Local News Archives

SJ Schools Book Bonanza

Students from kindergarten through the fifth grade will be at the St. Joseph High School Library this Wednesday to pick out books for summer reading. St. Joseph Public Schools Curriculum Director Kelly Gaideski tells WSJM News each child will be able to pick out six books.. ...Read Full Story

Unemployment Provision Pulled From Medicaid Bill

From the Associated Press — The sponsor of proposed Medicaid work requirements is dropping a provision that would have exempted recipients who live in Michigan counties with higher jobless rates, saying Governor Rick Snyder’s administration worries it would be an “administrative nightmare.” Opponents of the legislation have said the provision would disproportionately hurt African-Americans because they live in cities with higher unemployment but counties with lower unemployment, while white Medicaid recipients in rural counties with higher jobless rates would not have to comply with the workforce engagement requirements. Shirkey told The Associated Press Monday that allegations of racism are “ridiculous,” but the provision is being pulled because it would be too difficult to administer. Instead, negotiators are focusing on a broader “grace period” exemption for people struggling to find work or facing other temporary
obstacles.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmakers Consider Surplus Options

More talks are expected this week between lawmakers and the governor’s office on whether to spend or save money from a budget surplus. Economists estimate a $500 million surplus for this year and next. Michigan Senate Appropriations Chairman Dave Hildenbrand of Lowell told Michigan News Network he doesn’t want all of the money spent on road repairs.. ...Read Full Story

Group Seeks Minimum Wage Increase

From the Associated Press — The prospect of a $12-an-hour minimum wage by 2022 for all Michigan workers, including tipped servers, could be put to a popular vote this fall. The Michigan One Fair Wage group on Monday submitted 373,507 signatures to the state Bureau of Elections. The Board of State Canvassers must certify roughly 252,000 of them before the proposal can go to the Republican-controlled
Legislature to pass or reject. Should it falter there, the initiative would be placed on the November ballot. Michigan’s current $9.25 an hour wage would be raised to $10 next year and gradually increase to $12 by 2022 under the proposal. Tipped employees would be paid full minimum wage on top of their tips by 2024. Employers currently must ensure tipped employees make at least the minimum wage.. ...Read Full Story

Former MSU President To Testify Before Senate Panel

Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon will testify before a congressional panel that oversees the health and safety of USA Gymnastics and college athletes. A specific date for the testimony before the U.S. Senate’s subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security hasn’t been scheduled. Those on the committee say hearing from Simon and others are imperative to an investigation into abuse in amateur sports. Simon stepped down as president in late January as she received criticism for the handling of the Larry Nassar scandal.. ...Read Full Story

High Gas Prices For Memorial Day Travel

Triple-A Michigan is estimating 1.3 million of us in the state will travel for Memorial Day this weekend, the highest number in years. To go along with your travel plans are the state’s highest gas prices for the holiday in several years as well. AAA says the statewide average is exactly $3 a gallon, up 7¢ from last Monday. We hit the $3 mark toward the end of last week. Traverse City has the state’s lowest prices at $2.95, while the most expensive gas is being sold in Ann Arbor at $3.05. The average in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph is $3, up 15¢ a gallon from last week. GasBuddy says South Haven’s prices, which aren’t included in the Triple-A survey, are as low as $2.83 this morning.. ...Read Full Story

Watervliet Woman Seeks House Seat

The field of candidates in the running for the Republican nomination in the Michigan House in the 79th District includes a Watervliet woman with a long family family history in Bainbridge Township. Pauline Wendzel tells WSJM News she’s jumped into the race to replace state Representative Kim LaSata because she wants to promote conservative values and pursue growth. One priority is infrastructure.. ...Read Full Story

Energy Incentive For Buchanan Apartments

The owners of an apartment complex in Buchanan have received a check for more than $243,000 from Indiana Michigan Power for making improvements to their facility to save energy. Jason Muniz with Hollander Development Corporation tells WSJM News the company spent about $7 million to upgrade the units at Metea Court Apartments, a 100-unit community for low-income seniors.. ...Read Full Story