Local News Archives

EPA Designates Benton Harbor Property For Expedited Cleanup

A couple of locations in southwest Michigan have been added to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund Sites Redevelopment Focus List. The office of Congressman Fred Upton tells us this means the EPA views those sites as having the greatest expected redevelopment and commercial potential. The sites are the Aircraft Components property in Benton Harbor and the Allied Paper-Kalamazoo River site in Kalamazoo. Upton says this is good news for Benton Harbor and Kalamazoo as it means “there is a clear priority to expedite work on these Superfund sites for the betterment of our economy and for commercial development.” The former Aircraft Components site in Benton Harbor was the location of various manufacturing activities from the 1910s to the 1950s. There is chemical contamination there. The site is located near North Shore Drive.. ...Read Full Story

MI Senate OKs Tax Cut That Goes Further Than Fix

From the Associated Press — The Michigan Senate has approved a tax cut that goes further than fixing an unintended consequence of the federal tax overhaul. A bill approved unanimously Wednesday and sent to the House would gradually raise Michigan’s personal tax exemption to $5,000, with future inflationary adjustments. That’s $700 more than what it will rise to currently, equating to an annual $30 tax cut per individual. The Senate also plans to vote next week to create a state tax credit for dependent care, such as caring for children or elderly parents. A couple with two dependents would save $490 a year. Governor Rick Snyder has proposed keeping intact and boosting Michigan’s personal tax exemption to offset unintended consequence of the federal tax cuts. But his administration has budgetary concerns with major tax cuts.. ...Read Full Story

Senate Committee Approves Resolution Opposing Sanctuary Cities

Two resolutions urging the U.S. Senate to cut funding to sanctuary cities and to pass Kate’s Law have received approval from the Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee. The resolutions from state Senators Tonya Schuitmaker and Patrick Colbeck were introduced back in September. Schuitmaker told WSJM News at the time cities that don’t cooperate with immigration laws aren’t yet a problem in Michigan, but they could be.. ...Read Full Story

Saturday Evening Party Planned At Cass County Park

Set for this Saturday is the return of a popular winter event in Cass County. Parks Director Scott Wyman tells WSJM News they’re holding the 12th annual Discover Winter Nights at Dr. T.K. Lawless Park. Discover Winter Nights is a party held at the park featuring lighted tube sledding, star gazing, cross country skiing, mountain biking, and more.. ...Read Full Story

Police Investigating Armed Home Invasion In Benton Township

The Benton Township Police Department is looking for a suspect following an armed home invasion on Wednesday afternoon. It happened in the 1300 block of Whispering Trail around 2:15. When officers arrived at the scene, they checked the home and found no suspect. The home’s resident told them he’d been sitting in the living room when the suspect came out of the basement brandishing a gun and demanding money. The victim said he was held there for “a lengthy period of time.” The victim was robbed of money, a cell phone, a tablet, and a bottle of liquor before the suspect left. Police say footprints found outside indicate the suspect ran off into the ravine, exiting on Peach Street from the woods. Police ask anyone with information on the crime to contact them.. ...Read Full Story

More Than $31,000 Going To Van Buren FIRST Robotics Teams

State grants totaling more than $31,000 are going to seven Van Buren County school districts for their FIRST Robotics teams. State Representative Beth Griffin announced the grants this week. She says they range in size from $2,500 to $6,500, and will go to school districts in South Haven, Bloomingdale, Mattawan, Paw Paw, Decatur, and Lawton. The Van Buren ISD is also getting one. Since 2014, Michigan has invested $12 million in FIRST Robotics teams. The world championships, planned for April, are expected to include nearly 60,000 students in Detroit. Griffin, a Mattawan Republican, says FIRST Robotics “teaches students life-long skills that will prepare them for jobs in the 21st century economy.”. ...Read Full Story

LMC Holds Privilege Walk For MLK Week

Students and others have had a chance to learn and think a little bit about privilege thanks to a program at Lake Michigan College this week. Wednesday brought a privilege walk at the college as part of LMC’s Martin Luther King week activities. Participants got in a line and each took steps forward or back depending on whether different life circumstances applied to them. LMC Diversity Consultant Danny Sledge told WSJM News it was all to illustrate a point.. ...Read Full Story

Police Arrest Two Following Chase In Van Buren County

Two suspects are facing charges following a chase in Van Buren and Kalamazoo counties on Tuesday morning. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department tells us deputies tried to stop a vehicle for an obstructed license plate around 3 a.m. in Bloomingdale. The vehicle took off and a chase that took deputies into Kalamazoo County ensued. It was there that police used stop sticks to blow out the front tires of the car that was being chased. It kept going, but eventually, sheriff’s deputies were able to force the car to stop and break a window to reach the driver. They had to use a taser to get him to comply. Police learned the vehicle was stolen and the driver and its passenger had warrants out. 38-year-old Shawn Michael Newnum is now facing a variety of charges including fleeing and eluding. His bond has been set at $150,000. His passenger, 34-year-old Kristine Marie Jung, was found to have some meth on her. She’s charged with possession of meth, and her bond is set at $15,000.. ...Read Full Story