Local News Archives

Democratic Candidate Spending $1 Million On Ads

From the Associated Press — Democrat Shri Thanedar is planning to spend $1 million to air 10 new TV ads in the governor’s race over the next two months. The businessman will begin launching the ads Wednesday. In one 30-second spot, he says he’s an immigrant and has an accent but his support for better roads, schools and health care for all shows “we are more alike than you think.” People in the ad say “Shri is just like me.” Thanedar, who has given his campaign nearly $6 million, also will air nine 15-second ads sharing his positions on roads, job training and other issues. He began running ads in December, which has helped him to build name recognition and to rise in polling.
Other Democrats running are Gretchen Whitmer, Abdul El-Sayed and Bill Cobbs.. ...Read Full Story

Allegan K9 To Get Protective Vest

A K9 with the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a donation from the non-profit Vested Interest in K9s, Incorporated. German Shephard Luca has been with the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department for about three years and a half years, helping to find drugs and track suspects. She will get a vest worth more than $1,700 from Vested Interest within eight to ten weeks. Vested Interest takes donations to provide protective vests to police dogs all over the country. To date, it has provided the vests to more than 2,800 police agencies. Luca’s handler, Deputy Ryan Rewa, says the sheriff’s department is grateful for the donation. You can find out more about Vested Interest right here.. ...Read Full Story

School Leaders Seek Information On Student Records

The Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education wants some answers regarding student information it says has come into the possession of Whirlpool. At a Tuesday work session, the board approved a resolution directing Interim Superintendent Patricia Robinson to provide it with information on the release of electronic records about students to the company. The resolution states the release of the information may have violated rules regarding student privacy. The board wants to know what was provided, who authorized it, and under what circumstances. The interim superintendent said she’ll need around two weeks. The resolution came at the end of the work session and was not on the agenda. Trustees would not discuss it with media after the meeting.. ...Read Full Story

Body Found In Paw Paw River

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department has found a body in the Paw Paw River near Watervliet. On Tuesday afternoon, a sheriff’s department lieutenant and the undersheriff were patrolling the river to look for the body of 35-year-old Cory Wright of Niles, who went missing while kayaking in the area on February 27. They spotted something in the water, and with help from the marine unit, the dive team, and the Watervliet Fire Department, it was recovered. The sheriff’s department says it is the body of a white male. An autopsy will be done to make a positive identification.. ...Read Full Story

I-94 Repaving Starts Next Week

A repaving project is about to get started on I-94 in Van Buren County. Michigan Department of Transportation spokesperson Nick Schirripa tells WSJM News  they’ll start the work on eastbound 94 between 56th Street and M-51 Monday. The work will continue through late August.. ...Read Full Story

Coast Guard Looking For Man In St. Joseph River

A search and rescue operation for a 70-year-old man was launched Tuesday night by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Coast Guard in the St. Joseph River in St. Joe. The Coast Guard tells us it was called by the sheriff’s department around 8:50 p.m. asking for assistance. The missing man was last seen at Brian’s Marina. No further information is yet available.. ...Read Full Story

Coloma Wins Spirit Tournament

The winners of state Senator John Proos’ annual Southwest Michigan Spirit Tournament for 2018 are the Coloma Comets. They beat out the River Valley Mustangs in the final round of the tournament, which is a March Madness-like competition Proos holds each year to test the school spirit of communities throughout his district. School districts are invited to send Proos photos of students proving their spirit each spring. They’re then pitted against each other in a bracket. Proos tells us Coloma this year got nearly 10,000 points with its submissions. As the champion, Coloma High School will be presented with a traveling trophy from Proos and will also receive a special tribute commending the school for the spirit of its students and community. Proos congratulated the Comets for their victory.. ...Read Full Story

City Accepts Castle Donation

Here’s something you’ve probably never heard before. The city of St. Joseph has accepted the donation of a castle. At Monday’s meeting, Marketing Director Susan Solon told city commissioners Turner Construction, the company doing work at Lakeland, approached her about making a donation to the city. With the launch date fast approaching for this year’s public art display, “The Magical Kingdom of St. Joseph,” she suggested they make a small castle to be displayed on State and Broad Street. Solon spoke more with WSJM News about the display.. ...Read Full Story

Board Names Interim Superintendent

There is now an interim superintendent in place at Benton Harbor Area Schools. During an eight minute meeting Monday, the board of education voted to appoint Patricia Robinson, the district’s assistant superintendent, to serve as head administrator indefinitely. Trustee Margaret Gast read the resolution.. ...Read Full Story

Bills Require Temporary Immigration Status On IDs

From the Associated Press — Bills that would require Michigan driver’s licenses and state ID cards to show certain immigration statuses are headed to the House floor. On Tuesday the Michigan House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure unanimously
approved the two bills, which would prohibit the secretary of state from issuing license or ID cards that expire after the duration of an immigrant’s legal status. The legislation also would codify existing procedure for non-citizens with temporary lawful status in the U.S., such as DACA recipients or foreign college students, to require their licenses or cards display that they are a “limited-term” resident. Supporters of the bills, which were introduced by Republican Reps. Pamela Hornberger and Beth Griffin, say they would revise Michigan law to comply with federal restrictions on state licenses and cards for temporary residents.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Public Safety Working With Schools

Protecting students is a top priority for St. Joseph Department of Public Safety Director Brian Uridge. He told city commissioners this week he’s been in regular talks with schools at all levels to be prepared for possible emergencies. Uridge said everyone’s been anxious since the Parkland, Florida shootings. He thinks a key component to helping is to involve the parents. City Commissioner Laura Goos told WSJM News, as a parent, she appreciates the proactive approach.. ...Read Full Story

Pence To Speak At Commencement

From the Associated Press — Vice President Mike Pence is set to give the commencement speech next month at southern Michigan’s Hillsdale College. The former Indiana governor and U.S. lawmaker is scheduled to give the address on May 12 in the college’s athletic center. Pence gave a lecture in 2010 at the campus, and Hillsdale President Larry Arnn says in statement that he’s glad to have him back.
Hillsdale is a private, conservative college offering what it describes as a “classical, liberal arts core curriculum.”. ...Read Full Story

False Fraud Victims Get Key Decision

From the Associated Press — The Michigan Supreme Court is taking a fresh look at a lawsuit filed on behalf of thousands of people who were wrongly accused of defrauding the unemployment program. The state appeals court said the plaintiffs waited too long to sue. But the
Supreme Court says it will hear arguments at a later date after reading briefs about what should have triggered the six-month deadline.
An automated computer system run by Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration was a disaster. Thousands of people were accused of cheating to get unemployment aid. They were forced to repay the money, along with substantial penalties. Separately, there’s a lawsuit in federal court against state officials and contractors who designed or managed the computer system.. ...Read Full Story

Police Forum This Month

The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety is planning a community forum for this month as it seeks to improve its relations with the public. Set for Tuesday, April 24, “Improving the Quality of Policing Through Transformational Change” will take place at the Benton Harbor Public Library. The presentation will be led by Benton Harbor Public Safety Director Dan McGinnis, and everyone is welcome. The forum will run from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. The event is being co-sponsored by ALPACT.. ...Read Full Story

Adopt A Highway Cleanups This Month

The Michigan Department of Transportation is gearing up for this year’s first Adopt a Highway cleanup event this month. Spokesperson Dan Weingerten tells WSJM News all kinds of organizations throughout the state sign up to pick up trash along designated stretches of road via Adopt a Highway.. ...Read Full Story

State Warns About Unemployment Fraud

The unemployment agency in Michigan is reminding businesses and individuals to beware of identity theft. Michigan Talent Investment Agency Deputy Director of Unemployment Insurance Michelle Beebe tells WSJM News recent data breeches have led to a jump in scammers trying to collect unemployment benefits using stolen identities.. ...Read Full Story

Anti-Bullying Tour Crosses Michigan

Students in schools in Grand Ledge and Lansing heard about bullying Monday from someone who was bullied as a kid. It was former Michigan State basketball player Anthony Ianni. Now a motivational speaker for the state of Michigan’s Department of Civil Rights, told Michigan News Network he teaches kids that victims of bullying can grow up to be the next great inventor or sports star.. ...Read Full Story

Statewide Tornado Drill This Week

There will be a statewide tornado drill this week. Organized by the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, the drill will take place at 1 p.m. Wednesday. MSP Spokesperson Dale George tells WSJM News businesses, families, and other organizations are invited to take part.. ...Read Full Story

Rash Of Vehicle Break-Ins

Police are asking for the public’s help in catching a suspect who has been stealing items from parked vehicles around the St Joseph area. On its Facebook page, the St. Joseph Department of Public Safety writes the suspect is looking into vehicles for valuable items. He’ll then break a side window to get to them. The individual is described as a black male, medium build, believed to be in his late 40s to early 50s. He is bald but has a partial goatee with white facial hair. He may drive a black 1999 Chevrolet Trail Blazer with no plate and a white bumper sticker. Police tell everyone to keep valuables out of sight if they’re in a car and to lock their vehicle’s doors. Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call the Berrien County Sheriff Department. You can see surveillance photos of the suspect above.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven To Get Gino’s East

It looks like later this summer getting true deep-dish Chicago style pizza will mean a much shorter drive. Gino’s East says on its website that it’s planning to expand to South Haven soon. An exact opening date hasn’t been set. Managers will start their training on Saturday, however. The restaurant will be located at 248 Broadway, just north of Phoenix Street. Gino’s East currently has 15 locations, with two in Mexico. The chain opened in Chicago in 1966.. ...Read Full Story

LaSata Talks MSU/Nassar Scandal

Michigan House Speaker Tom Leonard is going through a report from a bipartisan House panel on Michigan State University’s response to the sexual abuse conducted by former sports doctor Larry Nassar. WSJM News asked state Representative Kim LaSata about what she learned in the information provided by MSU regarding Nassar.. ...Read Full Story

Nesbitt Running For Senate

Now in the running for Michigan Senate in the 26th District is former state Representative and Michigan Lottery Commissioner Aric Nesbitt. The Lawton Republican tells us he’s throwing his hat in the ring because he wants to continue recent state progress.. ...Read Full Story

Flood Damage Loans Available

Congressman Fred Upton is pleased the federal government is putting up some of its resources to help those affected by floods this year in Berrien County. This month, the Small Business Administration announced it will offer low-interest loans to those who suffered losses in flooding in several counties. Upton tells WSJM News this is a positive development.. ...Read Full Story

Plans Continue For Napier Avenue

The Southwest Michigan Planning Commission would like to hear more from the public about what is wanted for Napier Avenue as it drafts a report ahead of the road’s repaving starting next year. Planner Ryan Fellows tells WSJM News about 40 or 50 people showed up to an open house on the subject last week.. ...Read Full Story

Presentation On Jean Klock Park

A presentation set for this coming week at the Heritage Museum and Cultural Center in St. Joseph will focus on the history of Jean Klock Park in Benton Harbor. Heritage Museum Curator Tracy Gierada tells WSJM News author Julie Weiss will present “The Legacy of Jean Klock Park” on Thursday, April 12. Weiss has published a book about the park.. ...Read Full Story