Local News Archives

Foreclosure Lawsuit Could Impact MI Counties

A property foreclosure lawsuit headed to the Michigan Supreme Court is being watched closely by county treasurers across the state. That includes Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski, who tells us the results in the Oakland County case could affect Berrien “big time.” The suit is from a Southfield man who lost a property due to an unpaid tax bill of less than $9. Oakland County took the property and then sold it for $24,000. The man says he should get the proceeds that go above the tax bill. Witkowski tells WSJM News he understands, but it’s that extra revenue from foreclosure sales that pay for demolitions of abandoned buildings.. ...Read Full Story

Whitmer Directs State Employees To Report Public Health Threats

From the Associated Press — Governor Gretchen Whitmer is directing state employees to immediately report all “imminent” threats to public health, safety or welfare higher up the chain. The Democrat issued her first executive directive Wednesday, a day after taking office. She was joined by employees of the state Department of Environmental Quality, which came under fire for its role in Flint’s water crisis during former Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration. Whitmer says she wants to ensure that state workers are empowered to speak up
“when they feel our public health is at risk.” Her order tells department and agency directors who receive a report to assess whether there is an imminent threat and to report their decision to Whitmer’s chief compliance officer.. ...Read Full Story

Traverse City Store Helping Coast Guard Members

As many federal government employees go without pay because of the partial government shutdown, a market in northern Michigan is pitching in to help U.S. Coast Guard members. The Bayside Market in Traverse City is allowing the Coast Guard to get groceries for free because people have been donating to an account for them.. ...Read Full Story

Spectrum Health Lakeland Announces First Baby Of 2019

The first baby born at The BirthPlace at Spectrum Health Lakeland in St. Joseph waited a little while to make his appearance. The hospital says Isai Balcazar was born at 8:58 p.m. on New Year’s Day to Enrique and Itzel Balcazar of Hartford. He weighed 8 pounds, 5 ounces and is 18 and three-quarter inches long. The Lakeland Auxiliary kept up the tradition of providing the family with a gift basket full of baby items valued at $100. In the last fiscal year, 1,630 babies were born in St. Joseph and Niles in the Spectrum Health Lakeland system.. ...Read Full Story

Family Dog Killed In Geneva Township House Fire

Firefighters with South Haven Area Emergency Services began 2019 the same way they ended 2018, battling a house fire. They were called to a house in Geneva Township around 10:15 last night when the homeowner returned to find smoke near a wood burning stove in the basement. By the time firefighters got there, the flames had spread and were shooting through the roof, and a family dog died in the fire. SHAES Chief Ronald Wise tells us water had to be shuttled in to the scene, which made the battle challenging. None of the home’s occupants were hurt.. ...Read Full Story

Minimum Wage Increase Won’t Take Effect Until Late March

For those hoping for a hike in the state’s minimum wage at the start of the year as some reports had indicated, there is disappointment. Michigan’s minimum wage will increase by 20¢ an hour, but not until late March. At that point, it will go up to $9.45, up from $9.25, with the boost comes amid political wrangling that’s expected to continue into court.. ...Read Full Story

Report On Missed Votes In Lansing

The state lawmakers who represented southwest Michigan in Lansing during the most recent legislative session get gold stars for attendance. According to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s annual report on missed votes by lawmakers, state Senator John Proos and state Representatives Kim LaSata, Dave Pagel, and Beth Griffin missed zero votes in 2018. State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker missed 24 out of more than 1,600 roll calls taken in the Senate. The Mackinac Center’s Jack McHugh tells WSJM News the organization started tracking missed votes in 2003.. ...Read Full Story