Local News Archives

Open Internet Advocates Concerned About Possible FCC Moves

With a new presidential administration comes the possibility that internet service providers will no longer have to provide the same level of service to all the websites that people visit. Net neutrality has only been an FCC policy for two years, and President Donald Trump’s new FCC chair, Ajit Pai, is an opponent. Marty Newell, with the Rural Broadband Policy Group, tells us the nation’s history in treating telephone service as a utility illustrates the importance of regulating common carriers.. ...Read Full Story

BH School Leaders Work To Reassure The Community

The Michigan School Reform Office will be visiting Benton Harbor Area Schools next week to review three district buildings for possible closure. At a Wednesday town hall, Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker told a crowd of about 50 she’s aiming to convince the SRO changes made since she came on board will turn those buildings around. She tells WSJM News if the district loses the 1,200 students affected, mostly elementary kids, then it won’t be able to function.. ...Read Full Story

Two Arrested In Niles Meth Bust

Two people have been arrested in a Niles meth bust. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us it raided a home in the 600 block of Woodruff on Tuesday night. Inside, officers found items for making meth, hazardous substances, and meth. 27-year-old Jasmine Lee Mitchell and 30-year-old Justin Lee Bennett were arrested on charges of making meth and having a meth lab. Both are now in the Berrien County Jail.. ...Read Full Story

Misdemeanor Abuse Charge Filed For Incident At Vets Home

From the Associated Press — A woman has been charged with misdemeanor abuse at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. Video aired by TV station WZZM shows an employee rolling an 83-year-old man and his wheelchair into a desk last March. Laurie Botbyl was fired. She’s now charged with fourth-degree vulnerable adult abuse for that incident. Documents obtained by WZZM show the man had possible bruises and a skin tear. Botbyl tells the TV station that she knows she was wrong. James Redford, head of the state Veterans Affairs Agency, says he has “zero tolerance” for careless actions that put veterans at risk.. ...Read Full Story

Man Convicted Of Putting Credit Card Skimmers On Gas Pumps

A Texas man has been convicted of ripping people off by installing credit card skimmers on gas pumps throughout west Michigan. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Grand Rapids tells us 44-year-old Antonio Perez-Martinez, of Austin, was found guilty Monday of credit account fraud, and aggravated identity theft after a four-day jury trial. The office says he was the leader of a conspiracy that at times involved more than a dozen suspects who allegedly got compromised credit-account data online, encoded it on to cards, and then used the cloned cars to buy gift cards in bulk. During the summer of 2015, Perez-Martinez then moved on to the gas pump skimmers. He’s one of seven people now convicted in the case, and he could get up to 30 years in prison.. ...Read Full Story

Teens Arrested For Allegedly Stealing SUV In Dowagiac

Two teenagers are facing charges for allegedly stealing an SUV in Dowagiac. Police were called to the 600 block of North Front Street around 7 last night after a man went inside a business and left his 2010 Jeep Wrangler running outside. The SUV was spotted by Pokagon Band Tribal Police a short time later at the intersection of M-51 and M-152. The owner of the truck got it back, while a 17-year-old Mishawaka girl and an 18-year-old Kalamazoo man were arrested. The girl was also found to have a loaded and concealed handgun, and will face charges for that along with possession of a stolen vehicle. No names have yet been released.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Praises Gorsuch Nomination To Supreme Court

The selection of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court by President Trump is being praised by Congressman Fred Upton. He released a statement early this morning saying he’s “vastly impressed” with the credentials of the youngest nominee for the nation’s highest court in a quarter-century. Gorsuch is 49 and worked in the U.S. Department of Justice under former President George W. Bush before being appointed as a federal judge. He has been compared to the man he would succeed on the bench, the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Upton called on the Senate to unanimously confirm Gorsuch as they previously did for a federal judgeship.. ...Read Full Story

Trump Opponents Protest In St. Joseph

The local protests about President Donald Trump continue. On Tuesday, a crowd of about 70 gathered outside of the St. Joseph office of Congressman Fred Upton. Berrien County Democratic Party Chair Eric Lester told WSJM News they were there opposing the president’s immigration executive order.. ...Read Full Story

MSU Professor Gets $8 Million Grant For Malaria Research

From the Associated Press — A Michigan State University professor will be able to spend at least seven more years researching malaria thanks to an $8.4 million grant. The Lansing State Journal reports the grant from the National Institute of Health will allow Terrie Taylor to find ways to improve health care for malaria-infected patients. Taylor has spent six months every year for the past three decades helping children with malaria in the east African country of Malawi. Taylor says she plans to focus her next clinical trial on treatment for brain swelling that occurs in children suffering from malaria. According to Taylor, the mortality rate for malaria-infected people is about 37 percent. She’s hoping the newly funded project will cut mortality down to 17%.. ...Read Full Story

EPA Sued Over Flint Water Crisis

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is being sued by more than 1,700 Flint-area residents and property owners seeking over $700 million dollars in damages over the Flint water crisis. Michael Kitt, attorney for the plaintiffs, told Michigan News Network the agency had ample information at hand to prevent the crisis from taking place.. ...Read Full Story

Attempted Murder In Benton Harbor

A Benton Harbor woman is recovering at Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph after a man allegedly tried to kill her early Monday morning. Public safety says they were called to the home in the 900 block of Lavette Street around 3:30 a.m. on a report of shots fired. A man was arrested for assault with intent to murder, possession of cocaine and marijuana, and several weapons charges. It’s not clear if the woman was shot or how she received her injuries. Michigan State Police and the FBI are assisting Benton Harbor Public Safety in the investigation. No names have been released.. ...Read Full Story

Indiana Man Arrested For Stealing Truck

A chase through a field, along railroad tracks, and then on foot by the St. Joseph River ended with the arrest of an Indiana man for stealing a pickup truck in Three Oaks. It happened yesterday afternoon, with the truck reported stolen while Michigan State Police were trying to pull the suspect over for speeding on US 12 in Buchanan. He ultimately ditched the truck behind a house and tried to get away on foot, only to be caught by police waiting for him at a perimeter point set up along the river. His name is being withheld until his arraignment, but he is 26-years-old and from Angola.. ...Read Full Story

Anti-Trump Demonstration Planned Today In St. Joseph

Look for signs of “Stop Trump’s #SwampCabinet” and more in downtown St. Joseph today, as MoveOn.org launches rallies and protests at the offices of members of Congress across the country from both parties. They will demonstrate from noon to 12:30 outside the district office of Congressman Fred Upton at 720 Main Street, across from the Berrien County Administration Building. The rallies are part of what they call the growing #ResistTrumpTuesdays movement which brought out 15,000 demonstrators last week. Protesters want to get out their message that President Trump’s Cabinet picks are “not what America wants or needs.” There will also be demonstrations across the country at city halls and mayor’s offices to demand cities and towns defend immigrants.. ...Read Full Story

State Launches Hotline For People Accused Of Unemployment Fraud

New measures are being taken to help those who were wrongly accused by the state of Michigan of stealing from the unemployment system. Michigan Talent Agency Director Wanda Stokes tells WSJM News between 2013 and 2015, around 19,000 people were identified by a state computer system of defrauding the Unemployment Insurance Agency. Now they can call a hotline to possibly get reimbursed for whatever they had to pay back.. ...Read Full Story

MI Immigrants On Edge Following Trump Executive Order

A weekend of chaos has given way to a new week of confusion following President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees. Experts say it will have an impact on virtually every Michigan community. Christine Sauve, with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, tells us while Trump has said the order is necessary to ensure those entering the country do not pose a threat, Sauve argues that it only serves to tear at the fabric of the nation and put all immigrants on edge.. ...Read Full Story

54 Deer Sterilized In Ann Arbor To Help Decrease Population

From the Associated Press — Dozens of female deer have been sterilized in Ann Arbor as part of the nonlethal phase of the city’s winter 2017 deer management plan. The Ann Arbor News reports that veterinarians performed surgeries on 54 does
over the last week at a makeshift operating room at the Huron Hills Golf Course. Veterinarian and lead surgeon Dr. Steve Timm says the effort is expected to decrease the local deer population about 20% a year. The city-funded deer management plan is expected to move into the lethal phase on Monday. Sharpshooters plan to go to city parks and nature areas, as well as some University of Michigan properties. The city council voted in November to team up with a Connecticut nonprofit to
carry out the management plan.. ...Read Full Story