Local News Archives

MDOT Closes Main Street At Riverview Drive In Benton Harbor

Main Street at Riverview Drive in Benton Harbor in front of the Whirlpool Riverview Campus is closed. The Michigan Department of Transportation has closed the road due to flooding once again. The stretch has been a problem for flooding for the past several months. A spokesman for MDOT tells WSJM News that they don’t know how long the road will be closed due to the latest issue.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Mayor Lays Out Top Issues For Next Two Years

As there were no changes to the St. Joseph City Commission in last week’s election, no changes will be made to leadership. Commissioners on Monday unanimously voted Mike Garey to serve another term as mayor, with Laura Goos as mayor pro tem. Garey has been mayor since 2013, and says one top priority is to finish work on the city’s master plan. But that’s not all.. ...Read Full Story

Winter Storm Warning Remains For SWMI

A winter storm warning is still in effect until 5 p.m. Tuesday for Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties. WSBT meteorologist Matt Rudkin says St. Joseph, Benton Harbor, Stevensville, and Bridgman will likely be spared the brunt of the storm when it comes to snowfall totals. The heaviest amounts will be further inland, as is typically the case with lake effect snow.. ...Read Full Story

Klobuchar: Woman With Buttigieg’s Record Would Miss Debate

(Associated Press) – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar says she and other top female presidential candidates wouldn’t be on the debate stage if they had the same experience as South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. The Minnesota Democrat said Sunday on CNN that she believes the 37-year-old mayor is qualified, but that she’s the better candidate. Klobuchar says, “I’m the one from the Midwest that has actually won in a statewide race over and over again.” She says of the female candidates: “Maybe we’re held to a different standard.”. ...Read Full Story

Vaping-Related Double Lung Transplant Performed At Detroit Hospital

(Detroit, MI – AP) – Doctors at a Detroit hospital have performed a double lung transplant on a man whose lungs were damaged from vaping. No other details of the transplant were released Monday by Henry Ford Health System, which has scheduled a news conference Tuesday. The patient has asked his medical team to share photographs and an update to warn others about vaping.. ...Read Full Story

Buttigieg Says He’d Nominate Nation’s First Female VA Director If Elected

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg says if elected he’d like to name a woman to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs for the first time. Campaigning on Veterans Day, the 2020 hopefuls are taking aim at President Donald Trump’s record on stemming military suicide and helping female vets. Several of the top candidates rolled out proposals to meet the needs of America’s 20 million veterans, who as whole stand among Trump’s biggest supporters.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan’s Big Show Puts Spotlight On New Buffalo Shore Erosion

Near record-high water levels, massive storms, high waves are all combining to make big changes to the Lake Michigan shoreline in the past few years. New Buffalo Shoreline Alliance president Ted Grzywacz has been working to get the shoreline restored for five years. He tells “Michigan’s Big Show” that while some progress has been made, he’s overall still very frustrated.. ...Read Full Story

Senate Minority Leader Blames Senate GOP For Latest Budget Issue

We are more than a month into the current fiscal year, and there are plenty of state programs facing funding issues and charter schools that don’t have the money they were promised. It’s due to the line item vetoes – nearly $1 billion worth – by Governor Whitmer and moving some of the funding around in an attempt to restart negotiations with legislative leaders after the budget was passed without her input. Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich of Flint says a deal had been reached between the governor, Democrats in the House and Senate, and Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield and the bills were ready to be passed on Thursday. That’s when Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey rejected that compromise.. ...Read Full Story

Northwest Indiana Man Guilty Of Bartender’s Stabbing Death

(Valparaiso, IN – AP) A northwestern Indiana jury has convicted a man of murder for fatally stabbing a female bartender at the tavern where he worked as a bouncer. The Porter County jury deliberated for about 10 hours before finding 53-year-old Christopher Dillard of Hobart guilty Wednesday night in the slaying of 23-year-old Nicole Gland. The Portage woman was stabbed more than 20 times before her body was found in her SUV behind the Upper Deck Lounge in Chesterton in April 2017.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Supreme Court Takes Case Of Foreclosure Windfalls

(Lansing, MI – AP) – A lawyer is warning that local governments in Michigan could face a financial calamity if forced to repay surplus cash from the sale of tax-foreclosed properties. The Michigan Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday over a state law that allows treasurers to keep money left over after overdue property taxes are paid from a sale. Christina Martin, an attorney for two people in Oakland County, called it “stealing.”. ...Read Full Story

Next Affordable Housing Meeting Set For Monday In South Haven

Affordable housing will be discussed in South Haven on Monday. The second in a series of joint meetings between the city of South Haven, South Haven Charter Township, and the South Haven Housing Commission will be held at 7 p.m. at South Haven High School. The series of meetings is aimed at finding solutions for the problem of a lack of affordable housing in the area. The officials will be joined by Ryan Kilpatrick of Housing Next, who will give an overview of the situation, look at the needs of the community, and discuss financial constraints to affordability. They’ll also talk about possible types of homes that could go up in the community for affordable options.. ...Read Full Story

2020 Michigan Presidential Primary Field Includes Trump Challengers

The 2020 presidential primary field in Michigan is set. The Secretary of State’s office released the lists for both the Republican and Democratic tickets on Friday. There are four Republicans on the March 10 ballot, including President Trump. He’ll be challenged in Michigan by former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, and former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, all of whom have been loud critics of Trump in the past several months.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph City Commissioners To Pick Leadership On Monday

With the election now decided, the St. Joseph City Commission will set its leadership structure for the next term. On Monday, the commission will hold a pair of meetings at 7:30 and 7:35 p.m. The first will be to choose the city’s mayor and mayor pro tem, slots currently held by Mike Garey and Laura Goos, respectively. The normal city commission meeting will follow. The sessions are starting later than the normal 6 p.m. meeting time due to how the city charter lays out the start of the commission term. Incumbent Commissioners Goos, Jeff Richards, and Lynn Todman were all re-elected on Tuesday.. ...Read Full Story

Grand Opening For New Trail Linking Niles, South Bend Saturday

A new biking and walking trail is opening this weekend linking Mishawaka, South Bend, and Niles. The Trail Celebration and Grand Opening for the Indiana + Michigan River Valley Trail will be tomorrow at 9 a.m. in South Bend with two other ceremonies at 10:15 at the Fort and 3rd Streets Trailhead in Niles and the Niles Lakeland Trailhead on North St. Joseph Street at 11. The 34-mile trail has been decades in the making. The trail will have access to 16 parks, four universities, and five hospitals. Saturday’s ceremonies will happen rain, snow, or shine.. ...Read Full Story

No Injuries In First Winter Pile-Up Of Season On I-94 Near Paw Paw

A pileup on I-94 near Paw Paw this morning is the first of the winter driving season. No one was hurt according to Van Buren County dispatchers, but the crash kept all lanes in both directions closed until a little after 8, about 2 hours after the first crash. The last of the closed lanes opened up shortly after 12 p.m. Crashes involved jackknifed semis and cars that had gone off the highway.. ...Read Full Story

State House Bill Would End Daylight Saving Time In Michigan

Has your body clock adjusted yet to the end of Daylight Saving Time over the weekend? A bill before a state House committee would help get rid of that. Republican Representative Michele Hoitenga of Manton, which is north of Cadillac, is sponsoring legislation to keep Michigan on our summertime time year round. The bill got the approval Thursday of the House Commerce and Tourism Committee and is now up for consideration by the Ways and Means Committee before getting a vote by the full House.. ...Read Full Story

CSX Crossing In Stevensville To Reopen Friday Morning

Repairs are complete to the CSX rail crossing in Stevensville on St. Joseph Avenue. CSX tells WSJM News the street will reopen Friday morning. It’s been closed for several days to allow crews to make the repairs, and the asphalt was replaced on Thursday. CSX says it was done as part of their routine infrastructure maintenance program, which a spokesperson calls “critical to ensure the safety of both train operations and roadway traffic” in an email to our newsroom. The wooden railroad ties running parallel to the track at the crossing had been deteriorating, with big holes in at least one. CSX says it “appreciates the public’s patience while we complete this important work.”. ...Read Full Story

Upton Seeks Speedier Approval For Coastal Protections

Congressman Fred Upton and colleagues from Michigan are trying to convince the U.S. Army corps of Engineers to speed up the approval process for property owners seeking to install shoreline protections along the Great Lakes due to coastal erosion this year. Upton tells WSJM News the high water levels and recent storms have teamed up to cause drastic erosion, threatening homes and other property along Lake Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Senator LaSata’s Bill To Honor Fallen Courthouse Officers Moves Through Committee

Legislation which would make a change to allow the names of Berrien County Courthouse Security Supervisor Joseph Zangaro and Court Officer Ron Kienzle to be added to the Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Monument is moving through the state Senate. The bill is sponsored by Senator Kim LaSata and would put the standard for the Michigan monument in line with that of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial to include court and corrections officers killed in the line of duty. Zangaro and Kienzle were killed on July 11, 2016 by an inmate trying to escape following a hearing in the courtroom of Judge Charlie LaSata, the husband of the senator.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Administrator: No Layoffs Planned Over Governor’s Line-Item Veto

No layoffs of any Berrien County road patrol officers are in the cards at this time, even with funding for them having been taken out of the state budget by a line item veto by Governor Whitmer. Berrien County Administrator Bill Wolf says he remains hopeful the money will be restored by lawmakers and the governor, though those talks have soured this week over demands by Republican leaders that she sign a new law limiting her office’s ability to move around money in the budget. Sheriff Paul Bailey said at Thursday’s Board of Commissioners meeting that his office is losing about $400,000 from the veto. Wolf said the county has $1.5 million in the budget for contingencies and rarely has to dip into it, so even if the veto isn’t reversed, the county can absorb the financial hit in the current fiscal year.. ...Read Full Story

Biggby Coffee Benton Harbor Location To Open November 12

Biggby Coffee has announced the opening date for its first Benton Harbor location. Located in the same building as the Secretary of State branch office at 1990 Mall Place in Benton Township, the coffee shop will have a grand opening next Tuesday. It’s owned by Matt Lemmer, who also operates Biggby locations in Battle Creek and Michigan City, Indiana. It will be the area’s second Biggby Coffee location, joining the one in downtown St. Joseph. ...Read Full Story

State Senate Looking Into Toll Road Possibility

The idea of establishing toll roads in Michigan to possibly use the money to fix the roads is getting another look by state lawmakers. The Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has approved legislation that calls for a feasibility study on putting tolls on certain highways. Senator John Bizon of Battle Creek spoke in support of the legislation in a committee hearing Wednesday.. ...Read Full Story