Local News Archives

I&M Sending Crews To Puerto Rico

Indiana Michigan Power is sending some crews down to Puerto Rico to help out with hurricane restoration efforts. I&M tells us nine of its linemen are currently on their way to the island which was ravaged by Hurricane Maria in September. This group of I&M employees will be working in some of the most heavily damaged and remote areas of the island for about 30 days. In February, I&M plans to relieve this group by sending a different team of linemen to Puerto Rico. In addition to employees, I&M deployed six fleet vehicles to the island, including bucket trucks. The nine linemen headed to Puerto Rico are based throughout I&M’s service territory, including Benton Harbor and Buchanan, along with many places in Indiana. I&M is one of several energy companies providing resources and workers to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority in partnership with the Edison Electric Institute.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Praises Catholic Schools

State Senator John Proos this week took a moment on the Senate floor to celebrate the impact Catholic schools have on thousands of students in Michigan. Proos said there are more than 52,000 Michigan students attending 222 Catholic schools in the state.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien Treasurer Holding Payment Plan Meetings

Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski has scheduled three meetings for next month to help property owners who are behind on their taxes avoid foreclosure. He tells us there are about 1,200 property owners in Berrien County right now in danger, and notes his office’s payment plans have a success rate of 93%. Witkowski tells WSJM News he wants to get people signed up for them because of a recent change in state rules for foreclosures.. ...Read Full Story

Expert Weighs In On Moving Forward After Nassar Scandal

The sexual-assault case against Larry Nassar has many people in Michigan and around the country wondering what more needs to be done to protect students and athletes, but one expert says the issue goes far beyond sports. Dr. Eddie O’Connor, a clinical and sports psychologist from Grand Rapids tells us while the attention has been rightly focused on the women who testified this week, true change needs to come from the other locker room.. ...Read Full Story

$75,000 Grant Going To Hartford Company

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has announced two grants for ag companies in west Michigan. The grants come as part of the state’s Food and Agriculture Investment Program, says the department’s Peter Anastor. He tells WSJM News $75,000 is going to Hartford Farm Supply so it can ensure more of the agricultural production process remains in Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Faith-Based Police Partnership Expanding To Van Buren County

A partnership between Michigan State Police and faith-based groups is being expanded to the Paw Paw MSP post. The CAUTION program was launched in 2012 and teams up responding police officers with local clergy. The church leaders attend state police training sessions to learn about security and community relations, and then the clergy go to crime scenes when a crowd has developed to help work with the public. CAUTION has been operating in Benton Harbor for a few years now, and includes 18 local pastors. Now that Michigan State Police are rolling the program out to all of their posts, clergy interested in taking part are also being sought in Van Buren County. Any church groups who are interested can contact Michigan State Police.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Sheriff Hands Out Lifesaving Awards

Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey this week recognized eight of his deputies, one nurse, and two citizens for their life saving efforts in 2017. The ceremony was on Thursday at the Berrien County Courthouse. Sheriff Bailey tells us he saluted deputies for saving lives with AEDs, CPR, and quick thinking. Among the award winners this week were Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant Mark McKie and Deputy Chad Frantz, who got lifesaving awards for helping to respond to a carbon monoxide leak at the Quality Inn and Suites in Niles last year. Others were honored for saving the lives of jail inmates. Below is a list of all of this week’s award recipients.. ...Read Full Story

Man Denied Murder Charge Appeal In Kalamazoo County Bike Crash

From the Associated Press — The Michigan Supreme Court has decided against hearing an appeal of murder charges against a man involved in a crash that killed and injured multiple bicyclists. Kalamazoo County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Scott Brower tells the Kalamazoo Gazette that following Wednesday’s order by the state’s highest court the case will move toward a possible trial. Pickett is accused of driving under the influence of drugs and plowing into a group of bicyclists in Cooper Township on June 7, 2016, killing five and
injuring four. His girlfriend told police he downed handfuls of pain pills and muscle relaxers before driving. Pickett’s lawyer has argued that the evidence wasn’t enough to send Pickett to trial for second-degree murder. He said the evidence established, at most, the elements of reckless driving causing death.. ...Read Full Story

LaSata Asks MSU For Information On Nassar Case

State Representative Kim LaSata is one of the lawmakers who have sent a letter to Michigan State University seeking information related to the school’s inquiries into sexual assault allegations against former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar. LaSata, who is the chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education, tells WSJM News it’s time for MSU to be transparent when it comes to protecting students from predators.. ...Read Full Story