Local News Archives

Fire Chief: Avoid Holiday Fires

Live Christmas tree or artificial this year? That’s a question many families ask. If you choose to purchase a real tree, South Haven Emergency Services Chief Ron Wise spoke with WSJM News and suggests not keeping that live tree in the house for long.. ...Read Full Story

Trust Fund Board Announces $26 Million In Parks Grants

$26 million in recreation grants have been announced for the year by the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board. The board each year selects parks projects around Michigan to receive grants taken from interest earned on funds from state-owned minerals like oil and natural gas. Among the grants announced on Thursday are $56,000 for the city of Dowagiac to acquire an easement for the Elks Trail, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has been approved for a $534,000 grant for land acquisition at the Cornish State Game Area. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund has resulted in more than $1 billion in grants going out to park, trail, and playground projects throughout the state in the past 40 years.. ...Read Full Story

Police Respond To Report Of Assault In Niles Twp

Merritt Elementary School in Niles was placed on lockdown Friday as the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department responded to an assault nearby. The department tells us deputies were called out to a home in the 1,600 block of Florence Avenue in Niles Township around 2 p.m. on a report of a man who had threatened others with a knife. The home’s residents told police the 21-year-old man had barricaded himself inside, but when deputies entered the home, he was gone. The suspect, who lives at the residence where deputies were called, was not arrested at the scene. Police have not said if he was picked up elsewhere. The case is being referred on to the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office for charges that include assault with a dangerous weapon and unlawful imprisonment.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren County Gets $780,000 For Specialty Courts

State grants totaling more than $780,000 have been announced for Van Buren County’s specialty courts. The specialty courts are the Drug Treatment Court, the Family Reunification Court, the Swift and Sure Sanctions Probation Program, the Adult and Family Recovery Courts, and the Sobriety Court. They’re designed to help those who have found themselves in the criminal justice system turn things aroundwith intensive coaching and supervision. The State Court Administrative Office informed Van Buren County this week about the grants which will be used to continue operations of the specialty courts throughout 2019.. ...Read Full Story

No State Grant For Cherry Beach Project This Year

The Cherry Beach Project in Chikaming Township has suffered a blow. It was not included in this week’s announced Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grants. Chikaming Township Supervisor David Bunte tells WSJM News the effort to raise about $4 million to purchase three acres of private property adjacent to the public Cherry Beach partially depended on a Natural Resources Trust Fund grant. The Cherry Beach Project raised around $1 million in pledges from individuals and combined that with several other grants. With state support not happening this year, Bunte says it’s back to the drawing board.. ...Read Full Story

OutCenter Announces Program For College Students

A new effort to help LGBTQ+ high school and college students is being launched by the OutCenter in Benton Harbor. The OutCenter tells us “LGBTQ+ Journey to College” will hold several events in the coming months. Everything will kick off Tuesday, December 18 at 3 p.m. at the Phoenix Coffeeshop with “LGBTQ+ Journey to College: It Gets Better,” featuring a panel of five college students and recent grads who will present their thoughts. Going forward, the OutCenter will host Journey to College events including a Financial Aid presentation on January 31. The OutCenter tells us it’s started the new initiative because of the disparities it finds with LGBTQ+ youth attending college.. ...Read Full Story

AFM, A Polio-Like Illness, Shows Up In Michigan

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed a second case of Acute Flaccid Myelitis, or AFM, in a child from Oakland County. The first case was confirmed earlier this month in a child in Wayne County. AFM is a polio-like condition. It affects the nervous system and can cause muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak. The disease is rare. The exact cause isn’t know, but it often comes on after a respiratory illness. Lynn Sutfin is with the Michigan Department of Health. She spoke with Michigan News Network about AFM.. ...Read Full Story

Plea Deal Follows Hung Jury In Van Buren County Murder Case

A mistrial and a plea deal in a Van Buren County shooting death. Troy Taylor was facing a murder charge for shooting and killing his ex-wife’s new boyfriend, Tim Henley, earlier this year. The jury was unable to reach a verdict, and Taylor decided he didn’t want to put his children through another trial. He agreed to a guilty plea to voluntary manslaughter, which could send him to prison for up to seven years, and prosecutors dropped six other charges including second-degree murder. The shooting death happened when Taylor went to drop his son off at his ex-wife’s home near Gobles in June and his daughter caught the ex having sex nearby in a Jeep with Henley. In the anger that followed, police said Henley began punching the windows in Taylor’s BMW, shattering the driver’s side window. Taylor said he was defending himself and his kids when he pulled his gun and shot Henley three times, killing him. He will be sentenced February 4.. ...Read Full Story

GM’s Restructuring Plans Scaled Back

(Detroit, MI – AP) – The General Motors’ massive 14,000-person layoff announced last month might not be as bad as originally projected. The company said Friday that 2,700 out of the 3,300 factory jobs slated for elimination will now be saved by adding jobs at other U.S. factories. Blue-collar workers in many cities will still lose jobs when GM shutters four U.S. factories next year. But most could find employment at other GM plants. Some would have to relocate. GM still plans to lay off about 8,000 white-collar workers and another 2,600 factory workers in Canada. In November, GM announced plans to end production at the U.S. factories and one in Ontario as part of a restructuring. Lawmakers and President Donald Trump have hammered GM over the layoffs. GM says the factory hires were in the works before its announcement.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder’s Plan To Increase Trash Fees To Pay For Environmental Cleanup Dies

(Lansing, MI – AP) – Governor Rick Snyder’s proposal to increase trash fees to fund environmental cleanup is dead. The Republican-led Legislature did not act on the legislation this week, meaning it cannot be passed before the lame-duck session concludes. Snyder’s call to raise the landfill dumping fee had hit resistance from both Republicans and Democrats. He and legislative leaders are exploring other ways to replace the Clean Michigan Initiative, a 20-year-old voter-approved bond issue that is drying up.. ...Read Full Story