Local News Archives

Two Charged After Gun Found At Berrien County Courthouse

A couple from Wyoming, Michigan is in the Berrien County Jail after police say they were caught trying to bring a gun into the courthouse in St. Joseph on Tuesday. Berrien County Undersheriff Chuck Heit tells WSJM News it happened about 8:30 a.m. as the Arnelda and Molly Jackson were entering the courthouse. The x-ray scanner spotted the semi automatic handgun in the woman’s purse, and then the man took off running. Heit tells us courthouse security was able to handle it and catch the two as they fled.. ...Read Full Story

Lots Of Candidates File Already For 2018

Dozens of people have signed up to run for the Michigan Legislature in 2018, more than a year before the August primary election. All 38 seats in the Senate will be on the ballot, along with the 110 seats in the House. The Detroit Free Press reports that at least 68 candidates have filed papers with the secretary of state – and the deadline still is many months away.. ...Read Full Story

Banning Hand-Held Phones Behind The Wheel

Hang up the phone and drive — that’s the message in proposed legislation in Lansing which would ban drivers from using hand-held cell phones when behind the wheel. Jim Santilli of the Transportation Improvement Association says the current law banning texting and driving doesn’t go far enough to prevent traffic crashes, injuries and deaths.. ...Read Full Story

New Push For Better Infrastructure

Saying our cars rattle down some of the nation’s worst roads, several groups and organizations today will call on state lawmakers to find a long-term solution to fix Michigan’s aging infrastructure. The County Road Association, Michigan Municipal League, American Society of Civil Engineers, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce and Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association will be involved in an 11 a.m. news conference in Lansing. A report released late last year said fixing the state’s infrastructure will cost four-billion dollars each year for the next 20 years.. ...Read Full Story

Lt. Gov. Calley To Make Announcement

Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley plans to make a major announcement this afternoon on Mackinac Island. While he was initially expected to say he’s going to run for governor, Michigan News Network Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick says he will instead likely announce his support for a part-time legislature. A proposal to put the issue before voters is expected to be submitted to the Board of State Canvassers in the coming weeks. There is also speculation that Calley also will announce sometime this week that he’s running for governor. Nearly 17-hundred political, business and community leaders will be on the island Wednesday through Friday for the annual Mackinac Policy Conference. Organizers say the three topics to be focused on are winning the race in connected technology, increasing economic opportunity and restoring civility in American politics.. ...Read Full Story

Gas Prices Fall To Start Week

We are starting the week with Michigan’s lowest average gas price in the Benton Harbor-St. Joseph area. Triple-A Michigan says our average is $2.36, down about 11¢ from last week. The statewide average is $2.42, which is down a nickel, and lower than last year at this time by about 8¢. The state’s most expensive gas is in Marquette, where Upper Peninsula drivers are paying $2.48 a gallon. GasBuddy spotters in South Haven note prices there range from $2.26 to $2.29 per gallon, and are as low as $2.22 in Paw Paw.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien Road Commission Taking Applications For Empty Seat

If you’re interested in serving on the Berrien County Road Commission, you may be in luck. They’ve got a vacancy on the board. The seat representing District 1 is currently empty, and the county is taking applications. District 1 represents Coloma, Watervliet, Hagar, Bainbridge, Pipestone, and Sodus Townships. You don’t have to be from one of those places to get the seat, but there is a preference for applicants who are. The Berrien County Road Commission is responsible for more than 1,400 miles of county roads, and is governed by a board of five. Meetings are held every other Wednesday, and the District 1 term will expire at the end of 2019. You can get an application by stopping by the Berrien County Administration office in St. Joseph or BerrienCounty.org.. ...Read Full Story

Cornerstone Alliance To Talk Business With Those Over 50

The AARP Foundation has awarded Cornerstone Alliance a grant to provide workshops on starting a business to those over the age of 50. Cornerstone’s Stacie Stephens tells WSJM News Work for Yourself@50+ workshops serve those who are interested in how the process works. AARP picked Cornerstone Alliance because of its experience with helping businesses get rolling.. ...Read Full Story

Planning Underway For Next Lest We Forget Program

Things are being shaken up a little for this summer’s Lest We Forget program. The organization has staged World War II simulations each summer in southwest Michigan for years, and the group’s Don Alsboro tells WSJM News they’re moving from the Southwest Michigan Regional Airport this year to Tiscornia Beach in St. Joseph. There, they’ll have some Marines on hand.. ...Read Full Story

Secretary Of State Issues Warning About Unlicensed Mechanics

The Michigan Secretary of State is warning drivers not to take their cars for repairs at non-licensed shops. With the temperatures now about to get hot, the office tells us you should ask to see your mechanic’s certification before he or she works on your vehicle. It adds under state law, someone who knowingly provides automotive repair services without a registration or certificate is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail, and a fine of up to $1,000. Another thing to know is that unlicensed repair shot can’t seek legal action for fees owed to them for work performed. You can find a list of licensed repair places in Michigan at Michigan.gov/SOS.. ...Read Full Story

One Man in Jail After Chase

A Niles man is jailed for leading Berrien County Sheriff’s deputies on a chase through Sodus and Pipestone townships. It began late Saturday after authorities failed to pull the 46-year-old over for speeding on Pipestone Road near Evans Road. He was arrested after his vehicle was boxed in at a gas station on Meadowbrook Road in Benton Harbor.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren County Man Sent to Hospital

Sheriff’s deputies in Van Buren County say a 51-year-old had to be airlifted to Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo after being thrown from his all-purpose electric motorcycle in Breedsville. Authorities and medical personnel were dispatched to the dead end of Harmony Lane before 3 p.m. Sunday. Investigators believe the Grand Junction resident lost traction in mud while trying to enter a private blueberry field. They also believe alcohol was a contributing factor.. ...Read Full Story

Dogs Attack Livestock In Bangor

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department is searching for the owner of two dogs who attacked livestock in Bangor. It happened Sunday morning in the 48000 block of M-43, with the attack killing four sheep. Another nine sheep were hurt along with a goat. A deputy had to shoot and kill one of the dogs when it became aggressive toward officers, while the second dog was captured and turned over to Van Buren County Animal Control for quarantine. The dogs are mix breed dogs. Charges against their owner are likely to include damage to livestock and trespassing.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren County Board Settles On New Admin

The Van Buren County Board of Commissioners has found a new county administrator. John Faul, of Mattawan, will replace the recently-retired Doug Cultra. Faul has previously worked for Van Buren County in multiple roles, including as the administrator in the early to mid-2000s. He left in 2006 to work for the Michigan Municipal League and later worked as the assistant county administrator in Kalamazoo County. Now that a contract is in place, Faul will start his new job on June 5. The board of commissioners says it hired him due to his experience.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Order Allows Greater Distribution Of Anti Overdose Drug

Governor Rick Snyder has authorized the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to issue an order authorizing pharmacists to distribute the overdose reversal drug naloxone to eligible individuals. Nancy King, with Families Against Narcotics Southwest Michigan, works to spread awareness about naloxone. She tells us it’s been a life saver for many struggling with addiction.. ...Read Full Story

Watervliet High School Presented With Spirit Trophy

Watervliet High School has been presented with a trophy by state Senator John Proos for winning his annual Southwest Michigan Spirit Tournament. Each year, Proos asks schools all throughout his district to submit photos displaying their pride. He then takes more submissions over a period of several weeks to whittle the numbers down in a bracket-style competition. The winner is declared the school with the most pride. This year, it was the Watervliet Panthers, who submitted more than 2,700 photos and got more than 86,000 likes on Facebook. In all, 31 high schools took part.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department Reminds Parents Not To Leave Kids In Parked Vehicle

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is urging everyone to take care to prevent heat stroke this summer. It declared this Friday Heat Stroke Prevention Day, reminding parents not to leave their kids alone in a vehicle. Nationwide, more than 138 children died from heatstroke between 2013 and 2016, and the department says all of those deaths could have been prevented. Health and Human Services tells us the temperatures inside a car can increase 20 degrees in as little as ten minutes, and because a child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s, they’re more susceptible to heatstroke. It also suggests calling 911 if you see a child in a car alone. You can find out more at SafeKids.org/HeatStroke.. ...Read Full Story

Record Amount Raised For Lory’s Place With Latest Run

A record amount has been raised for St. Joseph-based Lory’s Place with its latest Run, Walk, and Rock 5K. The run was held last Saturday, taking supporters of Lory’s Place around the Edgewater area of St. Joseph. More than 1,200 people took part, some running, some walking, and some rocking in chairs along the side of the route to show support. It was the 13th annual Lory’s Place event, and it raised more than $63,000. Lory’s Place provides grief counseling and support services. Lisa Bartoszek, Director of Lory’s Place, thanked everyone for their support.. ...Read Full Story

New Executive Announced For SWM Association Of Realtors

The Southwest Michigan Association of Realtors has a new executive in charge. Alan Jeffries takes over as association executive for Gary Walter, who in turn had taken over on an interim basis after the resignation of Phil Amodeo in February. Jeffries comes to the organization from the Greater Kalamazoo Association of Realtors, where he was the board president. He’s previously worked as a manager for Century 21 Advanced Realty and has been an owner of Michigan Real Estate Services in the Kalamazoo area. Jeffries has also served as the township assessor in Saugatuck Township. The Southwest Michigan Association of Realtors tells us they’re excited to have him, as he brings more than 20 years of experience to the job.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Outer Harbor To Be Dredged Next Month

The St. Joseph outer harbor will be dredged starting next month. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week approved a $374,000 contract with a Holland company to dredge harbors in Holland and in St. Joe. Army Corps Project Manager Melissa Bosman tells WSJM News they’ll start the work mid-month. Without it, the shipping industry would be harmed.. ...Read Full Story

Celebration Of Makers Planned For Tomorrow In Buchanan

There’s plenty going on in Buchanan in the next few days. That’s because they’re holding the Memorial Day Parade and the annual Unsanctioned event. Randy Hendrixson, with the chamber of commerce, tells WSJM News Unsanctioned is an celebration put on by downtown merchants who just want people to know about what they do. They started it in 2008, and this year it’s all about makers.. ...Read Full Story

Man Arrested With Fake Currency

South Bend police have arrested a man accused of using counterfeit money. They say 20-year-old Malik Gardner was found to be in possession of money with “For Motion Picture Use Only” printed on it. That’s the same type of fake money reported earlier this week in several instances around Dowagiac. South Bend police say Gardner was under investigation for an unrelated matter when he was found to have the fakes. Police have not said if Gardner is a suspect in the Dowagiac incidents.. ...Read Full Story