Local News Archives

Plan Would Expand Discount On Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicle Fees

A new plan from state Senator John Proos is designed to allow more wheelchair-accessible vehicles to receive a state registration fee deduction. Proos tells us the idea applies to vehicles that have been specially-modified for wheelchair use. He says those modifications can cost quite a bit, leading to higher state registration fees. He says the new legislation could help. Proos notes there is a current registration reduction in place for wheelchair-accessible vans, but not other types of vehicles. Under Senate Bill 815, the registration fee reduction would be offered on any passenger vehicle with a permanently-installed wheelchair lift or permanently-installed hand controls whether it’s a van, truck, or anything else. The plan is now before a state Senate committee.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Talks Gun Control

While the nation debates gun control again, Congressman Fred Upton says he’s always been in favor of some common sense rules. He tells WSJM News he was calling for universal background checks back in the 90s. He also tells us the bipartisan congressional group calling itself the Problem Solvers will talk gun rules when it meets next week.. ...Read Full Story

Sheriff’s Department Talks Flooding

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department is partnering with local fire and police departments to respond to flooding throughout the area. Undersheriff Chuck Heit tells WSJM News there are some simple safety rules for drivers to follow as they encounter roads that are flooded.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Flooding Most Severe In Niles, Berrien Springs

Flooding in Berrien County this week has been the worst in the Niles and Berrien Springs areas. The city of Niles put out word Wednesday morning the St. Joseph River level is poised to crest at 16.9 feet at approximately 7 a.m. Thursday. That would be an historic level beating out 15.1 feet in 1988. The St. Joseph River is considered to be at a flood level when it hits 11 feet. City crews have been doing welfare checks on residents and the Red Cross is working to set up emergency accommodations for anyone that has to leave their home due to flood waters.. ...Read Full Story

Mattawan Creek Flooding Threatens Homes

Flooding concerns all over southern lower Michigan and they’re being proactive in one area town. Part of Mattawan is threatened by floodwaters. The water is overflowing the banks of the Mattawan Creek which runs through the center of town. Mattawan Fire Chief Terren McLean says some homes are threatened by the floodwaters.. ...Read Full Story

LaSata Announces Campaign Co-Chairs

State Representative Kim LaSata has announced her campaign co-chairs as she runs for the Michigan Senate in the 21st District, and they’re some well-known names. LaSata tells us her chair for Berrien County will be Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey, the chair for Cass County will be Southwestern Michigan College President Dave Mathews, and the chair for St. Joseph County will be former state Senator Cameron Brown. Berrien, Cass, and St. Joseph are the three counties that make up the state Senate 21st District. LaSata says having “the support of these amazing community leaders is a tremendous early boost to my campaign.” She’s running to replace state Senator John Proos in the Michigan Senate after less than one term representing the 79th District in the Michigan House. Also running for the Republican nomination for that Senate seat is state Representative Dave Pagel of Berrien Springs.. ...Read Full Story

Invasive Shrimp Found In Lake Superior

From the Associated Press — A new invasive species has turned up in Lake Superior, the bloody red shrimp. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says researchers found a single specimen of the tiny shrimp in the Duluth-Superior harbor last summer. There are now documented findings of bloody red shrimp in all of the Great Lakes. They were first found in Lake Ontario and Lake Michigan in 2006. Bloody red shrimp are native to Eastern Europe. Scientists say they may have reached Lake Superior in a ship’s ballast water. Jeremy Bates of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says there’s no indication yet that they’ve become established in Lake Superior. Doug Jensen of the Sea Grant program at the University of Minnesota Duluth says it’s not clear yet how they’ll influence Great Lakes ecosystems.. ...Read Full Story