Local News Archives

Proos STEM Education Plan Approved By Committee

Legislation designed to encourage young people in Michigan to study STEM subjects has moved forward in the Michigan Senate. State Senator John Proos tells WSJM News the plan would require schools to provide students with the latest regional economic outlook report so they can know which fields are in need of the most workers.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Attorney General Announces New Anti-Opioid Team

A new law enforcement team designed to help fight the opioid epidemic has been formed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. Spokesperson Andrea Bitely tells WSJM News the team will be focused on catching traffickers, dealers, and doctors who prescribe too many opioids. She notes the opioid issue is of particular significance in southwest Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Two Facing Charges Over Cass County Dog Attack

Two people are facing charges over a Cass County dog attack. The prosecutor’s office tells us three people were injured on or around April 9 in Calvin Township when a dog bit them. The dog’s two owners are facing charges of failure to vaccinate, failure to license, interfering with law enforcement, and having a dog at large. Their names have not been released. The two are expected to turn themselves in this week.. ...Read Full Story

Police Look For Suspects In Theft Of Bertrand Township Construction Equipment

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department is looking for suspects in the theft of some construction equipment in Bertrand Township this month. It tells us the crime happened in the 1,700 block of Mayflower Road the morning of May 19. Someone broke into a Selge Construction trailer and took a Trimble laser system worth as much as $40,000. Crimestoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.  You can reach them at at 1-800-342-STOP.. ...Read Full Story

Man Saved From Cass County Lake After Boat Capsizes

A Benton Harbor man is recovering after his boat capsized on a lake in Cass County Wednesday. The sheriff’s department tells us deputies were called out to Dewey Lake around 10:30 a.m. on a report of a man clinging to the side of a capsized boat and yelling for help. A police officer and a neighbor were able to help reach the man. 69-year-old James Britanyak told sheriff’s deputies he’d been fishing when his boat started taking on water. He tried making it back to shore but didn’t have enough time. He was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital in Dowagiac for treatment.. ...Read Full Story

Man Killed By Train In Hartford

One man is dead after being hit by a train in Hartford Wednesday morning. It happened about 8:40 a.m. near Main and Railroad Streets. Hartford Police Chief Tessa Beltran tells WSJM News the victim may not have known a train was approaching as he walked along the tracks.. ...Read Full Story

General Motors Testing “Connected Cars”

General Motors is encouraged by some new experiments in what are known as connected cars. The automaker has been working in Macomb County to wire some stoplights near its company’s Tech Center so that they send information to Cadillac test cars. Steve Martin, with Cadillac, told Michigan News Network early test results are positive.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien Treasurer Preparing To Reimburse Communities For Unpaid Taxes

The office of Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski is about to send out checks to local governments across the county to help them make up for the revenue they didn’t get this year due to delinquent taxpayers. He tells WSJM News it’s his job then to pursue those unpaid taxes, as it is for treasurers in every county of Michigan. Witkowski notes some communities have more delinquent taxpayers than others.. ...Read Full Story

July Event To Raise Money For Bridgman Schools

Registrations are now being taken for a new sand sculpting event planned for Weko Beach in Bridgman this summer. Organizer Kim Fenech tells WSJM News she and a friend wanted to help raise money to expand the STEM program at FC Reed Middle School. So, Building Bridgman was born. She says the city and school are helping.. ...Read Full Story

Stevensville Highway Ramps To Close This Week

The I-94 ramps to and from John Beers Road/Grand Mere Road in Stevensville are about to be closed. The Michigan Department of Transportation tells us on Thursday, it will close those ramps — at exit 22 — for a construction project. Anyone who needs to get on or off the highway in the area will have to use exit 23 on to Red Arrow Highway by the Meijer. The ramps will remain closed through June 15.. ...Read Full Story

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