Local News Archives

Van Buren County Creek Among Waterways To Benefit From New Grant

Michigan is one of six applicants to receive funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for conservation and connectivity work on rivers and streams in 14 counties. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced this week it’s receiving $5 million from the inaugural America the Beautiful Challenge, a $1 billion grant program launched in May to fund diverse, landscape-level conservation projects. Among the waterways to receive attention as a result of the funding is Hayden Creek in Van Buren County. That’s near Paw Paw. As part of the waterway work statewide, the DNR will partner with local organizations and tribes to reconnect nearly 200 upstream miles of rivers and streams, working toward improved climate resiliency and river connectivity. Among the groups the DNR is working with is the U.S. Forest Service.. ...Read Full Story

Police Targeting Drunk Drivers This Weekend

The night before Thanksgiving is known nationwide as the biggest bar night of the year, which means police are cracking down on those who plan to drink and drive. Lieutenant Keith Harper of the Rochester Hills Police Department says extra patrols will be on the roads through the holiday weekend looking to catch drunk drivers.. ...Read Full Story

Seven Michigan State Football Players Charged In Tunnel Melee

From the Associated Press — State charges have been filed against seven Michigan State football players stemming from a melee in Michigan Stadium’s tunnel last month. A statement from the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office says the most serious charge is against Michigan State player Khary Crump of felonious assault. Charges against the six others are misdemeanors. Five are charged with aggravated assault, and one with assault and battery. The incident occurred on Oct. 29 when multiple members of Michigan State’s football team roughed up two Michigan players. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh had said earlier he expected the suspended Spartans to be charged.. ...Read Full Story

New Buffalo Church Offering Thanksgiving Meal

A New Buffalo church is offering a Thanksgiving meal to the entire community Thursday. Lighthouse Village Church of God on US-12 will welcome anyone in need of a good meal. Doors open at noon and there will be a prayer at 2 p.m. The Thanksgiving meal will follow and doors will close around 7 or 8 p.m. The meal will include turkey, ham, sides, and dessert. The church tells us the meal will be free to those who can’t pay, although donations will be accepted at the door. Lighthouse Village Church has been offering Thanksgiving meals for a few years now, and organizers say the turnout is always strong. They tell us holding the meal is a way to serve the community and “live out our faith.”. ...Read Full Story

Grand Rapids-Area Man Charged With Human Trafficking

Kent County Sheriff Michele LaJoye-Young says a Comstock Park man is facing several charges in Cheboygan County after being caught with a 16-year-old girl from Grand Rapids at the Mackinac Bridge in October. He will be in court today, charged with sexually abusive activity, human trafficking, possession of child abusive material and using a computer to commit a crime. LaJoye-Young says they are the first charges since her office created a Human Trafficking Task Force this year. She was found hiding under a blanket in his backseat by a toll worker at the bridge, who notified police.. ...Read Full Story

Commissioners Approve Maintenance Work For Howard Trail Pedestrian Bridge

St. Joseph City Commissioners have signed off on the final phase of a maintenance project for the Howard Trail pedestrian bridge over the CSX Railroad tracks. At a Monday meeting, St. Joseph Department of Public Works Director Greg Grothous told commissioners the bridge, opened in 2002, has been receiving work each year since 2020. First, they repaired the parts of the bridge that are not directly over the railroad tracks. He told us now comes the part over the tracks.. ...Read Full Story

Flip Of Michigan Legislature Highlights Redistricting Process

From the Associated Press — A Democratic swing in the Michigan Legislature highlights the role that redistricting can play in the outcome of elections. In previous elections, Republicans had retained control of the Michigan House and Senate despite the fact that Democratic legislative candidates received more total statewide votes. This year, Democrats received a slight majority of votes and won a slight majority of seats in both chambers. The difference is that candidates ran in new districts drawn by an independent citizens commission instead of ones crafted by the Republican-led Legislature. A constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2018 created the commission and set “partisan fairness” as one of the criteria when drawing the new legislative districts.. ...Read Full Story

Whitmer To Appoint First Black Woman To Michigan’s Top Court

From the Associated Press — Governor Gretchen Whitmer plans to appoint the first Black woman to the Michigan Supreme Court. A spokesman says Kyra Harris Bolden is Whitmer’s choice to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of Justice Bridget McCormack. An afternoon announcement is planned. Bolden is a state lawmaker from the Detroit area who has been a licensed lawyer for only eight years. Bolden was a Democratic nominee for the Supreme Court in the Nov. 8 election but finished third in a race for two seats. The 34-year-old Bolden will join the court in January after her House term expires. McCormack said in September that she was stepping down with six years left in her Supreme Court term.. ...Read Full Story

Commissioners Seek Discussion On Art Fair Entrance Fee

St. Joseph City Commissioners are hoping to see some adjustments to the Krasl Art Fair as they wait to approve the event for 2023. Krasl Events Director Jamie Balkin laid out plans for the next fair at a Monday meeting, and Mayor Laura Goos had questions about the recent model of a $5 charge to enter the fair. She proposed that be changed to a “suggested donation” for entry.. ...Read Full Story

Curious Kids Museum Seeking To Acquire Building

The Curious Kids Museum is seeking to acquire ownership of its building in downtown St. Joseph. Speaking to St. Joseph City Commissioners Monday, museum Director Lori Marciniak said as the museum looks at repairs needed from a July fire, the idea of buying the building from the city makes more sense. She told us ownership would help with making improvements.. ...Read Full Story

Register Of Deeds Launches New Property Records Website

Berrien County Register of Deeds Lora Freehling has launched a new public search site for land records. She says GovOS Cloud Search provides a search engine-like interface that simplifies looking for records. Some of the features include Quick Search, Advanced Search, and Full Text Search to examine every typed word of every document. There’s also live chat available. Freehling says it is her office’s duty to “to ensure public records remain easily accessible to our citizens,” and the website is intended to “provide citizens with an easy and intuitive way to search vast amounts of land records.” The site is active now, and you can find it here.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Closes Constituent Correspondence Operations

Congressman Fred Upton has officially closed constituent correspondence operations after 36 years. That’s as his time in the House representing Michigan’s Sixth District nears its end. Upton is not seeking reelection after the state’s redistricting commission split his district up between two new districts. Rather than running in a primary against Republican Congressman Bill Huizenga, the Republican Upton decided to call it quits after nearly four decades in Congress. His office says over 18 terms in the House, it has completed more than one million constituent inquiries. That includes emails, letters, phone calls, walk-ins, and even a few faxes. Upton says he’s “always kept a close eye on what my constituents write or call-in about, and have personally signed every outgoing letter by hand.” Until his term runs out, Upton says his newsletter, MyKitchenTable, will continue.. ...Read Full Story

Feds Seek To Keep California’s Last Nuclear Power Plant Open

From the Associated Press — The Biden administration has announced preliminary approval to spend up to $1.1 billion to help keep California’s last operating nuclear power plant running. The Energy Department said Monday it was creating a path forward for the Diablo Canyon Power Plant to remain open, with the final terms to be negotiated and finalized. The plant, which is scheduled to close by 2025, was chosen in the first round of funding for a new civil nuclear credit program, intended to bail out financially distressed owners or operators of nuclear power reactors. The Palisades plant in Michigan also applied for funding to restart operations and was turned down.. ...Read Full Story

Tuesday Is Adoption Day

This is a special week for thousands of kids who may find new homes. November is National Adoption Month and Governor Whitmer has proclaimed this Tuesday as Adoption Day in Michigan. The Judson Center in Farmington Hills has been helping children and families for years. Michelle Carlton, Director of Foster Care and Adoption, says the need for families willing to adopt is urgent.. ...Read Full Story

Clement Picked By Michigan Supreme Court As Chief Justice

From the Associated Press — Elizabeth Clement is the new chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. Clement was the unanimous choice of her colleagues on the court. She takes over from Bridget McCormack, who is leaving the court as soon as Governor Gretchen Whitmer picks a successor. Supreme Court justices are selected by governors when there’s a vacancy or elected by voters. The additional job of chief justice is determined by members of the court. The chief justice is the leader of Michigan’s statewide judiciary and has much influence over how courts operate. Clement was appointed to the court in 2017 by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and subsequently elected to an eight-year term.. ...Read Full Story

Bittersweet Ski Resort Opens Today

Otsego’s Bittersweet Ski Resort is opening today. General manager Nick Ross says they began making snow several days ago and also received over a foot of snow from the 16th to the 20th. Cannonsburg Ski Area north of Grand Rapids plans to open as early in December as they can and they began making snow on Friday. Both resorts are still hiring for the season.. ...Read Full Story

Crash Responder Safety Week

This is a week where we honor emergency workers, tow truck drivers and Michigan Department of Transportation courtesy van patrol drivers as part of National Crash Responder Safety Week. It’s a dangerous job, especially over the past couple days where slick roads had people spinning out and crashing. Diane Cross with MDOT says drivers are putting crash responders at risk.. ...Read Full Story

Small Business Saturday In Downtown St. Joseph Next week

With Black Friday this coming week, St. Joseph Today is reminding everyone of a shopping opportunity with a more local flavor. It’s Small Business Saturday, Saturday, November 26. Joe Today’s Amy Zapal says you’ll be able to find gifts for everyone at downtown shops, which will be offering sales and other specials. She tells us when someone spends $100 at a local business, approximately $68 stays in the local community. When they spend the same amount at a big box store, much less stays in the community. That’s according to the Civic Economic Study in Grand Rapids. Name a downtown St. Joseph business, and they probably are taking part in Small Business Saturday. St. Joseph Today invites everyone to stop in the area and notes it’s acting as a Neighborhood Champion for the American Express national Small Business Saturday campaign and will hand out a limited number of swag items at the Welcome Center. You can find out more at StJoeToday.com/ShopSmall.. ...Read Full Story

More Than 200 Sign Up For Home Lead Testing In Benton Harbor

Benton Harbor residents are being urged to take advantage of a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services program offering free home lead testing and abatement services as the effort to replace lead water lines in the city is nearly complete. Department lead services manager Carin Speidel tells us even with water lines replaced, there are more sources of lead contamination in homes.. ...Read Full Story

AAA: Leave Early If Driving For Thanksgiving

More than 1.7 million Michiganders will travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving this coming week. AAA of Michigan spokesperson Adrienne Woodland tells us the latest survey finds there will be about 34,000 more travelers on the road in the state this year than last, still less than in 2019. 89% will be driving.. ...Read Full Story

Grant Boosts United Way Food Program

A $5,000 grant has been awarded to the United Way of Southwest Michigan for its Be Healthy Berrien Healthy Corner Store initiative. The funds come from the United to Feed Innovation Challenge. The United Way says the initiative improves food access to help build healthier communities in southwest Michigan. Be Healthy Berrien works with communities and corner store owners to ensure people have access to fresh produce to help address the issue of food deserts. The Kellogg Company supports the United to Feed Innovation Challenge. Kellogg and one of the company’s charitable funds underwrote the grants.. ...Read Full Story

LMC Taking Applications For Leadership Academy

The Leadership Accelerator Program at Lake Michigan College is accepting applications for the Leadership Accelerator Academy scheduled to begin next month. LMC Vice President of Academics Ken Flowers tells us the professional development program was founded in 2015 by leaders from non-profit groups at Michigan’s Great Southwest Strategic Leadership Council. It’s designed to create leaders who can grow, sustain, and steer communities throughout southwest Michigan.. ...Read Full Story