Local News Archives

State Reminds Swimmers About Rip Current Dangers

The Michigan Department of Health and Humane Services is hoping the state’s residents have a safe summer on the Great Lakes. It tells us more than ten people die each year because of dangerous currents in the lakes. Those currents develop when winds blow toward the shore, and waves are three feet or higher. The health department also notes the eastern shore of Lake Michigan has the most current-related incidents of any part of the Great Lakes. 71% of such emergencies happen in Lake Michigan. Everyone’s advised to not swim alone, watch out for others, pay attention to water that’s discolored and choppy, foamy, or filled with debris, and to not swim near a structure like a pier. If you find yourself in a rip current, flip on your back, float to conserve energy, and follow the safest path out of the water. It could be along the line of the current until it’s less strong. You can find out more at the CDC’s website.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Co-Sponsors Bill To Build New Shipping Lock

Congressman Fred Upton is co-sponsoring legislation to authorize the construction of a new lock at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie. The Soo Locks Modernization Act would approve the needed funding for a new shipping lock. Upton and other members of Michigan’s congressional delegation this week toured the locks, announcing the need for a new one. They say just one of the two functional locks is big enough for most shipping traffic, and if the one large lock were to have a problem, shipping on the Great Lakes would be severely hampered. They’re looking to build a new lock that would be 1,200 feet long, 110 feet wide, and 32 feet deep. It’s estimated a new lock could cost around $1 billion.. ...Read Full Story

I-94 Paving Work Near Watervliet Starts Sunday

The Michigan Department of Transportation is planning yet more freeway work in Berrien County. It tells us drivers should know there will be paving done on I-94 between mile markers 39 and 43 near Watervliet starting on Sunday. The work will be done at night, and will involve single lane closures. It will wrap up next Wednesday.. ...Read Full Story

State House Approves Ban On FGM

Legislation outlawing female genital mutilation and allowing victims to receive significant civil damages is headed to the Michigan Senate. That’s following overwhelming approval by the House this week. Representative Beth Griffin of Mattawan tells WSJM News she’s glad they’ve taken action.. ...Read Full Story

Governor, Lawmakers Reach Pension Deal

Governor Snyder and Republican legislative leaders say that have reached a tentative framework on making changes to Michigan’s teacher retirement system. They reported the agreement after a meeting at the Capitol Thursday. The progress means Snyder will be involved in budget decisions again after GOP leaders excluded him. Details are being hashed out, and it may take some time according to House Speaker Tom Leonard.. ...Read Full Story

One Shot In Benton Township

A shooting in Benton Township is being investigated. Police tell WSJM News 22-year-old Andrew Butler was shot in the left arm by a shotgun just before 1 p.m. yesterday at the Blossom Acres housing complex. They have not released a description of a suspect, and no arrest has been made. There is also no word from police about what prompted the shooting. Butler is hospitalized at Lakeland in St. Joseph and underwent emergency surgery.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Education Plan Approved By Senate

A plan from state Senator John Proos to encourage more young people to study math and science while also giving them information on what career fields will be hot in their areas has been approved by the Michigan Senate. Proos tells WSJM News if a student takes a lot of STEM classes, they’ll get a special STEM designation.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien Representatives Split On Handgun Bill

State Representative Kim LaSata tells us it wasn’t an easy decision, but she had several reasons for voting in favor of legislation easing restrictions on carrying concealed handguns this week. The bill approved by the state House eliminates a requirement to have a license to carry a concealed pistol. It also removes a requirement to get eight hours of training before concealed carrying. LaSata, of Bainbridge Township, tells WSJM News she thinks most gun owners are responsible and don’t need such restrictions.. ...Read Full Story

Kinexus Backing Good Jobs For Michigan Plan

Kinexus has come out in favor of a plan to encourage businesses to bring large numbers of well-paying jobs to Michigan. The Good Jobs for Michigan plan is legislation that would give tax incentives to companies that create at least 250 jobs that pay 100% or more of the regional average for a trade. Kinexus CEO Todd Gustafson tells WSJM News there would be very real benefits to pushing for such jobs.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien Sheriff Opposed To Handgun Bill

Officials across Michigan have been split on the handgun legislation approved this week by the Michigan House. Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey is among those against it. The plan eliminates a requirement to get a license to carry a concealed handgun, while also eliminating a requirement to get special training. Bailey tells WSJM News that’s the part he dislikes.. ...Read Full Story

Lake Michigan Community Aiming To Break Sand Angel Record

From the Associated Press — A western Michigan city is looking to break a mark set by the Guinness World Records for the most people simultaneously making sand angels at a beach. “Be Someone’s Angel” is scheduled for this Saturday and is organized by the Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital Foundation. Foundation Director Kaley Petersen says the event will also be a fundraiser for the hospital’s cancer service center. The event is free with a $20 suggested donation. Participants will create sand angels at the same time for 30 continuous seconds. An official Guinness judge will be at the event to verify in real time if the event breaks the current record, which was set in 2015 in Pembrokeshire,
United Kingdom, with more than 350 angels completed. The foundation’s goal for the record is 5,000 angels.. ...Read Full Story

No Charges To Be Filed In Niles Carbon Monoxide Death

The Berrien County Prosecutor has decided no criminal charges will be sought in the carbon monoxide poisoning death of a 13-year-old boy in the pool area of a Niles hotel. Prosecutor Michael Sepic told us Thursday negligence may have played a role in the April 1 death of Bryan Watts at the Niles Quality Inn, but it did not meet the definition of gross negligence necessary for a criminal charge. Sepic says the poisoning likely resulted from a pool heater ventilation pipe disconnecting from the heater, causing carbon monoxide to leak into a maintenance room and be vented into the pool area. About 10 other people, mostly children, required hospital treatment after being sickened by the carbon monoxide.. ...Read Full Story

Cass County Crash Injures Two

Two people are hospitalized as the result of a car crash in Cass County. The sheriff’s department tells WSJM News that a vehicle driven by 28-year-old Adam Tyszka of Cassopolis went across the center line on M-62 in Silver Lake Township and hit the vehicle of 77-year-old Richard Schuenenman of Benton Harbor around 5:30 last night. Schuenenman had to be extricated from his vehicle, and he was airlifted to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo. Tyszka’s car rolled over due to the impact, and he was taken to Borgess Lee Hospital in Dowagiac. Police say both men were wearing their seat belts, alcohol doesn’t appear to have been a factor, and they’re still trying to figure out what caused Tyszka to go into oncoming traffic.. ...Read Full Story