Local News Archives

State Approves $16 Million Incentive For Detroit Pistons HQ

From the Associated Press — Michigan has approved $16 million in tax incentives for the Detroit Pistons to build a practice facility and headquarters in downtown Detroit. The Michigan Strategic Fund Board on Tuesday granted a request by the city’s brownfield  development authority to allow for the capture of local taxes to help fund the $107 million project. Public subsidies of sports teams have come under criticism. But the team and economic development officials say that without the incentives, it would be too expensive to remove environmentally contaminated soil on the site of what is now a parking lot and bus garage. The Pistons hope to open the four-story building in 2019. It also will include retail space, a parking deck, and a sports medicine and medical office building operated by Henry Ford Health System.. ...Read Full Story

State Selects 2017 Christmas Tree

From the Associated Press — A 61-foot spruce in Menominee County has been chosen as the official state Christmas tree. The designation continues a 32-year holiday tradition in Michigan. William Winter and grandson Alex Stevens are donating the towering tree. A harvesting ceremony will take place Thursday in the Upper Peninsula town of Stephenson. The tree will be cut down by representatives of the Michigan Association of Timbermen, the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association and Michigan Operators Engineers. It will be hauled to Lansing and placed at the intersection of Capitol and East Michigan avenues on Saturday.. ...Read Full Story

Former SMC Professor To Face Trial In Criminal Sexual Conduct Case

A former professor for Southwestern Michigan College who is facing several charges of criminal sexual conduct has waived his preliminary exam and been bound over to Cass County Circuit Court for trial. The prosecutor’s office tells us 57-year-old George Field on Monday cleared the way for an as-yet unscheduled trial. He’s facing charges of criminal sexual conduct in the first, second, and fourth degrees, along with practicing psychology without a license. The prosecutor says the matter came to light after Southwestern Michigan College was told about an incident at the Family Center in Dowagiac and encouraged the victim to contact police. In addition to practicing at the Family Center, Field was an SMC professor at the time of the incident. Police allege the crime occurred between September of 2015 and June of 2016. If convicted of the most serious charge, Field could get up to life in prison.. ...Read Full Story

Bangor Man Sentenced In Shooting

A Bangor man will serve between seven and 15 years in prison for a fatal shooting at a local park early this year. Prosecutors say 20-year-old Thurman Fletcher shot 28-year-old Eddie Holland of Hartford at Lions Park in Bangor on the night of February 3 when a drug deal went bad. Holland died at a Watervliet Hospital, while Fletcher was taken to a South Haven Hospital with gunshot wounds to the leg and foot. He pleaded guilty last month to felony firearm and manslaughter as part of a deal that meant a murder charge was dropped. Fletcher was sentenced on Tuesday in Van Buren County Circuit Court. Another man, Nikolas Abbot, is also facing charges in the case for allegedly supplying a gun to Fletcher. Abbott is the son of the Van Buren County sheriff. That case is still pending.. ...Read Full Story

Whirlpool Volunteers Pack Meals For Seniors

A team of Whirlpool volunteers has chipped in to make the upcoming winter a little better for area seniors. They helped the Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency pack meal packages on Tuesday in Benton Harbor. The action agency’s Yvonne Vidt tells WSJM News the organization always needs the help.. ...Read Full Story

Whirlpool, Sears Part Ways

Whirlpool has parted ways with Sears. On Monday, Sears announced it will no longer be selling Whirlpool, Kitchenaid, or Maytag appliances. That’s after a pricing dispute with Whirlpool. Sears says it can no longer afford to sell the appliance maker’s products. The two companies had been business with each other for more than 100 years. The Washington Post reports that Sears makes up about 3% of Whirlpool’s sales. This latest announcement is seen as yet another blow to Sears, which has closed hundreds of stores just this year.. ...Read Full Story

Arson Suspect Arrested In Van Buren County

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department says it has caught a serial arson suspect. Sheriff Daniel Abbott tells WSJM News a string of fires at abandoned houses and barns were reported to his office last week. They were scattered throughout the Keeler, Hartford, Bangor, and Watervliet areas between September 29 and October 20. It took a local fire chief to notice their similarities. Abbott assigned a deputy to investigate, and not long after, a suspect emerged.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Woman’s Death Ruled Accidental

Police say a woman whose body was found in a Lincoln Township lake earlier this month drowned. Lincoln Township Police Chief Gary Soper has issued a statement saying the medical examiner’s report is complete, and it finds 57-year-old Anna Hyszczak’s death was accidental. Her body was found in North Lake not far from Grand Mere State Park on October 4. She’d been missing since the day before. Police say family found Hyszczak’s bicycle parked near some woods near Grand Mere after she went missing. Lincoln Township police have sent the case on to the Berrien County Prosecutor’s office for review, and the prosecutor says no further action will be taken.. ...Read Full Story