Local News Archives

Big Apartment Fire Displaces Niles Residents

Fire investigators are trying to figure out what sparked a massive three-alarm blaze at the North Niles Villa apartments on North 5th Street in Niles. The flames went through the roof in Building A of the complex last night, displacing residents of more than a dozen units. Niles Fire Chief Don Wise tells our reporting partners at WNDU NewsCenter 16 that in his more than three decades of fighting fires, this was among the worst he’s seen. The American Red Cross was on hand to help those people find shelter for the night. It’s believed the fire started in the attic, and investigators say it does not appear that the smoke detectors were working. One resident was hospitalized for smoke inhalation.. ...Read Full Story

Heritage Museum Welcomes New Director

A new director has come to the Heritage Museum and Cultural Center in St. Joseph. Elizabeth Andrews, a St. Joe native, is taking over the position. She’s the replacement for Amy Zapal, who left the Heritage Museum early this year to lead St. Joseph Today. Andrews returns to the area from Ann Arbor where she’d most recently lived. She previously spent 17 years working for Berrien RESA, leading arts education around the county. The museum tells us Andrews “brings a passion for local history and culture, exuberance for learning and a deep commitment to philanthropy in the public and private sector.” It adds the new executive director will now lead efforts to increase technology-enhanced preservation of local artifacts and to increase the museum’s long-term sustainability.. ...Read Full Story

State Reports Increase In Cases Of Hepatitis A

Cases of Hepatitis A are on the rise in the state, prompting the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to activate its Community Health Emergency Coordination Center. Department Spokesperson Angela Minicuci tells Michigan News Network that will provide more help to healthcare providers and facilities. Many of the hepatitis A cases are associated with those who have a history of substance use, people in transient living conditions, those in jails, and healthcare workers.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor High School To Be Added To State Partnership Agreement

Some additional schools in Benton Harbor will be forming partnership agreements with the Michigan Department of Education in order to stay open. The department announced Tuesday Benton Harbor High School and the Mildred C. Wells Preparatory Academy have been added to the list. Their persistently-low test scores have caused them to be identified by the state as in need of extra intervention.. ...Read Full Story

MI Lawmakers Approve Supplemental Spending Bill

From the Associated Press — Michigan lawmakers have approved a $62.8 million supplemental budget bill that includes spending vetoed by Governor Rick Snyder months ago. The bill passed by the House Tuesday would restore about half of the $5 million in proposed general spending nixed by the Republican governor. An education budget bill already on Snyder’s desk includes another $1.2 million in spending he previously vetoed. Lawmakers say Snyder is now on board after reconsidering. Added back in is $150,000 to train grocers and others to prepare and clean equipment used to serve draft beer. A law expanded the type of businesses that can let customers fill growlers for consumption off-site. There’s also $280,000 for a Muskegon charter school and $700,000 for a study on the potential of genomic testing to improve opioid prescribing practices.. ...Read Full Story

Fire Destroys Berrien Center Home

A more than 100 year old farm house is a total loss following a fire in Berrien Center Monday night. Eau Claire Fire Chief Norman Carl tells WSJM News the fire was reported at a home on Painter School Road near M-62 around 9:15 p.m. One member of the family woke up and got the rest of the family out. Responding fire departments were from Eau Claire, Sodus Township, Indian Lake, and Pokagon Township. A preliminary investigation finds the cause of the fire was likely a wood-burning stove, although the fire marshal is working to determine the official cause. Carl says no one was hurt in the blaze. He says the house was fully involved when firefighters arrived and there was no saving it. The family is staying with relatives. Firefighters were at the scene as late as 3 a.m. because of heavy winds that re-ignited the flames.. ...Read Full Story