Local News Archives

Legislature Bans Sale Of Whip Its To Minors

From the Associated Press — Kids hoping to get high off laughing gas would have a harder time under a bill that is headed toward Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk. The Michigan Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to prohibit the sale or distribution of devices intended to hold nitrous oxide to minors. Commonly known by the street name “whip-its,” these containers have surged in popularity due to the temporary buzz produced from inhaling the gas. Those who fail to adhere to the sales ban would face a maximum $500 civil fine under the House-sponsored bills. The Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police testified in support of the bills, citing abuse of laughing gas as the root of multiple injuries and at least one death in the state.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Makes It Official

Congressman Fred Upton has made it official. He has filed for re-election, submitting more than the number of petition signatures required to qualify for the ballot. He announced last November that this was his intention. He had toyed with the idea of running for the U.S. Senate against Debbie Stabenow but after assessing his chances, the support available and consulting with his family, he has decided instead to try for his 17th term representing South West Michigan in Congress. The 6th District includes all of Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties and most of Allegan County. A half-dozen democrats have come forward to run for the seat, and will face off in an August Primary to determine who will challenge Upton this fall.. ...Read Full Story

Humane Society Closes For Move

The Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan is on the move. The organization put out word Tuesday morning that it is now closed until its relocation to the new shelter in Royalton Township is complete. The facility on M-139 replaces the old Crystal Avenue shelter in Benton Township, which the Humane Society tells us had become grossly inadequate. While the move is ongoing, the Humane Society asks everyone to be patient and understand it could take some weeks to complete the process. It says the staff and animals both appreciate your understanding. We’ll keep you posted when the organization announces its ribbon cutting celebration for the new shelter.. ...Read Full Story

Liquor Revenue Could Pay For Substance Abuse Treatment

From the Associated Press — The Michigan House wants to direct 4 percent of the Liquor Control Commission’s revenue toward fighting substance abuse. The chamber voted 104-3 Tuesday to earmark state funds from alcohol taxes, liquor licenses and liquor code violation fees for distribution among community health agencies. The bill would inject the money into services such as substance abuse prevention and treatment programs – one-fourth of which could not be exclusively alcohol-centric. Supporters of the bill say it provides a much-needed bridge for funding gaps in Michigan’s health entities, which would gain almost $20 million from the measure. During the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the Liquor Control Commission’s net revenue topped $430 million. The bill now heads to the Senate.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joe Conducts Water System Study

A recent study of the community’s water system in St. Joseph is helping city officials better plan for repairs. St. Joe Public Works Director Tom MacDonald tells WSJM News the city commission in September hired a company that came in and used specialized sounding equipment to find underground leaks. The survey found seven leaks, which were causing about five million gallons of water per year to be wasted.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joe Republican Running For House

There is a new Republican now running for the Michigan House in the 79th District. It’s Bruce Gorenflo of St. Joseph. Gorenflo is a technical writer and graphic designer who has lived in southwest Michigan almost his entire life. He tells WSJM News a big priority is reducing auto insurance rates.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Pushes For Dredging Funds

Now is the time to get some dredging done in recreational harbors in southwest Michigan. So says Congressman Fred Upton, who has sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asking that money be set aside for harbors in Saugatuck, South Haven, and New Buffalo. He spoke with WSJM News about the issue.. ...Read Full Story

Former LMC President Running For County Commission

Former Lake Michigan College President Bob Harrison is now running for the Berrien County Board of Commissioners. He’s filed to run for the Republican nomination in the 7th District, which includes the village of Stevensville and part of Lincoln Township. Harrison tells WSJM News he sees the county commission facing challenges specific to southwest Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Man Arrested In Domestic Violence Incident

No one was hurt and one man was taken into custody following a domestic violence incident in St. Joseph Tuesday that got a response from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Tactical Response Unit. The St. Joseph Department of Public Safety tells us it happened in the 1700 block of Forres Avenue around 4:30 p.m. Officers arrived at the scene and were told by a woman that she had been assaulted. A man inside the home refused to come out, and police were told he was intoxicated and armed. St. Joseph Public Safety called in the sheriff’s department for assistance, and the man eventually gave up. He was taken into custody.. ...Read Full Story

Latest Homes Sales Numbers

The southwest Michigan real estate market has managed to turn around after a relatively slow February. According to the latest numbers released by the Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors, the number of houses sold in March of 2018 was down 13% from March of 2017, but the average selling price was up by 15%. Plus, year-to-date, the average selling price this year has been up by 10%. Home sales in March were up 35% compared to February. Part of the reason prices are up is the low inventory, which continues to be a problem for the southwest Michigan housing market. The inventory is at a 4.5-month supply.. ...Read Full Story