Local News Archives

Grand Valley State University Fraternity Banned

From the Associated Press — Grand Valley State University in Michigan has banned a fraternity chapter from campus for at least five years after an investigation into hazing and alcohol use. The school in Allendale says an investigation after the 21-year-old Sigma Phi Epsilon member was treated after consuming too much alcohol revealed student code violations for hazing and consumption of alcohol. The Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter’s appeal was denied last week. Fraternity member Jacob Gaft tells WOOD-TV that the man was “drinking under his own conditions” when he slipped and fell. Gaft says the man had a concussion, but other students shouldn’t be punished after fraternity members helped him. Sigma Phi Epsilon’s national organization says in a statement the “chapter’s behavior…illustrates that the membership is not committed to living by our values.”. ...Read Full Story

Pokagon Tribal Police Opening South Bend Substation

The Pokagon Tribal Police Department is expanding to South Bend as the Pokagon band prepares to open its new casino there. On Monday, tribal police will hold the grand opening of the new Pokagon Band Tribal Police Substation on Prairie Avenue in South Bend. The substation is located on tribal land which is also the site of the Pokagon Tribal Village and Four Winds Casino South Bend. On hand for the grand opening of the new police substation will be representatives of the Pokagon Band who will highlight the partnerships being formed between local law enforcement and the tribal police. The South Bend Four Winds Casino is expected to open early next year.. ...Read Full Story

SJ Luminary Festival Friday

Downtown St. Joseph will be a sight to see this Friday as the 23rd annual Luminaries Festival takes place. St. Joseph Today’s Amy Zapal tells WSJM News the festival is a way to light up the downtown, everyone a chance to take advantage of special sales, and celebrate the coming of the holidays. . ...Read Full Story

Van Buren County Adoption Day Tuesday

With more than 2,600 children in Michigan waiting to be adopted, the Van Buren County Circuit Court’s Family Division next week will celebrate those who have navigated the process. It’s national Adoption Day, with the court’s Veronica Stillson telling WSJM NEws special guests will be on hand, along with some choirs. She says it’s a joyous affair.. ...Read Full Story

Countryside Academy Gets Grant For Summer Reading Program

Countryside Academy in Benton Harbor will take part in a new kind of summer reading program this year thanks to an $8,000 grant the school has received. Administrator Sarah Brookshire tells WSJM News kids in kindergarten through grade three will be part of the Kids Read Now program. It sends them educational books throughout the summer. It could help reduce summer brain drain.. ...Read Full Story

Pokagon Fund Working With Church Group To Improve Food Assistance

The Pokagon Fund has teamed up with a Harbert church to conduct a study on food insecurity in Harbor Country and how it can be addressed. The fund tells us documenting the basic food needs of local residents has been a key project for the past two months of the Neighbor by Neighbor program, which is run by the Episcopal Church of the Mediator in Harbert. The Pokagon Fund has provided $40,000 for Neighbor by Neighbor. The program conducted surveys at recent mobile food pantries to gauge the need for food assistance locally. The Pokagon Fund tells us the surveys found there’s a need for mobile food pantry visits more than just twice a month. It also found people need more protein and access to fresh vegetables. Moving into the next year, Neighbor by Neighbor will work with the members of a grassroots coalition to better plan food programs. The Pokagon Fund tells us they’re still learning how to serve those in need.. ...Read Full Story

Grand Rapids City Staff Won’t Ask About Immigration Status

From the Associated Press — A western Michigan city has adopted a new policy that says city officials and staff won’t ask residents about their immigration status. The Grand Rapids Press reports that the Grand Rapids City Commission adopted the policy Tuesday. The ordinance was drafted over the last year by the Community Relations Commission, the city’s diversity and inclusion manager, local police and the city’s lawyers. The policy doesn’t bar police officers from asking about immigration status. But the policy says police must follow the Grand Rapids Police Department’s Impartial Policing Policy, which prohibits racial profiling but doesn’t explicitly stop officers from inquiring about immigration status. Police Chief David Rahinsky says the department doesn’t ask about immigration status. But he says the policy doesn’t stop Kent County, the Michigan State Police or federal authorities from enforcing federal immigration laws.. ...Read Full Story