Local News Archives

U Of M Changes Time Policy

From the Associated Press — The University of Michigan is changing a policy that allows for classes to begin 10 minutes after their scheduled start. The university announced that the “Michigan Time” policy will be phased out on May 1. The policy was put in place in the 1930s to allow for transfer time between classes on the more than 3,200-acre (campus. Transfer time will now be shifted to the end of class periods, so classes that end on the hour will wrap up 10 minutes earlier. UM Provost Martin Philbert says officials decided to move away from Michigan Time in order to be more consistent across the system’s schools and colleges. The university says the switch will allow the campus to be more in sync with off-campus activities.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren Corrections Officer Finishes Extra Training

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department is congratulating one of its corrections officers for having completed a local corrections officer training academy held at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. The sheriff’s department tells us Rebecca Laws took part in the four week program. It covers subjects that include custody and security, defensive tactics, first aid, suicide awareness, fire safety, and communications. Van Buren County Sheriff Dan Abbott says the academy plays an important part in keeping the county jail safe for both inmates and corrections officers.. ...Read Full Story

MI House Approves Extra Road Money

From the Associated Press — The Michigan House has voted to spend $175 million on road and transportation projects as the winter thaw reveals awful potholes around the state. Governor Rick Snyder had proposed spending the money in the new budget year, which starts October 1. But lawmakers decided to act Wednesday in response to the poor condition of roads. State Representative Laura Cox, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, says, “The roads are just kind of crazy.” She says moving on the money now will help
communities prepare for the construction season. The Senate could vote next week. Eighty percent of the money would go to the state Transportation Department and county road commissions. The Detroit News says the spending formula will include local population, pavement miles and other factors.. ...Read Full Story

Red Cross Opens Flood Shelters

Two shelters are now open in Berrien County for people being driven from their homes due to the flood. The American Red Cross tells WSJM News they’ve opened shelters at Berrien Springs Middle School and at Wesley United Methodist Church in Niles. The southern part of Berrien County is really taking a hard hit from the weather this week, and the county has closed the Niles courthouse on Thursday due to the flooding. Berrien County Animal Control has helped with rescuing household pets from the River Springs Estates Mobile Home Park in Berrien Springs, which was evacuated Wednesday. Some roads have been closed, and Berrien County Road Department officials are urging people to not drive around barricades and risk damage to their vehicles, the road, or even a drowning death.. ...Read Full Story

Niles Courthouse Closed Through Monday

The Berrien County Courthouse in Niles will be closed through Monday due to flooding. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us all matters involving traffic citations, arraignments or reporting to probation offices should now report to the Berrien County Courthouse in St. Joseph until the Niles location is back open. Meanwhile, Berrien County Animal Control is helping with the collection of household pets at the River Springs Estates Mobile Home Park in Berrien Springs since it was evacuated. Anyone looking to make contact with a pet they could have lost in the evacuation should call animal control. The office in Benton Township is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The sheriff’s department also says anyone in need of shelter should call the American Red Cross. Additionally, the city of Niles is telling any residents who left their homes because of the flood to take extra caution when they go back. Electrical circuits may still be energized and other hazards can develop during your absence from the property.. ...Read Full Story

Plan Would Expand Discount On Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicle Fees

A new plan from state Senator John Proos is designed to allow more wheelchair-accessible vehicles to receive a state registration fee deduction. Proos tells us the idea applies to vehicles that have been specially-modified for wheelchair use. He says those modifications can cost quite a bit, leading to higher state registration fees. He says the new legislation could help. Proos notes there is a current registration reduction in place for wheelchair-accessible vans, but not other types of vehicles. Under Senate Bill 815, the registration fee reduction would be offered on any passenger vehicle with a permanently-installed wheelchair lift or permanently-installed hand controls whether it’s a van, truck, or anything else. The plan is now before a state Senate committee.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Talks Gun Control

While the nation debates gun control again, Congressman Fred Upton says he’s always been in favor of some common sense rules. He tells WSJM News he was calling for universal background checks back in the 90s. He also tells us the bipartisan congressional group calling itself the Problem Solvers will talk gun rules when it meets next week.. ...Read Full Story

Sheriff’s Department Talks Flooding

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department is partnering with local fire and police departments to respond to flooding throughout the area. Undersheriff Chuck Heit tells WSJM News there are some simple safety rules for drivers to follow as they encounter roads that are flooded.. ...Read Full Story