Local News Archives

Latest West MI Jobs Report

There have been some clear changes in Berrien County’s employment picture since the end of the Great Recession. The latest economic outlook report from the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research takes a look at such trends throughout west Michigan. Upjohn analyst Brian Pittelko tells WSJM News business and management jobs have dramatically grown in the Niles-Benton Harbor market since 2016. We asked Pittelko which jobs have gone down.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren County Murder Suspect Charged

The man accused of a murder last Thursday in Van Buren County is behind bars on a $3 million bond. Troy Taylor was arraigned yesterday on open murder and felony firearms charges for allegedly shooting and killing a former friend, Timothy Henley of Kalamazoo, at a Pine Grove Township house. Taylor spent several days on the run before being captured earlier this week at a home in White Pigeon, and prosecutors are planning to bring charges against those who were trying to keep him from police. According to police, Taylor was at the home to pick up his daughter, and an argument ensued between him and Henley. Henley broke out a window in Taylor’s car, prompting him to pull a gun and shoot. The victim was dating the gunman’s ex-girlfriend, who is also the mother of Taylor’s daughter. Police say that relationship resulted in the end of their friendship.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Lags In Child Well-Being

While Michigan is making some progress in child well-being, a new report shows it’s still falling behind its neighbors. The 2018 Kids Count Data Book released Wednesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation assesses how kids are doing in the areas of health, education, economic well-being, and family and community. Michigan Kids Count Project Director Alicia Guevara Warren tells us Michigan falls in the bottom half of states in many measures.. ...Read Full Story

No Emergency Managers In Place

For the first time in 18 years, there are currently no emergency managers in charge of any Michigan cities or school districts. Michigan Department of Treasury spokesperson Ron Leix tells WSJM News Highland Park Schools got out of receivership last month, following a statewide trend.. ...Read Full Story

I-94 Ramps To Close

The Michigan Department of Transportation will be shutting down two I-94 ramps this Friday in Van Buren County so they can be reconstructed. MDOT tells us the ramps at exit 52 in Lawrence are being rebuilt. That’s the ramp to eastbound I-94 and the ramp from eastbound I-94. They will have detours. The closures are part of a larger project to resurface almost six miles of eastbound I-94 from 56th Street to M-51 in Van Buren County. The closure of the Lawrence ramps begins Friday and will end on July 20. You can stay on top of all MDOT summer construction projects at Michigan.gov/MIDrive.. ...Read Full Story

Property Auction Book Available

The latest book of foreclosed properties set to be auctioned off by the Berrien County Treasurer’s office is now available. Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells WSJM News the new book has 183 properties, of which 181 were foreclosed this year. He tells us they run the gamut. Someone looking to buy has a variety of options.. ...Read Full Story

Board Salutes Outgoing Trustee

Retiring Lake Michigan College Trustee Judy Truesdell has been saluted for her years of service by the LMC Board of Trustees. At a meeting this week, the board sent Truesdell off with a resolution commending and thanking her for her work on behalf of the college. She’s served since 1997, and told us LMC has grown quite a bit in that time.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Seeking Motorcycle Instructors

From the Associated Press — Michigan officials are looking for accomplished motorcyclists who could teach others to ride.
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says safety class instructors play essential roles in the Michigan Rider Education Program.
Johnson says motorcycling is a complex skill requiring good judgment and information on the road to assess risks and react appropriately. The pay rate for “ridercoaches” ranges from $24 to $35 per hour, depending on location. Applicants must be experience motorcyclists who enjoy working with people and have good riding and communication skills. The fee for a ridercoach prep course is $75 and includes required materials. Candidates spend about 80 hours in the classroom and on the riding range. Nearly 11,500 people enrolled in a Michigan motorcycle safety class last year. More information is available online .. ...Read Full Story

SCOTUS Overturns Decades-Old Michigan Union Dues Ruling

The US Supreme Court says government workers can’t be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining, dealing a serious financial blow to organized labor. The justices are scrapping a 41-year-old decision in the Abood v. Detroit Board of Education case that had allowed states to require that public employees pay some fees to unions that represent them, even if the workers choose not to join. Illinois state worker Mark Janus sued to overturn the decades-old ruling, saying his $45 a month fee to AFSCME violated his First Amendment rights under the constitution.. ...Read Full Story