Local News Archives

LaSata Talks Senate Run

Now running for the Michigan Senate in the 21st District is state Representative Kim LaSata. She tells WSJM News although she’s still on her first term in the House, she’s ready to move on up. She also thinks her time in the House has prepared her to get work done in the Senate.. ...Read Full Story

Stabenow Slams Proposed Cut To Great Lakes Program

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow is once again blasting President Donald Trump on the issue of the Great Lakes. Her office says Trump’s 2019 budget request from Congress almost entirely eliminates funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Stabenow has issued a statement, saying “we can’t take it for granted that others understand how important our water is” and calling the possible move “outrageous.” The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was established in 2010 and provides $300 million per year for the purposes of fighting invasive species, clean-up, and shoreline management. Stabenow’s office says President Trump’s budget only calls for $30 million in funding. She promised to fight the proposed cut, something she and other members of Michigan’s congressional delegation did last year.. ...Read Full Story

Travel Michigan On Winter Attractions

You may be tired of the cold and snow in Michigan, but some are loving it. Travel Michigan Vice President Dave Lorenz told Michigan News Network this week snowmobiling, skiing, and ice climbing are all big in Michigan. He says there are cool things to see in many areas, like ice caves.. ...Read Full Story

State Rep: Legislation Would Help Prevent Sex Assault In Schools

State Representative Beth Griffin is hailing legislation designed to protect young people from sexual assault at Michigan schools. The plan, which was drafted in response to the ongoing Larry Nassar scandal at Michigan State University, would establish a mandatory reporting requirement for K-12 and post-secondary coaches and athletic trainers for criminal sexual conduct offenses. It would also prohibit anyone from using their position of authority to prevent someone from reporting a crime, including criminal sexual conduct, and add sexual abuse to the state of Michigan’s OK2Say tipline program. That way, someone could report a sex crime anonymously via the student service. Representative Griffin, a Republican from Mattawan, tells us the “scandal at Michigan State University is a lesson that we must give victims of this kind of illegal behavior multiple ways to report it.” The legislation is now before the state House Law and Justice Committee.. ...Read Full Story

Furniture Chain Founder, Philanthropist Dies

From the Associated Press — Archie Van Elslander, the founder of Art Van Furniture and a major Detroit-area philanthropist, has died. He was 87. A statement released by his family says Van Elslander, who was known as Art Van, died Monday. Company spokeswoman Diane Charles says he had cancer. Van Elslander opened his first furniture store in 1959 in East Detroit, now called Eastpointe. There are more than 120 Art Van stores in the Midwest, although most are in Michigan. The business was sold last year to Thomas H. Lee Partners, a Boston private equity firm. Van Elslander is credited with saving Detroit’s Thanksgiving parade. In December, he said he was donating $20 million to expand the Solanus Casey Center in Detroit, named for a Roman Catholic priest who is on a path to sainthood.. ...Read Full Story

LaSata Running For MI Senate

State Representative Kim LaSata is running for the Michigan Senate. The 79th District Republican from Bainbridge Township tells WSJM News she plans to make auto insurance reform, tax relief, and attracting business her priorities if elected. LaSata is still in her first term in the state House, but with state Senator John Proos being term-limited out of office at the end of the year, this is her chance to seek the 21st District position. LaSata already has the endorsements of Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey, former state Senator Cameron Brown, and Southwestern Michigan College President David Mathews, all of whom will also serve as co-chairs of the LaSata for Senate Campaign. Also running for state Senate in the 21st District is Democrat and former Hagar Township Clerk Ian Haight.. ...Read Full Story

Deadline Soon For Local Grant Program

The deadline to apply for a Frederick S. Upton Foundation grant through the Berrien Community Foundation is quickly approaching. The foundation tells us the date is March 15 for those wishing to receive a grant in during the spring cycle. The Frederick S. Upton Foundation considers grant requests from a wide variety of non-profit organizations but focuses its efforts in Berrien County. This is the first year the Berrien Community Foundation is holding two grant cycles per year. The other will end in the summer. Any organization looking for more information can go to BerrienCommunity.org.. ...Read Full Story

Heritage Museum Plans Reopening

The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center in St. Joseph is planning to reopen to the public next month. Curator Tracy Gierada tells WSJM News repair work is coming along nicely since the museum had to close in December due to flooding caused by the HVAC system. Since then, a crowdfunding campaign to get a new HVAC system has raised $53,000, more than the $50,000 needed to get a match from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.. ...Read Full Story

DNR Studying Fish Kills

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is hoping fishermen and anyone else who enjoys the great outdoors will act as its eyes when out and about this winter and coming spring. Spokesperson Elyse Walter tells WSJM News the DNR specifically wants to know about fish kills.. ...Read Full Story