Local News Archives

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

School Spirit Tournament Update

State Senator John Proos is congratulating the schools left in his annual Southwest Michigan Spirit Tournament. He announced the Elite 8 this week, telling WSJM News we’re now down to Michigan Lutheran versus Lake Michigan Catholic, River Valley versus Grace Christian, Berrien Springs versus Coloma, and Edwardsburg versus Marcellus. They’re competing in a bracket-style tournament to prove their school spirit by sending Proos photo evidence they’re the best.. ...Read Full Story

Donations Sought For Softball Team

A new effort is underway to collect equipment for the Benton Harbor Tigers girls softball team. Benton Harbor Area Schools Varsity Softball Coach Chris Glisson tells us he started the collection drive to get all sorts of equipment when he realized his players were under-equipped.. ...Read Full Story

School Financial Info Online

A new website has been launched by the state of Michigan Treasury Department to make financial information about public school districts available to parents. Treasury spokesperson Ron Leix tells WSJM News the site is easy to use, breaking down the state on a map, district by district.. ...Read Full Story

New Tax Scam

The IRS is warning taxpayers about the latest scam. Spokesperson Alejandra Castro-Nunez tells WSJM News this one happens when a scammer gets ahold of some of your previous tax information and banking info.. ...Read Full Story

Allegan Clerk Running For MI Senate

Running for Michigan Senate in the 20th District is a familiar name in west Michigan politics. Former Republican state Representative and current Allegan County Clerk Bob Genetski is hoping to replace state Senator Tonya Schuitmaker when she’s term limited out of office this year. He tells WSJM News reducing auto insurance rates is a big priority.. ...Read Full Story

Anti Suicide Coalition Promotes Resources

A meeting held at the Berrien County Health Department Tuesday aimed to spread the message that 911 is the number to call when a loved one is feeling suicidal. Berrien County Suicide Prevention Coalition founder Trent Watford told WSJM News 911 will connect someone who needs help with resources available.. ...Read Full Story

Essay Contest For Honor Flights

A student essay contest is being held by Talons Out Honor Flight. The organization provides veterans of World War II and the Korean War with free trips to Washington, D.C. to see their war memorials each year, so far making those visits possible for more than 800 vets. Director Bobbie Bradley tells WSJM News as Talons Out Honor Flight prepares for trip number 13, it’s asking middle and high school students to identify a veteran of Korea or World War II who has passed away.. ...Read Full Story

Inventory Slows Home Sales

The latest housing numbers are out from the Southwest Michigan Association of Realtors, and they show the regional market slightly sluggish in February. The association’s Alan Jeffries tells WSJM News the number of units sold in February was down by three from February of 2017.. ...Read Full Story

No-Wake Zone Could Be Extended

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources can now hold a hearing on extending the no-wake zone in the St. Joseph River in the area of St. Joe and Benton Harbor. That’s because Benton Harbor City Commissioners on Monday agreed to let the DNR move forward. City Manager Darwin Watson told WSJM News people with boats at Pier 1000 asked that the no-wake zone be extended.. ...Read Full Story

Parks Department Looking For Extra Help

The Berrien County Parks Department is preparing for a busy summer, and it’s looking for some help. Parks Director Brian Bailey tells WSJM News they need the usual lifeguards for Silver Beach, but also staff to do a wide variety of temporary work at all of the other county parks like Love Creek and Rocky Gap.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Addressing Housing, Infrastructrure

The South Haven City Council has its priorities for the upcoming fiscal year following a meeting this week. The top three priorities for the year are development of “missing middle” housing options, economic development, infrastructure repairs. South Haven Mayor Scott Smith told WSJM News how the priorities list is put together.. ...Read Full Story

Plan Encourages Craft Breweries

State Senator John Proos has introduced legislation designed to provide relief to small distillers who use Michigan-grown grain. He tells WSJM News his plan would change how liquor sales are handled in the state by reducing Michigan Liquor Control Commission markup prices for small distillers that use at least 40% of Michigan-grown grain.. ...Read Full Story

Robotics Competition Underway

It’s a big competition in west Michigan Friday and Saturday. It’s the First Robotics District Competition at Grand Valley State University. Referee Nicki Bonczyk told Michigan News Network a lot of kids come to watch the high schoolers compete.. ...Read Full Story

Local At-Risk Youth To Compete In Lansing

A Kinexus program that works with at-risk young people to make sure they graduate high school will head to Lansing next week to have some of its kids show off the skills they’ve learned. Youth Solutions Incorporated Director Kristin Harrington tells WSJM News the local Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates program will take kids from Benton Harbor, Dowagiac, Hartford, and Cassopolis to the 9th Annual JMG Career Development Conference.. ...Read Full Story

Police Seek More For School Security

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s law enforcement and education leaders are calling on the state legislature to spend $100 million annually to staff schools with more police officers and counselors after last month’s massacre at a Florida high school. The plan outlined Thursday also proposes spending $20 million to harden schools against threats. Under the proposal, every school building in the state
would be visited by law enforcement to identify safety issues. It would be mandatory for threats against schools to be reported to law enforcement. Sheriffs, police, prosecutors and groups representing school administrators and school boards say enough is enough, and it is time for meaningful change to address school shootings and bomb scares.. ...Read Full Story