Local News Archives

Governor Signs Bill Delaying Increase In Motorcycle Fees

From the Associated Press — Rick Snyder has signed legislation delaying increases in registration fees and safety training fees for motorcyclists. The hikes were scheduled to start taking effect two months ago. But now some will begin next month, others later in 2018 and some in 2019 under the law enacted Thursday. The annual registration fee will rise to $25, a $2 increase. The initial endorsement fees will increase to $16, from $13.50, and renewals will gradually rise to $9 from $5. The additional registration fee revenue will go toward an existing motorcycle safety education program, while some of the endorsement fee revenue will fund a new program promoting motorcycle awareness. Michigan last year increased penalties for operating a motorcycle without the proper safety endorsement.. ...Read Full Story

Cook Plant Unit 2 About To Mark A Milestone

Unit 2 at the Cook nuclear power plant will soon begin its second life. On Sunday, the Unit 2 reactor will begin operating beyond its initial 40 year license period under the renewed license granted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2005. Cook plant spokesperson Bill Schalk spoke with WSJM News about the milestone.. ...Read Full Story

Bridgman Superintendent Receives Positive Evaluation

Bridgman Public Schools Superintendent Shane Peters has received a positive performance evaluation from the board of education. The board issued a statement this week, telling us Bridgman Public Schools continues to benefit from the leadership of Peters. It cites the opening of a new STEM lab this year as one achievement. The board also says Peters is active in the community and has positive relationships with the public. It goes on to laud Peters for the growing number of advanced placement and direct credit classes in the district as well as the district’s above-average graduation rate. The Bridgman Public Schools Board of Education this week voted unanimously to extend the contract of Superintendent Shane Peters through June of 2020.. ...Read Full Story

New Map Looks At County By County Poverty Data

A new map has been created to provide a snapshot of poverty around Michigan. Developed by the University of Michigan and Poverty Solutions, the map identifies each county’s median income, population, percentage of the population living below the poverty line, and the percentage of the population classified as ALICE, or Asset Limited, Income Constrained, but Employed. Poverty Solutions Director Luke Shaefer spoke with Michigan News Network about the project.. ...Read Full Story

Trees For Troops Marks Milestone Year

The Trees for the Troops program has reached a milestone. This year, it delivered its 200,000th Christmas tree to a military family. Waumhoff Farms in Gobles is a drop-off point for Trees for the Troops each year, taking in donated Christmas trees from growers all over Michigan and then shipping them out with the help of volunteers. Waumhoff Farms tells us it’s been taking part since 2006. This year, Trees for Troops nationally shipped out trees to bases in Afghanistan in addition to bases in the United States. More than 17,000 Christmas trees were donated to military personnel as a result of the program this year.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Hopes To Keep US Tax Overhaul From Hiking State Taxes

From the Associated Press — Rick Snyder says the federal tax overhaul will cause residents’ state income taxes to increase, and he’s committed to ensuring taxpayers ultimately don’t have to pay more. The tax legislation, which President Donald Trump will sign, will eliminate the $4,050 personal exemption. That’s an issue because Michigan lets people claim a $4,000 exemption for each exemption taken on their federal return. Snyder told The Associated Press Thursday that the state shouldn’t benefit from the extra tax revenue and “should figure out how to give that back to the hard-working taxpayers.” He plans to propose recommendations at the next revenue-estimating meeting in mid-January. The Republican governor says he opposes the federal tax overhaul because it doesn’t meet his benchmarks of being “simple, fair and efficient in a fiscally responsible way.”. ...Read Full Story

Proos Backs Plan To Restore Some Charitable Donation Tax Credits

State Senator John Proos is among the supporters of legislation that would restore a limited state income tax credit for donating cash and food to food banks and community foundations. Proos says under the bill, taxpayers next year will be able to claim an income tax credit for up to 50% of the amount of charitable contributions they make to a homeless shelter, a food kitchen, a food bank, or any other entity in Michigan whose purpose is to provide overnight accommodation, food, or meals to those in need. The income tax credit would be limited to $100 for individuals and $200 for joint tax filers. Proos tells us the bill would help community organizations that “provide food and support to struggling families throughout the year.” The plan now heads to the state House.. ...Read Full Story

Advocacy Group Calls For Congress To Replace DACA

The Michigan League for Public Policy is calling on Congress to get serious about approving a legislative replacement for the DACA program. It was in September that President Trump announced his administration will phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals within six months. The Michigan League for Public Policy’s Victoria Crouse tells WSJM News that leaves 5,400 young people in Michigan very vulnerable heading into the new year.. ...Read Full Story