Local News Archives

United Way Drive Wraps Up This Week

The drop-off date for the United Way of Southwest Michigan’s Christmas in June food drive will be this Wednesday. The United Way’s Charlotte Becker tells WSJM News Christmas in June last year resulted in more than 15,000 items being collected, and they hope to double that this year. The 34 southwest Michigan businesses that have been collecting items will drop them off at Upton Middle School in St. Joe, Buchanan Middle School, or Brookside Learning Center in Cassopolis Wednesday.. ...Read Full Story

Key Endorsements For Whitmer

Gretchen Whitmer has snagged some key endorsements in her run for governor. She told Michigan News Network on Monday Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith, and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel have chosen to back her as she seeks the Democratic nomination to run for governor.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Statement On Separation Of Families

“Ugly and inhumane.” That’s how Congressman Fred Upton describes the separation of undocumented parents and their kids at the U.S. and Mexico border. The Trump administration has been under fire for the practice of keeping the children of detained parents apart from the parents, with opponents including House Speaker Paul Ryan and former First Lady Laura Bush. In a statement issued Monday, Upton says it’s “never acceptable to use kids as bargaining chips in [the] political process.” He goes on to say that “separating young, innocent children from their parents is the wrong approach. The right approach is legislation to address the root issues.” Upton called on the U.S. House to vote on an immigration bill this week.. ...Read Full Story

Jeffrey Willis Sentenced For Murder Of Gas Station Clerk

He’s already serving life in prison without parole for one murder, and now 48-year-old Jeffrey Willis of Muskegon has a second identical sentence. That was handed down Monday in a Muskegon County courtroom for the death of 25-year-old gas station clerk Jessica Heeringa in 2013. She disappeared from work at a Norton Shores gas station in April of that year, and her body has not been found. Willis was previously convicted of murder in the death of jogger Rebekah Bletsch and is still awaiting trial for allegedly trying to kidnap a teenage girl in 2016. That was the case that broke open the Bletsch and Heeringa cases. Willis cried during his sentencing Monday, saying he’s innocent and didn’t get a fair trial.. ...Read Full Story

Local Rotarians Hear From Rotary International President

Members of the Rotary Club of St. Joseph-Benton Harbor are celebrating the local chapter’s 100th anniversary this year, and got a treat over the weekend. Rotary International President Ian Riseley was the keynote speaker at the centennial celebration at Lake Michigan College’s Mendel Center on Saturday. Riseley tells WSJM News a main focus for Rotary International is to recruit young people to get involved.. ...Read Full Story

Environmental Groups Seek Power Plant Info

A Freedom of Information Act request has been filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by a coalition of environmental groups seeking more information on a possible bailout for aging nuclear and coal power plants. Terry Lodge, attorney for the group that includes Beyond Nuclear and Don’t Waste Michigan, tells WSJM News the NRC and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission met last week to discuss the bailout possibility. He says it’s been floated by the Trump administration.. ...Read Full Story

Tax Break For Coloma Camp

The Coloma/St. Joseph KOA Campground is getting a boost from Hagar Township. The township board this week approved a Commercial Rehabilitation Exemption Certificate for upgrades at the campground. The move freezes the taxable value of the property for the next decade. New owners bought the campground in August 2017 and immediately launched into upgrades and improvements of the 40-acre property. The next phase will include upgrades to the plumbing, water, electric, and sewer infrastructure and the clubhouse, restrooms and pool will all be rehabbed. Campground owners worked with Cornerstone Alliance to obtain the exemption.. ...Read Full Story