Local News Archives

Some Water Filter Distribution Sites Canceled

The Berrien County Health Department has announced the cancellation of two of its water filter pick-up dates for the city of Benton Harbor. It tells us because of high demand and the weather, it’s had to cancel Wednesday’s distribution at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Thursday’s distribution at First Presbyterian Church. Those distribution dates will be moved to next week. A distribution site scheduled for this Friday at Benton Harbor Charter Academy is still open. To date, the Berrien County Health Department has distributed more than 1,200 free water filters to Benton Harbor City residents. That’s after elevated levels of lead were found in some homes last year. Below is the cancellation and rescheduling information. ...Read Full Story

Indiana Michigan Power Making Progress Restoring Power

Indiana Michigan Power crews are making progress getting electric service restored following the overnight ice storm. The 2 p.m. update from the utility shows just over 3,000 in Michigan without power, down from around 6,000 this morning. That includes 1,150 in both Berrien and St. Joseph counties, 700 in Cass County and 250 in Van Buren County. The majority of the outages are in Indiana, where 14,000 remain without the lights. I&M has over 350 employees and contractors assessing damage and restoring power, with more on the way.. ...Read Full Story

Weather Keeps Upton, Dozens Of Others From Congress From Dingell Funeral

Weather kept Fred Upton and as many as 90 other members of Congress from attending the funeral in Dearborn for former Congressman John Dingell. Congressman Billy Long of Missouri tweeted shortly before noon that an impromptu service was held for the 92-year-old at 30,000 feet, led by Upton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Georgia Congressman John Lewis. Long says they were delayed taking off from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland and circled Detroit Metro Airport for an hour waiting for the temperature to rise by one degree. Their delegation also included the U.S. House chaplain, who had been scheduled to speak at the funeral along with Upton. Dingell served in the U.S. House longer than anyone else in history for 59 years from 1955 until his retirement in 2014. He took over the seat winning a special election following the death of his father, and was succeeded by his wife, Debbie Dingell, keeping that seat in Congress in the Dingell family for 86 years and counting now.. ...Read Full Story

Indiana Michigan Power Crews Working To Restore Electric Service

Indiana Michigan Power crews are at work restoring service after freezing rain and sleet caused widespread issues in the area. As of 9:30 this morning, the utility was reporting over 6,000 customers without electricity in Michigan and another 18,000-plus in Indiana. There are a little over 13-hundred or so in the St. Joseph/Benton Harbor area without power.The area with the most damage is the South Bend-Elkhart region, with trees and limbs making contact with power lines being the major cause of most outages. Crews are currently assessing the damage and will likely be calling in additional help from around the area to help, but they’re urging patience because icy conditions are expected to slow the response.. ...Read Full Story

Volunteers Needed For Sexual Assault Response Team

The Sexual Assault Response Team in Berrien County is in need of advocate volunteers. The team provides around-the-clock care to sexual assault survivors, and the advocate volunteers help to give them support. To be one of the advocates, a volunteer must complete a four-day training program, and the next one begins in early March. The Sexual Assault Response Team is made up of counselors, social workers, law enforcement, doctors, nurses, the Cora Lamping Center, and the Children’s Advocacy Center. Advocate volunteers must be able to serve a minimum of 24 hours per month, and there on on-call hours. The volunteers are also given ongoing education and training. Anyone would like to learn more can check the website of the response team. You can find it right here.. ...Read Full Story

Donation Means Dental Sealants For Kids Statewide

A donation of $200,000 is being made to a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services dental program this year by the Delta Dental Foundation. The foundation is the charitable arm of the non-profit insurer, Delta Dental. Executive Director Teri Battaglieri tells WSJM News the money will be used to provide sealants to elementary and middle school students through the state Oral Health Program’s SEAL Michigan initiative.. ...Read Full Story

Possible Return Of Local Control To BH Schools

Could local control be returning to Benton Harbor Area Schools? It’s possible. State School Reform Officer Bill Pearson tells us lame duck legislation approved by state lawmakers eliminated language related to the School Reform Office. If it’s taken strictly, then the SRO, and therefore the cooperative agreement governing Benton Harbor Area Schools, would end on July 1. District CEO Robert Herrera told Benton Harbor school trustees last week they need to be prepared for the possibility of a return of local control. Pearson says he’s waiting for instructions from the Michigan Attorney General’s office on what last year’s legislative change means. Currently, under the cooperative agreement, Herrera runs Benton Harbor schools under the oversight of the state while the board of education serves an advisory role. Pearson says he’s hoping for clarification on what’s next from the AG within the next month.. ...Read Full Story