Local News Archives

State Updates Cyber Security Rules

From the Associated Press — Open-records disclosures can no longer include information on cybersecurity plans and vulnerabilities in Michigan. Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation Monday that allows for the exclusion of cybersecurity information shared with Michigan State Police and other government bodies. The changes cleared the Legislature in a bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Brandt Iden of Oshtemo earlier this month. Supporters say the exemption reassures companies that sensitive information shared with officials in the event of a security breach does not surface in public-records requests under Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act. The exclusion also applies to requests that could trigger future security breaches. The Michigan Press Association opposes the curtailment, saying it allows for excessive exemption-taking. Last week, the state announced that a recent audit found phishing vulnerabilities among its public employees.. ...Read Full Story

Trash Contract In Place

Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad has an update for residents regarding the city’s new garbage contract. At Monday’s meeting, Muhammad said the final contract with We-Cycle Industrial Sanitation is signed, and the trash cans to be used for pick up will soon be available.. ...Read Full Story

Former State Rep 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

Niles Trooper To Be Honored This week

A Michigan State Police trooper from the Niles post will be honored at an event in East Lansing this week. State police tell us the Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Commission’s annual awards presentation will be Wednesday, and on hand to be saluted will be Sergeant James Janes from the Niles post. He will be recognized for his efforts as a drug recognition expert — or, DRE — to reduce traffic crashes, injuries, and deaths. State police tell us Janes has been instrumental in his ability to catch impaired drivers. In 2015, Janes performed 40 DRE evaluations during his own investigations, making him one of the most active DREs in the state. He’s done more than 200 DRE evaluations in the past four years. At its awards this week, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Commission is handing out six Outstanding Traffic Safety Achievement awards, four long-term awards, and one student award.. ...Read Full Story

Museum Hosting Lego Carnivale This Week

Set for this Thursday is the first public event to be held at the Heritage Museum and Cultural Center in St. Joseph since it had to shut down in December due to flooding. Heritage Museum Curator Tracy Gierada tells WSJM News they’re hosting a Lego Carnivale as part of the annual Build Your Way Around Town events going on this month.. ...Read Full Story

One Dead In Oronoko Twp Crash

One person is dead following a crash that shut down part of M-139 in Oronoko Township for several hours on Monday. The Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township Police Department tells WSJM News it happened around 11:30 a.m. on M-139 at Hinchman Road. A northbound pick-up crashed into a northbound car, pushing the car into the southbound lanes. That’s when a southbound bus crashed into the car. The driver of the car was taken to Memorial Hospital in South Bend, where that person was pronounced dead. Police are not yet releasing the deceased’s name. The crash remains under investigation by the Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township Police Department and Berrien County Sheriff’s Department.. ...Read Full Story

Judge Pushes Opioid Treatment Program

A southeast Michigan leader in the fight against opioid addiction says there’s a lack of urgency in what she calls one of the biggest health issues facing the country. Macomb County District Judge Linda Davis is the head of Families Against Narcotics, and says the stigma surrounding addiction isn’t helping.. ...Read Full Story

Whitmer Gets UAW Endorsement

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s largest labor union is endorsing Gretchen Whitmer for governor. The United Auto Workers, which represents 385,000 active members and retirees in the state, announced the endorsement Monday at its international headquarters in Detroit. Whitmer, a former legislative leader, is among four main Democrats seeking the nomination in August’s primary election.
She previously won the backing of the Michigan Education Association, the state’s second-biggest union. UAW President Dennis Williams says Whitmer is a “champion” who will protect members’ safety and jobs while strengthening their schools and communities. In her campaign, she has talked about protesting outside the Capitol when Republicans enacted a right-to-work law in 2012. Whitmer says it is time Michigan workers “had a governor who will fix the roads and fight for working people.”. ...Read Full Story

Arrest Made In Paw Paw Schools Threat

An arrest has been made in the case of a threat that shut down Paw Paw Schools Monday. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department tells us a 15-year-old boy who is a student at the high school made the threat, which the department believes was credible. The sheriff’s department and Paw Paw police investigated after word of the threat reached them. They notified the school district, which made the decision to shut down all buildings for Monday. Police did a search of the suspect’s home and seized guns and other evidence. The 15-year-old is now being held at the Allegan County Juvenile Center on multiple charges pending arraignment. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department tells us it’s determined there is no ongoing threat to the school district at this time.. ...Read Full Story

Threat Closes Paw Paw Schools

No school today for students in Paw Paw due to a threat against the district. A student is accused of threatening a shooting at the high school and has been arrested. The district put out automated calls last night to parents to let them know there would be no classes at any schools in Paw Paw today. In addition to Paw Paw Public Schools being closed, Trinity Lutheran School is also canceling today’s classes. Since the Parkland, Florida school massacre on Valentine’s Day, threats against schools across the state and the country have spiked.. ...Read Full Story

Congressional Art Contest Underway

Congressman Fred Upton has announced the 2018 Congressional Art Competition, open to high school artists throughout the Sixth Congressional District. The winner will have his or her piece hang in the U.S. Capitol for a year along with the winners of the award from Congressional districts across the country. Plus, the winner and a guest will get to go to Washington, D.C. to attend a reception. Upton’s office tells us the arts are a vital part of southwest Michigan’s diverse community. You can find the rules and the entry forms for the Congressional Art Competition at Upton’s website. Last year’s winner was Cami Hoogstraten of Otsego who submitted a digital drawing of a Native American Dancer.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Budget Work

If you think planning a family budget is difficult and time consuming, imagine trying to budget for a city. That’s what South Haven City Manager and staff are working on right now. City Manager Brian Dissette spoke with WSJM News this week about the process.. ...Read Full Story

Take Back The Tap

Bottled water sales in the United States are skyrocketing, but a new report looks at what is actually being sold to those customers. In “Take Back the Tap,” Food and Water Watch researchers look at the booming business of bottled water, which surpassed soda in sales in 2016. The group finds nearly 64% of bottled water comes from municipal taps, and that it cost almost two thousand times as much as tap water and four times as much as gasoline. Patty Lovera with Food and Water Watch tells us bottled water companies target demographics through advertising, especially immigrant communities.. ...Read Full Story

School Leaders Talk Security

Benton Harbor School leaders continue to think about improving security. At a Tuesday meeting, the board of education heard from Acting Superintendent Patricia Robinson the district’s metal detectors are almost repaired, with six door units now operational. There are also upgrades in the works to the security cameras. Trustee Joseph Taylor told WSJM News he wants metal detectors working quickly, especially in light of the recent tragedy in Florida.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Explores Changes To Prison Food Service

State Senator John Proos has some new ideas for prison food service. That’s after Governor Rick Snyder recently proposed moving away from having private companies provide it. Proos tells WSJM News he’s put together a Senate workgroup to explore training non-violent prisoners to prepare and serve meals at Michigan Department of Corrections facilities.. ...Read Full Story

Jon Cox; With Respect 03/18/18

John’s guest this week is Professor John Cox of Hope College. He is one of the world recognized experts on William Shakespeare. In this show, followed by a sequel next week, they talk about Shakespeare’s life and career in the days of Good Queen Bess. . ...Read Full Story

Changes Coming To Krasl

St. Joseph City Commissioners have given the green light to the Krasl Art Center as it seeks an improvement project for its grounds to attract more visitors. At a meeting this past week, the commission signed off on a Planned Unit Development request for Krasl as it pursues thework. Krasl’s Julia Gourley told WSJM News they’ll add a commissioned sculpture along with some other features.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Talks “Marshall Plan” For Jobs

$100 million is the price tag for Governor Rick Snyder’s ambitious plan to expand job training programs for all ages. Called the “Marshall Plan for Talent,” he tells WSJM News the reaction has been positive from lawmakers so far since he announced the initiative in South Haven last month.. ...Read Full Story

Municipal Group Calls For Infrastructure Funding

The head Michigan’s association of local governments says Uncle Sam needs to dig deeper to help fix our roads. Dan Gilmartin of the Michigan Municipal League told Michigan News Network this week at least an extra billion dollars would help, but it doesn’t cover the need for a mass transit system, which is becoming more and more of a need by businesses coming to Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Talks School Safety

As students protested school violence across the country Wednesday, the U.S. House was voting to increase security in schools. Congressman Fred Upton tells WSJM News the STOP School Violence Act had its vote, passing 407 to 10. It sets aside $75 million for school safety grants to train teachers and others. Upton says he has appreciated high school students getting involved in civics since the Parkland, Florida shootings.. ...Read Full Story

School Officials Get Academics Update

The Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education has received an update on the academic progress of district students since the partnership agreement with the state went into effect. Acting Superintendent Patricia Robinson tells WSJM News there’s been some progress on reading scores, but they’re having trouble increasing math scores. A big part of the problem is the lack of certified math teachers.. ...Read Full Story

Update Planned For War Monument

Changes are coming to the World War I monument along the bluff in downtown St. Joseph. At a meeting this week, the city commission approved moving the plaque listing area World War I soldiers to a more prominent spot at the doughboy statue. It’s currently in the back, often obscured by vegetation. Now, it will be encased in concrete to the side of the statue. They’re also adding a U.S. flag to the monument. A representative of the parks advisory board told commissioners about it Monday.. ...Read Full Story

Humane Society Gets Challenge Grant

A new $700,000 challenge grant has been announced to help the Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan as it prepares to move into its new facility. Humane Society Director Jill Svoboda tells WSJM News the Yeager family, longtime supporters, will match donations, dollar for dollar, to both the organization’s capital fund for the new shelter and its endowment.. ...Read Full Story

Dem Throws Hat In Ring For Senate

There’s a Democrat running for the Michigan Senate in the 26th District. That’s the district currently represented by state Senator Tonya Schuitmaker, covering Van Buren and Allegan counties and part of Kent County. Garnet Lewis is a former Northern Michigan University Trustee and current member of the Saugatuck Planning Commission. She tells WSJM News she was inspired to get back into politics following the election of President Trump.. ...Read Full Story

Calley Launches First TV Ad

From the Associated Press — Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Calley is launching a campaign ad that will run for nearly three weeks on network and cable TV stations. The 30-second ad begins airing Friday. It makes Calley, the state’s lieutenant governor, the second Republican to run ads. Dr. Jim Hines has also aired some ads. Calley’s ad shows him jogging through a town, with more people gradually joining in. He says Michigan’s conservative reforms have led to the creation of more than 500,000 jobs. Calley says the job is not finished, though, and “we’re just getting started.” Calley is among four main Republicans running for governor. Attorney General Bill Schuette is seen as the front-runner, with the primary five months away.. ...Read Full Story

State Does Cyber Security Audit

From the Associated Press — Auditors have flagged the state of Michigan for gaps that could increase the risk of its computer network being hacked. An audit released Friday made 14 findings, including five that are “material” – the most serious. The Office of the Auditor General says the Department of Technology, Management and Budget did not do enough to ensure that only authorized devices access the IT network and did not fully implement an effective process for managing updates to operating systems. Auditors also say conducted an exercise in which nearly one-fifth of 5,000 state employee randomly sample clicked on a “phishing” email and entered their credentials.
A state spokesman says it has already begun to implement many of the auditors’ recommendations, and the data in the state’s network is “safe and secure.”. ...Read Full Story

Smart Thermostat Program Brought To Michigan

A program that brings smart thermostats to southwest Michigan is now available for all customers of Indiana Michigan power. I&M spokesperson Tracy Warner tells us IM Home allows you to install an app on your phone that lets you control your home heat remotely. The app also watches your energy usage and takes steps to reduce it at times when you won’t notice.. ...Read Full Story