Local News Archives

SMC Planning Major Expansion Of Nursing Program

An effort is underway to expand Southwestern Michigan College’s nursing program. The college plans to update the nursing instruction building with the latest technology and also double its size. The $9.6 million initiative is in response a shortage of nurses in the region. SMC says the goal is to increase nursing program enrollment by 40%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting 19% job growth for registered nurses by 2022, and more than 1 million job openings in the field. SMC’s nursing expansion is expected to be finished by the state of classes in the fall of 2018.. ...Read Full Story

Five Arrested In Two BH Drug Raids

Five people are facing charges following a couple of drug raids in Benton Harbor in recent days. First, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us the Southwest Michigan Enforcement Team searched a home in the 1,300 block of Union Avenue on Friday and found crack, two handguns, and evidence of drug trafficking. 48-year-old Margaret Casnave and 33-year-old Marcus Willis were arrested on charges of possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine and maintaining a drug house. They were taken to the Berrien County Jail. The second drug bust happened Wednesday morning in the 800 block of East High Street in Benton Harbor. Three people were arrested when officers found two pounds of marijuana and three handguns. The names of the suspects, who are also accused of drug trafficking, have not been released.. ...Read Full Story

Company Looking To Build Solar Farm In Michigan

From the Associated Press — Huron County is developing a solar energy ordinance after a renewable energy company said it wants to build about a dozen solar farms in the area. MLive reports California-based Cypress Creek Renewables has been pitching the idea to county residents in the county at the northern tip of Michigan’s Thumb region. Cypress Creek Director of Development Casey May says the company hopes to build the farms “in a staggered fashion” between late 2018 and 2020. Each solar farm is about 20 to 25 acres. Huron County Board Chairman Sami Khoury says the board adopted a one-year moratorium on solar farm development to give commissioners time to approve an ordinance. Khoury says “this way they just don’t put them wherever.” May says the farms would provide power throughout the county.. ...Read Full Story

Gobles Man Killed In Personal Water Craft Accident

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a deadly personal water craft accident on Magician Lake. They tell WSJM News 28-year-old Derek Jackson of Gobles hit a wave and was thrown off the water craft, and it then hit him after he landed in the water. He was pronounced dead after being airlifted to South Bend Memorial Hospital. The coroner’s office in St. Joseph County, Indiana has ruled Jackson’s death a drowning. Police say he was wearing a life jacket, but there was no alcohol involved in the incident. It happened just after 5 p.m. yesterday.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Holding Pesticide Collection Event

If you have pesticides you need to get rid of, you’re in luck. On July 26, Berrien County will hold a pesticide collection event in Benton Township. However, you have to register in advance, and the deadline is July 12. Berrien County Parks Department Environmental Property Manager Jill Adams tells our newsroom they hold these events each year. She says it’s much better to drop off such chemicals at the event than it is to throw the chemicals away.. ...Read Full Story

Celebrate Bridgman Begins Wednesday

This is the week to Celebrate Bridgman. Mayor Hannah Anderson tells WSJM News the city is holding a series of events throughout the week, Wednesday through Sunday. Everything kicks off with a walk from the library to Weko Beach on Wednesday. Thursday brings the Curious Kids Show and then the dances start.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Man in Jail After Pursuit

A South Haven man remains in jail after a Police pursuit. About 11:20 Monday night, troopers from the Michigan State Police Paw Paw Post attempted to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation on Gull Road near Sprinkle Road in Comstock Township. The vehicle fled and a pursuit continued into the City of Kalamazoo. While travelling West on West North Street, the suspect vehicle ran a red light at South Park Street and crashed into a passenger vehicle that was travelling North on North Park Street. The driver of the suspect vehicle is a 27 year old South Haven man and he alone in his vehicle. He was treated for injuries at Bronson Hospital and is currently being held in the Kalamazoo County Jail. Upon arrest, Troopers found the suspect had multiple warrants for his arrest, a suspended driver’s license and was in possession of open intoxicants and marijuana at the time of the crash. The suspect’s name is being withheld pending arraignment. The 3 occupants of the other vehicle the suspect hit were transported to Bronson Hospital where they were treated for their injuries. The crash remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

How To Properly Display Your Flag

This Fourth of July, many Americans are showing their patriotic spirit by flying the Stars and Stripes, and they’re being asked to keep flag etiquette in mind. Mark Sutton, with the American Legion Department of Michigan, tells us the American flag should be respected because it represents freedom, democracy, and the values of a nation that many have fought to defend.. ...Read Full Story

Car vs Motorcycle Accident

A man and a woman remain in the hospital after the motorcycle they were riding on collided with a car early Tuesday morning. Around 12:15am Berrien County Deputies located a car vs. motorcycle accident on M-63 near Central Avenue in Hagar Township. Authorities reports the couple from the motorcycle received severe injuries and were transported to Lakeland Hospital. They also say they were not wearing helmets. The driver of the car was not injured. Alcohol and speed are believed to be factors in the accident. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Crash Investigation Team is still investigating this incident.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan: No Personal Data Will Be Given To Trump Commission

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s secretary of state says she will comply with some requests for voter information from President Donald Trump’s voting commission, but personal data won’t be released. Ruth Johnson posted a response on Facebook on Monday, five days after the commission said it was asking states for information, including partial Social Security numbers and dates of birth. Birth years are fair game, but Johnson says Michigan law puts a shield on Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers. She says some basic voter information has been public for decades, including registrations and election participation history. Trump’s national commission was formed to investigate allegations of U.S. election fraud. Michigan found that at least 31 people voted twice last fall, although their names haven’t been released.. ...Read Full Story

New Editions Of Michigan Duck Stamp And Prints Released

From the Associated Press — The Michigan Duck Hunters Association and the state Department of Natural Resources are introducing the 2017 collector’s edition Michigan duck stamp and prints. The Michigan Waterfowl Stamp Program was established in 1976 and has become popular with hunters, conservationists and collectors around the nation. Proceeds from the stamp sales are used for projects that help conserve wetlands and other waterfowl habitat. This year’s duck stamp features a pair of northern shovelers, painted by wildlife artist Guy Crittenden of Richmond, Virginia. People interested in buying limited-edition prints and collector’s edition stamps can learn more at www.michigan.gov/waterfowl .. ...Read Full Story

Lawsuit Challenging Public Funding For Detroit Arena Dropped

A federal lawsuit seeking to block some public funding for the Little Caesars Arena and the Detroit Pistons’ move from the suburbs has been dropped. The lawsuit was filed by activist Robert Davis and city clerk candidate D. Etta Wilcoxon. They argue the project shouldn’t be funded without a vote from Detroit residents. Their attorney submitted a court notice Saturday to voluntarily dismiss the case.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Gas Prices Fall For July 4th Holiday

Gas prices in Michigan continue to buck the historical summertime upward trend, falling 6-cents a gallon this week to a statewide average of $2.29. Locally, AAA Michigan says the price in the Benton Harbor-St. Joseph area is down 11-cents to $2.23, which is also two-cents lower than this time last year. The auto club notes the Great Lakes region is finally experiencing some price stability, and Michigan’s price drop over the past week and the last month is the second-largest in the nation. The lowest prices in Michigan are in the Saginaw-Bay City-Midland area at $2.22, while Ann Arbor drivers are paying the most for the third straight week at $2.35 a gallon. GasBuddy spotters put the South Haven average at $2.14, though just one station is selling gas for more than $2.13 a gallon.. ...Read Full Story

Boating Accident Sends One To Hospital

A 25-year-old is being treated at Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph following a boating accident on Round Lake in Van Buren County’s Keeler Township. Deputies tell WSJM News there were two people on a tube being pulled by a boat when a second boat dumped a waterskier in front of them. Their boat operator turned to avoid the skier and hit a raft, tossing the two on the tube to be thrown off. A 22-year-old woman who was on the tube wasn’t hurt, and neither was the waterskier. The driver of the boat, however, was cited for traveling at a greater than slow-no-wake speed within 100 feet of a dock, raft, or other fixed object. No names have been released.. ...Read Full Story

NWS Confirms Landspout Tornado

An EF-0 landspout tornado was on the ground near Grand Junction for a brief time Friday night. The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids has confirmed the small twister, which had peak winds of 60-miles-per-hour and was on the ground for about two-tenths of a mile. No one was hurt, and no damage was done. Landspout tornadoes are formed from either heavy rain storms or weak thunderstorms, and meteorologists say they typically dissipate quickly.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien Sheriff’s Department Preparing For Fourth Of July Enforcement

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department will have its eye on you this Fourth of July at Silver Beach. Sheriff Paul Bailey addressed St. Joseph City Commissioners this past week to assure them his department and St. Joseph Public Safety are working closely together to keep it safe. Bailey told WSJM News he’ll have a lot of uniformed deputies and deputies in plain clothes roaming the beach all day and until everyone leaves.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven To Prohibit Left Turns On Portion Of Phoenix Street

Traffic is about to change in South Haven. Starting next week, the city of South Haven will have “No Left Turn” signs posted along westbound Phoenix Street from Broadway to Water Street. They’re being given a 90 day trial to see if they improve traffic flow. Phoenix Street is the main street running through South Haven’s downtown. During the summer, a long line of traffic headed to the beach often causes congestion as drivers try to make left turns. It’s hoped the No Left Turn signs might help. The South Haven City Council will review the results at the end of the 90 day trial.. ...Read Full Story

Crash Sends Woman To Hospital

A one car crash, just before midnight last night, sends a woman to the hospital with critical injuries. Around 11:45 Saturday night, officers were dispatched to a one car accident on Maudlin Rd near Behner Rd in New Buffalo Township.  When they arrived, they found that a vehicle driven by 57-year-old Reba Waterson of Dowagiac had failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway which caused her to lose control and run off of the road striking a large cement structure in a front yard.  Waterson was taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Michigan City with critical injuries.  Authorities believe alcohol was not a factor in the crash  It remains under investigation by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department. . ...Read Full Story