Local News Archives

State Police Offering Citizens Academy

If you’re interested in law enforcement, the Michigan State Police post in Paw Paw may have the right class for you. It’s offering a citizen’s academy set to start this month. Post Lieutenant Dale Hinz tells WSJM News, for eight weeks, troopers will teach their students all about the tools of their trade.. ...Read Full Story

Senate Approves Expanding Legal Protections For Overdose Reporting

Anyone in Michigan could report drug overdoses without fear of being prosecuted for illegal possession under legislation nearing Governor
Rick Snyder’s desk. The Senate voted 30-7 for legislation Thursday to expand a law exempting people from prosecution if they report an overdose from an illegal substance. The bills won House approval in May and could get a final vote next week.The protections would extend to people of any age for any controlled substance. A 2015 law protects people under 21 from charges when reporting an overdose or medical emergency arising from prescription drug and painkiller use.Michigan also provides immunity to minors helping someone in danger from
alcohol intoxication. One opponent says the new legislation is tantamount to “de facto” drug legalization.. ...Read Full Story

Victim In Fatal I-94 Crash Identified As Mattawan Man

The name of a man killed in a crash on I-94 near Paw Paw Wednesday has been released. Michigan State Police say 38-year-old Ryan Cramer, of Mattawan, was killed when his van crossed over from the westbound side of the highway into the eastbound lanes around 9 a.m. It hit a semi head-on. Police are still investigating why the van crossed the median. The driver of the semi, an Chicago man, was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for injuries.. ...Read Full Story

MI Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Tax Rules

Michigan would tax and regulate medical marijuana in a tiered licensing system under legislation that has cleared a big hurdle in the legislature.
The Republican-controlled Senate voted 25-12 for a bill Thursday to require a state operating license to grow, process, sell, transport or test marijuana used for medical purposes. Another bill clarifies that allowable marijuana includes non-smokable forms such as oils, food items and pills. “Provisioning centers” that sell marijuana to patients or their caregivers would pay a 3 percent tax on their gross retail income. Advocates say the measures are necessary due to confusion over Michigan’s 2008 voter-approved initiative that legalized medical marijuana. The Senate voted nearly a year after the legislation won House approval. The House could take final votes as early as next week.. ...Read Full Story

[VIDEO] Denise Bohn Golf Outing Raises Over $34,000

More than $34,000 has been raised by the first ever Denise Bohn Strong Golf Outing. The event was held on August 6 at Indian Lake Hills Golf Club in Eau Claire to raise money for the children of Midwest Family Broadcasting’s Denise Bohn, who was murdered in April. Denise’s three kids were left with no parents, and so friends, coworkers, and loved ones organized this month’s golf outing to collect money for their education. Denise’s signature “Save the TaTas” fundraiser for the Komen organization for this year became Denise Bohn Strong. Connie Bohn, Denise’s mother, says the event far exceeded her expectations. She thanked each and every volunteer and golfer who made it all possible.. ...Read Full Story

Murder Trial Begins For Man Accused Of Killing Estranged Wife

A year after her death, the estranged husband of a Grand Junction woman is now on trial for her murder. The trial of Brent Bogseth started this week in Paw Paw, and is expected to continue into next week. Kimberly Bogseth was found naked and in plastic garbage bags near her home on September 9 of last year, a week after she was reported missing. He was arrested in Chicago and extradited to Michigan for the trial. An autopsy showed she died from blunt force trauma, with a hammer believed to have been the murder weapon. Prosecutors say that hammer has never been found, but her blood was found in his car along with her cell phone.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Moves To Not Require Human In Driverless Test Cars

Michigan would no longer require that someone be inside a self-driving car while testing it on public roads under bills advancing in the Legislature. The change won unanimous Senate approval Wednesday and could reach Governor Snyder’s desk within months. The legislation is designed to keep the auto industry’s home state ahead of the curve on autonomous vehicles.. ...Read Full Story

Vigil To Remember Those Lost To Suicide

The Berrien County Suicide Prevention Coalition is hoping to bring some attention to programs in the area for those who may need help. September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in Michigan, and the coalition’s Trent Watford tells WSJM News there were 26 suicides investigated in Berrien County in 2014, and he thinks more went unrecorded.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph High School Football Gets New Scoreboard

When the St. Joe Bears take to the field this Friday for their first game at home of the season, they’ll have a brand new, state-of-the art scoreboard installed at Dickinson Stadium. The district announced Wednesday it’s been able to get the new board after the old one’s message center died last year mid-season and couldn’t be repaired. Superintendent Ann Cardon says she’s amazed by the things accomplished by the boosters and sponsors in making the new addition possible. The district thanks Auto-Owners Insurance, Insurance Management Services, the St. Joseph Improvement Association, and the Southwest Michigan Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine for their help. The Bears face Portage Northern this Friday for their first game of the year at Dickinson Stadium.. ...Read Full Story

Niles Man Charged In Kalamazoo Rape

A Niles man has been charged with first degree home invasion and first degree criminal sexual conduct and other charges in Kalamazoo after he allegedly let himself in through the unlocked door of an off-campus apartment near Western Michigan University. WMU Police claim 19-year old Stephen Casper then sexually assaulted the two women who were renting the place. Police say the crime happened at about 4 a.m. Sunday. He is being held on $35,000 bond.. ...Read Full Story

Marijuana Legalization Will Not Appear On MI November Ballot

Marijuana won’t be on Michigan’s statewide ballot in November. The state appeals court and the Michigan Supreme Court each turned down appeals Wednesday by a group trying to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. A group called the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee submitted 354,000 signatures, apparently enough to get marijuana on the ballot. But the Board of State Canvassers said more than 200,000 were collected outside a 180-day period, a decision that left the group short of enough names. In August, a judge at the Court of Claims said the state had “no clear legal duty” to count the stale signatures.. ...Read Full Story

[VIDEO] Results for Local Sailors in Tri-State Regatta

Several St. Joseph sailors are celebrating success at the Tri-State Regatta this past weekend. The weekend-long boat race started Friday in Chicago, going across Lake Michigan to St. Joseph. The second leg took racers from St. Joseph to Michigan City, and the third leg took them back to Chicago. Of the nine racers from St. Joseph, the boat IMAGINE came in ninth place in its round in the race from Chicago to St. Joseph, but won the race from St. Joseph to Michigan City. The boat Captain Blood came in eighth for its round in the first leg, and finished second in the next. Fuzzy Logic came in fourth and third in the first and second legs, respectively. None of the nine St. Joseph boats competed in the race from Michigan City to Chicago.. ...Read Full Story

One Killed In I-94 Crash Near Paw Paw

One person is dead and another injured following a crash on I-94 near Paw Paw this morning. Michigan State Police say it happened in the eastbound lanes, and led to the closure of the highway for several hours. Around 9 a.m. a westbound van crossed the median and hit a semi head-on. The driver of the van was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver of the truck was taken to Lakeview Hospital in Paw Paw. The names of the drivers have not yet been released.. ...Read Full Story

Report: Michigan University Tuition 6th-Highest In US

Michigan’s public universities collectively have the sixth-highest in-state tuition rates in the country, averaging $11,991, according to a new report. The study issued Tuesday by the Michigan League for Public Policy – a Lansing-based advocacy group for the poor – links rising tuition and student debt to decreased state higher education funding and state financial aid. It says Michigan has cut university funding by more than $262 million since 2003, a 30% drop after adjusting for inflation.. ...Read Full Story

Second New York Flight Added At SBN

A second direct flight is now available from South Bend International Airport to the New York City metro area. Airport spokeswoman Julie Curtis says the new flight on United will start today with the arrival of a flight from the Newark Liberty International Airport at 4:52 p.m.. ...Read Full Story

Senate Leader May Seek AG Opinion On Closing Detroit Schools

A top Republican lawmaker says he’s considering “all options” to challenge Governor Rick Snyder’s determination that no low-performing
Detroit public schools can be closed by the state for three years. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof said Tuesday one option is asking
Attorney General Bill Schuette for a legal opinion. Snyder’s office said last week he interprets the law creating a new, debt-free Detroit school district this summer to mean the State School Reform Office can’t close any district school until 2019. Meekhof says the law is “pretty clear” and he’s “confused” by Snyder’s analysis. Meekhof told reporters that passing clarifying legislation isn’t a “great option” because many majority Republicans “have fatigue on Detroit issues.” Attorney general opinions are legally binding on state agencies and officers unless reversed by a court.. ...Read Full Story

One Arrested For Drunk Boating In Van Buren County Monday

A reminder from police not to drink and boat. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department says an Illinois man was busted for boating over the legal limit on Labor Day in Columbia Township’s Scott Lake. Marine deputies ran into the man, who had a child in the boat with him, and while talking, they realized he’d been drinking. He was arrested on a charge of operating a vessel with a blood alcohol level greater than .08. Police remind boaters the same legal limit when driving a car also applies to boats.. ...Read Full Story