Local News Archives

Feds Announce $1 Million For PFAS Study

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced $1 million in funding for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to study the relationship between PFAS exposure and certain health outcomes in areas of the state affected by the chemical. Congressman Fred Upton tells WSJM News the funding is being granted as part of a nationwide, multi-site study to understand the health risks posed by PFAS in water. He says Michigan has been at the forefront of efforts to respond to PFAS.. ...Read Full Story

Boys And Girls Club Opens Location At St. Joseph High School

The Boys and Girls Club of Benton Harbor has opened a new location at St. Joseph High School. Director of Operations Liji Hanny tells WSJM News the organization ran a pilot last year at E.P. Clarke Elementary School that went well, and then administration at St. Joseph Public Schools inquired about having something similar for the high school. The Boys and Girls Club location opened in one classroom last week.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Becomes Fifth State To Join Age-Friendly Network

From The Associated Press — Michigan is the fifth state to partner with the AARP and the World Health Organization to be age-friendly, so people can age in place in their homes and communities. Governor Gretchen Whitmer helped announce Michigan’s application and certification on Monday at an AARP conference near Lansing. Michigan is one of the most rapidly aging states in the country. Projections show that in 2025, it will be the first state where residents age 65 and older outnumber those 18 and younger – a decade ahead of the nation as a whole. Whitmer says Michigan is the first state in the Midwest to join the network, which provides resources so cities, counties and states can become more age-friendly. The resources include access to research, planning models, best
practices and funding opportunities.. ...Read Full Story

Cedar Fair Says “No” To Six Flags Merger

Following up on a story we brought to you last week, the parent company of Michigan’s Adventure and Cedar Point is rejecting a merger offer from Six Flags. The $4 billion offer had been made last week. Reuters reports Cedar Fair officials felt the $70 per share buyout offer was too low. Six Flags has 26 amusement parks in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, while Cedar Fair’s portfolio includes 11 amusement parks and five water parks in the U.S. and Canada. Both have parks within a two-hour drive of southwest Michigan, depending on traffic, with Six Flags’ Great America in the north Chicago suburbs and Cedar Fair’s Michigan’s Adventure in Muskegon County.. ...Read Full Story

Cass County Deputies Investigating Hit-And-Run

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a smaller, red SUV with front end damage that was involved in a hit-and-run crash in Mason Township. It happened just before 6:30 Sunday evening in the 70-thousand block of 5 Points Road. An Elkhart woman was turning left into a driveway when the SUV tried to pass her and hit her in the driver’s side. That driver, 32-year-old Alexandra Pressler, was taken to Elkhart General Hospital to be treated for undisclosed injuries, and her condition has not been released.. ...Read Full Story

New iPhones Stolen From Xtreme Wireless In Benton Township

Somebody has several high-end new iPhones that are worthless. The Xtreme Mobile Boost Wireless store was broken into last week on October 4, with the suspects breaking out the front door to get in. An employee tells WSJM News several iPhones were taken, but they won’t work without being activated by the retailer. Benton Township Police have no information on the crime, but the store says they do have surveillance footage of the incident. The store remains open.. ...Read Full Story

Gas Prices Up, BH/St Joe Prices Second-Lowest In Michigan

Michigan’s average gas price is up a bit over the last week. Triple-A pegs that at $2.69, up 7¢ a gallon from last week and 3¢ higher than the national average. The highest prices are in Ann Arbor at $2.74, while Traverse City’s $2.52 is the lowest average in the state. In Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, the auto club puts the average at $2.62, the second-lowest in the state. According to GasBuddy, South Haven’s prices range from $2.59 to $2.64. South Haven isn’t part of the AAA survey.. ...Read Full Story

State Regulators Holding Forum In I&M Rate Hike Request Tonight

Indiana Michigan Power is seeking permission from state regulators to hike electric rates by almost 19%, and to that end the Michigan Public Service Commission will hold a forum this evening at Lake Michigan College. The MPSC wants to hear from area residents who are I&M customers from 5 to 7 pm at the Blue Lecture Hall on the LMC campus in Benton Harbor. The utility submitted its future plans to the commission this summer, which include modernizing the electrical grid in southwest Michigan to cut down on the number and length of power outages, replacing poles and wires, and doing $478 million worth of improvements to the Cook Nuclear Plant. The 19% proposed rate hike would raise the monthly bill for an average customer by around $36.. ...Read Full Story

Big Donation To Hospital Pavilion Project

The Spectrum Health Lakeland Auxiliary has pledged another $500,000 to the Lakeland Medical Center Pavilion project, bringing its total gift to $1 million for the work. This is the organization’s largest pledge to the hospital so far. The $500,000 announced on Wednesday will go toward the renovation of the Courtyard Café and Main Street which will connect the front of the hospital to the new pavilion when it’s all finished in 2020. Spectrum Health Lakeland Auxiliary President Linda Freeze says the group is pleased to renew its commitment to the Lakeland Medical Center Pavilion. Spectrum Health Lakeland says the community has contributed more than $5.7 million to the pavilion project so far. You can follow its latest progress at SpectrumHealthLakeland.org/Pavilion.. ...Read Full Story

High School Program Would Explore Local History

An after-school program focused on local history could soon be coming back to Benton Harbor High School. The board of education this week heard from Princella Tobias, who ran the local history program at the school in 2016. She wants to do it again this year, and tells WSJM News she learned the last time that teaching the kids about the history of their own community had a great impact on them.. ...Read Full Story

Court Upholds Feds’ Repeal of Net Neutrality, Allows State Protections

The Trump administration has the right to repeal Obama-era net neutrality protections. That’s the decision Tuesday by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The ruling means internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast, will continue to have the legal right to block or slow down websites they don’t like, or charge more for faster internet service. Timothy Karr with the nonprofit group Free Press, says the ISPs may now be emboldened to push websites that they own, and thus stifle competition and freedom of expression.. ...Read Full Story

Rep. Wendzel Blasts Budget Vetoes

On Monday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the current fiscal year budget into law, but did so with 147 line item vetoes that took nearly $1 billion in spending off the table. Freshman state Representative Pauline Wendzel of Watervliet is still upset about how it was done.. ...Read Full Story

Krasl Hosting Discussion On Public Art

The Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph is going to hold a panel discussion on the benefits of public art installations this coming Tuesday. Krasl Marketing Manager Matthew Bizoe tells WSJM News they’re going to have artists Richard Hunt and John Sauve on hand for the open discussion. He notes St. Joseph-Benton Harbor has more than 40 public art installations.. ...Read Full Story

Senator Stabenow Backing Impeachment Inquiry

US House investigators have released dozens of text messages between American diplomats in Ukraine discussing President Donald Trump’s demands that the country launch an investigation into Joe Biden’s family. In return, the texts suggest, Ukraine’s new president would get a high-profile visit to Washington.. ...Read Full Story

Unemployment Office Working With LinkedIn On Pilot Program

Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency has announced a new partnership with job searching social network LinkedIn to help clients find new employment. Unemployment Insurance Agency Deputy Director Kimberly Berry tells WSJM News Michigan is part of a three-state pilot being launched by LinkedIn to have special portals for those who are unemployed and receiving benefits.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Reports First Vaping-Related Death

From the Associated Press — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has announced the state’s first death associated with an outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses. The agency said Friday that it was notified Wednesday of the death of a man whose lung illness was linked to vaping. No other details were released. Of the more than 1,000 confirmed or probable vaping-related illnesses in the U.S., 30 have been reported in Michigan since August. No single device, ingredient or additive has been identified as the culprit. Most of those sickened say they vaped products containing THC, the high-producing ingredient in marijuana. Others say they vaped both THC and nicotine. A smaller group report they vaped only products containing nicotine. Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently banned the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.. ...Read Full Story

Flush Out Cancer Fundraiser Set For October 11

News/Talk 94.9 WSJM and 98.3 The Coast are again teaming up with City Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning for the fifth annual Flush Out Cancer in downtown St. Joseph on Friday, October 11. Mike Ross of City Plumbing says it started through his friendship with the late Denise Bohn and a collaboration with The Coast. Ross says that happened after his mom was diagnosed with cancer. The proceeds go to Berrien County Cancer Services, and he personally took their money to them last year.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Man Injured After Being Struck By Vehicle

A Benton Harbor man is being treated for critical injuries after he was struck by a vehicle on Friday morning. The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety says the crash happened on Main Street near Fair Avenue around 5:40 a.m. Officers arrived to find the 38-year-old man lying in the road and a vehicle that had sustained damage. It was driven by a 61-year-old Benton Harbor woman who had been eastbound. The man was taken to Spectrum Health Lakeland for treatment. The woman was not hurt. The crash remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Fire At Bridgman Apartment Complex Displaces Dozens

More than 50 people are temporarily displaced from Sunset Landing Apartments in Bridgman after a fire in a third floor unit on Thursday afternoon. It’s believed the fire started by someone cooking. The flames were contained to that unit, but several apartments have water and smoke damage. An inspection and repairs need to be done before residents will be allowed back in. No one was hurt in the fire, which started around 4 p.m. at the complex along Red Arrow Highway. Bridgman police thanked Harbor Country Mission for helping residents with food and water and with the use of their building to allow the Red Cross a spot to help people find a place to stay.. ...Read Full Story

Krasl To Host Forum On Public Art

The Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph is going to hold a panel discussion on the benefits of public art installations next week. Krasl Marketing Manager Matthew Bizoe tells WSJM News they’re going to have artists Richard Hunt and John Sauve on hand for the open discussion. He notes St. Joseph-Benton Harbor has more than 40 public art installations.. ...Read Full Story

Three Killed In Plane Crash Near Lansing

Three people are dead and three others are critically injured after a plane crash near Lansing Thursday morning. The single engine plan carrying the six passengers went down around 9 a.m. in a field near the Capital Region International Airport. Officials say the flight originated in Indianapolis and the plane was attempting to land when the crash occurred. Clinton County Sheriff Larry Jerue says the scene of the crash is not as some might expect.. ...Read Full Story