Local News Archives

South Haven Jazz Festival This Weekend

A first-of-its-kind event is planned for this weekend in South Haven. Scott Reinert with the South Haven-Van Buren County Convention and Visitors Bureau tells WSJM News they’re holding a jazz festival. Musicians from around the region are slated to be on hand Friday and Saturday nights.. ...Read Full Story

Representative Whiteford To Hold Auto Insurance Town Hall

There will be a town hall meeting Monday night held by state Representative Mary Whiteford of South Haven to talk about reforming Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance system. She tells WSJM News that Michigan is “the most expensive state in the country (for auto insurance). It’s unacceptable, and we need to do something now.” Her forum will be at 6 p.m. Monday at Fillmore Township Hall, just south of Holland on M-40. For years, lawmakers have been trying to address the high cost of auto insurance due to Michigan’s unique no-fault system, with no luck. There are several plans being floated around Lansing now, giving some in the Capitol hope that at least a small change could be on the way. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and House Speaker Tom Leonard are working together on a plan to mandate a 30% drop in premiums, but even if that passes the House, Senate Republican leaders say it’s dead on arrival in the upper chamber.. ...Read Full Story

Maryland Attempted Murder Suspect Arrested In SWMI

A man wanted for attempted murder in Maryland is awaiting arraignment in the Cass County Jail on several charges including resisting and obstructing police. The Ontwa Township Edwardsburg Police Department says an officer pulled over a motorcycle for an expired plate on Tuesday, and learned after 90 minutes of questioning the driver had a warrant from Maryland. The man gave several fake names during that time period. He’s also facing charges locally of driving without a license and without insurance.. ...Read Full Story

Governor Orders Flags Lowered To Half Staff For MI Marine

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s governor is asking that flags around the state be lowered to half-staff Friday in honor of a Marine from southeastern Michigan who died during training. Governor Rick Snyder’s office says flags will be lowered at all state buildings and within the state Capitol complex in Lansing on the day of the funeral for Marine Pfc. Michael Giannattasio. Military officials say the 22-year-old from the Macomb County village of Armada was found unresponsive Aug. 30 at California’s Camp Pendleton. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports Giannattasio’s death remains under investigation. Tiffany-Young and Hauss Funeral Home says Giannattasio graduated from La Salette Academy in Olivet, Illinois, in 2014 and attended Macomb Community College before enlisting in the Marines. His funeral Mass will be Friday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ray Township.. ...Read Full Story

Man Dies Following Allegan County Police Chase

The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a fatal crash on Wednesday. It tells us the crash happened on northbound US-131 near 135th Avenue around 10:25 p.m. An Allegan County Sheriff’s deputy was northbound on 131 when he spotted a pick-up swerving all over the road. He pulled it over, but as the deputy was walking toward the truck to talk to the driver, the truck took off again. A short northbound chase then started. The pick-up crashed south of 142nd Avenue, hitting the cable barriers and rolling over several times on the opposite side of the highway. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say he was not wearing his seat belt and alcohol was involved. Police have not released his name.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan State Police To Hold Recruitment Seminar This Month

Michigan State Police are planning to hold a recruitment seminar in Dowagiac this month. The informational gathering will be Saturday, September 30 at the Southwestern Community College Student Activity Center. The seminar will feature information on what sorts of jobs Michigan State Police personnel do. On hand will be troopers, supervisors, and command officers to answer questions, and the event will be free to attend. Michigan State Police tell us they’re looking to beef up their ranks, and they want diversity. You have to be at least 21 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, a good driving record and credit history, and no felonies. Starting salary with state police at the recruit school is $44,000 with a $7,8000 raise after one year. If you’re interested in attending the seminar, you need to send an RSVP e-mail to Trooper Kellie Shaffer at Shafferk@michigan.gov. You can also find out more at Michigan.gov/MSPJobs.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Jobless Rate Increases Slightly

State officials say Michigan’s unemployment rate rose by two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.9% for August, even as the number of people in the workforce declined for the fourth straight month. Figures from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget show the state jobless rate is a full percentage point lower than the 4.9% rate from August 2016. Michigan’s unemployment rate remains lower than the national mark of 4.4% for August.. ...Read Full Story

Red Cross Training Sessions Set

Red Cross chapters in Southwest Michigan are planning one-day “Zero to Hero” training sessions over the next month, because they know they will be sending volunteers south for some time to come. The first will be at the Berrien County Chapter this Sunday. Kalamazoo’s Chapter will host volunteer trainees a week from Friday, the 22nd. Battle Creek will hold one at the First United Methodist Church on September 30th. Allegan residents can get the training at the First Baptist Church on October 6th.. ...Read Full Story

Report Looks At Time Wasted Because Of Smart Phones

A new survey shows people are wasting a lot of time at work doing personal business and using their phones. The Office Team survey shows younger workers between 18 and 34 rack up 70 minutes on their mobile devices every day while they’re on the job, according to spokesperson Anne Shupe, who spoke with Michigan News Network about the survey.. ...Read Full Story

MI Realtors Helping Hurricane Recovery Effort In Texas

Another organization giving its time to help those following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey is real estate company Keller Williams. The company’s Jeff Glover tells Michigan News Network they have their annual convention in Austin at this time every year, but instead, they are helping with recovery efforts in Houston. He says the sights are difficult to see.. ...Read Full Story

Army Corps Taking Public Input On Asian Carp Plan

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is hoping the public will offer its input to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as it takes comments on the Brandon Road lock and dam study. That study was recently released with several recommendations for preventing the spread of the Asian carp into the Great Lakes, says the DNR’s Tammy Newcomb. She tells WSJM News the report focuses on that one shipping location in Joliet, Illinois.. ...Read Full Story

Two Arraigned In Dowagiac Stabbing

The two suspects in a Dowagiac stabbing last Friday have been arraigned. The Dowagiac Department of Public Safety tells us Joshua Procter and Autumn Parsons are facing 12 charges in the case. They include assault with intent to murder, armed robbery, and lying to a police officer. The department says the two were arrested this week in a case that investigators believe was drug-related. The stabbing victim has already been released. Joshua Procter is charged as a habitual offender with bond set at $250,000. Parsons is being held on $100,000 bond.. ...Read Full Story

MI Unemployment Rate Edges Up In August

From the Associated Press — State officials say Michigan’s unemployment rate rose by two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.9 percent for August even as the number of people in the workforce declined for the fourth straight month. Figures released Wednesday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget show the state jobless rate is a full percentage point lower than the 4.9 percent rate from August 2016. Michigan’s unemployment rate remains lower than the national mark of 4.4 percent for August. The agency says Michigan’s workforce shrunk by 7,000 in August after dropping by 24,000 in July. Despite that decline, an additional 10,000 Michigan residents
were unemployed last month. The agency says the August jobless rate increase was the state’s first since February.. ...Read Full Story

MI Senate Approves Certification Process For Specialty Courts

From the Associated Press — Bills advancing in Michigan’s legislature would require that special problem-solving courts receive state certification to operate. The courts are designed to address criminals’ underlying substance abuse or mental health issues so they do not reoffend. Policymakers say the legislation is needed so Michigan has a more consistent and effective approach for the courts and defendants. Under the bills approved unanimously by the Senate Tuesday, specialty courts would have to be certified by the State Court Administrative Office starting in January. The office currently offers recommendations, but the courts are under no mandate to adopt them. The legislation will go to the House for consideration next.. ...Read Full Story

Legislation Would Maintain Current Blood Alcohol Limit In Michigan

From the Associated Press — Legislation moving forward in Michigan’s legislature would continue the state’s 0.08 blood-alcohol limit for drunken driving until 2023. The limit is set to return to 0.10 in 2018, putting federal funding at risk unless lawmakers act. Legislators first moved to the 0.08 blood-alcohol level in 2003 but have twice put a sunset provision in the law so the issue is revisited. The House approved the bills 106-1 Tuesday. The legislation next goes to the Senate for consideration. One of the sponsors, Republican Representative Klint Kesto of Commerce Township in Oakland County, says “our roads are becoming safer every year with the 0.08 standard” and allowing the limit to rise to 0.10 would send a “dangerous message.”. ...Read Full Story

Legislation Would Expand Farm To School Program

A program that helps connect more than 700,000 Michigan students to local farmers would get a big boost under new legislation. The Farm to School Act of 2017 would expand the existing USDA Farm to School Grant Program by improving access to local foods at schools. Maximilian Merrill with the National Farm to School Network tells us it’s a win-win as farmers will source their food to schools and students learn about agriculture.. ...Read Full Story

Safety Grant For BH Schools Leading To New Programs

A $2 million state grant awarded last year to Benton Harbor Area Schools for safety and gang prevention has been making a difference. On Tuesday, the board of education heard the grant has paid for suicide awareness training, a leadership skills program, and self-esteem and life skills training for girls. Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker tells WSJM News that’s just some of what the district managed to do in the first few months of having the funds at the end of the last school year.. ...Read Full Story

Seven Arrests In Cass County Stolen Property Case

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department has arrested seven suspects in a stolen property and meth case. It tells us deputies were sent out to a property in the 67,000 block of Hess Road Monday morning on a report of stolen property out of St. Joseph County, Indiana. The items had been taken in a breaking and entering. During their search, police say they found a large amount of stolen property along with a firearm, methamphetamine, and marijuana. Five women and two men were arrested at the house for possession of stolen property, drug offenses, and firearm violations. Their names have not yet been released.. ...Read Full Story