Local News Archives

Three Arrested In Buchanan Area Meth Bust

Three people are facing charges following a meth bust near Buchanan. The Southwest Michigan Enforcement Team tells us detectives searched a home in the township on Tuesday after getting tips about drug activity there. At the home, they found meth ingredients and some old reaction vessels, which are the pots used to make meth. Arrested were 22-year-old Ciara Miller, 25-year-old Kyle Wellington, and 22-year-old Zachariah Freeman. They’ve all been arraigned on meth charges. The Southwest Michigan Enforcement Team is an anti-drug agency made up of Michigan State Police, several sheriff’s departments, and local police departments throughout southwest Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Apologies Demanded From Steve Harvey Over Flint Comment

From the Associated Press — Apologies are being demanded from comedian Steve Harvey following comments about Flint’s lead-tainted water crisis. Flint resident Dee Smith says Harvey told him to “enjoy your brown cup of water” during a Wednesday call-in to Harvey’s radio show.
The 68-year-old Smith said he told Harvey, a Cleveland native, the Cavaliers didn’t deserve to win the NBA championship. Harvey later told WSMH-TV in Michigan that he has “great affection” for Flint and that his joke was directed at Smith. Lead leached into homes in 2014 after Flint began tapping the Flint River. Elevated lead levels were found in some children. Residents were forced to drink and bathe with bottled or filtered water. Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says “to make a joke out of a tragedy such as this was in poor taste.”. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Heading To Europe On Trade Trip

From the Associated Press — Governor Rick Snyder is using a trade trip to Europe to boost trade relationships and lure businesses to Michigan.
Snyder will travel to several countries to meet with government, automotive and other business leaders to show what types of opportunities Michigan can offer. His weeklong jaunt starts Saturday and takes him to France, Germany and Italy. The Republican governor touts the state’s leadership in automotive research and design on such trips. This marks his administration’s fifth visit to Europe, and other destinations have included China, Japan and Mexico. Also attending are Macomb and Oakland County officials and Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Automation Alley representatives.. ...Read Full Story

University Of Michigan To Offer Free Tuition To Some Students

From the Associated Press — The University of Michigan will offer four years of free tuition for in-state students whose families make less than $65,000 annually. The school says it’s “Go Blue Guarantee” starts January 1. Regents approved it Thursday as part of the $2 billion fiscal year 2018 general fund budget for the Ann Arbor campus. Chair Mark Bernstein says the guarantee is expected to increase socio-economic diversity on the campus. It will not cover room and board, but students also may be eligible for additional aid to cover non-tuition costs. Tuition for in-state students at Michigan is about $7,413. Bernstein says funding for the program is generated from out-of-state tuition and university cost containment. The university says the program will not reduce need-based financial aid for students who parents earn more than $65,000.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Reminds Residents Of Fireworks Rules

The city of South Haven is reminding everyone of the rules regarding fireworks now that Fourth of July is getting close. The police department tells us, in 2012, the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act legalized the sale, possession, and use of consumer fireworks in the state. However, the law has been since modified to allow local governments for more control of when fireworks may be used. The city of South Haven has restricted fireworks use to the day before, the day of, and the day after a national holiday, except between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. In other words, next month, you’ll be allowed to use fireworks on the Fourth of July, or on the day before or after it from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Anyone looking for clarification should call the police department.. ...Read Full Story

Bill To Teach Students About Opioid Dangers Approved By MI House

More legislation designed to help fight the epidemic of opioid abuse in Michigan has been approved by the Michigan House. State Representative Beth Griffin, of Mattawan, tells us this latest six-bill package instructs the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission to develop recommendations for a curriculum on opioid risks that could be taught to students. Then, the Michigan Department of Education would work on it. She tells us it’s everyone’s responsibility to educate the young about the dangers of such drugs. Other bills in the package increase access to opioid addiction treatment, increase requirements on pain management facilities, and allow pharmacists to refuse to fill a prescription under certain circumstances. The legislative packaged passed the state House Tuesday and now goes to the state Senate.. ...Read Full Story

Teen Facing Charges After Kicking Out Police Vehicle Window

A 17-year-old is facing charges in Van Buren County for kicking out the window of a police cruiser. The sheriff’s department tells WSJM News deputies were called out to the 31,000 block of Red Arrow Highway in Paw Paw Thursday morning on a report of blight. They found a 43-year-old woman and the 17-year-old boy living as squatters at the property. When deputies ran their names, they learned both the teen and the woman had warrants out. They put the teen in the back of a squad car while talking to the woman, and that’s when he kicked out the back window and took off running. He was quickly caught, and now faces charges of malicious destruction of property and resisting and obstructing. The 43-year-old was also arrested and turned over to another police agency due to her warrant.. ...Read Full Story

One Dead In Series Of I-94 Crashes

One person is dead following a Thursday morning crash on I-94 near Paw Paw. Michigan State Police tell us it happened around 11 a.m. when a semi rear-ended a westbound car in the construction zone at mile marker 63. A front seat passenger in that vehicle was killed. The semi then crashed into three other vehicles before coming to rest in the median. MSP says several people suffered injuries, adding distracted driving may have been a factor. About 20 minutes after the incident near mile marker 63, another crash occurred at mile marker 66. In that case, a driver swerved to avoid congestion caused by the earlier crash and hit the cable guardrail before his vehicle wound up on its roof. The driver, a 54-year-old Mattawan man, was taken to a hospital. Westbound I-94 in the area had to be closed for a couple of hours.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Schools Mourn Lincoln Principal

Parents, teachers, staff members, and students of St. Joseph’s Lincoln Elementary School are in shock with the news of the sudden passing of Principal Mike Wagner. Superintendent Ann Cardon told parents in an email this morning that Wagner died unexpectedly yesterday. Staff from Lory’s Place is helping school administrators prepare to support school families and the community, and Cardon says details on that will be released soon. Celebration of Life service information is also pending.. ...Read Full Story

Uber Expanding To SWMI

Uber is coming to the area. The ridesharing company will start operating in Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, New Buffalo and South Haven on Friday. Uber will also launch service in Saugatuck, Holland, Muskegon, and Grand Haven the same day. The company says both UberX, which is their normal rides and UberXL, with room for up to six passengers, will be available. The rides are hailed using the company’s smartphone app, and there will be one free ride available to new users using the promo code LAKEMI17 through October 1. Uber is also looking for drivers for the area. WSJM News has reached out to the company for comment.. ...Read Full Story

Fire, Power Outage Delays Herald-Palladium

If you like to start your day with the Herald-Palladium, you likely noticed that didn’t happen today. The newspaper had a lightning strike right outside the building last night that caused a power surge and a fire that knocked out their computer network, and forced the paper to be printed for today in South Bend. The HP tells WSJM News there will be limited home delivery today starting after 1 p.m. Most of that will be in the core subscription areas of St. Joseph, Benton Harbor, and Stevensville. The papers will start showing up early this afternoon at retail locations as well. They’re expecting everything to operate as normal tomorrow.. ...Read Full Story

Semi Crashes Into Lane Automotive In Watervliet

A blown tire is blamed for a semi crash early this morning in Watervliet. Police say the driver of a semi went off I-94 and into the side of the building at Lane Automotive. Police tell WSJM News no one was hurt. The cab of the truck wound up inside the building. The accident happened shortly before 3 a.m. There is no damage estimate yet regarding the building.. ...Read Full Story

BH Schools Creating New Partnership Agreement Accountability Position

Benton Harbor Area Schools will get a little extra help as it aims to meet all terms of its partnership agreement with the state. This week, the board of education authorized Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker to create the new position of partnership agreement accountability assistant. Walker told WSJM News this person will go from building to building to make sure everyone’s doing what they should be doing.. ...Read Full Story

Whilpool Volunteers Help Non-Profits For Kitchenaid Day Of Caring

More than 150 volunteers from Whirlpool and Kitchenaid have had a chance to make a difference in their community by taking part in the eighth annual Kitchenaid Day of Caring. It took place Wednesday, as the Whirlpool and Kitchenaid employees fanned out to 11 non-profits to help them out for the day. They also invited others. St. Joseph Public Safety Director Brian Uridge took them up on the offer to help build a new playground at the Discovery Enrichment Center in Benton Harbor.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Native In Intensive Care Following Washington Shootings

From the Associated Press — Family members of Matt Mika say the Michigan native suffered multiple gunshot wounds and remains in the intensive care unit in critical condition after surgery. Mika was wounded Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at a baseball practice,
injuring a congressman and others. His family said in a statement late Wednesday that they expect Mika to remain hospitalized for at least several days. The family said, “we continue to be in disbelief that he would be part of this heinous attack.” Mika is a former aide to Michigan Republican congressman Tim Walberg. He is director of government relations for Tyson Foods Washington, D.C., office and has worked for the company for more than six years. Mika’s family described him as “a very thoughtful, fun-loving person who is competitive and loyal; all things which contributed to his continued commitment to the Congressional Baseball Game.”. ...Read Full Story

Legislation Allows Volunteers To Provide Cyber Security Services In MI

Legislation has been introduced in the Michigan House that would allow volunteers to help the state protect itself from cyber attacks. The plan from state Representative Brandt Iden, of Kalamazoo County, creates the Cyber Civilian Corps, which would provide internet security to local governments, non-profits, private businesses, and educational organizations. The volunteers would be shielded from civil liability lawsuits, receiving the same protections given to state employees. Iden tells us the plan would give “Michigan’s brightest minds” a chance to help keep their state safer. The House Communications and Technology Committee has approved the plan.. ...Read Full Story

Police Look For Buchanan Burglary Suspect

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help in finding the crook who broke into a Buchanan liquor store last week. It says on the morning of June 7, the suspect broke into to the Red Bud liquor store on Front Street and stole a large amount of cash. You can see a surveillance photo above. Anyone with information that can lead to an arrest is asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-342-STOP. You could get a $1,000.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Congressmen Describe Shooting Scene

Upper Peninsula Congressman Jeff Bergman credits the Capitol Police detail assigned to Majority Whip Steve Scalise for saving lives today after a gunman opened fire at a baseball practice of Republican lawmakers in Alexandria, Virginia. Congressman Bergman tells ABC News how the security detail sprang into action as soon as the shots rang out.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Responds To Congressional Shooting In Virginia

Congressman Fred Upton is putting out well wishes to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and the others who were shot in Alexandria, Virginia this morning during a congressional baseball game practice. Upton was not there, and spokesman Tom Wilbur tells WSJM News none of their staff were on hand. Senator Rand Paul tells CNN he heard 50 to 60 shots, and saw bullets bouncing off the warning track. President Trump has issued a statement calling Scalise “a true friend and patriot,” adding he was “badly injured but will fully recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.” Texas Congressman Roger Williams says a member of his staff was also shot. Three Michigan congressmen – Mike Bishop, John Moolenaar, and Jack Bergman – were at the practice, but were not hit by the gunfire. The man who opened fire is in custody.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Health Director Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter

Michigan Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon is charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the Flint water crisis. Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the charges this morning in Flint, along with charges against Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells. Dr. Wells is charged with obstruction of justice and lying to police. Schuette says Wells tried to obstruct researchers from Wayne State University by threatening their funding when they were looking into the connection between the lead-tainted water and an outbreak of Legionnaires disease in Genesee County.. ...Read Full Story

Emergency Responders To Train Off Silver Beach Monday

If you see some emergency response vehicles out in Lake Michigan next Monday off of Silver Beach, don’t be alarmed. It’s just the Berrien County Parks Department doing some water rescue training. They’ll be out there on Monday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The county parks lifeguard team will be honing its skills with the help of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Marine Division. The parks department also reminds everyone to be safe in the water this summer. Never swim alone, obey all posted signs, keep off the piers when there are high waves, and know what to do in the event of a rip current.. ...Read Full Story