Local News Archives

Report: Road Salt Taking Toll On Waterways

From the Associated Press — Truckloads of road salt used to keep highways ice-free in the winter are starting to take a toll on the environment. Researchers say they’re finding rising salt levels in hundreds of lakes, especially in the Northeast and Midwest where sodium chloride is used most. The findings are raising fears that salting roads could put everything from microscopic zooplankton to fish at risk in coming decades. The environmental concerns – and a desire to reduce costs – have prompted public works agencies in many states and cities to search for ways to cut their salt use. They have turned to high-tech equipment to spread salt more efficiently and better weather forecasting to time their salting. Others are using liquefied organic additives such as beet juice and even cheese brine that help salt stick to pavement.. ...Read Full Story

Police Investigate Convenience Store Break-In

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a convenience store break-in this month. It tells us deputies were sent to the Phillip’s 66 gas station and convenience store on South 11th Street in Niles Township on Friday morning, and learned someone had broken into the store in the overnight hours. The suspects made off with what the sheriff’s department describes as “convenience store items.” Anyone with information on the crime is asked to contact the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department or Crimestoppers. You could be paid up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. The number to Crimestoppers is 1-800-342-STOP.. ...Read Full Story

West MI Prison Closing

From the Associated Press — The Michigan Department of Corrections says it plans to close a correctional facility in March due to a decline in the state’s prison population. The department says it notified staff members Monday at West Shoreline Correctional Facility in Muskegon Heights. The facility built in 1987 has 1,245 prisoners and 174 employees. The closing is expected to save $18.8 million in
the budget. MDOC Director Heidi Washington said in a statement the March 24 shutdown “represents a step in the right direction as we focus on giving offenders the skills they need to be successful in the community so they do not return to prison.” The department says Michigan’s prison population dropped this year below 40,0 for the first time in more than 20 years after peaking in 2007 at 51,554.. ...Read Full Story

DNR Releases Fish Stocking Numbers For 2017

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

Fox News To Stop By South Haven Bakery Tuesday

A Fox News reporter will be on hand Tuesday morning at the Golden Brown Bakery in South Haven to get the thoughts of regular folks ahead of President Trump’s State of the Union. Golden Brown President Dave Braschler tells WSJM News he was thinking about selling donuts and long johns when he agreed to have reporter Mike Tobin chat with guests for the morning.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Speaker Series Announces 2018 Guests

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

Schuette Promises Thorough MSU Investigation

Retired Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth will head up the state attorney general’s investigation of Michigan State University regarding the Larry Nassar scandal. Attorney General Bill Schuette tapped Forsyth for the probe to determine who knew what and when in relation to the sexual abuse done by Nassar to MSU athletes and other patients for two decades. Schuette spoke Saturday about the investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Train Hits Car In Kalamazoo County

From the Associated Press — A passenger train has smashed into a car that became stuck on tracks in southwestern Michigan. Kalamazoo County sheriff’s officials say the Amtrak train hit the car about 10:45 a.m. Monday in Comstock, south of Grand Rapids. The car reportedly slid past a stop sign near an intersection. Roads in the area were snow-covered. The 47-year-old driver was able to get out of the car before the crash and was not injured. Sheriff’s officials say she was ticketed. No injuries were reported on the train.. ...Read Full Story

Governor Denies Temporary Pipeline Shutdown

From the Associated Press — Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has rejected a call to shut down twin oil pipelines in a Great Lakes waterway so their external coating can be inspected for gaps. Snyder told the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board in a letter Monday the state could run short of propane if the flow of oil and liquid natural gas through Enbridge Inc.’s Line 5 were halted during winter. Snyder also  turned down two other proposals from board members. One would renegotiate an agreement with Enbridge to temporarily shut down the pipelines during stormy weather. Another would study ways to supply Michigan with oil and propane without Line 5. The pipeline carries 23 million gallons daily between Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarnia, Ontario. A 5-mile section runs through the waterway linking Lakes
Michigan and Huron.. ...Read Full Story

Jim McCloughan To Attend State Of The Union Address

Southwest Michigan will be represented outside of Congressman Fred Upton at tomorrow night’s State of the Union address from President Trump. U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow is bringing Medal of Honor recipient Jim McCloughan of South Haven as her guest. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Vietnam War in July by Trump. That followed action by Congress and former President Obama to change the time in which a recipient of the nation’s highest military honor can receive it. After his military service, McCloughan was a long-time teacher and coach at South Haven High School.. ...Read Full Story

Deadline Approaching For Credit Monitoring Service

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is reminding state residents the deadline to sign up for free credit monitoring following last year’s data breach at Equifax is coming up at the end of this month. He says no one should have to wonder if they’ve become the victim of identity theft, and that’s why he recommends signing up for credit monitoring. In early October, Equifax announced 2.5 million more consumers were impacted by the breach than originally thought, including almost 80,000 additional Michigan residents. That’s on top of the more than 100 million individuals whose information was initially announced as compromised. In Michigan, the breach has now impacted the personal information of more than 4.6 million consumers. Currently, more than 900 complaints have been filed with the Michigan Attorney General’s office. The deadline to sign up for the credit agency’s monitoring is January 31. You can find out more right here.. ...Read Full Story

LaSata Seeks Information On MSU Handling Of Nassar Case

State Representative Kim LaSata is one of the lawmakers who have sent a letter to Michigan State University seeking information related to the school’s inquiries into sexual assault allegations against former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar. LaSata, who is the chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education, tells WSJM News it’s time for MSU to be transparent when it comes to protecting students from predators.. ...Read Full Story

SWM Business Donates Big To Allegan

The city of Allegan has received a couple of donations from the Perrigo Foundation totaling $260,000. At Monday night’s Allegan City Council meeting, City Manager Joel Dye shared details of the Perrigo gifts. The Foundation is donating $130,000 to build a new splash pad on the site of a former parking lot, and $130,000 to the Allegan District Library. The Perrigo Splash Pad will be part of an ongoing project at Downtown Riverfront Park and will contain places for kids and families to play. The library donation will be used for the new Perrigo Learning Lab for children and the Perrigo STREAM Lab for teens. Perrigo’s Tom Farrington says the drug maker’s “history is intertwined with Allegan’s history.” Allegan is where Perrigo was founded in 1887.. ...Read Full Story

AAA Releases Survey On Self-Driving Cars

Attitudes among American drivers regarding self-driving cars are getting more positive. A survey released by AAA this week found 63% of U.S. drivers are afraid to ride in a self-driving car, a decrease from 78% in early 2017. AAA of Michigan spokesperson Gary Bubar tells us there will be plenty of time for everyone to get used to the idea of autonomous vehicles.. ...Read Full Story

State Police Working With Faith-Based Groups

Michigan State Police have announced they’re looking for volunteers to join the CAUTION initiative. CAUTION stands for Community Action United Team in Our Neighborhood, and it’s a partnership between the MSP and faith groups working to increase trust and communication between law enforcement and residents. The program was started in 2012 in Flint, and later expanded to communities including Benton Harbor. In 2018, the plan is to expand it to all 30 Michigan State Police posts. CAUTION members meet regularly with post personnel to encourage dialog and information-sharing. They can also be activated to respond alongside law enforcement at crime scenes to ease tensions and provide emotional support to residents. The CAUTION volunteers receive training on community relations and security. Anyone interested in signing up for CAUTION in southwest Michigan can contact the Niles or Paw Paw MSP posts.. ...Read Full Story

Amtrak Times Improve Around Michigan

The Michigan Department of Transportation says work it did between 2012 and 2016 to upgrade rail lines has resulted in faster traveling times for two Amtrak routes in the state. Spokesperson Michael Frezell tells WSJM News the Wolverine and Blue Water lines are now shorter thanks to the work MDOT did after buying a portion of their tracks.. ...Read Full Story

Task Force Spreads Awareness About Human Trafficking

The Southwest Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force says it is thrilled Michigan State Police are making push this week to educate the public on the crime. MSP has been visiting rest stops and hotels to tell staff and truckers about how to spot trafficking victims. The Southwest Michigan Human Trafficking Task force’s Cathy Knauf tells WSJM News she appreciates the increasing state police and public awareness.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmakers Review Snyder State Of The State

Lawmakers from southwest Michigan are giving positive marks to Governor Rick Snyder’s State of the State address on Tuesday night. State Senator John Proos has been there for all of Snyder’s addresses, and tells WSJM News he was pleased to see the governor put an emphasis on career and technical training.. ...Read Full Story

Report Finds Access To Healthy Food Lowers Healthcare Costs

SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps, are linked to improved health outcomes and lower healthcare costs, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Brynne Keith-Jennings, a senior research analyst at the center, tells us some of the studies cited in the paper used data going back to the ’60s when the food-stamp program began. Keith-Jennings notes that those studies found long-term health benefits.. ...Read Full Story

MI Wine Council To Also Include Breweries

The Michigan Senate has approved legislation to revise the makeup of the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council and update its name. State Senator John Proos tells WSJM News his plan would change the name of the council to the Michigan Craft Beverage Council. Under the bills, the number of members on the council would be reduced from 12 to 10 and would include representatives from breweries and distilleries. Proos says the state group promoting Michigan’s wine industry should also promote beers and other beverages.. ...Read Full Story