Local News Archives

Police Looking For Van Buren County Runaway

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department could use the public’s help in finding a missing Bangor Township girl. It tells us 14-year-old Ariel Wescott left her home on Wednesday evening, leaving her father a note that said she was going to a friend’s house and would be back in the morning. When she did not return Thursday morning, the father called the friend’s house and learned his daughter had not been there. He then noticed the key to a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer he had parked in Dowagiac was missing. After checking, the father learned the vehicle was not where he’d left it. Police say Ariel Wescott may have gotten a ride to Dowagiac where she took off in her father’s Trailblazer. It’s maroon and has plate number 3222J2, which is expired. Ariel is described as about 5’6, about 188 pounds, and with straight, sandy blonde hair that goes down to just below her shoulders. Anyone who sees her is asked to contact the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren State Rep Discusses Mental Health Hearing

South Haven area state Representative Mary Whiteford tells us that she learned a great deal at a mental health task force meeting held this week. She’s one of 14 members of the House selected for the bipartisan body which is meeting in locations all over Michigan to discuss how the state could craft better policies to serve those who are struggling. Whiteford tells WSJM News there are several angles to consider.. ...Read Full Story

Some Big Equipment To Be Moved Out Of The Cook Plant Next Week

The Cook nuclear power plant near Bridgman is about to move some large equipment. Spokesperson Bill Schalk tells WSJM News they’ll be transporting three 175-ton and three 75-ton retired turbine casings from the plant to a barge on the St. Joseph River. That’s after a replacement project of Unit 2’s turbines last year. The moves will start on Monday night with a turbine casing loaded on to an 18 wheel truck. Schalk says the route includes as many side roads as possible.. ...Read Full Story

Nearly 350 Marijuana Plants Seized In Berrien County

Police have seized nearly 350 marijuana plants in a Berrien County raid. The Southwest Enforcement Team tells WSJM News it searched property at 1645 Mallard Drive in Bertrand Township on August 15 after police noticed signs of a marijuana grow operation there. In the house, officers found 347 marijuana plants, about 8.8 pounds of processed marijuana, marijuana wax, and grow equipment. One person fled the scene, but was caught later. He’s been identified as 41-year-old Byron Paul-Ricardo Sambat. He’s now charged with possession with intent to deliver marijuana, manufacturing marijuana, and maintaining a drug house. The Southwest Enforcement Team is made up of police agencies from all over southwest Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

BH Murder Suspect Turns Himself In

The suspect in a fatal shooting this week in Benton Harbor has turned himself in. The Berrien County Prosecutor’s office tells WSJM News 19-year-old Davion Turner of Conyers, Georgia surrendered to police on Thursday. He’s charged with Open Murder and Felony Firearm in the shooting death of 32-year-old Nathaniel Lee on Tuesday night. Police say Lee was shot while sitting in a vehicle outside of the River Terrace apartment complex. They believe it may have been an attempted robbery. Turner, the suspect, was arraigned on Friday with bond set at $1 million. He’ll be back in court on August 25. He could get up to life in prison.. ...Read Full Story

Murdered Woman’s Vehicle Found

The vehicle that belonged to a murdered Niles woman has been found. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells WSJM News that the Mazda CX-9 of Carla Lewis was found abandoned in a Cass County corn field. It’s been impounded and police are going through it for evidence. Her husband, John Lewis, is held on $1 million bond in the Berrien County Jail on a charge of first degree premeditated murder. He told police Sunday that two black men had broken into their home and shot his wife, but authorities found evidence to the contrary at the scene. Lewis was initially arrested for violating the state’s medical marijuana laws, with the murder charge added earlier this week. He faces life in prison if found guilty.. ...Read Full Story