Local News Archives

Judge Tosses 1st Degree Murder Charge In “Baby Kate” Case

(Ludington, MI – AP) – A judge has acquitted a northern Michigan man of first-degree murder in connection with the disappearance of his 4-month-old daughter. Mason County Judge Peter Wadel issued a directed verdict Tuesday on the charge against 26-year-old Sean Phillips and said he will allow the jury to consider a second-degree murder charge that doesn’t include premeditation and allows for parole.. ...Read Full Story

Kohl’s Putting Up Help Wanted Sign For Holidays

Kohl’s is hiring this weekend at its Benton Township store in the Fairplain Plaza for seasonal help for the holidays. The chain normally stays open around the clock in the last few days before Christmas, and extra help is going to be needed. Seasonal workers will be eligible for an immediate employee discount along with having flexible schedules available. If you’re looking for such a job, the retailer is asking people to apply in advance online at KohlsCareers.com. The hiring event Saturday will be at the store on M-139 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Kohl’s officials tell WSJM News they plan to hire about 50 seasonal workers per store.. ...Read Full Story

Congressman Huizenga Says Trump Can’t Quit

There are a lot of people calling for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to exit the race over comments he made to entertainment reporter Billy Bush in 2005 and several interviews over the years with Howard Stern, but he’s vowing to stay in. Congressman Bill Huizenga of Zeeland says Trump can’t just quit at this point.. ...Read Full Story

Suspect Identified In Benton Harbor Shooting

Police are trying to find a 19-year-old man suspect accused of a shooting in Benton Harbor. A 35-year-old man was shot Monday afternoon near the corner of Pavone and Empire around 4:40. Cops are now trying to find Jarrod Fitzgerald Guidry, Jr. He also goes by Jayrod. Anyone who has information on where he is is being urged to call Benton Harbor Public Safety or Crime Stoppers. The shooting victim survived and was treated at Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Looking To Keep B&B’s Out Of Residential Zones

There will be no moratorium on bed and breakfast establishments in residential zones in St. Joseph. Instead, the city commission plans to amend its zoning laws to ban any future such businesses in R1 zones and possibly R2 residential zones as well. Commissioner Mary Goff says no one has come to her since the last discussion on the issue this fall and said they want a bed and breakfast near them.. ...Read Full Story

More Mastodon Bones Found In The Thumb

Researchers have located more bones from a prehistoric creature that used to roam around Michigan. Giant mastodons are relatives of modern elephants. A backbone was located during a dig for prehistoric bones on Saturday in Mayville, in the Thumb. University of Michigan Paleontology professor Daniel Fisher says the excavation will continue next weekend.. ...Read Full Story

Man Shot In Benton Harbor

An investigation is underway into a shooting in Benton Harbor Monday afternoon. Police say a man was shot shortly before 4 p.m. near the intersection of Empire and Pavone. His injuries are described as non-life threatening and he is expected to survive. Benton Harbor detectives are being helped by Michigan State Police and the FBI in their investigation. Benton Harbor Deputy Public Safety Director Michael Clark indicates they have not yet identified a suspect.. ...Read Full Story

AAA Michigan: Statewide Average Gas Prices Rise 10¢

AAA Michigan says gas prices statewide have risen by about 10¢ per gallon in the past week, and we have the state’s lowest average in the Benton Harbor-St. Joseph area. The Dearborn-based auto club says the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline was about $2.34 per gallon. That’s about 13¢ less than it was at the same point last year. It’s the second week in a row that the statewide average has increased.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joe City Commission To Get Update On Vacant Home

Several high-priortity items are before the St. Joseph City Commission tonight. In addition to getting an update from city officials about a long-vacant home in the 900 block of Wayne Street, they will discuss a six-month moratorium on new bed and breakfast establishments in R-1 residential zones ahead of a vote on that in two weeks. They will also vote on the recommendation to hire Sara McCallum as the city’s new Finance Director/City Clerk, with a start date of October 24. If approved, McCallum will earn $80,000 a year plus city benefits. Commissioners will receive the audit of the city’s finances for the last fiscal year from the firm of Abraham & Gaffney as well. The move to that firm follows years of Gerbel & Company handling the city’s yearly audit. Tonight’s meetings start at 6 p.m. with a special meeting followed by the regular city commission session at 7 p.m. at St. Joseph City Hall.. ...Read Full Story

Recommendations For MI Fall Color Tours

It’s almost time to start planning your fall color tour in Michigan, and the state association of road commissions has released its list of recommended routes if you want to get the most spectacular views possible. Director Denise Donohue tells WSJM News you’ll find the best roads away from the major highways.. ...Read Full Story

BH Schools Looking To Boost Security

Parents are being asked for their thoughts on how security could be improved at Benton Harbor Area Schools. That’s as the district pursues a $2 million state grant to enhance safety and help prevent gang activity. Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker tells WSJM News she can think of several things they could do for the kids with $2 million.. ...Read Full Story

MDOT Project To Mean Lane Closures In Van Buren County

The Michigan Department of Transportation is advising drivers of a road project about to get started in Van Buren County that could affect some commutes. It says there will be lane closures on M-40 between Gobles and M-43 starting Monday while some resurfacing work is done. Flag controls will be in place in the affected areas. The project will wrap up on November 1. Anyone looking for more information on MDOT projects can keep themselves up to date with its app, MIDrive, which is available for both iPhone and Android.. ...Read Full Story

Governor Signs Good Samaritan Expansion

Legislation from state Representative Al Pscholka expanding Michigan’s Good Samaritan law has been signed by Governor Rick Snyder. The new law will allow people of any age to report someone having an overdose without fear of facing criminal charges. Pscholka’s original bill, allowing that exemption only to those under 21, was inspired by the death of a teenager from Watervliet. 16-year-old Mason Mizwicki died from an overdose that none of his friends reported. Pscholka says removing the fear of getting busted will help more people witnessing an overdose call it in, thus saving lives.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Unveils Renovated Lighthouse

The public has finally had a chance to feast its eyes on the newly renovated South Haven lighthouse. The plastic tarps covering the structure were stripped away Friday morning to show off the $300,000 in work the landmark has received. South Haven Historical Society President Amanda Creeden tells WSJM News the community has a vested interest in preserving its lighthouse.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Legislation Designed To Increase Library Access

State Senator John Proos has introduced legislation that would let residents of Michigan and Indiana border communities use library services across state lines. The plan would sign Michigan on to the Interstate Library Compact, which is an agreement that makes libraries in different states available to people in other states also part of the agreement. The compact is made up of 34 states, including Indiana and Ohio. Proos says folks who live close to the Indiana border who want to use resources at some libraries across the state line should be able to do so. His bill is before the Senate Commerce Committee.. ...Read Full Story

New Format Coming To WHFB South Bend

A brand new radio station will go on the air next week in South Bend, thanks to Midwest Family Broadcasting, South Bend. LIVE 99.9 will play top 40 hits and go live at noon on Tuesday. It replaces WHFB, which was a country station. The WHFT call letters have been retired, and the new station’s call letters at WQLQ. You’ll be able to hear hit makers like Rihanna, Ariana Grande, and Drake on LIVE 99.9, along with a live weekday morning show, and an electronic dance music show on Saturday nights. Fans of the old WHFB FM are invited to turn a few notches down the dial to get their country fix on 97.9 Y Country.. ...Read Full Story

Meth Bust In Cass County

The Cass County Drug Enforcement Team has nabbed a couple of suspected meth makers following a raid on Thursday. It says officers searched a property in the 70,000 block of Conrad Road in Milton Township after getting a tip. There, police found a meth lab, meth ingredients, and hazardous waste. They also found some meth paraphernalia. Arrest warrants will be issued for the suspects, and the case brought to the Cass County Prosecutor’s office. Police ask anyone with information on drug activity to report it at the Cass County Sheriff’s Department anonymous tip line. It’s 1-800-462-9328.. ...Read Full Story

Legislation Designed To Help Stores Sell Fresh Produce

Legislation from state Representative Dave Pagel designed to increase access to fresh fruits and veggies is getting a thumbs up from American Heart Association members. The Michigan Healthy Food Access Campaign’s Ted O’Dell says the Healthy Food Assistance Act would create a pot of money for mom and pop shops to set themselves up for the sale of fresh produce.. ...Read Full Story

$6 Million In Criminal Justice Grants Announced For Michigan

Criminal justice agencies across Michigan are getting more than $6 million in federal grants to strengthen crime fighting and anti-drug efforts. The money announced Friday by Michigan State Police comes from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program at the US Justice Department. MSP’s Nancy Becket Bennett tellsWSJM News it can be used a variety of ways.. ...Read Full Story