Local News Archives

Deadline Approaching For Grant Program

The deadline to apply for a Frederick S. Upton Foundation grant through the Berrien Community Foundation is quickly approaching. The foundation tells us the date is March 15 for those wishing to receive a grant in during the spring cycle. The Frederick S. Upton Foundation considers grant requests from a wide variety of non-profit organizations but focuses its efforts in Berrien County. This is the first year the Berrien Community Foundation is holding two grant cycles per year. The other will end in the summer. Any organization looking for more information can go to BerrienCommunity.org.. ...Read Full Story

LaSata Working On Home Demolition Legislation

State Representative Kim LaSata stopped by Benton Harbor City Hall this week to talk with city commissioners about recent action in Lansing that could affect the community. She told them about a plan to stop the former owners of blighted, abandoned properties from dumping the cost of a home’s demolition on cities and townships.. ...Read Full Story

School Buildings Scrubbed During Two-Day Closure

All students at Eau Claire Public Schools have a couple of days off due to illness. Interim Superintendent David Waaso tells WSJM News lots of kids have flu-like symptoms, and they’re missing several days. At a certain point, the administration decided it was time to shut everything down while the buildings could be scrubbed.. ...Read Full Story

Superintendent Placed On Leave

Benton Harbor Area Schools Superintendent Shelly Walker has been placed on non-disciplinary paid administrative leave pending an investigation by a law firm. At a Tuesday work session, the board of education voted unanimously to put Walker on leave effective immediately. Board President Marletta Seats proposed the resolution.. ...Read Full Story

City Manager Contract To Be Reviewed

The contract of Benton Harbor City Manager Darwin Watson will be the topic of discussion when city commissioners hold a special meeting on Wednesday. Watson received his performance evaluation at Monday’s commission meeting, but it was done in a closed session and commissioners took no action when they came out of it. They quickly adjourned over the objections of Commissioner Juanita Henry, who wanted more discussion. Commissioners will talk more openly about the manager at the special meeting on Wednesday. It starts at 7 p.m. at city hall.. ...Read Full Story

Commission Learns Of Possible Buyer For Industrial Property

There could be a buyer soon for the vacant Alreco property in Benton Harbor. The place used to be an industrial site, and it’s now in the Berrien County Land Bank with it having been taken in foreclosure. The land bank is looking for a buyer, and Benton Harbor City Commissioners this week heard from realtor Robert Winters a Holland firm is interested in acquiring the roughly 10-acre parcel.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Implementing New Income Tax

The city of Benton Harbor is barreling toward the implementation of its new income tax. At a Monday meeting, commissioners approved the purchase of computer software to administer the tax at a cost of $65,000. They also approved hiring Secant Technologies to do a security assessment for the city so it can protect the personal information of the people who pay that tax. The cost of the contract is $14,000. City Manager Darwin Watson said there has to be very tight security for handling an income tax.. ...Read Full Story

MSU Announces Interim Athletic Director

From the Associated Press — Michigan State has hired Bill Beekman to be the school’s interim athletic director. Interim school president John Engler made the appointment Monday. Beekman will keep his role as vice president of the school and secretary of its board when the search begins soon for an AD. Engler says “no internal candidates will be considered” for the job. Beekman also has been executive director of the school’s alumni association. Former Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis retired last week in the wake of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal and just before ESPN published a report detailing various allegations involving Michigan State football and basketball players, questioning how the athletic department handled those cases.. ...Read Full Story