Local News Archives

Spectrum Health Lakeland Warns About Data Security Issue

Spectrum Health Lakeland is notifying another 1,000 patients of a data security issue discovered with one of its vendors. Lakeland says the vendor is OS, Incorporated, a billing services company. It has confirmed to Lakeland an unauthorized individual accessed an email account of one of its employees. That could have exposed information about some Spectrum Health Lakeland patients. Lakeland learned of the issue on March 8, and says it’s been working with its own technology experts since. The information in question includes patient names and addresses, the type of health services provided, dates, diagnosis information, and health insurance providers. Spectrum Health has arranged for free identity theft protection services through Experian for affected patients for one year, and is also recommending those patients monitor their accounts closely. It’s in the process of reaching out to the patients who may have been affected.. ...Read Full Story

Supporters Push Anti-Vaping Bills

Supporters are speaking out this week in favor of a pair of anti-vaping bills with opponents saying they don’t go far enough. Michigan Senate Bills 106 and 155 would ban the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping products to minors and impose fines of up to $2,500 on retailers who violate the law. State Representative Isaac Robinson is behind the ban, and notes the law applies to more than just liquid nicotine.. ...Read Full Story

Semi Trailer Burns Near South Haven

South Haven Area Emergency Services says no one was hurt on Wednesday when a semi that was hauling vegetables was destroyed by fire on I-196. The vehicle was bound for Grand Rapids when the fire broke out in the area of 109th Avenue in Casco Township around 11:45 a.m. The fire appeared to have started in the wheels of the trailer. The driver was able to disconnect his truck from the trailer after pulling onto the shoulder. The fire had engulfed the trailer of the truck by the time firefighters arrived, and a whole lot of produce was lost. The fire caused northbound traffic on I-196 to be snarled for several hours. Michigan State Police and MDOT assisted with traffic control.. ...Read Full Story

USDA Announces Baroda Investment

Baroda will be getting nearly a million dollars from the federal government to build a roadway through its industrial park. The U.S. Department of Agriculture loan of $983,000 is coming from the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. Village Clerk Tina Martin says they are hoping to begin construction of the road in July after the fireworks. It will connect Hills Road on the other side of the industrial park to 1st Street, and Martin says they’re hoping it will allow some heavy truck traffic to move off the main road. She adds most of the properties have been sold, and the village anticipates the others will sell once the road is complete. Baroda also received a $95,000 grant from the USDA for the work previously, and also secured another loan of over $500,000 from the USDA’s water program for the water and sewer part of the project. In all, the USDA announced $68 million in loans in 13 states and Puerto Rico this afternoon to fund 20 projects. The Village of Baroda will kick in $75,000 for the project.. ...Read Full Story

1986 Cold Case Murder Charges Dropped In Light Of New Evidence

There’s a twist in a cold case murder in southwest Michigan. The Van Buren County Prosecutor’s office has dropped all charges against Michael Leon Curry in the murder of his neighbor, Wilda Wilkinson, in her Bangor home in 1986. The charges were dismissed without prejudice, so he could be charged another time. But Chief Assistant Prosecutor Keith Robinson says DNA evidence is pointing to other suspects and the charges were dismissed based on that new information. No other suspects have been publicly identified as yet. The 59-year-old Wilkinson was strangled in her home, and Curry had confessed to killing her several times. A retired detective who worked on the case more than 30 years ago told WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids earlier this year that they always felt Curry’s confessions were bogus.. ...Read Full Story

Kalamazoo Superintendent Picked As State Superintendent

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s Board of Education has selected Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent Michael Rice to be the next state superintendent. The board voted 5-3 for Rice on Tuesday after conducting final interviews with three candidates. Once a contract is signed, he will lead the state Department of Education, starting in July and making $216,000 a year. Board members say they liked Rice’s focus on addressing the achievement gap among students and his experience as an educator in other states. Other finalists were Randy Liepa, superintendent of the Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency, and Jeanice Swift, superintendent of Ann Arbor Public Schools. Michigan has had an interim superintendent, Sheila Alles, for a year since the May 2018 death of Brian Whiston. The elected board has six Democrats and two Republicans.. ...Read Full Story

Local Elections Held Tuesday

Voters headed to the polls Tuesday to decide on some local matters. In Berrien County, St. Joseph Public Schools had a $5.8 million millage renewal on the ballot. It easily passed. In Royalton Township, voters were asked for a small millage increase for the fire department to raise $35,000 over five years and also to renew the township’s millage for fire, ambulance, and library services. They said yes to both issues.. ...Read Full Story

Police To Be Honored Next Week

Berrien County police officers will be honored next week in St. Joseph. Wednesday brings the annual Peace Officers Memorial Day Service at the Berrien County Law Enforcement Officer’s Monument along the bluff. The event is hosted by the Fraternal Order of Police Blossomland Lodge. 20 police officers who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the peace will be honored. Among them will be Berrien County Court Security Supervisor Joseph Zangaro and Berrien County Trial Court Officer Ronald Kienzle, who were killed in the line of duty at the courthouse on July 11, 2016. The memorial service will be next Wednesday, May 15, at noon.. ...Read Full Story