Local News Archives

Big Parks Grants Approved By Senate

The Michigan Senate has signed off on the recommended Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund parks grants for the coming year. State Senator John Proos tells WSJM News the trust fund is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights.. ...Read Full Story

Lakeshore Considers Options

There is still work ahead for leaders at Lakeshore Public Schools after this week’s failure of a bond proposal. Voters rejected the $21 million bond on Tuesday on a vote of 2,300 to 1,907. Lakeshore Superintendent Phil Freeman tells WSJM News the need for building improvements and new technology is still there.. ...Read Full Story

State Issues Bear Reminders

As people start to spend more time in woodland areas this season, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has some tips to avoid conflict with bears. Katie Keen with the DNR tells us the agency has to put down some bears each year because the animals venture out of the woods and get too comfortable being near humans. She says homeowners who live in areas inhabited by bears should remove all bird feeders and only put garbage cans out just before the pickup time.. ...Read Full Story

Manufacturer Honored For Saving Energy

A check for $50,000 was presented Friday to Kay Manufacturing in St. Joseph by Indiana Michigan Power for Kay’s efforts to become more energy efficient. Kay Manufacturing President Brian Pelke tells WSJM News the company has invested $115,000 in installing LED lighting in its 120,000 square foot facility.. ...Read Full Story

Pagel To Hold Senior Safety Event

State Representative Dave Pagel is hosting a senior safety event on Monday. Set to take place at the senior facility, Brentwood at Niles in Niles, the gathering will be held with the help of the Michigan Attorney General’s Consumer Education Division. Pagel tell us the presentation will be focused on teaching seniors how to detect phone, email, mail, and text scams. He says it’s important for those who are the most common target for scammers to be aware of what to look out for and the problems they can cause. The senior safety event will be Monday from 2 to 3 p.m. and everyone is welcome.. ...Read Full Story

KitchenAid Saluted This Month

Now on display at businesses throughout Berrien County are specially-decorated KitchenAid stand mixers. St. Joseph Today’s Amy Zapal tells us it’s a project called “Stand Mixers on Parade,” intended to thank the appliance maker for its support of the community as the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship takes place at Harbor Shores this month. You can find the stand mixers at businesses from Stevensville to St. Joe.. ...Read Full Story

Cook Plant Unit Back Online

Unit 2 at the Cook nuclear power plant is now back up and running. Cook plant spokesperson Bill Schalk tells WSJM News the unit was shut down in March for a regular refueling outage. The 67 day outage featured a variety of repairs and other maintenance in the reactor.. ...Read Full Story

OutCenter Lake Effect Pride Event

The OutCenter in Benton Harbor has announced the details of its 2018 Lake Effect Pride event. The annual party is held to recognize the organization’s successes for the year and to celebrate the LGBTQ community. This year’s Lake Effect Pride event will be held on Saturday, July 16 at Four Winds Casinos’ Silver Creek Event Center in New Buffalo. The theme this year will be “Bet on Love, You Will Always Win,” and the party will also raise funds for OutCenter programs. You can find out more right here.. ...Read Full Story

Girl Scouts Give Cookies To Veterans

372 boxes of cookies are being given to southwest Michigan American Legion posts by a Girl Scout troop as the girls thank veterans for their service. On Friday, Elise Voglewede and Alexandria Smith from Girl Scout Community 201 stopped by the Y Country Radio studio to hand off 31 cases of s’mores — that’s more than 5,000 cookies — to morning host Matt Malone. Smith told us it’s for Y Country’s May We Say Thank You Tour.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joe Street Project

A major street reconstruction project is about to get started in St. Joseph. City Engineer Tim Zebell tells WSJM News they’re going to get to work on June 11 not only repaving but also installing new water mains on Wallace Avenue. The work will be from Lakeshore Drive to South State Street and Stadium Drive from Wallace Avenue to the St. Joseph High School entrance. Traffic to the west side of the high school will be maintained this summer, but Wallace between Lakeshore Drive and Lakeview Avenue will be closed.. ...Read Full Story

Relay For Life Registrations

Relay for Life of Van Buren County is once again holding its yearly event at Bangor High School. If you are a cancer survivor or know someone who is, there’s an open invitation for you to attend the event on Saturday, June 9. You’re encouraged to pre-register this Friday at Peace Lutheran Church in South Haven from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or, on Saturday at the Lawrence Library from 10 a.m. to noon. The Relay for Life event on June 9 will feature purple carpet photo ops, sparkling juice, a celebratory Survivor lap around the track, a Survivor speaker, and a dinner in honor of all the survivors. All activities are free and open to all who have survived cancer. You can find out more about Van Buren County’s Relay for Life event right here.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department Salutes Police

Local police have been honored by the Berrien County Health Department with its 2018 Friend of Public Health Award. Spokesperson Gillian Conrad tells WSJM News the award is given each year to an individual or organization that has advanced public health. Police were picked this year because of all their efforts to fight the opioid epidemic. Conrad tells us police in Berrien County have been at the forefront when it comes to including anti-overdose medications in their equipment.. ...Read Full Story

Grant For Niles Library

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has picked the Niles District Library to be the recipient of a grant. This week, the foundation announced a round of more than $145,000 in grants for organizations around Michigan that include schools, non-profits, and libraries. The Niles District Library is receiving $2,000 for its adult, family, and summer literacy programs. The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is giving out 35 grants this summer around the state to organizations within a 20 mile radius of one of its stores. The library in Niles is the only Berrien County organization selected.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmaker Honored By Firefighters

The Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union has named state Senator Tonya Schuitmaker its Legislator of the Year. Schuitmaker, a Republican from Lawton, is also running for Michigan Attorney General, and says it’s an honor to receive the award. She shares it this year with state Senator Rick Jones of Grand Ledge, a former county sheriff. Schuitmaker tells us we “depend on first responders in difficult situations in life and we are truly grateful for their courage, skill, and professionalism.” She has previously been named the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association Legislator of the Year.. ...Read Full Story

Engler Addresses Nassar Case

Former governor and now Michigan State University President John Engler spoke about the Larry Nassar sexual abuse at a breakfast event in Birmingham Thursday morning. He said he was surprised with how things were being handled at MSU when he took the job.. ...Read Full Story

I&M Offers New 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

Health Department Talks Lyme Disease

This is the time of year when infections of Lyme disease increase, and the hazard is a particular concern here in southwest Michigan, Berrien County Health Department spokesperson Gillian Conrad tells WSJM News Berrien County has a much higher rate of Lyme disease infections than the rest of state. We’ve got the terrain that ticks love.. ...Read Full Story

More Info On Fatal Crash

A 23-year-old Hartford Township man is dead following a crash last week. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department tells us the crash happened on the evening of Wednesday, May 2 on County Road 362 east of 70th Street in Keeler Township. Witnesses told sheriff’s deputies the vehicle lost control and ran off the south side of the road while headed east. It overturned several times and then ejected the driver, Adam Lee Hess. Despite life-saving efforts made by first responders, Hess died at an area hospital. Police say blood work shows the driver’s blood alcohol level was within the legal limits.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Talks GOP Debate

State Senator John Proos liked what he heard in Wednesday night’s Republican gubernatorial debate. Dr. Jim Hines, state Senator Patrick Colbeck, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, and Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley squared off at a forum organized by WOOD TV. Proos tells us the issues discussed matched when he hears about in southwest Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

State Police Cracking On I-94 Drivers

You can expect to see more Michigan State Police troopers on patrol on I-94 this spring and summer, all the way from the Indiana border to Wayne County. As traffic crashes on I-94 went up last year, MSP Fifth District Commander Captain Kyle Bowman told Michigan News Network this week they’ll be looking for distracted driving, aggressive driving , and drivers who follow too closely.. ...Read Full Story

Peters Makes Open Internet Appeal

An effort is underway in the United States Senate to block the FCC from implementing its repeal of net neutrality protections, and Senator Gary Peters of Michigan is a part of it. Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Peters said it’s necessary that Americans have access to open internet so they can compete with the rest of the world.. ...Read Full Story

AARP Grants For Cities

With the nation facing an aging population, many communities are examining ways to become places where people of all ages can thrive. Now, cities and towns in Michigan ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work on livability projects have an opportunity to get some financial help. Mark Hornbeck with AARP Michigan tells us the AARP Community Challenge is offering grants for innovative improvement ideas that will allow all residents to make the most out of where they live.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmaker Praises Veterans Office

State Representative Beth Griffin of Mattawan is hailing word that Van Buren County has now hired a veterans services officer. She’s been behind legislation to create grant programs for counties to have full-time staff that work to connect veterans with services that can help them.. ...Read Full Story

GOP Gubernatorial Candidates In Michigan Hold 1st Debate

Republicans running for Michigan governor have made their cases to voters in their first debate. Attorney General Bill Schuette emphasized his endorsement from President Donald Trump and his plans to cut taxes and auto insurance rates during a Wednesday night debate hosted by WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids. Rival Brian Calley touts Michigan’s economic gains during his time as lieutenant governor and calls Schuette a “career politician.”. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Short-Term Rental Moratorium

The South Haven City Council has approved a six month moratorium on new short-term rentals in Wards 1 and 2. Those wards consist of the southern portion of the city along the lakeshore and the eastern portion of the city south of the Black River. City staff will not accept or process applications for new rentals in Wards 1 and 2. Mayor Scott Smith tells us the city has been gathering data about what’s working and what needs improving under the current ordinance. Year-round residents have expressed displeasure over noise levels, parked cars blocking emergency vehicle access, and the behavior of some of the people renting houses short-term in the city. Short term rentals have long been a controversy in South Haven. The six-month moratorium on them was approved on Monday by the South Haven City Council.. ...Read Full Story

LaSata Talks “Kayak Tax”

State Representative Kim LaSata is among the Michigan lawmakers calling on the Michigan State Waterways Commission to drop plans for a tax on small watercraft like canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards. She tells WSJM News the House overwhelmingly voted this week for a resolution opposing the move.. ...Read Full Story

SJ Company Saluted For Energy Efficiency

A check for $50,000 will be presented this week to Kay Manufacturing in St. Joseph by Indiana Michigan Power for Kay’s efforts to become more energy efficient. Kay Manufacturing President Brian Pelke tells WSJM News the company has invested $115,000 in installing LED lighting in its 120,000 square foot facility.. ...Read Full Story

Andrews Team Helps In Puerto Rico

A group of 20 Andrews University faculty, staff, students, and graduates have returned from a trip to Puerto Rico to help provide mental health services there following Hurricane Maria. Andrews Associate Professor of Psychology Melissa Ponce-Rodas tells WSJM News following natural disasters, mental health issues do arise.. ...Read Full Story