Local News Archives

New Safety Features Coming To SWM Roads

New safety features are being added to roads around southwest Michigan, and you may not even notice them. The Michigan Department of Transportation’s Nick Schirripa tells WSJM News the agency has identified areas where cars are more likely to leave their lanes, and it’s started adding features to help protect drivers.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Praises New Youth Sports Concussion Law

State Senator John Proos tells us the latest anti-concussion legislation signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder will ensure coaches and volunteers with youth leagues are up to date on the latest science. The plan recently signed by Snyder requires those who work with student athletes to get concussion awareness training every three years, says Proos.. ...Read Full Story

OutCenter Holiday Pride Concert Tomorrow

The OutCenter in Benton Harbor is hoping a large crowd turns out this Saturday for their annual holiday concert. The event will be held at the Heritage Museum in St. Joe, with the OutCenter’s Mary Jo Schnell telling WSJM News it’s all about welcoming one and all to enjoy the holiday spirit.. ...Read Full Story

Police Continue Investigation Into Officer-Involved Shooting

A woman who was injured in an officer-involved shooting in Mattawan Friday morning has been treated and released from a Kalamazoo hospital. Michigan State Police Lieutenant Chuck Christensen tells WSJM News the incident began around 8 a.m. near a Shell station. An officer with the Mattawan Police Department pulled over a vehicle that had been reported stolen out of Mattawan. At one point during the stop, the vehicle took off. That’s when the shots were fired. A female passenger in the vehicle was hit by shrapnel, Christensen says. All three of the vehicle’s occupants were found after a short search. The man who was driving was arrested. Christensen tells us none of the names are being released at this time. The case will be turned over to the Van Buren County Prosecutor’s office for a determination to be made about whether the shooting was justified. The incident prompted several local schools and daycare centers to be put on lockdown for a few hours Friday. Christensen tells us he won’t have more information to release until next Tuesday.. ...Read Full Story

State Making Changes To Campsite Reservation Fees

It might be easier to reserve a campsite in the state with some changes the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has made for reserving them. Starting November 1, you can reserve a camp site six months in advance, but if you cancel, there’s a $10 fee and that will go up the closer it gets to the date of the reservation. DNR parks and recreation chief Ron Olson tells Michigan News Network the changes are because the DNR has found cancellations were increasing.. ...Read Full Story

Man Killed By Train In Cassopolis

A Cassopolis man is dead after being hit by a train on Friday morning. The Cassopolis Police Department tells us it happened shortly after 5 a.m. at railroad tracks located at East State and Wolfe street. A northbound train struck the 63-year-old man. He was found by police about 50 yards from East State Street. An officer provided the man first aid until an ambulance arrived. He was taken to a hospital in Dowagiac where he died. The victim’s name has not yet been released. The Cassopolis Police Department was assisted at the scene by the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, Lifecare Ambulance, the Cass Central Fire Department, and CN Railroad Police.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Township Officer Pleads Guilty To Misdemeanor

A Benton Township police officer’s job is currently under review after he entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of neglect of duty. Berrien County Prosecutor Mike Sepic tells WSJM News 30-year-old Robert Fuller was leaving the township on several occasions in 2016 for personal reasons to drive by the home of his ex-girlfriend as he tried to identify her new boyfriend. Sepic notes state law only allows police to leave their jurisdiction for “limited legitimate reasons,” and that doesn’t count. Fuller both entered the plea and was sentenced to pay a $575 fine yesterday. He won’t serve any jail time or be on probation.. ...Read Full Story

State Responding To Hepatitis A Outbreak

A significant outbreak in Hepatitis A cases in southeast Michigan has state and county health departments taking action. Macomb County Health Director Bill Ridella told Michigan News Network this week health agencies are reaching out to high risk groups with vaccinations that are 90% effective in preventing the liver virus.. ...Read Full Story

House Approves Funding For Opioid Test Program In Kalamazoo County

Kalamazoo County will be the site of a pilot program in Michigan to fight opioid abuse if the governor approves it. State Representative Brandt Iden tells WSJM News a supplemental budget bill sent to the governor this week includes $700,000 for Medicaid recipients to receive genetic tests in the county. The goal is to find indicators of a pr-disposition to an opioid addiction.. ...Read Full Story

New State Police Program To Test Some Drivers For Controlled Substances

Michigan State Police are launching a new pilot program to catch drivers under the influence of a controlled substance, and Berrien County is one of five counties picked to be a part. MSP First Lieutenant Jim Flegel tells WSJM News, as part of the new program, specially-trained officers known as Drug Recognition Experts will collect a saliva sample from someone suspected of impaired driving. The officers will have instruments to run a preliminary test for some substances.. ...Read Full Story

Legislatures Favors Calling Residents “Michiganders”

From the Associated Press — Are you a Michigander or a Michiganian? The state Legislature is weighing into the debate in favor of using the term Michigander. The House this week approved a 13-bill package related to modernizing laws related to historical markers. A portion of one bill defines resident of the state as Michiganders and removes references to the term Michiganians. The bills, which previously cleared the Senate, need only final Senate votes before heading to Governor Rick Snyder. He uses the term Michiganders.. ...Read Full Story

Veterans Reminded How To Apply For Benefits

With Veterans Day just around the corner, an upcoming event in Detroit aims to support and honor those who have served by connecting them with services and benefits they’re entitled to as veterans. AARP Michigan’s Melissa Seifert tells us many veterans may simply be unaware of some of the many benefits that are out there.. ...Read Full Story

House Bid Intensifies To Reduce Auto Insurance Rates

From the Associated Press — Efforts are heating up to pass legislation to reduce the cost of auto insurance in Michigan. Members of the Republican-controlled state House talked behind closed doors about bill amendments Thursday, and Detroit hospitals that oppose the
legislation warned of an “imminent” vote. Legislators could be in session into the night. The bill lets drivers opt out of a requirement to carry unlimited medical benefits through their auto insurance for crash injuries. The legislation seeks varying cuts in personal injury protection fees for motorists choosing less coverage. Supporters say the bill would help drivers who face the highest premiums in the
country. Opponents say it would lead to inadequate treatment for people with brain and other catastrophic injuries. Democrats are largely united against the bill. Some Republicans also are opposed.. ...Read Full Story

Gas Prices Expected To Approach $3 Per Gallon Soon

Gas prices have spiked again and GasBuddy’s Patrick DeHaan is expecting we could be going up even more to around $3 per gallon in the coming days due to a growing list of problems between the well and the pump. He says it all started with Hurricane Harvey compressing maintenance schedules of refineries in the Midwest, which stayed online to make up for the loss of plants in the Gulf during the storms.. ...Read Full Story

MI Supreme Court Justice Approved For Federal Bench

From the Associated Press — Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen has been promoted to a federal appeals court. The U.S. Senate confirmed Larsen’s nomination Wednesday. President Donald Trump selected her for the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The
Cincinnati-based court hears appeals from Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky. Larsen has made a remarkable rise in just two years. Governor Rick Snyder appointed her to the Michigan Supreme Court in 2015. She was elected by voters last year. She served on the faculty at University of Michigan law school and worked in the administration of President George W. Bush. Snyder will choose another justice when Larsen leaves the Michigan court.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Talks Youth Sports Concussion Law

State Senator John Proos tells us the latest anti-concussion legislation signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder will ensure coaches and volunteers with youth leagues are up to date on the latest science. The plan recently signed by Snyder requires those who work with student athletes to get concussion awareness training every three years, says Proos.. ...Read Full Story

Two Killed In Edwardsburg Crash

A deadly crash in Cass County is under investigation. Two people were killed when their pickup truck hit a utility pole in Edwardsburg around 8 p.m. last night. According to our reporting partners at WNDU NewsCenter 16, officers were having trouble last night identifying the two. The crash happened in the rain, and police are trying to figure out if that played a role or if alcohol may have been involved. Several homes in the area also lost power for several hours due to the crash on Elkhart Road north of Redfield Street.. ...Read Full Story