Local News Archives

South Haven Leaders Discussing Top Priorities

South Haven City Manager Brian Dissette is tasking the city council with addressing a list of priorities he gave to them at a meeting last night. The council members also added to the document, and Dissette says this is just the first step in deciding what the priorities are and what order they should be addressed.. ...Read Full Story

State Announces Lead Control Grants

From the Associated Press — Nearly $4 million in grants to expand lead hazard control services to homes where someone is enrolled in Medicaid has been awarded to two Michigan communities and an agency that serves several counties. The state Health and Human Services department says Battle Creek and Grand Rapids each are getting $1.5 million. About $962,000 is going to the Human
Development Commission for Huron, Tuscola, Sanilac and Lapeer counties. Inspections, risk assessment, removal of lead-based paint from eligible residences, and removal of plumbing and service lines deemed to be lead hazards are among the services that can receive funding. Funding also can be used to temporarily relocate residents during lead abatement. Activities must be completed by September 30. The funding was provided through Michigan’s Children’s Health Insurance Program.. ...Read Full Story

MI Universities Seek Delay On Nassar-Inspired Bills

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s 15 public universities are asking the Michigan Legislature to delay voting on bills inspired by the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case, expressing concern about measures that would retroactively extend the time victims would have to file lawsuits and remove an immunity defense for governmental agencies. The Senate may vote this week on the legislation backed by victims of the imprisoned former doctor at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics. The Michigan Association of State Universities wrote a letter to lawmakers Monday. The universities say several bills would have a “profound impact” and encourage the filing of a “significant number” of lawsuits against schools, churches, governments and organizations. People sexually abused as children generally have until their 19th birthdays to sue. Under the legislation, those abused as children in 1993 or later could sue until their 48th birthdays.. ...Read Full Story

SJ Commission Signs Off On Krasl Work

St. Joseph City Commissioners have given the green light to the Krasl Art Center as it seeks an improvement project for its grounds to attract more visitors. At a Monday meeting, the commission signed off on a Planned Unit Development request for Krasl as it pursues more than $1.4 million in work. Krasl’s Julia Gourley told WSJM News they’ll add a commissioned sculpture along with some other features.. ...Read Full Story

National Weather Service Offering Spotter Classes

Warmer weather’s return also means the threat of severe weather here in southwest Michigan, and to prepare for that possibility, the Van Buren County Office of Domestic Preparedness conducted a training session for some 50 volunteer weather spotters from across the county at Paw Paw High School over the weekend. Jim Maczko, a meteorologist from the Grand Rapids National Weather Service Office, led the session. He told WSJM News that even with all of today’s technology, information provided by boots on the ground is the most valuable.. ...Read Full Story

$1.5 Million In Loans Announced For Affordable Housing

Congressman Fred Upton has announced a couple of affordable housing loans for communities in Van Buren County. His office tells us a total of $1.55 million is coming to the county from the United States Department of Agriculture. A $775,000 Rural Development low-interest loan is going to Lawrence Downs in Lawrence to be used to rehabilitate the inside and outside of a 48-unit family rental property. Also, a $775,000 loan will go to Decatur Downs in Decatur to acquire and rehabilitate a 48-unit family project with 31 units eligible for assistance on paying rental fees. Congressman Upton tells us the USDA loans will directly help southwest Michigan families, adding “Affordable housing is critical for those looking to put down roots in our region.”. ...Read Full Story

Soybean Farmers Urged To Help Protect Honeybees

A major endeavor is under way to educate soybean farmers about helping save honeybees. The Honey Bee Health Coalition this month unveiled a management plan for growers. Adam Dolezal, assistant professor at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, did the research for the report. He told us several factors have led to massive bee die-offs, including pesticide use and loss of habitat.. ...Read Full Story

State Identifies City With Unfunded Liabilities

The Michigan Department of Treasury has released its preliminary list of municipalities with underfunded retirement liabilities, and Benton Harbor makes an appearance. Treasury spokesperson Ron Leix tells WSJM News a new state law requiring local units of government to report underfunded benefits is now being implemented. More than 110 out of 490 local units of government have been identified as having an underfunded pension or healthcare plan, or both.. ...Read Full Story