Local News Archives

Auto Insurance Rate Hike Takes Effect Saturday

Auto insurance costs are about to go up in Michigan. Insurance Alliance of Michigan spokesperson Lori Conarton tells WSJM News it’s because the cost every driver has to pay for unlimited medical benefits as required by the state’s insurance law are going up from $160 to $170. The alliance is calling for changes.. ...Read Full Story

State Releases Underwater Pipeline Study

From the Associated Press — Michigan officials have released a consulting firm’s draft report listing alternatives for dealing with twin oil pipelines beneath the waterway where Lakes Huron and Michigan meet. The state commissioned the report as environmental groups push to decommission the nearly 5-mile-long (section of Enbridge Inc.’s Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac, which was laid in 1953. State Attorney General Bill Schuette endorsed a shutdown Thursday. The report by Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems Inc. lists six choices. Among them are continuing to operate the pipelines or removing them. Others include building a new pipeline that wouldn’t cross open Great Lakes waters; moving Line
5’s oil through other pipelines; using rail cars, trucks or barges to transport oil; or putting new pipelines in the straits that would run through a trench or tunnel. The report doesn’t endorse a particular alternative but analyzes each for technical and cost feasibility.. ...Read Full Story

Lt. Gov Talks Part-Time Legislature

There are 41 states with part-time state legislatures, and Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley thinks this state should be number 42. He joined WSJM’s Pat Moody to discuss his push for a constitutional amendment for that, and believes we will have better candidates for office as a result.. ...Read Full Story

New Principal Picked For Lincoln Elementary In SJ

St. Joseph’s Lincoln Elementary School has its next principal. In a message to parents and Lincoln staff, St. Joseph Public Schools Superintendent Ann Cardon says she has decided to transfer Brown Elementary Principal Craig Hubble to Lincoln to replace Mike Wagner, who died earlier this month. Cardon said the school needed someone “who can continue Mike’s good work,” and added staff and parents need someone capable of supporting them. She calls Hubble “the perfect person to pick up the torch and light the way back to normal – well as normal as we can make it.”. ...Read Full Story

MDOT Lifting Construction Restrictions For Holiday

The Michigan Department of Transportation says it will be lifting work zone restrictions at the majority of project sites statewide over the Independence Day weekend. That means smoother driving on Interstate 94 through southwest Michigan, but MDOT spokesperson Nick Schirripa says motorists will still need to be aware of a few lane shifts.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Calls For Immediate Asian Carp Action

State Senator John Proos is again calling on the federal government to take immediate action to keep Asian carp out of Lake Michigan. He has put forth countless resolutions in Lansing pushing for the separation of the Chicago River system from the lake and for Washington to release the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report on long-term solutions.. ...Read Full Story

Montreal Man Accused In Flint Airport Attack Denied Bond

A Canadian man accused of stabbing an airport police officer in Flint will remain in jail while his case proceeds. Joan Morgan, an attorney for Amor Ftouhi, didn’t object to the government’s request that he stay in jail. She told a federal judge Wednesday that the 49-year-old defendant from Montreal would be held by U.S. immigration authorities even if granted bond in the criminal case.. ...Read Full Story

Draft Ordinance For Medical Marijuana In Buchanan

A draft ordinance to allow medical marijuana businesses to operate in Buchanan is now available for people to review at City Hall. The city commission began discussions on the proposal this week, with the planning commission recommending up to 15 permits for growers and five permits for processors, transporters, provision centers, and safety compliance facilities. State law is allowing for local control of the businesses next year. City Manager Bill Marx told the commission they have time to make sure they get it right, and there’s no need to rush a vote. As Buchanan weighs allowing the medical weed business, Benton Harbor city commissioners were urged recently by the sheriff and county prosecutor to not adopt ordinances for marijuana in their city.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Commission Approves Dead Tree Removals

The city of St. Joseph will be removing some dead ash trees from a couple of ravine areas this summer. Monday night, the city commission approved the parks department’s request to take out more than 30 trees from a ravine area between Wolcott and Niles Avenue, and an area near Mohawk and Greenwood. The parks department says the dead trees pose a risk to nearby houses. They have to hire a firm to do the work at a cost of about $26,000. Also this week, the city approved the planting of nearly 50 new trees around town. That work will run about $15,000.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien Sheriff Boosting Security At Silver Beach On Fourth Of July

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department will have its eye on you this Fourth of July weekend at Silver Beach. Sheriff Paul Bailey addressed St. Joseph City Commissioners Monday 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

BH School Board Selects New Trustee

There will soon be a new face on the Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education. It’s Margaret Gast, who was picked Tuesday to fill the vacancy created with the resignation of Elnora Gavin. Gast — no relation to Harry Gast — told WSJM News she wants to see the district returned to how she remembers it in the 1960s. She also views the partnership agreement with the state as both constrictive and an opportunity.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph City Manager Gets Positive Review

St. Joseph City Commissioners are pleased with the performance of City Manager John Hodgson. This week, the commission held a closed session review for Hodgson. When they came out, they granted him a 1.5% pay increase. In his review, they rated Hodgson as “excellent” in every category. No other changes were made to Hodgson’s contract. The city commission promoted Hodgson to the position of city manager in the spring of 2015.. ...Read Full Story

State Approves Incentives For Amazon To Add 1,600 jobs

From the Associated Press — Online retailer Amazon.com plans to create 1,600 jobs in Michigan by opening a “fulfillment center” in the Detroit area. The Michigan Strategic Fund Board on Tuesday approved a $5 million grant for Amazon to spend up to $140 million on the new facility in Romulus. It’s the second time in six months that the state has authorized an incentive for Amazon, which also plans to open a fulfillment center in Livonia with 1,000 jobs. The company has 277 employees in the state now. For the new project in Romulus, the state incentive will help Amazon offset some costs for “substantial” road and other infrastructure improvements, according to a memo prepared by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. The jobs are related to “general warehousing and storage,” the memo says.. ...Read Full Story

Man Killed In Workplace Accident In Niles

A workplace death is under investigation in Niles. Shortly after 5 this morning, Niles police say 64-year-old Dennis Kobb was run over by the rear wheels of a semi while moving an empty trailer from the loading dock at Paragon Industries in the 18-hundred block of Terminal Road. They say it appears he may have fallen from the cab of the truck and got caught under the tires. Kobb was pronounced dead at the scene.. ...Read Full Story

Horizon Bank Switches From National Bank To Indiana State Status

Horizon Bancorp, the owner of Horizon Bank, has announced a bit of a change for the institution which it says will result in savings. It’s converted Horizon Bank from a national bank to an Indiana state-chartered non-member bank. While the move is unlikely to affect customers, the Horizon Bancorp tells us it will mean savings of about $430,000 per year, along with efficiency, and aligning the bank’s interests with other Midwest states where it does business. The change was effective Friday.. ...Read Full Story

Niles Man Wins $208,000 In Michigan Lottery

Earlier this month it was a Bridgman woman who won $300,000 from a Michigan Lottery scratch off. Now, it’s a Niles man who has won $208,000 from the Fantasy 5 game. The Michigan Lottery tells us 59-year-old Stanley Bolle is looking forward to paying off debt with his winnings. He picked up his winning Fantasy 5 ticket at the Phillips 66 gas station on South 11th Street in Niles last week and matched five numbers. One other person also did so, and they split the total $416,000 jackpot. Bolle tells the Michigan Lotto he buys a ticket twice a week, and could “barely move” when he checked out the winning numbers and saw he matched all five. In addition to paying off some bills, he’s planning to use the winnings for some home repairs and to take his wife on a trip.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder: Change Graduation Requirements To Boost Career Tech Ed

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s high school graduation requirements would include a mandatory career readiness course under recommendations announced by Governor Rick Snyder. Snyder on Monday urged lawmakers to change the graduation requirements, known
as the Michigan Merit Curriculum, to make them more flexible and to mandate that a career exploration/job skills class be completed in seventh or eighth grade. He also says computer science should count as meeting a foreign language requirement and students should be able to meet health and physical education requirements by completing career health programs. Snyder says the proposed “career pathway” changes are among a number of ways the state could better help students train for jobs in the trades and other in-demand sectors. He also wants to boost career counseling and to expand career and technical education.. ...Read Full Story

Two Arrested In TN For Murders Of Decatur Teens

Two Decatur teenagers allegedly went to Knoxville, Tennessee last week to make a deal for some high-grade marijuana, and didn’t come home alive. Police in Knoxville say 18-year-olds Sergio Rivera and Jaleon Morris were shot and killed in a car last Thursday. Two people, 15-year-old Rico Cook and Deon Nolbert, have been arrested on murder, attempted murder, and armed robbery charges, and Cook is charged as an adult. A 16-year-old from Knoxville was also shot and wounded in the drug deal gone bad.. ...Read Full Story