Local News Archives

Governor Announces New Line 5 Safety Agreement

From the Associated Press — Michigan officials and Enbridge Inc. have set a deadline of August 15, 2018, to determine the future of twin oil pipelines beneath the waterway where Lakes Huron and Michigan converge. The date is part of an agreement announced Monday amid rising concerns about the safety of Enbridge’s Line 5, which extends across northern Wisconsin and Michigan on its way to Sarnia, Ontario. A 5-mile segment rests on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac. Valerie Brader of the Michigan Agency for Energy says if the two sides can’t agree by the deadline, the state will “take another path” that could include shutting down the line. But she said the state will consider other alternatives, including routing the underwater segment through a tunnel. Enbridge will evaluate three tunnel options by next June.. ...Read Full Story

Levin Endorses George Franklin For Congress In Sixth District

U.S. Senator Carl Levin has weighed in on the race for Congress in Michigan’s Sixth District. The Democrat from Detroit has endorsed George Franklin in his party’s primary for the district. George Franklin is one of six Democrats vying to face off against Congressman Fred Upton next year. He’s the most recent Democrat to announce a candidacy. In his endorsement issued Monday, Senator Levin says he’s worked with George Franklin for years, adding Franklin will “deliver on job creation, ensuring safe workplaces, supporting strong schools, and guaranteeing every family has access to affordable, quality health care.” Franklin worked as a lobbyist for Kellogg before starting his own consulting business. He lives in Glenn, and Senator Levin joined Franklin at a fundraiser in Kalamazoo Monday night. Also in the Democratic race to run against Fred Upton are David Benac, Paul Clements, Eponine Garrod, Rich Eichholz, and Matt Longjohn.. ...Read Full Story

Allegan K9 To Receive Bullet Protective Vest

A K9 for the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a donation from a non-profit organization. Lajki the dog is getting that extra protection from Vested Interest, a group that gets safety gear for police dogs all over the country. It’s previously helped out the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department. Lajki’s vest is paid for by an anonymous sponsor and will be embroidered with the sentiment, “This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9s, Incorporated.” The K9 officer is expected to receive the donation in 8 or 9 weeks. K9 Lajki is a two-year-old German Shepard from Poland, and has been with Allegan County Sheriff’s Department since February of 2017.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph City Commission Receives Nine Applications For Open Spot

The city of St. Joseph has received nine applications from residents interested in filling a vacancy on the city commission. The term, left empty when former Commissioner Chris Huegel resigned this fall, still has two years on it. Mayor Mike Garey tells WSJM News commissioners decided Monday to ask the nine applicants for more information on themselves and their resumes.. ...Read Full Story

Wahmhoff Farms Ships Out Nearly 800 Christmas Trees To Troops

787 Christmas trees have been loaded up and shipped out to a military base in Florida as part of this year’s Trees for the Troops program at Wahmhoff Farms in Gobles. The nursery has taken part in Trees for the Troops each Christmas season since 2006. The farm’s Betsy Wahmhoff-Perales tells WSJM News it just feels right to send a Christmas gift to the families of those who serve.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Police Warn About Counterfeit Money

The St. Joseph Department of Public Safety is warning the public about some fake currency that’s been reported circulating in the community. In a Facebook message, the department says there have been complaints from local businesses recently. The Secret Service has offered a few tips to know if you’re dealing with funny money. First, it says you can hold a bill up to the light to look for a hologram of the face image on the bill. Both images should match. Second, it says you can look at the bill through a light to see a thin vertical strip containing text that spells out that bill’s denomination. The St. Joseph Department of Public Safety tells us store clerks and others who handle money should be especially vigilant.. ...Read Full Story

Woman Accidentally Shot In Pipestone Twp

An 18-year-old Pipestone Township resident is in the hospital in critical condition after being accidentally shot on Sunday night. Michigan State Police tell us it happened around 10 p.m. in the 5,000 block of Old Pipestone Road. 18-year-old Delaney Nicole Flagel was unloading her vehicle after a day of hunting when a rifle was accidentally dropped causing it to discharge a round into her chest. Arriving troopers found her lying on the ground near her vehicle. She was brought to Lakeland Hospital in critical condition. Police say alcohol was not a factor in the incident.. ...Read Full Story

Trees For Troops Loading Today

Christmas trees will be sent to soldiers around the world from Gobles today. Wahmhoff Farms Nursery will load up semi trucks for their annual Trees For Troops event at 10 this morning. The trees will be shipped to Hurlburt Field at the US Air Force Auxiliary Base in Okaloosa County, Florida. Last year, the trees were shipped to Fort Benning, Georgia.. ...Read Full Story

Gas Prices Continue Decline

Our gas prices in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph are down 12¢ a gallon from last week to $2.45, but we’re not the lowest in the state. Triple-A Michigan says statewide, prices fell 10¢ from last Monday to mark two straight weeks of a drop of at least a dime. The state average is $2.53. The lowest prices in Michigan are in Saginaw, where the average is $2.39. For the fourth straight week, Ann Arbor has the highest prices in the state at $2.61. South Haven is not covered by Triple-A’s survey, but GasBuddy spotters are finding regular as low as $2.14 at most stations, with a high of $2.19 at Village XPress and $2.29 at the Marathon in Grand Junction.. ...Read Full Story

Conyers Gives Up Judiciary Post Amid Sex Harassment Probe

Congressman John Conyers is giving up his leadership position as top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. The decision by the Detroit lawmaker comes ahead of a congressional probe into allegations of sexual harassment made against him. Conyers says he doesn’t want the allegations to undermine his colleagues in the Democratic caucus or those who serve on the Judiciary committee or in the House in general.. ...Read Full Story

Woman Accidentally Shoots Self

Michigan State Police are investigating what they’re calling an accidental shooting in Eau Claire. An 18-year-old woman shot herself in the 5000 block of Old Pipestone Road Sunday night. Our reporting partners at WNDU NewsCenter 16 say the shooting happened before 10:30 p.m., and no other details have been released including the victim’s name and her condition.. ...Read Full Story

Vaccine Waivers Up In Michigan

From the Associated Press — Vaccine waiver rates for school-age children have increased slightly in Michigan. The Detroit News reports that Department of Health and Human Services data shows 3.2% of kindergartners and seventh-graders received immunization waivers in 2016 compared to 3.1% the year before. The immunization rate was 4.8% in 2014. Since 2015, the state has required parents to attend educational sessions if they want to delay or decline immunizations for diseases like measles, mumps, whooping cough, polio,
diphtheria, hepatitis B and chickenpox. The newspaper reports that schools are required to report the immunization status of kindergarten, seventh-grade and transferring students. The state says there were 7,657 fewer waivers reported from schools in 2015 compared to the year before. Michigan allows waivers for medical reasons and on religious and philosophical grounds.. ...Read Full Story

Applications Sought For BH Income Tax Committee

The city of Benton Harbor is now taking applications from residents interested in serving on the new City Income Tax Oversight Committee. The body will determine how revenue from the city’s new income tax will be spent each year. It’s estimated that could be more than $2.5 million yearly. The deadline to apply to be on the City Income Tax Oversight Committee is Wednesday, December 27 at 5 p.m. Applications must be dropped off at the Benton Harbor City Clerk’s office, located at city hall. Anyone with questions should call.. ...Read Full Story

Komen Michigan Working On New Cancer Pilot Program

A new pilot program will be launched next year to help keep women in the loop regarding the breast cancer services available in Michigan. Komen Michigan’s Erica Bills tells WSJM News the organization has been selected to work with several agencies of the Michigan Breast and Cervical Cancer Control and Navigation Program on a Breast Cancer Toolkit. She says there are many programs in place to prevent and treat breast cancer, and the more people know, the better.. ...Read Full Story

Greg Borzo; With Respect 11-26-17

John’s guest this week Greg Borzo is an historian/journalist who has highlighted unique and important parts of the City of Chicago. His latest book is Chicago’s Fabulous Fountains. They walk through the iconic (Buckingham Fountain, the Millennium Park giant fountains) to the most delicate and beautiful artistic and historical fountains around the City. It is a celebration of water, marble, glass, history and art which covers 130 unique sites in the town. . ...Read Full Story

Performance Of Handel’s Messiah Planned At Andrews University

Coming up in early December will be a performance of Handel’s Messiah at the Howard Performing Arts Center at Andrews University in Berrien Springs. The university tells us the Andrews University Singers, Chorale and Chamber Orchestra will put on the show at 7 p.m. December 1. Andrews says those who attend can expect a fresh rendition of Messiah with “faster tempos, the authentic Baroque style of performance, and less familiar vocal solo movements.” Admission to the show will be free, but tickets will be required. To get a ticket, call the Howard Performing Arts Center box office or go to Howard.Andrews.Edu.. ...Read Full Story

Bob Carr Talks Run For Senate

Congressman Fred Upton may not be making a Senate run next year, but another man with southwest Michigan ties who is running is Bob Carr. With Upton bowing out of the GOP race to replace Senator Debbie Stabenow, Carr tells WSJM News he felt it was right to step things up. Carr says he grew up in foster homes all over the St. Joseph area. He now lives on Mackinac Island and tells us historical preservation has been his passion. He took a recent tour of the region and realized whole towns need to be preserved.. ...Read Full Story

One Dead In Berrien Twp Crash

An 80-year old Sawyer man is dead following a single vehicle crash in Berrien Township Saturday morning. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us officers responded to a report of a crash on Long Lake Road
near Rangeline Road around 8:30 a.m. They found the driver, James Braddock of Sawyer, deceased. Police say Braddock was driving a 2005 Lexus west on Long Lake Road when the vehicle left the road and hit a large tree. It came to rest in the center of the road. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Crash Reconstruction Unit is investigating the cause. Police say the weather does not appear to have been a factor.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Preparing For New Income Tax

Benton Harbor City Manager Darwin Watson has a lot of work to do in the next couple of months. He tells WSJM News he’s meeting next week with representatives of cities that have local income taxes now that Benton Harbor voters have approved one. He’s also working with city commissioners as they draft an ordinance to govern how the tax will work.. ...Read Full Story

Analyst: Tax Package Will Increase Federal Deficit

The fast-moving Republican federal tax bill is on the minds of many Michiganders this holiday season, and a new analysis finds the plan would have negative impacts on services across the state for many years. Rachel Richards, legislative coordinator for the Michigan League for Public Policy, tells us the plan will increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over ten years, adding a deficit that large would leave lawmakers no choice but to right size the budget.. ...Read Full Story

Elkhart Man Reunited With Dog Found 200 Miles Away In Michigan

From the Associated Press — An Indiana man who thought he’d never see his dog again after it vanished in September has been reunited with the pooch, which was 200 miles away in central Michigan. Gene Valdez of Elkhart, Indiana, spent two months periodically checking a
local animal shelter for his Brittney Spaniel, Rock. But then his nephew contacted the Cass County Humane Society, located about 10
miles away in Cassopolis, Michigan. He learned that Rock had been rescued and was eventually moved to a shelter in Saginaw, more than 200 miles northeast of Elkhart. Valdez picked up Rock there last week. He tells The Elkhart Truth that his other Brittney Spaniel, Megan, is “happy as can be” since her companion returned. Both dogs will take part in a family pheasant hunting trip this weekend.. ...Read Full Story

Mark III Wins Celebrated Service Award

The Mark III Grille and Bar in St. Joseph is the latest winner of the Celebrated Service Award. The Celebrated Service Award is given out by Celebration Cinema each year to salute businesses in the theater chain’s area for their high level of service. Celebration Cinema’s Emily Loeks tells WSJM News voters in the awards greatly appreciate the businesses that treat them special.. ...Read Full Story

LMC Planning To Showcase New Tech Program

Lake Michigan College is planning an open house to show off a new model of learning to anyone interested in earning computer technology degrees. LMC tells us its new Virtual Learning Environment — or, VLE — model is being unveiled at the open house. The VLE is designed to allow students to switch back and forth between attending classes either online or in person, depending on what’s most convenient for them on a given day.. ...Read Full Story