Local News Archives

Talons Out Honor Flight Set For This Month

Talons Out Honor Flight, the group that takes veterans on free trips to Washington, D.C. to see war memorials, is planning its next trip for April 22. Vice President Dan Moyle tells WKZO News by the time it’s finished, they will have taken more than 750 vets to Washington. He’s hoping a big crowd comes to welcome the veterans back to Michigan at Kalamazoo Christian Middle School the night of the trip.. ...Read Full Story

Free Pet Adoption Day Coming Up

The Grand Rapids-based Bissell Pet Foundation is once again planning to empty out the shelters this month. Last year, the group helped find homes for more than 2,800 cats and dogs with a couple of events in which it paid the adoption expenses at shelters around the state. Spokesperson Holly Kroeze tells WSJM News they’re doing it again April 29.. ...Read Full Story

UPDATE — Police Identify Victim In Friday Shooting

The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety has identified the man killed in a shooting outside the Salvation Army on Friday. They say 30-year-old John Conyers had come to the area from Tampa, Florida about six months ago. He was employed locally and staying at the Salvation Army. Conyers was shot and killed near the parking lot about 8 p.m. Friday. An autopsy was done in Grand Rapids on Saturday, and the death has been ruled a homicide. Police are still looking for a suspect, and anyone with information on the case is asked to contact them.. ...Read Full Story

One Arrested In Benton Harbor Shooting

The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety has arrested one suspect in a Saturday shooting. It happened in the late evening hours at River Terrace apartments, and the victim has been identified as 22 year-old Ronald Hill, of Benton Harbor. Upon arrival at the scene, police detained several people and were able to identify their suspect through interviews. He was taken to the Berrien County Jail and his name has not yet been released. The victim was taken to Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph, and is expected to recover. Michigan State Police are assisting Benton Harbor Public Safety in the investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Crime Victims Honored With New Plaque At Berrien Courthouse

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

Andrews University International Food Fair Today

Today brings 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 will take place from noon to 7 p.m. at the Johnson Gym on campus.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Supportive Of Strike On Syria

Congressman Fred Upton has come out in favor of the missile strike ordered Thursday by President Donald Trump on Syria. He’s issued a statement, saying he believes “these targeted, measured airstrikes were an appropriate response to the unfolding atrocities.” However, Upton also says the president should work with Congress on dealing with Syria as he moves forward. The president ordered more than 50 Tomahawk missiles fired on a Syrian air base this week after Syria launched a chemical attack on one of its rebel-held cities on Tuesday.. ...Read Full Story

One Dead In Benton Harbor Shooting

The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety is investigating a fatal shooting on Friday night. It tells us officers were called to 233 Michigan Street, outside the Salvation Army, around 7:50 p.m. They arrived to find a 30-year-old man severely wounded by gunfire. He was taken to Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph, where he was pronounced dead. His name has not yet been released, and police are investigating the circumstances of the shooting. Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Benton Harbor Public Safety.. ...Read Full Story

Everyone Reminded To Stay Away From Downed Power Lines

Everyone’s reminded to keep a safe distance from downed power lines following this week’s wind storm. Most utilities say the safe distance is about 25 feet. The Lincoln Township Fire Department is also issuing a warning after a close call on Friday. In a Facebook post, it says someone picked up a downed power line that was wrapped in a tree along Lincoln Avenue. Luckily for that person, the line was dead. If you do find a downed power line, you should call the fire department. It has voltage detectors that can be used to determine whether the line is dangerous. You can also notify the electric company.. ...Read Full Story

Longtime Andrews University Symphony Director Stepping Down

The Andrews University Wind Symphony will present its annual spring concert on April 23, and it will be the last performance of the symphony’s longtime director. Alan Mitchell has directed the ensemble for nearly three decades, and he’s retiring this summer. The Wind Symphony will perform Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland, Overture to Candide by Leonard Bernstein, and Irish Tune from County Derry by Percy Granger, among other pieces. The program will also have two soloists on hand. The retiring Alan Mitchell will be on trombone. Anyone who wants tickets can get them at the Andrews University website or at the box office.. ...Read Full Story

Comerica Park Unveils New Food Options On Opening Day

Friday was opening day for the Detroit Tigers, and Comerica Park Chef Marc Szubeczak came up with a new menu for the year. He’s added some healthy options like Chicken Shawarma nachos, which replaces the standard tortilla chips with chips made out of toasted pita. However, he told Michigan News Network there are also options if you want to break your diet.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Lighthouse Project Wins Statewide Award

The lighthouse restoration project in St. Joseph has received a statewide honor. It’s getting the Michigan Historic Preservation Network 2017 Building Award. The MHPN is a non-profit that recognizes efforts to preserve Michigan’s history. Heritage Museum and Cultural Center Interim Director Tracy Gierada tells WSJM News the work done by volunteers to fix up the North Pier Inner and Outer Lights in St. Joe deserves praise.. ...Read Full Story

Today Is National Beer Day

Today is National Beer Day. It came just as as heavy tailgating took place in Detroit for the Tigers home opener. When it comes pairing the perfect beer with your snack of choice, master brewer Tom Block told Michigan News Network he has a suggestion for a good beer when eating a hot dog. It’s a Michigan craft beer.. ...Read Full Story

United Way Report Examines The Working Poor

The United Way has compiled a report on the condition of working families in Michigan and found low-wage jobs are prevailing. United Way of Southwest Michigan Program Director Doug Ferrall tells WSJM they’ve identified a class of workers they’re calling ALICE. That is, Asset Limited, Income Constrained, but still Employed. He says ALICE workers aren’t poor. Yet, they have few assets, struggle with child care and healthcare, and are one emergency away from disaster.. ...Read Full Story

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