Local News Archives

EPA Tests Water At MI Tannery

From the Associated Press — Federal environmental officials are resuming an investigation into contamination at a former tannery in western Michigan five years after the Environmental Protection Agency left the site under state control. The Grand Rapids Press reports that the EPA says new testing will begin this month at the former manufacturing site where Wolverine World Wide used chemicals
to waterproof shoe leather. The EPA has requested Wolverine conduct extensive soil and groundwater sampling across the Rockford property. The site has been open to the community and used as a space for events since 2010. Recent testing found extremely high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances at the site. But the EPA is focusing its probe on other contaminants as well. Wolverine says it’s working with regulators and expects to begin fieldwork this summer.. ...Read Full Story

National Nurses Week

This is National Nurses Week. It’s a time to celebrate and honor those who give so much on the job. Many nurses like Beaumont Hospital orthopedic nurse Maureen Cooper tells Michigan News Network it’s not so much a job as a calling.. ...Read Full Story

Man Gets Life In Girl’s Beating Death

From the Associated Press — A man has been sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole for the beating death of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter, who was found wrapped in blankets and duct tape in southwestern Michigan. A judge handed down the mandatory punishment Monday for 35-year-old Matthew Longenecker. He was convicted earlier by a jury of charges including murder and child abuse in the asphyxiation death of Desaray Thompson in Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports Longenecker declined to speak at Monday’s
hearing. Last month, his 34-year-old girlfriend Kelly Ballinger was ordered to serve between 23 years, nine months and 50 years. Jurors convicted Ballinger of child abuse and involuntary manslaughter. Authorities say the couple restrained Desaray with blankets and duct tape in July 2017. An autopsy found evidence of past abuse.. ...Read Full Story

SJ Commission Discusses Rates

Residents of St. Joseph will be paying a bit more in taxes under a plan given its first reading by city commissioners Monday night. After a lengthy discussion, the commission gave its initial green light to a street millage increase of 2.55 mills, or about $200 a year for a home with a taxable value of $140,000. Mayor Mike Garey told WSJM News people seem to understand the streets need to be fixed, and that it’s going to cost something.. ...Read Full Story

Wednesday Bike To School Day

This Wednesday is Bike to School Day, and thousands of students around Michigan are expected to take part. Organized by the Michigan Fitness Foundation and the Safe Routes to School program, Bike to School Day is designed to promote health, wellness, and physical activity. Everyone is encouraged to take their bicycle to school as Safe Routes to School partners with the Michigan Department of Transportation to enhance active transportation through a variety of modes. Schools officially signed up to be part of Bike to School Day include St. Basil Catholic School in South Haven. In all, more than 175 schools have signed on. Governor Rick Snyder has officially recognized May 9 as Michigan’s Bike to School Day this year, promoting the importance of physical activity.. ...Read Full Story

Renaissance Fair Planned In Niles

Set for this month is the first ever Niles Renaissance Faire. Niles History Center Director Christina Arseneau tells WSJM News the city decided to hold a renaissance faire because the events are increasingly popular in the region, attracting both history buffs and fans of fantasy. On hand will be food vendors and performers.. ...Read Full Story

State Naloxone Order

Michigan residents are being reminded of the state’s standing order on anti-overdose drug naloxone. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Lynn Sutfin tells WSJM News the order was issued in May of last year, making it possible for anyone to get their hands on doses of naloxone.. ...Read Full Story

Bicyclist Hit By Vehicle

A Niles man is recovering from serious injuries after he was struck by a vehicle while riding a bicycle on Sunday evening. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us 18-year-old Justin Copper was headed west on Bell Road at the South 11th Street intersection in Niles shortly before 6 p.m. when he was struck by a southbound vehicle on South 11th. Police say witnesses have told them the vehicle, driven by 54-year-old Judy Vallieres of Niles, had the right of way. Vallieres tried to stop, but was unable to do so. Copper was taken to Memorial Hospital in South Bend to be treated.. ...Read Full Story

Reward Offered For BH Murder Suspect

A $10,000 reward is now being offered for information that leads to the arrest of a murder suspect in Benton Harbor. The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety tells us 40-year-old Antwan “Tank” Mims is the main suspect in the double homicide of Michael Johnson and Cortez Miller on March 25. The victims were found shot at a home in the 900 block of LaVette in Benton Harbor, and died at an area hospital. Since the incident, detectives from the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety, Michigan State Police, and the FBI have been looking for Mims. Anyone who knows where he is can contact Benton Harbor Public Safety. Police plan to update the public on the case at a press conference Tuesday.. ...Read Full Story

Illinois Seeks Talks On Asian Carp

From the Associated Press — Illinois says it will work with federal officials and other states on a strategy for fortifying a Chicago-area lock and dam to keep Asian carp out of Lake Michigan. Governor Bruce Rauner has sent letters to his counterparts in the Great Lakes
region proposing negotiations toward an agreement on using the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet to block the path of the invasive fish. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a $275 million draft plan last year proposing an array of defenses at the site, including an electric barrier, noisemakers, and water jets. The region’s eight states are divided over the plan. Illinois says it would disrupt Chicago’s transportation system. Rauner proposed that representatives of each state meet regularly with the Corps to seek an agreement.. ...Read Full Story