Local News Archives

Upton Announces Annual Art Competition

Congressman Fred Upton has announced the 2018 Congressional Art Competition, open to high school artists throughout the Sixth Congressional District. The winner will have his or her piece hang in the U.S. Capitol for a year along with the winners of the award from Congressional districts across the country. Plus, the winner and a guest will get to go to Washington, D.C. to attend a reception. Upton’s office tells us the arts are a vital part of southwest Michigan’s diverse community. You can find the rules and the entry forms for the Congressional Art Competition at Upton’s website. Last year’s winner was Cami Hoogstraten of Otsego who submitted a digital drawing of a Native American Dancer.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joe Commissioners Approve Parks Master Plan

St. Joseph City Commissioners have approved a five year parks master plan for three parks in the community. Monday’s action was needed if the city is going to pursue grants to pay for improvements at Riverview Park, Dickinson Park, and Whirlpool Centennial Park. City Deputy Public Works Director Greg Grothous told WSJM News last month the plans for Whirlpool Centennial Park include ways to make fountain maintenance easier.. ...Read Full Story

You’re More Apt To Win Powerball Than Be Hit By Space Station Chunk

A Chinese space station is falling back toward Earth and should be re-entering the atmosphere in early April. The trajectory of the space station, which is about the size of an RV, has it falling back to the ground along southern Michigan’s latitude. That said, experts are trying to calm people down about the chances of any part of the space station not burning up in the atmosphere and slamming into people or buildings in the state.. ...Read Full Story

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