Local News Archives

Pesticide Container Recycling Event Next Week

Berrien County is planning a pesticide container recycling event. Next Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 3 pm. they’ll take empty pesticide containers to be recycled free of charge. They have to be rinsed out, dry, and cut to a smaller size than 2.5 gallons. The drop off locations will be the Berrien County Road Commission office on Napier Avenue in Benton Township and Co-Alliance Propane in Buchanan. For more information, visit BerrienCounty.org/Recycle.. ...Read Full Story

Salsa Competition Today In Kalamazoo

Businesses in downtown Kalamazoo will be vying for the title of the city’s best salsa-maker on Saturday. It’s the third-annual Kalamazoo Salsa Cook-Off. Millennium Restaurant Group’s Brandy Gulley told WKZO News the free event starts at 11 a.m. and kicks off Summer Restaurant Week.. ...Read Full Story

Bridgman Inviting Public To Offer Input On Master Plan

The city of Bridgman is getting to work on a new master plan, and it’s inviting residents to make their thoughts known. A master plan guides development within a community for years to come, and as Bridgman leaders craft the plan for their town, they’re talking with experts in areas of community resilience and issues related specifically to Bridgman. Each public meeting on the master plan will also include group exercises. Some of the topics will be economic planning and coastal management. The first public meeting will be held on Monday, July 31 at 7 p.m. in the Weko Beach House. Subsequent meetings are set for Thursday, August 17 and Tuesday, September 12 at the same time and place. You can find out more about the process at www.ResilientMichigan.org/Bridgman.. ...Read Full Story

Pokagon Fund Supporting New Downtown New Buffalo Sculpture

The Pokagon Fund has announced the commissioning of a new sculpture that will be displayed in downtown New Buffalo as part of the ongoing redevelopment project there. The fund has kicked in about $1.6 million in the effort to fix infrastructure and beautify downtown New Buffalo. Acting Director John Krsul tells WSJM News the sculpture by Sawyer-based Fritz Olsen represents Pokagon traditions.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Asks For Disaster Declaration In Flood Stricken Areas

From the Associated Press — Governor Rick Snyder is asking President Donald Trump for a disaster declaration after flooding caused damage in four mid-Michigan counties. The request made Friday seeks supplementary federal aid to help people with temporary housing, home repairs, low-cost loans and other assistance. The flash flooding occurred in Bay, Isabella, Gladwin and Midland counties in June. Snyder’s request will be reviewed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which will advise Trump on whether it should be granted. It’s not clear how much damage was caused by the severe weather and flooding, but Snyder calls it a “historic flood” and says “we’re looking at every resource to help them rebuild.”. ...Read Full Story

Murder Suspect Caught In Indiana

A fugitive wanted for a pair of Thursday night murders in southwest Michigan has been found and arrested in South Bend, Indiana. 32-year-old Zachary Patten of Portage was taken into custody Friday. No additional details were given. Police say he shot a 31-year-old woman at the Americana Estates mobile home park on Kalamazoo’s west side, then shot 29-year-old Shane Richardson at a home in Constantine Township before fleeing the state.. ...Read Full Story

Suspected Double Murderer On Loose In Southwest Michigan

Authorities in southwest Michigan are looking for a man they believe killed two people in separate Thursday night homicides. The suspected killer, 32-year-old Zachary Patten, is considered armed and dangerous and remains on the run. Authorities with Kalamazoo Public Safety believe he shot and killed a 31-year-old woman at a mobile home park on the west side of Kalamazoo after 9:30 p.m. St. Joseph County Sheriff’s detectives believe he was also involved in a murder later that night south of Kalamazoo in Constantine. Patten is said to be driving a 2004 silver or gray Chrysler Pacifica with a “skeleton family” sticker on the back and a spare tire mounted on the front.. ...Read Full Story

MI Corrections Department To Aid Transgender Inmates

From the Associated Press — A new policy at the Michigan Department of Corrections is opening the door for more transgender inmates to receive transition-related treatments. The revised policy was put into place June 26. Prior to the change, inmates were only allowed to receive treatment if such care was already scheduled before the person was incarcerated. Now, inmates can receive hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgery while still in prison. If an inmate believes they are gender dysphoric, the corrections department’s new Gender Dysphoria Collaborative Review Committee will look at the inmate’s medical history and give a medical and psychological evaluation to potentially approve treatment. Gender dysphoria is defined as a conflict between a person’s assigned gender and the gender they identify with. MDOC says there are currently 50 transgender inmates across 30 Michigan facilities.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien Democrats To Hold Summer Party This Weekend

The Berrien County Democratic Party is planning to hold a summer celebration this weekend. The Food, Family, and Freedom Celebration will be Saturday at Lincoln Charter Township Park in Stevensville. Party Communications Chair Dr. Larry Feldman tells us the Dems are quite motivated right now, with a half dozen of them seeking the Sixth District House seat.. ...Read Full Story

Crowd Turns Out For United Way Cardboard Boat Race

One year after the first Rock the Boat Cardboard Boat Races for the United Way of Southwest Michigan, the event has proven to have staying power. 30 boats took part in Thursday’s second annual event, compared to six last year. Teams built their boats out of cardboard, duct tape, and polyurethane and raced them in the St. Joseph River off the Inn at Harbor Shores to raise money for the United Way. WSJM sister station Rock 107 WIRX had morning host Brock Havens and his crew out there. They were talking big ahead of the run.. ...Read Full Story

Police Look For New Person Of Interest In BH Shooting

The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety is looking for a person of interest following a Wednesday shooting. The department tells us officers were called to Lakeland Hospital around 12:30 p.m. to investigate a patient who was wounded with a gunshot. They discovered the victim, 35-year-old Darnell Walker of Benton Harbor, had been wounded that day by gunfire in the city. Police say they developed several leads in the case, and are now looking for 28-year-old Lineson Fitzgerald Powell of Benton Harbor. He also goes by the nickname “Drama.” A previously mentioned person of interest has since been located. Anyone with information on Powell’s location, or on the shooting, is asked to contact the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety.. ...Read Full Story

Pagel To Serve On Mental Health Task Force

Set to begin next month is a series of meetings of the new state House Mental Health Task Force. Sitting on that body will be Berrien Springs state Representative Dave Pagel, who tells WSJM News the goal is to examine mental health in Michigan comprehensively. He says his work on prison budgets is why he was chosen. Pagel notes many individuals who wind up in prison have an underlying mental illness.. ...Read Full Story

GOP Aiming To Roll Back Endangered Species Act

From the Associated Press — Congressional Republicans are moving forward with legislation to roll back the Endangered Species Act, amid complaints that the 44-year-old law hinders drilling, logging and other activities. House and Senate committees were holding simultaneous hearings Wednesday on bills to revise the law and limit lengthy and costly litigation associated with it. The bills come as a federal court lifted federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming and the Trump administration is removing protections for grizzly bears in and near Yellowstone National Park. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop said the bills would curb excessive litigation and allow officials to focus on actual species conservation. Rep. Raul Grijalva, the panel’s senior Democrat, said the endangered species law “does not need congressional meddling to work better. What it needs is congressional support.”. ...Read Full Story

Econ Club Speaker Series Set For 2017-18

The host of a show on News/Talk 94.9 WSJM will be among the four speakers on stage at the Mendel Center for the 2017-18 Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speaker Series. Dave Ramsey will be the first speaker of the upcoming season on Tuesday, September 19. He will be followed by former British Prime Minister David Cameron, though the date for his speech is not being announced just yet. On Thursday, April 12, Captain Chesley Sullenberger, best known as “Sully” will speak. He is a former pilot and author of “Miracle on the Hudson,” documenting his splash-landing of a US Airways jet on the Hudson River in 2009 after the plane hit a flock of geese just after takeoff in New York City. The last speaker is comedian Steve Martin, who will be in town Tuesday, May 8.. ...Read Full Story

SMC Holds Agriculture Science Camp

Southwestern Michigan College has held its first ever agriculture science camp for middle school students. It started this Tuesday with a field trip to a 1,600 acre Cassopolis dairy farm. There, the 14 kids learned all about grass-fed longhorn beef and custom butchering. They also got to explore the nearby Newton Woods. The acre area is part of Fred Russ Forest where researchers study Christmas tree seed production and other projects aimed at preserving the diversity of Michigan forests. The SMC Agricultural Science Camp is designed to teach kids in rural areas all about how area farms function.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Unemployment Rate Falls To 3.8 Percent

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent during June while the number of people in the workforce continued to decline. The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget announced Wednesday the June rate compared to a rate of 4.2 percent during May and was a full percentage point lower than the June 2016 rate of 4.8 percent. The national rate in June was 4.4 percent. The agency says Michigan’s workforce shrunk by 29,000 during June. The number of unemployed workers fell by 20,000 and total employment declined by 9,000. Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives Director Jason Palmer says the June decline in the unemployment rate reflected a second consecutive month of a reduced labor force after several months of steady workforce growth in 2016 and early 2017.. ...Read Full Story

State Commission To Examine Mental Health Issues

The state House is looking at how to help Michigan residents facing mental health issues. Representative Klint Kesto of Commerce Township will co-chair a bi-partisan task force and says they will be going all over the state to meet with substance abuse treatment centers, courts, corrections institutions, rehab facilities and mental health institutions. He spoke with Michigan News Network about the plan.. ...Read Full Story