Local News Archives

Pokagon Fund Working With Church Group To Improve Food Assistance

The Pokagon Fund has teamed up with a Harbert church to conduct a study on food insecurity in Harbor Country and how it can be addressed. The fund tells us documenting the basic food needs of local residents has been a key project for the past two months of the Neighbor by Neighbor program, which is run by the Episcopal Church of the Mediator in Harbert. The Pokagon Fund has provided $40,000 for Neighbor by Neighbor. The program conducted surveys at recent mobile food pantries to gauge the need for food assistance locally. The Pokagon Fund tells us the surveys found there’s a need for mobile food pantry visits more than just twice a month. It also found people need more protein and access to fresh vegetables. Moving into the next year, Neighbor by Neighbor will work with the members of a grassroots coalition to better plan food programs. The Pokagon Fund tells us they’re still learning how to serve those in need.. ...Read Full Story

Grand Rapids City Staff Won’t Ask About Immigration Status

From the Associated Press — A western Michigan city has adopted a new policy that says city officials and staff won’t ask residents about their immigration status. The Grand Rapids Press reports that the Grand Rapids City Commission adopted the policy Tuesday. The ordinance was drafted over the last year by the Community Relations Commission, the city’s diversity and inclusion manager, local police and the city’s lawyers. The policy doesn’t bar police officers from asking about immigration status. But the policy says police must follow the Grand Rapids Police Department’s Impartial Policing Policy, which prohibits racial profiling but doesn’t explicitly stop officers from inquiring about immigration status. Police Chief David Rahinsky says the department doesn’t ask about immigration status. But he says the policy doesn’t stop Kent County, the Michigan State Police or federal authorities from enforcing federal immigration laws.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Unemployment Rate Up Slightly

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s unemployment rate rose by two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.5 percent in October as the number of people in the state’s workforce saw a slight decline of about 2,000. Figures released Wednesday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget show Michigan’s October unemployment rate was four-tenths of a percentage point above the national rate but a half percentage point below the state’s October 2016 rate of 5.0 percent. Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives Director Jason Palmer says that 10 months into 2017 the state’s jobless rate has declined moderately from 2016, while payroll job gains remain steady. The department says October’s jobless rate increase was the third consecutive monthly rate gain since Michigan’s unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent in July.. ...Read Full Story

Expert Offers Winter Furnace Maintenance Tips

Now that the cold weather is here, you might notice your furnace running for long periods of time without your home warming up much. There are simple things you can do to make sure your furnace is running efficiently. Jack Heron, owner of Haven Heating and Air Conditioning in South Haven, told WSJM News some home heating tips.. ...Read Full Story

MI Home Sales Up In October

Last month, home sales were up in Michigan about 4% on average. One thing that hasn’t changed, according to Keller Williams realtor Jeff Glover, is the number of homes on the market. He spoke with Michigan News Network about the market.. ...Read Full Story

Group Slams Nestle Plans To Expand Bottling In Michigan

As a judge and state officials prepare to make decisions that will impact whether the world’s largest water bottler can increase pumping out of its well near Evart, Michigan, one group is calling on the state to immediately bottle up the whole operation. Nestle has asked the state for a permit to increase its pumping at the White Pine Springs well to 400 gallons per minute, and will face off against Osceola Township in court on Wednesday over construction of the booster station needed to do so. Peggy Case with Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation says her group has proof the current pumping rate is violating Michigan law.. ...Read Full Story

Hagar Township Business Expanding

A Hagar Township business has announced an expansion project. According to Cornerstone Alliance, Monte Package Company, a manufacturer and supplier of packaging for the produce industry, is adding 3,600 square feet to its shipping and receiving area in its warehouse facility in Riverside. The total investment for the expansion project is $140,000, and two new jobs will be created. Cornerstone tells us Hagar Township has been supportive of the expansion plan, granting it a tax abatement this week. Monte Packaging says remaining in the area was always important to the company. The business has operated in Berrien County for 92 years.. ...Read Full Story