Local News Archives

Emergency Response Training Planned For Silver Beach Tomorrow

If you see some emergency response vehicles out in Lake Michigan tomorrow off of Silver Beach, don’t be alarmed. It’s just the Berrien County Parks Department doing some water rescue training. They’ll be out there from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The county parks lifeguard team will be honing its skills with the help of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Marine Division. The parks department also reminds everyone to be safe in the water this summer. Never swim alone, obey all posted signs, keep off the piers when there are high waves, and know what to do in the event of a rip current.. ...Read Full Story

Bill Would Create New Opioid Education Program

More legislation designed to help fight the epidemic of opioid abuse in Michigan has been approved by the Michigan House. State Representative Beth Griffin, of Mattawan, tells WSJM News this latest six-bill package would lead to the creation of an opioid risks curriculum for Michigan students. She tells us the opioid epidemic affects everyone.. ...Read Full Story

Uber Arrives In Southwest Michigan

Uber has come to the area. The ride sharing company started operations Friday in Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, New Buffalo and South Haven. Uber is also launching in Saugatuck, Holland, Muskegon, and Grand Haven. The company’s James Ondrey tells WSJM News there’s a demand for Uber in southwest Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Two Hurt In Watervliet Plane Crash

Two people are recovering after a small plane crash in Watervliet Township on Friday. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells WSJM News township police were called out to the Watervliet Municipal Airport around 7:20 p.m. on a report of a plane that had crashed shortly after takeoff. Police say it failed to get adequate altitude and the crashed in a wooded ravine area. On board were 27-year-old Edward Maloney, of Fruitport, and 36 year old Jonathan Amundsen, of Winterhaven, Florida. Both were seriously injured, but they managed to pull themselves out of the wreckage. They were taken to local hospitals for treatment. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause of the crash.. ...Read Full Story

Body Found In St. Joseph Marina

Police are investigating after a body was found in the water at Pier 33 Marina in St. Joseph on Saturday. The department of public safety was called out to the Morrison Channel around 9:30 a.m. and the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department and Coast Guard assisted as the body was retrieved. Police say the victim appears to have been deceased and in the water for a long period of time. An autopsy will be performed Monday in Grand Rapids. Police say the body has not been identified, and so far, there are no signs of foul play.. ...Read Full Story

Dads Urged To See A Doctor More Often

With Father’s Day just about here, dads everywhere are being reminded of the importance of going to the doctor. Men are less likely to see their doctors than women, and in general are less aware of medical symptoms. According to the CDC, women between 18 and 64 visit the doctor 57% more than men do. Family physician Douglas Felts, with Kaiser Permanente, tells us societal norms probably are one big reason why men don’t see doctors more often.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Gearing Up For Fourth Of July Festivities

The city of South Haven is gearing up for its annual Fourth of July celebrations. It tells us the Light Up the Lakes fireworks show will be held at dusk on Monday, July 3 this year. The fireworks will be launched from the north pier, allowing them to be seen all over the city. The draw bridge will operate on its normal schedule until about 11:30 that night when it will be closed to traffic so boats can pass by on the Black River. The city will also have about 39 uniformed police officers posted at 13 different points to help keep things orderly. COSY radio will keep people up to date with traffic information throughout the day. The following day, the Fourth of July, will be the annual Independence Day Parade. It’s set for 11 a.m. The parade route is Elkenburg to Kalamazoo Street to Phoenix Street to Broadway Avenue to Michigan Avenue to Center Street, ending at the high school.. ...Read Full Story

LMC Celebrates Opening Of Wine Program Tasting Room

Lake Michigan College is celebrating the opening of its wine program’s new tasting room. The Lake Michigan Vintners Tasting Room is located in a store front on First Street in Baroda, and the ribbon cutting was held Friday. LMC President Dr. Trevor Kubatzke tells WSJM News it helps to better simulate the wine business for the students.. ...Read Full Story

State Warns About Gas Pump Skimmers

The state of Michigan is reminding everyone about the dangers of gas pump skimmers. That’s after five more skimmers were found on pumps around the state in recent weeks. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development tells WSJM News part of its job is to inspect gas pumps to look for the credit card information-stealing devices. Considering there are more than 4,600 gas stations in the state, that’s a lot of pumps to watch. So, if you’re using the pay at the pump option when gassing up, you should take a moment to examine the scanner. Also, watch out for tamper-proof security tape, which can be a sign the pump is secure. The state has posted a video to help people learn about credit card skimmers and how to protect themselves. You can see it below. A total of 82 skimmers have been found on Michigan gas pumps so far.. ...Read Full Story

Consumers Energy Could Start Early On New Wind Park

From the Associated Press — Construction of a Consumers Energy wind turbine project in Michigan is expected to start three years ahead of schedule.The Michigan Public Service Commission on Thursday approved the Jackson-based utility’s proposal to begin work in 2019 instead of 2022 on Cross Winds Energy Park III in Tuscola County. In 2016, the commission approved the utility’s plan to buy 19 wind turbine generators for its Cross Winds Energy Park II and an option to buy 33 more for the future Cross Winds Energy Park III. Public Service Commission Chairwoman Sally Talberg says advancement of the projects will “help meet the expanded renewable energy portfolio standard set in
the state’s new energy laws.” The initial Cross Winds Energy Park in Tuscola County started serving electric customers in Michigan’s Thumb region in 2014.. ...Read Full Story

Three Arrested In Buchanan Area Meth Bust

Three people are facing charges following a meth bust near Buchanan. The Southwest Michigan Enforcement Team tells us detectives searched a home in the township on Tuesday after getting tips about drug activity there. At the home, they found meth ingredients and some old reaction vessels, which are the pots used to make meth. Arrested were 22-year-old Ciara Miller, 25-year-old Kyle Wellington, and 22-year-old Zachariah Freeman. They’ve all been arraigned on meth charges. The Southwest Michigan Enforcement Team is an anti-drug agency made up of Michigan State Police, several sheriff’s departments, and local police departments throughout southwest Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Apologies Demanded From Steve Harvey Over Flint Comment

From the Associated Press — Apologies are being demanded from comedian Steve Harvey following comments about Flint’s lead-tainted water crisis. Flint resident Dee Smith says Harvey told him to “enjoy your brown cup of water” during a Wednesday call-in to Harvey’s radio show.
The 68-year-old Smith said he told Harvey, a Cleveland native, the Cavaliers didn’t deserve to win the NBA championship. Harvey later told WSMH-TV in Michigan that he has “great affection” for Flint and that his joke was directed at Smith. Lead leached into homes in 2014 after Flint began tapping the Flint River. Elevated lead levels were found in some children. Residents were forced to drink and bathe with bottled or filtered water. Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says “to make a joke out of a tragedy such as this was in poor taste.”. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Heading To Europe On Trade Trip

From the Associated Press — Governor Rick Snyder is using a trade trip to Europe to boost trade relationships and lure businesses to Michigan.
Snyder will travel to several countries to meet with government, automotive and other business leaders to show what types of opportunities Michigan can offer. His weeklong jaunt starts Saturday and takes him to France, Germany and Italy. The Republican governor touts the state’s leadership in automotive research and design on such trips. This marks his administration’s fifth visit to Europe, and other destinations have included China, Japan and Mexico. Also attending are Macomb and Oakland County officials and Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Automation Alley representatives.. ...Read Full Story

University Of Michigan To Offer Free Tuition To Some Students

From the Associated Press — The University of Michigan will offer four years of free tuition for in-state students whose families make less than $65,000 annually. The school says it’s “Go Blue Guarantee” starts January 1. Regents approved it Thursday as part of the $2 billion fiscal year 2018 general fund budget for the Ann Arbor campus. Chair Mark Bernstein says the guarantee is expected to increase socio-economic diversity on the campus. It will not cover room and board, but students also may be eligible for additional aid to cover non-tuition costs. Tuition for in-state students at Michigan is about $7,413. Bernstein says funding for the program is generated from out-of-state tuition and university cost containment. The university says the program will not reduce need-based financial aid for students who parents earn more than $65,000.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Reminds Residents Of Fireworks Rules

The city of South Haven is reminding everyone of the rules regarding fireworks now that Fourth of July is getting close. The police department tells us, in 2012, the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act legalized the sale, possession, and use of consumer fireworks in the state. However, the law has been since modified to allow local governments for more control of when fireworks may be used. The city of South Haven has restricted fireworks use to the day before, the day of, and the day after a national holiday, except between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. In other words, next month, you’ll be allowed to use fireworks on the Fourth of July, or on the day before or after it from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Anyone looking for clarification should call the police department.. ...Read Full Story

Bill To Teach Students About Opioid Dangers Approved By MI House

More legislation designed to help fight the epidemic of opioid abuse in Michigan has been approved by the Michigan House. State Representative Beth Griffin, of Mattawan, tells us this latest six-bill package instructs the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission to develop recommendations for a curriculum on opioid risks that could be taught to students. Then, the Michigan Department of Education would work on it. She tells us it’s everyone’s responsibility to educate the young about the dangers of such drugs. Other bills in the package increase access to opioid addiction treatment, increase requirements on pain management facilities, and allow pharmacists to refuse to fill a prescription under certain circumstances. The legislative packaged passed the state House Tuesday and now goes to the state Senate.. ...Read Full Story

Teen Facing Charges After Kicking Out Police Vehicle Window

A 17-year-old is facing charges in Van Buren County for kicking out the window of a police cruiser. The sheriff’s department tells WSJM News deputies were called out to the 31,000 block of Red Arrow Highway in Paw Paw Thursday morning on a report of blight. They found a 43-year-old woman and the 17-year-old boy living as squatters at the property. When deputies ran their names, they learned both the teen and the woman had warrants out. They put the teen in the back of a squad car while talking to the woman, and that’s when he kicked out the back window and took off running. He was quickly caught, and now faces charges of malicious destruction of property and resisting and obstructing. The 43-year-old was also arrested and turned over to another police agency due to her warrant.. ...Read Full Story

One Dead In Series Of I-94 Crashes

One person is dead following a Thursday morning crash on I-94 near Paw Paw. Michigan State Police tell us it happened around 11 a.m. when a semi rear-ended a westbound car in the construction zone at mile marker 63. A front seat passenger in that vehicle was killed. The semi then crashed into three other vehicles before coming to rest in the median. MSP says several people suffered injuries, adding distracted driving may have been a factor. About 20 minutes after the incident near mile marker 63, another crash occurred at mile marker 66. In that case, a driver swerved to avoid congestion caused by the earlier crash and hit the cable guardrail before his vehicle wound up on its roof. The driver, a 54-year-old Mattawan man, was taken to a hospital. Westbound I-94 in the area had to be closed for a couple of hours.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Schools Mourn Lincoln Principal

Parents, teachers, staff members, and students of St. Joseph’s Lincoln Elementary School are in shock with the news of the sudden passing of Principal Mike Wagner. Superintendent Ann Cardon told parents in an email this morning that Wagner died unexpectedly yesterday. Staff from Lory’s Place is helping school administrators prepare to support school families and the community, and Cardon says details on that will be released soon. Celebration of Life service information is also pending.. ...Read Full Story