Local News Archives

State Offers Help To Problem Gamblers

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is reaching out to those with a gambling problem to let them know help is available with the holidays here. Spokesperson Lynn Sutfin tells WSJM News the stress of the holidays can make someone seek a release, which is dangerous for those with a gambling problem. Her advice?. ...Read Full Story

Environmentalists Not Pleased With Wetland Proposals

There’s been plenty of negative reaction from conservation groups was swift to a Trump Administration proposal to remove federal clean-water protections from many smaller streams and wetlands. On Tuesday, the EPA announced a replacement for the Waters of the United States Rule. It would lift federal protections from water sources that are seasonal, and wetlands that are not connected by a stream to a larger body of water. Jenifer Collins with the law firm Earthjustice tells us the proposal ignores basic hydrology.. ...Read Full Story

MSU Extension Answering Water Contamination Questions

Michigan State University Extension is working to answer the questions Michigan residents might have about PFAS, the water contaminant that rendered the water in Parchment undrinkable this past summer. MSU Extension water quality specialist Lois Wolfson tells WSJM News PFAS have been found in communities across Michigan this year, and MSU Extension has heard a lot of questions.. ...Read Full Story

Free Turkeys Being Given Away For Holidays

Once again, Benton Harbor and St. Joseph area residents can apply for the gift of a free turkey and holiday food basket thanks to the Holiday Food Sharing Program. It’s an effort of the Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency, the city of Benton Harbor, Whirlpool, and the PGA. Now in its third year, the Holiday Food Sharing Program is giving away around 400 turkeys and food baskets season. The turkeys will be given away on December 21, and applications for them are being taken now. The deadline is Monday, December 17. Applications can be picked up at several local agencies, including the Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency, the United Way, Benton Harbor City Hall, Michigan Works, and the Salvation Army. Below is a list of all the locations where applications can be picked up.. ...Read Full Story

Fire Chief: Avoid Holiday Fires

Live Christmas tree or artificial this year? That’s a question many families ask. If you choose to purchase a real tree, South Haven Emergency Services Chief Ron Wise spoke with WSJM News and suggests not keeping that live tree in the house for long.. ...Read Full Story

Trust Fund Board Announces $26 Million In Parks Grants

$26 million in recreation grants have been announced for the year by the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board. The board each year selects parks projects around Michigan to receive grants taken from interest earned on funds from state-owned minerals like oil and natural gas. Among the grants announced on Thursday are $56,000 for the city of Dowagiac to acquire an easement for the Elks Trail, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has been approved for a $534,000 grant for land acquisition at the Cornish State Game Area. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund has resulted in more than $1 billion in grants going out to park, trail, and playground projects throughout the state in the past 40 years.. ...Read Full Story

Police Respond To Report Of Assault In Niles Twp

Merritt Elementary School in Niles was placed on lockdown Friday as the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department responded to an assault nearby. The department tells us deputies were called out to a home in the 1,600 block of Florence Avenue in Niles Township around 2 p.m. on a report of a man who had threatened others with a knife. The home’s residents told police the 21-year-old man had barricaded himself inside, but when deputies entered the home, he was gone. The suspect, who lives at the residence where deputies were called, was not arrested at the scene. Police have not said if he was picked up elsewhere. The case is being referred on to the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office for charges that include assault with a dangerous weapon and unlawful imprisonment.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren County Gets $780,000 For Specialty Courts

State grants totaling more than $780,000 have been announced for Van Buren County’s specialty courts. The specialty courts are the Drug Treatment Court, the Family Reunification Court, the Swift and Sure Sanctions Probation Program, the Adult and Family Recovery Courts, and the Sobriety Court. They’re designed to help those who have found themselves in the criminal justice system turn things aroundwith intensive coaching and supervision. The State Court Administrative Office informed Van Buren County this week about the grants which will be used to continue operations of the specialty courts throughout 2019.. ...Read Full Story

No State Grant For Cherry Beach Project This Year

The Cherry Beach Project in Chikaming Township has suffered a blow. It was not included in this week’s announced Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grants. Chikaming Township Supervisor David Bunte tells WSJM News the effort to raise about $4 million to purchase three acres of private property adjacent to the public Cherry Beach partially depended on a Natural Resources Trust Fund grant. The Cherry Beach Project raised around $1 million in pledges from individuals and combined that with several other grants. With state support not happening this year, Bunte says it’s back to the drawing board.. ...Read Full Story