Local News Archives

Judge Puts Former Governor Snyder Back In Flint Water Litigation

(Flint, MI – AP) – A judge says former Governor Rick Snyder can be sued by residents in the Flint water scandal, reversing a decision from last summer. Residents claim Snyder violated their right to bodily integrity by repeatedly doing nothing as Flint used corrosive water that released lead from old pipes. Judge Judith Levy says a right to bodily integrity is a “fundamental interest” protected by the U.S. Constitution.. ...Read Full Story

Judge Stops Crackdown On Unlicensed Pot Shops

From the Associated Press — A Michigan judge has blocked yet another attempt by state officials to shut down unlicensed medical marijuana provisioning centers. About 50 unlicensed shops in Michigan were set to be shut down by regulators. But Michigan Court of Claims Judge Stephen Borrello signed a temporary restraining order Thursday that prevents state regulators from enforcing a licensing deadline that had been set for Sunday. The judge’s order means that the unlicensed shops can keep their doors open for at least another two weeks. The Bureau of Marijuana Regulation said in a statement Friday that Sunday’s licensing deadline would not be enforced. State officials have tried to impose a deadline for licensure since September 2018, but it’s been pushed back multiple times due to legal challenges and official intervention.. ...Read Full Story

BH To Get App For Anonymous Tips To Police

Residents of Benton Harbor will soon have a new way to report tips to police without having to speak with the police themselves. At a Monday meeting, the Benton Harbor City Commission approved spending $6,000 to sign the community up for tip411. Deputy Director of Public Safety Michael Clark told WSJM News it will mean the creation of a mobile app for residents to submit tips and pictures to a third party that keeps the tipster’s information secure.. ...Read Full Story

2019 Fishing Licenses Available

Fishing license season is now underway in Michigan. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources tells us if you want to fish in Michigan waters, you need to get your license. All 2019 licenses are good for all species and will be valid through March 31 of next year. The standard resident annual license is $26, while seniors get a license for $11. You can also get a 24 hour license for $10 or a 72 hour license for $30. There are a few new regulations to note. The DNR says among them is the statewide daily possession limit for yellow perch has been reduced to 25. For the rest of them, check the 2019 Michigan Fishing Guide. It’s available at fishing license retailers or the DNR’s website.. ...Read Full Story

Judge Orders Closer Look At Great Lakes Oil Spill Plans

From the Associated Press — A federal judge has ordered a government agency to take a closer look at pipeline company Enbridge’s plans for dealing with a potential oil spill in the waterway connecting Lakes Huron and Michigan. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration previously approved the Canadian company’s spill response plans for areas traversed by Line 5, which carries oil from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario. A portion runs along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac between Michigan’s upper and lower
peninsulas. Environmentalists sued, claiming the plans left too many questions unanswered. In a ruling Friday, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith instructed the agency to provide more information about its reasons for approving the plans and to prepare an environmental assessment or impact statement. The pipeline agency declined to comment Monday.. ...Read Full Story

State Confirms More Measles Cases In Southeast Michigan

There have been 30 confirmed cases of measles in southeast Michigan this year as part of an outbreak that started last month. The outbreak began as a result of one person who had traveled internationally, and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Angela Minicuci told WSJM News it spread quickly because of a high number of people in the area who have not been vaccinated. She said the illness starts with many cold or flu-like symptoms, like a cough or runny nose.. ...Read Full Story

Cereal Drive In Allegan County

The Allegan County Food Pantry Collaborative has kicked off its fourth annual cereal drive. The Allegan County Community Foundation tells us they’re hoping to collect 30,000 boxes of cereal this month to be distributed through its 16 member pantries. It says for families whose children receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch, summer can be difficult with increased food costs. The goal of the cereal drive is to provide one box, per child, per week for the summer for those children whose families visit food pantries in Allegan County. There are a variety of drop-off locations throughout Allegan County for those who want to help. You can see them below. The food drive continues all month.. ...Read Full Story

Muskegon Heights 12-Year-Old Filling Potholes Himself

A west Michigan boy is getting attention for taking matters into his own hands to deal with potholes. Twelve-year-old Monte Scott recently used dirt from his backyard to even out a street near his Muskegon Heights home. Scott’s mother posted a video to Facebook last week, saying “he’s really got a garbage can full of dirt filling these potholes.” She adds her son took it upon himself to get something done to fix their street. So far, Scott has filled in about 15 potholes and says he plans to tackle the rest of the street when he can. He says he “didn’t want people messing up their cars like my mom did,” adding repairing a pothole-damaged vehicle can cost hundreds of dollars. The Facebook video has been seen over 50,000 times and has 1,200 shares.. ...Read Full Story

Body Found On Lake Michigan Shore Identified As Missing Chicago Woman

The body found along the shore of Lake Michigan on Sunday has been identified as a Chicago woman. Eddisa Concepcion Herrera was last seen on December 21 when she jumped into the lake at the North Avenue Beach in Chicago. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department says they were helped out by Chicago Police in the investigation, and the positive identification was made during the autopsy at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Herrera’s death has been ruled an accidental drowning. Her remains were found by someone walking on the beach north of Warren Dunes State Park and Weko Beach shortly before 1 p.m. Sunday.. ...Read Full Story

Lawsuit Filed Over Medical Marijuana Testing Requirement

There are renewed concerns for medical marijuana patients in Michigan, as a new testing requirement is slated to go into effect this month. The Curing Corner, a licensed provisioning center in the Detroit suburb of River Rouge, has filed a lawsuit against the Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs department to allow caregivers to continue providing untested products to state licensed provisioning centers.. ...Read Full Story

Police: Car Thefts, Vehicle Larcenies Increasing In Van Buren County

Spring weather is bringing out thieves targeting vehicles in Van Buren County. The sheriff’s department tells WSJM News they’ve had an uptick in larceny reports from vehicles and several cars have also been stolen in the past several weeks. Most of the incidents are happening in the overnight hours. Police are reminding people to keep their vehicles, garages, and homes locked.. ...Read Full Story

Gas Prices Up 14¢ In Benton Harbor Area, 7¢ Statewide

The amount we’re shelling out to fill up the gas tank keeps rising. Triple-A Michigan puts the average price for unleaded regular at $2.78 a gallon, up 7¢ from a week ago. The price is down from the high for the year of $2.83 set on March 27. The most expensive fuel is being sold in Jackson at $2.86 a gallon, while the lowest average price is $2.71 in Marquette. The auto club says the average in the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph area is $2.79, a 14¢ jump in the past week. Prices are a little lower in South Haven, with GasBuddy putting the average at $2.71 along the shore in Van Buren County.. ...Read Full Story

Two Berrien County Districts Among School Safety Grant Winners

A number of school districts in Michigan will be getting a share of a $25-million fund to make security improvements in their districts. Michigan State Police say the money comes from the 2019 School Safety Grant Program. They received 360 applications for $21-million more than they have to spend. Coloma and New Buffalo Public Schools both have grants coming. Grants range from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand, depending on the size of the district and the need.. ...Read Full Story

Secretary Of State Looks To Enhance Election Security

The new Michigan Election Security Commission created by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is expected to release a set of recommendations to improve the integrity of Michigan’s elections by the end of the year. Benson tells WSJM News she set up the body to get the input of elections and computer experts from around the country. We asked if she has any predictions for what the body will recommend.. ...Read Full Story

Body Washes Ashore Near Warren Dunes State Park

An autopsy will be done Monday on the body of a woman found washed ashore north of Warren Dunes State Park in Lake Township. Baroda/Lake Township police say a person walking on the Lake Michigan shore found the body shortly before 1 pm Sunday. Police say they have not been able to identify the remains, and the discovery remains under investigation. Several agencies are assisting with the investigation, including Department of Natural Resources park rangers from Warren Dunes, Lake Township Fire Department, Bridgman Police, and the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau.. ...Read Full Story

Transportation Forum Coming Up

The Disability Network of Southwest Michigan is planning a transportation forum for next month. Program Director Lewis Whalen tells WSJM News the event will be a chance for anyone to ask questions and express concerns to representatives of Berrien County transportation agencies.. ...Read Full Story

Lincoln Twp Police Department Getting K9

A new officer is about to start at the Lincoln Township Police Department. Echo is a 1-year-old Belgian Malinois recruited to be the department’s K9, and she just arrived in the United States from Poland this month. Lincoln Township Police Chief Gary Soper tells WSJM News the department collected $30,000 from the public to get the K9. That support came in from businesses and individuals.. ...Read Full Story

Mental Health First Aid Training To Be Offered

The Healthy Berrien Consortium in partnership with Riverwood Center is offering free mental health first aid training next month. The eight hour course will be on Thursday, April 18. Riverwood Center Mental Health First Aid Instructor Kimberly Sparkmon tells WSJM News the program has been in the community for several years, and as many as 1,000 people in Berrien County have received the training. She calls it “first aid for the brain.”. ...Read Full Story

Redistricting Website Launches

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has announced a new website that will track progress on the redistricting process in the state. She tells WSJM News her office is preparing to put out applications to serve on the new 13 member redistricting commission created by a ballot proposal last year. This commission will replace the old system of having state legislators set up voting districts. Benson says anyone interested can check RedistrictingMichigan.org.. ...Read Full Story

Honor Flight Student Essay Contest

A student essay contest has been launched by Talons Out Honor Flight. The organization takes veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam to their memorials in Washington, D.C. for free, and the two winners of the essay contest will get to go along on the June 1 trip. Talons Out Honor Flight President Bobbie Bradley tells WSJM News the essays should be about the experiences of a World War II or Korean War vet from the student’s community. We asked her about some previous entries.. ...Read Full Story

Stretch Of State Highway Named For Slain Trooper

From the Associated Press — A stretch of mid-Michigan highway has been designated to honor a state trooper who was fatally shot during a 1982 traffic stop. The bill to name a portion of U.S. highway 127 between Leslie and the Jackson County line for 28-year-old Trooper Craig A. Scott was signed in December by then-Governor Rick Snyder, with the law taking effect Friday. The father of three was shot Feb. 9, 1982 along the highway. Jessica Misch, who was 8 when he died, tells the Lansing State Journal her father “sacrificed everything for the state.”
Two men were convicted in his death. Democratic state Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., who sponsored the bill, says: “The most important thing we can do is remember those who served us and made the ultimate sacrifice.”. ...Read Full Story

Lawmaker Hails New PFAS Commission

State Representative Beth Griffin is praising Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s creation of a PFAS commission. The governor has set up the panel to develop drinking water standards for the chemicals. Griffin tells us Whitmer “took an important step to continue our state’s progress toward better protecting the health of all Michigan families.” She notes ever since elevated levels of PFAS were found in Parchment, the state has used the Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water limit as its cleanup standard. Griffin adds Michigan is “a national leader in protecting the health and safety of its residents from this contaminant. We’ve set the standard for action, and by creating this science advisory workgroup we can set a science-based standard for PFAS drinking water safety that Michigan families can trust.” Whitmer directed the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to create the panel to set the new PFAS standards.. ...Read Full Story

LMC To Mark International Education Week

This coming week will be all about developing a global perspective at Lake Michigan College. LMC Internationalization Committee member Amy Scrima tells WSJM News it’s International Education Week, a series of events featuring food and discussion. Tuesday brings a talk about food with a Mexico City-based chef, and then Wednesday will feature an international cuisine potluck at the Hawk’s Nest.. ...Read Full Story