Local News Archives

All Clear After School Illness Scare

After a brief scare this week at the STEAM Academy at MLK, Benton Harbor Area Schools tells us the building has been cleared of illness by the Berrien County Health Department. The district says an illness was reported late in the day on Thursday with children vomiting and a few with rashes on their forearms. The kids were evaluated on scene by EMTs and no life threatening conditions were found. The Berrien County Health Department contacted Lakeland Health, MedExpress, and Intercare to request physician reports of the children ages eight to ten at MLK, and no illnesses reported by the hospital matched the initial report of vomiting. The school district tells us upon further investigation, the health department has found no threat to the public’s health present at the school or among the school population. Reports from community partners have also suggested that there are no environmental hazards present. There is also no suspicion of a food-borne illness.. ...Read Full Story

New Rules For Recounts

From the Associated Press — Political candidates who lose big like Jill Stein wouldn’t be able to seek a recount under legislation nearing the Michigan governor’s desk. The Republican-led Senate voted 27-8 Wednesday for legislation upping the standards for election recounts to require aggrieved candidates to prove they have a reasonable chance of victory. Currently, candidates need to believe they are aggrieved due to fraud or mistake to petition for a recount. The House also voted 93-16 for a bill to double a losing candidate’s fees to recount votes if he or she is down by more than 5 percentage points. Stein, the Green Party candidate in the 2016 presidential election, triggered a recount in Michigan after Donald Trump’s win over Hillary Clinton. Both bills will soon go to Gov. Rick Snyder.. ...Read Full Story

Former Lawmaker Pursuing Lawsuit

From the Associated Press — A former Michigan lawmaker who was expelled from office amid a sex scandal is asking a court to reconsider her lawsuit against the Michigan House, legislators and staff. The Holland Sentinel reports that Republican Cindy Gamrat filed a motion for
reconsideration on April 12, after a federal judge dismissed her claims against government officials last month. Gamrat and former legislator Todd Courser were involved in an extramarital affair in 2015. Gamrat’s motion says the court failed to address her claim that
she was treated unfairly during the investigation and hearings that led to her removal. Gamrat’s motion alleges that new evidence is being revealed in Courser’s criminal case supporting her original lawsuit’s claims of wiretapping, eavesdropping, stalking and conspiracy.
Courser faces criminal proceedings for allegations of perjury and misconduct.. ...Read Full Story

Amtrak Planning Special PGA Train

Folks from the Chicago-area who want to come to Benton Harbor next month for the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship will have a new way to do so thanks to Amtrak. Spokesperson Mark Magliari tells WSJM News Amtrak will run a special train to the area on Saturday, May 26. The train will go from Chicago to Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor. It’s been a long time in the making.. ...Read Full Story

School Hires Attendance Officials

Benton Harbor Area Schools is getting serious about maintaining student attendance levels. At this week’s meeting, the board of education approved the hiring of some attendance ombudsmen to make sure students make it to class each day. Interim Superintendent Patricia Robinson read the resolution.. ...Read Full Story

Medicaid Work Requirement Advancing

From the Associated Press — Able-bodied adults would have to complete 29 hours of work, job training or education per week to qualify for Medicaid under a bill advancing in Michigan. A Republican-controlled Senate committee approved the legislation on party lines Wednesday, months after the Trump administration announced it would permit such work requirements under a waiver process. If the bill is enacted, it could affect up to 1 million non-elderly, non-disabled Michigan adults enrolled in Medicaid, government health insurance for low-income people. Supporters say the Medicaid population is ballooning and costs are rising, and it makes sense to require that recipients work for their benefits. Opponents say the legislation would jeopardize access to health coverage and most of those who can work already do. The measure goes to the full Senate for consideration next.. ...Read Full Story

Paw Paw Threat Hearing Adjourned To May 2

The Paw Paw High School liaison officer is disputing the claims of the family of a 15-year-old boy suspected of planning an attack on the school last month that he had been bullied. In court yesterday, Deputy Trever Tate testified he interviewed over 50 students, and none of them said the teen was a bullying victim. The boy’s parents, however, contend that was the case and have said a photo of their son in just his underwear had previously been posted on social media. Tate responded that wasn’t necessarily bullying when pressed by the boy’s attorney.. ...Read Full Story

Bills Aim To Prevent Nassar Repeat

Legislation is being worked on in the Michigan House to help ensure there is never a repeat of the Larry Nassar situation. Although the former sports doctor will be behind bars for the rest of his life, lawmakers want to make sure no other doctor can sexually abuse patients under the guise of medical examination. State Representative Mary Whiteford of Casco Township told us more.. ...Read Full Story

School Official Talks Homelessness

A recent report based on numbers from the University of Michigan inaccurately reported the number of homeless students at Berrien Springs Public Schools. So says the district’s special education director. Danny Bartz tells us a report run by some TV stations placed Berrien Springs high on the list Michigan school districts in that regard.. ...Read Full Story

Former Major Leaguer Reportedly Arrested In Berrien

A former pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks is reportedly facing a charge of assault and battery in Berrien County. According to TMZ Sports, 44-year-old Matt Mantei was arrested on Tuesday. He pleaded not guilty on Wednesday and was given a personal recognizance bond. Mantai was a closer who played ten seasons in the Major League. Details of his arrest have not yet been released, but Mantei is due back in court on May 1.. ...Read Full Story