Local News Archives

Van Buren Road Meetings

A series of meetings will take place in Van Buren County over the next few months for residents to learn more about a road millage proposal voters will consider in August. The Van Buren County Road Commission tells us staff and officials will host discussions on the proposed millage, a review of current road conditions, current available road funding, and the intent of the millage proposal. The meetings will all be town hall-style, and will be held at the Van Buren Conference Center on South Paw Paw Street in Lawrence. Anyone who wants to learn more about road needs and what will be voted on August 7 is invited. Below is the schedule for the meetings.. ...Read Full Story

Roll Call For Fallen Soldiers

Set for this Memorial Day in South Haven will be a roll call of all the American soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Vietnam-era veteran Major Craig Massey of the U.S. Army will spend about three hours reading more than 3,400 names in front of the South Haven City Hall flagpole on Phoenix Street starting at noon May 28. Massey tells us he’s previously read the names of soldiers who died in Afghanistan, and this year, they’ve added to the program.. ...Read Full Story

New SJ Parks Foundation

The St. Joseph Kiwanis Club has started a new effort to help improve parks in the community. St. Joseph Kiwanis Community Parks Foundation Chair Chris Wagner tells WSJM News the group will raise money for all of the city’s parks.. ...Read Full Story

New Festival In South Haven

If you’re a fan of mermaids, then you’ll want to be in South Haven this Memorial Day weekend. Set for May 25 through May 28 is the first ever Mermaid MegaFest. Organizer Brad Carrier tells WSJM News it kicks off Friday the 25th with a series of guest speakers who will address freshwater preservation. Then there’s the fun stuff for the rest of the weekend.. ...Read Full Story

Residents Reminded Of Naloxone Order

Michigan residents are being reminded of the state’s standing order on anti-overdose drug naloxone. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Lynn Sutfin tells WSJM News the order was issued in May of last year, making it possible for anyone to get their hands on doses of naloxone.. ...Read Full Story

Congressman Hopes For MI Defense Site

Congressman Fred Upton is pushing for a site in Michigan to be selected by the U.S. Department of Defense for a missile defense facility. Upton tells WSJM News the Pentagon has been studying possible places for a site to house defensive missiles to protect the eastern United States.. ...Read Full Story

Niles Renaissance Faire Tomorrow

Set for this month is the first ever Niles Renaissance Faire. Niles History Center Director Christina Arseneau tells WSJM News the city decided to hold a renaissance faire because the events are increasingly popular in the region, attracting both history buffs and fans of fantasy. On hand will be food vendors and performers.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Backs Ban On Marijuana-Infused Beer

State Senator John Proos is among the lawmakers hoping to ban the latest THC-related innovation before it comes to Michigan. On Thursday, Proos voted for legislation to pre-emptively prohibit marijuana-infused beer, wine, and spirits. He tells us at a time when drunk driving kills thousands of people each year, allowing booze to become mixed with reefer would be a big mistake. The Michigan Senate approved a ban on the marijuana-infused beer, sending it on the state House. Currently, nine states and the District of Columbia permit the recreational use of marijuana. Michigan is one of 29 states where the medical use of marijuana is allowed, and a proposal set to be on the November ballot seeks to legalize recreational marijuana in the state, too. State lawmakers wanted to head off the marijuana-infused beer before it became a reality.. ...Read Full Story

Recycling Event Tomorrow

A household chemical recycling event is slated for this weekend in Berrien County. The Berrien County Parks Department tells us it will collect chemicals, home medical waste, electronics, and personal documents tomorrow at the Southeast Berrien County Landfill Recycling Center in Buchanan. The personal documents will be shredded. The county tells us you can drop off paint, old gasoline, used motor oil, pesticides, cleaners, unwanted pills, medical sharps, batteries, computers, televisions, printers, and small and large appliances mostly for free. There is a fee of $10 per computer monitor and $20 per television. The collection event will run this Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. You can find out more right here.. ...Read Full Story

New Tax Savings Accounts

Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski has announced a new service being offered by some local banks to help property taxpayers stay current on their bills. Witkowski tells WSJM News he’s arranged for the banks to offer special tax savings accounts. When you sign up, you can just have a portion of your earnings put aside each month for your property taxes later in the year. Witkowski says it’s clear many people could benefit.. ...Read Full Story

Coast Guard Safety Event

The U.S. Coast Guard will hold a special water safety event this weekend. Petty Officer Jeffrey Gehrke with the St. Joseph post tells WSJM News the coast guard and other agencies will be at out in the parking lot of the Berrien County Courthouse on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.. ...Read Full Story

Sheriff Saves Overdose Patients

Two men who overdosed on heroin in Kalamazoo County are alive thanks to quick thinking by the sheriff this week. Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller tells us he was grabbing food from his favorite restaurant on Tuesday when he noticed a car running next to him with and the driver slumped over the wheel and drooling. The passenger was in the process of injecting himself in the stomach. Fuller called dispatch, and he and a deputy were able to administer Narcan to the two men.. ...Read Full Story

I&M Renewable Energy Program

If you support renewable energy and want Indiana Michigan Power to invest more in it, you now have a chance to put your money where your mouth is. I&M spokesperson Tracy Warner tells WSJM News the company has now rolled out its Green Power Option to Michigan customers. With it, you can sign up to attribute a portion or all of your monthly energy usage to I&M’s renewable energy programs.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmaker Talks MSU Settlement

Where will Michigan State get the funds to pay for the massive $500 million settlement to victims of Larry Nassar? Interim President John Engler has said the costs will be paid by tuition and through state aid. State Representative Pete Lucido told Michigan News Network this week he doesn’t like the sound of that.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmakers Welcome Seniors To Lansing

State lawmakers from southwest Michigan welcomed representatives of the Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren County Area Agency on Aging to the Capitol On Wednesday to celebrate Older Michiganians Day. State Representatives Kim LaSata, Beth Griffin, and Aaron Miller joined state Senator John Proos in hosting the agency for a day to talk about issues that matter to the senior population in the region. LaSata tells us she was “thrilled” to meet with so many seniors. Older Michiganians Day is an annual rally that takes place on the Capitol lawn. The event brings together hundreds of seniors, aging service providers, and senior advocates to meet with their state legislators. Issues of concern include elder abuse, accessibility, and care-giving matters.. ...Read Full Story

State Investigating Utility Issues

From the Associated Press — The Michigan Public Service Commission is investigating DTE Electric Co.’s recent storm-related outages and the death of a Detroit woman who came in contact with a downed power line. More than 300,000 DTE customers lost power May 4 when a storm with winds gusting to 70 mph hit southeast Michigan. Power wasn’t restored to some until several days later. The commission said in an order Thursday that it’s concerned parts of DTE’s distribution system cannot provide safe and reliable service during large storms, as is required by law. Among other things, it wants to know if system maintenance, or a lack thereof, contributes to safety hazards and other
problems. It gave DTE until June 29 to file a safety and incident report. DTE says it’ll work with the commission to address the questions raised.. ...Read Full Story

Engler Tries To Joke About MSU Settlement

Michigan State University interim president John Engler is catching some heat from survivors of Larry Nassar’s sexual assaults for a remark at the state Capitol on Thursday. When asked where MSU was going to get the $500 million for the settlement with over 300 women and girls, he said they’re hoping “to find a leprechaun.” Engler quickly pivoted and said the university has not made any decisions yet on tuition increases, noting he answered that twice while meeting with lawmakers. The leprechaun comment isn’t sitting well with some. Nassar abuse survivor Morgan McCaul tells a Grand Rapids TV station Engler made a mockery of the settlement, and called it “immature” and “not what I’d want as the face of my university.”. ...Read Full Story

New County Park On Schedule

Berrien County’s newest park should be open to the public by the end of the summer. Berrien County Parks Director Brian Bailey gave an update to county commissioners this week on Paw Paw River County Park located in Watervliet. Bailey tells WSJM News the park sits on about 15 acres of former brownfield property right off M-140. It covers an area east of the road, across the river, and on an island in the Paw Paw River.. ...Read Full Story

Napier Avenue Open House

Anyone with opinions on what should be done to improve Napier Avenue between the St. Joseph River and I-94 is welcome to attend an open house on the subject next week. Southwest Michigan Planning Commission Associate Planner Ryan Fellows tells WSJM News a year-long study on the Napier corridor is getting into its home stretch. The focus has been how to improve Napier for pedestrians. Monday’s open house will give everyone a chance to chime in.. ...Read Full Story

State To Have Extra Money

From the Associated Press — Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and lawmakers will have hundreds of millions of dollars more to budget than they expected at the turn of the year. His administration and legislative on Wednesday agreed to revised revenue estimates. Tax collections for Michigan’s two main funds are projected to be $315 million higher than expected in the current fiscal year and $182 million higher in the next budget year. Republican leaders could use the additional money to boost savings, pay down debt or for spending priorities. Democrats say it should go to road work. The next budget is expected to be finalized in coming weeks.. ...Read Full Story

Marijuana Forum In South Haven

A forum will be held in South Haven next month for everyone to learn a little more about marijuana. Marc Sprague is one of the organizers and tells WSJM News the event is a function of Concerned Citizens of South Haven in response to recent events which are allowing more marijuana in the community.. ...Read Full Story

House OKs Newborn Dropoff Boxes

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s House has passed legislation that lets parents leave their newborns in secured boxes at hospitals, fire departments and police stations in addition to personally surrendering them to emergency services personnel and first responders.
Lawmakers approved the four-bill package Wednesday that amends the Safe Delivery of Newborns Law to allow for use of these baby boxes which the state Department of Health and Human Services would be tasked with regulating. The bill also redefines “newborn” as a child not older than 30 days. Since 2000, the safe delivery law allows parents to legally surrender a newborn at a fire department, hospital or police station without being charged with child abandonment. The newborns are then placed into adoption programs. The bill now heads to the Michigan Senate.. ...Read Full Story

Art Display Unveiling Tomorrow

The city of St. Joseph’s public art display will be unveiled this Friday. This year’s display, “The Magical Kingdom of St. Joseph,” is set to feature 15 sculptures of knights, dragons, and horses located downtown. The display will be unveiled at 5:30 p.m. Friday and also feature a castle the kids can play in. Donated by Turner Construction, that castle will be stationed at Broad and State Streets. Friday’s kick-off for the public art display will also include live music and special sidewalk sales. “The Magical Kingdom of St. Joseph” will be out for the whole summer, and then the individual art pieces will be auctioned off in the fall.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren County Road Meetings

A series of meetings will take place in Van Buren County over the next few months for residents to learn more about a road millage proposal voters will consider in August. The Van Buren County Road Commission tells us staff and officials will host discussions on the proposed millage, a review of current road conditions, current available road funding, and the intent of the millage proposal. The meetings will all be town hall-style, and will be held at the Van Buren Conference Center on South Paw Paw Street in Lawrence. Anyone who wants to learn more about road needs and what will be voted on August 7 is invited. Below is the schedule for the meetings.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Pushes For Missile Defense Site

Congressman Fred Upton is pushing for a site in Michigan to be selected by the U.S. Department of Defense for a missile defense facility. Upton tells WSJM News the Pentagon has been studying possible places for a site to house defensive missiles to protect the eastern United States.. ...Read Full Story

Unclaimed Property Auction

The state of Michigan will unload unclaimed property with a couple of auctions this weekend. The Michigan Department of Treasury tells us its annual unclaimed property auction will be held in Lansing on Friday and Saturday. The property in question is obtained through abandoned safe deposit boxes. While Treasury does work to return those items to their rightful owners, the effort isn’t always successful. The items include coins, currency, collectibles, and jewelry. The auction will be held at the Lansing Quality Suites in Delta Township. Anyone looking for more information can click this link.. ...Read Full Story

Company Reimbursed For Energy Upgrades

The owners of an apartment complex in Buchanan have received a check for more than $243,000 from Indiana Michigan Power for making improvements to their facility to save energy. Jason Muniz with Hollander Development Corporation tells WSJM News the company spent about $7 million to upgrade the units at Metea Court Apartments, a 100-unit community for low-income seniors.. ...Read Full Story