Local News Archives

Lawmaker Talks Health And Human Services Budget

With Governor Gretchen Whitmer having used line item vetoes to do away with several appropriations in the Republican passed state budget, lawmakers are now reviewing what’s next. State Representative Mary Whiteford tells us her committee put together the budget for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. She says she tried to focus on making sure money went to helping people and not administration.. ...Read Full Story

County Road Association Expects Peak Fall Colors Next Week

The peak fall colors are about to appear in Berrien County. Although it’s been warm to start off this week, the County Road Association of Michigan says those fall colors are almost here. It says the peak color driving period in Berrien County starts next Monday. The association’s Dustin Earley tells WSJM News people come to Michigan just to see fall colors.. ...Read Full Story

Nearly $88,000 Raised For Foster Scholarships

From the Associated Press — Nearly $88,000 has been raised to provide college scholarships for young people in Michigan’s foster care system. The state Treasury department says about 300 people attended the annual Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund Benefit Dinner last week in Detroit. The dinner is organized by the Michigan Education Trust and the state Health and Human Services department. The Michigan Education Trust is the Treasury department’s prepaid college tuition program. About 13,500 youth are in the state’s foster care system run by Health and Human Services. More than 540 are eligible to receive the scholarships.
Chief Deputy Director for Administration Elizabeth Hertel says foster youth often lack the family support that others take for granted.. ...Read Full Story

New Buffalo’s Harbor Grand Hotel To Rebuild After Fire

New Buffalo’s Harbor Grand Hotel will remain closed for the next eight to 10 months. On Facebook, the owners of the hotel confirmed the fire on Friday that did extensive damage was started by a lightning strike just before 6 p.m. The entire building suffered extensive water damage from both the effort to put out the fire and the storms that hit southwest Michigan that night. The hotel will be “stripped to the studs and rebuilt,” with the goal of having the lobby and restaurant open in April and guest rooms available again in early June 2020. Robert and Collette Kemper thanked first responders for the work done to put out the fire, and also thanked the community for their “love and support” after the fire. The hotel opened in 1995 on the New Buffalo harbor.. ...Read Full Story

BH Native, Actor Ernie Hudson To Assist Lake Michigan College Play This Fall

Lake Michigan College is getting some Hollywood help with its production this fall of the play “Exit Strategy.” The play by Ike Holter is about a struggling Chicago high school that is facing the possibility of being shut down. Actor and Benton Harbor native Ernie Hudson has agreed to take part behind the scenes as Associate Artistic Producer, and will be providing notes and advice using FaceTime during rehearsals. Hudson will come home to Benton Harbor for the last week of rehearsals and for the opening night performance of th play on November 15. The play will be staged at The GhostLight Theatre in Benton Harbor due to ongoing renovations at the Hanson Theatre on the LMC campus at The Mendel Center. Along with his starring roles in both Ghostbusters movies in the 1980s, Hudson has been in “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle;” “The Crow;” “Miss Congeniality;” and “You’re Not You;” among many others. Television credits include HBO’s lauded series “Oz,” the final season of NBC’s “Law & Order,” and Netflix’s “Grace & Frankie.”. ...Read Full Story

Pure Michigan Among Programs Axed By Line-Item Veto From State Budget

Among the programs being cut by line-item vetoes by Governor Whitmer in the new state budget is the immensely popular Pure Michigan marketing campaign. The governor vetoed 147 line items on Monday, with those carrying a combined total of $947 million, as she signed the 16 budget bills into law and prevented a state government shutdown. On Twitter, the governor talked about the vetoes without giving details.. ...Read Full Story

Four To Take Part In South Haven Council Candidate Forum

South Haven voters can learn more about four of the candidates for city council in a few weeks. A candidate forum will be held at Lake Michigan College’s South Haven campus on Veterans Boulevard from 7 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, October 15. Two of the wards have contested races in November. In Ward 3, incumbent Steve Schlack will face challenger Liji Hanny, and both will be at the forum being put on by the South Haven American Association of University Women. In Ward 2, current councilmember Clark Gruber can’t run due to term limits. Former councilmember Jeff Arnold is running for the seat against Nadine Newman, and they will also be at the forum. Not appearing will be Mayor Scott Smith and Ward 1 council member Letitia Wilkins, as they are both running unopposed in next month’s election.. ...Read Full Story

Search Underway For New Van Buren County Road Department Manager

The search is on for a new managing director at the Van Buren County Road Commission. That’s after the departure of the former manager back in April. The road commission says the ideal new leader is someone who wants to make a difference in the community and be part of the commission’s goal of maintaining a safe and efficient road network. The Van Buren County Road Commission takes care of 350 miles of primary and 980 miles of local roads with a yearly budget of about $18 million. The managing director oversees four department heads and indirectly manages a staff of 51 employees. Applications for the manager position will be taken through October 24. That will be followed by the candidate selection, interviews, final selection, and then a transition phase. The applications are being taken online.. ...Read Full Story

Commission Discusses Moratorium On Recreational Marijuana Businesses

Benton Harbor City Commissioners are looking to establish some rules for recreational marijuana businesses when they begin operating in Michigan. At a Monday meeting, commissioners considered a resolution that would have prohibited recreational marijuana businesses in town until the city can get zoning rules in place. City attorney Richard Racht said as the state deadline approaches for prospective recreational marijuana businesses to put in applications, the city needs to take action.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Works Holding Hiring Events in Benton Harbor

A series of hiring events will be taking place at Michigan Works in Benton Harbor starting October 8 and continuing through the end of the year. Michigan Works says these events will be a bit different from the usual sorts of job fairs it holds. That’s because the employers will be tasked with introducing themselves and explaining why they are a good place to work. It says this “Shark Tank” method of looking for employees will eliminate the uncomfortable feelings job seekers face when they attend hiring events. Plus, it will allow the employers to offer more information about themselves. The hiring days will be at the Michigan Works office on West Main Street in Benton Harbor on October 8, October 22, November 1, November 26, and December 12. They’ll all run from 10 a.m. to noon. Those who want to attend are told to bring an updated resume and to be interview-ready.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Issues Statement On Impeachment Inquiry

Congressman Fred Upton isn’t saying whether he supports the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Upton issued a statement through his office that says he’ll “review the facts that emerge before making any conclusions.” Upton calls recent developments “disconcerting,” but says there “are some people who may want to use this to grind our entire government to a halt, but I’m not one of them. There’s no joy in Mudville.” He says he remains focused on the issues that matter to the people of southwest Michigan. We spoke to Upton last week before the announcement there would be an impeachment inquiry. At that time, he said he was waiting for a transcript of President Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine before weighing in.. ...Read Full Story

Jim Gifford Returning To WSJM

Coming soon to 94.9 WSJM in the morning will be a familar voice to many in the area. Jim Gifford is taking over the WSJM morning show at the end of October as Ray Gustafson moves on to be with family in Minnesota. Gifford will take the lead on WSJM mornings just as Ray departs. You may have heard Gifford over the years in his many roles with WSJM. Among other things, he served as a morning news anchor, morning show co-host, news director, and programming director before moving on to other ventures about four years ago. Now, he’s back to be our new morning host. You’ll be able to hear the G-Unit, as some have called him, weekday mornings on 94.9 WSJM starting in late October.. ...Read Full Story

Police Investigate After Explicit Video Shown On MI Billboard

From the Associated Press — Police are investigating after drivers traveling through a Detroit suburb were stunned to see a pornographic video playing on an electronic billboard. Auburn Hills police say the video played on the billboard along Interstate 75
near Michigan highway 59 for about a half-hour Saturday night before police contacted the company that owns the billboard and the images were removed. Police say multiple people called 911 after seeing the explicit video. Motorist Chuck McMahon tells WDIV-TV he saw the video and wondered if the billboard was advertising for a strip club. Police are investigating how the images ended up on a billboard, including whether someone hacked into the electronic sign’s system. Dr. Justin Kammo also saw the video. He tells WXYZ-TV he immediately assumed that “someone had hacked it.”. ...Read Full Story

Aerial Spraying For Mosquitoes Rescheduled For Tonight

The Berrien County Health Department says the rescheduled aerial spraying for mosquitoes will take place tonight. The state announced on Friday it would apply the spray to kill mosquitoes in areas that have been affected by Eastern Equine Encephalitis this year. The spraying was supposed to take place Sunday night, but weather forced its rescheduling. The Berrien County Health Department’s Nikki Britten told WSJM News last week that parts of Berrien and Pipestone townships, as well as in the village of Eau Claire, will be sprayed.. ...Read Full Story

Gas Prices Drop 12¢ In Michigan

Gas prices statewide are on the decline. Triple-A Michigan says the average fell 12¢ a gallon over the past week to $2.62, and the auto club expects prices will continue moving lower with the transition to cheaper-to-produce winter blends of gasoline. The highest prices remain in Ann Arbor and Detroit at $2.70, and Saginaw now has the lowest in the state at $2.48. Traverse City had the lowest prices in Michigan for about the past 2 months.. ...Read Full Story

Major Damage At New Buffalo’s Harbor Grand Hotel From Fire, Storm

No word yet when the Harbor Grand Hotel in New Buffalo might be repaired and opened back up after a Friday evening fire. It started during the storms that ripped through southwest Michigan, and witnesses say it appears to have been started by lightning, though the fire department has not issued a cause as yet. Our partners at WSBT talked with Harbor Grand Hotel maintenance worker Jeff Stupar about the damage.. ...Read Full Story

Unit 2 Of Cook Nuclear Plant To Undergo Refueling Outage

The Cook Nuclear Plant will start its 24th refueling outage Tuesday night at 10 for Unit 2. Indiana Michigan Power began gradually reducing the power produced by the reactor on September 9 to prepare to take it offline for the work. Other projects set for the refueling outage include modifying the unit’s solid state protection system, heater drain pump mechanical seal replacements, fuse upgrades in the control room, and replacing the west motor driven auxiliary feed pump room cooling system. The length of the refueling outage is not released by Indiana Michigan Power for competitive reasons. The utility is bringing in about 1,150 contractors to supplement the 11-hundred person staff, and crews will work around the clock doing over 95-hundred maintenance, inspection, and equipment modification job activities.. ...Read Full Story

Weather Postpones Mosquito Spraying

Weather has postponed aerial spraying by the state in high risk areas for Eastern Equine Encephalitis. The spraying was slated for last night to cover around 720,000 acres in parts of Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties along with several others to kill off mosquitoes carrying the illness. In a conference call Friday, state epidemiologist Sarah Lyon-Callo said they were targeting areas where there have been EEE cases.. ...Read Full Story

Kinexus Launching New Pilot To Track Talent Pool

A new partnership between Kinexus Group in Benton Harbor and Irish firm Upskill Enterprise will be launched next month to help local employers better keep track of the skills of their workers. Kinexus Director of Innovation Duane Berger tells WSJM News Upskill has software called TalentSensus to create an inventory of local talent.. ...Read Full Story

Health Experts Examine Racial Disparities In Berrien

Spectrum Health Lakeland Director of Population Health Lynn Todman is working to help the community understand some of the factors that go into a person’s health outcomes, and a big focus is on race. Todman tells WSJM News her studies at Lakeland have shown major racial disparities when it comes to health in the region. She says part of her job is making sure doctors understand that things like the neighborhood where someone lives determines how healthy they are.. ...Read Full Story

Aerial Spraying For Mosquitoes Tonight

State health officials are going to conduct aerial spraying to kill mosquitoes in high risk areas for Eastern Equine Encephalitis this weekend. The spraying will take place in several southwest Michigan counties, covering a total of about 720,000 acres. This will include parts of Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties. In a conference call Friday, state epidemiologist Sarah Lyon-Callo said they’re targeting areas where there have been EEE cases.. ...Read Full Story

Major Grants, Awards From Berrien Community Foundation

Some grants and awards for 2019 have been announced by the Berrien Community Foundation as it held its 67th annual meeting this month in St. Joseph. BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey tells WSJM News the new Alamar Non-Profit Sustainability Grant of $75,000 was announced for St. Joseph Today so it can provide retirement benefits to its employees.. ...Read Full Story

Harvest Could Last Into November

2019 has been challenging for Michigan farmers, from the polar vortex over the winter that wiped out the peach crop in southwest Michigan to historic rainfall in the spring delaying planting or preventing corn and soybeans from being planted. Tim Boring is the vice president of the Michigan Agribusiness Association and says it will be a long, drawn-out harvest.. ...Read Full Story

SMC Bucks Community College Enrollment Trend

Enrollment at Southwestern Michigan College is up this year. SMC says it’s managed to buck enrollment trends being seen at many other community colleges in Michigan. It’s one of just seven community colleges in the state with increased enrollment for the fall. After processing final drops and adds, SMC showed an overall head count of 2,171, up 1.2% versus the fall of 2018. The college this year welcomed 509 recent high school graduates to campus, an increase of 54, or almost 12%, and more students — 364 of them — now live in the residence halls than last fall. SMC says it’s been able to keep its numbers up because it has been proactive in identifying what makes it unique and clearly explaining to parents and students the value in starting a college journey there. The current freshman class has declared 42 different majors, with health services, business, biology, criminal justice, psychology, and education being the most popular.. ...Read Full Story

Report: More LMC Students Voting

The voter participation rate among Lake Michigan College students has doubled in the past four years. LMC says a report has found the voting rate among students was 17% for the 2014 midterm elections, and 35% in the 2018 midterms. LMC political science instructor Tiffany Bohm credits the LMC Votes campaign, which sought to increase voter registrations at the college. She spoke with WSJM News.. ...Read Full Story

Special Waiting Room For Kids Opens At Courthouse

The Berrien County Trial Court’s Family Division has opened a new waiting room just for children. The new kid-friendly waiting area for children attending their own Child Protective Services proceedings is located on the fourth floor of the Berrien County Courthouse in St. Joseph. It’s decorated with a mural painted by artist Kathy Zerler and filled with donated toys, books, blankets, and other items of comfort. Trained volunteers will be staffing the waiting area during child protective hearings. The court says the goal of the project is to encourage participation of children in their own protective proceedings, which is a nationally recognized best practice. As part of that, the court wanted to have a quiet, supervised, child-friendly waiting area for those kids. There will be an open house for the new waiting room on October 10 from 4 to 5 p.m.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Judge Strikes Down State’s Ballot Drive Law

(Lansing, MI – AP) – A Michigan judge has struck down a new requirement that makes it harder to initiate ballot drives by limiting the number of signatures that can be counted from a single congressional district. Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled Friday, declaring that the plain language of Michigan’s constitution does not support the imposition of a geographic requirement.. ...Read Full Story

Congresswoman Tlaib’s Campaign Pushing Impeachment T-Shirts

The re-election campaign for Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Detroit is promoting T-shirts with a slogan calling for Donald Trump’s impeachment that include a two-letter acronym for a profanity she used in reference to the president early this year. Campaign spokesman TJ Bucholz says the T-shirts went on sale Thursday as a gift for a $29 contribution to Tlaib’s re-election efforts. The T-shirts say: “Impeach the MF.”. ...Read Full Story

Fire At New Buffalo Hotel

Several fire departments responded to the scene of a hotel fire in New Buffalo Friday night. The fire broke out around 7 p.m at the Harbor Grand Hotel on West Water Street. The New Buffalo Fire Department told WNDU it appeared lightning struck the roof of the third floor. There were no injuries.. ...Read Full Story

Report: Water Pollution Laws Poorly Enforced in Communities of Color

Low-income communities of color — like Flint, Michigan or Newark, New Jersey — are much more likely than white, more affluent towns to suffer with polluted water for years, according to a new report. The study, called Watered Down Justice, analyzed EPA data for 200,000 violations of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Report co-author Kristi Pullen Fedinick of the Natural Resources Defense Council says states are neglecting black and brown communities. ...Read Full Story

Two Wolf Pups At Zoo Die Of Mosquito-Borne Virus

From the Associated Press — Tests confirm two Mexican gray wolf pups at southern Michigan zoo have died of a rare mosquito-borne virus as health officials work to curb the spread of the virus in people and animals. Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek says results received this week confirm the pups that died in early September were killed by Eastern equine encephalitis. Separately, in Kent County, a necropsy revealed that a deer also had it. The state Department of Health and Human Services reports the virus has been
confirmed in humans or animals in at least 12 Michigan counties. Three people in southwestern Michigan have died. People are urged to guard against mosquito bites. The department is encouraging officials in affected counties to consider postponing, rescheduling or
cancelling outdoor activities including sports occurring at or after dusk until there’s a hard frost. Aerial spraying is being considered.. ...Read Full Story

Flash Flood Watch Issued For Berrien, Cass Counties

A flash flood watch is in effect for Berrien and Cass counties from the National Weather Service office in northern Indiana. Forecasters say widespread rainfall totals of 1.5 to 2″ with locally higher amounts in the watch area are expected throughout the evening. Intense downpours from thunderstorms will allow rain to quickly runoff and cause flash flooding of streets, fields, and lowland areas.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Board Leadership Meets With Special Counsel Investigating Potential Conflicts Of Interest

Berrien County Board of Commissioners chairman Mac Elliott says Special Counsel John Dewane will have the freedom to “follow the arrow wherever it points” in his investigation into allegations Commissioner Terri Sue Freehling failed to fully disclose a conflict of interest regarding county drain commission contracts. The appointment of Dewane followed the announcement by Prosecutor Michael Sepic that no criminal charges would be filed against Freehling, noting it would be “too great” a task to prove any criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt.. ...Read Full Story

Lakeshore Public Schools Board VP Mike Welch Passes Away

Lakeshore Public Schools Board of Education vice president Mike Welch has died. Superintendent Philip Freeman says Welch passed after battling a long illness. In a statement, Freeman says the district “will be forever grateful for the leadership, commitment, spirit, and inspiration Mike Welch provided to our schools and community.” Board president Jason Beckrow called Welch a “wonderful board colleague, student champion and consummate exemplar of servant leadership.”. ...Read Full Story

Aerial Spraying To Prevent Mosquito Borne Illness Set For This Weekend

State health officials are going to conduct aerial spraying to kill mosquitoes in high risk areas for Eastern Equine Encephalitis this weekend. The spraying will take place in several southwest Michigan counties, covering a total of about 720,000 acre. This will include parts of Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties. In a conference call Friday, state epidemiologist Sarah Lyon-Callo said they’re targeting areas where there have been EEE cases.. ...Read Full Story

New Buffalo Senior High School Among 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools

The U.S. Department of Education is out with the list of the 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools, and New Buffalo Senior High School is among those being honored. It is one of 13 schools in the state and one of just four Michigan high schools to receive the designation. New Buffalo Area Schools superintendent Dr. Jeff Leslie tells WSJM News it’s a great honor, but it’s also a refection of the entire district.. ...Read Full Story

Precautions Still Urged Against Mosquito Bites To Prevent EEE

There is a new case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Berrien County, bringing the total of confirmed human cases to two. A deer has also tested positive for EEE according to the Berrien County Health Department. Carrie Brunson is the supervisor for the Elkhart County environmental health division in Indiana and talked to our partners at WSBT about what’s behind the large crop of mosquitoes carrying the disease.. ...Read Full Story

Report: Michiganders Have New Favorite Halloween Candy

Michigan has a new favorite Halloween candy. The website candystore.com tracks candy purchases by state, and says Starburst has taken over in Michigan for candy corn, which had been at the top for the past several years. In the state, we bought nearly 120,000 pounds of Starburst in 2018, compared to 106,000 pounds of candy corn and 86,000 pounds of Skittles. The National Retail Federation estimates consumers will spend $2.6 billion on Halloween candy this year, which is unchanged from a year ago. The national favorite? Skittles, followed by Reese’s Cups, M&M’s, Snickers and Starburst making up the top five. Candystore.com notes nearly 25% of all Halloween purchases are now made online, and people spend $25 on average to stock the house for trick-or-treaters… or themselves.. ...Read Full Story

Veteran Walking Around Lake Michigan Arrives In St. Joseph

A Marine Corps veteran who is walking all the way around Lake Michigan to raise money for fighting suicides among veterans is now in southwest Michigan. Travis Snyder arrived in St. Joseph Thursday. He started his journey about a month ago in Manistee, went around the U.P. and Wisconsin, passed through Illinois and Indiana, and then hiked into Michigan this week. He told WSJM News he’s passionate about helping struggling veterans.. ...Read Full Story

County Administrator Calls For State Review

Berrien County Administrator Bill Wolf is calling for a state investigation into the conduct of local elected officials. Following the Berrien County Board of Commissioners vote Thursday to appoint a special counsel to look into disclosure and conflict of interest questions among commissioners, Wolf spoke out during public comments. He commended the board for retaining the special counsel to examine the matter following the Berrien County Prosecutor’s investigation into Commissioner Teri Freehling. Then…. ...Read Full Story

County Commission Appoints Special Counsel

The Berrien County Board of Commissioners has appointed former Judge John Dewane as a special counsel to look into disclosure and conflict of interest issues surrounding commissioners following a recent investigation into Commissioner Teri Freehling. On Wednesday, the Berrien County Prosecutor’s office announced there would be no charges filed out of an investigation regarding Freehling’s late husband renting out equipment to a contractor working on county drain projects. However, on Thursday Board of Commissioners Chair Mac Elliot told WSJM News the former circuit judge will examine the board’s bylaws to see if their disclosure rules should be fortified.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Seeks Work On Drug Prices

Congressman Fred Upton is working with other members of the House to come up with a plan that could lower prescription drug costs. He tells WSJM News House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week issued a plan of her own without seeking input from Republicans.. ...Read Full Story

Warrant Issued For Monday Night Benton Harbor Shooting Suspect

A two-count felony warrant is now active for the suspect in a shooting Monday night in the city of Benton Harbor. Public Safety officials say they’ve as yet been unable to find 23-year-old Uriah Beauford, who is believed to be in Benton Harbor, Grand Rapids, or Kalamazoo. Beauford is accused of shooting a 41-year-old Benton Harbor woman at a home in the 700 block of Vineyard just after 10 p.m. Monday. She was taken to Spectrum Health Lakeland, and the last update from police indicated she was in stable condition.. ...Read Full Story

Paw Paw Wine Distributors Sold To Three Buyers

A long-time southwest Michigan company is changing hands. Paw Paw Wine Distributors is being sold to three buyers after being family-owned since 1943. The first products distributed by the firm were locally made wines from Paw Paw, including St. Julian, and continued to expand to bring in more wines like Kendall Jackson and E&J Gallo along with beer from Heineken and Kalamazoo Brewing Company, which is now Bell’s Brewing. Alliance Beverage of Grand Rapids, Great Lakes Wine and Spirits of Highland Park, and Vintage Wine Company of Roseville are buying the distribution rights to the company’s portfolio of beer and wine. Paw Paw Wine Distributors will continue operating, and says the transition is expected at the end of this year.. ...Read Full Story

One Shot, One Assaulted Overnight In Benton Harbor

A 24-year-old Benton Harbor woman is in stable condition at Spectrum Health Lakeland after being shot at a home in the 800 block of Lavette late Wednesday night around 11:30. Benton Harbor Public Safety detectives say a 27-year-old Benton Harbor man was also assaulted, and he’s been treated and released from the hospital. No information has been released on any suspects in the attack. Detectives are continuing to investigate and they’re asking any witnesses to come forward either by calling the department’s Tipline, Crime Stoppers, or using the Benton Harbor Public Safety app on their phone.. ...Read Full Story

Nessel Pushing For Banking Changes For Marijuana Businesses As House Takes Action

Legal marijuana businesses in the 33 states that allow it, including Michigan, are cash-only. That’s because of the federal prohibition on marijuana, which makes it illegal for those establishments to use banks. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has signed on to an effort with 21 other attorneys general from both parties to call for a change in federal law as more states approve at least medicinal marijuana. Action has been taken in the U.S. House, with a 321-103 vote to approve a bill that would grant legal marijuana businesses access to banking.. ...Read Full Story

Vape Shop Sues To Stop State Ban

From the Associated press — The owner of a northern Michigan vape shop is suing to stop Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s ban on flavored electronic cigarettes, contending the emergency rules are illegal and will force him to close his store. Marc Slis, who operates 906 Vapor in Houghton, filed the lawsuit in Houghton County Circuit Court on Wednesday. It is believed to be the first of what could
be several legal challenges against Whitmer’s ban. Stores are supposed to start complying with the ban on October 2. Slis says the emergency rules are invalid, arbitrary and capricious in part because tobacco products – the most prevalent source of nicotine – are
unaffected by the ban. Whitmer has said the e-cigarette industry is using candy flavors and deceptive advertising to target children.. ...Read Full Story

Unemployment Agency Teams Up With LinkedIn

Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency has announced a new partnership with job searching social network LinkedIn to help clients find new employment. Unemployment Insurance Agency Deputy Director Kimberly Berry tells WSJM News Michigan is part of a three-state pilot being launched by LinkedIn to have special portals for those who are unemployed and receiving benefits.. ...Read Full Story

Manufacturing Day Set For Next Month

Michigan Works is getting ready for the next Manufacturing Day in Berrien and Van Buren counties, and this year, they’re doing it a little bit differently. Michigan Works Sector Relations Coordinator Erin Venno tells WSJM News for the six previous Manufacturing Days, they took local high school students on tours of manufacturing businesses. This year, they’re taking the manufacturers to the students.. ...Read Full Story

Lakeland Official Talks Racial Health Disparities

Spectrum Health Lakeland Director of Population Health Lynn Todman is working to help the community understand some of the factors that go into a person’s health outcomes, and a big focus is on race. Todman tells WSJM News her studies at Lakeland have shown major racial disparities when it comes to health in the region. She says part of her job is making sure doctors understand that things like the neighborhood where someone lives determines how healthy they are.. ...Read Full Story

Court Opens Waiting Room For Children Going Through Protective Proceedings

There is a new waiting room just for children at the Berrien County Courthouse as the family division works to create a more welcoming environment. Berrien County Trial Court Family Division Intake Manager Jean Lawrence tells WSJM News an initiative to have more children directly involved in their own child protective proceedings made the waiting area necessary. She says it’s a best practice to have the kids there when their well-being is discussed.. ...Read Full Story