Local News Archives

Michigan House Passes Bills On Concealed Pistol Licenses

From the Associated Press — The Michigan House has passed a package of four bills that would make concealed pistol licenses optional for people living in the state. The primary bill passed 59 to 49 Wednesday while others passed on similar votes. The bills now go to the state Senate. They would remove the restriction of requiring a license to carry a concealed pistol and let people voluntarily get education or training since a permit would not be required. Rep. Michelle Hoitenga, a Republican from Manton, says she knows of law-abiding citizens without licenses who get in trouble when their clothing accidentally covers their pistol when they are open-carrying. Opponents say not requiring concealed pistol licenses — and the training required to get them — could pose dangers to police and the public.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Unsure About Signing Anti-Abortion License Plate Bill

From the Associated Press — A spokeswoman for Republican Governor Rick Snyder says he’s undecided about signing legislation to require Michigan to create an anti-abortion fundraising license plate. The Republican-led Senate enrolled the bill Tuesday after it previously won
mostly party-line approval in the legislature. The measure would require a “Choose Life” plate to be issued by June 2018. Michigan has fundraising plates for universities and causes like breast cancer awareness. The anti-abortion plate would cost $35 initially. The money would go to a fund whose board is controlled by Right to Life of Michigan. The board would disperse grants to crisis pregnancy centers and other nonprofits promoting “life-affirming programs and projects.” Senators fell short of giving the bill immediate effect, which could delay the
plate’s release in 2018.. ...Read Full Story

State Panel Approves Higher Education Budget

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s 15 public universities would get an overall 2 percent boost in state funding under legislation ironed out by lawmakers. A Republican-led conference committee voted 5-1 for the $1.6 billion higher education budget bill Tuesday, with one Democrat in opposition. Schools’ funding increases would range from 1.5 percent to 2.7 percent. Five universities’ state aid would remain below levels from seven years ago. Legislators are advancing spending measures after setting targets without Governor Rick Snyder due to an impasse over closing the pension system to newly hired school employees. It’s unclear if the full Legislature will vote without a deal with the Republican governor.
Twenty-eight community colleges would see an overall 1 percent funding boost under another bill approved Tuesday. Increases would range from 0.6 percent to 3.2 percent.. ...Read Full Story

BH Schools Could Adopt Plan To Sell Off Surplus Properties

A final plan for Benton Harbor Area Schools to drop ten unused properties could be approved next week by the board of education. At a Tuesday work session, trustees were told a firm will be hired to handle the sale of surplus buildings and other properties. If they don’t sell within a year, they’ll either be auctioned or given to the land bank. Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker told WSJM News the goal is to save money.. ...Read Full Story

This Is CPR Awareness Week

This is CPR and AED Awareness Week, observed by the American Heart Association every year in June to remind people that CPR is easy to learn and can save lives. When a person has cardiac arrest, their survival depends on quick administration of CPR, says Dan Grejcyzk, a CPR teacher.. ...Read Full Story

Detroit Tigers To Honor Fallen Officers

Ron Kienzle and Joseph Zangaro will be honored tomorrow by the Detroit Tigers along with five other officers who were killed in the line of duty in the state last year. You’ll remember Kienzle and Zangaro died when they were shot by an inmate trying to escape the Berrien County Courthouse last July. The Tigers’ 6th Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Night at Comerica Park will include a special Michigan State Police helicopter flyover, and Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game against the Los Angeles Angels. $10 from each ticket sold tomorrow night will be donated to the fund for the National Law Enforcement Museum, which is being built in Washington, DC.. ...Read Full Story

Free Fishing This Weekend

Coming up this weekend, you’ll be able to go fishing in Michigan waters free of charge. State Representative Kim LaSata tells us it’s another Free Fishing Weekend, June 10 and 11. That’s when the Michigan Department of Natural Resources waives all fishing license fees so everyone can check out the state’s fishing opportunities without having to pay up. Representative LaSata tells us there’s something special about southwest Michigan in that department, and so she urges everyone to take part. All other fishing rules still apply throughout the weekend. You can find out more at Michigan.gov/FreeFishing.. ...Read Full Story

BH City Commissioners Hear Medical Marijuana Recommendations

Benton Harbor City Commissioners have heard from Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey and Prosecutor Michael Sepic about the issue of medical marijuana dispensaries. At a Monday meeting, both officials recommended the city not allow such operations. Under recent state law, cities could start licensing dispensaries and growers as soon as December. Prosecutor Michael Sepic told WSJM News he doesn’t see the benefit of having more marijuana in a community.. ...Read Full Story

BH School Board Trustee Resigns

The Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education is looking for a new trustee. That’s because board member Elnora Gavin has resigned. She submitted her resignation on June 2. The board wants to start screening applicants to replace Gavin by June 23. It’s asking any interested community members to step forward. There will be a June 27 meeting at the high school so the board can review all of the applications it gets. The hope is to get someone in the seat by July 11. If you’d like to apply, stop by the central administration office on Pipestone.. ...Read Full Story

Woman Pinned Under Vehicle In Van Buren County Crash

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department believes a Paw Paw area woman was going too fast when she rolled her SUV this week near Lawton. It says deputies were called out to the scene on M-40 near 31st Street in Antwerp Township around 7:30 a.m. Monday. They found the 32-year-old woman with one leg pinned under the SUV, which was on its side. She was awake and able to speak with them. Firefighters from Lawton used airbags to get the vehicle off the woman, and she was taken to Bronson Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.. ...Read Full Story

Personal Watercraft Crash Sends One To Hospital

An Illinois man is being treated at Elkhart General Hospital in Indiana after a personal watercraft accident on Shavehead Lake in Cass County over the weekend. The sheriff’s department tells WSJM News 25-year-old Kyle Hughes of Mokena, Illinois was taken to the hospital after his personal watercraft collided with one piloted by Ryan Zawadzki of Frankfort, Illinois around 3:30 Saturday afternoon. Deputies don’t believe alcohol was a factor. They are using the crash to remind everyone born after December 31, 1978 that they need to have a Boater Safety Certificate to operate those vessels in the state of Michigan. The department does not, however, say if either Zawadzki or Hughes had such certification.. ...Read Full Story

Gas Prices Up 7¢ Statewide

Our gas prices in Michigan are up 7¢ a gallon from last week. Triple-A Michigan puts the average at $2.50, which is lower than this time last year by about a dime per gallon. Marquette has the lowest prices in the state at $2.42, while Traverse City and Grand Rapids have the state’s highest prices at $2.54. Locally, the average in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph is up 9¢ to $2.47. Our average price is down 13¢ from year-ago levels. The auto club says demand for gasoline nationwide is continuing to rise due to summer, and that’s starting to eat into the supply glut of gasoline. GasBuddy puts the average in South Haven at $2.42 a gallon.. ...Read Full Story

One Stabbed In New Buffalo

An argument between roommates in New Buffalo took a violent turn just before 7:30 p.m. Sunday when one allegedly stabbed the other. According to the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, they were called when the 42-year-old victim was taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Michigan City. They arrested her 20-year-old roommate on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, and she’s expected to be arraigned later today. The victim is expected to make a full recovery, as her injuries are not life-threatening.. ...Read Full Story

Politics Leading To More Stress In U.S. Workplaces

Workplace stress is on the rise, and it’s being blamed at least partly on tensions over politics in America. A survey by the American Psychological Association finds workplace stress levels have increased compared to those measured before the election.David Ballard, director of the American Psychological Association’s Center for Excellence, tells us managers might need to step in and set ground rules.. ...Read Full Story

Plan Would Expand Michigan Emergency Fund

Legislation cleared the state House this week that would increase the minimum balance of Michigan’s disaster and emergency contingency fund. The bills were inspired after the state ran out of money in that account to fix the sinkhole that threatened to swallow a neighborhood in Frasier last year. They were sponsored by state Representative Tim Marino.. ...Read Full Story