Local News Archives

Secretary Of State Promotes Organ Donor Registry

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is highlighting progress that’s been made recently with getting more Michiganders signed up for the state’s organ donor registry. Employees at Secretary of State branch offices ask customers if they would like to sign up, and now there are more than 5.2 million people on the Michigan registry. Benson spoke at a press conference Wednesday.. ...Read Full Story

Work Underway At Warren Dunes State Park

Visitors to Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer may see occasional closures throughout the spring and summer as two renovation projects get underway at the area. Crews have already started a more than $1 million project to renovate Red Arrow Highway, which serves as the main entrance to the sand dunes and lakeshore beaches. The Michigan Department of Transportation is overseeing the road repairs, and a lane addition to reduce traffic buildup. The efforts should be completed by May 20. A more than $2 million project will also begin this month to replace toilets and bathhouse buildings in the park’s day-use area. Plans call for making more room for additional food truck vendors. The upgrades should be finished by November.. ...Read Full Story

Police Investigate Fire At Niles Walmart

Police are investigating a fire at the Niles Walmart on Friday. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us the Niles Township Fire Department was dispatched to the store on South 11th Street around 3:30 p.m. They found a fire had started in the clothing department, and employees were putting it out when firefighters arrived. The store was quickly evacuated and no one was injured. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Health Officials Promote Addiction Recovery Resources

The Berrien County Health Department wants everyone to know there are resources available in the community for those who may be struggling with a drug addiction. News came this month from the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office that overdose deaths have gone up recently, possibly because of fentanyl mixed into heroin. Berrien County Health Department Communications Manager Gillian Conrad tells WSJM News fentanyl is an extremely potent painkiller.. ...Read Full Story

Youth Leaders Hope To Restore Funding For Training Program

Testimony on the value of the Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates program was taken this month by a Michigan Senate subcommittee. As lawmakers put together the next budget, it’s hoped that funding for Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates can be restored. Youth Solutions Director Kristin Harrington was there for the hearing last week, and told WSJM News Tamia Clay, a Benton Harbor High School senior active in FIRST Robotics, spoke about the difference Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates has made for her.. ...Read Full Story

Rotarians Plant Tree For Arbor Day

South Haven Rotarians celebrated National Arbor Day on Friday by planting a tree in a city park. In 2018, at the urging of Rotary International, the South Haven Rotarians also planted a tree, and the club decided to make it an annual Arbor Day tradition. Working with the city arborist, the Rotarians selected a hornbeam to go in the Black River Park.. ...Read Full Story

Legislature Works To Boost Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Fund

Legislation to set aside more money for Michigan’s Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Fund has been approved by the state Senate. The plan also requires the Michigan Attorney General to report quarterly to the Legislature on the fund. State Representative Steven Johnson, who sponsored the legislation in the state House, says the fund lacked the money needed to compensate those who have been wrongly imprisoned by the justice system.. ...Read Full Story

State Lifts Seasonal Weight Restrictions

The Michigan Department of Transportation has lifted seasonal weight restrictions on state roads across the Lower Peninsula. The restrictions were lifted at 6 a.m. Friday. MDOT spokesperson Dan Weingarten tells WSJM News the state and local road agencies will order that loads over a certain weight cannot be taken on some roads during the spring when melting ice underneath the road surfaces leaves them vulnerable.. ...Read Full Story

Whirlpool Appliance Sale Next Month

Coming up on May 18 will be the next Whirlpool Appliance Sale to benefit the United Way of Southwest Michigan. Whirlpool Senior Manager of Global Operations Gokul Nair tells WSJM News they will sell new, discontinued, refurbished, and obsolete products that had been sitting in warehouses as part of the event.. ...Read Full Story

Legislature Approves “Raise The Age” Legislation

The Michigan House on Thursday approved “raise the age” legislation. The plan would end the policy requiring all 17-year-olds to be treated as adults in Michigan’s criminal justice system. Speaking on the House floor, state Representative Roger Hauck of Isabella County said it is not fair to subject a high school student to the same treatment as an adult.. ...Read Full Story

New Buffalo Man Arrested For Bomb Threat Against Benton Township Mosque

A New Buffalo man is in the Berrien County Jail awaiting arraignment on terrorism charges. Benton Township police say the 38-year-old is accused of making a bomb threat against the Islamic Association of SouthWest Michigan Mosque in the 13-hundred block of East Napier. Officers were notified of the threat shortly before 2 p.m. Friday and evacuated the mosque. No bomb was found, and the building was declared safe. Worshipers were unaware of the threat when police arrived, but a leader told police of a potential suspect who had recently visited. He was found in the Fairplain Plaza, and admitted calling Berrien County Central Dispatch 9-1-1 to make the false bomb threat. His phone number also matched with dispatch records.. ...Read Full Story

UFCU Makes Coloring Contest Donation To Logan Center

United Federal Credit Union’s “You Color, U Donate” contest has raised $730 for the Logan Center in Benton Harbor. United donated $1 for every page entered to the local autism center, and also awarded a $500 Youth Savings Deposit to one of the children who submitted a coloring sheet. The sheets were turned in by credit union employees, members, and the St. Joseph community. The donation is in addition to the capital donation pledged by UFCU in October 2017 of $30,000 over three years to help Logan Center’s self-sustaining operations at its Benton Harbor facility. Logan supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities so they, and their families, may achieve their desired quality of life. Their services allow children to transition from special needs classrooms to mainstream general education classrooms. This month is also Autism Awareness Month.. ...Read Full Story

MI Lawmakers Talking Child Care Affordability

Affordable child care helps parents stay in the workforce and earn money to provide for their families, but for some Michigan parents, it’s a difficult balance to achieve. When Hannah Gilliam of Grand Rapids had her first child at a young age, she couldn’t afford the higher standard of child care she wanted. She’s now a mother of five, and says her family makes sacrifices to ensure her three youngest are getting decent care.. ...Read Full Story

Child Abuse Prevention Rally Held In Lansing

A rally was held in Lansing Thursday to mark Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Day. Children’s Trust Fun Director Suzanne Greenberg tells WSJM News hundreds gathered and planted blue and silver pinwheels near the Michigan Capitol. Greenberg says there are a lot of children around Michigan who need protection.. ...Read Full Story

Pokagons Hosting Food Summit

The Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit is being hosted in Dowagiac this week by the Pokagon Band of Pottawatomi. The event runs through Sunday, and features a wide range of activities and presentations, many focused on traditional tribal food. 60 Native American chefs are on hand, and presentations are being given on everything from foraging to basket making to trapping. The Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit is held each year in different locations around the MidWest states, and this is the first time it’s been hosted by the Pokagon Band. It’s going on at the Pokagon Rodgers Lake headquarters on Sink Road, and the public is welcome to attend. You can find out more right here.. ...Read Full Story

One Arrested In South Haven Drug Bust

A South Haven man is facing a variety of charges following a cocaine bust on Wednesday. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department tells us deputies with the narcotics unit arranged an undercover drug buy from the 50-year-old suspect. They say he sold them cocaine from a vehicle parked in the area of Huron Street near Broadway Street. Right after the drug buy, police moved in and arrested the man, who did try to escape. Upon the suspect’s arrest, officers say he was found to be in possession of 11.1 grams of suspected cocaine, divided up into 19 separate packages. He’s facing several drug-related charges, and police say he already had a couple of felony warrants out. He’s now at the Van Buren County Jail.. ...Read Full Story

Local Blood Drives Scheduled Throughout May

The American Red Cross has scheduled some blood drives around southwest Michigan in the coming weeks. May is Trauma Awareness Month, and the Red Cross tells us one car crash victim could need as many as 100 units of blood. The organization is urging everyone to make an appointment to donate either by calling 1-800-RED CROSS, by going to their website, or using the Red Cross app. Throughout May, there are blood drives planned in St. Joseph, Coloma, Buchanan, Decatur, Bangor, and South Haven. You can see the full list below.. ...Read Full Story

MI Child Poverty Rate Drops, But 20% Still Live In Poverty

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s child poverty rate dropped over five years, but hundreds of thousands of kids – or one in five – are still living in poverty. The annual Kids Count Profile released Tuesday by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation reports about 416,000 of Michigan’s children lived in poverty in 2017. That was down from roughly 549,000 in 2012. The study also finds a spike in child abuse and neglect, with confirmed cases up nearly 30 percent. Michigan’s bottom-ranked counties for child well-being are Lake, Luce, Alcona, Schoolcraft and Muskegon. The top five are Livingston, Clinton, Ottawa, Oakland and Washtenaw. Kids Count in Michigan project director Alicia Guevara Warren says the “alarming increase” in child abuse and neglect cases “underscores the urgency of the issues facing our kids.”. ...Read Full Story

Judges Order Michigan To Redraw Legislative District Maps

From the Associated Press — A three-judge panel has ruled that Michigan’s congressional and legislative maps are unconstitutionally gerrymandered, ordering the state Legislature to redraw at least 34 districts for the 2020 election. The decision issued Thursday also requires special state Senate elections to be held in 2020, instead of 2022 as scheduled. The judges say the maps drawn by Republicans in 2011 violate Democratic voters’ constitutional rights, including by diluting the weight of their votes. They are giving the GOP-led Legislature until Aug. 1 to submit new maps. The new maps would need the signature of Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer.. ...Read Full Story

14 Michigan Communities Get State Funds For Stream Cleanups

Fourteen communities around Michigan are getting state grants to host river, stream and creek cleanup activities. The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy timed the awards totaling more than $29,000 to coincide with Earth Day. Local governments often work with nonprofit organizations or other volunteers for the cleanups, which include removal of trash and other debris from streams and stream banks.. ...Read Full Story

Field Narrowed To Three For State Schools Superintendent

Three finalists will be back in Lansing for the last round of interviews in the search for Michigan’s new State Schools Superintendent. The three emerged from five candidates interviewed this week by the state Board of Education. Being called back in May will be Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent Michael Rice, Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Jeanice Swift and Minnesota Commissioner of Education Brenda Cassellius. The state superintendent post has been filled on an interim basis since the death of Brian Whiston last year from cancer.. ...Read Full Story

“Raise The Age” Bills Moving Thru Legislature

A push to no longer automatically try 17-year-olds as adults is gaining momentum in Michigan’s Legislature. The Senate overwhelmingly approved a 14-bill package Wednesday to put 17-year-old offenders in the juvenile justice system, with an exception for violent felony cases. Senator Peter Lucido of Macomb County co-sponsored the bills and says the option will still be there to prosecute suspects who are younger than 18 on a case-by-case basis depending on the nature of the crime and the person’s criminal record.. ...Read Full Story

Authorities Using New System To Track Opioid Overdoses

Michigan State Police are joining a number of local police and health agencies using a federally created computer mapping system to track opioid overdoses. It provides a way for health officials and police agencies to respond in real time to overdose clusters. State Police Lieutenant Travis House says until now, if a batch of bad drugs hit the streets in a certain area, it might take them a while to notice the pattern.. ...Read Full Story

State Court Tightens Standards For Vehicle Searches

From the Associated Press — The Michigan Supreme Court has tightened the legal standard for searching people during a traffic stop.
The court ruled in favor of a car passenger who said his rights were violated when police in Jackson County searched his backpack without his consent. The backpack held marijuana and methamphetamine. But in a unanimous decision Monday, the Supreme Court says the search was unconstitutional. Chief Justice Bridget McCormack says Larry Mead had a “legitimate expectation” of privacy. Mead was a passenger in a car stopped by a sheriff’s deputy. The deputy looked in Mead’s backpack after the driver said the car could be searched.
McCormack compared it to someone using a ride-sharing service. She says police can’t search a passenger based on consent from a driver. Mead served nearly three years in prison.. ...Read Full Story

Secretary Of State Highlights Organ Donor Registry Numbers

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is highlighting progress that’s been made recently with getting more Michiganders signed up for the state’s organ donor registry. Employees at Secretary of State branch offices ask customers if they would like to sign up, and now there are more than 5.2 million people on the Michigan registry. Benson spoke at a press conference Wednesday.. ...Read Full Story

Applications Being Accepted For Foster Kids Scholarship Program

The Michigan Department of Treasury is accepting applications for its Fostering Futures Scholarship program. Michigan Education Trust Director Robin Lott tells WSJM News program was set up as a way to help young people who have been in the foster care system get a college education. She says only 10% of the kids who went through foster care after their 13th birthday makes it to college even though most want to go. Fostering Futures is one way to help them.. ...Read Full Story

Clerk Beaten In Cass County Liquor Store Robbery

A clerk at Sunrise Liquor in Cass County’s Howard Township is recovering after being beaten by three robbery suspects. The sheriff’s department says the suspects walked into the store on Huntly Road at 9:30 Tuesday night with their faces covered and began the assault, forcing him to open the cash register. The clerk was treated by first responders and taken to Spectrum Health Lakeland’s Niles hospital. While the Cass County K9 located evidence along the track, the three suspects have not been found. Investigators say they were two black women and one black men, with the only physical description of them being they all have medium builds. Anyone with information is urged to call the Cass County Tip Line at 1-800-462-9328.. ...Read Full Story

Heroin, Fentanyl, Meth Bust Results In Charges Against Benton Township Man

A 26-year-old Benton Township man is facing seven felony charges following a drug bust by the Southwest Enforcement Team. Javarick Randolph has been arraigned in Berrien County court following a month-long investigation by authorities into heroin and fentanyl sales. Detectives seized what they called distribution amounts of those drugs along with crystal meth, ammunition and other drug-related items during the raid last week on a home in the 200 block of Cornelia. Randolph faces five charges of delivery of narcotics for the heroin and fentanyl and one count each of possession with intent to deliver meth and possession of ammo by a felon. The Berrien County Prosecutor’s office warned earlier this month that there has been a spike in opioid overdose deaths and recoveries due to fentanyl being mixed with heroin.. ...Read Full Story

Senator LaSata Changes Chief Of Staff

There are changes in the inner workings of the office of state Senator Kim LaSata. She has named Berrien Springs native Katie Lindt-Witkowski as her new chief of staff, replacing Stephanie Bogema, who has moved over to the House to be the chief of staff for Majority Leader Triston Cole. Lindt-Witkowski was promoted from her position as Senator LaSata’s legislative director, which she had held since this session began in January.. ...Read Full Story

Drug Drop Off Events In Van Buren County This Weekend

There will be some drug take-back events in Van Buren County this weekend. Bronson Community Health tells us people can drop off old, unwanted prescription medications at the Bronson Wellness Center in South Haven and at the Antwerp Township Activity Center in Mattawan on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The drugs will then be safely destroyed. The event is being held in an effort to prevent unused drugs from being lost, stolen, or misused. Police are assisting with the take-back day so they can ensure everything is handled correctly. While most medications will be accepted, organizers are focusing on opioids. Bronson says the United States is experiencing an opioid epidemic, with an estimated 12.5 million people misusing the pain medications in the past year.. ...Read Full Story

MI Senate Approves Ban On E-Cigarettes For Minors

From the Associated Press — Michigan lawmakers are moving to ban the possession of e-cigarettes by minors. Legislation approved unanimously by the Senate on Tuesday would also prohibit the sale of the battery-operated devices to people under age 18. The federal government already bars e-cigarettes sales to minors. But supporters of the Michigan bills say having state-level restrictions would make
it easier for law enforcement and schools to keep the nicotine-addictive “vaping” devices off campuses. First- and second-time violators would receive a civil infraction, punishable by a maximum $50 fine. Additional violations would be a misdemeanor, also subject to a $50 fine. The measures go to the House next. Former Republican Governor Rick Snyder vetoed similar bills, saying they would not have gone far enough in regulating e-cigarettes.. ...Read Full Story

FIRST Robotics Championship This Week

More than 90 FIRST Robotics teams from all over Michigan will be in Detroit this week for the FIRST Robotics World Championship. Set to take place Wednesday through Saturday at Ford Field and Cobo Center, the event will give the participating students a chance to show off what they have learned. Consumers Energy Vice President of Public Affairs Roger Curtis tells WSJM News it’s quite a lot.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Calls For End To Some Tariffs

Vice President Mike Pence is visiting Michigan on Wednesday to talk trade as the Trump administration pushes for Congress to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, an update to NAFTA. Congressman Fred Upton tells WSJM News the administration hasn’t sent that deal to Congress, but before anything can happen, it should end tariffs on Canada and Mexico that affect agriculture and the auto industry.. ...Read Full Story

Armed Robbery Suspects Busted In Van Buren County

Some armed robbery suspects out of Ann Arbor were busted in Van Buren County on Tuesday. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department tells us it got word of a gas station robbery in Ann Arbor earlier in the morning. The suspects were reported to be in a vehicle with Illinois plates. It was also reported one of them had been seen with a gun. Sheriff’s deputies spotted the vehicle on westbound I-94 in Lawrence Township and pulled it over. They say a search turned up evidence of the robbery, and the two men and one woman in the vehicle were detained. They’ve since been handed off to the Ann Arbor Police Department.. ...Read Full Story

Coloma Wins Southwest Michigan Spirit Tournament

The Coloma Comets have once again come out on top in the Southwest Michigan Spirit Tournament. The tournament was held by state Senator Kim LaSata, continuing a tradition started by her predecessor to find the southwest Michigan school with the most spirit each year. Throughout the March Madness-like tournament, schools were asked to submit photos showing their spirit to LaSata’s Facebook page. Coloma wins for the second year in a row, edging out Howardsville Christian in the final round, which wrapped up on Friday. Coloma now gets the title trophy and a $250 prize from the AT&T Pioneers.. ...Read Full Story

Friends Of Library Holding Rare Book Sale

The Friends of the St. Joseph Library are preparing for a rare book sale this week. Friends of the Library President Rebecca Marsden tells WSJM News the sale will be upstairs at the library Thursday through Saturday, while the regular spring book sale takes place downstairs. Marsden says they’ve got a wide range of old books available.. ...Read Full Story

Change At The Top Of The Van Buren County Road Commission

A change has been made at the helm of the Van Buren County Road Commission. A letter from the commission to area officials confirms Larry Hummel is no longer employed as the agency’s engineer-manager, effective last Thursday. It is not clear if Hummel resigned or was fired. He had been in that capacity with the road commission for more than 17 years, starting in February 2002. According to his LinkedIn page, Hummel also worked as a highway engineer for the Van Buren County Road Commission from 1993 to 1999 and had jobs with the Michigan Department of Transportation and Montcalm County’s road commission before returning to Van Buren. Four staff members will be taking over the duties handled by Hummel on an interim basis.. ...Read Full Story

Dowagiac Man Busted After Short Chase

A Dowagiac man is facing charges after a brief chase with police on Friday night. The Dowagiac Police Department tells us an officer spotted a vehicle parked suspiciously on East Wayne Street near West Railroad Street just before 11:40 p.m. As he approached it, the vehicle took off. It started going faster, and when it ran a stop sign, the officer turned on his lights to pull the vehicle over. The vehicle fled northbound on West Railroad Street, but the driver lost control and crashed into a utility pole when he tried to make a turn. The officer got the 19-year-old driver into custody, and a search turned up a pipe that tested positive for meth. Police say the driver also had a warrant out for an assault case. He’s now facing charges that include fleeing and eluding, possession of meth, and having no operator’s license. A 22-year-old woman who was also in the car was taken to a hospital for injuries she received in the crash. She isn’t being charged.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Adoption Agency Flips LGBTQ Policy

From the Associated Press — A major faith-based foster care and adoption contractor for the state of Michigan is reversing its policy and will place children with same-sex couples to comply with a legal settlement. Bethany Christian Services and the state confirmed the change Monday. Bethany Christian Services says while it is “disappointed” with how the settlement has been implemented, it will nonetheless reverse its policy so it continues foster care and adoption work for the state. As of February, Bethany Christian Services was responsible for 1,159 – or more than 8% – of cases of children under state supervision. Democratic Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s recent settlement prevents faith-based agencies from refusing to put children in LGBT homes for religious reasons. St. Vincent Catholic Charities sued last week to challenge the deal.. ...Read Full Story

A Win For People Who Park Too Long: Tire Chalking Thrown Out

In a ruling which will be felt by local governments in several states, Saginaw’s policy of chalking tires to enforce parking restrictions has been declared unconstitutional. A federal court says chalking tires in that city to keep track of parked cars is an unreasonable search and has no role in maintaining public safety. The decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals created a new legal precedent Monday in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.. ...Read Full Story

Indiana Man Charged In Connection With Threat Against President In Grand Rapids

Posting anything on social media threatening the life of the President is bound to get you in trouble, and it did for a 20-year-old northwest Indiana man. Steffon Gonzalez of Hobart is accused of posting a photo of himself holding a rifle on his Facebook page from outside Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids on March 28, writing he had a “bullet chambered to blow his head off.” President Trump was holding a rally at the downtown venue that evening. Gonzalez then tried to delete his Facebook account, thinking that would wipe out any evidence. Doing so has led to an obstruction of justice charge, carrying a potential 20-year sentence in federal prison. He’s also charged with two counts of making threats against the President’s life, which would put him away for five years. Gonzalez was arrested at his home in Hobart on March 30, and the federal grand jury indictment was just recently unsealed.. ...Read Full Story

NWS, DNR Warn Of Wildfire Danger In Lower Peninsula

The state Department of Natural Resources is warning about the danger of wildfires all over the state’s southern lower peninsula. The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids has now issued a Red Flag Warning until 8 pm Monday, meaning that critical fire weather conditions are occurring now or will shortly. DNR wildfire prevention specialist Paul Rogers says dry weather has caused the warning to be extended to the entire Lower Peninsula.. ...Read Full Story

Dowagiac Woman Crashes Truck While Allegedly Trying To Run Over Ex

A 35-year-old Dowagiac woman is in the Cass County Jail awaiting arraignment on a charges of assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly trying to run over her ex-boyfriend with her pickup truck. He was walking along Main Street near Pennsylvania Avenue when he told police he saw the woman coming toward him, and he got behind a light pole. She crashed into and broke that, while the 39-year-old ex wasn’t hurt. The woman was treated and released into police custody from Ascension/Borgess Lee Memorial Hospital after complaining of wrist pain from the wreck. The man said the couple had just broken up on Saturday. The crash happened shortly after noon on Sunday.. ...Read Full Story

Gas Prices Fall For First Time In Over Two Months

There is some easing of the pain at the pump to start the week, but Triple-A Michigan is cautioning that it could be short-lived due to supply and demand pressures as we get closer to Memorial Day next month. Average gas prices in Michigan are down a dime a gallon to $2.82, marking the first time that prices have fallen to start the week in more than two months. The average in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph is down 9¢, but still the third-most expensive average in Michigan at $2.85. The lowest prices are to our north in the Grand Rapids-Holland-Muskegon area along with Flint, where they’re down to an average of $2.75. The highest prices are in the U.P. in Marquette, where they’re paying $2.90 a gallon. GasBuddy says South Haven prices, which aren’t part of AAA’s survey, are as low as $2.67 as of Monday morning.. ...Read Full Story

Napier Shell Robbed In Benton Township

Benton Township police are looking for a man accused of robbing the Napier Shell gas station on Napier at I-94 early Monday morning. A search by a Michigan State Police K-9 was unable to track the man after he ran off from the station. The robbery happened around 3 a.m. when a six-foot-tall black man wearing all gray with a hoodie and a mask over his face entered the convenience store, pulled a gun, and demanded money. The clerk complied, no one was hurt, and the suspect made off with an undetermined amount of cash. Anyone with information is asked to call Benton Township Police or Crime Stoppers.. ...Read Full Story

Restoration Of Historic Building Completed

Work to renovate a historic building in downtown Lawton is finished, and the new owners plan to rent the place out for events. Rene Rodriguez is a representative for Jessica and Jeff Michael, who bought Red Brick Hall on Main Street and fixed it up. Rodriguez tells WSJM News the building was constructed in 1880 and played a role in local affairs.. ...Read Full Story

Talks Underway Regarding Fire Department Consolidation

Talks are underway regarding a possible consolidation of the fire departments in Baroda Township, Lake Township, and Bridgman. Baroda Township Supervisor Jim Brow tells WSJM News the idea came up a few months ago, and one meeting between local firefighters has been held so far. He says sharing resources, especially for taking calls, could have benefits.. ...Read Full Story

Fire Marshal Steps Up Prevention Efforts

Michigan State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer has announced a statewide campaign to put more smoke detectors into homes. A FEMA grant of $525,000 is helping to fund MI Prevention, the statewide campaign to promote the alarms and fire safety awareness. Sehlmeyer spoke with WSJM News about the effort.. ...Read Full Story

School Board To Hear Updated Graduation Projections

Benton Harbor Area Schools CEO Robert Herrera says an update on the high school graduation numbers for this year will be given to the board of education next month. At this past week’s CEO Meeting, Herrera said board members will get a presentation on what’s been done since last month when he announced only 38 high school seniors out of 138 were on track to graduate this year.. ...Read Full Story