Local News Archives

Grants To Fight Invasive Species

Two grants totaling $113,000 have been announced for agencies in southwest Michigan to fight against the spread of invasive species. Michigan Department of Natural Resources invasive species communications coordinator Joanne Foreman tells us the southwest corner of the state is viewed as key to preventing non-native species.. ...Read Full Story

Psychologist Talks Big Holiday Stressers

When families get together for the holidays it can mean eating, drinking, and arguing. The current political climate, family responsibilities, and relationships top the list of stressers between family members according to a survey by the American Psychological Association. Dr. Lynn Bufka is with the organization and spoke with Michigan News Network.. ...Read Full Story

LaSata Bill To Expand OK2SAY Signed

Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation from state Representative Kim LaSata to expand Michigan’s OK2SAY hotline so sexual abuse and assault can now be reported through it. LaSata tells us her bill was inspired by the Larry Nassar situation. She adds OK2SAY is a natural fit for reporting sexual crimes.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph High School Lunch Fight Prompts Brief Lockdown

Two St. Joseph High School students are facing disciplinary action after a fight at lunch Thursday that resulted in police being called. Principal Greg Blomgren tells parents in a letter that the fight prompted a brief lockdown. Blomgren says it erupted with over 500 students witnessing it in the student center, and he says many of them were cheering, laughing, and recording the fight on their phones. He says he wants the student body to hold themselves to a higher standard and is asking parents to talk to their students about the fight and the response from onlookers. Blomgren says administrators and staffers acted quickly to separate the fighting students and “diffuse the situation.”. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Trial Court Issues Reminder About Marijuana Policy

The Berrien County Trial Court is putting out the warning that while possession of marijuana by anyone over the age of 21 is legal now in the state, you still can’t have any on you at the courthouses or on any property leased or managed by or on behalf of the court. Chief Judge Gary Bruce says the drug remains illegal and fully criminalized under federal law, and the court is subject to the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. Legal and disciplinary action will still be taken against any court employees, officials, contractors and court users who violate the policy by possessing or using marijuana on the property and court employees can expect to still be tested for drugs.. ...Read Full Story

One GOP Power-Grab Bill Dies In State House

Legislation that would strip campaign finance oversight from the incoming Democratic secretary of state and shift it to a new bipartisan commission is in trouble in Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature. The Senate-passed bill is not on the agenda for a Wednesday committee meeting, an indication that it is at serious risk of stalling in the final week of the contentious lame-duck session. Representative Aaron Miller of Sturgis says there aren’t enough votes to pass the bill, which is seen by critics as potentially the most egregious attempt by Republican lawmakers to dilute the authority of a Democrat. Jocelyn Benson was elected last month and in January will become the first Democratic secretary of state in 24 years. Other contentious bills that would empower the Legislature to intervene in lawsuits and make it harder to initiate ballot measures remain under consideration.. ...Read Full Story

High Marks For Bridgman Superintendent

The Bridgman Public Schools Board of Education has voted to extend the contract of Superintendent Shane Peters by three years. That’s after he got a positive yearly performance evaluation this month. The board rated Peters as highly effective, and praised him for helping Bridgman students exceed state and county averages in math and English. They also noted several new programs were added to the district during the most recent year, including reading programs at the elementary and middle school levels, and a fifth year Spanish class at the high school. The board said Peters is engaged with the public and it’s proud of the district and the community.. ...Read Full Story

Legislation Shielding “Dark Money” Advances

From the Associated Press — Legislation nearing the desk of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder would make it a crime for government agencies to require the disclosure of nonprofits’ donors. Critics decry the move as shielding political “dark money” while supporters
defend it as protecting people’s right to freedom of association. The Republican-led House approved the bill Tuesday, meaning it will go to
Snyder after a final procedural step in the Senate in the final days of a frantic lame-duck session. The legislation is seen by some as a pre-emptive strike against the incoming Democratic secretary of state and attorney general, who will succeed term-limited Republicans.
Politically active nonprofits that spend big on elections and ballot initiatives already do not have to disclose the sources of their funding to the IRS. The legislation would prohibit governments in Michigan from making such information public or even collecting it in the first place _ unless there is a warrant or a request as part of litigation.. ...Read Full Story