Local News Archives

Michigan Increases Solid Waste Intake

Last year, the state of Michigan increased its intake of solid waste, or trash, by 3.1% over 2016. That’s a somewhat projected figure, according to Tiffany Brown with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. She spoke with Michigan News Network about the state’s recycling goals.. ...Read Full Story

Report: Sexual Assault Even More Prevalent Off-Campus

Michigan State University and others have been in the spotlight with high-profile cases of sexual assault. A new report doesn’t dispute the big problems on campus, but it makes the point that women who don’t attend college are at even greater risk. The six-year study found that one in four women will experience “forced intercourse” by age 44. Researcher Bill Axinn, a University of Michigan professor, says there’s no question it’s deeply disturbing that the risk of sexual assault is as high as 20% per year for undergraduates.. ...Read Full Story

DNR Stocks 830,000 Fish

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources stocked the state’s inland lakes with more than 830,000 fish in the fall of 2017. The numbers were released on Monday, and DNR Fish Production Manager Ed Eisch tells WSJM News the species dropped into Michigan lakes include trout, salmon, and walleye. He notes the state has been stocking lakes with fish since the late 1800s.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Welcomes News Of Prison Closure

State Senator John Proos says the planned closure of a state prison this spring in Muskegon is a sign that efforts to reduce crime and prevent repeat offenses among inmates are working. He tells WSJM News the March shuttering of the West Shoreline Correctional Facility in Muskegon will save millions of dollars.. ...Read Full Story

New Location Selected For Summer Wine Festival

This year’s Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival will be held in a different venue. Traditionally, the event has been held each summer at Weko Beach in Bridgman, but the Michigan Tourism Council tells us it’s being moved this year to Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer to accommodate bigger crowds as the event grows. The date remains the same. The event has always been the third Saturday in June, with this year’s date falls on Saturday, June 16. Organizers tell us the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival brings all of the wineries of the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail together in one location for guests to sample wines. That includes southwest Michigan wineries like Contessa Wine Cellars, St. Julian Winery, and Lemon Creek Winery. Moving the festival to Warren Dunes this summer will also give attendees a chance to go exploring the dunes. Tickets are already on sale, and you can find out more at LakeMichiganWineFest.com.. ...Read Full Story

SWM Housing Market Shows Continued Improvement

The southwest Michigan housing market finished 2017 continuing to sizzle. According to the latest numbers from the Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors, 2017 home sales in the region were up 4% over 2016. However, the market did slightly slow down in December, with monthly sales slipping 7% from December of the previous year. The assocation tells us housing inventory in December slipped to an all-time low, falling to a 4.4 months supply of houses for sale the final month of 2017. When comparing 2017 to 2016 as a whole, the average selling price in the region was up 9%, and the average price in just December of 2017 was up a whopping 16% over December of the previous year. The Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors tells us it enters 2018 excited to be well past the recession. The group adds in its latest report, it’s “been a long road back from the 2006, the previous peak year.”. ...Read Full Story

Girls On The Run Gets Upton Foundation Grant

Girls on the Run is the recipient of a $5,000 grant from the Frederick S. Upton Foundation. Girls in the Run is a program that works with girls in the third through the eighth grades, teaching them proper health and life practices while helping them develop a strong sense of self-worth. It all culminates in a 5 K run each spring. The organization tells us the $5,000 grant aligns with the Frederick S. Upton Foundation’s mission “To Love Our Community.” Girls on the Run Southwest Michigan anticipates hosting 60 sites with 105 teams serving 1,400 girls during the 2018 spring season. Anyone who wants to know more about the organization can go to GOTRSWMI.org.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Talks Legislation To Protect Athletes

Congressman Fred Upton is hailing this week’s House passage of legislation designed to protect athletes from sexual predators. He tells us the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 passed 406 to 3 on Monday. Upton says the Larry Nassar scandal is an example of what can go wrong in an athletic program.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren Sheriff To Offer Severe Weather Spotting Class

Coming up this spring in Van Buren County will be another round of Skywarn severe weather training. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department tells us the class will be held at Paw Paw High School on March 9. Anyone who attends can learn how to become a weather spotter. A representative of the National Weather Service will be on hand to teach the class. Everyone’s welcome to the event. Anyone with questions can contact the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department’s Office of Domestic Preparedness at 269-657-7786.. ...Read Full Story

LMC Selling Tiny House

How would you like to live in a 102 square foot house? Lake Michigan College is offering you chance to get one. It tells us in addition to the annual Winner’s Circle Benefit Auction set for March 3, the Lake Michigan College Foundation is now accepting bids online for a fully-functional tiny house built by students a few years ago as they learned about sustainable construction practices. The house is on a 7 by 14 foot trailer, and is built according to plans from Tumbleweed Tiny Houses. It comes equipped with a full kitchen, bathroom, loft/bedroom, and living room. Bids on the tiny house begin at $1,000, and should be submitted through LakeMichiganCollege.edu/Auction. Bidding ends the same time as the Winner’s Circle Benefit Auction, which is 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 3.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren, Cass Flu Shot Clinics Next Week

The Van Buren and Cass District Health Department is planning some flu shot clinics for next week in Hartford and Dowagiac. Van Buren and Cass Medical Director Larry Wile tells WSJM News it’s pretty late in the season to get the flu vaccine, but the shot is still recommended. It may only be 30% effective, but Wise says it can reduce the severity of symptoms.. ...Read Full Story

Fatal Snowmobile Crash

A woman is dead following a snowmobile crash in Hagar Township. Just after 1:30 Saturday morning first responders were dispatched to a wooded area in the 4700 Block of Carmody Road for a reported single unit snowmobile crash. When they arrived, they were guided to the deceased body of a 43 year old female from Owosso. Initial investigations suggest the female passenger was ejected from the snowmobile and received a fatal head injury. A 41 year old Owosso man was the driver of the snowmobile and he received serious injuries to his back and pelvis. He was transported to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo and is listed in serious but stable condition. Both the driver and passenger were not wearing helmets. Police say a preliminary investigation suggests alcohol may have been a contributing factor. The investigation is ongoing and names are being withheld pending family notification.. ...Read Full Story

SMC Faculty Begins To Unionize

Faculty at Southwestern Michigan College have some extra work to do now that they have voted to unionize. In a vote tallied Friday, SMC’s 58 full-time employees opted to sign up with the Michigan Education Association. The MEA’s David Crimm told WSJM News what’s next.. ...Read Full Story

I&M Staff Helping Out In Puerto Rico

Nine linemen from Indiana Michigan Power will be working 12 to 16 hours per day, seven days a week for the next month. That’s because they’re in Puerto Rico helping to restore power following September’s hurricane. I&M spokesperson Schnee Garrett tells WSJM News they’re in a hard-to-reach place.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Doctor’s Office Raided

A doctor’s office in South Haven has been raided by the Southwest Enforcement Team. Officers searched the unnamed office in the city Thursday. Police tell us the initial investigation indicated normal prescription practices involving scheduled narcotics were possibly not being followed, so a judge granted the Southwest Enforcement Team a search warrant. The DEA’s Drug Diversion Unit and Southwest Enforcement Team detectives are now sifting through documents they seized. No criminal charges have been sought at this point, as this investigation still continues. The name of the doctor has not been released pending a review by the prosecutor.. ...Read Full Story

Teen Arrested After Chase With Police

A 17-year-old girl from Benton Harbor is facing charges after a chase with police in Niles this week. The Niles Police Department tells us deputies with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department were called to the Walmart on South 11th Street in Niles Township around 5 p.m. Thursday on a report of shoplifting in progress. When they arrived, they spotted the suspect running through the parking lot away from Walmart loss prevention officers. She got into a 2006 Mercury and took off. The Mercury hit three parked vehicles as the suspect pulled out into South 11th Street. She didn’t stop for the sheriff’s deputies when they turned on their lights. A chase ensued and ended when the Mercury crashed into another vehicle on Ontario Road. That’s when the 17-year-old suspect gave up. She’s now facing charges of retail fraud, reckless driving, and fleeing and eluding.. ...Read Full Story

FIRST Robotics Students Head To Lansing

Some FIRST Robotics students from Berrien County testified this week in the Michigan Senate about legislation co-sponsored by state Senator John Proos to require better vision testing for students in the state. Members of the CW Tech Robotarians, a FIRST Robotics team that includes kids from Coloma, Watervliet, and Lake Michigan Catholic, were there Wednesday. They and their coach talked about a CW Tech robotics teammate who was diagnosed with an eye disorder that makes it difficult to read. The students who testified this week were in support of Senate Bill 411, which would require a comprehensive eye and vision exam for a child who fails their already-required grade school vision screening. Proos tells us catching and treating vision problems in children early can help improve their academic performance.. ...Read Full Story

Lineup Announced For South Haven Speaker Series

The next lineup of the South Haven Speaker Series has been announced. Speaker Series President Mark Odland tells WSJM News the first engagement will be this April when Hope College Associate Professor of History Fred Johnson speaks about the struggles of black Americans. The following month, former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer will stop by.. ...Read Full Story

I-94 Back Open Following Pileup

Michigan State Police are investigating a multi-vehicle crash on westbound I-94 near Hartford Friday morning. It happened around 9:20 a.m. during periods of heavy lake effect snow. The crash involved 17 semis and 12 passenger cars, and an exact number of injuries is still being determined. At least one individual was pinned in his vehicle for a short period of time.. ...Read Full Story

Judge Won’t Punish Dad Who Charged At Nassar

From the Associated Press — A judge says there’s “no way” she’ll punish a father of three victims of Larry Nassar after the dad tried to attack the former sports doctor in a Michigan courtroom. Randall Margraves apologized Friday, a few hours after he charged toward Nassar
during a sentencing hearing in Eaton County, Michigan. Judge Janice Cunningham says a punishment isn’t appropriate based on the crimes committed by Nassar and the anguish felt by families. But she also says it’s wrong to “combat assault with assault.” Cunningham could have given Margraves a jail sentence or fine as she considered whether to hold him in contempt of court. Nassar must listen to scores of victims before he’s sentenced next week for sexual assault. He’s admitted molesting young gymnasts. He’s already been sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison in another county.. ...Read Full Story

New App Connects Residents With Federal Benefits

A new mobile app has been released by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for those who use the Women, Infants and Children program. Spokesperson Lynn Sutfin tells WSJM News the WIC app will make it easier for potential and current clients to access benefits, schedule appointments, and find other program information. She says WIC has about 235,000 clients in Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

AAA Issues Big Game Safety Reminder

With Super Bowl Sunday this weekend, AAA of Michigan is asking all sports fans to remember the dangers of driving drunk. Spokesperson Gary Bubar tells WSJM News it’s your responsibility to arrange for a ride if you’re consuming alcohol. There are also responsibilities for those who throw parties.. ...Read Full Story