Local News Archives

South Haven Schools To Hold Town Hall

A town hall is planned for this week in South Haven for everyone to learn more about what the programs offered at the local public school district. South Haven Public Schools spokesperson Amy Nichols tells WSJM News this is a sort of “State of the Schools” event to spread the word about the district.. ...Read Full Story

Coloma Area Double Murder Suspect Going To Trial

The man charged in a 2016 double murder case in Coloma is going to trial. On Tuesday, a Berrien County judge found there is enough evidence for Alex Perez to be tried in the deaths of Renee Mitchell and her father, John Mitchell. The two were found beaten to death in their Coloma area home on January 15 of last year. Perez was later arrested in Colorado. Mitchell relative Stephanie Kopaceski told WSJM News there was a lot on her mind in the courtroom.. ...Read Full Story

Watervliet Man Charged After Tuesday Chase With Police

A 42-year-old Watervliet man is in the Berrien County Jail following a chase with the Berrien County Weighmaster Tuesday. Michigan State Police tell WSJM News the weighmaster pulled over a vehicle on County Line Road for a traffic violation around 12:15 p.m. While talking to the driver, the suspect’s vehicle took off, dragging the weighmaster with it. He managed to get free, and then chased the suspect north on County Line Road before finally crashing and overturning at 70th Street near 48th Avenue. The weighmaster was taken to a hospital for treatment, while the suspect’s vehicle was found abandoned not long after. A Berrien County Sheriff’s Department K9 found the suspect hiding in the woods. The suspect is now charged with fleeing and eluding, drunk driving, and driving on a suspended license.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Athletic Director Steps Down

Benton Harbor Area Schools is now looking for a new athletic director. Fred Smith has submitted his resignation, effective immediately. Benton Harbor Area Schools Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker tells us Smith will be missed, adding, “He has been dedicated to Benton Harbor’s success these past two years.” Smith issued a brief statement saying he has not had the time needed to lead Benton Harbor in the direction it needs to go because of family issues. The position of athletic director will be posted shortly.. ...Read Full Story

Pokagon Casino Looking To Fill 1,200 Jobs

From the Associated Press — Four job fairs are being planned for positions at the tribal casino that’s under construction in northern Indiana.
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians expects to have about 1,200 positions at the casino in South Bend when it opens early next year.The job fairs are July 22 and Sept. 9 at Jackson Middle School in South Bend, with the others August 5 at Four Winds Field and Oct. 3 at Century Center. The South Bend Tribune reports Pokagon spokeswoman Paige Risser wouldn’t disclose pay ranges for the jobs, saying only that they’ll be “market competitive.” Risser said she couldn’t yet specify an opening date for the casino. The Pokagon Band currently has Four Winds casinos at three southwestern Michigan locations, with its largest in New Buffalo.. ...Read Full Story

State Expected To Tighten Firewood Rules At Parks

From the Associated Press — Michigan is expected to tighten rules about firewood in state parks and some other public lands starting next year as part of efforts to curb destructive invasive species. Jason Fleming, resource protection and promotion section chief for the Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation Division, tells The Holland Sentinel that an official policy is being developed. He says specifics could be
finalized this fall. Fleming notes that invasive species and disease can travel on firewood, whether the wood is brought from another state or just outside the park. Michigan already has some restrictions in place to prevent the spread of invasive pests and tree diseases. MLive.com reports campers, for example, might have to buy firewood at a park from an approved vendor or bring in wood that’s been certified.. ...Read Full Story

Memorial Walk, Candlelight Vigil Today To Remember Courthouse Victims

Today marks one year since the deadly shootings at the Berrien County Courthouse in St. Joseph that claimed the lives of security director Joseph Zangaro and bailiff Ron Kienzle. The two were killed by an inmate trying to escape after he had stolen the gun of Deputy James Atterberry Jr. Atterberry survived being shot, as did a woman who was in the courthouse, and responding officers killed the inmate. Berrien Strong Community In Action and the Fraternal Order of Police Blossomland Lodge #100 are holding a memorial walk tonight starting at 8:30 from the courthouse to the Law Enforcement Memorial in St. Joseph, where a candlelight vigil will be held. If you plan to walk, you’re urged to arrive at the courthouse no later than 8:15.. ...Read Full Story

Child Drowns In Galien Township

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department is investigating after a seven-year-old-girl drowned in a Galien Township pond on Monday. It tells our newsroom deputies were called out to a swimming hole on a rural property along Jeffery Road near Spring Creek Road about 7:15 p.m. Sadie Geigler, of Michigan City, was pulled from the water. Despite efforts by emergency responders to save her, the girl was pronounced dead at Lakeland Hospital in Niles. The sheriff’s department was assisted at the scene by the Three Oaks, Police Department, the Pokagon Tribal Police Department, Three Oaks Ambulance, the Galien Township Fire Department, the Weesaw Township Fire Department, and the Bertrand Township Fire Department.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Commission Approves Whirlpool Tax Break

St. Joseph City Commissioners have taken the biggest step they needed to take in order to help a Whirlpool Tech Center expansion move forward. On Monday, they approved a commercial rehabilitation district certificate for the area of Upton Drive where the tech center work could take place. Rob Cleveland, with Cornerstone Alliance, tells us the next step is to get support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.. ...Read Full Story