Local News Archives

Michigan Drill Team Heading To Washington For Inaugural Parade

A group from Michigan has received a big honor. For the 3rd consecutive presidential inauguration, Michigan’s Multi-Jurisdictional Mounted Police Drill Team and Color Guard will perform in the Inaugural Parade. The Parade theme is We the People: Our American Journey. That’s something the group took into consideration when filing an application to participate, says co-founder Lorenzo Veal.. ...Read Full Story

Nesbitt Named House Member Of The Year By News Agency

State Representative Aric Nesbitt has received another distinction as he prepares to leave office. The Lawton Republican has been named the MIRS News House Member of the Year. MIRS, or the Michigan Information and Research Service, is an online publication for Lansing insiders. It’s picked Nesbitt for the honor due to his work on a energy policy that was just approved by the governor. Nesbitt tells our our newsroom it’s an honor to be saluted by MIRS, which he calls a “respected news organization.” Other accomplishments he says he’s proud of in the last six years include making technical education more available, hosting veterans workshops in Van Buren County, and protecting gun rights. Nesbitt leaves office soon due to term limits.. ...Read Full Story

Detroit Police Lift Ban On Beards

Detroit police have the right to remain bearded- to a point. The department’s rule banning beards has been lifted. A new policy allows officers to sport trimmed beards and goatees. City police had been allowed only neatly trimmed mustaches, though officers could seek approval to grow a beard if they had a skin condition. The lightly mustachioed Chief James Craig tells the Detroit Free Press for a story Sunday there’s no need to keep a rule that has “no bearing on how good they would do on the job.” Craig says another rule change allows female officers to wear one pair of stud earrings on the job. The chief says he would consider extending that rule change to men “if a lot of people made enough noise.”. ...Read Full Story

Mackinac Bridge Reopens After Falling Ice Causes Closure

Mackinac Bridge authorities say they have reopened the span connecting Michigan’s two peninsulas after falling ice forced a temporary closure. Bridge officials said Monday that weather conditions have improved and they have given the all clear to resume traffic in both directions. Earlier in the day, all lanes had been closed because ice was falling from the cables and
towers. The nearly five-mile span crosses the waterway where lakes Huron and Michigan meet.. ...Read Full Story

UPDATE — Sisters Killed In Weesaw Township Crash

Two sisters from Chicago are dead following a crash in Weesaw Township Sunday. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us it happened at Warren Woods and Cleveland roads around 4 p.m. when the driver of a sedan ran a stop sign and the car was hit by a pick-up. Two passengers in the sedan were killed, and they’ve been identified as 37-year-old Bre Anne Sutherland, and 41-year-old Laurel Ashley Sutherland. Both are from Chicago. The driver of the car, a 66-year-old man from the Niles area, was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. Two other passengers and the driver of the pick-up were also taken to the hospital. The crash remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Two Killed In Weesaw Township Crash

Two women are dead and a man from Howard Township is being treated for what police say are life-threatening injuries after a crash in Weesaw Township Monday afternoon. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department says the man was driving a Chevrolet sedan when he went through a stop sign at Warren Woods and Cleveland roads shortly after 4 p.m., and was hit by a Dodge pickup. The two women killed were back seat passengers in the Chevy. Deputies say one was a 41-year-old from Illinois, while the other was a 37-year-old from Howard Township. Both drivers and two other passengers in the sedan are being treated at South Bend Memorial Hospital. Deputies tell our newsroom it doesn’t appear weather or road conditions were factors in the crash. Whether other issues like alcohol, drugs, or a medical issue were involved remains under investigation. No names have yet been released.. ...Read Full Story

Report: High Tax Rate Leads To More Cigarette Smuggling

A new report from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy takes a look at the prevalence of cigarette smuggling and finds the higher your state’s cigarette taxes are, the more likely smokes are being sneaked in from states with lower taxes. Police Director Michael LaFaive tells WSJM News the amount of illegal cigarettes brought into Michigan has been going down as other states raise the tax and we don’t.. ...Read Full Story

Christmas Day Fire Kills Marcellus Man

The cause of a deadly fire in southwest Michigan on Christmas Day is under investigation.  The Cass County Sheriff’s Department says the fire killed 63-year-old Gordon Booz at his home in Marcellus.  Firefighters and deputies were called to his home around 1:30 yesterday afternoon, and found his body after the flames were out.. ...Read Full Story

State Commission Questions Deal To Close Palisades

The Michigan Public Service Commission wants to know how the early closure of the Palisades nuclear power plant will affect the state’s reserve energy capacity. That’s just one of the things the MPSC is looking at as it reviews Consumers Energy’s request to end its Palisades contract in 2018, rather than 2022. Spokesperson Judy Palnau tells our newsroom reserve capacity was in danger of going below the recommended level to begin with.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Parks Projects Get Extra Boost

Two parks projects in South Haven will benefit from a couple of grants announced this week. First up is $300,000 for the development of a new $4.1 million park near the Van Buren State Park Trail. It’ll include new ball fields and trails. South Haven Schools Superintendent Robert Herrera tells us the projects are good news.. ...Read Full Story

LMC Offering “Financial Aid Fridays”

Lake Michigan College is preparing to hold a series of regular workshops for students interested in finding out how they can apply for and get financial aid. Financial Aid Fridays will be held each Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. starting January 6 and running through March 24. They’ll be done at the Benton Township, Niles, and South Haven campuses. Any students who want to come and apply should bring their Social Security number, driver’s license, and federal student aid ID, if they have one. LMC students received more than $9 million in federal aid during the 2015-2016 academic year, as well as more than $600,000 in scholarships from the Lake Michigan College Foundation. You can find out more at LakeMichiganCollege.edu/Finaid.. ...Read Full Story

Governor Ends Week With Several Bill Signings

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has signed a law that allows community colleges to pursue expanding their tax districts, which could increase the number of students paying lower, residential tuition rates. Snyder signed the legislation this week that passed earlier this month with broad support in the Michigan legislature. Expanding the districts into communities the schools do not border would require approval by local governments and voters. The governor signed several other bills, including one that would require the Natural Resources Commission to review and determine if additional colors are safe and effective for hunters to wear, including “hunter pink.” Another new law would eliminate the requirement that a physician assistant must practice under a physician’s supervision but requires an assistant to obtain a practice agreement from a doctor.. ...Read Full Story

Red Cross Asking For Holiday Blood Donations

If you’ve got a few minutes to spare in the next couple of weeks, the Red Cross could use your help. Spokesperson Todd Kulman tells our newsroom blood donations go down this time of year because everyone’s so busy. If you give blood between now and January 8, the Red Cross will give you a special present.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Signs Bill Authorizing Wolf Hunt

Governor Rick Snyder has signed a law that would authorize wolf hunting if Congress or federal courts revisit the issue. State lawmakers quickly passed the bill after the Michigan appeals court recently declared a 2014 law unconstitutional. The law signed Wednesday defines wolves as a game species and authorizes the Natural Resources Commission to designate game.
Money in the law related to Asian carp control could shield it from a statewide referendum. Wolf hunting is not allowed in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota because of a 2014 federal court ruling. A judge threw out an Obama administration decision to remove gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered species list. Michigan’s only hunt was in 2013, when 22 wolves were killed in the Upper Peninsula.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department: With Holidays Here, Get Rid Of Unused Medications

The Berrien County Health Department is once again reminding everyone that this is a good time of year to clean out your medicine cabinets. With the holidays upon us, many folks will have family over. The health department tells us more than 70% of young people who abuse prescription medications get them from family, sometimes by just swiping them from the bathroom. So, it’s better to get rid of any medications you won’t use. Just drop them into a MedReturn drop off box. Those can be found at Lakeland and Walgreen Pharmacies, and also at many police stations. Within the past year, more than 2,500 pounds of unwanted and expired medications were collected from the various drop off locations in Berrien County.. ...Read Full Story

Doctor Offers Tips To Avoid Holiday Stress

This is the time of the year many people get all too wrapped up in the hustle of the holidays, and doctors say that can affect their health. Dr. A.K. Misra, with U.S. Health Works, tells us eating balanced meals and healthy snacks is a much better way of keeping your energy up than relying on caffeine, fast food and holiday sugar fixes.. ...Read Full Story

Police Remind Residents To Be Careful About Holiday Packages

Police are warning everyone to take some precautions about packages left outside their doors as Christmas rolls in. A video of someone stealing a package left outside of a Benton Township home earlier this month has gone viral in the past week, prompting a reminder. The video is now all over Facebook. If you’re expecting a last minute package, the U.S. Postal Service says you can ask a neighbor to watch out for it, or have the carrier hold it so you can go and get it from them. Also this holiday weekend, some police agencies are offering to perform free checks on homes. If you’re going to be out of town, call your local cops and let them know. Among agencies who will check up on properties this weekend is the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department.. ...Read Full Story

Coast Guard Urges Caution On Ice As Weather Warms

The U.S. Coast Guard says warming temperatures this weekend could pose safety issues on Lake Michigan and frozen inland rivers, streams and ponds. The Coast Guard is urging people to use extreme caution on the water and melting ice. Ice thickness can vary, even in small areas. Water currents around narrow spots, bridges, inlets and outlets can cause thinner ice. The Coast Guard says stay away from cracks, seams, pressure ridges, slushy areas and darker areas. Ice near the shore of a frozen lake may be unsafe and weaker because of shifting, expansion and sunlight reflecting off the bottom. A majority of Coast Guard units around Lake Michigan have winterized their rescue boats. That means the Coast Guard has a reduced ability to respond to anyone in distress on the water.. ...Read Full Story

Repairs Underway On Cook Plant Diesel Generator

Repairs are underway on a diesel generator at the Cook nuclear power plant. Spokesperson Bill Schalk tells WSJM News that crews on Wednesday found possible problems in the fuel injection pumps at two generators, one in each of the plant’s units. The diesel generator for Unit 1 was fixed, while the other generator, on Unit 2, will take a few days longer. Since Unit 2 is offline for a refueling outage, anyway, it doesn’t affect operations. The diesel generators are two of several power redundancies at Cook. Schalk says the plant is waiting for some parts to come in for the Unit 2 generator repairs to be complete. The NRC has been notified of the issue, and Cook has until the end of January 4 to fix it. Shalk says the issue doesn’t put the public at risk.. ...Read Full Story