Local News Archives

Berrien Road Commission Taking Applications For Empty Seat

If you’re interested in serving on the Berrien County Road Commission, you may be in luck. They’ve got a vacancy on the board. The seat representing District 1 is currently empty, and the county is taking applications. District 1 represents Coloma, Watervliet, Hagar, Bainbridge, Pipestone, and Sodus Townships. You don’t have to be from one of those places to get the seat, but there is a preference for applicants who are. The Berrien County Road Commission is responsible for more than 1,400 miles of county roads, and is governed by a board of five. Meetings are held every other Wednesday, and the District 1 term will expire at the end of 2019. You can get an application by stopping by the Berrien County Administration office in St. Joseph or BerrienCounty.org.. ...Read Full Story

Cornerstone Alliance To Talk Business With Those Over 50

The AARP Foundation has awarded Cornerstone Alliance a grant to provide workshops on starting a business to those over the age of 50. Cornerstone’s Stacie Stephens tells WSJM News Work for Yourself@50+ workshops serve those who are interested in how the process works. AARP picked Cornerstone Alliance because of its experience with helping businesses get rolling.. ...Read Full Story

Planning Underway For Next Lest We Forget Program

Things are being shaken up a little for this summer’s Lest We Forget program. The organization has staged World War II simulations each summer in southwest Michigan for years, and the group’s Don Alsboro tells WSJM News they’re moving from the Southwest Michigan Regional Airport this year to Tiscornia Beach in St. Joseph. There, they’ll have some Marines on hand.. ...Read Full Story

Secretary Of State Issues Warning About Unlicensed Mechanics

The Michigan Secretary of State is warning drivers not to take their cars for repairs at non-licensed shops. With the temperatures now about to get hot, the office tells us you should ask to see your mechanic’s certification before he or she works on your vehicle. It adds under state law, someone who knowingly provides automotive repair services without a registration or certificate is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail, and a fine of up to $1,000. Another thing to know is that unlicensed repair shot can’t seek legal action for fees owed to them for work performed. You can find a list of licensed repair places in Michigan at Michigan.gov/SOS.. ...Read Full Story

One Man in Jail After Chase

A Niles man is jailed for leading Berrien County Sheriff’s deputies on a chase through Sodus and Pipestone townships. It began late Saturday after authorities failed to pull the 46-year-old over for speeding on Pipestone Road near Evans Road. He was arrested after his vehicle was boxed in at a gas station on Meadowbrook Road in Benton Harbor.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren County Man Sent to Hospital

Sheriff’s deputies in Van Buren County say a 51-year-old had to be airlifted to Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo after being thrown from his all-purpose electric motorcycle in Breedsville. Authorities and medical personnel were dispatched to the dead end of Harmony Lane before 3 p.m. Sunday. Investigators believe the Grand Junction resident lost traction in mud while trying to enter a private blueberry field. They also believe alcohol was a contributing factor.. ...Read Full Story

Dogs Attack Livestock In Bangor

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department is searching for the owner of two dogs who attacked livestock in Bangor. It happened Sunday morning in the 48000 block of M-43, with the attack killing four sheep. Another nine sheep were hurt along with a goat. A deputy had to shoot and kill one of the dogs when it became aggressive toward officers, while the second dog was captured and turned over to Van Buren County Animal Control for quarantine. The dogs are mix breed dogs. Charges against their owner are likely to include damage to livestock and trespassing.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren County Board Settles On New Admin

The Van Buren County Board of Commissioners has found a new county administrator. John Faul, of Mattawan, will replace the recently-retired Doug Cultra. Faul has previously worked for Van Buren County in multiple roles, including as the administrator in the early to mid-2000s. He left in 2006 to work for the Michigan Municipal League and later worked as the assistant county administrator in Kalamazoo County. Now that a contract is in place, Faul will start his new job on June 5. The board of commissioners says it hired him due to his experience.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Order Allows Greater Distribution Of Anti Overdose Drug

Governor Rick Snyder has authorized the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to issue an order authorizing pharmacists to distribute the overdose reversal drug naloxone to eligible individuals. Nancy King, with Families Against Narcotics Southwest Michigan, works to spread awareness about naloxone. She tells us it’s been a life saver for many struggling with addiction.. ...Read Full Story

Watervliet High School Presented With Spirit Trophy

Watervliet High School has been presented with a trophy by state Senator John Proos for winning his annual Southwest Michigan Spirit Tournament. Each year, Proos asks schools all throughout his district to submit photos displaying their pride. He then takes more submissions over a period of several weeks to whittle the numbers down in a bracket-style competition. The winner is declared the school with the most pride. This year, it was the Watervliet Panthers, who submitted more than 2,700 photos and got more than 86,000 likes on Facebook. In all, 31 high schools took part.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department Reminds Parents Not To Leave Kids In Parked Vehicle

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is urging everyone to take care to prevent heat stroke this summer. It declared this Friday Heat Stroke Prevention Day, reminding parents not to leave their kids alone in a vehicle. Nationwide, more than 138 children died from heatstroke between 2013 and 2016, and the department says all of those deaths could have been prevented. Health and Human Services tells us the temperatures inside a car can increase 20 degrees in as little as ten minutes, and because a child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s, they’re more susceptible to heatstroke. It also suggests calling 911 if you see a child in a car alone. You can find out more at SafeKids.org/HeatStroke.. ...Read Full Story

Record Amount Raised For Lory’s Place With Latest Run

A record amount has been raised for St. Joseph-based Lory’s Place with its latest Run, Walk, and Rock 5K. The run was held last Saturday, taking supporters of Lory’s Place around the Edgewater area of St. Joseph. More than 1,200 people took part, some running, some walking, and some rocking in chairs along the side of the route to show support. It was the 13th annual Lory’s Place event, and it raised more than $63,000. Lory’s Place provides grief counseling and support services. Lisa Bartoszek, Director of Lory’s Place, thanked everyone for their support.. ...Read Full Story

New Executive Announced For SWM Association Of Realtors

The Southwest Michigan Association of Realtors has a new executive in charge. Alan Jeffries takes over as association executive for Gary Walter, who in turn had taken over on an interim basis after the resignation of Phil Amodeo in February. Jeffries comes to the organization from the Greater Kalamazoo Association of Realtors, where he was the board president. He’s previously worked as a manager for Century 21 Advanced Realty and has been an owner of Michigan Real Estate Services in the Kalamazoo area. Jeffries has also served as the township assessor in Saugatuck Township. The Southwest Michigan Association of Realtors tells us they’re excited to have him, as he brings more than 20 years of experience to the job.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Outer Harbor To Be Dredged Next Month

The St. Joseph outer harbor will be dredged starting next month. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week approved a $374,000 contract with a Holland company to dredge harbors in Holland and in St. Joe. Army Corps Project Manager Melissa Bosman tells WSJM News they’ll start the work mid-month. Without it, the shipping industry would be harmed.. ...Read Full Story

Celebration Of Makers Planned For Tomorrow In Buchanan

There’s plenty going on in Buchanan in the next few days. That’s because they’re holding the Memorial Day Parade and the annual Unsanctioned event. Randy Hendrixson, with the chamber of commerce, tells WSJM News Unsanctioned is an celebration put on by downtown merchants who just want people to know about what they do. They started it in 2008, and this year it’s all about makers.. ...Read Full Story

Man Arrested With Fake Currency

South Bend police have arrested a man accused of using counterfeit money. They say 20-year-old Malik Gardner was found to be in possession of money with “For Motion Picture Use Only” printed on it. That’s the same type of fake money reported earlier this week in several instances around Dowagiac. South Bend police say Gardner was under investigation for an unrelated matter when he was found to have the fakes. Police have not said if Gardner is a suspect in the Dowagiac incidents.. ...Read Full Story

Four Suffer Minor Injuries In Allegan County Plane Crash

Two people were injured in an Allegan County plane crash Friday. The sheriff’s department tells us the small plane crashed along the side of US-131 just outside the Plainwell Municipal Airport around 1 p.m. It had four people on board, and injured were the pilot and one passenger. They’re expected to recover from minor injuries. The other two on board were treated for minor injuries at the scene. The crash backed up traffic along the northbound side of US-131. Police have not yet released details about the cause of the crash.. ...Read Full Story

Dave Ramsey To Address Economic Club Of SWM This Year

We’ve now had a sneak peak of at least one guest speaker coming to the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan this year. The Mendel Center tells us radio host and financial guru Dave Ramsey will stop by on September 19. Ramsey should be well-known to listeners of News/Talk 94.9 WSJM, as he’s on every weekday afternoon. Ramsey takes calls from folks seeking financial guidance and also offers his own philosophy. Plus, he’s a best-selling author. Ramsey’s visit this September was teased by the Mendel Center this week when it announced its season lineup for 2017-2018. The Mendel Center recently took over the Southwestern Michigan Economic Club to help reduce costs.. ...Read Full Story

Four Educators Charged In Child Abuse Case

Four educators are facing charges from Berrien County Prosecutor Michael Sepic for not intervening in a child abuse case involving a 12-year-old student in 2015 and 2016. The boy was found near railroad tracks in Galien Township last August dehydrated, bruised, and extremely underweight at just 47-pounds. His father, Aaron Zemke and stepmother, Alicia Zemke, are both serving 20-to-80 years in prison after pleading no contest to child abuse and torture earlier this year. Now charged are Three Oaks Elementary School principal Heidi Clark; guidance counselor Matt Cook; special education teacher Diane Balling; and elementary teacher Sherrie Bender for not reporting what they knew about the boy’s abuse. They are all due to be in court for pre-trial conferences the week of June 5 in St. Joseph. Each is charged with two misdemeanors that carry 93-day jail sentences if convicted.. ...Read Full Story

Activist Pinkney To Be Freed

Freedom is imminent for Benton Harbor political activist Edward Pinkney. He has been in prison since 2014 for election fraud related to a failed recall attempt of former Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower. Pinkney forged petition signatures and changed dates on the documents to make it appear all the necessary signatures were collected in time to force the recall. That election was called off, but a subsequent recall went forward with then-City Commissioner Marcus Muhammad defeating Hightower. The Michigan Department of Corrections lists his release date as June 13, which would be two-and-a-half years after he began what could have been a decade-long incarceration. Pinkney has a criminal history of election crimes dating back to 2005, with a dozen convictions on his record.. ...Read Full Story

Lest We Forget Program Moved To August

Things are being shaken up a little for this summer’s Lest We Forget program. The organization has staged World War II simulations each summer in southwest Michigan for years, and the group’s Don Alsboro tells WSJM News they’re moving from the Southwest Michigan Regional Airport this year to Tiscornia Beach in St. Joseph. There, they’ll have some Marines on hand.. ...Read Full Story

Former South Haven Mayor Dies

A former South Haven mayor has passed away. David Paull was Mayor from 1990 to 1995 and served on the planning commission. He was also instrumental in the process of development of Riverfront Park and the Southside Marina. Partly as a result of his efforts, the city was awarded the Governor’s Tourism Award in 1992. David Paull passed away on May 21. A memorial will be held on Friday, June 2nd, in Council Chambers at City Hall from 2 to 4.. ...Read Full Story