Local News Archives

Michigan Panel Authorizes $3.5B In Road Bonding

A state panel has authorized borrowing $3.5 billion to roughly double spending on state road and bridge construction over five years, hours after Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the plan in her State of the State speech. The State Transportation Commission unanimously approved the Rebuilding Michigan program on Thursday after hearing details from the state Department of Transportation. Spending will rise from nearly $3.9 billion to $7.3 billion over the five-year period. It will allow for 73 new projects in high-traffic areas and enable the state to covert other planned projects to reconstruction, rather than resurfacing.. ...Read Full Story

Oakland County Man Arrested For Threatening Secretary Of State Benson

A 72-year-old Oakland County man is under arrest and facing possible terror charges for alleged threats against the Secretary of State. Michigan State Police Lieutenant Mike Shaw says there were two threats made against Democrat Jocelyn Benson. One was left on a voicemail, anther phoned in to a worker at Benson’s Lansing office. Shaw won’t reveal exactly what the threat was or what was said, but he says it was against Benson personally and over the suspect’s dislike of her politics.. ...Read Full Story

Cass County Man Gets New Sentence For Murder Committed At 16

A Niles man found guilty in 1997 of the 1993 murder of his 15-year-old girlfriend has a chance at being free within the next year. Robert Leamon was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the crime, but because he was 16 when he killed Rebecca Stowe, his sentence was tossed out earlier this month due to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. That decision found mandatory life sentences for juveniles is unconstitutional. Leamon’s new sentence was handed down Thursday of 25 to 60 years in prison, with credit for the 24 years, 3 months already served. That makes him parole-eligible this fall. If Leamon is not granted parole, he will be free in 2055.. ...Read Full Story

Buttigieg Endorsed By Major California, Nevada LGBTQ Group

(South Bend, IN – AP) – Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has won the endorsement of one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ membership organizations. Equality California and its Nevada partner organization have more than 900,000 members. Buttigieg is the only openly gay candidate in the race, but he wasn’t the only candidate in the running for the endorsement. The groups also considered backing Elizabeth Warren or Tom Steyer. But the endorsement committee believed Buttigieg had the most in-depth plans for protecting LGBTQ youth in schools and ending the HIV epidemic in the next decade.. ...Read Full Story

Group Clears First Steps For Anti-Discrimination Ballot Drive

From the Associated Press — A group organizing a Michigan ballot drive to protect LGBT people from discrimination says it will begin collecting signatures after state election officials approved the format and wording of the petition. The Fair and Equal Michigan campaign secured the optional approvals from the Board of State Canvassers Tuesday. It has until late May to gather about 340,000 valid signatures to put the initiative before the Republican-led Legislature. If lawmakers didn’t approve the bill, it would go on the November ballot. The proposal would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations.. ...Read Full Story

BH Commission Appoints Ellis Mitchell City Manager

It’s official. Ellis Mitchell has been appointed the city manager of Benton Harbor. At a meeting on Wednesday night, the Benton Harbor City Commission interviewed Mitchell. He’s been serving as interim city manager since July. During his interview, Mitchell said he moved to Benton Harbor before even getting the interim job as he values the community. He also said it’s important to delegate, evaluate staff, and train staff.. ...Read Full Story

New Resident Inspector At The Cook Plant

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has named a new resident inspector for the Cook nuclear power plant in Bridgman. The NRC says Paul Zurawski will serve in the post. He joined the NRC in 2006 as a Region III reactor engineer, and has since been a senior resident inspector at the Monticello nuclear in Minnesota, and a resident inspector at the Prairie Island plant, also in Minnesota. Prior to those NRC jobs, Zurawski worked in the private nuclear industry overseeing activities like steam generator replacements and dry fuel storage projects. Each commercial nuclear power plant in the United States has at least two resident inspectors who monitor day-to-day operations. Zurawski joins NRC resident inspector Joe Mancuso at the D.C. Cook facility. Together, they’ll will serve as the NRC’s eyes and ears, conducting inspections and monitoring projects.. ...Read Full Story

Governor Whitmer Shifts Gears On Road Funding, Will Issue State Road Bonds

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is shifting gears when it comes to her pledge to fix Michigan’s roads. During her second State of the State address on Wednesday, she announced plans to ask the State Transportation Committee to issue state road bonds. Whitmer says doing so will “save time, save money, and save lives,” and also will not come with any increase at the gas pump unlike what she proposed last year with a 45¢ per gallon hike that never came to be. Her administration says the plan is to raise $3.5 billion through the bonds so that the work on fixing Michigan’s infrastructure can begin immediately. Whitmer’s State of the State address was shorter than most in the past, something she addressed early on as she focused the remarks her plans for roads, education, jobs, and health care.. ...Read Full Story

Man With Pot Shops Around Michigan Gets Long Prison Term

From the Associated Press — A Lansing man who owned medical marijuana shops around Michigan has been sentenced to nearly 16 years in federal prison. Marijuana has been legal in Michigan to ease the effects of certain illnesses, long before recreational marijuana was approved in 2018. But federal investigators said Danny Trevino operated outside the medical marijuana law. The government says Trevino can possess small amounts of marijuana with his own medical marijuana card, but that his criminal record prevents him from being a registered caregiver who can grow pot for others. He was convicted of a marijuana conspiracy, among other crimes. Defense attorney Nicholas Bostic says Trevino “thought he was legal.”. ...Read Full Story

Volunteers Sought For Boys Health, Education Program

An effort is underway to bring a program to southwest Michigan to help boys grow up healthier and with more respect for themselves and others. Al Mussman, who used to run Zoup and Biggby Coffee in St. Joseph, tells WSJM News he’s working to open a local chapter of Let Me Run. It’s like Girls on the Run, but for boys. Mussman says the great things Girls on the Run has done for girls around the country can be done to help boys as well.. ...Read Full Story

Two Arraigned In Dowagiac Murder

Arraignment has been held for two suspects in the murder of a Dowagiac man this week. The Cass County Prosecutor’s Office says Justin Carlton and Jay Penar both face open murder charges in the death of 40-year-old Michael Kenneth Collins. The two were arrested Monday, one near Three Rivers and the other in Kalamazoo Township. Police say the two broke into a home in the 700 block of Louise Avenue on Monday, tying up three residents. Collins was shot and killed. Both defendants have been denied bond. Their next court dates are February 6 for a probable cause hearing and February 12 for preliminary examination.. ...Read Full Story

GateWay Services Names Interim Executive Director

Berrien County nonprofit agency GateWay Services is under new leadership. The organization has been working since 1972 in the area to help people with disabilities with job coaching, job development, in-home care, and more. Tami Gould has been named the agency’s interim executive director. A lifelong Berrien County resident, Gould has been the director of services for GateWay since 2010 after first joining the organization in 2008 when Hope Network ended services in the county. GateWay is located in Benton Harbor and Niles with a staff of more than 60 and provides services to more than 200 county residents.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Senate Votes To Require Study Of Highway Tolls

From the Associated Press — The Michigan Senate has voted to require that a study be done to assess the feasibility of tolls along the state’s highways. The bill was sent Tuesday to the House for future consideration. It’s among several road funding-related measures that cleared the Republican-led Senate. Democrats voted against bills they said would seek to shift funds so higher union-level wages
would not have to be paid on local road projects. Under the tolling legislation, the state Department of Transportation would have to hire an outside consulting firm to conduct a feasibility study within 18 months.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Home Destroyed In Fire

A home in Benton Harbor is a total loss after a fire on Tuesday. The Benton Harbor Department Public Safety says it was sent to 1297 Superior Street just after 3 p.m. on reports of heavy smoke pouring out of the home’s windows. Firefighters found the smoke so thick there was no visibility in the yard. A haze of smoke also spread out for blocks. Due to what public safety calls a large amount of contents in the home, it was impossible to battle the flames from inside. As a result, City Manager Ellis Mitchell authorized an emergency demolition order to allow firefighters to extinguish the blaze. Meeks Construction arrived around 5 p.m. to conduct the demolition. Tearing out the back portion of the building enabled firefighters to get at the flames. The home was ultimately razed to the ground and the fire put out. The sole occupant of the home was not there at the time, and is unhurt. However, his dog was killed in the fire. The Red Cross has been called in to help him. The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety cleared the scene after 6 p.m.. ...Read Full Story

Mall Narrowly Avoids Closure Over Water, Sewer Bills

The Orchards Mall narrowly avoided being shut down this week when its owner paid a water bill to Benton Township in the eleventh hour. Benton Township Treasurer Debbie Boothby tells WSJM News the mall as of Tuesday morning owed nearly $46,000 in water and sewer bills. It had to pay about $7,700 by the end of the day to avoid a water shutoff, which also would have resulted in the entire mall closing. The payment was made shortly before the close of business. She tells WSJM News the mall failing to pay its water and sewer bill is “nothing new for us.” Meanwhile, the possibility of tax foreclosure on the property has been eliminated for the time being. Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells us the owner paid off the last of the mall’s 2017 property taxes on Monday. That means it won’t be foreclosed come March. However, the mall still owes the county $220,000 for 2018, and $166,000 for 2019.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien School Districts Ask To Start School Before Labor Day

Berrien RESA has filed a waiver with the Michigan Department of Education to ask if school districts in the county may start their school years before Labor Day for the next few years. RESA Superintendent Kevin Ivers tells WSJM News they are not seeking a permanent change. The waiver would only be for three years. The reason has to do with when Labor Day will fall on the calendar for 2020 and 2021.. ...Read Full Story

Life Saving Awards Presented By St. Joseph Public Safety

Life Saving Award presentations by police can sometimes get emotional. That’s just what happened Monday night at the St. Joseph City Commission meeting when Deputy Public Safety Director Steve Neubecker honored Vedette Cordes for saving the life of Jaden Smith in July 2018 after he wizzed by her car on a skateboard down Park Street hill and crashed into the window of Outpost Sports.. ...Read Full Story

Southwestern Michigan College President: Enrollment Trending Up

Enrollment looks to be on the increase at Southwestern Michigan College. SMC president Dr. Joe Odenwald made the announcement during his first President’s Report to the college’s Board of Trustees, noting enrollment contact hours are up eight-tenths of a percentage point over last spring, and fall applications are up 20%. Odenwald says if the trend is maintained, SMC can expect a roughly 5% increase in students this fall. He says the college was up 11% in first-time students this past fall over the year prior. Odenwald adds enrollment was down 10% in the fall of 2018, and the school has “weathered that.” When he was interviewed for the job, he told the Board of Trustees SMC needed to grow enrollment by at least 3% “to survive.”. ...Read Full Story

Two Arrested In Dowagiac Murder

A murder investigation is underway in Dowagiac, with both suspects in custody. Police say a 40-year-old Dowagiac man was found dead from a shooting just before 2 a.m. Monday at a home in the 700 block of Louise Avenue, and also found three other residents of the home had been tied up by two suspects who broke in and robbed the house. The three were not hurt and had managed to free themselves before police arrived.. ...Read Full Story

MI Supreme Court To Review Law That Pays Wrongly Convicted

From the Associated Press — The Michigan Supreme Court is interested in a dispute about whether people who were wrongly convicted of crimes should be paid for time spent in custody before trial. The court said Friday it will hear arguments in the months ahead. State law grants $50,000 for each year spent in prison because of a wrongful conviction. The Michigan appeals court said the law makes no reference to compensating people for being locked up without bond before trial. Davontae Sanford was paid $408,000 for his prison time but wants more money for 198 days spent in a teen detention center.
. ...Read Full Story

Three, Including St. Joseph Mayor, Receive Life Saving Awards

Three people now have Life Saving Awards from the St. Joseph Department of Public Safety. Deputy Director Steve Neubecker on Monday presented the first two to Mayor Mike Garey and Christopher Martin for their response when they witnessed a man crash his vehicle on the Blossomland Bridge last October 25. They found the man slumped over the wheel and not breathing, and broke out the window to pull him out and perform CPR.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren District Library To Hold Ancestry Workshop

Anyone interested in learning something about their ancestry is invited to attend a workshop at the Van Buren District Library’s Decatur branch next month. Local History Clerk Karen Jenson tells WSJM News the library can let visitors use its Ancestry.com service for free. Normally, an Ancestry account could run you $24 to $50 per month. At her February 8 workshop, Jenson will show everyone how it works. For example, you can look through immigration records.. ...Read Full Story

First Three Suspected Coronavirus Cases In Michigan Test Negative

The first three people in Michigan under investigation for possible coronavirus have been cleared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says two were in Washtenaw County and one was in Macomb County. A fourth possible case is now being tested by the CDC. Until recently, this virus had not been detected in animals or humans, and the source in Wuhan, China remains unknown. There are no suspected cases of coronavirus on the west side of Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Online Auction To Benefit Lakeshore Public Schools

An online auction will start this weekend to raise money for Lakeshore Public Schools. Lakeshore Excellence Foundation Chair J.C. Anderson tells WSJM News up for bids will be items including Disney passes, high-end Whirlpool appliances, spa treatments, gym memberships, destination golf vacations, restaurant certificates, and more.. ...Read Full Story

President Trump To Tour Michigan Factory

From the Associated Press — President Donald Trump will visit a Michigan factory to out a new North American trade agreement. He will tour and give remarks at the Dana Inc. facility in the Detroit suburb of Warren on Thursday, a day after he holds a signing ceremony for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal in Washington. The deal to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement passed on bipartisan votes in Congress, scoring the president a political victory amid his Senate impeachment trial. The visit will be Trump’s second to Michigan in about six weeks. He held a re-election campaign rally in Battle Creek in December.. ...Read Full Story

SWMI Housing Market Posts Strong 2019

Robust and record setting are a couple of terms to use to describe the housing market in southwest Michigan for 2019. The average sales price for the year rose nearly $7,000 from 2018 to set a new record at $240,525, while the median price rose $14,000 to $179,000. The Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors says total dollar volume also set a record at just over $867.8 million, a 3% increase from the nearly $839.4 million in 2018. The number of homes sold in Berrien and Cass counties and the western two-thirds of Van Buren County came in at 3,607, down from the peak in 2017 of 3,733. For December, the number of homes sold fell by 6%, but the average sales price rose 8% and the median sales price was up 7%.. ...Read Full Story

Coloma Priest Sentenced For Attack On Teenage Boy

A Coloma priest will spend 58 days in jail, be on probation for five years, and has to register as a sex offender for 15 years for an assault on a teenage boy in 2013 at St. Margaret’s Church in Otsego. That’s the sentence for 57-year-old Brian Stanley, who pleaded guilty to one count of attempted false imprisonment in November. Stanley wrapped the boy in plastic wrap, covered his eyes and mouth with tape, and left him alone in a janitor’s closet against his will. Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement Stanley “took advantage of a vulnerable victim, and today he is being held accountable.” Stanley was sentenced to 60 days in the Allegan County Jail, but received credit for two days already served, hence the 58 days he’ll spend behind bars.. ...Read Full Story

Traverse City Area Public Schools Sued Over Ann Cardon’s Departure

The sudden resignation of Ann Cardon as superintendent of Traverse City Area Public Schools in October is prompting a lawsuit. Cardon took the Traverse City job last summer after serving as the St. Joseph Public Schools superintendent for seven years. The Traverse City Record-Eagle sued the school district on Friday, alleging district officials misused closed sessions and denied or delayed Freedom of Information Act requests. Traverse City school board president Sue Kelly and the rest of the board are named in the lawsuit, and Traverse City district officials are not commenting. Parents had sought answers about what led to Cardon leaving the job after just a few months. She had several disagreements with the school board over things that include the budget and how often school board meetings would be held.. ...Read Full Story

Planning Commission Gives Out Awards

Some awards to recognize those who have worked to improve infrastructure in the past year around southwest Michigan have been announced by the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission. Associate planner Kris Martin tells WSJM News the group’s board has given its annual Graham Woodhouse Intergovernmental Effort Award to the entities who worked on the Sink Road Bridge Replacement Project in Cass County’s Pokagon Township.. ...Read Full Story

Hotel Industry Working To Fight Human Trafficking

We reported this month that Michigan State Police are working with the trucking industry to help stop human trafficking. Another industry that is responding to the crime is hospitality. Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association President Justin Winslow tells WSJM News his group represents more than 5,000 restaurants and hotels in Michigan with more than 595,000 workers. The group is training staff how to spot signs of human trafficking and how to report it.. ...Read Full Story

Cornerstone, Chamber Planning Annual Awards Breakfast

The Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber of Commerce and Cornerstone Alliance have announced the keynote speaker for their 2020 Combined Business Recognition Breakfast and award ceremony. The gathering will be Thursday, February 13 at the Lake Michigan College Mendel Center Grand Upton Hall. The keynote address will be given by Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio. He is charged with coordinating and streamlining the state’s workforce and economic development programs to meet business and labor needs. Before being appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Donofrio served as the director of workforce development in the city of Detroit. Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber of Commerce President Arthur Havlicek says he looks forward to the address and to “celebrating phenomenal member organizations and individuals for their contributions to our community and our economy here in Michigan’s Great Southwest.” Tickets to the Business Recognition Breakfast are available through February 5.. ...Read Full Story

Counties Seeking Coastal Erosion Help

The Van Buren County Board of Commissioners has approved a resolution asking the Michigan Legislature and the governor to declare the Great Lakes shoreline a disaster area. Van Buren County Administrator John Faul tells WSJM News the action taken by the board this month mirrors what the Berrien County Commission did last year.. ...Read Full Story

New International Crossing Designed With Neighborhood Focus

The Michigan Department of Transportation unveiled five pedestrian bridges being built as part of the new Gordie Howe International Bridge to Canada in Detroit this month. Speaking on the MDOT podcast, Talking Transportation, the governor’s point man on the crossing, Andy Doctoroff, said the pedestrian bridges being built over the Gordie Howe’s interchange with I-75 show the design of this project is taking into account the needs of the community.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren County Road Commission Hires New Managing Director

Lawton Village Manager Daniel Bishop will be the next managing director of the Van Buren County Road Commission. The Board of County Road Commissioners of Van Buren County announced his hiring this week. Bishop has more than 30 years of local government experience, including 28 years as a manager. Road Commission Chair Greg Kinney says the board is pleased Bishop is taking the helm at the road commission, adding his experience will be an asset. Bishop starts on February 3. He replaces Larry Hummel, who left last April.. ...Read Full Story

Southwest Michigan Wineries Recognized At Recent Competitions

Several southwest Michigan wineries have gained some recognition on the national wine circuit as winners in recent contests. Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail Director Kathy Sturm tells WSJM News local wines were included in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and the Harvest Challenge Competition in Santa Rosa, California. Taking honors were wineries including Cody Kresta Vineyard and Winery in Mattawan, Lemon Creek Winery in Oronoko Township, and Karma Vista in Coloma. Sturm says the region’s wineries are making a name for themselves.. ...Read Full Story

I&M Rate Increase Begins Next Month

Your electric rate is about to go up. Indiana Michigan Power says it’s reached a settlement with the Michigan Public Service Commission regarding the utility’s request to raise rates by 19% to earn it another $58.5 million per year. I&M spokesperson Tracy Warner tells WSJM News the MPSC has instead told the company it can increase rates to earn another $36.4 million, a 37% cut to what the utility had been seeking.. ...Read Full Story

County Signals Support For MDOT Empire Avenue Plan

As the Michigan Department of Transportation prepares to start work on the extension of US-31 to I-94, the Berrien County Board of Commissioners has signaled its support for part of the plan that will affect Empire Avenue. MDOT’s Nick Schirripa tells WSJM News when US-31 is extended to Empire, Empire will become a cul-de-sac.. ...Read Full Story

Three Possible Coronavirus Cases Being Monitored In Michigan

State health officials are monitoring three possible cases of coronavirus. All are on the east side of the state, with two people in Washtenaw County and one in Macomb County presenting with mild symptoms. Specimens from the three have been sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing to determine if it’s coronavirus, which has killed several dozen people to date in China. The Michigan patients are “self-isolating” according to the state and the Washtenaw and Macomb county health departments are closely monitoring anyone who’s been in close contact with the three.. ...Read Full Story

Democrats Pick Gov. Whitmer To Deliver Response To President Trump’s State Of The Union

How important is Michigan to the 2020 presidential election? Very by the looks of it, as Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been tapped to deliver the Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union address on February 4. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Whitmer’s “decades of hard work on behalf of the people should serve as a model for our nation.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer praised the governor’s “vision for the future” as “exactly what this country needs, and I’m thrilled she is giving the Democratic response.” Interestingly enough, Republicans in Michigan will not be giving a response next Wednesday night to her State of the State speech, instead opting for a press conference the next day. Trump won in Michigan in 2016, becoming the first Republican candidate to do so since Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1988.. ...Read Full Story

Ballot Initiative Seeks To Reign In Lobbying

From the Associated Press — A group has launched a ballot drive that would target lobbying in Michigan’s Capitol by banning free food and drink for state elected officials, requiring former lawmakers to wait two years to become lobbyists and creating a new system to track lobbying activities. The Coalition to Close Lansing Loopholes filed language for the proposed constitutional amendment with
the state elections board on Thursday. The effort is being spearheaded by Progress Michigan, a liberal advocacy organization. The ballot committee will have until early July to submit 425,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot.. ...Read Full Story

Bridgman Police To Be Featured On National Television Program

A sergeant with the Bridgman Police Department will be featured on an episode of “In Pursuit with John Walsh.” The show on the Investigation Discovery television network is focused on tracking down wanted criminals. Bridgman Sergeant Tom LaVanway tells WSJM News the January 29 episode will be about William Troy Stanson. LaVanway was called in November of 2014 to investigate a complaint regarding a Halloween party where Stanson had been inappropriate with teen girls.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien Health Department Official Named To State Advisory Council

A leader at the Berrien County Health Department has been selected to sit on an advisory panel created by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Health Officer Nichole Britten is the only southwest Michigan representative on the new Environmental Justice Advisory Council. Its purpose is to focus on protecting the Great Lakes, cleaning up the state’s drinking water, and combating the effects of climate change, among other things. The 21 member council is expected to hold meetings around the state in response to environmental health threats. Britten, who was previously an epidemiologist for the Berrien County Health Department is a member of the Be Healthy Berrien Steering Committee and Michigan’s Great Southwest Strategic Leadership Council Health Subcommittee.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, St. Joseph Township Moving Toward Harbor Authority Creation

The elected leaders of St. Joseph, St. Joseph Charter Township, and Benton Harbor have all agreed to form a joint work group to set in motion the creation of an authority for the Twin Cities Harbor. At a joint meeting Wednesday, the two city commissions and one township board each unanimously approved a resolution to get started with the work group. St. Joseph Township Manager Denise Cook told WSJM News it was positive to see all in agreement.. ...Read Full Story

Recreational Marijuana Sales Begin In Niles

Recreational marijuana is now available in Berrien County for the first time legally. ReLeaf Center in Niles began selling to adults 21 and over at 10 this morning. The facility is the first in the county to expand from medical to recreational marijuana. Another is on the way in Buchanan, and Eau Claire is starting to consider allowing recreational marijuana businesses. Those that have already opened in the state say supply is very tight, as there is more demand than product. In fact, one of two businesses slated to open last week in Muskegon had to delay their grand opening because they didn’t have enough available for both their medical patients and the public.. ...Read Full Story

Online Sports Betting In Michigan Will Wait Until 2021

From the Associated Press — Sports bettors may be able to place wagers in person at Detroit casinos this spring but will wait until 2021 to do so online. Mary Kay Bean, spokeswoman for the Michigan Gaming Control Board, gave an update Wednesday, about a month after Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed laws legalizing online gambling and sports betting. Bean estimates it will take a year to write and finalize rules so commercial casinos in Detroit and tribal casinos can obtain online licenses. She says regulators’ goal is to authorize onsite sports wagers this spring.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, St. Joseph Township Agree To Explore Joint Harbor Authority

The elected leaders of St. Joseph, St. Joseph Charter Township, and Benton Harbor have all agreed to form a joint work group to set in motion the creation of an authority for the Twin Cities Harbor. At a joint meeting Wednesday, the two city commissions and one township board each unanimously approved a resolution to get started with the work group. St. Joseph Township Manager Denise Cook told WSJM News it was positive to see all in agreement.. ...Read Full Story