Local News Archives

Political Newcomer Taking A Shot At SWM House District

Another Democrat has jumped into a southwest Michigan political race. Now running for Michigan House in Van Buren County’s 66th District is Dan Seibert, an IT engineer with Perrigo in Allegan. Seibert lives in Paw Paw, and tells WSJM News he wanted to run because he thinks there’s not enough transparency and accountability in state government.. ...Read Full Story

Plan Could Expand Bottle Deposit Law

A bill being proposed in Lansing would expand upon the law established in 1976 to pay a reimbursable ten cent deposit on pop and beer cans and bottles. Under the proposal from Kalamazoo Representative Jon Hoadley, the law would be expanded to non-carbonated beverages, such as water and juice bottles that often do not get recycled.. ...Read Full Story

New Director For Grief Services Organization

Lory’s Place has a new director. With the recent retirement of Lisa Bartoszek comes the naming of Stephanie Kohler as the new director of Lory’s Place. The organization provides grief counseling for families with loved ones who have been treated at Lakeland. Kohler has served as a family services coordinator at Lory’s Place beginning in 2005 before transitioning to family services coordinator leader in 2016. Kohler says Lory’s Place has “walked alongside thousands of children, teens, and adults since the doors opened in November of 2004,” adding she, too, has gotten help from the organization.. ...Read Full Story

Progress Continues On South Haven Park

Phase two in the construction of a new park in the South Haven area is now underway. The South Haven Recreation Authority tells us work at the Pilgrim Haven Natural Area throughout this year will include a fence installed along the northern property line, as well as a control gate for the site’s parking area. Once that work is done, the park can be opened to the public. The Pilgrim Haven Natural Area is just north of the Van Buren State Park, and is 27 acres of woods, dune grass prairies, and shoreline along Lake Michigan. It’s to be maintained through a partnership of the recreation authority, South Haven Township, the city of South Haven, and South Haven Public Schools. The current phase should be done this year, allowing for the park to be opened to the public. After that, they’ll start phase three, which is set to include new walkways, pit toilets, benches, and a place to pull out and secure kayaks and canoes.. ...Read Full Story

MSU Turns Over Materials To Attorney General

From the Associated Press — Michigan State University says it is turning over 45,000 pages of material to a special independent counsel investigating if the school mishandled sexual assault allegations against former doctor Larry Nassar. Pat Fitzgerald, a former Chicago federal prosecutor hired by the university, sent a letter to investigators Friday – the deadline imposed by the state attorney general’s office.
He says the school this week produced about 25,000 pages constituting Dr. William Strampel’s electronic calendar entries. The university on Friday announced its plan to revoke the tenure of Strampel. The former dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine told police he never followed up after ordering Nassar to have a third person present during certain treatments. The university says it is producing  approximately 20,000 additional pages of material Friday and will submit more on a rolling basis. Michigan State also faces inquiries from the Legislature, Congress and the NCAA.. ...Read Full Story

City Manager Continues Indefinitely

Darwin Watson remains the city manager of Benton Harbor. However, at a meeting Wednesday, city commissioners voted down a resolution to renew his contract for one year. At the meeting called by Commissioners Juanita Henry and Mary Alice Adams, Mayor Marcus Muhammad said he thinks Watson has done a good job.. ...Read Full Story

Environmentalists Blast DEQ Plan

Some state lawmakers want to shift control of environmental rules from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to state-appointed boards, a move environmentalists say would put the fox in charge of the henhouse. Senate Bill 652 would create an 11 member committee, mostly from industry groups like manufacturing, small business, oil and gas, and agriculture, to oversee all DEQ rule-making. And SB 653 would form another board with the ability to modify or reverse DEQ decisions. Peggy Case with Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation tells us there’s a very good reason those industries are regulated by the state.. ...Read Full Story

Senator Saluted By Police Group

State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker has been named the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police Legislator of the Year. The Lawton Republican tells WSJM News she was selected for the honor due to her work on several fronts, including the fight against opioids. She pointed to recent legislation requiring prescriptions for opioids to be checked against medical records in the state.. ...Read Full Story

Program For At-Risk Youth Gets $250,000 Grant

A program that works with at-risk young people in southwest Michigan has received a $250,000 grant to expand its operations. Youth Solutions, Incorporated is part of Kinexus and an extension of the Jobs for America’s Graduates program. Director Kristin Harrington tells WSJM News Youth Solutions pairs at-risk kids with mentors, working in Benton Harbor, Hartford, and Dowagiac schools to make sure those kids graduate.. ...Read Full Story