Local News Archives

Portage Boy Dies After Sand Dune Accident At Van Buren State Park

The death of a 12-year-old at the Boy Scout Camp at Van Buren State Park is under investigation. South Haven police say Gage Wilson of Portage was digging into a sand dune with two other scouts when he crawled in the hole and it collapsed. Wilson was pulled from the sand by scout leaders, who performed CPR while waiting for police and a volunteer from South Haven Area Emergency Services, who took over the efforts and were able to restore a pulse. Wilson was airlifted to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo, where he was pronounced dead. Autopsy results are pending.. ...Read Full Story

Secretary Of State Talking End Of Fees

The state’s unpopular driver responsibility fees are being wiped off the books soon. Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says in a YouTube video those who have had their license suspended for not paying driver responsibility fees can get that taken care of for free next month.. ...Read Full Story

Busy Deer Season Expected

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is expecting the deer hunting season this year to be a strong one. DNR deer biologist Ashley Autenrieth tells WSJM News the 2018 forecast notes a robust herd this year due to favorable weather.. ...Read Full Story

Wide Range Of Life Expectancies In Berrien

Life expectancy and health is tied directly to race and your Zip code. In Berrien County and across America racism literally kills. Dr. David Ansell, Vice President Of Community Health at Rush University Medical Center, spoke on this shocking reality this past week at Lake Michigan College’s Hanson Theater.. ...Read Full Story

Treasurers Work Together To Fight Fraud

A partnership that allows the Berrien County Treasurer’s Office help its counterparts in Van Buren County catch fraudulent homestead claims will continue for another three years. Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells WSJM News his office lends its staff to the Van Buren County Treasurer’s Office to investigate incidents of property owners claiming a vacation or rental property as their home to get out of taxes. There are a few ways to catch them.. ...Read Full Story

State Senate Candidate Forums Coming Up

Two candidate forums featuring the Republican and Democratic candidates for the Michigan Senate in the 21st District are set for next month. State Representative Kim LaSata has announced she’ll be at a Berrien RESA Candidate Forum on Monday, October 8. That event will be at 8 a.m. at the Administrative Center at Berrien RESA in Berrien Springs. The other event will be the Niles New Tech Candidate Forum on Friday, October 26. That’ll be at 5 p.m. at the Niles Library. Democrat Ian Haight, LaSata’s opponent, tells us he will also be at both events, although he would prefer traditional debates. Haight tells us the formats of the forums won’t allow for very detailed answers. Haight and LaSata are running to replace state Senator John Proos, who can’t run again due to term limits.. ...Read Full Story

Big Emergency Drill Coming Up

Coming up next month will be a nationwide test of emergency alert systems, and officials in Berrien County want the public to let them know how it goes. Set for Wednesday, October 3 at 2:20 p.m., the Federal Emergency Management Agency in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission will conduct the nationwide test of the IPAWS system. It sends out alerts to smart phones automatically, and users don’t have to sign up it. To get those wireless emergency alerts, though, you may need to look at the system settings in your phone. Berrien County Emergency Management tells us the county also has an opt-in service called B-WARN that people can sign up for. B-WARN allows the Emergency Management Office to send out text messages, phone calls, and emergency emails to residents. The county will put up a survey on its website following the October 3 national test to find out how many people were contacted. You can find it right here.. ...Read Full Story

Traffic Changes Likely For Napier

The public has had a chance to offer input on plans to repave part of Napier Avenue in St. Joseph and Benton townships starting next year. At a forum this week, the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission talked about the possibility of adding sidewalks or bike paths along the road from the St. Joseph River to I-94. Berrien County Road Department Director Jason Latham tells WSJM News that could mean traffic changes.. ...Read Full Story