Local News Archives

Marijuana Forum Planned

A forum will be held in South Haven next month for everyone to learn a little more about marijuana. Marc Sprague is one of the organizers and tells WSJM News the event is a function of Concerned Citizens of South Haven in response to recent events which are allowing more marijuana in the community.. ...Read Full Story

Farmers Market Today

The St. Joseph Farmers Market returns to Lake Bluff Park this Saturday, May 26. St. Joseph Today’s Amy Zapal tells WSJM News the market will be held downtown every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through mid-October. It’s your chance to pick up some locally-grown fruits and veggies.. ...Read Full Story

SMC Food Pantry Gets Boost

Just three months after it got started, the student food pantry at Southwestern Michigan College has gotten a big boost. At a meeting last month, Cass County 100+ Women Who Care voted to adopt the Roadrunner Kitchen. SMC Vice President of Instruction David Fleming tells WSJM News the food pantry began this year as a way for students to pick up items when in need.. ...Read Full Story

State’s Most Dangerous Intersections

The most dangerous intersection in Berrien County is Napier Avenue at I-94. At least, that’s according to Michigan Auto Law’s latest list of the state’s worst intersections. Based off 2017 crash data, Michigan Auto Law’s report breaks down accident-prone intersections county by county. Topping the list for Berrien is Napier and I-94, which had 34 crashes last year and eleven injuries. Second place goes to Napier and M-139, which had 29 crashes with five injuries. Third place goes to M-139 and Pipestone, which had 21 crashes and eleven injuries. The only non-Benton Harbor area intersections to crack the top ten were Bell Road and South Eleventh Street in Niles Township, Hollywood Road and Niles Road in Royalton Township, and Chestnut in South Eleventh Street in Niles Township. As far as the ten most dangerous intersections in the entire state, they’re all in southeast Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

New BH Scholarship Announced

A new $25,000 scholarship for students in Benton Harbor has been announced as part of this week’s KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. On Friday, Harbor Shores designer Jack Nicklaus and his wife Barbara announced the Jack and Barbara Nicklaus KitchenAid Senior PGA Champions for Change Scholarship Program. It will offer $25,000 each year through 2024 to one member of the Benton Harbor community who has graduated with an Associate’s Degree from Lake Michigan College’s “Start to Finish Program” and seeks to continue his or her college education. Recipients may use the new scholarship to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree or to further advance a technical degree. Nicklaus says he and his wife are “honored to have our name on a scholarship that benefits kids from the Benton Harbor area.” Further details of the new scholarship will be announced soon.. ...Read Full Story

LaSata Holding Essay Contest

State Representative Kim LaSata is holding an essay contest for Berrien County high school students. Her office tells us the topic of the essay contest is “What can you do, or what is something you do already to help better your community?” LaSata says she’s excited to hear stories from students on what they do or want to do to make the community better. She adds there’s something everyone can do. The competition is open to all high school students in Berrien County, and those who wish to enter can submit an essay of 400 words or less to LaSata’s office via email. The address is KimLaSata@house.mi.gov. The winner will spend the day shadowing Representative LaSata at the Capitol in Lansing. The deadline is August 6.. ...Read Full Story

Bank Accounts To Help With Taxes

Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski has announced a new service being offered by some local banks to help property taxpayers stay current on their bills. Witkowski tells WSJM News he’s arranged for the banks to offer special tax savings accounts. When you sign up, you can just have a portion of your earnings put aside each month for your property taxes later in the year. Witkowski says it’s clear many people could benefit.. ...Read Full Story

Nicklaus Returns To Harbor Shores

The man who designed Harbor Shores has returned for the first time since it opened in 2010. Jack Nicklaus visited the course during the second round of the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship Friday to see what his creation has become and the development it helped to spawn in and around Benton Harbor.. ...Read Full Story

Help Needed Finding Missing 17-Year-Old

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department is asking for your help finding a missing 17-year-old from the Gobles area. Bonifacio Pena hasn’t had any contact with his family since Saturday, May 19. He was last seen in the Portage area wearing an acid washed blue jean hoodie with ripped sleeves, black stretch pants, red shoes and carrying a black Nike cinch-style bag. Pena was reported missing on Wednesday by his family. He is Hispanic, about 5’8″, 180 pounds with short black hair and brown eyes. Anyone who may know where he is should call the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department. Police say they’ve checked several locations for him, with no luck as yet.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor High School Gets $100K From SPGA

Benton Harbor High School will soon be adding a new sport, and it’s in large part thanks to the PGA of America and KitchenAid. The school plans to add a golf team with part of a $100,000 donation announced today at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores. Championship director Ryan Ogle says the donation is in addition to nearly three-quarters of a million dollars that have been donated to date to youth sports programs in the area.. ...Read Full Story

Pscholka Taking Part In Mackinac Conference

Kinexus Vice President of Government Affairs Al Pscholka will be part of a roundtable discussion on talent development at next week’s Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island. Pscholka tells WSJM News “Prioritizing Michigan’s Policy Agenda for Cultivating 21st Century Talent” will feature education and business leaders talking about state policies that could help their regions better develop. He has a few suggestions.. ...Read Full Story

Tiscornia Scholarship Winner Announced

A $20,000 scholarship is going to a student from Lakeshore High School thanks to the Tiscornia Foundation. The foundation tells us Erin Lafrenz has been picked for the Lester C. Tiscornia Scholarship this year. The award goes to a student “who has exemplified not only outstanding academic achievement but also a commitment to community service.” Lafrenz plans to attend the University of Michigan and major in biomedical engineering. She has been active in the Rotary Interact Club and traveled to the Dominican Republic last summer to install water filtration systems in rural homes. She’s also active in her school, serving on the Lakeshore Honor Society, the Lakeshore Advisory Assets Committee, and the Volunteer Tutor Program.. ...Read Full Story

Trail Expansion Coming

The next phase of work on a trail project in Niles Township will now move forward following approval from the Berrien County Board of Commissioners Thursday. Commissioner Jim Curran tells WSJM News the Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail will now be extended from US-12 in Niles Township to the city of Niles.. ...Read Full Story

McCloughan Addresses Senate

Remembering those who gave their lives for our country. That’s what the Michigan Senate did Thursday with a speech by 2017 Congressional Medal of Honor recipient James McCloughan. He was an Army medic in Vietnam who saved ten soldiers and was also wounded himself.. ...Read Full Story

Legislation Aims To Protect Students

The Michigan House has approved legislation from state Representative Kim LaSata to expand the OK2SAY tip line to include reporting on sexual abuse, assault, and rape. The bill was part of an 18-bill package approved Thursday intended to better protect students following the Larry Nassar debacle. LaSata tells us about it.. ...Read Full Story

Legislation To Expand Broadband

Testimony was taken this week in the Michigan House regarding new legislation designed to help roll out broadband internet services around the state. The Broadband Investment Act would create a seven-member board made up of townships, counties, and internet providers tasked with identifying areas in Michigan that are under-served. They would then work on grants to help bring those areas broadband. A sponsor is state Representative Mary Whiteford of Casco Township.. ...Read Full Story

Paw Paw Teen Pleads Guilty In School Threat Case

Sentencing will be held June 5 for a 15-year-old Paw Paw boy who threatened a school shooting at Paw Paw High School in March. The teen entered a guilty plea in juvenile court Thursday to one charge of explosives – violation vulnerable target and a weapons possession charge. Van Buren County Prosecutor Michael Bedford tells WSJM News the teen will only serve time until he’s 19 because he was charged as a juvenile, and had been facing up to 20 years in prison had he gone to court as an adult. He was turned in to police by his parents when they found evidence of his plans, including several guns that had been stolen from his grandfather and sawed off to fit into a bag. His parents have previously said they took him to police in an attempt to get him some mental health care after he said he had been pushed to that point by bullying at school and had not anticipated charges being filed.. ...Read Full Story

MDOT Suspending Work For Weekend

The Michigan Department of Transportation plans to do what it can to make Memorial Day travel easier for drivers. Spokesperson Nick Schirripa tells WSJM News MDOT will suspend most of its summer construction projects and remove traffic restrictions all weekend.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmakers Clash Over Mandated Reporters

From the Associated Press — Michigan lawmakers are at odds over a decision to scale back the proposed expansion of the state’s mandatory reporter law after the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. A House committee on Wednesday is expected to pass a bill that would add
physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to the list of professionals who must report suspected child abuse or neglect. House
legislators backed away from adding youth coaches, athletic trainers and university employees due to costs and other concerns. A senator says he will move to make paid coaches and trainers mandatory reporters when the measure gets to the Senate. Some Nassar victims say they told Michigan State University coaches and trainers about being molested by Nassar under the guise of treatment but were dissuaded from reporting.. ...Read Full Story

Child Safety Forum

The Michigan Child Passenger Safety Conference started Wednesday in Mt Pleasant. Kettering University Crash Safety Center Director Janet Brelin-Fornari told Michigan News Network this week there have been advancements made in protecting kids in car seats from side impact crashes.. ...Read Full Story

Excitement Builds For PGA Championship

For the fourth time, Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor is hosting the best senior golfers in the world for the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Tournament play starts this morning at 7:30 and runs through around 6 p.m. Sunday. Championship director Ryan Ogle tells WSJM News he expects the course will challenge the golfers, but low scores are likely.. ...Read Full Story

SJ Farmers Market This Weekend

The St. Joseph Farmers Market returns to Lake Bluff Park this Saturday. St. Joseph Today’s Amy Zapal tells WSJM News the market will be held downtown every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through mid-October. It’s your chance to pick up some locally-grown fruits and veggies.. ...Read Full Story

Drain Commissioner On Flooding Issues

February’s flooding around Berrien County did a number of the drainage system, and it’s still feeling the effects. Berrien County Drain Commissioner Christopher Quattrin tells WSJM News lots of melting snow and rain led to flooding never before seen. This spring’s weather hasn’t exactly helped.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Gives DACA Update

The effort to force a vote on a replacement of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program continues in the U.S. House. Congressman Fred Upton tells WSJM News he and other backers of a discharge petition are just rising to the president’s call for a legislative DACA replacement while the issue lingers in committee.. ...Read Full Story