage proposal was rejected last week with about 44% voting in favor. The Van Buren County Road Commission tells us it needs extra money in order to get the county’s roads in better shape. Hummel says about 67% of them are in poor condition.. ...Read Full Story

Secretary Of State Candidate Focuses On Security

A five point plan has been introduced by Democratic Secretary of State candidate Jocelyn Benson to ensure that upcoming elections are executed safely. The plan involves stringent post-election audits, standardized poll worker training and the formation of a commission of election experts to maintain the accuracy of Michigan elections. She was asked if her plan can be done without any input from the federal government.. ...Read Full Story

Time Almost Up For State Student Aid

Time is running out for high school graduates from the class of 2018 to apply for Tuition Incentive Program benefits from the Michigan Department of Treasury. The department tells us the grant program — commonly referred to as TIP — encourages eligible Medicaid recipients to complete high school by providing college tuition assistance. Eligible TIP students have four years from graduation to begin using their TIP benefits. The deadline to apply for this year is August 31. The program, administered by the Student Financial Services Bureau, covers 24 credit hours of tuition per academic year for a total of 80 overall credits at Michigan community colleges. TIP also covers up to $250 in fees each semester. To qualify, students must have been on Michigan Medicaid for 24 months within a 36 consecutive month period between the age of nine and high school graduation. You can find out more right here.. ...Read Full Story

City Tax Fight

A tax tribunal case between Harbor Shores and the city of Benton Harbor will continue. At a Monday meeting, the city commission rejected a settlement with Harbor Shores regarding its 2017 and 2018 assessments. The golf course wants its taxable value adjusted lower. The settlement, if accepted, would have caused a loss of about $33,000 to the city. The city assessor warned commissioners the fight could drag out for years with little chance for the city. Mayor Marcus Muhammad liked the situation to “an indecent proposal.”. ...Read Full Story

Leonard Nominated For Attorney General

From the Associated Press — Michigan Republicans have nominated Tom Leonard for attorney general and Mary Treder Lang for secretary of state. Leonard, the state House speaker, defeated state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker for attorney general on Saturday at a nominating convention in Lansing. Thousands of Republican delegates also backed accountant Mary Treder Lang over former Michigan State University assistant professor Joseph Guzman for secretary of state. The selections fill out the top of the Republican ticket after gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette and U.S. Senate candidate John James won in the primary.
Schuette’s running mate is Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons. Democrats also are meeting this weekend. They endorsed their attorney general and secretary of state choices in the spring but will officially nominate lawyer Dana Nessel and election expert Jocelyn Benson on Sunday.. ...Read Full Story

Class On Campaigning At LMC

A new kind of class is being offered this upcoming academic year at Lake Michigan College. The college tells us it’s holding a course to teach students how to run a political campaign. LMC political science professor Tiffany Bohm tells WSJM News Campaigns and Elections will cover several election-related topics, like public speaking, data analysis, and voter registration.. ...Read Full Story

Growth For Grand Rapids Airport

July marked the seventh record breaking month in a row this year for the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids. Airport spokeswoman Tara Hernandez says July of this year was the busiest July ever with passenger numbers up 16.7% year over year.. ...Read Full Story

NRC Talks Cook Plant

The duties of some of the most detail-oriented, safety minded engineers in the area were on display at the Silver Beach Center in St. Joseph Tuesday, as the resident inspectors from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission who oversee the safety efforts at Bridgman’s Cook Nuclear Plant met with the public. One of them is John Ellegood, who has been at Cook for six-and-a-half years and tells WSJM News he enjoys being able to share what they do with people.. ...Read Full Story

Donation To Bridgman STEM Lab

STEM education in Bridgman is getting a boost. The Bridgman Foundation for Educational Excellence gave the final $150,000 of $300,000 raised to support the F.C. Reed Middle School STEM Lab during this week’s school board meeting. Superintendent Shane Peters tells us the school’s approach is a little different than others when it comes to the science, technology, engineering, and math lab as all 5th through 8th graders can participate in the STEM lab.. ...Read Full Story

Mutt March Today

Animal Aid of Southwestern Michigan will hold its annual Mutt March today. The Mutt March raises money for the animal rescue organization. It’s a walk including dog owners and their friends in St. Joseph. The theme this year is “Rescue to Rescue: Honoring Rescue, Law Enforcement and Military,” and will feature participants including the St. Joseph Department of Public Safety, veterans groups, and first responders. The march starts at 11 a.m. at Lake Bluff Park in St. Joseph with an entry fee of $10. Animal Aid is an all-volunteer organization that works to find homes for animals. You can find out more about the Mutt March at AnimalAidSWMI.org.. ...Read Full Story

“Commodity Fair” Teaches Kids About Farm Risk

As county fairs are held around Michigan this summer, young future farmers have been receiving a lesson in risk management through a program of the CME Group. The company has teamed up with 4H chapters across the country for the past six years to offer its Commodity Carnival at fairs. CME Group’s Tim Andriesen tells WSJM News the carnival allows young people to simulate raising hogs by having them take part in a game in which they raise small eggs that represent livestock and weigh the costs versus revenue. The lesson they hope to teach?. ...Read Full Story

Detroit Mayor Suing Over Auto Insurance Law

From the Associated Press — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and residents have filed a federal lawsuit over Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance law. The Detroit News reports that the lawsuit was filed Thursday against Patrick McPharlin, the director of Michigan’s Department of Insurance and Financial Services. The department oversees the state’s no-fault insurance system.
The lawsuit alleges the system has caused excessive rates and is unconstitutional. The filing says Michigan’s average auto insurance premium is more than $3,000, while the national average is about $1,500. The suit says Detroit has the highest auto rate of any city in the U.S., with drivers paying an average of about $6,200 for insurance. Department spokeswoman Andrea Miller says officials are reviewing the complaint. The lawsuit is asking the court to give the state six months to change the
system.. ...Read Full Story