Local News Archives

Berrien County Residents Hoping To Help Police

A group of Berrien County residents is hoping to help police in the area following last month’s fatal shootings at the Berrien County Courthouse. Berrien County Strong — Community in Action was formed on Facebook by Gretta Volkenstein soon after the July 11 incident. On Thursday, members met to talk fundraising, among other things. Volkenstein says they’ll start by raising money for the Berrien Community Foundation’s sheriff’s department challenge grant.. ...Read Full Story

State Drawing Water Out Of Failing SWM Dam

Michigan environmental officials say they have stepped in to begin the emergency drawdown of water from a southwestern Michigan dam. The Department of Environmental Quality announced Friday it’s acting at the Centreville Dam amid recent and forecast heavy rainfalls – and a dispute that’s left the dam without an operator. The department recently ordered the owner to take action, but he hasn’t been able to gain access to the Prairie River dam because of a legal spat with an adjacent landowner. Luke Trumble, a state dam safety engineer, says officials intervened because overflowing water could cause the dam to fail and threaten residents’ health and safety. He says somebody needs to operate the dam’s movable gates during heavy rainfall or floods. The drawdown is expected to be done by Wednesday.. ...Read Full Story

Input Sought On Stevensville Master Plan

Work is getting started on the next master plan for the village of Stevensville, and residents are being asked to offer their input. Ryan Fellows, with the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission, says the master plan will govern development in Stevensville for the next ten years. Folks can take an online survey to give their thoughts.. ...Read Full Story

Active Shooter Survival Training To Be Offered In Van Buren County

Training on how to survive an active shooter situation will be offered this month by the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department. A three-hour class will be held at the Columbia Township Hall on Monday, August 29. It’s based on the Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events course developed by law enforcement training group ALERRT. The class is intended to provide strategies, guidance, and a plan for making it through an active shooter event. The class is limited to 100 people, and you have to register in advance to attend. You can do so by calling the Columbia Township Fire Department. The number is 269-434-6266.. ...Read Full Story

Pickleball Now Offered At SJ Ice Arena

There’s a new feature at the John and Dede Howard Ice Arena in St. Joseph. They’re now offering pickleball. Pickleball is a raquet sport that combines parts of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, and it can be played at the arena through October 19. Open play will be held each Monday and Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. It’ll be $5 for drop-in play or $40 if you want a season pass. Beginner classes will also be offered every Monday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. starting on August 22.. ...Read Full Story

Cornerstone Alliance Announces New Director Of Investor Relations

Cornerstone Alliance has announced the appointment of a new director of investor relations. Berrien County native Christina Frank will lead fundraising activities and work to develop local investment opportunities in the position. Before coming to Cornerstone, Frank was the Executive Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Berrien & Cass, Inc. She’s also a former member of the United Way campaign design team. Cornerstone Alliance President Rob Cleveland says the dedication Frank has shown to the children of Berrien County is “evidence of her desire to make Berrien County a better place in which to live and work.” Frank says she’s thrilled to be part of the team. She starts in mid September.. ...Read Full Story

World Humanitarian Day Recognized Friday

Friday was World Humanitarian Day, an observance set by the United Nations to recognize aid workers around the world, including those in Michigan, who give their time to humanitarian service. This year there’s a call for global solidarity for those who need assistance to survive, including refugees resettling in the United States. Ken Grunow, the Michigan coordinator for Amnesty International, says humanitarian workers not only respond to crisis, they also strengthen communities, build peace and advocate for those without a voice. This year’s World Humanitarian Day theme is “One Humanity.”. ...Read Full Story

Back To School Pride Event Next Week At Benton Harbor High School

A back to school pride event is set for next week at Benton Harbor High School. “We ROAR” will be Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The day will feature information on district programs, a basketball tournament, a chicken cook-off, a talent show, and a back to school clothing drive. It’s free of charge and everyone’s invited. Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker says students in the 21st Century Community Learning Center program, along with staff, were challenged to set up the event. She says the day will give everyone a chance to know what it is to be a Tiger.. ...Read Full Story

Candidates For St. Joseph Clerk, Finance Director To Be Interviewed

Interviews with four candidates for St. Joseph City Clerk and Finance Director will be held on Tuesday. The city commission has scheduled a special meeting for 10 a.m. to speak with the applicants. They are Tonia Betty, currently the clerk for the city of Watervliet, Ian Haight, current clerk for Hagar Township, Lisa LaValley, an accountant at Shepherd Caster Corporation, and Sara McCallum, the treasurer of Pere Marquette Township near Ludington. In all, the city received eight applications for clerk and finance director, which is one position. Tuesday’s interviews are expected to last into the afternoon hours.. ...Read Full Story

Time Changed For Trump Rally Near Lansing

If you’re planning to head to suburban Lansing for today’s Donald Trump rally, you’ve got a little more time. For the third time in the past few days, the time of the event has changed. Doors will now open at 2 p.m. at The Summit Sports and Ice Complex in Diamondale, and Trump will take the stage at 5. His campaign says the speech will focus on national security and other topics. Michigan State University Institute for Public Policy and Social Research director Matt Grossmann says he thinks Trump will also talk about jobs and the economy, but a stronger focus on Democratic rival Hillary Clinton is likely in the works.. ...Read Full Story

South Bend Dealing With Flooding 2 Days After Record Storm

Authorities say a storm that dumped more than 8 inches of rain in less than 24 hours in South Bend earlier this week collapsed two houses and the foundations of seven more, and the Red Cross has classified another 13 houses as destroyed. More than 700 people have contacted the city’s emergency management hotline and the Red Cross to report damage to homes and businesses. The flooding has left three roads remained closed in the city, as well as a lane on a major roadway and more than a dozen roads in surrounding St. Joseph County. Mayor Pete Buttigieg says the toughest days may still be ahead as frustration sets in while people wait for the flooding to subside. No deaths or injuries have been reported.. ...Read Full Story

State Targets Improper Tax Breaks For Cottages, Second Homes

Records say thousands of summer cottages, second homes and other Michigan properties have lost a valuable tax break in recent years amid state Treasury Department audits. The Detroit News reports that the crackdown on improper exemptions affects a wide range of property owners, including Detroit landlords and billionaires with multi-acre compounds. Records show 23,800 property owners have been ordered to pay more taxes after audits since 2013. The audits target properties that claim a 100 percent principal residence exemption. The tax break saves property owners on school district taxes. The audits were instituted in 2005 to determine whether property owners getting the tax break owned and occupied the home as a primary residence. In numerous cases, people ended up losing the tax break on rental properties and vacation homes.. ...Read Full Story

Grassroots Group Looks To Help Berrien County Police

A group of Berrien County residents is hoping to help police in the area following last month’s fatal shootings at the Berrien County Courthouse. Berrien County Strong — Community in Action was formed on Facebook by Gretta Volkenstein soon after the July 11 incident. On Thursday, members met to talk fundraising, among other things. Volkenstein says they’ll start by raising money for the Berrien Community Foundation’s sheriff’s department challenge grant.. ...Read Full Story

Fallen MSP Trooper To Be Remembered In Niles

A Michigan State Police trooper who died in the line of duty in 1981 will be remembered with a ceremony in Niles next week. On Saturday, there will be a memorial at the Niles Law Enforcement Complex for Allan Peterson. The 37-year-old trooper died on August 29 of 1981 as a result of exposure to toxic fumes while responding to a train derailment in Bridgman on August 7. He had a massive heart attack caused by a prolonged coughing fit which doctors linked to the train incident. Peterson was the 34th state police trooper to die in the line of duty. Next Saturday’s ceremony will be at 3 p.m.. ...Read Full Story

Suspect Arrested In Series Of Covert Area Break-Ins

One suspect has been arrested in a series of home break-ins reported in the Covert area over the past month. The township police department says officers searched a home on North Watervliet Road Wednesday after getting a tip some of the stolen property was stashed there. With the help of Berrien County sheriff’s deputies and Michigan State Police, they found about $5,000 of it. The suspect was arrested on an unrelated matter, and could be looking at charges of receiving and concealing stolen property. His name has not yet been released.. ...Read Full Story

Flint To Begin Replacing Old Water pipes

Flint is moving forward on an effort to replace old lead and galvanized steel water lines amid the city’s crisis with lead-tainted water. A kickoff for the latest phase of the Fast Start program is Friday. Mayor Karen Weaver says it’ll result in the replacement of service lines at 200-250 homes. This fall, her office says the next phase of the replacement program that started in March will cover 5,000 additional homes. Under work starting Friday, replacement will take place with the approval of homeowners. The project has replaced dozens of lines and is being paid for with $2 million from the state. Over 18 months, lead leached from old pipes into Flint’s water supply when the city used water from the Flint River. The water wasn’t treated for corrosiveness.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan To Auction Off 380 Tax-Foreclosed Properties

(Lansing, MI) – The state of Michigan will auction 380 tax-foreclosed properties located in eight counties next week. The auctions are scheduled for August 23-24. Roughly 230 parcels in Iosco, Keweenaw, Luce and Mecosta counties will go to auction Tuesday at the Ramada Inn in Grayling. Another 150 properties in Branch, Clinton, Livingston and Shiawassee counties will go to auction next Wednesday at the Ramada near Lansing.. ...Read Full Story