Local News Archives

What’s Next For Van Buren County Roads

With the failure this week of a road millage in Van Buren County, it’s back to the drawing board for the road commission. The body had asked voters for an additional three mills for 12 years to fix up the county’s roads. That would have generated more than $10 million per year. Van Buren County Road Commission Engineer-Manager Larry Hummel tells WSJM News the talks now begin on what to do next.. ...Read Full Story

New Principals At Niles Schools

A couple of new principals have been hired at Niles Community Schools. Superintendent Dan Applegate tells us the district has hired Jeron Blood as the new Ballard Elementary principal and Jennifer Shabazz as the principal of Northside Child Development Center. Blood has previously served as the assistant principal and associate principal at Edison Middle School in the Unit 4 School District of Champaign, Illinois. Shabazz joins the Niles Community Schools from the South Bend Community School Corporation where was the assistant principal at Brown Intermediate Center. Blood says he looks forward to working collaboratively with the Ballard Elementary teachers and staff, and contributing to a positive learning environment. Shabazz says she wants to support the needs of teachers, staff, and families. Applegate says the district is excited to welcome both.. ...Read Full Story

Ford Celebrates 10 Millionth Mustang

From the Associated Press — Ford Motor Co. marked the production of the 10 millionth Mustang with celebrations at the automaker’s headquarters and at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant where the iconic sports car is made. A parade of Mustangs from 1964 to the present day rolled into the HQ’s parking lot in Dearborn, Michigan, Wednesday morning before making the 30-minute drive – complete with police escort – to the Flat Rock complex. There, the cars were organized into a configuration that spelled out, “10,000,000.” The commas were represented by the first Mustang produced and the 10 millionth, a 2019 Wimbledon White GT V8 six-speed manual convertible. Mustang is the best-selling sports car of the last 50 years in the U.S. and the world’s top-selling sports car for three years in a row.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Praises PFAS Response

The local response to the PFAS contamination in Parchment and Cooper Township in Kalamazoo County is getting high marks from Congressman Fred Upton. He tells WSJM News when the harmful chemical was detected at high levels in the water there, the locals acted quickly to solve several problems.. ...Read Full Story

New Short-Term Rental Ordinance Approved In Casco Twp

Voters in Allegan County’s Casco Township have approved a zoning ordinance referendum for short-term rentals by a vote of 517-407. The ordinance regulates vacation rental home owners and address some of the concerns of residents in Casco Township. Owners of vacation rentals need to register their properties and pay a $200 fee, or face a fine. There will also be limits on the number of guests that can stay in the rental home, and those renters must follow the township’s noise ordinance. The approved ordinance also sets up a home inspection program and requires homeowners to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The township already has a 24 hour hotline for short-term rental complaints.. ...Read Full Story

Brad Paquette Wins 78th District House GOP Primary

A Niles teacher and Upper Peninsula native is the choice of Republicans for the state House in the 78th District. Brad Paquette won Tuesday’s primary and tells WSJM News he has many of the same ideas as a lot of candidates in wanting to get roads fixed and reform no-fault auto insurance to make it more affordable, but his classroom experience also has him wanting to make changes to the education system to get more people interested in being in front of students.. ...Read Full Story

Rep. LaSata Defeats Rep. Pagel In 21st Senate Primary

The matchup is set in the race to succeed term-limited Senator John Proos in the 21st state Senate District. After just one term in the House, Republican Representative Kim LaSata decided to make a run for the Senate, and defeated fellow Representative Dave Pagel in yesterday’s primary. WSJM News asked her about why she chose to shoot for the upper chamber now instead of running for two more terms in the House.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren County Voters Consider Proposals

In addition to political races going on Tuesday, Van Buren County voters in several communities were asked to approve ballot proposals. Biggest among them was a countywide road proposal. The Van Buren County Road Commission asked voters for an additional three mills for 12 years, and they were shot down. Van Buren County voters rejected the request for more funding. Elsewhere, a variety of local proposals for things from roads to senior services were approved. Most of them were renewals. Voters in Hamilton Township did say no to a senior services proposal by a narrow margin. Mattawan Schools also had a ballot proposal, asking voters for .45 mills over 20 years. The purpose was to seek $19 million for facility improvements. Voters said yes. They also approved the district’s request for a millage renewal.. ...Read Full Story