Local News Archives

Probation For Deadly Oronoko Twp. Crash

A year of probation is the penalty for a Buchanan man for the deaths of two people from Indiana last April in a crash. 81-year-old Charles Habenicht pulled out in front of a motorcycle in Oronoko Township, hitting the bike and killing David and Christine Cox of Granger. Habenicht pleaded no contest to a single charge of a moving violation causing death, and will also have to pay almost $31,000 in court costs, restitution for funeral expenses and fines. He’s not allowed to drive for the next year and will also have to perform 250 hours of community service as part of the plea deal and sentencing agreement. Habenicht was sentenced in a Berrien County courtroom yesterday.. ...Read Full Story

Vandalism Under Investigation In Bridgman

The Bridgman Police Department could use the public’s help in catching some vandals who have damaged windows around town. The department says on its Facebook page someone’s been shattering glass doors and windows with what appears to be a pellet gun or small caliber firearm. Anyone who has information that could lead to an arrest in the case is asked to call the Bridgman Police Department or Crimestoppers. Tipsters can remain anonymous.. ...Read Full Story

Legislature Quashes Marijuana Transportation Bill

From the Associated Press — State legislators have stalled an attempt to repeal a statute that regulates vehicular transportation of marijuana. The Michigan Senate voted 19-16 Tuesday against the House bill Tuesday. It would annul a law that classifies vehicle transportation or possession of marijuana as a misdemeanor, unless it’s enclosed in a case in the trunk or – if there’s no trunk – in a case not readily accessible from the vehicle’s interior. Proponents of the bill say the current restriction is unnecessary because marijuana is prohibited in all scenarios without a medical card, while medical marijuana patients are already exempt from the rule. In 2016, the state’s Court of Appeals ruled that medical marijuana patients in compliance with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act cannot be prosecuted for
violating the vehicle transport provision.. ...Read Full Story

Thief Hits Southside St. Joseph Gas Station

The search is on in St. Joseph for a man who robbed a gas station in the 2800 block of Niles Avenue Tuesday night. Public safety tells WSJM News the suspect is a white man who was wearing a ski mask, and they don’t have any other information on him, including his height or an approximate weight. The robbery happened as the St. Joe Mart Marathon station was closing around 10:30 p.m., and St. Joseph Public Safety and St. Joseph Township police spent about 90 minutes at the scene and searching the area between Niles Avenue and Lakeland Hospital. A K-9 was unable to track the suspect, who had made off with all the money from the register. We’ve not been told if a weapon was used in the holdup. If you have any information, call St. Joseph Public Safety or 9-1-1.. ...Read Full Story

Report Examines West MI Economic Recovery

A new report from the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research takes a look at west Michigan’s economy now versus at the start of the Great Recession. Upjohn economist Brian Pittelko tells WSJM News they looked at data from January of 2007 through the end of 2009. What’s striking is how slow the economic recovery was.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Talks Flood Damage

State and federal leaders from southwest Michigan are waiting for Governor Rick Snyder to accept Berrien County’s disaster declaration following this month’s floods. State Senator John Proos tells WSJM News he toured Berrien Springs and Niles Monday and was convinced the Berrien County Board of Commissioners was justified in declaring that disaster.. ...Read Full Story

Orchards Mall In Danger Of Foreclosure Again

The Berrien County Treasurer’s office says the Orchards Mall in Benton Township is once again facing foreclosure. Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells WSJM News the mall’s owners owe $275,000 in property taxes from 2015, and if it’s not paid by April 3, then the county will foreclose. Witkowski will not allow a payment plan for the mall.. ...Read Full Story

Cook Refueling Outage Starts This Week

Unit 2 of the Cook nuclear power plant is about to undergo another refueling outage. Cook plant spokesperson Bill Schalk tells WSJM News Unit 1 just wrapped up a refueling outage late last year. When Unit 2 shuts down at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, there will be a large number of extra workers on site to help with maintenance.. ...Read Full Story

Several Roads Still Closed In Berrien County

Road closures remain in effect in several locations throughout Berrien County due to this month’s flooding. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us drivers should stay away from roads that are barricaded until the roads get the all-clear. In some cases, the road department needs to do engineering inspections done on the roads that were left impassable due to flooding before they can reopen.. ...Read Full Story