Local News Archives

Peters Slams Trump Tweets

President Donald Trump entered  into a rift with a group of liberal Democratic congresswomen, including Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, over the weekend. In tweets Sunday, Trump portrays the lawmakers as foreign-born troublemakers who should go back to their home countries. U.S. Senator Gary Peters calls the tweets terrible.. ...Read Full Story

South Bend International Airport Celebrating New Inspection Station Today

The South Bend International Airport will celebrate the opening of a new federal inspection station on Tuesday. Officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, and from St. Joseph County, Indiana are slated to be on hand for the grand opening. The celebration will also include a special announcement and the first arriving aircraft. The South Bend International Airport is keeping its lips sealed on what the opening of the new inspections station will mean for the facility until after federal officials come to town. We’ll know more this afternoon.. ...Read Full Story

Town Hall On Roads, Auto Insurance This Week

State Representative Pauline Wendzel is holding a town hall this week on road funding and auto insurance reform. Wendzel tells WSJM News those are the two topics she and other state lawmakers hear about the most. On hand for Thursday’s meeting will be lawmakers who worked on the recently-passed auto insurance reform bill.. ...Read Full Story

PETA: Billboard Near Site Of Livestock Truck Crash Now Up

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says it has put up its billboard along I-94 near Benton Harbor to memorialize about ten pigs that died in the crash of a livestock truck on June 28. The crash happened at Napier Avenue and I-94, and PETA’s billboard nearby shows a pig with the words “I’m ME, Not MEAT. See the Individual. Go Vegan.” PETA’s Sadie Buckles tells WSJM News the message is that animals like pigs should not be packed into trucks to be hauled off to death factories.. ...Read Full Story

Rotary Taking Grant Applications

The St. Joseph-Benton Harbor Rotary Club Foundation is now taking applications for its 2019 grants. The Rotary Foundation says a total of $60,000 will be awarded this year, with all recipients to be determined by its board of directors. To be eligible, a grant request must be for a minimum of $5,000 and must be submitted by a non-profit or government unit in the St. Joseph and Benton Harbor area. The Rotary is looking for programs that provide better opportunities for youth and special needs populations. Since 1980, the St. Joseph-Benton Harbor Rotary Club Foundation has awarded more than $891,000 in grants in the area. 2018 recipients included Kinexus, which got $7,500 to make improvements to the YouthBuild training facility, the Berrien County Council for children, which received $10,000 to purchase new sound equipment at the Children’s Advocacy Center, and the Boys and Girls Club of Benton Harbor, which was awarded $10,000 for a social-emotional program. The grant application deadline is September 20.
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Mayoral Candidates Take Part In Debate

The six candidates running for mayor of Benton Harbor have squared off for the first time in a debate. Speaking at the WSJM studio Monday, a topic of discussion was economic development and making sure investment in the community is also investment in its people. Candidate Jamie Davis said, too often, there will be developments that don’t result in benefits for residents.. ...Read Full Story

Upton “Appalled” By Trump Tweets

Congressman Fred Upton is appalled by President Trump’s weekend tweets about liberal Democratic congresswomen. On Sunday, Trump went after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. The president tweeted, “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Congressman Upton said on Monday there’s no excuse for those comments, and inflammatory rhetoric not right or helpful. Upton added “The President’s tweets were flat out wrong and uncalled for, and I would encourage my colleagues from both parties to stop talking so much and start governing more.”. ...Read Full Story

Study: MI Prison Workers Facing A Mental Health Crisis

From the Associated Press — A study says Michigan prison workers are facing a “mental health crisis,” including a higher likelihood of symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal thoughts and depression. The report was released Monday by the state Department of Corrections, which is trying to reduce employee suicides and to improve staff wellness. The $50,000 study is the result of a survey that was filled out by about 3,500 employees. Nearly one in four of all workers are estimated to meet the criteria for PTSD.
One in six meet the criteria for major depressive disorder. More than 100 employees are currently and actively planning to kill themselves, according to the report. Corrections director Heidi Washington says the department is working to establish a culture of wellness that seeks to reduce employee stress.. ...Read Full Story

MI Reps Discuss Affordable Care Act Lawsuit

If you have a pre-existing health condition, listen up. A Texas federal lawsuit by Republican controlled states and the Trump administration, if successful, would destroy the Affordable Care Act and its ban on letting insurance companies discriminate against you if you have a pre-existing condition. Michigan State Representative Abdullah Hammoud spoke with WSJM News.. ...Read Full Story

Schools Work To Expand Agriculture Education Opportunities

From the Associated Press — Kellogg Community College and Michigan State University are working together to expand agriculture education opportunities for students. The schools have expanded their Agricultural Operations Program to offer students a new Kellogg associate’s degree program and two certificates from Michigan State. Studies in the programs cover a variety of areas, including farm, water, weed and resource management; soil science and plant pathology; regulation, safety and compliance issues; and technology. Each program path requires a 480-hour internship that’s completed during the summer semester, where the students gain hands-on experience in the field or in agribusiness. Kellogg launched its original Agricultural Operations Program with
Michigan State in 2017 The application deadline for enrolling in one of Kellogg’s Agricultural Science programs is August 9. Details including applications are posted online .. ...Read Full Story

Illinois Mulling Options To Asian Carp Issue In Lake Decatur

From the Associated Press — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is considering options to deal with thousands of invasive Asian carp that are clustering near the base of the Lake Decatur dam. The Herald and Review reports that Illinois Raptor Center official Jacques Nuzzo says he contacted the state department after taking drone footage that revealed the fish were gathered there. Scientists say the invasive species can cause serious damage in lakes and rivers by out-competing native fish populations for food and space. The Army Corps of Engineers approved a $778M plan in May to block Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes. As of late June, a survey found no Asian carp in Chicago-area waterways. U.S. states and Canadian provinces have endorsed a plan to build up defenses to protect the Great Lakes.. ...Read Full Story

Cardboard Boat Races This Week

The United Way of Southwest Michigan is planning for the next Whirlpool Rock the Boat cardboard boat races this week. Spokesperson Jennifer Tomshack tells WSJM News the event set for Thursday features teams racing boats made of cardboard in the St. Joseph River at The Inn at Harbor Shores.. ...Read Full Story

State Pushes For Broadband Expansion

Grants to help roll out high-speed internet to underserved areas of Michigan are now available through the Connecting Michigan Communities program. The office of Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued word this week applications are being taken for the program by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Governor Whitmer says “Connecting all Michigan communities with broadband service is about leveling the playing field for every child and small business in the state.” While most parts of Michigan do have broadband access, there are still many rural areas where options are limited. The state is offering $20 million in grants to internet service providers that are willing to expand access in underserved locations. Providers can apply for up to $5 million per grant and can apply for multiple projects. The deadline is August 30. You can find out more right here.. ...Read Full Story

Website Examines Creek Contamination

The Southwest Michigan Planning Commission has launched a new website to draw attention to the issue of contamination in creeks throughout the southern half of Berrien County. Senior planner Marcy Hamilton tells WSJM News BetterBeachesSWMI.org is intended to raise awareness of how residents pollute creeks that go into Lake Michigan. Hamilton says a study of creeks from Stevensville to the state line found problems.. ...Read Full Story

WSJM News Special On Benton Harbor – Tap For Details

All six candidates in the race for mayor of Benton Harbor will be in the studios of News/Talk 94.9 WSJM on Monday for a town hall forum. We will broadcast it live from 7 to 8 a.m., and will also be simulcasting it with a Facebook Live video along with posting the event as a podcast. Scheduled to take part will be Mayor Marcus Muhammad, city commissioners Juanita Henry, CF Jones, and Ron Singleton along with newcomers Jamie Davis and Marjorie Carter.. ...Read Full Story

Effort Underway To Purchase Harbor House

The Avenue Family Network in Benton Harbor is raising money to purchase the building that houses its Harbor House Adult Day Services program. Avenue’s Joseph Goepfrich tells WSJM News Harbor House is a place for individuals who can’t stay home along during the daytime. They include those with dementia.. ...Read Full Story

Drowning In South Haven

A 13-year-old Ann Arbor boy is dead after drowning in Lake Michigan off South Haven on Saturday. The South Haven Police Department says its officers and South Haven Area Emergency Services were dispatched to South Beach just before 12:30 p.m. after several 911 calls about people struggling in the water. Responders arrived to learn a paddleboater had rescued one adult, but a child was still in the water. About 20 minutes later, the child was found on the shore about 100 yards south of the South Pier. CPR was performed on the boy as he was taken to Brandon Hospital South Haven, but the rescue effort was not successful and the boy was pronounced dead. The victim and his family had been visiting the area from Ann Arbor. Witnesses told police the family had been swimming, drifted away from the shore, and became exhausted. The National Weather Service forecast for the day began with a green flag advisory for all South Haven beaches, and it was updated to yellow around 11:10 a.m. as the wind changed.. ...Read Full Story

Municipal Support Makes River Trail Possible

The Southwest Michigan Planning Commission is highlighting the growing popularity of the Paw Paw River Water Trail. Senior planner Marcy Hamilton tells WSJM News the trail goes from Paw Paw to Benton Harbor for about 60 miles for canoers and kayakers. 17 municipal, civic, and tribal organizations contribute to its maintenance.. ...Read Full Story

Krasl Art Fair Underway This Weekend

Taking place this weekend is the 58th annual Krasl Art Fair along the bluff in St. Joseph. Krasl Art Center Marketing Manager Matthew Bizoe tells WSJM News everything started Friday with the block party. Saturday brings the start of the art fair at 10 a.m. Bizoe says around 200 artists from across the continent will be on hand selling all kinds of arts and crafts.. ...Read Full Story

Drain Commissioner Tackles Coloma Area Flooding

Berrien County Drain Commissioner Christopher Quattrin is hoping to help reduce a flooding problem in Coloma Township by extending an existing drain in the area. He addressed the Coloma Township Board this week, saying he would like to bolster the Kelly Drain, a creek near Rosemary Drive and Pine Court where the issue has been growing. Quattrin told WSJM News more.. ...Read Full Story

United Way Announces Live United Scholarships

The United Way of Southwest Michigan has announced the recipients of its Live United Scholarships for 2019. The United Way picks one student from Berrien County and one student from Cass County for the honors, which are given to students who demonstrate a commitment to volunteerism. Berrien County’s winner is Carleigh Dahn, a home-schooled senior who will be attending Northern Michigan University. The United Way says she has raised $15,000 for the Coloma Amicus Dog Park, organized food drives, made cancer clinic blankets, and helped with United Way’s School Supply Spectacular. The Cass County winner is Bailey Anson, a senior from Edwardsburg High School who will be attending Cornerstone University. She has organized backpacks of food for children, set up awareness events for Students Against Destructive Decisions, and cleaned up trash along highways. The two scholarship recipients each get $1,000.. ...Read Full Story

Presentation Next Week On WWII POWs In Berrien County

The History Center at Courthouse Square in Berrien Springs will welcome a guest speaker on Thursday for a presentation on World War II POWs who were brought to Michigan to do agriculture work. Dr. Gregory Sumner is a history professor at the University of Detroit-Mercy. He tells WSJM News around 400,000 POWs were sent to the U.S. during the war.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien Community Foundation Announces Scholarship Recipients

The Berrien Community Foundation has announced 92 student scholarships for 2019, amounting to more than $168,000. The scholarships are going to Berrien County students from all walks of life. The recipients were picked based on their academic performance, community service, talents in the arts, or particular career plans. The Berrien Community Foundation’s Lisa Cripps Downey says there were two new scholarships this year. They are the F.A. Mason Penwell Nursing Scholarship, and the Stoub Family Scholarship for Working Students. Downey urges all 92 recipients to stay connected and continue to work with the Berrien Community Foundation. BCF volunteer committees reviewed more than 230 applications to select the 92 scholarship recipients. Applications for next year will be available at high school counseling offices and on the BCF’s web site in December.. ...Read Full Story

Dowagiac Summer In The City Celebration Next Week

The city of Dowagiac is gearing up for its annual Summer in the City celebration this month. Set for July 19 and 20, there will be a total of 50 hours of activities next weekend. They include rides, lawn tractor races, music, dances, and sporting events. Summer in the City will also feature the Taste of Dowagiac and a craft beer tasting. This is the 34th year for Summer in the City. You can find the full schedule right here.. ...Read Full Story