Local News Archives

SJ Leaders To Hold Forum With Commission Applicants

A public forum will be held for residents and St. Joseph City Commissioners to question the 8 applicants for a vacancy on the body. At a Monday meeting, city commissioners settled on a plan to hold a forum with questions from themselves and the public for those hoping to be picked for the two years remaining on former Commissioner Chris Huegel’s term. Mayor Mike Garey told WSJM News this new model for filling a vacancy could be repeated in the future.. ...Read Full Story

Homelessness Declining In Michigan

Homelessness in Michigan is drastically down since 2010. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Regional Administrator James Cunningham tells WSJM News homelessness in Michigan has dropped 2.9% since last year and 30% since 2010. One reason is HUD’s relatively recent strategy of working with local non-profits to identify folks in need of housing and getting them into housing quickly.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Education Trust Now Open For Enrollment

This holiday season, you could give the gift of a college education to a young one in your life. Michigan Education Trust Executive Director Robin Lott tells WSJM News there is now an open enrollment period to purchase a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan. That enables you to buy college credit hours at tuition rates set here in 2017.. ...Read Full Story

Suitcases For Kids Raises More Than $2,000

The Southwest Michigan Association of Realtors is celebrating what it calls a successful Suitcases for Kids campaign. Each year, association members collect personal care items for children in foster care. Many kids find themselves suddenly in the system with nothing of their own, and the goal of Suitcases for Kids is to help them feel a little more secure. This ear, the Suitcases for Kids drive resulted in more than 150 backpacks filled with items, and more than $2,000 being raised for the Berrien County Department of Human Services. The association of realtors thanked all of those who donated.. ...Read Full Story

Rape Aggression Defense Training Classes Scheduled

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department is now signing up students for its spring round of Rape Aggression Defense training. RAD is a personal defense course for women designed to revolve around awareness, prevention, risk reduction, and avoidance. The department tells us it’s not a martial arts program, but a simple self-defense class designed for anyone. The classes are free and come in the form of 3 evening sessions totaling 12 hours. All of the classes must be finished to get the RAD certification. The training is open to anyone age 16 or older. You can find out more and sign up by contacting the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department. The number is 269-983-7141, extension 7715. The sessions will be held in Benton Township in April and New Buffalo Township in May.. ...Read Full Story

Governor Calls Special Elections To Replace Conyers

From the Associated Press — Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has scheduled a special election to fill the congressional seat left open by longtime Rep. John Conyers’ resignation amid sexual harassment allegations. The elections will be held in August and November – concurrently with regular primary and general elections. The governor said Friday that his decision gives  potential candidates time to make a decision and avoids additional taxpayer costs of holding the special election earlier. The filing deadline is April 24. Those already planning to run include state Sen. Ian Conyers, a grandson of John Conyers’ brother; and state Sen. Coleman Young II, the son of a former Detroit mayor. The 88-year-old John Conyers first was elected in 1964.. ...Read Full Story

Sheriff’s Department Provides Honor Guard For World War II Hero’s Remains

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department will be on hand Monday when a World War II hero is laid to rest in St. Joseph. Chief Deputy Robert Boyce tells WSJM News an honor guard from the sheriff’s department spent Thursday escorting the remains of Navy Airman Albert “Bud” Rybarczyk from Grand Rapids to St. Joe. His remains were found in a plane in the south Pacific in 2014. Boyce tells us the sheriff’s department accompanied Rybarczyk to Starks and Menchinger Funeral Home Thursday.. ...Read Full Story

Two Arrested In Niles Meth Bust

Two people are facing charges following a Niles Township meth bust on Thursday. The Southwest Enforcement Team tells us officers raided a home as part of an investigation into the distribution of crystal methamphetamine. They say they seized several grams of crystal methamphetamine and other items related to narcotics trafficking. A 28-year-old man and a 30-year-old man were arrested for transporting and selling crystal methamphetamine from the South Bend area to the Niles area. Both suspects also had outstanding warrants. The Southwest Enforcement Team is made up of law enforcement agencies from all over southwest Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Health Advocates Cry Foul As CHIP Funding Dwindles

Pressure is being applied to Congress as funding for the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program — or, CHIP — remains in limbo. Families USA Director of Medicaid Initiatives Dee Mahan tells WSJM News CHIP provides coverage to kids whose families don’t qualify for other aid, but who still can’t afford insurance. It offers care targeted to the needs of children. Congress failed to renew CHIP’s funding more than 2 years ago.. ...Read Full Story

LMC Approves Settlement With Former President

The Lake Michigan College Board of Trustees has approved a settlement with former LMC President Jennifer Spielvogel. In a 4 to 3 vote Thursday night, the board moved forward a plan that could bring Spielvogel’s wrongful termination lawsuit to an end. LMC Board of Trustees President Michael Lindley told WSJM News the split vote was no surprise, given the nature of the issue. He says it’s natural some trustees would have concerns.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Welcomes SJ Students To Lansing

State lawmakers on Wednesday welcomed students from all over Michigan to the capitol in Lansing for the 17th Annual Student Technology Showcase. Among the schools on hand was Upton Middle School in St. Joseph, invited by state Senator John Proos. He tells WSJM News the kids showed off an exhibit called “That Moment When: A Facebook Comment Led to Celebrity Connections Beyond the Classroom.”. ...Read Full Story

LaSata Talks About Amended Municipal Pension Reforms

Police and firefighter unions have chalked up a huge win in a legislative battle over municipal retiree pensions. State lawmakers made changes to the controversial legislation early this morning, and the bills have won initial approval in the House and Senate. State Representative Kim LaSata went from a “no” to a “yes” with the changes.. ...Read Full Story