Local News Archives

Michigan Education Association Endorses Whitmer For Governor

From the Associated Press — The Michigan Education Association has endorsed Gretchen Whitmer for governor. The approximately 140,000-member union announced its support for Whitmer on Monday. It represents teachers, support staff, higher education faculty and
staff and retirees across Michigan. MEA President Paula Herbart said Whitmer’s support for educators and her commitment to the success of Michigan students makes her the strongest candidate for governor. As Senate Democratic leader, she opposed legislation that took 3
percent out of educator’s paychecks to pay for retiree health care. Whitmer’s mother taught in the Lansing Public Schools, her grandmother taught in Waterford, and her grandfather was a superintendent in Pontiac. The teachers union chose Whitmer over three other Democrats: scientist and businessman Shri Thanedar, ex-Detroit health director Abdul El-Sayed and former Xerox executive Bill Cobbs.. ...Read Full Story

Shadowland Ballroom Saluted By Industry Website

Shadowland Ballroom in St. Joseph has received a distinction from the wedding website The Knot. It’s been listed as a 2018 winner in The Knot Best of Weddings, an award that recognizes wedding professionals based on user ratings. Shadowland Wedding Manager Amy Parnell tells WSJM News only 3% of the roughly 300,000 wedding professionals listed on TheKnot have the same distinction.. ...Read Full Story

Lakeshore Chamber Annual Meeting Next Week

Set for next Monday is the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce annual meeting. To be held at Santinello’s in Stevensville, the meeting will provide guests with business networking opportunities, a dinner, and a business meeting. The keynote speaker will be the Cook nuclear power plant spokesperson Bill Schalk. He’ll talk about the status of the Cook Plant, the economic impact of Indiana Michigan Power in the community, along with volunteer engagement. The Lakeshore Chamber president will also will present an overview of chamber activities for 2017 while laying out the goals and objectives for 2018. The meeting will wrap up with the recognition of the 2017 Business of the Year and the 2017 Community Spirit Award. Anyone who wants to register for the annual meeting should contact the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.. ...Read Full Story

Two Parks Grants Announced For Royalton Township

Royalton Township is the recipient of $300,000 in Michigan Department of Natural Resources grants for parks projects. The DNR this month announced two Land and Water Conservation Fund grants for the township, each for $150,000. One is for Bicentennial Park for the addition of new playground equipment and improved access to walkways. The other grant is for the development of a paved walkway, a parking lot, and a boardwalk at the Bacon School Road Nature Trail. The DNR says the Land and Water Conservation Fund is made up of federal dollars intended to improve recreational opportunities around the state. A total of more than $2.7 million in such grants were announced this month.. ...Read Full Story

LMC Announces MLK Diversity Award Winner

Retired Michigan State Police Trooper Maurice Burton is the recipient of this year’s recipient of the Lake Michigan College Diversity Award. He received the honor at Monday’s 23rd annual LMC Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Celebration. Burton reflected on his 31 years as a Michigan State Police trooper, running local youth programs.. ...Read Full Story

Rising Great Lakes Water Levels Keep MI Companies Busy

From the Associated Press — Rising water levels in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are keeping shoreline stabilization, dock and hoist companies in Michigan busy. The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that the Army Corps of Engineers says water levels for the two lakes averaged 580 feet in December, nearly two feet higher than the long-term average. Officials predict water levels will have an overall increase of 4 to 6 inches this year. Brandon Oaks owns the Silver Lake area-based Pure Harbor Dock and Boat. He says the rising levels means he constantly has work removing old docks and designing new ones that will clear the water. The Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit says water levels depend on snow accumulation across the Great Lakes basin and ice on the lake. ...Read Full Story

Allegan County Worried About Sheriff’s Department Funding

Allegan County authorities are concerned that funding for their sheriff’s department is not what it should be and they are seeking options to increase revenue. County Board Chairman Dean Kapenga of Hamilton, a retired deputy himself, admitted that not enough residents are aware that the resources of the sheriff’s department haven’t kept up with the growth of the county.. ...Read Full Story

Gas Prices Post Another Week-Over-Week Gain

AAA of Michigan says gas prices have increased 8¢ a gallon in the last week, despite gasoline inventories being at a high not seen since September in the Midwest. The latest increase might be because oil prices are near a three-year high. Continued cuts by OPEC nations and Russia are keeping prices high according to GasBuddy’s Patrick DeHaan.. ...Read Full Story

Eau Claire Schools Superintendent Dies

There will be a Celebration of Life Service tomorrow at 11 a.m. at the Eau Claire Student Activities Center for Superintendent David Gray. He died on Friday at the age of 72, and the district is canceling classes for Tuesday. They are also moving the end of the first semester to Friday, January 26 to allow students time to finish their assignments and exams. Along with tomorrow’s service, a visitation will be held this afternoon from 4 to 8 p.m. at Starks & Menchinger Chapel in St. Joseph on Niles Road. Gray will have a private burial at a later date at Caldwell Cemetery in Eau Claire.. ...Read Full Story

Continued Call For Increase In Minimum Wage

Michigan rang in 2018 with a 35 cent hike to the minimum wage, but some say that doesn’t go far enough and want voters to have the final word. This week marked the last of three scheduled increases under a law passed in 2014, taking the state’s minimum wage to $9.25 an hour. The group Michigan One Fair Wage is circulating petitions to put a measure on the November ballot to raise it to $12 an hour by 2022. Alicia Renee Farris chairs the campaign and tells us the state’s lowest earners still need more money.. ...Read Full Story

Heart Of Cook Program Taking Grant Applications

Applications for the Heart of Cook grants are now available. The Berrien Community Foundation tells us Heart of Cook is a program funded by Indiana Michigan Power’s Cook nuclear plant to help non-profit programs in southwest Michigan and northwest Indiana. Educational projects, human services programs that support families, and environmental protection and preservation projects are the focus areas for Heart of Cook. The grant review committee, comprised of Cook plant employees, gives special consideration to projects that involve I&M staff. The program is administered by the Berrien Community Foundation, and applications are available at its website. The deadline to apply is February 9. Last year, the Heart of Cook program gave out more than $52,000 to 36 non-profits. You can find the webpage to apply right here.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department Talks Winter Flu

The explosion in flu cases reported in some parts of the United States this winter hasn’t quite come to Michigan, although flue cases have been up. Berrien County Health Department spokesperson Gillian Conrad tells WSJM News there was a jump in local flu cases toward the end of December. Still, the state is still doing better than many others.. ...Read Full Story

Several Dogs Believed Killed In Mobile Home Fire

Several pet dogs are believed to have been killed in a Sunday morning mobile home fire in South Haven Township. South Haven Area Emergency Services was called to the home just before 8 a.m. in the Lakeshore Mobile Home Park on 16th Avenue. The home was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived, and the person who lives there was able to get out. That resident is being treated at Bronson-South Haven for smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Report Recommends Changes To MI Unemployment System

The Michigan League for Public Policy is calling for several changes to the state’s unemployment insurance system. League Policy Analyst Peter Ruark tells WSJM News the maximum benefit hasn’t been raised since 2002, low-income workers don’t even qualify for help, and the legislature in 2011 reduced the amount of time someone could receive benefits.. ...Read Full Story

Jeff Morley; With Respect 01/14/18

John’s guest this week is Jeff Morley, the author of “The Ghost, the Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Angleton”. They talk of the world of espionage and counterespionage throughout American history, but mostly of the amazing life and work of James Angleton, the second most powerful person in the CIA during the 50s and 60s. He began opening letters of people suspected of being disloyal to the United States, a program which morphed from a few letters a year to what is now the reality of monitoring millions or billions of communications around the world. Jeff talks of the quiet links with J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI. Most unique about this book is his revelation of how Angleton kept close tabs on Lee Harvey Oswald BEFORE the Kennedy assassination. . ...Read Full Story

Parks Grant Going To Paw Paw

State Representative Beth Griffin is saluting a new Michigan Department of Natural Resources Recreational Passport grant for the village of Paw Paw. She tells us funding in the amount of $61,500 has been approved to develop a boat launch and install a natural shoreline at Sunset Park. Money from the grant will also be used to improve the parking lot. Griffin says the project represents a “great partnership” between Paw Paw and the state. She adds this “type of collaboration provides better use of taxpayer dollars and promotes real community partnerships.”. ...Read Full Story

Upton Hoping For DACA Replacement This Month

A replacement for the federal DACA program could be coming by the end of the month. That’s according to Congressman Fred Upton, who tells WSJM News a meeting on immigration reform with President Trump this past week was promising. Upton says most are on the same page when it comes to helping out the young dreamers in the DACA program.. ...Read Full Story