Local News Archives

No Major Problems At Silver Beach For Independence Day

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department says it was a peaceful Fourth of July weekend at Silver Beach. The department this year stepped up patrols at the county park in St. Joseph after a disturbance prior to last year’s fireworks show. It says, in all, 28 citations were issued, 24 of them for having alcohol on the beach. In addition, 15 arrests were made over the weekend, all misdemeanors that included possession of marijuana, minor in possession, and drunk driving. The sheriff’s department adds it responded to 21 service calls at the beach, many of which were missing children and all of whom were found. It thanks its partner agencies and southwest Michigan residents for helping to keep Independence Day safe.. ...Read Full Story

Paw Paw Lotto Winners Buy Local Bar

A million-dollar Powerball win three years ago by a Paw Paw couple has resulted in them buying the bar where they purchased their lucky ticket. The story of Jeff and Robin McCarty is being highlighted this week by the Michigan Lottery as one of the success stories of the multi-state game. They kept their jobs and used their winnings to buy a new house, and then this spring purchased Mike’s North 40 on M-40 in Paw Paw. The name was changed slightly to McCarty’s North 40, and now they run it together. Jeff McCarty tells Michigan Lottery officials they used to joke with the previous owner about buying the establishment, and got serious about it last year.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Police To Discuss North Beach Riot

South Haven Police will be holding a debriefing this week to talk about the riots on North Beach that resulted in the use of pepper spray, and a decision to evacuate the thousands there Sunday night prior to their big fireworks show. The goal will be to determine if they could have done something better. North Beach was closest to the launch site and the most crowded, and Sergeant Kyle Griffith says they had brought in extra officers from all over in anticipation of a huge crowd.. ...Read Full Story

Three Straight Weeks Of Gas Price Declines

Gas prices in Michigan are down 11¢ a gallon to start the week at $2.35. Triple-A Michigan notes it’s the third straight week of declines, and prices are 60¢ lower than this time a year ago. Traverse City has the state’s lowest average price for the third week in a row at $2.20, while Marquette drivers pay the most at $2.42. In St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, our prices average $2.23, down 15¢ over the past week. GasBuddy says five stations in Dowagiac are under $2 per gallon, while South Haven’s prices are at $2.09 and $2.10. The Dowagiac stations are the state’s lowest prices. While a federal report shows gasoline demand in the U.S. is at an all-time high, refineries are increasing output and supply is keeping pace.. ...Read Full Story

Boat Fire Under Investigation

Investigators are working to figure out what caused a fire to start on a 48-foot Jefferson boat at the Pier 33 Marina on Saturday. The St. Joseph Department of Public Safety says the boat was left unusable by the damage, though they got the flames under control in about 20 minutes. The fire was contained to the engine compartment and rear bedroom area. Everyone who was on board was able to get off the boat without anyone getting hurt. Fire crews were called to the scene just after 1:30 p.m. and are still investigating the blaze.. ...Read Full Story

North Beach In South Haven Evacuated Before Fireworks

Several people are in police custody and at least three were hurt, including a police officer, in a massive melee on North Beach in South Haven just before the Light up the Lake fireworks Sunday night. South Haven Police evacuated the beach around 10 p.m. after the fights broke out. Michigan State Police were also called in to help with getting everyone off the beach. Bottles where thrown before police made the decision to close North Beach to the public. A similar situation marred the fireworks in St. Joseph last year at Silver Beach County Park, but no evacuations were made in that case.. ...Read Full Story

Couple Accused Of Animal Abuse Has History Of It

The couple charged with animal neglect this week for keeping 108 dogs in their Lawrence Township home has apparently done this sort of thing before. Melissa Copen and husband Donald Smith were cited in 2001 in Allegan, and got the charges dropped by reimbursing the county for the cost of medical care for the 25 dogs and 30 cats that were taken from their home back then. Copen insists they have been trying hard to take care of the animals.. ...Read Full Story

Major Delays for Queen’s Cup Race

Lack of wind caused major delays for racers in the annual Queen’s Cup yacht race. It got underway Friday morning in Milwaukee and was supposed to end Saturday morning in St. Joseph. By 11:00am, there were only two racers who had completed. Denny Dryer is from Grand Haven and has been a participant in the race for the past 32 years. He explains what racers do when there is no wind…. ...Read Full Story

Last Kalamazoo Bike Tragedy Survivor Is Home

The last of the four survivors of Kalamazoo’s bicycle tragedy has returned to his home in Richland, not entirely healed, but well enough. Paul Gobble says in a Facebook post that he can’t drive or work and is still wearing braces on his neck, back and leg but he is home. Five people died in that horrible collision. The 47-year-old was the most seriously injured when police say that Edward Pickett Jr. crashed into Gobble and 8 other members of the Chain Gang bike club on North Westnedge. Three weeks ago as they were pedaling north along the side of the road. Tests show that Pickett was on drugs at the time of the crash. He is currently undergoing mental exams to determine if he is competent to stand trial on 15 separate felony counts, including second degree murder.. ...Read Full Story

Hartford Breaking & Entering Investigated

At some point between June 13 and 23, somebody got into a storage shed in Hartford and made off with five saddles, a tack bag, two 10-by-20-foot pop-up canopies and a heavy duty Power Systems diesel generator. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department says they don’t yet have any suspects in the breaking-and-entering. Investigators say someone pried open the door to steal the items. It happened in the 68-thousand block of 60th Street, and anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department.. ...Read Full Story

Massive Fire At PADNOS Recycling Facility Near Grand Rapids

An investigation is underway to determine what caused a big fire at a recycling center near Grand Rapids overnight. Walker Fire Chief Robert Walker says flames shot nearly 100 feet in the air from the fire at PADNOS Iron and Metal in a scrap of old cars and refrigerators. He says the company’s practices of keeping recyclable material separated helped their efforts.. ...Read Full Story

One Killed In Lincoln Township Crash

One man is dead in a fatal crash in Lincoln Township. The Lincoln Charter Township Police Department report the crash was at the intersection of Cleveland Avenue and Linco Road around 11:15 Thursday morning. When they arrived, they determined that a car being operated by Albert Schroeder of Saint Joseph pulled into the path of a car being driven by Michael Foulk of Rogers Arkansas. Schroeder was pronounced dead by Lakeland Hospital staff a few hours later. His wife, Lean Schroeder remains in critical condition. Foulk was transported to the hospital with what appeared to be non-life threating injuries. Both drivers and a front seat passenger in the Schroeder vehicle were injured in the crash and had to be removed by the Lincoln Township Fire Department using the jaws equipment. All three were transported to Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph. All persons involved were wearing seatbelts and vehicle airbags were deployed. Speed and alcohol are not believed to be factors in this incident. The crash remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

State Approves Benton Harbor’s Release From Receivership

The city of Benton Harbor is now officially free from state oversight after six years. The Department of Treasury has released the city from receivership following the vote Thursday by the Receivership Transition Advisory Board to disband and return local control. Benton Harbor is once again governed by its city charter, which means city commission resolutions and ordinances no longer need approval of the RTAB. Governor Snyder called it “an important day for the citizens of Benton Harbor, the mayor, and city council who have all worked diligently to move the city from a financial hardship to a place of stability.” The RTAB noted key accomplishments for the city in recent years, including making payments of 110% of its annual required contribution to the Municipal Employees Retirement Systems to reach an 80% funding level, and increasing the General Fund balance by over $750,000 between 2014 and 2015.. ...Read Full Story

Roy Thompson Guilty In Murder Of David Krieger

Guilty of second degree murder. A Berrien County jury has convicted Roy Thompson of Benton Harbor on the most serious charge he faced in the shooting death in December of David Krieger. The 53-year-old was killed during a confrontation with Thompson about a dog the suspect was kicking near Krieger’s family business, Michiana Supply, in Benton Township. The victim’s brother, Stephen Krieger, testified in December that Thompson fired a single shot into David’s chest. Stephen Krieger and Thompson exchanged fire as well, but neither was hit by bullets. Sentencing is set for August 1, and the penalty could be as severe as life in prison.. ...Read Full Story

NHTSA: Stop Driving Certain Honda And Acura Cars

The government is urging owners of older Hondas and Acuras to stop driving them and get them repaired after tests found that their Takata air bag inflators are extremely dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has new data showing that chances are as high as 50 percent that the inflators can explode in a crash.. ...Read Full Story

Queen’s Cup Setting Sail For St. Joseph

The annual Queen’s Cup yacht race gets underway Friday morning in Milwaukee and will end in St. Joseph Saturday. The event is one of the oldest cups in world yachting that is still open for competiton every year. St. Joseph River Yacht Club member Dr. Stuart Boekeloo says the race across Lake Michigan spans generations of sailors.. ...Read Full Story

RTAB Votes To End Benton Harbor Receivership

Pending the approval of Governor Snyder, the city of Benton Harbor is no longer under any state oversight. With a unanimous vote, the Receivership Transition Advisory Board voted Thursday to terminate the city’s receivership and move it back to local control. City Manager Darwin Watson says it’s a win for the city, but they’re not yet out of the woods financially and the biggest challenge remains being fiscally responsible.. ...Read Full Story

OutCenter Requests Meeting With Governor Snyder

The OutCenter wants to meet with Governor Snyder to talk about LGBT civil rights. The governor will be in Southwest Michigan Wednesday for a reception at the Inn at Harbor Shores, and the OutCenter is requesting a meeting with him in Benton Harbor beforehand. A statement from the OutCenter says the focus would be on amending the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to add sexual orientation, protecting Michiganders from attacks like what happened at a gay nightclub in Orlando, and discussing political speak that dehumanizes groups. OutCenter leaders note the invitation has not yet been accepted by the governor’s office.. ...Read Full Story

BHAS Receives Another Emergency Loan

The state of Michigan continues to bail out the Benton Harbor Area Schools. The district has received another emergency loan – this one for $4.4 million and will be able to meet payroll on July 15 as a result. The Treasury Department’s Emergency Loan Board also approved restructuring the district’s three previous emergency loans, issued in 2012, 2013 and 2015. The latest loan will be repaid over 15 years with an interest rate of 1.85%. The first five years will be interest-free. As for the previous three loans, the payments will be interest-only for the first three years, with principal payments starting in year 4. All told, the district now owes the state just over $7.5 million.. ...Read Full Story

Whirlpool: Watching Brexit Closely

Whirlpool executives are closely watching how the decision by voters in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union will impact the company and the appliance industry. Chairman and CEO Jeff Fettig said in a statement released today the Brexit vote “has created a number of uncertainties, many that will take some time to play out.” Fettig says the Benton Harbor-based appliance maker will continue to monitor the situation closely to see if they need to take any actions to protect market share and business interests. Whirlpool Corporation will announce second-quarter earnings on July 18, and reaffirmed its full-year guidance of GAAP earnings per diluted share of $11.25 to $12, and ongoing earnings per share of $14 to $14.75.. ...Read Full Story