Local News Archives

One Arrested In St. Joseph Twp Heroin Bust

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department has arrested a Benton Harbor man as part of a heroin bust in St. Joseph Township. It tells us officers raised a home along Parker Avenue on Thursday afternoon after gathering evidence drugs were being sold there. During their search, officers found seven grams of heroin, worth about $900, along with marijuana and an assault rifle. Turns out that rifle had been stolen out of Benton Township. 36-year-old Reuben Holliday the Third was arrested on several drug charges. He’s now in the Berrien County Jail.. ...Read Full Story

Utilities Expect All Outages To Be Restored By Late Tonight

Tens of thousands of Michigan residents are still waiting for their power to be restored following Thursday’s wind storm. DTE, on the east side of the state, was working to restore power to just under 38,000 customers Friday afternoon, while Consumers Energy spokesperson Brian Wheeler told Michigan News Network they’ve made a lot of progress from having almost 80,000 out at the storm’s peak.. ...Read Full Story

Wayne County Circuit Court Gets The Day Off

The court that serves Michigan’s largest county can’t compete with the first home game for the Detroit Tigers. Wayne County Circuit Court says Friday is a holiday for jurors. No one needs to report to the two courthouses that handle criminal and civil cases. Why? Parking is simply too tough around Comerica Park.. ...Read Full Story

I&M Power Restoring Continues

Indiana Michigan Power has restored service to more than two-thirds of customers who lost power as a result of heavy wind gusts on Thursday. Service is expected to be restored to the remaining customers – most of them in southwest Michigan – by 11 p.m.. ...Read Full Story

Crews Working to Restore Power

Crews are working to restore power to thousands of customers in Michigan after storms packing high winds, snow and heavy rain hit the state. Authorities say Thursday’s weather was a factor in at least one death, a fatal crash on snowy roads in southwestern Michigan. DTE Energy says nearly 50,000 of its customers lost power. Thursday’s mix of snow and rain across much of Michigan also caused flooding.. ...Read Full Story

Gobles Woman Dies in Crash

County Deputies say a PT Cruiser driven by a woman from Van Buren County passed a Dodge Ram pick-up headed toward Kalamazoo Thursday morning. Deputies say she was going too fast in the slushy conditions, went out of control and was struck when she veered into the path of the trailing pick-up. Dead is 57-year-old Kelli Roberts of Gobles.  The driver of the pickup, a 38-year-old man from Mattawan was not injured.. ...Read Full Story

Workshops To Provide Information On Great Lakes Fish

From the Associated Press — A series of spring workshops has been scheduled to provide information about the status of fish populations in Michigan’s Great Lakes waters and Lake St. Clair. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is sponsoring the events with other agencies and local organizations, including Michigan Sea Grant and the U. S. Geological Survey’s Great Lakes Science Center. Workshops are free and open to the public. Officials say they should be helpful to anglers, charter captains, resource professionals and other community members.
They’ll focus topics such as fish survey numbers, angler catch data, invasive species and fisheries management. Pre-registration is requested for most workshops. Schedules and other details are available on the Michigan Sea Grant website.. ...Read Full Story

Wind, Snow Cause Hazardous Conditions Around Michigan

From the Associated Press — A mix of snow and rain across much of Michigan is causing hazardous driving conditions and bringing the threat of flooding in places. Snow fell Thursday across a wide swath of the Lower Peninsula, including the Lansing and Kalamazoo areas. WOOD-TV reports part of U.S. highway 131 in  Kalamazoo County reopened to traffic after being shut when vehicles got stuck in snow. Utilities reported several thousand scattered power outages. High winds were expected to cause waves to build to 14 to 18 feet along Lake Michigan. On the eastern side of Michigan, the National Weather Service issued a flood warning for several rivers. MLive.com reports that at Wenonah Park in Bay City
waves crashed over the seawall. The city is located along Saginaw Bay, which is part of Lake Huron.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien Court Officials, Volunteers Honor Crime Victims

The victims of crime are now permanently honored at the Berrien County Courthouse in St. Joseph. On Thursday, Prosecutor Mike Sepic and representatives from several groups that help victims dedicated a plaque and a flower bed right out front honoring those directly hurt by crime. County Victim Services Coordinator Carolyn Groen told WSJM News they wanted to send a message.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Remains Supportive Of Intelligence Investigations

Congressman Fred Upton is in support of the decision by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes to step down from an investigation into whether Russia meddled in last year’s presidential election. That’s after Nunes came under fire this week by Democrats for, in their view, doing the White House’s bidding in the investigation Congressman Upton, a Republican from St. Joseph, writes in a statement, “Based on what happened, it’s appropriate that Chairman Nunes steps away from this investigation.” Upton then goes on to say he’s confident the House investigation into Russia’s influence will be professional and bipartisan, adding “we must follow the facts wherever they may lead.”. ...Read Full Story

Alleged Scammer Busted In Allegan County

The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department has arrested two suspects in a logging scam. It tells WSJM News one of the suspects provided fake paperwork to a logging company suggesting he owned property he was asking them to log late last month. After signing a contract, the company paid the suspect and started to work on that land. That’s when they were contacted by the real owner of the property. Police note a similar incident was reported in Three Rivers in early March. The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday released photos of the suspect, and tells us tips from the public helped lead investigators to that person. Two have been arrested in the case, and some of the money scammed from the logging company was recovered. The names of the suspects have not yet been released.. ...Read Full Story

Detroit Officials Kick Off “Motor City Makeover”

From the Associated Press — City officials are expected to release details of an annual cleanup project that removes blight and bolsters pride in Detroit. Mayor Mike Dugan and community organizations will attend the kickoff for the 2017 Motor City Makeover at noon Thursday at the Northwest Activities Center. The city says this year’s “Motor City Makeover 365” theme will emphasize year-round beautification efforts. Volunteers help clean around homes, businesses, churches and schools, and board up vacant houses. The planting of flowers, plants or trees also is encouraged. A new website that allows people to connect with volunteer opportunities also will be announced Thursday.. ...Read Full Story

Canada Seeking More Info On Plan To Store Nuclear Waste Near Great Lakes

From the Associated Press — Canadian officials are requesting more information from a company that wants to store waste from nuclear power plants underground less than a mile from Lake Huron. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency sent a 17-page letter Wednesday
to Ontario Power Generation, which has proposed burying low- and intermediate-level waste such as clothing and discarded machinery 2,230 feet below the earth’s surface. The company prefers a site at the Bruce Power Generating Station near Kincardine, Ontario. But at the government’s request, it offered two alternative sites in a January report. In its letter Wednesday, the Canadian agency asked for more detail about how the alternative sites were chosen. It raised questions about rock stability and factors such as radiological risks during transportation, accidents and the possibility of acid generation and metal leaching.. ...Read Full Story

Carbon Monoxide Legislation

The death of a 13-year-old boy from Carbon Monoxide poisoning at a Niles motel could result in state legislation designed to prevent similar incidents from happening. Bryan Watts died and a dozen others required treatment at area hospitals after a faulty ventilator fan allowed the deadly gas to build up around an indoor pool at the Quality Inn in Niles. Senator Steve Bieda told MIRS news that he plans to reexamine the requirements for the installation of Carbon Monoxide detectors in hotels and motels. The current rule only required that they be in facilities built after the law passed in 2009, because they were cheaper to install during construction. Since then the price for the detectors have dropped considerably.. ...Read Full Story

Kalamazoo Native Getting Show On Comedy Central

A Kalamazoo native is getting a new show on Comedy Central. Jordan Klepper, who has been a Daily Show correspondent since 2014, is getting the weekdays at 11:30 p.m. timeslot, which was previously occupied by Larry Wilmore’s Nightly Show and The Colbert Report. Klepper is a graduate of Kalamazoo Central High School and Kalamazoo College, where he was once in an improv group. He’s also been in the Upright Citizens Brigade. No word yet on the title of Klepper’s new show, but Comedy Central says it will take “a skeptical look at institutions and whether or not they are worthy of trust.” It’ll start airing in the fall.. ...Read Full Story

Andrews University International Food Fair This Weekend

This weekend will bring the annual Andrews University International Food Fair. The Berrien Springs university tells us it usually gets around 8,000 visitors for the event. This time around, they’ll offer samplings from nearly two dozen ethnic clubs, including the Korean Club, Peruvian Club, Brazilian Club, Indian Club and Haitian Club, among others. Everyone’s invited, and there’s a small fee to get in. The proceeds will go to the clubs organizing the event. The International Food Fair is set for Sunday, April 9 from noon to 7 p.m. at the Johnson Gym on campus.. ...Read Full Story

Family Dollar, Payless Shoes Closing In Benton Township

The Benton Harbor area is losing a couple of retailers. The closures come as a result of cuts at the national level for the two chains. First up, Moody on the Market reports the Family Dollar on M-139 in the Benton Square Shopping Center is shutting down. Its corporate owner is shuttering 20 locations around the country, and six people at the Benton Township location will lose their jobs as a result. There are still several other Family Dollar locations around Berrien county. The other local retailed closing is the Payless Shoes in the Orchards Mall. It’s among nearly 400 Payless locations closing as a result of the parent company’s bankruptcy.. ...Read Full Story

MI Psychiatric Hospital Sued Over Tired Employees

From the Associated Press — A lawsuit filed on behalf of hundreds of involuntary patients at a Michigan mental health hospital says mandatory overtime for employees is endangering patients. The Detroit News reports the federal complaint argues that the rules lead to exhausted employees who are unable to control some patients’ violent behavior. The lead plaintiff is Alan Teasel, a patient at the Caro Center psychiatric
hospital in Tuscola County. The suit alleges Teasel has observed “increased violence among patients” as residential care aides have been forced to work more overtime shifts. Lawyers are seeking class-action status to cover the center’s more than 600 patients. The lawsuit says changes would also protect employees. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services runs the center. A spokesman says the agency can’t comment on pending litigation.. ...Read Full Story

Four Arrested In Niles Business Break-In

Four people have been arrested over the break-in to a business in Niles. Local police tell us officers responded to a report of a burglary in progress at Schrader Metal on Tuesday when a neighboring business owner spotted four people trying to force their way in. When officers arrived, they found the suspects. They are one adult, identified as Branden Himminger, and three juveniles. All four confessed to breaking into the business and doing significant damage in the process. Some of them also admitted to breaking into Simplicity Pattern on two different occasions in March. Police say thousands of dollars of damage was done in those break-ins. Charges are being sought against all four.. ...Read Full Story

Tuesday Was Equal Pay Day In Michigan

Tuesday marked Equal Pay Day, the day that symbolizes how far into the new year a woman must work to equal a man’s wages from the previous year. According to a new report, the goal of pay equity still is decades away in Michigan. Julie Anderson, with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, tells us in addition to a shift in policies, the state and the country will need a cultural shift in order to really make a dent in the wage gap.. ...Read Full Story

Lansing To Become A “Sanctuary City”

From the Associated Press — The Lansing City Council has voted to designate Lansing as a sanctuary city for immigrants living in the U.S. without legal permission. The resolution was approved unanimously Monday night. Lansing had already deemed itself a “welcoming city” and doesn’t have its police department ask people for their immigration status except as required by federal or state law or court decision. Mayor Virg Bernero before the meeting released a related executive order spelling out the city’s policies. President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw federal funding from sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Bernero said he is confident that Lansing’s policies don’t violate federal law, but “we are also prepared to take legal action to protect the prerogatives and powers of local government and local law enforcement.”. ...Read Full Story

Police Investigate Property Destruction Wave In Niles

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a property destruction spree in Niles. It says there were about 32 incidents reported between February 27 and March 31 around the Niles Township Fulkerson Park area. They involved damage to mailboxes, smashed vehicle windshields, slashed tires, and damage to satellite dishes. Crimestoppers is offering to pay up to $1,000 for information leading to whoever is responsible. You can reach Crimestoppers at 1-800-342-STOP.. ...Read Full Story

SMC To Offer Classes On Potawatomi Language

Southwestern Michigan College is planning to offer classes in the Potawatomi language this fall. This is the first time the college has ever taught Pottawatomi, and the move is in response to some local requests to help keep the language alive. The SMC class will be taught by Tribal Elder Kevin Daughtery, who also taught two trial classes this year. The classes will be open to anyone, and they will fulfill a humanities requirement and also used to satisfy part of the world languages requirement at local high schools. SMC says the decline of Potawatomi started in the 1830 when bands except the Pokagons were removed to Oklahoma and Kansas. The Potawatomi language is a subgroup of the Algonquin family, related to Ojibwe and Odawa.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Opposing Cuts To National Institutes Of Health

Congressman Fred Upton is calling on the director of the Office of Management and Budget to express opposition to large cuts proposed for the National Institutes of Health. Upton has co-authored a letter with Colorado Democrat Diana DeGette praising the NIH for the work it does to research diseases. They write the NIH “saves millions of lives every year making the basic discoveries that allow businesses to develop new treatments, medications, and cures for patients.” They also cite the economic benefits of having a well-funded NIH. Just last year, Upton and DeGette worked together on securing passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, which boosted funding to the NIH. President Trump’s proposed federal budget would slash the NIH’s funding by $5.8 billion, or 20%.. ...Read Full Story

U.P. Prosecutor Won’t File Charges In Sexting Probe Involving Hundreds

From the Associated Press — An Upper Peninsula prosecutor says he won’t file charges following an investigation into the exchange of sexually explicit images among hundreds of high school students. Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Wiese announced Tuesday that
exchanging the images via social media could be considered criminal but did not warrant the filing of charges. Wiese says he’s confident that “parents and school officials will give this matter the attention it deserves.” He says school officials, students and parents have cooperated in the investigation by surrendering phones and other electronic devices so the explicit material could be removed. Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Jay Peterson tells The Marquette Mining Journal  the investigation grew to include hundreds of students from six Marquette County school districts.. ...Read Full Story

State Pilot Program

Governor Snyder and M-DOT Director Kirk Steudle are introducing a pilot program that he hopes will help the state get better at fixing infrastructure. The plan is to coordinate all the departments that works on roads, sewers, broadband and energy. Snyder says the program will help in areas like the flooding last September.. ...Read Full Story

BH City Commissioners Salute Blues And R&B Fest

This July will bring the 20th anniversary of the Old School Blues and R&B Fest at Jean Klock Park, and city commissioners have saluted its organizers. On Monday, they heard from festival promoter Lee Kirsky, who updated them on the plans for this year. Kirsky told WSJM News the spirit of the blues fest has always been the same.. ...Read Full Story

White House Targets MI Congressman

A tweet from White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino, Jr. is urging the primary defeat of Congressman Justin Amash, who is a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus criticized by the president. Oakland University Political Science Department Chair Dave Dulio tells Michigan News Network this latest situation doesn’t help the president.. ...Read Full Story

Cedar Point Hiring 5,000 Summer Workers

If you are looking for a fun way to spend your summer, Cedar Point amusement park is hiring 5,000 people. On top of getting paid for the experience, associates receive free admission to both Cedar Point and Cedar Point Shores Water Park, along with free tickets for friends and family. Spokesperson Kristy Bacni tells Michigan News Network the amusement park is a great place to work.. ...Read Full Story

BH Commissioners Set Goals For City Manager

A list of goals for the city manager this year has been approved by Benton Harbor City Commissioners. On Monday night, they identified the most pressing priorities as potholes, the sewer and drain lines, and dead trees. They want an immediate plan for dealing with those problems. Mayor Marcus Muhammad told WSJM News he aims for 2017 to be a year of action.. ...Read Full Story

State Recognizing Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning is using the month of April to spread awareness to drivers about the dangers of being distracted behind the wheel. Spokesperson Anne Readett tells WSJM News the numbers for distracted driving crashes are probably grossly underreported because people are reluctant to volunteer such information to police. However, she warns everyone that when you’re driving, your focus should be on the road.. ...Read Full Story

Bridgman Chamber Hoping To Attract Hotel Developer

A push is being made to get a hotel for the Bridgman area. Calli Berg, with the Greater Bridgman Area Chamber of Commerce, tells WSJM News they’ve conducted a study and found the area could support a hotel with up to 85 rooms. Not only could tourists use it, but the Cook plant would be well-served, as it routinely brings in thousands of contractors. Berg is now hoping to court developers.. ...Read Full Story

Consumers Energy Warns About Carbon Monoxide Risks

You should have a carbon monoxide detector in your home and make sure your furnace is operating properly. That’s what Debra Dodd, of Consumers Energy, says following the death of a 13-year-old boy over the weekend from carbon monoxide poisoning in Niles. Several others were injured when a fire inspector says a pool heater at the Quality Inn and Suites had improper ventilation. Dodd tells Michigan News Network there are several symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Teen Charged In Sexual Assault Of Letter Carrier

A 16-year-old boy from Benton Harbor is charged with kidnapping in the sexual assault of a postal worker on Friday. The Berrien County Prosecutor’s office tells WSJM News the female letter carrier was delivering mail in the area of McAllister Street around noon when the teen allegedly dragged her off to the side of his home and assaulted her. He then went back inside. Benton Harbor Public Safety officers found him there not long after. The teen is now in the Berrien County Juvenile Detention Center with bond set at $150,000. In addition to kidnapping, he’s charged with second degree criminal sexual conduct. If charged as an adult, kidnapping comes with a penalty of up to life in prison.. ...Read Full Story

One Dead In Fiery Allegan County Crash

One man is dead following a fiery crash in Allegan County Sunday. The sheriff’s department tells us deputies were called out to an area near 138th Avenue and 24th Street in Dorr Township shortly after midnight. Initially, the report was about a loud bonfire, but while deputies were still on their way, they got another call telling them it was, in fact, a vehicle on fire. Once firefighters put out the blaze, the victim was found inside. He’s been identified as Robert Miklusicak. Police determined he failed to stop for a stop sign at the T-intersection of 138th Avenue. The vehicle then left the road, hit a tree, and flipped several times. Police are still investigating other circumstances of the crash.. ...Read Full Story

Gas Prices Up This Week

Gas prices have risen to start out the week. AAA estimates the average price around Michigan is $2.45 per gallon, an increase over last week of 15 cents. Gas Buddy’s Patrick DeHaan tells WKZO News crude prices have been rising.. ...Read Full Story

Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail Improvements Planned

From the Associated Press — Officials in northern Indiana are working to raise money to pave a gap in a recreational trail extending to the Michigan state line. The South Bend Tribune reports that the public can donate on May 9 as part of Give Local, where local charities are vying for dollars. The Bike Michiana Coalition has pledged to match up to $15,000 of whatever is donated to a St. Joseph County, Indiana, parks fund on that day. The newspaper says county officials also could give up to $225,000 in tourism funding to extend the trail. Both efforts would fill some of the final gaps in the 34-mile-long Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail that follows the St. Joseph River from Mishawaka, Indiana, to Niles, Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

National Work Zone Awareness Week

It’s the time of year when construction crews and orange barrels spring into action, and that means driving through work zones. Last year in Michigan, there were 4,908 work zone crashes and 17 people lost their lives. Most of those crashes were preventable. Today kicks off National Work Zone Awareness Week, where safety agencies across the nation join forces in an effort to increase awareness about the importance of work zone safety. This year’s theme for National Work Zone Awareness Week is “Work zone safety is in your hands.” They are asking you to show your support by wearing orange this Wednesday, April 5.. ...Read Full Story