Local News Archives

Berrien County Website Redesigned

Now up and running is a redesigned Berrien County website. Berrien County IT Director Ken Hoffman tells WSJM News the county board this year approved an update for the site in order to meet new state accessibility requirements. The new site launched Thursday morning. It’s designed to better handle mobile devices and has other features.. ...Read Full Story

Hunters Cautioned About Heart Attack Risks

Hunters have fanned out across the state to seek out that prize deer as part of firearm hunting season. It kicked off this week, running through November 30, and Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Robert Boyce tells WSJM News hunters must be cautious. He notes some may face an increased heart attack risk if they’re out in the woods lugging things around.. ...Read Full Story

Hunters Asked To Help Prevent Spread Of Invasive Plant Speciess

Hunters have a chance this month to do their part in preventing the spread of invasive species. The Van Buren Conservation District’s Eleanor Serocki tells WSJM News a hunter should clean off their gear and boots before moving from one forest to another. That’s because small pieces of invasive plants can get on those things and then cause their spread elsewhere. That could be bad for deer habitat.. ...Read Full Story

Educators Sentenced For Failing To Report Suspected Abuse

Sentencing has been held for four educators at Three Oaks Elementary School who were accused of failing to report a possible abuse situation. In August of 2016, a 12-year-old boy was found along some railroad tracks in Galien Township  and turned over to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Doctors found he was undernourished, weighing just 47 pounds. He told them his parents had kept him from eating. Doctors also found other signs of abuse. The Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office tells us a principal, a guidance counselor, a special ed teacher, and a teacher at Three Oaks Elementary had previously noticed signs the boy was being abused. The prosecutor says they failed to report it. They pleaded no contest this week to failure to report suspected child abuse, a 93 day misdemeanor. They’ve been sentenced to to probation through the end of the 2018 school year, 100 hours of community service, and fines.. ...Read Full Story

Grand Valley State University Fraternity Banned

From the Associated Press — Grand Valley State University in Michigan has banned a fraternity chapter from campus for at least five years after an investigation into hazing and alcohol use. The school in Allendale says an investigation after the 21-year-old Sigma Phi Epsilon member was treated after consuming too much alcohol revealed student code violations for hazing and consumption of alcohol. The Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter’s appeal was denied last week. Fraternity member Jacob Gaft tells WOOD-TV that the man was “drinking under his own conditions” when he slipped and fell. Gaft says the man had a concussion, but other students shouldn’t be punished after fraternity members helped him. Sigma Phi Epsilon’s national organization says in a statement the “chapter’s behavior…illustrates that the membership is not committed to living by our values.”. ...Read Full Story

Pokagon Tribal Police Opening South Bend Substation

The Pokagon Tribal Police Department is expanding to South Bend as the Pokagon band prepares to open its new casino there. On Monday, tribal police will hold the grand opening of the new Pokagon Band Tribal Police Substation on Prairie Avenue in South Bend. The substation is located on tribal land which is also the site of the Pokagon Tribal Village and Four Winds Casino South Bend. On hand for the grand opening of the new police substation will be representatives of the Pokagon Band who will highlight the partnerships being formed between local law enforcement and the tribal police. The South Bend Four Winds Casino is expected to open early next year.. ...Read Full Story

SJ Luminary Festival Friday

Downtown St. Joseph will be a sight to see this Friday as the 23rd annual Luminaries Festival takes place. St. Joseph Today’s Amy Zapal tells WSJM News the festival is a way to light up the downtown, everyone a chance to take advantage of special sales, and celebrate the coming of the holidays. . ...Read Full Story

Van Buren County Adoption Day Tuesday

With more than 2,600 children in Michigan waiting to be adopted, the Van Buren County Circuit Court’s Family Division next week will celebrate those who have navigated the process. It’s national Adoption Day, with the court’s Veronica Stillson telling WSJM NEws special guests will be on hand, along with some choirs. She says it’s a joyous affair.. ...Read Full Story