Local News Archives

One Hurt In Snowmobile Vs Vehicle Crash

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a crash between a snowmobile and a car in Silver Creek Township. The sled was piloted by Joseph Vantuyle of Dowagiac, who didn’t yield at a snowmobile crossing to the vehicle driven by a San Antonio man. Vantuyle was taken to Borgess Lee Memorial Hospital in Dowagiac to be treated for minor injuries. Deputies tell WSJM News that helmets and seat belts were worn, and alcohol isn’t believed to have been involved. The crash happened around 5 p.m. Saturday.. ...Read Full Story

Tickets On Sale For Humane Society Fundraiser

On sale now are tickets to one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the Al-Van Humane Society in South Haven. The organization’s Jennifer Nuernberg tells WSJM News the bi-annual Fur Ball fundraiser will be in late February, but you’ll want to reserve your spot now. They’ll be pitting some top chefs from South Haven against each other in a competition.. ...Read Full Story

Four Winds Preparing For New Casino Opening

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi has announced the opening date for its new Four Winds Casino. The new one in South Bend will open to the public on Tuesday, January 16 at 4 p.m. The casino is located on 166 acres of tribal trust land and will be the first casino in Indiana owned and operated by a Native American tribe. It’s the latest addition to the Pokagon Four Wind brand, with the other locations being in New Buffalo, Hartford, and Dowagiac. The tribe tells us Four Winds South Bend will have 175,000 square feet and 1,800 games, four restaurants, a players lounge, a coffee shop, three bars, a retail outlet, and about 4,500 parking spaces. When complete, the casino will employ about 1,200 people. John Warren, Chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, says the new location will “generate revenue to fund services and programs that will create additional economic opportunities for Pokagon Citizens, the city of South Bend, and also fund community projects, local organizations and schools.”. ...Read Full Story

Bill Aims To Prevent Rapists From Getting Partial Custody Of Children

State Senator John Proos is praising legislation now headed for a vote of the full Senate designed to prevent an individual convicted of rape from getting custody of a child born as a result of that crime. He tells us there’s currently a loophole that can give a rapist partial custody when a mother applies for welfare assistance through the Family Independence Program. That’s because the mother has to disclose paternity of her child when applying.. ...Read Full Story

Tickets On Sale For SJ Beer Fest

Tickets are now on sale for the next St. Joseph Winter Beer Festival. St. Joe Today’s Daniele Crevier tells WSJM News 16 local and regional breweries will be on hand offering samples. The event isn’t until January 27, but tickets are limited, and they may go fast.. ...Read Full Story

Muhammad To Deliver State Of The City Address

Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad is planning to deliver a State of the City address. The mayor announced this week he’ll be discussing Benton Harbor as it is heading into its first year of total local control after a long period of state intervention while previewing goals for the future. Muhammad’s State of the City speech will be at the Benton Harbor Public Library on Tuesday, January 23 at 6 p.m. Everyone is invited to come and listen.. ...Read Full Story

BH Police To Get New Radios

The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety will be getting some new radios. City Commissioners on Tuesday approved the purchase of 22 police radios at a cost of $31,500. A $25,000 grant pays for most of it, with Public Safety Director Dan McGinnis telling commissioners the extra money makes these replacements a lot easier.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Reviews 2017

Congressman Fred Upton is maintaining that much was accomplished in Washington throughout 2017. His office has released a 2017 year in review report, which can be found on its website. Upton says, “2017 was a transformational year but my focus never wavered from local initiatives such as helping constituents with problems big and small, and on bipartisan policies that create jobs and improve our economy.” He then predicts both parties can work together throughout 2018 to solve problems everyone cares about. Among accomplishments Upton wants to highlight for last year are helping South Haven’s Jim McCloughan get a Medal of Honor, his role with the Fuel Economy Harmonization Act, a plan that’s designed to reduce manufacturing costs for cars, and the FDA Reauthorization Act. You can see Upton’s report right here.. ...Read Full Story

Eagle Injured In Indiana Finds New Home At Detroit Zoo

From the Associated Press — A bald eagle that was injured in southern Indiana has a new home at the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak. The Detroit Zoological Society says Thursday that the eagle named Mr. America could not be released back into the wild because one of its wings had to be amputated after the bird possibly flew into a power line. A licensed rehabber in Vincennes, Indiana, cared for the eagle. It arrived at
the zoo in mid-November and has been recovering from its injury. Mr. America is believed to be between 5 and 6 years old. He joins another rescued bald eagle, Flash, at the zoo’s American Grasslands habitat. The zoological society operates the zoo.. ...Read Full Story

Lake Effect Snow Wrapping Up

Allegan, Van Buren and Berrien Counties were hit hard over the past few days as winds out of the north put a steady lake effect tendril over our area. Some areas received up to a half a foot of new snow overnight, on top of the foot that fell just the day before. Buchanan is reporting 29-inches and they will be spending the weekend digging out. The story inland has been the blistering cold with temperatures well below zero. We could see a high of near 30 tomorrow and actually see highs above freezing and a melt off this coming work week.. ...Read Full Story

Horizon Bank Welcomes New President

Horizon Bank has a new leader. The chairman and CEO of Horizon Bancorp announced on Wednesday James D. Neff has been named president of both Horizon and Horizon Bank. In addition, Neff will serve on Horizon Bank’s board of directors. The promotion was effective January 1. Neff has worked in banking since 1978, and has been part of Horizon’s executive management team since 1999. He serves on the Purdue University Northwest Advisory Board, the Sinai Forum Board, and is a member of the Michigan City Rotary Club. Horizon Bancorp says Neff’s “expanded authority and responsibilities will ensure Horizon’s continued commitment to excellence and profitable growth.”. ...Read Full Story

Secretary Of State Calls For Elimination Of Driver Responsibility Fees In 2018

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is asking state lawmakers to use 2018 as an opportunity to do away with driver responsibility fees. The fees are charged to drivers on top of their normal fines when they commit offenses like drunk driving or reckless driving. They were created in 2003 to fill a budget hole, but many drivers, especially those with low incomes, have lost their licenses and jobs due to being unable to pay them. Secretary of State spokesperson Fred Woodhams spoke with WSJM News about Ruth Johnson’s position on the issue.. ...Read Full Story

State Police: Speed The Cause Of Friday Semi Crash

Michigan State Police are pointing to a Friday highway crash in Berrien County as an example of what happens when drivers don’t slow down in winter conditions. The state police post in Niles tells us troopers were sent to I-94 near the 36 mile marker and found a crash between three semis. One of the drivers was pinned in the vehicle and responders couldn’t reach him. Troopers called in a heavy duty wrecker from Hasse’s Towing and the Benton Township Fire Department to remove a trailer blocking that driver. The 38-year-old from Plano, Illinois received serious but non-life threatening injuries. Police say the crash was caused by the injured driver going too fast in the snowy conditions. The drivers of the other two semis were not hurt, and were able to drive from the scene with damage to their trailers.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Speaks To SWMI Sports Organization

State Senator John Proos is saluting conservation and sportsman groups as he promotes the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. Proos last month met with the St. Joseph County Conservation and Sportsman Club in Sturgis to talk up some of the trust fund’s latest parks projects. He tells WSJM News he always listens to the thoughts of such organizations.. ...Read Full Story

Registrations Now Being taken For Girls On The Run

If you’re looking for an after school program for your daughter, one option is Girls on the Run. The southwest Michigan program is now taking registrations for its 2018 program. Girls on the Run Southwest Michigan Director Julie Boss tells us girls between the third and eighth grades can sign up to learn life skills and self-esteem, leading up to a 5K run in the spring.. ...Read Full Story

BH Commissioners To Interview Assessor Applicant

Benton Harbor City Commissioners will interview a candidate to the position of assessor. After much discussion Tuesday, they voted to schedule an interview with the lone candidate for the position. Some questioned why the applications were sent to the city manager and not the clerk or mayor. City Manager Darwin Watson said, in the end, who to hire is the commission’s decision.. ...Read Full Story