Local News Archives

Rural Development Grants For SWM

Congressman Fred Upton has announced a couple of grants for Berrien and Van Buren counties. His office tells us the first USDA Rural Development grant in Berrien is $95,000 for the village of Baroda. It will be used to build a road through the industrial park. The park has 14 lots, 12 of which are sold to businesses looking to construct facilities. However, there isn’t road access to all of the sites. The grant will change that. It’s expected to lead to the creation of 20 jobs. The other grant is for $41,000 for Van Buren County to conduct a comprehensive countywide economic development plan. It will focus on three areas — transportation, workforce housing, and internet connectivity. Congressman Upton says the two USDA Rural Development grants will “directly help boost our local economy and create local jobs.”. ...Read Full Story

Prison Closing This Year

The Ojibway Correctional Facility in the western Upper Peninsula will close in December. The Michigan Department of Corrections announced the closure today as the prisoner population continues to decline statewide. State Representative Scott Dianda, who represents the western Upper Peninsula, tells Michigan News Network it’s bad news.. ...Read Full Story

Historical Society Fundraising For Museum

The Bangor Historical Society is looking to purchase its museum Museum on West Monroe Street. The society tells us it’s had a generous landlord for years, but now, the landlord would like to sell the building in the next year. So, that means the museum will have to purchase the building or move. Bob Emmert, president of the museum, spoke with WSJM News about the issue.. ...Read Full Story

Public Art On Hold

There will not be any public art on the sidewalks in the city of St. Joseph next year. The program is being paused for a year, partly due to the retirement of communications director Susan Solon, and partly because she says it’s been successful in bringing people and families downtown and helping to fill storefronts that had been empty when it began as an economic development tool 15 years go.. ...Read Full Story

Milestone For Horizon Bank

Horizon Bank has announced a new milestone. The bank that serves northern Indiana and southwest Michigan has surpassed $4 billion in total assets. Horizon Bank CEO Craig Dwight says this is the first time the institution has passed that mark in its 145 year history. He adds the bank is proud of reaching that level, believing the growth “helps us to continue on our mission of serving local communities.” He credits the latest news to “profitable acquisitive and organic growth.” Horizon Bank has more than 50 locations throughout Indiana and Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Group Studies Local Retail Needs

Cornerstone Alliance is looking at all options to help Benton Township replace the Target store in the Fairplain Plaza, which closed earlier this year. To that end, they’ve hired an organization called The Retail Coach to study the market. The company’s Will Kline talked about the work with 98.3 The Coast.. ...Read Full Story

Police Citizens Academy

Anyone interested in learning more about police work will soon have a chance to take part in a Michigan State Police Citizens Academy. Trooper Alan Fitzpatrick of the Paw Paw post tells WSJM News the next academy will start September 24, and they’re taking registrations now. He says each Monday session looks at different aspects of the work state police do.. ...Read Full Story

Online Sales Tax Collections Increasing

The state of Michigan will begin collecting sales taxes on online purchases from out of state sellers next month. The Michigan Department of Treasury tells us a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision has prompted it to change the state’s sales tax administration. Shoppers were previously required to track and annually self-report uncollected taxes from mail order and online retailers physically located outside of Michigan. Treasury says this week’s announcement allows for the more efficient collection of the sales tax by collecting from businesses rather than individuals. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a more than 30-year precedent allowing the Michigan Department of Treasury to collect sales tax from retailers physically located outside the state if the retailer exceeds $100,000 in sales or 200 or more transactions in Michigan within the previous calendar year. The state Treasury Department estimates more than $200 million in additional state revenue will be collected each year under the new sales tax rule.. ...Read Full Story

Push To Improve National Parks

National Parks in Michigan and around the nation could get some TLC if Congress Acts. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is promoting bipartisan legislation that would address the $12 billion maintenance backlog at parks across the country. Yaron Miller with the Pew Charitable Trusts Restore America’s Parks campaign says many of the problems at the parks impact access and safety.. ...Read Full Story

Local Wines Win Awards

Some southwest Michigan wineries have come out on top in a statewide competition. Held in Lansing on August 9 was the 2018 Michigan Wine Competition. Out of 415 wines entered, wineries of the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail were awarded 125 medals, including three in the Best of Class category. Among them were St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw, which took home the top honors in the categories of Dessert Wine and Fruit Wine. Winning in the Semi-Dry Red Wine category was Lawton Ridge Winery out of Kalamazoo. The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail is a collaboration of 20 member wineries all located in Southwest Michigan. You can find out more about them at MIWineTrail.com.. ...Read Full Story