Local News Archives

BH Schools Consent Agreement Consultant Retiring

He’s been the state consent agreement consultant for Benton Harbor Area Schools since February of 2016, and now, he’s retiring. Don Weatherspoon, who is also the state’s consent agreement consultant with Pontiac Schools, steps down at the end of this month. Weatherspoon has helped the Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education stay in the state’s good graces with the district recently facing possible closure. Weatherspoon told WSJM News they’ve risen to the task.. ...Read Full Story

Police Look For Person Of Interest In Van Buren County Home Invasion

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department is looking for an 18-year-old woman in connection with a Friday morning home invasion and assault in Lawrence Township. It tells us 18-year-old Brittany Baham is known to have contacts in Hartford, Watervliet, and South Bend. She’s described as white, about 5 foot 6, and 160 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. The sheriff’s department tells us it believes she’s a person of interest while it investigates a home invasion Friday that led to the theft of a Cobra .380 semi-automatic handgun. Police believe the robbery also involved two males who they haven’t identified. Anyone with information on Baham’s location is asked to call the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department.. ...Read Full Story

Legislature Approves Update To Football Concussion Rules

From the Associated Press — Coaches and others involved in youth sports would have to complete concussion awareness training at least once every three years under legislation headed to Governor Rick Snyder for his signature. The bill cleared a final step in the Michigan Senate Tuesday. It would update 2012 concussion laws that required a concussion protocol for youth athletes and an awareness program for coaches, volunteers and others. The legislation would add a requirement that concussion training be completed once every three years, unless the state Department of Health and Human Services recommends more frequent training. The state would have to periodically review the training program. The bill would also clarify that universities and colleges do not need to secure parental waivers for students participating in intramural sports.. ...Read Full Story

Holland Murder Suspect Caught

A Holland man suspected of killing his girlfriend yesterday is in custody this morning and is expected to be charged with open murder later today. The report of the killer at large triggered a shelter in place alert at Hope College, and warnings that 56-year-old Keith Williams was armed and dangerous and driving around in a silver SUV. Around 7 p.m., he was spotted by Michigan State Police and followed until they could get other officers in the area to join them in a felony stop. Police Chief Matt Messer says he was captured after he pulled over into the parking lot of an Arby’s in Holland. Williams is suspected of stabbing his 37-year-old girlfriend to death on 14th Street near Washington Boulevard at about 1:30 p.m. Monday. Witnesses say they saw him leaving the murder scene, bloodied and with a knife. He has a long criminal history and is a registered sex offender.. ...Read Full Story

Another Official To Face Manslaughter Charge In Flint Water Crisis

A special prosecutor says he’ll add a charge of involuntary manslaughter against Michigan’s chief medical executive in a criminal investigation of the Flint water crisis. Dr. Eden Wells was in court Monday for a key hearing on other charges. But the hearing was postponed after the announcement by special prosecutor Todd Flood. Five other people have been charged with involuntary manslaughter tied to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Flint area in 2014-15. The attorney general’s office says key officials in the Snyder administration knew about a spike in Legionnaires’ but failed to tell the public until January 2016. Some experts have blamed the outbreak on Flint’s use of the Flint River. Legionnaires’ is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria that thrive in warm water.. ...Read Full Story

Alleged South Haven Trailer Park Shooter Arraigned

A Covert man says the shooting of his girlfriend last Friday was an accident. Jeffrey Howell was arraigned yesterday on a charge of assault with intent to murder. He told the judge during that proceeding he would never hurt his girlfriend, Guadalupe Hernandez. She considers their relationship over and admitted to grabbing the gun as it discharged into her midsection. The 50-year-old Howell has a criminal record and legally should not have been in possession of the weapon. Due to that, bond has been set at $1 million.. ...Read Full Story

Vietnam POW To Speak In Berrien County Next Month

A distinguished Vietnam veteran will be coming to Berrien County next month to share his experience. The Buchanan American Legion’s Larry Money tells WSJM News Captain William Robinson will speak at Michigan Lutheran High School and American Legion in Buchanan. Robinson is the longest-held enlisted American Prisoner of War in history.. ...Read Full Story

Swift And Sure Grants Announced By Michigan Supreme Court

The Swift and Sure probation program in Berrien County is receiving a grant of $240,000 from the Michigan Supreme Court. The grant was announced Monday, and it’s part of a total of $3 million going to Swift and Sure programs in 24 counties. Swift and sure is an intensive probation program designed to help repeat offenders get back on track and turn their lives around. The Michigan Supreme Court tells WSJM News 67% of Swift and Sure enrolees are unemployed when they first sign up, but 14% are unemployed by the time they complete the program. Berrien County is one of 27 Michigan counties with a Swift and Sure program. It’s one of four specialty courts in the county. The others are the Drug Treatment Court, the Drug Court, and the Domestic Violence Court.. ...Read Full Story