Local News Archives

Lt. Governor Signs Mental Health Legislation

Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley has signed legislation he says provides people facing mental health issues with access to intervention and treatment earlier. The bill enacted Wednesday updates “Kevin’s Law,” a series of underutilized laws passed in 2004 that authorized courts and community mental health agencies to use assistant outpatient treatment programs instead of hospitalization for people who don’t comply with prescribed treatment. The legislation, which takes effect in February, will let a family member petition for involuntary treatment earlier. It makes people’s impaired judgment a factor in determining if they should receive involuntary treatment, and not just their behavior. Calley says expanded treatment options “will help address the root cause of the problem while also reducing many avoidable law enforcement situations.”. ...Read Full Story

Crews Raise 3 Ton Anchor From Detroit River After 60 Years

The anchor of a once-mighty Great Lakes steamship is back above water for the first time in six decades. Crews raised the Greater Detroit’s anchor, all 6,000 pounds of it, on Tuesday. Three divers from the Great Lakes Maritime Institute braved the 47-degree water temperature, descending 20 feet to the bottom of the Detroit River and attaching cables to the massive hunk of metal. A barge fitted with a crane then hauled it
up. Once cleaned and restored, the anchor will be displayed at the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority downtown. After commercial airline travel and modern freeways ended the usefulness of luxury steamships, the 536-foot Greater Detroit was scrapped and its anchor cut.
The sidewheel steamer was towed to Lake St. Clair where it was burned in 1956 prior to being scrapped.. ...Read Full Story

Pedestrian Killed By Semi In Niles Twp

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department and Michigan State Police are investigating a fatal crash between a semi and a pedestrian in Niles Township. 71-year-old Connie Brown was hit and killed while crossing South 11th Street near Stateline Road shortly before 9 last night. Police say there are no street lights in the area, and Brown was wearing dark clothing. The truck that hit her was hauling mail from Detroit to South Bend and was driven by a suburban Detroit man.. ...Read Full Story

Retired City Employee Announces Candidacy For South Haven Mayor

A longtime employee of the city of South Haven has announced he’s running for mayor. Paul VandenBosch tells us he wants to be mayor so he can continue utility reconstruction, implement rental regulations, and provide better customer service. VandenBosche, who is retired, has previously served as South Haven’s assistant city manager, and a harbormaster. He tells our newsroom his goal is to be responsive to the city’s citizens.. ...Read Full Story

Upton’s Office Holding Holidays For Heroes Card Drive

It’s time once again to help make the holidays a little better for the military. Congressman Fred Upton’s office is holding yet another Holidays for Heroes greeting card drive. Between now and December 2, anyone can send or drop off a holiday card at Upton’s offices in St. Joseph or Kalamazoo, and they’ll make sure it gets to a soldier. Schools around the Sixth District have also been invited to make cards. The Red Cross, which will deliver the cards, asks that they not have any glitter or other objects attached, and it also asks that senders don’t write their full names on them. You can find out more about Holidays for Heroes here.. ...Read Full Story

LaSata Gets First Committee Assignment

State Representative-elect Kim LaSata now has one of her committee assignments. New state House Speaker Tom Leonard this week told LaSata that she’s one of two freshman lawmakers to be assigned to the Committee on Committees for the 2017-2018 legislative term. The Committee on Committees is responsible for nominating representatives to committee memberships. LaSata says she’s humbled to have been picked to be one of the few freshmen with a say on who serves where. House Speaker-elect Leonard says LaSata’s “energy and sound judgement” give him the utmost confidence she’ll do a good job.. ...Read Full Story

200 Pigs Get Loose After Allegan County Crash

Authorities say that about 200 pigs got loose after a truck heading to Indiana was involved in a crash on a foggy southwestern Michigan roadway.
Bob Dykhuis tells The Holland Sentinel that the tractor-trailer owned by Dykhuis Farms Inc. was carrying about 2,000 young pigs when it crashed Tuesday morning in Allegan County’s Manlius Township. There were no immediate reports of injuries to people, but the newspaper says
10-20 pigs were killed. Dykhuis says it’s a “difficult situation.” Two other vehicles were involved in the crash, which left the bottom level of the trailer open and allowed pigs to escape. Fire crews, Dykhuis Farms staff and area residents worked together to round up the pigs.. ...Read Full Story

Justice Denies Michigan Appeal To Halt Sex Offender Ruling

A U.S. Supreme Court justice has rejected Michigan’s request to halt a lower court decision that found the state unconstitutionally put additional restrictions on sex offenders long after their convictions. Justice Elena Kagan denied Tuesday the emergency appeal for a stay. In August, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said changes to Michigan law in 2006 and 2011, which included retroactively restricting sex offenders’ movements near schools, penalize offenders as “moral lepers.” The appeals court denied Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s request to block the decision during appeal. So did Kagan. Schuette’s office couldn’t immediately be reached to comment.Michigan has the country’s fourth-largest sex offender list, with more than 42,000 registrants. Michigan prohibits all registrants from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of school property.. ...Read Full Story

Suspended Officer Who Displayed Confederate Battle Flag Resigns

A Northern Michigan police officer suspended after flying a Confederate battle flag from his pickup during a political rally has resigned. Traverse City Manager Marty Colburn says Michael Peters turned in his resignation Monday evening. Colburn says Peters apologized to the community and “for the stain he put on the city” and its police department. Colburn says he believes Peters’ apology was sincere.. ...Read Full Story

MI LGBT Groups Concerned Following Trump Win

Advocates for the rights of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender predict there will be challenges under the coming administration of President-elect Donald Trump, but also believe important past legal gains are fairly secure. Hayley Gorenberg, general counsel at Lambda Legal, tells us Trump could appoint an anti-marriage equality Supreme Court justice. However, Gorenberg says replacing Aontonin Scalia with such a justice wouldn’t change anything.. ...Read Full Story

Pokagon Fund Aims To Help Stuff Food Pantries

The Pokagon Fund has announced it’s supporting several south Berrien County food banks this winter. It notes that since its inception in 2007, the fund has given out more than $600,000 to 25 organizations that feed people in the region. Groups being supported by the Pokagon Fund this year are Meals on Wheels of Southwest Michigan, Senior Nutrition Services, Feeding America West Michigan, Blessings in a Backpack, A.C.T.I.O.N. Dowagiac, St. Margaret’s House, and the Harbor Country Rotary. With the winter and Thanksgiving approaching, many southwest Michigan charities are now raising money to help people out. It’s estimated that one in five Harbor Country families will need food assistance this year.. ...Read Full Story

Cass County K9 Helps Catch Domestic Violence Suspect

A Cass County Sheriff’s Department K9 has once again gotten his man. The department tells us deputies were called out to a home in LaGrange Township Sunday night on a report of a domestic assault. They got there and learned the suspect had run off. So, K9 Faust was brought in, and a search of some nearby woods began. After about going about 1.7 miles, Faust found the 31-year-old Cassopolis man hiding in some brush. He was taken to jail on a domestic violence charge, while his alleged victim was taken to a hospital. Faust is a 3-year-old Dutch Shepard who has worked for the department since July.. ...Read Full Story

I&M Warns About The Latest Scams

Customers of Indiana Michigan Power are being warned about the latest scammers out on the prowl. I&M spokesperson Erica Putt tells WSJM News some people have been getting calls or visits from individuals claiming to be with the company and demanding payment immediately. I&M wouldn’t do that.. ...Read Full Story

Man Shot in Berrien Springs Break-In

An Oronoko Township man is expected to fully recover after police say he was shot last week during a break-in to his home. The Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township Police Department was called out to 221 East Snow Road around 10:20 a.m. Friday when Travis Donnell Eidsness reported he’d been shot in the shoulder. When they got there, police were told three black males had appeared at the front door asking to use the phone. After a short conversation, one of the men pulled a handgun and there was a struggle. That’s when Eidsness was shot. He ran to a neighbor’s house while the suspects all took off. Police are still looking for the suspects. They don’t believe the attack was random, telling us it looks like the suspects specifically targeted that home.. ...Read Full Story

ESPN’s College GameDay Coming To WMU

There are just two undefeated football teams left in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision – Alabama and Western Michigan. The Crimson Tide remain ranked number-one in the AP poll and the “USA Today”/Amway Coaches Poll, while WMU isn’t getting the same amount of respect from the voters yet. The Broncos are 14th in the latest AP poll and 21st in the coaches poll. ESPN, however, will recognize the outstanding season by the Broncos this weekend. The network will broadcast its flagship “College GameDay” program on Saturday from Kalamazoo at 9 a.m. at Sangren Pedestrian Mall on campus. Fans are encouraged to start showing up around 6 a.m. for the program. WMU hosts Buffalo on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., with the game to be televised on ESPNU.. ...Read Full Story

Traverse City Officer Suspended Ater Diving With Confederate Fag

A northern Michigan police officer has been suspended with pay after he was seen off-duty driving a pickup truck bearing a Confederate battle flag around a group protesting Republican Donald Trump’s election as President. Traverse City police Chief Jeff O’Brien announced Michael Peters’ suspension Sunday after earlier saying an internal investigation was to start Monday to see if departmental rules were broken.. ...Read Full Story