Local News Archives

Upton Not Surprised By House Speaker Announcement

The announcement on Wednesday from House Speaker Paul Ryan that he will not seek re-election was no surprise to Congressman Fred Upton. The St. Joseph Republican tells us in a statement Ryan’s family has long watched the House Speaker commute to Washington for work from Wisconsin, noting Ryan sleeps in his office. Upton writes, “He has been a force in advancing our landmark, bipartisan 21st Century Cures legislation.” Upton also credits Ryan with helping to usher through tax reform legislation. Upton says he respects Ryan’s decision to retire from the House. Upton’s full statement is below.. ...Read Full Story

Whirlpool Clarifies Student Information Questions

Benton Harbor School Trustees want to know more about why Whirlpool had access to student records, but Whirlpool tells us the company never did. Whirlpool Corporate Vice President Jeff Noel tells WSJM News it was in fact a Whirlpool employee who was volunteering for the school district that had a contact list for some students given to her by the district.. ...Read Full Story

LaSata Talks Nassar Bills

The Michigan House inquiry into the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal has led to the introduction of legislation intended to protect Michigan students. House leaders on Wednesday announced the package which includes tougher child pornography penalties and penalties for those who fail to report abuse. State Representative Kim LaSata told us more.. ...Read Full Story

State Supreme Court Hearing Gun Case

From the Associated Press — The Michigan Supreme Court has heard arguments in two high-profile cases involving guns on school property. Lawyers for gun owners say the appeals court was wrong when it said public schools can create restrictions that are tougher than state law. Dean Greenblatt says school boards “can’t make law.” The cases heard Wednesday are from the Ann Arbor and Clio districts. The
school boards there banned the open carry of guns by visitors. Under state law, local governments must defer to the Legislature on gun
policy. But the schools argue that the law refers only to cities, villages, townships and counties. Chief Justice Stephen Markman dominated the questioning. He repeatedly referred to a law that says people licensed to carry a concealed weapon can openly carry a gun at schools.. ...Read Full Story

Residents Asked To Watch Out For Invasive Beetle

Everyone in southwest Michigan is being asked to keep their eyes open for an invasive insect that could pose a threat to trees. The Southwest by Southwest Corner CISMA’s Eleanor Serocki tells WSJM News it’s the Asian longhorn beetle, which still hasn’t shown up in Michigan. Serocki wants to keep it that way. The Asian longhorn beetle is about an inch long, black with white spots, and a long antenna. It leaves behind signs of its passing after burrowing into trees.. ...Read Full Story

Coast Guard Searching For Man In St. Joseph River

A search is ongoing in the St. Joseph River between the island and Lake Michigan for a 70-year-old man last seen Tuesday night at Brian’s Marina on Anchors Court. The U.S. Coast Guard tells WSJM News it’s still a “pending case” and their dive team is searching for the man. They were called out to try to find him just before 9 p.m. last night by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department. At this point, the Coast Guard doesn’t have any further information, but we will continue to follow their efforts throughout the day.. ...Read Full Story

Democratic Candidate Spending $1 Million On Ads

From the Associated Press — Democrat Shri Thanedar is planning to spend $1 million to air 10 new TV ads in the governor’s race over the next two months. The businessman will begin launching the ads Wednesday. In one 30-second spot, he says he’s an immigrant and has an accent but his support for better roads, schools and health care for all shows “we are more alike than you think.” People in the ad say “Shri is just like me.” Thanedar, who has given his campaign nearly $6 million, also will air nine 15-second ads sharing his positions on roads, job training and other issues. He began running ads in December, which has helped him to build name recognition and to rise in polling.
Other Democrats running are Gretchen Whitmer, Abdul El-Sayed and Bill Cobbs.. ...Read Full Story

Allegan K9 To Get Protective Vest

A K9 with the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a donation from the non-profit Vested Interest in K9s, Incorporated. German Shephard Luca has been with the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department for about three years and a half years, helping to find drugs and track suspects. She will get a vest worth more than $1,700 from Vested Interest within eight to ten weeks. Vested Interest takes donations to provide protective vests to police dogs all over the country. To date, it has provided the vests to more than 2,800 police agencies. Luca’s handler, Deputy Ryan Rewa, says the sheriff’s department is grateful for the donation. You can find out more about Vested Interest right here.. ...Read Full Story

School Leaders Seek Information On Student Records

The Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education wants some answers regarding student information it says has come into the possession of Whirlpool. At a Tuesday work session, the board approved a resolution directing Interim Superintendent Patricia Robinson to provide it with information on the release of electronic records about students to the company. The resolution states the release of the information may have violated rules regarding student privacy. The board wants to know what was provided, who authorized it, and under what circumstances. The interim superintendent said she’ll need around two weeks. The resolution came at the end of the work session and was not on the agenda. Trustees would not discuss it with media after the meeting.. ...Read Full Story