Local News Archives

Bill Aims To Connect Patients With Mental Health Treatment

The Michigan House this week approved a package of five bills intended to improve mental health treatment in the state, and one of them was from state Representative Mary Whiteford of Casco Township to create a psychiatric bed registry. The system would be used by healthcare professionals to access for real-time information about the availability of in-patient beds. Whiteford says her bill came out of the Michigan House mental health task force which met around the state last year.. ...Read Full Story

Animal Control Taking Care Of Pets From Flood Areas

Berrien County Animal Control has been busy the last couple of weeks due to the flooding. It’s been Animal Control’s job to round up pets in evacuated areas and then hold on to them until their owners can reconnect. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us any pet owners ready to pick up Fido or Bowser can contact animal control. For now, Berrien County Animal Control is providing the displaced flood victims with Starter Pet Packs. For dogs, they include food, dishes, a collar, and a leash. For cats, they include a litterbox, litter, cat food, bowls, a collar, and a carrier if needed. Also, at this time, Berrien County Animal Control needs donations of pet items. They include things like dishes, blankets, paper towels, kitty litter and dish soap. Anything you can give will be appreciated. You can reach Berrien County Animal Control at (269) 927-5648.. ...Read Full Story

Officials Give Flood Recovery Update

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department’s initial estimate for flood damages is about $3.5 million, but the number will go up as some roads in Royalton Township still can’t be accessed. Several agencies responding to floods gave the public an update Thursday. Anthony Meyaard with the Berrien County Equalization Department gave some numbers.. ...Read Full Story

State House Approves Broadband Expansion Bill

The Michigan House has approved a bill from state Representative Beth Griffin intended to expand access to broadband internet in rural areas. The Mattawan Republican tells WSJM News her plan, approved Wednesday, would put a cap on fees that can be charged by road commissions for right-of-way access for broadband companies.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Promotes OK2Say Tip Line

State Senator John Proos is putting the word out to young people in southwest Michigan about the Michigan Attorney General’s OK2Say tip line. Proos tells WSJM News it’s an anonymous way someone can report a potentially-dangerous situation in their school. He notes OK2Say is especially relevant right now given all of the talk about school shootings.. ...Read Full Story

Volunteers Sought For Berrien Springs Cleanup

Residents of a mobile home community in Berrien Springs evacuated last week due to flooding will get some help cleaning up their properties this weekend. Volunteers will descend on the River Springs Estates mobile home community Saturday and Sunday. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us folks who want to help out are welcome to come down to the Berrien Springs water treatment plant those two days after registering in advance. People who show up will be provided with gloves and protective masks and also some safety training prior to the cleanups. Lunch will be taken care of by the Salvation Army. Everyone who volunteers needs to register in advance at the United Way of Southwest Michigan’s website. You can register right here. The cleanup events will be Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Remember — you have to register in advance at the website of the United Way of Southwest Michigan. Click the above link if you are interested.. ...Read Full Story

Humane Society Preparing To Move To New Facility

It’s almost moving day for the Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan. Director Jill Svoboda tells WSJM News the new shelter in Royalton Township is pretty much ready, and they’re just waiting for a green light from the township to move in, which could come in a few weeks. She tells us the new facility was very much needed.. ...Read Full Story

Land Bank Receives Bids For Vacant Industrial Property

Three bids have come into the Berrien County Land Bank for the vacant Alreco Metals property in Benton Harbor. Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells WSJM News two of the three met the county’s requirements for consideration. However, both of those two involved using the vacant industrial property for medical marijuana production. Witkowski says the land bank won’t sell the property to either of them if the city of Benton Harbor has not signed off on the possible use.. ...Read Full Story

MI House Advances Mental Health Bills

From the Associated Press — Michigan lawmakers have approved legislation that would upgrade mental health resources in hospitals and schools as part of a slew of reform bills shuffling through the state House. One bill passed Wednesday in Lansing would create an electronic database for the state’s inpatient psychiatric bed registry. Representatives voted 106-3 for the measure which aims to streamline hospital placement and emergency room wait times for psychiatric patients. Another bill requiring all public schools in Michigan to adopt a mental health first-aid course for teachers also cleared the House by a 107-2 vote. The legislation creates an optional course on recognizing and responding to mental illness symptoms as part of training for teachers. Three bills that enact time limits on psychological evaluations for court defendants and potential prison parolees also passed.. ...Read Full Story