Local News Archives

Ford Investing $700 Million In MI Plant

Ford President and CEO Mark Fields says the automaker will invest $700 million to expand its Flat Rock Assembly Plant, instead of spending $1.6 billion on a new plant in Mexico. Flat Rock Assembly will be equipped to build new electric vehicles, and will move forward with a wireless charging pilot program.. ...Read Full Story

Democrat Files Paperwork To Run For Governor

Gretchen Whitmer, a former Democratic legislative leader and interim county prosecutor, is running for Michigan governor in 2018. Whitmer filed the paperwork Tuesday. She’s the first person to announce her candidacy for the open seat. Second-term Republican Governor Rick Snyder can’t run again due to term limits. In an email to supporters, Whitmer says she’s “no stranger to fights” and Michigan “can do better. We deserve better.” She says Michigan leaders for too long “have been content to manage our decline.” Whitmer, who lives in East Lansing and is 45 years old, was a lawmaker from 2001 through 2014. Most recently, she served as Ingham County’s interim prosecutor. Another potential Democratic candidate, Congressman Dan Kildee, of Flint Township, says he’ll decide whether to run in coming months.. ...Read Full Story

Trump Slams General Motors On Twitter

In another tweet targeting a U.S. company, President-elect Donald Trump is threatening to slap a tax on General Motors for importing compact cars to the U.S. from Mexico. But GM makes the vast majority of compact Chevrolet Cruzes in Lordstown, Ohio, near Cleveland. Trump tweeted early Tuesday that GM is sending Mexican-made Cruzes to the U.S. tax-free. He told GM to stop or pay a big border tax. GM saw the tweet and is formulating a response. Shares of GM fell 0.4 percent to $34.70 in premarket trading after the tweet. Last year Trump threatened to tax Ford, which plans to shift production of the compact Focus to Mexico. Jobs at the U.S. factory that makes Focuses would be preserved because the plant would get a new pickup and SUV.. ...Read Full Story

Cook Nuclear’s Unit 2 Back In Service After Refueling, Maintenance

Unit 2 of the Cook Nuclear Plant is back in service after an 89-day refueling and maintenance outage. The outage was longer than normal due to the replacement of the main turbine and the inspection and replacement of baffle bolts, which support internal components of the reactor vessel. Cook officials say the $250 million turbine replacement project has been in the works for over five years, and they were aware the work would make the outage last longer. The life cycle maintenance work done over the past three months includes 114 upgrade and replacement projects as part of the 20-year operating license extension granted to the facility by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2005.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Minimum Wage Rises

The start of the year means more money for Michigan’s lowest paid workers. The minimum wage has gone from $8.50 to $8.90 an hour, effective January 1. The wage will go up again on January 1, 2018 to $9.25, with future increases tied to the rate of inflation.. ...Read Full Story

Report Looks At Plastic Pollution In The Great Lakes

Environmental groups are hoping a New Year’s resolution for 2017 will be to keep the Great Lakes cleaner. A report by Rochester Institute of Technology estimates 22 million pounds of plastic ends up in the water every year. Lead author Matthew Hoffman says this study is the first picture of the true scale of plastic pollution in the Great Lakes.. ...Read Full Story

Auto Sales Expected To Be Up For 2016

Auto sales have been up slightly in 2016. J.D. Power is now predicting the year will end with sales up by about 5,000 vehicles in the U.S. That’s a 0.03% increase. Bill Crowder, with Signature Automotive Group, tells WSJM News he, too, has seen sales up. However, for him, they’ve been up 15% in 2016. He’s also feeling good about 2017.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Family Dollar Robbed

The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety is investigating the armed robbery of a Family Dollar store on Pipestone Street on Monday. It says a black male with his face covered walked into the store in the morning hours flashing a gun and demanding cash. He was able to get away with a small amount. The suspect is described as having a medium build, standing about 5’10. Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call Benton Harbor Public Safety.. ...Read Full Story

Coast Guard: Don’t Shine Laser Pointers At Us

Everyone is being reminded not to shine laser pointers at Coast Guard vessels. A man in Washington state just last week was fined $9,500 for doing just that. Coast Guard Petty Officer Matt Huber, with the St. Joseph station, tells WSJM News there’s a whole procedure for staff when a laser pointer is shined at them.. ...Read Full Story

Police Investigate New Year’s Eve Shooting In Benton Harbor

The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety is investigating a shooting reported in the early morning hours of Saturday. They say it happened in the parking lot of Smokes Lounger at 250 North Fair Street. The victim, a 31-year-old man, suffered a serious but non life-threatening injury, and he’s expected to recover. The shooting remains under investigation, and anyone with information is asked to call Benton Harbor Public Safety at 927-0293.. ...Read Full Story

More Money Now Being Raised For Michigan Roads

The new year will mean more money for Michigan roads. Starting today, a license fee increase and increases in fuel taxes are in effect. County Road Association of Michigan Director Denise Donahue tells WSJM News that will mean $460 million more for roads this year, and $1.2 billion per year once all of the increases are fully implemented in five years. She says the state fell far behind in raising money for road maintenance a long time ago.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Officials Tightening Standards For Amber Alerts

Michigan State Police officials say they are changing the criteria for issuing Amber Alerts. Effective now, the emergency response system that disseminates information about missing children will only be used for child abductions. All Amber Alerts will receive a Wireless Emergency Alert, which pushes the notifications to mobile devices and interrupts broadcasts. Amber Alerts had been authorized for missing children with severe mental or physical disabilities who wandered away and could not care for themselves. Cases that don’t meet the new standards will be eligible for what’s called an Endangered Missing Advisory. Those notifications are sent to area broadcast and print media but not as wireless alerts. Officials say the changes help ensure that credible, useful information gets out to the public in the most critical cases.. ...Read Full Story

Body Found At Lincoln Township Beach

Police are investigating after a body was found Sunday along a beach in Lincoln Township. It was found at Glenlord Beach around 2 p.m. At the scene were the Lincoln Township Police and Fire Departments, as well as Michigan State Police. They are not offering further information just yet, and won’t comment on whether the body is that of a man reported missing Saturday after his SUV was found off the bluff in St. Joseph. We’ll have more information as soon as it becomes available.. ...Read Full Story

Annual Banned Word List Released

You, sir, (or ma’am): Focus, if you will, on a historic, on fleek listicle containing words nominated for bigly banishment. But don’t convene a town hall meeting or get your dandruff up in the echo chamber over them. Northern Michigan’s Lake Superior State University on Saturday released its 42nd annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse
and General Uselessness.The tongue-in-cheek, non-binding list comes from suggestions to the Sault Ste. Marie school. It includes “you, sir,” ”focus,” ”town hall meeting,” ”historic,” ”echo chamber,” “on fleek,” ”bigly,” ”listicle” and “get your
dandruff up,” seemingly a substitute for “dander,” its hair and skin kin. “Bigly” also made Merriam-Webster’s Top 10 for 2016. President-elect Donald Trump was fond this year of saying “big league” but making it sound like “bigly.”. ...Read Full Story

Lakeland Welcomes First Baby Of The Year

The BirthPlace at Lakeland Hospital in Niles has welcomed southwest Michigan’s first baby of 2017. April Jacobs, of Dowagiac, is the proud new mother of daughter Addison Jacobs. Baby Jacobs was born at at 4:12 a.m. on Sunday, weighing in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces and measuring 19 inches long. In keeping with their annual tradition of celebrating the first baby of the year, the Lakeland Auxiliary provided the family with a gift basket full of baby items valued at $100. Lakeland Health says it delivered 1,540 babies in its St. Joseph and Niles hospitals in the last fiscal year.
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Three Oaks Drill Team Heading To Washington For Inaugural Parade

A group from Three Oaks is preparing to take the trip of their lives, as they’ve been invited to walk in the presidential inaugural parade next month. On January 20, President Donald Trump will watch as the Mid America Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team proceeds past them for the celebration. Captain Debbie Dunphy tells us she applied for the inaugural parade in 2008, but the group was still too new back then to have enough on its resume. This time around, though, things were different. She says it’s still hard to believe they got selected.. ...Read Full Story

SUV Pulled From Below Bluff Belongs To Missing Man

The search is on for a missing man 38-year-old man. St. Joseph Public Safety officers pulled the wrecked SUV belonging to Dilbag Singh from below the bluff in the 3000 block of Lakeshore Drive Saturday afternoon. Singh had been reported missing Friday night, and his vehicle was found around 11 a.m. the next day. He is 5’6″ with a medium build and a full beard and mustache. When he was last seen, Singh was wearing a white coat, blue jeans, and white shoes. Police told WSJM News on the scene after the SUV was pulled up that there was no one inside the vehicle. The U.S. Coast Guard also searched the immediate area along the shoreline and in Lake Michigan with a helicopter Saturday afternoon.. ...Read Full Story

New Law Creates Procedure For Approving Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

One bit of work that Michigan lawmakers managed to get done in 2016 was a reform of the state’s medical marijuana laws. Under the plan that has now been signed by the governor, medical marijuana dispensaries will get a legal framework to set up shop, and even edibles will become legal. State Representative Mike Callton was behind the plan. He says marijuana will become a billion dollar industry in Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Police Officer Fatalities Up In 2016

2016 was a tough year for the law enforcement profession with the number of officers killed in the line of duty spiking at 135 nationwide. Craig Floyd, the CEO at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, says there were more ambush style attacks this year than in previous years.. ...Read Full Story

More Than 22 Million Pounds Of Plastic Polluting The great Lakes

Plastic accounts for approximately 80% of the litter on the shorelines of the Great Lakes, and a new study uses math to determine where it’s coming from. Matthew Hoffman, with the Rochester Institute of Technology and an author of the report, tells us 22 million pounds of plastic winds up in the Great Lakes each year. He says the recent banning of microbeads hasn’t made much of a difference.. ...Read Full Story

Deputy Sheriff Charged After Firearm Discharges In MI School

Authorities say a Bay County sheriff’s deputy assigned as a school resource officer at Bay City’s Western High School was testing his back up weapon in an empty classroom when it discharged. Tuscola County Prosector Mark Reene says the 38-caliber bullet went through a wall into an adjoining and ricocheted three times, flying over the heads of some 30 students and hitting a teacher in her neck. Reene calls it a case of divine intervention no one was seriously injured or killed.. ...Read Full Story