Local News Archives

Treasurer, Police Help Woman Clear Up Title Issues

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department has been able to help a Galien woman avoid losing her home as a result of possible title fraud. Deputy Kelly Laesch tells WSJM News the situation involving Joy came to her attention thanks to Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski. Witkowski had spoken to Joy at a show cause hearing this year as she was in danger of foreclosure due to unpaid property taxes. Laesch says Joy had been in a land contract with the 91-year-old owner of the property in question when Joy met the contract’s terms and paid the place off in 2016.. ...Read Full Story

Experts Offer To Help Tax Filers Apply For Credits

Filing tax returns can be tricky, and community organizations across the state are working to ensure Michigan taxpayers don’t lose out on the refunds they may be due. Ross Yednock with the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan encourages anyone seeking assistance with their income tax returns to ensure their preparer is qualified. He explains that in Michigan, like many other states, there are no requirements or regulations for paid tax preparers.. ...Read Full Story

American Woman Wanted For 2002 Murder Arrested In Rome

From the Associated Press — An American woman wanted in the 2002 death of her husband has been arrested in Rome after a multinational search. Rome police say they arrested Beverly McCallum after she checked in at a hotel. Italian hotels must register
guests in an online system linked to a police database. Police say that database flagged an Interpolarrest warrant. U.S. authorities had been seeking to extradite McCallum from Pakistan, where she was believed to be living. Robert Caraballo was beaten and suffocated in 2002. His body was dumped and burned in a blueberry patch in Grand Haven Township. His remains weren’t identified for more than a decade. Murder charges were filed last year.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Backing Recreational Harbor Bill

Congressman Fred Upton is pushing legislation to help ensure the Army Corps of Engineers gives consideration to recreational harbor maintenance projects when it conducts cost-benefit analysis procedures each year. Upton says the Safer Harbors for Our Recreational Economy Act, or SHORE ACT, would direct the Army Corps to make sure the economic benefits of recreational boating are considered as part of the project authorization process. He says the United States outdoor recreation economy generates $778 billion in economic growth each year. However, due to rising water levels in the Great Lakes, recreational boating is under threat. Upton says the SHORE Act is “needed to prioritize recreational infrastructure projects that serve an important role in the economy here in southwest Michigan and across the region.” He notes recreational harbors in New Buffalo, South Haven, and Saugatuck stand to benefit if the Army Corps puts more emphasis on protecting recreational boating. The SHORE Act was introduced by Representatives John Katko of New York and Anthony Brindisi of New York. It was originally co-sponsored by Upton.. ...Read Full Story

Indianapolis Murder Suspect Caught In Edwardsburg

An Indianapolis-area man is in the Cass County Jail, accused of an October murder inside a bar in Indianapolis. Curtis Baker was arrested in Edwardsburg at a gas station this week. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police say Baker shot and killed 37-year-old Al Hayes Jr. on October 3. IMPD says Hayes was defending a woman who was being pushed by a man inside Connor’s Pub in the Broad Ripple neighborhood of Indy. The victim was a single father of four. Baker is being held on a homicide charge.. ...Read Full Story

State Cites Problems With Police Database Under Construction

From the Associated Press — Michigan officials ordered a private contractor to halt work on a multimillion-dollar state police database because it isn’t working. The contractor, Information Builders, was told to stop by February 10 due to the “inoperable data hub.” The letter was obtained by the Detroit Free Press. Separately, the attorney general’s office disputed a $2.6 million bill from
Information Builders. There was no immediate comment from the company. The $12.2 million contract covers a database with criminal records, traffic crashes and other incidents.. ...Read Full Story

MI Senate Rejects Governor Appointment To Hunting Panel

From the Associated Press — Michigan Senate Republicans have blocked Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s appointee to a commission that regulates hunting and fishing. Democrats say Thursday’s mostly party-line vote rejecting Anna Mitterling of
Mason to the Natural Resources Commission was done because the GOP opposes a different nominee to the commission who supports gun control. It marks the first time in nearly a decade that a governor’s nominee was rejected by the Senate. Whitmer named Mitterling, a Lansing Community College adjunct biology professor, to the commission in December. Whitmer says the vote was “sexist” and “partisan.” Republicans say Mitterling did not do well in interviews.. ...Read Full Story

Secretary Of State Mobile Office To Visit Lawrence This Month

The Michigan Secretary of State’s Mobile Branch Office will return to Van Buren County later this month when it visits Lawrence. The mobile office offers most of the services available at a regular branch office. In addition to registering to vote, visitors can renew or replace their license plate, renew their driver’s license or state ID, change their address, and sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, among other things. The Mobile Branch Office will be parked outside of the Van Buren District Library’s Lawrence branch on 212 North Paw Paw Street on Monday, February 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those who stop by the mobile office can also learn about REAL IDs and how to sign up for one. Starting October 1 of this year, you will need a REAL ID to fly within the United States and enter certain federal facilities, military bases, and nuclear power plants.. ...Read Full Story

$9.5 Million Grant Announced For WMU

Congressman Fred Upton is hailing news of a federal grant for Western Michigan University. He tells WSJM News he sent a letter to the Department of Energy in November in support of a Western project called “Enabling Advanced Electrode Architecture through Printing Technique.” It’s an effort of WMU to develop a manufacturing process to produce fast charging batteries with high energy and longer life cycles. Upton says the university has been approved for nearly $9.6 million.. ...Read Full Story

BH High School Band Accepts Grant

The Benton Harbor Tiger Marching Band has received a grant from the school district’s food service provider. At Tuesday’s meeting of the Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education, Sudexo representative Peju Makinde announced the grant was for Benton Harbor High School’s participation in the Healthy High School Challenge.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Corporate Counsel James McGovern Resigns

Berrien County is in need of a new corporate counsel. James McGovern is leaving the job effective March 15 after five years as the county’s lawyer. In a statement, McGovern says he has a duty as an attorney to “advocate for my client’s interests while upholding the duty to honor my profession’s code of ethics; additionally, and most important, I have a duty to protect and uphold the public trust.” He goes on to say when circumstances arise creating conflicts between “any and all of those duties, it is not an option to sacrifice one for the benefit of another.” McGovern says that’s the reason for his resignation, though exact details on what the conflict or conflicts are is not clear as yet.. ...Read Full Story

Two Arrested In Separate Cass County Drug Busts

If you’re on parole, it’s probably a good idea to keep your home free from illegal drugs. Two men in Cass County have learned that the hard way, as the Cass County Drug Enforcement Team arrested them in Dowagiac and Lagrange Township on Wednesday after finding meth in their homes during parole checks. There was enough meth found at the Dowagiac home in the 200 block of King Street to result in charges of possession with intent to distribute and maintaining a drug house against a 37-year-old man. In the Lagrange Township arrest, a 46-yer-old man is facing a charge for possession of meth. Their names have not been released, and both are in the Cass County Jail waiting to be arraigned.. ...Read Full Story

Flooding Closes Main St. In Benton Harbor At Riverview Drive

Main Street is closed once again in Benton Harbor at Riverview Drive, right in front of Whirlpool’s Riverview campus due to flooding. The Michigan Department of Transportation’s Nick Schirripa says the problem is still the high water level of Lake Michigan and the St. Joseph River, as the water is currently higher than the road. He says that stretch of the I-94 Business Loop and Main Street will likely be closed for a few days this time around.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Hails Passage Of Fentanyl Legislation

President Trump has signed legislation intended to keep a dangerous class of opioids off the streets. Congressman Fred Upton tells WSJM News the House and Senate acted in recent weeks to re-approve a ban on fentanyl analogues. Upton says fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that’s 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.. ...Read Full Story

School Board Looks To Fill Vacancy

The Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education is taking applications from those interested in filling a vacancy. That’s after former Trustee Patricia Rush resigned late last month. Board President Joseph Taylor tells WSJM News he’s hoping to find someone who is diligent and dedicated.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan’s Alcohol Breath Test Devices Are Back Amid Probe

From the Associated Press — All 203 of Michigan’s alcohol breath testing devices are back in service amid a fraud investigation of the company that supplies the equipment. The Michigan State Police a criminal investigation last month into contract employees with Intoximeters Inc. and suspended its contract after evidence suggested the company falsified records and misrepresented the devices’
accuracy.The Detroit Free Press reports that state police had announced all Datamaster DMT devices had been sidelined until the agency could verify that each was properly calibrated. Nearly 40 devices were back online a few days later.. ...Read Full Story

Sheriff’s Department, Treasurer Help Woman Resolve Title Problems

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department has been able to help a Galien woman avoid losing her home as a result of possible title fraud. Deputy Kelly Laesch tells WSJM News the situation involving Joy came to her attention thanks to Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski. Witkowski had spoken to Joy at a show cause hearing this year as she was in danger of foreclosure due to unpaid property taxes. Laesch says Joy had been in a land contract with the 91-year-old owner of the property in question when Joy met the contract’s terms and paid the place off in 2016.. ...Read Full Story

SMC Promotes Civic Engagement Among Students

With Michigan’s presidential primary on March 10, efforts are being made to promote civic engagement at Southwestern Michigan College. SMC political science professor Mary Young-Marcks tells WSJM News SMC Votes is a campaign designed to inform students and inspire them to action. She and other SMC staff started the campaign after attending some ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge events.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Praises Great Lakes Funding

Congressman Fred Upton is glad President Trump has changed his mind about funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The president’s budget proposal for 2021 includes full funding for the program, at $320 million. In previous years, the Trump administration attempted to slash the program, which Upton tells WSJM News provides for water quality testing and helps to fight invasive species.. ...Read Full Story

Police Investigating Animal Abuse Complaint In Allegan County

Police in Allegan County are looking for a man and a woman who have been accused of throwing dogs out of their moving vehicle last week. The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department says deputies were called out to the 400 block of 124th Avenue in Wayland Township this week on the animal abuse complaint from last Thursday. They were told a Silver Honda Odyssey van had been seen driving along 124th with the people inside tossing six Chihuahuas out the window. Five of the dogs died at the scene, while one survived. That dog has been named Lucky Lu Lu. The suspects seen tossing the dogs are described as a thin white woman in her 20s or 30s with blonde hair, and a thin white male in his 20s or 30s with dark, longer hair. Both are reported as missing teeth. Anyone with information on the identities of the suspects is asked to contact the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department.. ...Read Full Story

AG, State Police, Health Officials Warn Of New Phone Scam

There’s a new telephone scam targeting Michigan residents. Attorney General Dana Nessel is joining forces with Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director Robert Gordon and Michigan State Police to get the word out about this one, in which callers pretend to be state health employees. They’re spoofing the DHHS phone numbers in Kalamazoo County to make the call look like it’s coming from an official, and they trying to get personal information that could be used to steal identities. Nessel says if you get a call like that, don’t give out any information and hang up immediately. She adds the next step is to report the call to police or her office.. ...Read Full Story

Bills Advance To Ensure Exonerees Can Sue For Compensation

From the Associated Press — Michigan lawmakers have advanced bills to ensure wrongfully convicted prisoners can sue for compensation after some exonerees’ cases were dismissed due to a conflict over how long they had to file a claim. A 2016 law awards innocent inmates $50,000 for each year spent in a state prison. It gave those who had been exonerated before the act’s effective date 18 months to sue. Several former prisoners, however, saw their claims tossed after the state Court of Claims – where such lawsuits must be brought – ruled that a separate law with a six-month window took precedence.. ...Read Full Story

State Robocall Crackdown Team Attracts More Than 1,700 Members

There has been plenty of interest in Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s new Robocall Crackdown Team. Nessel’s office says since the outfit was created in November, more than 1,700 people have signed up for it. During that time, more than 1,800 robocall complaints have been submitted. Attorney General spokesperson Ryan Jarvi tells WSJM News the team is providing the state with specific information about the calls members have been receiving.. ...Read Full Story

Report Ranks Elementary, Middle Schools

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has released its 2019 Michigan Context and Performance Report Card. It ranks elementary and middle schools around the state based on their test scores while factoring in what percentage of a school’s students are receiving free lunches. Mackinac Center Education Policy Director Ben DeGrow tells WSJM News the goal is to grade the schools on a curve so more affluent schools don’t automatically fare better.. ...Read Full Story

Niles Green Lights Repairs To Island Park Pedestrian Bridge

The floods that devastated parts of southwest Michigan two years ago are still being felt in some parts of Berrien County. The city of Niles has not yet been able to reopen Island Park because of damage done to the Island Park Pedestrian Bridge, but the hope is that will soon change. On Monday, the city council gave the green light to repair the bridge according to our newsgathering partners at WSBT-22. The fix will cost the city roughly $80,000. It’s not yet known, however, when the park will be open again.. ...Read Full Story

Secretary Of State Mobile Branch Office To Visit South Haven

The Michigan Secretary of State’s Mobile Branch Office will be in South Haven this week registering people to vote in the March 10 primary election. The office offers most of the services available at a regular branch office. Therefore, in addition to registering to vote, visitors can renew or replace their license plate, renew their driver’s license or state ID, change their address, and sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, among other things. The Mobile Branch Office will be parked outside of the South Haven Memorial Library on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Those who stop by the mobile office can also learn about REAL IDs and how to sign up for one. Starting October 1 of this year, you will need a REAL ID to fly within the United States and enter certain federal facilities, military bases, and nuclear power plants.. ...Read Full Story

State House Panel Takes Testimony From Rep. Paquette On CPL Bill

A bill from state Representative Brad Paquette aimed at making it easier for people to afford to have a concealed pistol license is pending in a House committee. The Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on Paquette’s legislation Tuesday, which would eliminate the renewal fee of $115 paid every five years for a CPL. The freshman Republican from Niles called the renewal fees “financially burdensome” on people’s right to self-defense, saying when added to the costs of the CPL training course, initial licensing fees, and the cost of a firearm, people are paying too much “for the ability to defend themselves.” The committee did not take action on the bill after the hearing. The bill is available at this link.. ...Read Full Story

Economists: Detroit Jobs, Household Income Forecast To Rise

From the Associated Press — Economists are forecasting that household income and employment for Detroit residents will increase over the next four years. Researchers with the University Economic Analysis partnership said Monday that Detroit’s unemployment rate will drop to just under 8% by 2023 and 2024. About 6,700 more residents are expected to find jobs, mostly in the service sector. Total resident income is forecast to rise 4% to 4.7% per year through 2024. University of Michigan economist Donald Grimes says Fiat Chrysler’s new $2.5 billion assembly plant and the $4.4 billion Gordie Howe International Bridge project between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, Canada, should provide new job opportunities.. ...Read Full Story

RESA Schedules Public Hearing Regarding Start Date For School Year

A public hearing will be held this month regarding a proposal to have several Berrien County school districts start their academic years before Labor Day for the next few years. Berrien RESA has submitted a request for a waiver on a state law requiring a post-Labor Day start date to the Michigan Department of Education. It’s due to where in the calendar Labor Day will fall for the next three years. RESA says if school doesn’t start until after the holiday, the school year will extend well into June. Its hearing on the matter will be on Tuesday, February 25 at 5 p.m. at the Berrien RESA Administrative Conference Center in Oronoko Township. On hand will be local superintendents who will explain why they’re seeking the later start. A representative of the Michigan Department of Education will also be available by phone.. ...Read Full Story

SMC Promoting Civic Engagement Among Students

A campaign underway at Southwestern Michigan College aims to promote civic engagement among students. SMC Votes is being run in order to get more students voting in the March 10 presidential primary. The college says it will feature a series of non-partisan events. So far, SMC welcomed some representatives of the Dowagiac City Council to come and discuss their experiences and accomplishments last week. SMC Votes will continue with a presentation called “The Art of Politics,” focused on campaign posters, buttons, and shirts, on February 18. The college also plans a primary information night on March 3. In 2019, SMC received national recognition for excellence in student voter engagement from the non-partisan ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge.. ...Read Full Story

RESA Board Selects New Superintendent

Lapeer Community Schools Superintendent Matthew Wandrie will be the next superintendent of Berrien RESA. The RESA Board of Education picked Wandrie for the job on Monday following its interviews with the final two superintendent candidates. The other candidate had been RESA Assistant Superintendent Eric Hoppstock. Prior to serving as Lapeer’s superintendent, Wandrie was the human resources director at Dearborn Public Schools. He’s also been a high school teacher, a coach, an assistant principal, an athletic director, and a principal. Contract negotiations now begin with Wandrie. RESA says he’s due to start on July 1, the same day current RESA Superintendent Kevin Ivers will retire. Wandrie currently lives in Oakland County’s Oxford.. ...Read Full Story

United Way Pop Up Giving Event This Month

Set for February 20 is the next Pop Up Giving event of the United Way of Southwest Michigan. Marketing manager Jennifer Tomshack tells WSJM News Pop Up Giving is a way for non-profits to make Shark Tank-like pitches for projects to benefit the community. This time, the non-profits will all be education-related.. ...Read Full Story

State Launches Effort To Inform Drivers About Changing Coming To Insurance Policies

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services has launched a website to explain how the state’s auto insurance system is going to change this year. Due to reforms signed into law last year, unlimited personal injury protections will no longer be required with all auto insurance policies in Michigan come July 1. DIFS Director Anita Fox tells WSJM News this opens up options for people.. ...Read Full Story

President Trump’s Proposed FY2021 Budget Fully Funds Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Michigan lawmakers are cheering President Trump’s proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget for fully funding the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $320 million. The Trump administration had tried to wipe out funding for the GLRI every year he’s been in office thus far, with bipartisan efforts from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New York winning out to keep the money available. Nearly a year ago, Michigan Congressmen Bill Huizenga, Jack Bergman, and John Moolenaar met with the President in west Michigan to inform him of the importance of the Obama-era program and the critical role it plays in strengthening the economy and ecology of the Great Lakes. Following that, Trump announced in Grand Rapids that last year’s budget was going to be updated to include full funding for the GLRI. The U.S. House last week passed a bill supported by Congressman Fred Upton to reauthorize the program through 2026, and increase the funding by $25 million a year up to $475 million.. ...Read Full Story

Mason Jar Cafe Seeking Rezoning For Expansion

A popular restaurant in the Arts District of Benton Harbor is looking to expand. The Mason Jar Cafe is requesting a zoning change for vacant lots at the corner of Fifth and Park streets in Benton Harbor from light industrial to central business in order to put up a new building. The City of Benton Harbor Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the request next month on March 3 at 5:30 pm in City Hall. The Planning Commission will consider the request the same night after the public hearing. The Mason Jar Cafe opened in 2014 and specializes in using as many local and organic ingredients as possible in the menu.. ...Read Full Story

New Director Starts At Pokagon Fund

The Pokagon Fund has announced the hiring of its new director. Dan Petersen started on Monday. The 38-year-old Petersen was previously the president of EightCAP, Incorporated, a community action agency in Ionia County. WSJM News asked him what attracted him to the Pokagon Fund.. ...Read Full Story

Register Of Deeds Planning Speaking Engagements

Berrien County Register of Deeds Lora Freehling will spend part of this year going around the county speaking at senior centers. She says her talks will focus on the role of the Register of Deeds and the importance of a properly-worded deed. Freehling says making sure your document is correct before filing it with the Register of Deeds can save a lot of time and money. She will first speak at the Buchanan Area Senior Center on March 4 at 11 a.m. After that, she’ll be at the Benton Harbor Senior Center on March 5 at 10:30, the North Berrien Senior Center on March 11 at 1, the Niles Senior Center on March 19 at 1, and the St. Joseph-Lincoln Senior Center on April 2 at 10 a.m. Anyone with questions can contact the Berrien County Register of Deeds.. ...Read Full Story

Volunteers Removing Invasive Plants From Warren Dunes State Park

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is planning several volunteer stewardship days at Warren Dunes State Park throughout February. It says you don’t need experience when it comes to helping remove invasive plants from the park. This Sunday, volunteers are invited out to Warren Dunes from 1 to 4 p.m. for a match up against invasives. There will also be volunteer days on 16 and 23. The volunteers get training beforehand, and on various days they’ll be removing common privet, Japanese barberry, non-native honeysuckle, and other misfit plants. You can find out more about the volunteer opportunities right here.. ...Read Full Story

RESA board Interviewing Superintendent CandidatesMonday

The search for a new superintendent at Berrien RESA has been narrowed down to two. The RESA Board of Education says it will interview the candidates this coming week. They are Berrien RESA Assistant Superintendent Eric Hoppstock and Lapeer Community Schools Superintendent Matthew Wandrie. The next interviews with the candidates will be on Monday, February 10 at 1:30 p.m. following the regularly-scheduled RESA Board of Education meeting. The candidates will each present a proposal outlining their first 90 days in office. The interviews will be held at the Berrien RESA Administrative Conference Center in Oronoko Township. They will be open to the public.. ...Read Full Story

Planning Commission Honored For Websites, Promotion Materials

The Southwest Michigan Planning Commission has received some recognition for a couple of websites it created to educate the public on local resources and how they can be protected. The Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals has honored the commission with a Gold Award for production of a website for BetterBeachesSWMI.org. It also gave the association a Gold Award for an animated video on the site. Southwest Michigan Planning Commission Senior Planner Marcy Hamilton tells WSJM News  BetterBeachesSWMI.org was launched to educate the public about how runoff contaminates local beaches.. ...Read Full Story

LMC Financial Aid Event Coming Up

Lake Michigan College will hold a FAFSA Assistance Night this month. LMC staff will be available to answer questions and help students apply for financial aid. Students of all ages who plan to attend college in the next academic year are encouraged to attend, even if they’re undecided or planning to attend a school other than LMC. LMC Director of Admissions Jeremy Schaeffer tells WSJM News understanding assistance options is an important part of enrolling in college.. ...Read Full Story

Dowagiac Hunters Rendezvous Today

Set for today is one of the biggest events for lovers of the outdoors held in southwest Michigan each year. It’s the 23rd annual Dowagiac Conservation Club’s Hunter’s Rendezvous at the club grounds in Dowagiac. Club Vice President Craig Lyons tells us the event is a fundraiser for the youth programs the organization runs. Everyone is welcome to come and display trophies.. ...Read Full Story

Taxpayers Urged Not To Miss Out On Credits

Filing tax returns can be tricky, and community organizations across the state are working to ensure Michigan taxpayers don’t lose out on the refunds they may be due. Ross Yednock with the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan encourages anyone seeking assistance with their income tax returns to ensure their preparer is qualified. He explains that in Michigan, like many other states, there are no requirements or regulations for paid tax preparers.. ...Read Full Story

Discovery Channel Show To Study Lake Michigan Plane Crash

A plane crash into Lake Michigan nearly 70 years ago will be the subject of the Discovery Channel’s Expedition Unknown show this coming Wednesday. Northwest Airlines Flight 2501 disappeared somewhere over the lake on June 23, 1950. The Michigan Shipwreck Research Association’s Valerie van Heest tells WSJM News material from the crash started washing up from Benton Harbor to Glenn.. ...Read Full Story

Market Van Buren Holds Local Government Summit

Market Van Buren is looking at ways local officials can work together to help address some key needs of Van Buren County. Market Van Buren Director Zachary Morris tells WSJM News that’s why the group held its annual Local Unit of Government Summit Thursday. The guest speakers included former state budget director Al Pscholka, staff from the offices of state Senator Aric Nesbitt and state Representative Beth Griffin, and a representative of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.. ...Read Full Story

Whitmer Addresses Detroit Economic Club

With her proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget now in the hands of state lawmakers, Governor Gretchen Whitmer spent some of her Friday in Detroit, speaking to the Detroit Economic Club at the TCF Center. The nearly $62 billion budget proposal increases education spending, puts more money into making sure all Michigan residents have healthcare, and spends money on road fixes.. ...Read Full Story

Secchia Memo: Political Donations At Risk Without Action On Erosion

A major figure in the Michigan Republican Party has suggested that political donations will diminish unless GOP lawmakers do something to help property owners being impacted by Lake Michigan erosion. Former Ambassador Peter Secchia sent a letter in November to Republican leaders in the Legislature noting a $6 million property loss in Ottawa County due to high lake levels. At the time, he said there seemed to be “little interest” among lawmakers and added donations would “diminish” as property values fall. He told “The Detroit News” that he isn’t threatening anybody. Secchia is a Grand Rapids businessman who has been a Republican donor and
activist for decades.. ...Read Full Story