Local News Archives

Police, Firefighters Rally Over Pensions

From the Associated Press — Hundreds of police and firefighters have rallied at Michigan’s Capitol in a show of force against pending legislation they fear could lead to cuts in retiree benefits. Bills haven’t been introduced, and Republican Governor Rick Snyder and legislative leaders continue to meet. But police officers and firefighters are in Lansing Wednesday to push lawmakers to not curtail retiree health benefits. Republicans are concerned about $10.1 billion in unfunded liabilities for municipal retiree health care. Public safety officers agree it’s a problem, but say legislators should stick with consensus recommendations included in a task force report – not potentially interfere with collectively bargained contracts. A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof says the state should
provide a “pathway” to resolve unfunded liabilities locally – through increased revenue or benefit changes.. ...Read Full Story

Woman Hurt In Car-Pedestrian Accident In Van Buren County

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a crash between a car and a pedestrian in Arlington Township. It happened around 5:30 last night in the 57-thousand block of 48th Avenue when a Kalamazoo woman was taking a client from Beacon Specialized Living for a walk and was hit by a Chevy Impala driven by a woman from Hartford. The driver told police she didn’t see the two until it was too late, as there are no street lights in the area. The victim is 24-years-old and was sent to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo for treatment of head and back injuries. Just how badly she was hurt hasn’t been released, however, deputies say she was breathing but unresponsive when the arrived. The client and the driver were not hurt.. ...Read Full Story

U Of M Students Walk Out Over Possible Spencer Speech

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel has said his administration has not made a decision yet about whether to allow white supremacist Richard Spencer to speak on campus. Schlissel did say he would meet with Spencer’s group, the National Policy Institute, before making that decision. That prompted a walkout Wednesday afternoon of about 300 to 400 students who ended up on the steps of the union. Kwi-aun Saum with the Stop Spencer Campaign spoke with Michigan News Network.. ...Read Full Story

Attorney General Issues Brochure On Safe Holiday Giving

The Michigan Attorney General’s office is reminding everyone to be careful about where they give their charitable donations this Christmas season. The AG’s office tells us it has released its annual Giving Wisely brochure, a resource that aims to help Michigan donors make wise charitable gifts. The Michigan Nonprofit Association, Council of Michigan Foundations, and the Michigan Association of United Ways all work with the attorney general on putting the brochure together. It contains information on how people can protect themselves while making donations online and to be wary of aggressive fundraising phone calls. You can find the new brochure right here.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Announces Plans For Park Development

The city of South Haven has its eye on a new recreational development. The city manager’s office tells us the South Haven Area Recreation Authority Board has settled on a new location for the long-proposed South Haven Area Recreational Park, or SHARP. The city started planning for the large gathering place and recreation spot as far back as 2006. The first site the city identified for it, located in Casco Township, proved to be too problematic. Now, the recreation authority has settled on a 40 acre parcel in South Haven Township. Located at 75327 14th Avenue, the plan now is to buy the property and establish the SHARP there. It will feature a community gathering spot, baseball fields, softball fields, walking paths, and soccer fields. The city will use proceeds from the sale of the old 96 acre parcel in Casco Township and a $300,000 state grant to make the project happen. The goal is to have the funds next year.. ...Read Full Story

State Receives Millions In Skilled Trades Funding

Millions of dollars in grant money coming to Michigan will be used to help help the state develop talent and companies to fill thousand of jobs. The Skilled Trades Training Fund ensures residents have continued access to training for in-demand skills and that employers continue creating opportunities for skilled workers. Talent Investment Agency Director Wanda Stokes spoke with Michigan News Network about the funding.. ...Read Full Story

RESA Program Receives National Recognition

A Berrien RESA program aimed at helping the parents of small children better guide the development of their young ones has received national recognition. The Parents as Teachers program engages the parents of kids ages 3 and under to get personally involved in the educational development of their children, says RESA’s Kerenda Applebey. She spoke with WSJM News about the program.. ...Read Full Story

Six Berrien Communities Sign On To MEDC Program

Cornerstone Alliance is hoping six Berrien County communities that recently signed on to a state development program will make themselves even more attractive to business. Cornerstone’s Stacey Stephens tells WSJM News the MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities Initiative lays out some best practices for communities to follow when preparing for development. Now joined on to get certified are Benton Harbor, Niles, St. Joseph, Watervliet, Baroda, and Stevensville. The idea is to create some uniformity so businesses are more comfortable with expanding into the participating communities.. ...Read Full Story

Niles Scream Park Donates $110,000 To Non-Profits

The Niles Scream Park has ended another season by giving out more than $110,000 to non-profits all over the region. The attraction itself is a non-profit, and the more then 400 volunteers who worked there this Halloween season have made their picks for which charities it will support. Park Secretary Kellie Welch spoke with WSJM News.. ...Read Full Story

Police Investigate Morning Crash In Bertrand Twp

A crash which police believe may have been alcohol-related is under investigation in Berrien County. The sheriff’s department tells us deputies were called out to US-12 near Mayflower Road in Bertrand Township around 10 a.m. Wednesday. They learned a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire driven by a 24-year-old man from the Niles area had attempted to pass a trash hauler as they headed west on US-12. The Sunfire sideswiped the garbage truck, crossed the centerline, and then crashed head-on into an oncoming 2013 Chevrolet. The driver of the Sunfire was taken to Memorial Hospital in South Bend with serious but non life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Chevrolet was treated for minor injuries at the scene and released, and the driver of the garbage hauler was not hurt. Police say they do believe alcohol was involved in the crash They’ll forward their report on to the Berrien County Prosecutor’s office when it’s complete.. ...Read Full Story