Local News Archives

SMC Holds Agriculture Science Camp

Southwestern Michigan College has held its first ever agriculture science camp for middle school students. It started this Tuesday with a field trip to a 1,600 acre Cassopolis dairy farm. There, the 14 kids learned all about grass-fed longhorn beef and custom butchering. They also got to explore the nearby Newton Woods. The acre area is part of Fred Russ Forest where researchers study Christmas tree seed production and other projects aimed at preserving the diversity of Michigan forests. The SMC Agricultural Science Camp is designed to teach kids in rural areas all about how area farms function.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Unemployment Rate Falls To 3.8 Percent

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent during June while the number of people in the workforce continued to decline. The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget announced Wednesday the June rate compared to a rate of 4.2 percent during May and was a full percentage point lower than the June 2016 rate of 4.8 percent. The national rate in June was 4.4 percent. The agency says Michigan’s workforce shrunk by 29,000 during June. The number of unemployed workers fell by 20,000 and total employment declined by 9,000. Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives Director Jason Palmer says the June decline in the unemployment rate reflected a second consecutive month of a reduced labor force after several months of steady workforce growth in 2016 and early 2017.. ...Read Full Story

State Commission To Examine Mental Health Issues

The state House is looking at how to help Michigan residents facing mental health issues. Representative Klint Kesto of Commerce Township will co-chair a bi-partisan task force and says they will be going all over the state to meet with substance abuse treatment centers, courts, corrections institutions, rehab facilities and mental health institutions. He spoke with Michigan News Network about the plan.. ...Read Full Story

70-Year-Old Smokestack Demolished In Muskegon

From the Associated Press — A 70-year-old smokestack on the site of a former paper mill in western Michigan has been demolished. The Muskegon Chronicle posted video of the implosion, which left behind rubble and cloud of dust Tuesday morning in Muskegon. The demolition of “Power House Stack No. 1” came amid concerns by city officials that it might collapse if left standing. Police set up a perimeter around the site to keep onlookers safe from asbestos-laden dust. The newspaper reports officials had determined it was too dangerous to remove asbestos from the smokestack before demolition. Another smokestack, the 72-year-old “recovery boiler chimney,” still stands at the former Sappi Paper Mill site. Crews will remove asbestos paint prior to demolition. Plans call for the site to be transformed into the Windward Pointe mixed-use development.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor School Board Fires Principal

The Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education has fired the principal of the International Academy at Hull. Romel Bryant had only been principal since February, serving as that building’s fourth principal of the academic year. The district administration recommended the board fire Bryant at a meeting last week alleging he was insubordinate and did not follow professional development directives. Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker tells WSJM News that can’t be allowed.. ...Read Full Story