Local News Archives

New Law Helps Gas Stations Fix Leaky Tanks

From the Associated Press — Rick Snyder has signed legislation so Michigan spends more to reimburse gas station owners to clean up their leaky, environmentally risky fuel tanks. The Republican-backed measure, which was opposed by Democrats, creates a program allowing gas station operators to be reimbursed for addressing leaks from underground petroleum tanks discovered and reported before late December
2014. They currently can be reimbursed for leaks discovered after that point. Critics say Michigan’s first responsibility is cleaning up known threats at abandoned gas stations – not helping owners of sites already cleaned up. Supporters counter Michigan has surplus revenue that’s accumulating more quickly than can be spent solely on orphan sites. The law signed Thursday also lets a fund be used to reimburse local
governments for costs to address contaminates spilled on roads.. ...Read Full Story

Verizon Testing 5G Speeds In Michigan

Ann Arbor has been chosen as the site for Verizon to test its new 5G technology in Michigan. The tests are taking place this week. Verizon’s 5G bus is giving city leaders, automakers, and researchers a a firsthand look at how 5G works on various platforms. Verizon’s Steve Van Dinter spoke with Michigan News Network about the development.. ...Read Full Story

Box Factory To Offer Makers Market

Coming soon to the Box Factory for the Arts in St. Joseph will be a maker’s market. The Box Factory’s Cara Garnett tells WSJM News southwest Michigan has all kinds of creators who make artisan products. This market will give you a chance to see what they have to offer and pick some of those things up.. ...Read Full Story

Court Sides With City Over Blighted Home

A judge has ruled in favor of the city of St. Joseph in the ongoing fight over a blighted property on Niles Avenue. At Monday’s meeting, the city attorney informed commissioners a judge has sided with a city panel’s decision that the dilapidated house at 1015 Niles Avenue be demolished. You may know the house as the one near the AT&T store that’s had a tarp on the roof for quite a long time. The city has been seeking the blighted home’s demolition for most of the year after local inspectors determined it to be unlivable. Now that the Berrien County Circuit Court has found in the city’s favor, there is a 21 day appeal period. If that happens, it would be before the Michigan Court of Appeals. The city’s attorney told commissioners she has not yet heard of an appeal being filed, though. She also said repair work continues on other blighted homes on Wayne and Hoyt Street owned by the same person.. ...Read Full Story

Cornerstone Chamber Opposing BH Income Tax Proposal

You can add the Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce to the list of organizations opposed to Benton Harbor’s income tax proposal. The chamber’s Chris Heugel tells us the board has passed a resolution officially opposing the tax. He says the board does not think it’s what Benton Harbor needs right now. Huegel tells us, “Our members drive jobs in this community and they have said that an income tax is detrimental to their operations and hinders their ability to grow and hire more individuals.”. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Signs Bill Requiring More Concussion Training For Coaches

From the Associated Press — Coaches and others involved in youth sports will have to complete concussion awareness training at least once every three years under legislation signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder. The law enacted Thursday takes effect in 90 days. It updates 2012 concussion laws that require a concussion protocol for youth athletes and an awareness program for coaches, volunteers and others.
A new requirement says concussion training must be completed once every three years, unless the state Department of Health and Human Services recommends more frequent training. The state will have to periodically review the training program and make recommendations.
The law also clarifies that universities and colleges do not need to secure parental waivers for students participating in intramural sports.. ...Read Full Story

Feds Recommend Additional Action To Protect MI Drinking Water

From the Associated Press — Federal regulators say Michigan should increase funding and staffing of its Department of Environmental Quality and take other steps to ensure its drinking water is safe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made the recommendations Thursday in a report evaluating the state’s overall performance but emphasizing the situation in Flint, where residents were exposed to lead-contaminated water for at least 18 months. EPA says its review found numerous deficiencies in how Michigan operates its drinking water program. Among them were inadequate electronic data management and a “notable failure” to carry out its rule on lead and copper pollution. The report covers the period from October 2013 through September 2015, when the Flint crisis was at its height. Michigan officials say they’ve already dealt with many of the problems EPA identified.. ...Read Full Story

Schuitmaker Drafting Plan To Protect Rape Victims From Losing Partial Custody

State Senator Tonya Schutmaker is working on new legislation in response to a recent situation in Sanilac County in which a man convicted of rape was briefly awarded joint custody of a child. Schuitmaker tells WSJM News the mother of a child conceived through that rape almost partially lost custody because she applied for public assistance, triggering a paternity action. Shuitmaker says her plan will prevent those situations.. ...Read Full Story