Local News Archives

Conference To Focus On Body Art Health, Safety

With tattoos all the rage these days, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is holding a conference this month for tattoo providers to make sure they’re in compliance with all of the rules about health and safety. Spokesperson Lynn Sutfin tells WSJM News there are many health risks when it comes to body art.. ...Read Full Story

Former Congressman John Dingell Dies At 92

The longest-serving member of Congress in history has died. Dearborn’s John Dingell represented the Detroit area from a 1955 special election following the death of his father until his retirement in 2015, and died Thursday at the age of 92. It was revealed this week that he had entered hospice care, with his wife, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, skipping the State of the Union address to be by his side.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department Talks Vaccination Rules

As a measles outbreak continues in Washington state, many are blaming the state’s relaxed laws on vaccine exemptions. According to The Washington Post, Washington is one of 17 states that allow philosophical exemptions from vaccinations, meaning virtually any parent can opt their child out. In Michigan, the rules are different. The Berrien County Health Department’s Gillian Conrad tells WSJM News those seeking a non-medical vaccine waiver have to take extra steps.. ...Read Full Story

Mall Starts Paying Back Taxes

The Orchards Mall in Benton Township has paid its taxes. Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells WSJM News the mall’s new owners, Durga Property Holdings out of Cincinnati, submitted a check for more than $220,000 on Tuesday. That covers the 2016 property taxes, avoiding foreclosure for another year about two months before the money was due. Witkowski says the payment could be a sign those new owners will do better than some owners of the past.. ...Read Full Story

Fernwood Botanical Garden Featured In Washington Display

Fernwood Botanical Garden near Buchanan is one of 21 botanical gardens to be selected for a new U.S. Botanic Garden exhibit. “Celebrating New American Gardens” will be on display through October 15 in Washington, DC. The U.S. Botanical Garden says the display shows off locations across the United States that have created new gardens or renovated a garden within the last five years. It includes photos, drawings, landscape designs, and project descriptions for each. Fernwood tells us it’s honored to be one of 21 gardens selected. A panel featuring Fernwood’s Entry Garden is part of the exhibit. Fernwood Executive Director Carol Line says the “unique nature of all gardens and the diversity represented within their botanical collections is so well demonstrated in this exhibit.” You can find more information on the display right here.. ...Read Full Story

Secretary Of State To Upgrade From 1960s Vehicle Records Computer System

Believe it or not, the Michigan Secretary of State is still using an antiquated mainframe computer system for vehicle records, and by antiquated, the department says it’s from the 1960s. That is about to change, as the Department of State will install what it’s calling the Customer and Automotive Records System, or CARS, next weekend. CARS will result in more online options for drivers, improved kiosk and online services, and will give staff members a much more efficient tool to look up vehicle information and process the transactions. No auto business transactions will be available online from 5 p.m. next Friday until 9 a.m. Tuesday, February 19 and all late fees will be waived for transactions with expiration dates between February 11 and March 2. The Secretary of State’s office is cautioning people that while staffers get used to the new system, some services in branch offices might take a little longer than normal for a few weeks.. ...Read Full Story

Regulators Open Probe Into Fire That Disrupted Gas Supply

From the Associated Press — Michigan regulators have opened an investigation into a compressor station fire that raised concerns about keeping natural gas flowing to millions of residents in bitterly cold weather. The Public Service Commission voted 2-0 Thursday to launch the review. Consumers Energy asked people to temporarily lower thermostats last week following the fire at its facility in suburban Detroit. The fire cut the amount of natural gas that could be delivered. Commissioner Norm Saari says the commission has an “increasing, serious
concern” that gas utilities have strong safety programs following the fire, an explosion in a Pontiac neighborhood and a contractor’s “dig-in” of a gas line in Warren. Also Thursday, commissioners agreed to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s request to issue a report on Michigan’s supply and deliverability of natural gas, electricity and propane.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Senate Honors Corporal Cole Wixom Of Bloomingdale

The life of Army Corporal Cole Wixom of Bloomingdale is being honored by the Michigan Senate. The 24-year-old was killed in a training exercise in New Mexico on January 22, and Governor Whitmer ordered flags lowered to half-staff the day of his funeral on February 2. The Senate held a moment of silence for Corporal Wixom on Thursday at the request of Senator Aric Nesbitt.. ...Read Full Story

Royalton Township Flooding Starting To Ease

Relief is being noticed from flooding along the St. Joseph River in Royalton Township. Berrien County Sheriff’s Captain Rockey Adams says the water is starting to recede and there’s been a “significant reduction” of water from yards along the riverfront. Adams adds ice along the river at the M-139 bridge broke free to allow the river to resume a normal flow after slowing the current this week and being a big factor in the flooding. He says once that ice broke free Wednesday night, residents reported an eight-inch drop in the water levels in the street and from drainage ditches. The United Way of Southwest Michigan also helped this week by providing volunteers to fill sandbags for residents along Derfla and Linden drives off Bacon School Road.. ...Read Full Story

MDOT Says Michigan Left Best Option For M-51/US-12 Interchange

The M-51 interchange with US-12 or 3rd Street in Niles will be rebuilt by the Michigan Department of Transportation sometime in the next four years. Exactly what it will look like is still up for debate, but what MDOT wants is not the same as what area residents do. The state is looking at installing the Michigan Left system, which they say is cheaper and will allow for more vehicles. Kyle Rudlaff is an MDOT project manager and told our partners at WNDU NewsCenter 16 “It would take a lot to convince us that we’re going down the wrong road with the leading alternative, but we’re still listening.”. ...Read Full Story