Local News Archives

SWM Housing Prices Still Going Up

The area housing market remains strong. The latest report from the Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors shows prices are still going up and the year-to-date total dollar volume through October is the highest since 2006, right before the market collapsed. The number of homes sold in October fell from 354 to 324 compared to last year, an 8% decline. Year-to-date, the number of homes sold has fallen by 4%. The average selling price rose 3% from last year in October, while the median price was up 10% at $171,000. That’s the price at which 50% of the homes were above and 50% were below. The inventory is also shrinking, down 5% from last year with 1,737 houses on the market.. ...Read Full Story

Marijuana Activist Pleased With Recent Vote

John Sinclair is a Michigan born artist, author, activist and cultural revolutionary who famously went to prison on a ten year sentence for two marijuana joints in the 1970’s. So we asked John for his thoughts on Michigan voters finally fully legalizing recreational marijuana – a cause Sinclair spent decades advocating. John Lennon joined a movement to free Sinclair from prison, wrote a song for him and performed at an Ann Arbor rally to free John. Days later the Michigan Supreme Court set him free. Michigan marijuana laws were changed. He says he’s happy about the legalization of pot but it wasn’t what he would have ordered. He wants to totally “free the weed” and says we should have a universal human right to legally use whatever drugs we choose.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department Assesses Role After Marijuana Vote

Now that Michigan voters have decided to decriminalize marijuana for those over 21, the Berrien County Health Department is expecting to step up its educational activities. Spokesperson Gillian Conrad tells WSJM News the health department likely won’t have to inspect marijuana food facilities, but it will have to make sure everyone knows the rules. First of all, it will still be illegal for those under 21, and Conrad says that’s for a good reason.. ...Read Full Story

LMC Getting Funds To Fight Sexual Assault

A $1 million grant to prevent sexual assault on college campuses has been announced by the Michigan Campus Sexual Assault Grant Program. Included in that allocation is $6,500 for Lake Michigan College. Michigan First Lady Sue Snyder launched the Campus Sexual Assault Grant Program in 2015, and so far it’s given out more than $2.5 million to colleges. this latest $1 million is the highest amount at one time yet. The First Lady says the money will be used by colleges and universities to “develop innovative, evidence-based campaigns and strategies to help make our campuses safer-for students and survivors.” The program is administered by the Michigan State Police and aims to change the overall culture of sexual assault among the college-age population.. ...Read Full Story

United Way Online Auction Next Week

The United Way of Southwest Michigan is gearing up for another Bid United online auction. To be held next week, Bid United is a totally online auction with a wide variety of items and services up for grabs, all donated by local businesses. United Way spokesperson Ryan Cheevers spoke with WSJM News about the auction.. ...Read Full Story

AARP On Avoiding Holiday Scams

Identity thieves and other scammers are ready and waiting to ruin the holiday season. However, Michiganders can reduce the chances to become a scam victim. With shoppers distracted by their to-do lists and opening their wallets frequently, Mark Hornbeck with the AARP of Michigan says thieves are ready to pounce. He explains online shoppers need to watch out for fraudulent websites when making purchases.. ...Read Full Story

Andrews University Reaches United Way Campaign Goal

Andrews University in Berrien Springs has announced a successful United Way campaign for 2018. It tells us the employees were able to beat their campaign goal of $20,000 and raise more than $22,000 in gifts and pledges. At the start of the campaign, President Andrea Luxton and Provost Christon Arthur committed to compete in a rodeo if the campus reached their giving goal.They made good on their commitment this week at the Andrews University Farm.. ...Read Full Story

Free State Park Access Friday

Entry to Michigan state parks will be free on Friday. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources tells us it could be a new Black Friday tradition — heading to the great outdoors. The Opt Outside movement started in 2015 as a way to encourage healthy activities for the day after Thanksgiving. The DNR says it’s waiving the regular Recreation Passport entrance fee that permits vehicle access to Michigan state parks, trails, and boating access sites, although other permit and license fees still apply. You can check out Michigan.gov/DNR to learn more about camping, fishing, hunting, and other outdoor opportunities in your area.. ...Read Full Story

Humane Society Planning “Mustachio Bashio”

The Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan is gearing up for another Mustachio Bashio early next month. The third annual Mustachio Bashio will be Saturday, December 1 starting at 5:30 p.m. at North Pier Brewing Company in Benton Harbor. The Humane Society tells us the event is a chance for anyone with a mustache to come and compete with other mustachioed individuals for the title of greatest mustache. There will be prizes awarded in several categories, and it’s a chance to help raise money for the Humane Society.. ...Read Full Story