Local News Archives

Rotary Club Announces Scholarship Essay Contest Winners

The Rotary Club of St. Joseph-Benton Harbor and Berrien RESA are honoring the winners of this year’s Rotary Scholarship Essay Contest. Lakeshore High School’s Carter Welch took first place and earned a $2,000 scholarship, with second place going to St. Joseph High School’s Kaila Nichols and third place being won by Caroline Miota of Lake Michigan Catholic High School. Nichols earned a $1,000 scholarship, while Miota received one for $500.. ...Read Full Story

Paw Paw Woman Sentenced For Stepdaughter’s Murder

A Paw Paw woman will spend between 31 and 50 years in prison for killing her three-year-old stepdaughter. Kate George was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty earlier this spring to charges of second-degree murder and child abuse for the death of Sophia Ernst-Kucsera last September. The 32-year-old’s husband, Corey Kucsera, has also pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and will be sentenced April 29. Both were charged with first-degree murder and could have been sentenced to life without parole.. ...Read Full Story

Deadline Approaching To Run For Benton Harbor City Commission

Any Benton Harbor residents looking to run for the five city commission offices up for election this year has just a few more days to turn in nominating petitions. The deadline is next Tuesday, April 23 at 4 p.m., and those need to be dropped off at City Hall at the clerk’s office. Mayor Marcus Muhammad has already announced he is seeking a second four-year term. The other four offices that will be up for grabs are two at-large seats along with the First Ward and Second Ward. All are for four years. To be on the primary election ballot on August 6, you’ll need to turn in a petition with at least 25 signatures of registered voters, and for the First and Second Ward seats, all of those need to be in those districts.. ...Read Full Story

Bridgman Police: Abduction Attempt A Hoax

Bridgman police say the abduction attempt reported last week was a hoax. In a Facebook post, police say the student who reported the stranger danger situation admitted to making it up due to an unrelated disagreement with a friend. The case is now in the hands of the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office for possible charges of filing a false police report against the child. Chief Dan Unruh says even though the allegation was unfounded, it’s is critical for parents and their children to remain vigilant in recognizing any suspicious or dangerous behavior and reporting it. Unruh adds the department appreciates the community support, cooperation and help over the past week during the investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Road Department Wins Awards

The County Road Association of Michigan has given awards to the Berrien County Road Department for three of its projects in 2018. Berrien County Road Department Managing Director Jason Latham tells WSJM News one of the IMPRESS Awards is for the department’s response to flooding last spring. He says staff worked 24-7 to keep drivers safe.. ...Read Full Story

Grant Means New Home For Hartford Library

The Hartford Public Library is now ready to move forward with plans for a new home thanks to a $400,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Library Director Stephanie Daniels tells WSJM News the goal is to acquire the old Red Arrow Elementary School on East Street, and then replace it with a new facility to be called the Art and Bonna VanDerlyn Community Center and Hartford Public Library.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department Urges Alcohol Education

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and the Berrien County Health Department is urging parents to keep an open dialogue with their kids about the dangers of underage alcohol abuse. Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist Lisa Peeples-Hurst tells WSJM News alcohol is harmful to developing brains, adding the drinking age of 21 is based on science.. ...Read Full Story

United Way Planning Pop Up Giving Event

Coming up next month will be the third Pop Up Giving event to be held by the United Way of Southwest Michigan. The United Way’s Jennifer Tomshack tells WSJM News Pop Up Giving events allow attendees the chance to vote for one of three non-profits who will make a presentation on planned projects.. ...Read Full Story

Adopt A Highway Events Underway

Starting this Saturday, hundreds of volunteers will take to the highways across Michigan to pick up litter as part of the annual Adopt a Highway spring clean-up. The Michigan Department of Transportation says the clean-ups will run through April 21. Businesses, churches, non-profits, and families adopt stretches of highway around Michigan to clean up trash each year. MDOT tells us there are 59 active Adopt a Highway clean-up groups in Berrien County, and last year they picked up more than 1,600 bags of trash. Two Berrien County landfills — Orchard Hill and the Southeast Berrien County Landfill — also take the material free of charge. When the volunteers take to the roads this Saturday, drivers are urged to give them plenty of space. MDOT says it could also use some more help picking up litter along more rural stretches of I-94. Anyone interested in creating an Adopt a Highway volunteer group should check MDOT’s website.. ...Read Full Story