Local News Archives

Berrien Community Foundation Announces New Scholarship For Low-Income Students

A new scholarship for low-income students has been announced by the Berrien Community Foundation. President Lisa Cripps-Downey closed out Wednesday’s annual meeting by unveiling the Trefz Family Scholarship, based on a $500,000 endowment. Cripps-Downey told WSJM News it’s all thanks to a trust a woman named Josephine Trefz created when she sold some land which is now part of Lincoln Township Park.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Area Emergency Services Acquires New Fire Truck

South Haven Area Emergency Services has received a brand new truck. A 75-foot ladder truck made by Spencer Manufacturing of South Haven was delivered this week. It replaces the department’s 50-foot ladder truck that’s 31 years old. South Haven Emergency Services tells us the new truck is powered by a 500-horse power Cummins engine. Other goodies include a 1,200 gallon poly water tank and a 20 gallon foam cell allowing for foam to be used on some fires. A poly body on the unit removes the concern of rust, and an eight kilowatt generator means portable lighting can be run at fire scenes. The new truck cost about $846,000. The community will have a chance to see the new ladder during the department’s Fire Safety Fun Night, which is set for October 12 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Station 3 on Blue Star Highway.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Fall Festival This Weekend

The spirit of the fall is being celebrated this weekend in St. Joseph. It’s time for the annual Fall Festival downtown on Friday and Saturday. St. Joe Today’s Amy Zapal tells WSJM News there will be family fun all day Saturday, followed by the wine festival at 4 p.m. That includes the public art auction.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Commission Limits State Union Bargaining Rights

A Michigan panel is prohibiting 35,000 state employees from bargaining on seniority and other provisions related to the handling of layoffs, transfers and overtime. The Civil Service Commission’s move Wednesday is being condemned by unions as another conservative-led political attack against organized labor. Ron Bieber is the president of the Michigan AFL-CIO. He spoke with the Michigan News Network about the commission’s decision.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Signs Super PAC Legislation

From the Associated Press — Rick Snyder has quickly signed into law contentious regulations for independent expenditure committees whose footprint in elections has grown since U.S. Supreme Court decisions seven years ago. Democrats and campaign-finance watchdogs opposed the Republican-sponsored legislation, partly for letting candidates solicit unlimited donations for super PACs backing their campaigns. But the Republican governor says the bills signed Wednesday _ a day after lawmakers OK’d them _ give the secretary of state “clear statutory authority” to regulate independent expenditure committees with reporting requirements and enforcement penalties. He cites confusion over the 2010 Citizens United ruling’s effect on Michigan law. Snyder says the law now aligns with federal decisions protecting free-speech rights. Critics say the law improperly lets super PACs running ads use the same attorney that a candidate committee employs.. ...Read Full Story

FGM Doctor To Be Freed Pending Trial In Detroit

A Detroit-area doctor charged with performing genital mutilation on girls in a Muslim sect will be released from jail as she awaits trial. A judge on Tuesday was persuaded to grant bond to Dr. Jumana Nagarwala after supporters pledged to pay more than $4 million if she flees the country. Federal Judge Bernard Friedman called it a “very comprehensive package.” Nagarwala has been in custody since her arrest in April, and it will be a few days more before she’s released. She must wear an electronic tether. Nagarwala denies any crime and says she performed a religious custom on girls from her Muslim sect. Eight people have been charged, including two Minnesota mothers and the owner of a Detroit-area clinic where the alleged procedures occurred after hours. The bond is believed to be the largest ever posted in federal court in Detroit.. ...Read Full Story

Correction, Retraction To A Wednesday Morning Story

This morning, we gave an update to a story we had last week regarding a motorcycle crash in Hagar Township that badly injured Alan Hatten of Watervliet. In that story, we erroneously reported that Mr. Hatten had passed away from his injuries. Our story was based on information that we have since learned was not accurate, and we have retracted the story. Our newsroom is reaching out to several Berrien County agencies for an update on his condition. Please accept our sincere apologies for the story.. ...Read Full Story

MI Panel Holds Off On LGBT Discrimination Declaration For Now

From the Associated Press — The Michigan Civil Rights Commission is holding off for now on deciding whether to declare that discrimination against LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations is already unlawful under state law. The commission met Monday to consider the request after two months of public feedback. The interpretive statement, if issued, would say discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is a form of sex discrimination outlawed under Michigan’s 1976 civil rights law. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights says the commission voted to table to request from LGBT rights group Equality Michigan. An assistant attorney general told the commission the legislature, not the commission, should address changes in state law. The commission is asking Attorney General Bill Schuette for a formal opinion on its authority.. ...Read Full Story