Local News Archives

Van Buren Deputies Honored By MADD

Two Van Buren County sheriff’s deputies have been honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for their efforts to keep the roads safe. The sheriff’s department tells our newsroom Deputy Brian Matthews and Deputy Eric Calhoun were recognized at a celebration in Mount Pleasant Thursday. Both are assigned as secondary road deputies specifically dedicated to road enforcement. Van Buren County Sheriff Dale Gribler says they’re instrumental in keeping the county safe.. ...Read Full Story

Improved Safety Rating For South Haven Area Emergency Services

People who live in the service area of South Haven Area Emergency Services could see their insurance ratings go down, thanks to an improved safety rating granted this week to the agency. Emergency services says the Insurance Service Office, or ISO, issues ratings to fire departments throughout the country based on the effectiveness of their services, and it’s now bumped up the rating for the South Haven area. That could mean lower insurance rates, as an area’s ISO rating affects premiums. Local property owners are urged to call their insurance companies to ask that the new ISO rating be reflected on their bill.. ...Read Full Story

Man Rowing Across Lake Michigan For Fight Against Childhood Cancer

An Illinois man plans to leave from St. Joseph this Sunday to row across Lake Michigan raising funds for research into childhood cancer, and on Thursday, he was honored for his effort. Jacob Beckley Was at the St. Joe Junior Rowing School with state Senator John Proos, who presented him with a recent resolution proclaiming September as Michigan Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.. ...Read Full Story

Bangor Police Investigating Suspicious Death

Police in Bangor are investigating what they say is a suspicious death this week. Police Chief Tommy Simpson tells WSJM news 32-year-old Brandon Zantello was found dead Tuesday morning in his apartment on Arlington Street. So far, investigators have learned Zantello had some guests over the previous night, and got into a fight with a 19-year-old man. At this point, police don’t think Zantello died as a result of the fight, as witnesses tell them Zantello was still conscious when they left, but they’re investigating the death as suspicious. Interviews continue to be held in the case, and police are waiting on toxicology results. That will take about six weeks.. ...Read Full Story

Hunting Season Expected To Be Better This Year

Last winter’s relatively mild temperatures are offering hope that this year’s deer hunting season will see improvements from last year. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources on Thursday released its 2016 Michigan Deer Hunting Prospects report. The report notes that the 2015 season, while seeing a drop in hunter numbers, ended with a slight increase in harvest from 2014. Hunting success decreased in the Upper Peninsula while increasing across the entire Lower Peninsula. Michigan saw severe, prolonged winters in 2012, 2013 and 2014, so numbers are
expected to be down in the coming years in the U.P. The reports notes the mild winter last year, however, offers hope hunters may experience slightly better success this year. Details about the 2016 hunt are posted on the state’s website.. ...Read Full Story

Kalamazoo Mother Convicted In Death Of 4-Year-Old

A jury in southwestern Michigan has convicted a woman of murder in the death of her daughter on the girl’s fourth birthday. On the witness stand, Daveeta Walker denied abusing her children. She says she told police a different story about “whooping” Kharisma Richardson because she felt threatened. Walker was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder and other crimes. She’ll spend her life in prison. Kharisma was found dead in March. Walker says she picked up her daughter to wish her a happy birthday and “noticed her feeling funny.” She says the child
was in someone else’s care the previous night. There were scars, bruises and burns on Kharisma. Her death was due to complications from multiple injuries. Assistant prosecutor Michael Stein says Walker had an “absolute disregard” for Kharisma.. ...Read Full Story

Arrest Made In Deadly Crash In Royalton Twp

A South Bend man is in jail in connection with a deadly crash in Royalton Township earlier this month. You may remember the crash killed 36-year-old Jason Ransom of Niles when two vehicles collided on Scottdale Road near Rockey Weed Road on September 17. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department says 36-year-old Walter Davis the Second of South Bend was arrested Wednesday. He is facing several charges including failing to stop at an accident causing death. Davis ran off from the scene before police arrived.. ...Read Full Story

Free Pet Adoption Events Next Month

The Bissell Pet Foundation is planning to hold yet another Empty the Shelters event next month. That’s when the animal welfare group will pay for the cost of adopting an animal at more than 50 shelters around Michigan for a day. Spokesperson Holly Kroeze tells WSJM News that’s after a successful date back in May.. ...Read Full Story

Youth Perception Of Marijuana Dangers Decreasing

Teens around the US may be using marijuana a little less, but they also don’t recognize the health risks it poses. That’s according to new data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Kerri Teachout, with the Berrien County Health Department, tells WSJM News that’s a problem because marijuana is bad for a developing teen.. ...Read Full Story

Cornerstone Chamber Award Created In Honor Of Pat Moody

Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce will give out a couple of brand new awards when it holds its 2017 Business Recognition Event in February, and one of them is named after Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s own Pat Moody. The Pat Moody Award and the Young Business Leader of the Year Award are the new ones Cornerstone has added to the mix. Cornerstone says the Pat Moody Award, created in Moody’s honor, will go to a business or individual that has staying power, provides great customer service, and is involved in the community. Members will be voting in the awards throughout October. The Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce represents 700 businesses.. ...Read Full Story

Galien Receives Antique Fire Truck

The community of Galien has been reunited with an antique fire truck it once owned and then sold to a Calhoun County town. The Battle Creek Enquirer reports, Tuesday, the Galien’s fire chief picked up the 1919 Chevrolet truck from Burlington. The Burlington Fire Department bought it from Galien’s fire department in 1942 and used it for about six years. Since retiring the truck, Burlington would occasionally use it in events like parades. Now that it’s given the truck back to Galien, it will still be allowed use of it upon request. Galien got the truck new in 1919, and got a whole $250 for it when it was sold to Burlington.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan AG: Failing Schools Could Close This Year

Michigan’s attorney general says the state may close persistently low-performing public schools in Detroit before the end of this academic year if they were among the lowest-achieving for the preceding three years. Republican legislative leaders earlier this month asked Republican Attorney
General Bill Schuette to weigh in because Republican Governor Rick Snyder interpreted a law rescuing the Detroit district from debt to mean the State School Reform/Redesign Officer cannot close any district school until 2019. Schuette’s office Wednesday released an official opinion, which is legally binding on state agencies and officers unless reversed by a court. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof and House Speaker Kevin Cotter had said the law’s “plain language” authorized Detroit school closures by the end of this school year and to say otherwise ignored legislative intent.. ...Read Full Story

Congress Reaches Deal On Flint Water Assistance

Congressional leaders appear to have broken a stalemate over the Flint, Michigan, water crisis – clearing the way for a spending bill to keep the government running until December. The spending bill also would provide long-delayed money to fight Zika. An aide to House Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi says Pelosi and House Speaker Paul Ryan have an agreement on a first step for aid to address Flint’s lead-tainted water. The agreement promises to provide $170 million to help Flint and other cities with water emergencies – and that pledge of assistance would be part of a water projects bill. The deal between Democrat Pelosi and Republican Ryan holds the promise of freeing up the short-term spending measure. That bill had failed to advance in the Senate on Tuesday.. ...Read Full Story

New Poll Gives Clinton 5-Point Lead In Michigan

A new poll shows Democrat Hillary Clinton with a five-point lead over Republican Donald Trump in the presidential race in Michigan. The survey was taken before Monday night’s debate between the two by Target Insyght for MIRS News and lobbying firm Governmental Consultant Services. Clinton has 46% of the vote, while Trump has 41% and Libertarian Gary Johnson trails far behind in third with 8%. Only 3% of those polled say they’re still undecided.. ...Read Full Story

FEMA Conducting National Test Today

At 2:20 this afternoon, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will perform a national test of its Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. It’s the first time an official national test has been conducted – and FEMA’s Wade Witmer says most will find it very similar to the regular monthly test.. ...Read Full Story

Arguments This Week In Suit Over Clean Power Plan

Oral arguments are this week in a federal case challenging the legality of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, and recent research shows how the carbon reduction regulations would benefit industry in Michigan and other states. James Clift, Policy Director for the Michigan Environmental Council, says manufactures have seen the benefits of the state’s own energy efficiency program.. ...Read Full Story

Cass County K9 Finds Domestic Violence Suspect

A K9 for the Cass County Sheriff’s Department is getting the credit for the capture of a domestic violence suspect this week. Deputies were called out to a home along Elbow Lake Street in Porter Township Monday night on a report of an assault. By the time they got there, the suspect had already run off. The sheriff’s department brought in K9 Faust, who was able to find the man hiding in a ditch in the woods about a half mile away. He was taken to the Cass County Jail. Faust is a 3-year-old Dutch Shepard who has worked for the department since July.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder OKs Extending Benefits To Families Of Fallen First Responders

The surviving family members of Michigan first responders who die in the line of duty will qualify for up to five years of state-paid health insurance under legislation signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder. Snyder says in a statement Tuesday that the move is “unquestionably the right thing to do.” Survivors of fallen first responders currently can get a one-time $25,000 payment. The law sponsored by Republican Senator Wayne Schmidt, of Traverse Cit,y applies to  survivors of fallen police officers, firefighters and publicly employed paramedics and is retroactive to October 2015. Providing the health coverage could cost the state up to $400,000 a year, according to legislative fiscal projections.. ...Read Full Story

Joique Bell To Play For The Chicago Bears

Joique Bell will be playing for the Chicago Bears. Word came Tuesday the Benton Harbor native has been picked up by the struggling Bears ahead of their game on Sunday against the Lions. Bell, a running back, was released from the Lions this year. He heads to Chicago to take the place of Jeremy Langford, a former Michigan State tailback, who is out with an injury. The 30-year-old Bell played for the Lions from 2011 to 2015.. ...Read Full Story

Panel Declines To Add Eye Condition To Medical Marijuana List

An advisory panel is recommending that an eye disease not be added to the conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in Michigan. Only one of six members on the review panel was in favor Tuesday. The petition was filed by Melba Velez Ortiz, a professor at Grand Valley State
University. She wants to add retinitis pigmentosa to the marijuana list. It’s an inherited disease that greatly affects the retina and can lead to night blindness and loss of vision. Ortiz says there’s research showing marijuana can slow down the disease. In 2008, Michigan voters approved marijuana for the side effects of cancer and a few other illnesses. Only one condition, post-traumatic stress disorder, has been added.. ...Read Full Story

Have Auto Sales Peaked?

Another indication that auto sales may have hit a peak. The latest sales forecast from J.D. Power and L.M.C. Automotive predicts September sales are expected to drop slightly from a year ago. Jeff Schuster with L.M.C Automotive says this is more of the same.. ...Read Full Story