Local News Archives

Watervliet Citgo Station Robbed

Michigan State Police are looking for three men who robbed the Citgo station on M-140 in Watervliet just before midnight Tuesday night. One of the three had a gun and got money from the register, while the other two stole lottery tickets along with a customer’s cell phone. They took off in a dark colored sedan, which the victims say might have been a Pontiac. All three wore dark clothes, hoodies and masks. No other information on the suspects has been released. Anyone with information is urged to call Michigan State Police or 9-1-1.. ...Read Full Story

Charges Against Former Nassar Boss

From the Associated Press — A prosecutor says a Michigan State University official failed to supervise Larry Nassar at a critical time when the sports doctor was facing allegations of sexual misconduct in 2014. Bill Forsyth announced charges Tuesday against William Strampel, who was dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine until December. He’s accused of willful neglect of duty in his dealings with Nassar. He’s also charged with groping female medical students. Forsyth says the neglect-of-duty charges are “somewhat nebulous” or not as
well-defined as other crimes. He says there was a “lack of supervision” over Nassar when the doctor was ordered to have another person in the room during certain exams. Nassar is serving decades in prison for sexual abuse and possessing child pornography.. ...Read Full Story

Dowagiac Schools Closed Due To Threat

Dowagiac Union Schools is closed for Wednesday due to threats found in two of the district’s buildings on Tuesday. One was found in a high school restroom, and the other in a middle school restroom. The district is closed for the day while the threats are investigated. In the case of the middle school, police found the student responsible, and turned the student over to parents. Police do not believe the threat was credible, and the case has been given to the Cass County Prosecutor’s Office for a review and juvenile petition into probate court.. ...Read Full Story

Winner Of Asian Carp Contest Announced

From the Associated Press — The state of Michigan has declared a winner in its contest to find new ideas for preventing Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes. The top award of $200,000 in the “Carp Tank” competition goes to Edem Tsikata, a software consultant at Harvard Medical School in Boston. He proposed using specially designed propellers to generate a wall of bubbles that the fish would find noisy and painful, causing them to turn away. Tsikata suggested installing the mechanism on a carp-infested Illinois river that could provide a pathway to Lake Michigan. Three other proposals also received cash awards. Scientists say if Asian carp become established in the Great Lakes, they could out-compete native species. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering stepped-up defenses at an Illinois navigation lock.. ...Read Full Story

Championship To Showcase Local Beer, Wine

When the Senior PGA Championship takes place this summer at Harbor Shores, lovers of fine wines and other beverages will have a chance to check of what’s made right here in southwest Michigan. The Southwest Michigan Tourism Council’s Makers Trail has set up what will be known as the Makers Trail 19th Hole between the 16th green and 17th tee at the golf course. That’s where you can sample locally-made products, including wine from Domaine Berrien Cellars. The winery’s Wally Maurer spoke with WSJM News about the opportunity.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Hoping For Parlak Decision

Congressman Fred Upton is waiting for the latest word on the fate of Ibrahim Parlak. The Kurdish immigrant has been fighting deportation to Turkey for years with Upton on his side. Upton tells WSJM News he went to a reception at Parlak’s restaurant in Harbert this past weekend, just days after an immigration judge in Detroit considered Parlak’s appeal to stay in the United States.. ...Read Full Story

City Holds Back On Parks Grant

The city of St. Joseph will hold off until next year to pursue a state grant for improvements at Whirlpool Centennial Park. At Monday’s meeting, the commission was asked to allow the public works department to seek a $111,000 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant for the work. The problem is that if the grant were to be approved this year, the city would have to come up with its roughly $260,000 match, and Mayor Michael Garey didn’t want to commit until the budget is done. He spoke with WSJM News about the issue.. ...Read Full Story

Soft Lockdown At Covert Schools

Everyone’s fine after Covert Public Schools went into a state of soft lockdown for most of Tuesday. The Covert Township Police Department tells us the decision to go into lockdown was made by the police chief and the Covert superintendent when a non-credible threat came in. Police say they investigated and found no one was in any real danger. Covert Township Police Chief Jay Allen tells us the students are safe. The lockdown went into effect around 9 a.m. Wednesday and ended when school let out. The Covert lockdown happened the same day Decatur Schools were closed due to a threat found in a restroom.. ...Read Full Story

Man Recovering After Being Shot By Arrow

Michigan State Police are looking for the archer who shot a man in the neck with an arrow in a wooded area in Almena Township, just before 1 pm Sunday. Investigators say 61-year-old Michael Downey was walking along a trail close to the eastern edge of Van Buren County near 28th Street when the arrow went through his neck. He was able to walk back to his car and drive to a nearby home where medical assistance was summoned and the police notified. Downey was rushed into surgery at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo and may need another surgery, but will recover. Authorities say had the arrow been just a couple of inches off, it could have killed him. Downey was wearing a hunting vest. MSP investigators are asking for anyone who may have information about who was in the woods on Sunday to give them a call.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmakers Talk Marijuana Licensing

State officials held an education session Monday in East Lansing for medical marijuana license applicants. The topics included construction code standards for facilities, along with information on the paying the excise tax due to the state. Director of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation Andrew Brisbo told Michigan News Network applying will also be costly.. ...Read Full Story

Seniors Could Get Help With Home Repairs

Climbing a staircase or stepping into a bathtub are among the everyday tasks that can become a challenge to folks as they age, and also sometimes a danger. A bill now before the Michigan House could help aging Michiganders address these concerns in their homes. If Senate Bill 184 is passed, adults with disabilities could receive a tax credit of up to $5,000 to make an existing home accessible, or to help purchase of a newly-built accessible home. Lisa Dedden Cooper with AARP Michigan tells us the credit could go toward modifications like grab bars, non-slip flooring, and low-rise showers.. ...Read Full Story

Legislation Clarifies Teacher Pension Rules

Legislation now introduced in the Michigan House and Senate would exempt students working part-time at a community college from contributing to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System. Co-sponsor state Senator John Proos tells WSJM News, right now, community colleges are told their part-time students do have to pay into the MPSERS. That doesn’t make sense to him.. ...Read Full Story

BH Teen Saluted By Boys And Girls Club

A Benton Harbor youth has been picked by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America as the Michigan Youth of the Year. 17-year-old Quincy Sulton is a junior at Benton Harbor High School. The Boys and Girls Club tells us he’s a member of the Joel E. Smilow Teen Center and is employed by the club as a junior instructor for the dance and drama program at the Fettig Youth Campus. Sulton tells us the club “laid the foundation that taught me compassion for others,” adding the Boys and Girls Club has given him a place to be empowered and be himself. As the Michigan Youth of the Year, Quincy will serve as an ambassador for clubs across the state, received a $5,000 college scholarship from Boys and Girls Clubs of America, along with an additional $3,000 scholarship from the Michigan Boys and Girls Club Area Council. He’ll also go on to vie for the Midwest Regional Youth of the Year this summer.. ...Read Full Story

Proposal For Life Rings Moving Forward

St. Joseph City Commissioners have indicated their support for installing life rings along the north pier. At Monday’s meeting, the city commission instructed the city manager to work out a maintenance agreement with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department for life rings to be installed at the pier. The sheriff’s department has said it could use its manpower to check the rings daily if the city installs them. St. Joe Mayor Michael Garey spoke with WSJM News about the proposal.. ...Read Full Story

BH Tigers Welcomed With Pep Rally

It’s been a triumphant return home for the Benton Harbor Tigers boys basketball team. A pep rally was held Monday for the Tigers as they returned home from winning the state championship on Saturday. The team won partly thanks to a last minute three-pointer from sophomore Carlos Johnson. As the seconds ticked off after that, Coach Corey Sterling told WSJM News he held his breath.. ...Read Full Story

Oberon Day Celebrated

Beer enthusiasts celebrated Oberon Day Monday as Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo released its iconic beer for the season. The brewery describes the beer as “a wheat ale fermented with Bell’s signature house ale yeast, mixing a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas.” CEO Laura Bell is the daughter of Bell’s owner Larry Bell, and she spoke with Michigan News Network about Oberon Day.. ...Read Full Story

Policy Group Questions Pure Michigan Value

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has taken another shot at the Pure Michigan tourism advertising campaign. Mackinac Center Policy Analyst Michael LaFaive tells WSJM News a Michigan Auditor General review found more than $13 million in state tax dollars were excluded from the return-on-investment calculations made by the state’s tourism consultant for Pure Michigan in 2016. The Mackinac Center views the Pure Michigan program as not worth it.. ...Read Full Story

40 Under 40 List Unveiled

The first ever 40 Under 40 list has been released, and it includes a cross section of southwest Michigan’s best and brightest go-getters under the age of 40. Announced on Monday’s Moody in the Morning show, the 40 Under 40 represent the future of the region in a new program just started by Moody on the Market and Mid-West Family Broadcasting. The United Way’s Charlotte Becker told WSJM News the 40 Under 40 come from the world of big business, small business, non-profits, and community groups.. ...Read Full Story

Police Investigate Fatal Friday Crash

A 6-year-old girl is dead following a crash in Van Buren County Friday. Michigan State Police tell us it happened on 66th Street near 26th Avenue in Bangor Township shortly before 6 p.m. The driver of a southbound vehicle was distracted and swerved off the road. The vehicle then went down an embankment and hit a tree. There were four people in the vehicle at the time, the adult driver and three children, all from Bangor. A 6-year-old girl in the backseat was killed. The driver and the other two passengers were taken to Bronson Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.. ...Read Full Story

State Park Cleanups This Month

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is planning some clean-up events at west Michigan state parks this month, and it could use some volunteers. Specifically, it tells us those who show up will be removing invasive plant species from dune areas. The work will be taking place on Saturday, March 31 at Saugatuck Dunes State Park and Warren Dunes State Park. Volunteers are invited to stop by at 10 a.m. to work through 1 p.m. at both parks. They will be removing honeysuckle, Japanese barberry and other invasive shrubs that threaten the dunes. In each case, volunteers are reminded to dress for outdoor work. Volunteers can show up to either state park at 10 a.m. on the 31st and go to the parking area.. ...Read Full Story

It’s Getting Expensive To Fill Up Again

A big 14¢ jump at the gas pump is threatening to put a dent in the budget of drivers around southwest Michigan. According to the latest survey from Triple-A Michigan, prices in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph rose as much as the rest of the state with a 14¢ jump to an average of $2.70. The statewide average is a penny higher, and that’s up 42¢ from this time a year ago. GasBuddy spotters say South Haven’s prices, which are typically lower, aren’t that much cheaper right now and range from $2.65 to $2.68 a gallon. The auto club says the highest prices are in Jackson at $2.77, while drivers in Marquette have the lowest prices at $2.64. Triple-A isn’t offering much of an explanation for the increase other than seasonal volatility in prices.. ...Read Full Story

Pep Rally, Parade For State Champion BH Tigers

Benton Harbor High School will hold a pep rally today for students, staff, parents and relatives of the Class B state champion boys basketball team. The Tigers defeated Grand Rapids Catholic Central in overtime on Saturday at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, 65-64, for their first state title since 1965. Sophomore Carlos Johnson hit the game-winning three pointer with under five seconds to go, and the defense held to preserve the one-point win. Today’s celebration is set for 10 a.m., and a parade is also being planned for Thursday evening starting at 6. The parade will start in the Empire parking lot of Benton Harbor High School.. ...Read Full Story

Local Grower Picked For State Panel

A local fruit grower has been picked by Governor Rick Snyder to sit on the Michigan Tree Fruit Commission. Herb Teichman, owner of the Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm in Eau Claire, will be on that body created in 2014. Teichman’s appointment to the commission was announced by the governor Thursday. Also announced Thursday for Michigan Tree Fruit Commission will be James Nugent of Suttons Bay and Christopher Kropf of Lowell. Members will serve three-year terms expiring March 1, 2021. The appointments must be approved by the Michigan Senate. The governor says, “I thank these individuals for their commitment to enhance Michigan’s tree fruit industry.”. ...Read Full Story

LaSata Talks Shoreline Protection

Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation from state Representative Kim LaSata intended to strengthen a program for the clean-up of waterways in the state. LaSata tells WSJM News confusion was created several years ago when the Michigan Departments of Natural Resources and Environmental Quality were combined. After they separated, it was not clear which one was to run the Adopt-a-River and Adopt-a-Shoreline programs.. ...Read Full Story

Governor Approves Road Renaming

Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation from state Representative Kim LaSata to rename a stretch of Red Arrow Highway in Berrien County in honor of a fallen state police trooper. She tells WSJM News Red Arrow Highway between Glenlord and Hilltop Roads will now be called the Trooper Robert J. Mihalik Memorial Highway.. ...Read Full Story

Missing Teen Back Home

A 15-year-old girl reported missing last week is back home with her family in Benton Harbor. The city’s public safety department tells WSJM News Anna Mae Taylor was located and returned to her family as of Friday. Someone purporting to be her posted on Taylor’s Facebook page within hours of police putting out word she was missing last week that she was okay. Benton Harbor Public Safety is continuing to investigate her disappearance.. ...Read Full Story

Double Murder Suspect On Run

Benton Harbor Public Safety officers are looking for a double murder suspect who may be headed to Indianapolis. Officers tell WSJM News 40-year-old Antwan “Tank” Mims is accused of shooting and killing 22-year-old Cortez Miller and 29-year-old Michael Johnson early Sunday morning. The victims died after being taken to Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph. They were found shot at a home in the 900 block of LaVette in Benton Harbor. Anyone who knows where Mims may be is urged to call Crime Stoppers, Benton Harbor Public Safety, or 9-1-1.. ...Read Full Story