Local News Archives

Here’s How You Can Help Hurricane Harvey Victims

The American Red Cross is encouraging people to donate money on its website or to text 90999 to donate $10. Other organizations include the Salvation ArmySamaritan’s Purse and Heart to Heart International. The crowdfunding website Global Giving is trying to raise $2 million to provide “food, water, and medicine in addition to longer-term recovery assistance” to Harvey’s victims.. ...Read Full Story

Improvements Being Made To Watervliet Running Track

Some renovations are planned for the Watervliet Parcourse. That’s a 1.1 mile track located behind Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet that’s been open to the public for the past 30 years. The track is worn, and so Lakeland’s Regina Ciaravino tells WSJM News they’re raising $125,000 to redo it. The renovated track will be different.. ...Read Full Story

State Warns About Post-Hurricane Scams

Don’t let your post Hurricane Harvey generosity cause you to get ripped off. That’s the message of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, whose office has issued a warning to everyone as more groups start seeking money to help with relief efforts. AG spokesperson Megan Hawthorne tells WSJM News to be wary of groups that call you unsolicited.. ...Read Full Story

Man Arrested After Fleeing Police In Van Buren County

A suspect who police say fled from them in Van Buren County has been arrested after a long search through some harsh terrain. The Southwest Enforcement Team tells us officers were conducting surveillance in South Haven on Tuesday when they noticed a suspicious vehicle. They say they trailed the vehicle to the Covert area, and when they tried to stop it, the passenger in the front seat jumped out of the window and ran off into some woods. Police say the driver confirmed to them the passenger was a fugitive, and so they set up a perimeter. The enforcement team tells us it caught 39-year-old Toby Allen Farly after a lengthy track. He was taken to the Van Buren County Jail on two felony warrants.. ...Read Full Story

Test Results: Michigan Kids Worse In Reading, Better In Math

From the Associated Press — Michigan students were less proficient in reading and more proficient in math and social studies in the latest round of statewide standardized tests. M-STEP results were released Tuesday by the state Department of Education. They show that English language arts scores worsened in four of the five grades in which students were tested last spring. Math scores improved in four
of the five grades from the year before. State Superintendent Brian Whiston says the math and science results are “exciting” while the reading scores are “disappointing.” He says Michigan’s initiative to target early literacy should lead to better reading results as it is fully implemented. Whiston is currently working to establish a new state testing system – one that takes less time and benchmarks progress throughout the academic. ...Read Full Story

SJ Commissioners Approve Plan For Reconstruction, Repaving Of Wallace Avenue

Residents along Wallace Avenue in St. Joseph will lose some of their parking, but at least their street will get reconstructed. That’s after St. Joseph City Commissioners Monday night voted to proceed with a Wallace plan which will mean no more parking between Stadium and Lakeshore. The city had to go with that option because it’s required to put in a ten-foot path along the street for bikes. If it didn’t, the project would lose $460,000 in federal funding. Commissioner Mary Goff said the plan isn’t perfect.. ...Read Full Story

Mackinac Island Facing Labor Shortage

From the Associated Press — Some business owners in the tourist industry of Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island say they’re experiencing a severe worker shortage because of a drop in federal visas. The Detroit News reports the federal government limits visas to 66,000 foreign
workers per year, but it doesn’t include returning workers against the cap. Congress decided not to renew the exemption for returning workers in September 2016 after then-presidential candidate Donald Trump condemned foreign workers getting American jobs.
Mackinac Island business owners say the shift has hurt the tourism industry because the island of fewer than 500 residents has depended on foreign workers to fill summer jobs for decades. Employers expect temporary relief due to the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security approving 15,000 extra foreign workers for this year.. ...Read Full Story

Health Officials Warn About Salmonella Risks With Backyard Chickens

The largest outbreak of salmonella associated with backyard chicken flocks has hit the United States, and experts with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say it’s critical that bird owners take precautions to keep it from getting worse. Megin Nichols, public-health veterinarian for the CDC, tells us some folks buy their own backyard chickens thinking they reduce the risk of salmonella, but many of those birds come from factory farms.. ...Read Full Story

State Rep Highlights Education Funding Increases

As a new academic year draws closer, state Representative Beth Griffin of Mattawan is applauding the increased funding schools are receiving. She tells us the state legislature last year approved a per pupil funding increase of $60 for K through 12 schools. Some smaller, rural districts are getting $120 more per student. Griffin says the budget also includes another $25 per student for high school students on top of the base allocation. She lauded the focus on career and technical education the funding has. Griffin’s office tells us state funding for K-12 education is now at a record amount.. ...Read Full Story

Upton: Congress Has To Get To Work On Tax Reform

Congress gets back to work next week, and Fred Upton is ready to get a few things done. The Republican congressman from Michigan’s Sixth District told Michigan’s Big Show this week Congress has to get to work on tax reform. He tells us he doubts anything will come out of President Trump’s threats to shut down the government without a border wall.. ...Read Full Story

Two More Charged In Benton Harbor Shooting Death

Two more suspects have been charged in the shooting death of a Benton Harbor man this month. The Berrien County Prosecutor’s office tells WSJM News 21-year-old Shuantae Hill and 23-year-old Denzeil Dade are now charged with felony murder, armed robbery, and felony firearm in the death of 32-year-old Nathaniel Lee. Felony murder comes with a penalty of life in prison. Bond for both Hill and Dade has been set at $1 million, and they’re due back in court September 1. A total of four suspects are charged in Nathaniel Lee’s Death. He was shot and killed outside of the River Terrace apartments in Benton Harbor on August 15. The prosecutor says police believe it happened during a robbery. The other two suspects, Antonio Hall and Davion Turner, have also been arraigned.. ...Read Full Story

State Announces New Deer Hunting Rules

From the Associated Press — If you’re a hunter who shoots deer or related animals in other states, be advised that there are new rules about bringing their parts into Michigan. The tougher regulations are intended to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease among Michigan’s deer, elk and moose. The illness attacks the central nervous system of animals in the deer family and can eventually kill them.
Nine free-ranging deer in Michigan have tested positive since April 2015. Under the new rules, hunters who kill a deer in any other state or Canadian province can bring only certain parts into Michigan. Among them are hides, deboned meat, quarters, finished taxidermy products, cleaned teeth and antlers. The Department of Natural Resources says violators can be fined and have the animal confiscated.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Twp Police: Lock Your Doors!

A warning is going out in St. Joseph Township to keep your doors locked on your homes and your vehicles. The township police department on Facebook says they’ve had several home invasions and window peepings in the Arlington, Arbor, Clemens, and Marvin areas of the township. No description of the suspect has been released. Police say the suspect is getting in to homes through unlocked doors after midnight while people are sleeping. No other details are being released.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Issuing Driver’s License To Comply With Federal Law

Michigan is set to start issuing driver’s licenses today that residents eventually need to board domestic flights if they don’t have passports or other accepted documents. New ID standards were created after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Starting in October 2020, compliant driver’s licenses or state IDs will be needed to fly or to visit federal buildings, nuclear plants and military bases unless other acceptable documents are provided. If you already have an enhanced driver’s license or ID card, you won’t need to make any changes, as that card is already REAL-ID compliant.. ...Read Full Story

Gas Prices Up, Will Go Higher Due To Hurricane Harvey

Get ready for some pain at the gas pump, courtesy of Hurricane Harvey. Prices around the state went up a modest 6¢ a gallon over the past week according to Triple-A Michigan, but more increases are on the way. We’re starting the week with an average in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph of $2.44, which is currently the lowest average in the state, while Traverse City drivers are paying the most at $2.53. The statewide average is currently $2.47. On Twitter, GasBuddy.com analyst Patrick DeHaan is predicting prices in the Midwest will go up by a dime to a quarter per gallon in the next two weeks. Just when the increase will start and how steep it will be remains to be seen.. ...Read Full Story

Retired MSP Trooper Honored In Benton Harbor

Benton Harbor City Commissioners have honored a local Michigan State Police trooper with a key to the city. Trooper Maurice Burton retired this year after serving the state police since 1986. He’d been the city’s community service trooper since the Granholm administration and told WSJM News he’s seen the community’s police presence change a lot since then.. ...Read Full Story

New Flint Scholarship Program Announced

There’s already a Kalamazoo Promise for students. Now, some business owners are trying to set up a Flint Promise scholarship program. Detroit Pistons owner and Flint area native Tom Gores, along with the Consumers Energy Foundation, on Wednesday announced they’re donating $1 million to the Flint Promise. Consumers Energy President and CEO Patti Poppe tells Michigan News Network with more donations, the program should be able to begin helping students go to college next year.. ...Read Full Story

One More Berrien County Road Commission Hearing Scheduled

Another public hearing will be held on the question of the Berrien County Road Commission. Board of Commissioners Chair Jon Hinkelman tells WSJM News the board is thinking about creating a new county roads department to take over the functions of the road commission. Commissioners wanted to hear from the public at the Thursday session. There’s one more to go, set to be held in the evening.. ...Read Full Story

Upton: Much Work To Do In Congress

Congressman Fred Upton is hoping to see the situation in the White House stabilize with recent changes in staff. He tells us he’s optimistic about the job new Chief of Staff John Kelly can do. Congressman Upton tells WSJM News there’s real work that needs to get done.. ...Read Full Story