Local News Archives

Enbridge Sues Over Pipeline Damage

From the Associated Press — A Canadian energy company is suing the shipping company whose tugboat anchor allegedly dented an aging oil and gas pipeline in Michigan earlier this year. MLive reports that Enbridge Energy’s lawsuit filed Tuesday is the third against VanEnkevort Tug and Barge Inc. Enbridge is seeking to recover costs for repairs and assessments made after the alleged April 1 anchor strike beneath the Straits of Mackinac. A VanEnkevort spokesperson declined to comment on the pending litigation. Twin oil pipelines were dented during the strike and about 600 gallons (2,270 liters) of mineral oil insulation fluid leaked from two electric cables. Crews capped and sealed the leaking cables in late April. The Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board investigated the incident. The state attorney general said a tugboat anchor was the cause.. ...Read Full Story

Grand Mere Stewardship Day

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is inviting volunteers to come down to Grand Mere State Park near Stevensville this weekend to help fight invasive species. The DNR says one of its stewardship days is Saturday starting at 10 a.m. Volunteers will hand-pull spotted knapweed and sweet clover from the open areas of Grand Mere to help native plants thrive. Those who show up to help are advised to wear long sleeves and long pants as they’ll be getting into vegetation. You should also bring a hat and some water because of the sun. Those who want to help out can show up Saturday at 10 a.m. and meet at the end of Willow Road.. ...Read Full Story

Fernwood, Chikaming Open Lands To Screen Film

Set for next week is a film screening courtesy of Fernwood Botanical Garden and Chikaming Open Lands intended to spread awareness of conservation issues. Jen Thompson with Chikaming Open Lands tells WSJM News this is the fourth year the two have teamed up for their summer environmental film screenings. Next Wednesday, they’ll show Death by Design.. ...Read Full Story

Calm Holiday At Silver Beach

With huge crowds at Silver Beach for Independence Day this week, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us peace was maintained. Sheriff Paul Bailey says several police agencies had a large number of officers at the beach from 9 a.m. through the end of the fireworks show.. ...Read Full Story

Child Killed In Allegan County Crash

One child has been killed and another is in a hospital in critical condition following a crash in Allegan County on Wednesday. The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department tells us the children were riding a small dirt bike-style motorcycle when the crash with a passenger car occurred around 7 p.m. It happened on 126th Avenue east of Blue Star Highway in Saugatuck Township. The two children on the bike were airlifted to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids where one died. The driver of the passenger car and two passengers were not hurt. None of the names have been released. The crash remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Couple Receives Service Award

A couple from South Haven have been honored for their years of service to the community. The Rotary Club of South Haven tells us John and Sue Gillett were presented the club’s Community Service Award at the organization’s recent yearly dinner. The Gilletts were picked for their work as co-managers of the We Care food pantry at the First Congregational Church. They’ve run the food pantry since 2006. The award each year goes to someone who makes a difference in the community while embodying the Rotary motto of “Service Beyond Self.” The Rotary tells us the Gilletts have lived in the community since 1974. John is a retired teacher, and Sue served many years as a children’s librarian at the South Haven public library.. ...Read Full Story

Three Rivers Woman Killed In Cass County Crash

A Three Rivers woman is dead after being hit by a car on M-40 in Porter Township Thursday morning. The Cass County Sheriff’s Department tells WSJM News that 76-year-old Shirley Boersma was crossing the road when she was hit by a Grand Rapids-area man. Boersma was pronounced dead at the scene. Deputies say alcohol was not involved, and they’re still investigating. It’s not known if the driver, 77-year-old Dale Hoekwater, will face any charges. The crash happened just after 10:30 a.m.. ...Read Full Story

Arrest Made In New Buffalo For Michigan City Armed Robbery

A Michigan City man is in the Berrien County Jail awaiting extradition to Indiana for an armed robbery in his hometown. The man was pulled over by a Berrien County deputy this morning for defective equipment on US 12 in New Buffalo, and the officer noticed drug paraphernalia in plain view. After the 46-year-old man was arrested, a search of the car turned up a handgun under the driver’s seat, and LaPorte County deputies recognized the vehicle as matching the description of one used in a robbery in Michigan City. Police from there were called in and confirmed it was the vehicle they’d been trying to find. A 49-year-old Michigan City man who was a passenger in the car was questioned by police, but it does not appear he was arrested.. ...Read Full Story

AARP Urges Election Participation

The November election could be pivotal for Michigan’s future, and a new effort is encouraging all Michiganders to make their voices heard. AARP of Michigan is kicking off its Be the Difference campaign to engage more voters in the midterms. Manager of advocacy for AARP Michigan Lisa Dedden Cooper tells us they’ll be talking about key issues and educating voters about registration and absentee ballot information.. ...Read Full Story

Income Tax Refunds For WWII Memorial

From the Associated Press — Michigan residents may designate part of their state income tax refund to finance a World War II memorial in suburban Detroit. The Detroit Free Press reports that Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation to add the Royal Oak memorial to the list of organizations and efforts that residents can donate their income tax returns toward using check-off boxes. State Sen. Marty Knollenberg says the proposed memorial will honor the 620,000 Michigan residents who served in the armed forces during World War II. He says the legislation creates a funding mechanism for the project, which will be built
solely on donations. The World War II Legacy Memorial will include nine statues, an ice rink, amphitheater and more. A Wall of Stars will represent the more than 15,000 Michigan lives lost.. ...Read Full Story

Rotary Grants Available

Applications are now being taken for the 2018 St. Joseph-Benton Harbor Rotary Club Foundation grants. The Rotary Foundation tells us a total of $61,000 will be handed out to non-profits, with special consideration being given to projects that seek to provide better opportunities for youth and special needs individuals. The St. Joseph-Benton Harbor Rotary Club Foundation notes it has awarded more than $830,000 to local organizations since it began in 1980. Its 2017 grants went to groups that include Citizens Mediation Service, the Curious Kids Museum, Sarett Nature Center, and Second Harvest Gleaners Food Bank of West Michigan. The deadline to apply for a 2018 grant is September 28. Grant requests have to be for a minimum of $5,000, and you can apply at Edgewater Bank in St. Joseph.. ...Read Full Story

Japanese Knotweed Meeting

A meeting will be held next week in Eau Claire for everyone to learn more about Japanese knotweed. The invasive plant is a threat to infrastructure in southwest Michigan as the weed can grow through concrete. The Berrien Conservation District’s Jared Harmon tells WSJM News the meeting next Wednesday in Eau Claire will cover all bases.. ...Read Full Story

Pet Groups: Chip Your Dog

Since your dog is going to be terrified of fireworks today and tomorrow, animal welfare organizations are recommending you keep it in a safe place so it won’t run off. Also, Al-Van Humane Society Director Jennifer Nuerenberg tells WSJM News dog owners should make sure their pooches are chipped.. ...Read Full Story

Federal Aid To U.P. Flood Areas

As cleanup is ongoing in the western Upper Peninsula following massive flooding last month, federal help is coming. The Federal Highway Administration said Tuesday morning it will provide $2 million from the Emergency Relief program. Chris Bush is acting commanding officer of the State Emergency Management Homeland Security Division. He spoke with Michigan News Network about the quest to get federal disaster assistance.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Still Wants Immigration Action

Congressman Fred Upton remains disappointed in the U.S. House’s failure to pass an immigration reform plan. Since President Trump signed an executive order to end the separation of families detained at the border with Mexico, Upton tells WSJM News a new fear has arisen in Congress.. ...Read Full Story

Unusual Tax Situation Resolved

A Benton Harbor woman is close to getting an unusual property tax problem resolved, thanks to action by the city commission this week. At Monday’s meeting, commissioners waived about $12,000 in back taxes for the woman whose home on Edwards Street was on two parcels, even though she hadn’t been told that when she bought the one parcel she thought it was on. Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells WSJM News the whole situation involving a house on two parcels was all due to a mix up involving the state and a now-defunct non-profit from the early 2000s.. ...Read Full Story

Warrant Issued In BH Shooting

A suspect has been identified in one of the shootings this past weekend in Benton Harbor. The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety tells us it has obtained a warrant for 22-year-old Tarone Devon Washington on charges of assault with intent to murder and felony firearm. The warrant is in relation to a shooting early Sunday morning on Edgecumbe near North McCord. 26-year-old Joseph “Jo-Jo” Tyson was killed in the incident, while Robert White Jr. and Natasha Hill were injured. Police say another person of interest in the case is 24-year-old Decorey Monte Harris Jr., who is currently listed as a parole absconder. Police ask anyone with information on the location of either Washington or Harris to contact them. Two people were killed in two shootings in Benton Harbor early Sunday. The other shooting was on Lavette. Killed in the incident was 22-year-old Andre Sanders.. ...Read Full Story

Voter Registration Deadline

From the Associated Press — The deadline to register to vote in the August 7 primary election is just days away. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says the deadline is Monday, July 9. She says every community will have a primary election on Aug. 7.
Voters must be 18 years old by the election date. They can register by mail or in person at their local clerk’s office or at a secretary of state office. A registered voter who needs to change an address can go to www.ExpressSOS.com. The primary election ballot will include races for governor and U.S. Senate.. ...Read Full Story

DNR Fire Warning

The risk of wildfire started by fireworks is higher than normal this Fourth of July because of the recent hot, dry weather. The heat is drying out vegetation, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The agency is asking people to take extra precautions, especially in the northern part of the state on the lake shores. Paul Rogers, a fire prevention specialist with the DNR, tells us dune grass may look green and healthy. However, looks can be deceiving.. ...Read Full Story

Reminder: Don’t Leave Keys In Ignition Of Your Car

Lock you car and don’t leave the keys inside. That’s the bottom line from a rash of car thefts in the past week in Cass County. The sheriff’s department says nine vehicles have been stolen over the past week in six townships, and all have been recovered Anything valuable that was left inside is long gone, however. Investigators say in every case, the owner of the car or truck had left the keys in the ignition.. ...Read Full Story

Golf Course Owner: State Unfair About Water

From the Associated Press — A western Michigan golf course owner says the state is unfairly targeting him after elevated levels of chemical contaminants were found in nearby wells. Andrew Dykema tells MLive.com that Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality is forcing his Boulder Creek course to provide safe water to nearby properties. The Plainfield Township course, northeast of Grand Rapids, was built over a gravel pit and landfill. Dykema says he didn’t know the contaminants were
beneath the course. MLive.com reports that Environmental Quality officials told a development company in a June 19 letter that high levels of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances — known as PFAS — were found in monitoring wells at
the golf course. Contamination also was found in residential wells. The chemicals were used in firefighting, waterproofing, carpeting and other products.. ...Read Full Story

City Hall To Be Renamed For Former Mayor

Benton Harbor City Commissioners have voted to rename city hall the Dr. Wilce L. Cooke Municipal Building. At a Monday meeting, the commission approved the move in honor of the former mayor. Cooke served from 1981 to 1987, and then from 2004 to 2011. Director of the Wilce L. Cooke Foundation Princella Tobias told WSJM News Cooke has always been about serving the community. She said he’s honored by the commission’s action.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Fireworks Online

One of the largest fireworks displays on this side of Lake Michigan will happen Tuesday night in South Haven with Light Up the Lake. The fireworks are synced to music played on 103.7 Cosy FM and for a first this year, you can watch the show anywhere in the world at WCSY.com. Lucas Koenig of All Web Infused spoke with WSJM News about the options.. ...Read Full Story

Study Shows Better Chances For New Soo Lock

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says construction of a second Great Lakes navigation lock for large freighters will be included in its 2020 budget request to the Trump administration. Lieutenant Colonel Dennis Sugrue of the agency’s Detroit district says the Soo Locks upgrade will have to compete with others from around the nation.. ...Read Full Story