Local News Archives

Niles Courthouse Closed Through Monday

The Berrien County Courthouse in Niles will be closed through Monday due to flooding. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us all matters involving traffic citations, arraignments or reporting to probation offices should now report to the Berrien County Courthouse in St. Joseph until the Niles location is back open. Meanwhile, Berrien County Animal Control is helping with the collection of household pets at the River Springs Estates Mobile Home Park in Berrien Springs since it was evacuated. Anyone looking to make contact with a pet they could have lost in the evacuation should call animal control. The office in Benton Township is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The sheriff’s department also says anyone in need of shelter should call the American Red Cross. Additionally, the city of Niles is telling any residents who left their homes because of the flood to take extra caution when they go back. Electrical circuits may still be energized and other hazards can develop during your absence from the property.. ...Read Full Story

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