Local News Archives

Police Investigate Threat Found At Countryside Academy

Classes were cancelled for Thursday at the Countryside Academy in Benton Township due to a threat found in a men’s room on Wednesday. The Benton Township Police Department tells WSJM News officers were called out to the high school on Meadowbrook Road shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday. That’s after a note containing threats to shoot up the school was found. Police say the note also contained racial overtones. Classes were cancelled on Thursday as a result. The Benton Township Police Department is working the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force on investigating the threat. Anyone with information on it is asked to contact Benton Township police.. ...Read Full Story

School Board Gets Update On Academic Progress

The Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education has received an update on the academic progress of district students since the partnership agreement with the state went into effect. Acting Superintendent Patricia Robinson tells WSJM News there’s been some progress on reading scores, but they’re having trouble increasing math scores. A big part of the problem is the lack of certified math teachers.. ...Read Full Story

Water Meters, Fire Truck To Be Purchased By Benton Harbor With Grants

Benton Harbor is going to get a pair of grants totaling nearly $800,000 from the Michigan Department of Treasury. The money will be used for a new fire engine and to replace water meters in the city. Treasury is awarding over $5 million to 11 cities as part of the Financially Distressed Cities, Villages and Townships Grant Program. One grant for Benton Harbor is for $490,000 for the new fire engine, with the water meter grant coming in at $309,500. All of the other grants are going to Detroit suburbs, including Ecorse, Melvindale, Hamtramck and Harper Woods. Treasury says the grant pays for specific projects, services, or strategies that are geared toward helping local governments make strides toward financial stability.. ...Read Full Story

Report Looks At Bottled Water Sales

Bottled water sales in the United States are skyrocketing, but a new report looks at what is actually being sold to those customers. In “Take Back the Tap,” Food and Water Watch researchers look at the booming business of bottled water, which surpassed soda in sales in 2016. The group finds nearly 64% of bottled water comes from municipal taps, and that it cost almost two thousand times as much as tap water and four times as much as gasoline. Patty Lovera with Food and Water Watch tells us bottled water companies target demographics through advertising, especially immigrant communities.. ...Read Full Story

House Approves Bill For Veteran Services

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s first veteran fund has been approved by lawmakers in the state House. They voted 107-1 Wednesday to create the County Veteran Service Fund, which would deploy veteran service officers to each county to assist veterans in
adjusting to civilian life. Each county’s grant would consist of a base $25,000 amount and a per-capita total based on the veteran population. The fund would be established within the Department of Treasury, and the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency would operate the program’s distribution of grants. The bill proposes a $5 million appropriation and is sponsored by the state’s Department of Military and Veteran Affairs as well as multiple state and county level veteran agencies. The bill now heads to the Senate.. ...Read Full Story

Ice Arena Closes For The Season This Weekend

You’re running out of time to go skating at the John and Dede Howard Ice Arena in St. Joseph this winter. The city of St. Joe tells us the arena will be closing for the season this Sunday. As the closing approaches, the city will be offering special pricing of half price admission — or, $2.50 — and free skate rentals starting this Friday and running through Sunday. Plus, Twisted Dog Concessions will have specials going on for those hungry skaters looking for snacks. Open skate for this weekend will take place between noon and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon and 6 p.m. Sunday. Then, another season for the John and Dede Howard Ice Arena will wrap up.. ...Read Full Story

Drivers Get Grace Period For New Tabs

The Michigan Secretary of State’s office is praising the Michigan Legislature for approving the creation of a new 30-day grace period for drivers to affix their new license plate tabs when they renew their registration each year. Governor Rick Snyder signed the grace period into law this week. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says, thanks to the new rule, if you renew your registration online or at the last minute, you don’t have to worry about getting a ticket if you haven’t received your tab yet. Drivers who renew online will receive a receipt that can be shown to police officers to prove they have renewed their vehicle registration. Additionally, most law enforcement agencies can verify electronically if the vehicle’s plate has been renewed or is expired. Johnson testified in favor of the plan last year.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Talks School Safety And Protests

As students protested school violence across the country Wednesday, the U.S. House was voting to increase security in schools. Congressman Fred Upton tells WSJM News the STOP School Violence Act had its vote, passing 407 to 10. It sets aside $75 million for school safety grants to train teachers and others. Upton says he has appreciated high school students getting involved in civics since the Parkland, Florida shootings.. ...Read Full Story