Local News Archives

Benton Township Target Store Closing

It’s a blow to southwest Michigan retail. WSJM News has learned the Target store in Benton Township is closing. We’ve been told by a manager the store on Fairplain Drive will shut down on February 3. The news comes on the same day at least one other Target closing, in Kansas, was announced. Target corporate has yet to offer us any further details regarding why the Benton Township location has been selected for closure, and we’ll be following up on that in the coming days. The closing of the Benton Harbor Target comes at the end of a tough year for retail around the country. CNN Money reports 2017 has seen the announcement of more retail closings than any previous year on record. WSJM has been told Target owns the location it occupies in Benton Township, and the store closing is expected to be a hard blow for the rest of the plaza. We’ll continue to follow up on this story as more details become available.. ...Read Full Story

Tuesday Is Election Day In Southwest Michigan

This Tuesday is an election day in many southwest Michigan communities. In Berrien County, Benton Harbor voters will consider a local income tax proposal. They will decide if city residents should pay a 1% income tax, while non-residents who work in the city would pay 0.5%. Also on the ballot will be some city commission races in Benton Harbor, although the only contested one is an at-large race between Edward Isom and Jerry Price. Lakeshore Schools will have a millage renewal and a bond proposal on the ballot. That bond would be $21 million for a variety of building improvements districtwide. Voters in St. Joseph will have to pick three city commissioners out of a field of six. The candidates are Fran Chickering, Al DiBrito, Michael Garey, Peggy Getty, Mary Goff, and Laura A. Goos. Finally for Berrien County, there will be a road millage on the ballot in Chikaming Township.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Communities Struggle To Find Election Workers

From the Associated Press — Nearly half of local officials in Michigan’s large municipalities report struggling to find enough people with the necessary skills to work at the polls on Election Day. The figure is included in a survey of more than 1,100 cities and townships released by the University of Michigan’s Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy on Monday. When smaller municipalities are included, the number of
officials reporting trouble recruiting skilled poll workers is almost 30 percent. Nine in 10 officials are “very confident” that their jurisdictions can administer elections accurately. Two-thirds of local officials support legislation to let voters cast an absentee ballot without needing an excuse. The same number of respondents opposes allowing same-day voter registration on Election Day. About a quarter report experiencing equipment failures at the polls.. ...Read Full Story

Maggots Found In MI Prison Food Last Summer

From the Associated Press — Maggots were discovered in food at a Michigan prison during three incidents last summer. The Detroit Free Press says they’re the first discoveries since Trinity Services Group was hired to supply food in 2015. The newspaper cited documents
obtained by a Corrections Department employee. Prisons spokesman Chris Gautz says any food problems typically are related to a lack of experienced staff. Trinity Services didn’t respond to a request for comment. A corrections officer, Sgt. Michael Demps, says he saw four or five “worm-like bugs” still moving on a prisoner’s tray at the Cotton prison, near Jackson, on July 26. Records show “crunchy dirt” was found in a potato dish. Trinity replaced another contractor that had problems. Gautz says it’s not known if Trinity’s contract will be extended next year.. ...Read Full Story

Andrews University Planning Veterans Day Tribute

Andrews University is planning a Veterans Day tribute for this week. The event at the Howard Performing Arts Center will be Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. Andrews tells us the program will be one of reflection and thankfulness toward the veterans who have and are making sacrifices for the United States. The event will start with a posting of the colors by the American Legion Post #284 and the VFW Post #9820 out of South Bend. Then, there will be a music selection and a poem, followed by an address by United States Navy Reserve Chaplain Washington Johnson II. The program will also include a slideshow presentation of veterans that have been or are connected with Andrews University. Everyone is welcome to the special Veterans Day tribute.. ...Read Full Story

Pilot Program Aims To Prevent Opioid Addiction

Kalamazoo County will be the site of a pilot program in Michigan to fight opioid abuse if the governor approves it. State Representative Brandt Iden tells WSJM News a supplemental budget bill sent to the governor this week includes $700,000 for Medicaid recipients to receive genetic tests in the county. The goal is to find indicators of a pr-disposition to an opioid addiction.. ...Read Full Story

State Responds To 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

Proos Named Sheriffs Association Legislator Of The Year

State Senator John Proos has received a special honor from the Michigan Sheriffs Association. He’s been named the group’s 2017 Legislator of the Year. New MSA president and Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey presented Proos with the award at the organization’s annual fall conference this week. Proos was picked for the distinction for his work on criminal justice legislation in the Michigan Senate. Proos says he’s honored to receive the award, and he looks forward to “continuing to work with our sheriffs to support our law enforcement officers and do what we can to make Michigan a safer place.”. ...Read Full Story