Local News Archives

Business Group Praises New Tax Incentives For Job Creation

Higher wages for people in Michigan are just some of the expected benefits of the recently-enacted “Good Jobs for Michigan” law. Business Leaders for Michigan’s Doug Rothwell tells WSJM that he’s proud of state lawmakers for passing the bills this summer, and says the law will help people who feel left behind by the state’s economic recovery since the recession.. ...Read Full Story

Lawsuit Alleges State Improper Aided Anti-Gerrymandering Group

From the Associated Press — A Republican strategist has filed a complaint against Michigan’s elections bureau, alleging staff improperly gave advice on the wording and legality of an anti-gerrymandering ballot initiative. The Board of State Canvassers approved the petition form last week, and the group Voters Not Politicians is collecting signatures to qualify for a 2018 statewide vote. But Bob LaBrant, a longtime GOP political adviser, said in a complaint Thursday that elections staffers “engaged in mission creep” and ignored rules that
limit them to reviewing petition formatting and other technical issues. The secretary of state’s office could not immediately be reached for comment. The redistricting initiative would create an independent commission to draw congressional and legislative seats. The Legislature and governor currently control the once-a-decade process.. ...Read Full Story

SMC President Marks 20 Year Milestone

Southwestern Michigan College President Dr. David M. Mathews is celebrating 20 years with the school. He received a service pin from the board of trustees on Monday. Mathews tells us when he joined the school in July 1997, SMC had 45 faculty and a replacement value of $26 million. Today, he says they have 60 full-time faculty and a replacement value of $116 million. SMC Chairman Thomas Jerdon tells us, “David checks all the boxes we could ever want in a president.” Mathews joined SMC as the dean of arts for science and instructional innovation. He was appointed Vice President of Instruction in 1998 and became the college’s seventh president in 2001.. ...Read Full Story

Second Suspect Charged In Benton Harbor Shooting

A second suspect has been charged in a shooting death in Benton Harbor this month. 32-year-old Nathaniel Lee was shot twice and killed outside of the River Terrace apartment complex on August 15. The Berrien County Prosecutor’s office tells WSJM News police believe Lee was killed during a robbery attempt. Already charged in the case is 19-year-old Davion Turner of Conyers, Georgia. The newest charges are against 21-year-old Antonio Hall of Benton Harbor. He was arraigned Wednesday on charges of Felony Murder, Armed Robbery, and Felony Firearm. He’ll be back in court on September 1. Police believe there were two other suspects involved in the robbery. They continue to investigate.. ...Read Full Story

Man Charged In Crash That Killed Southwest Michigan Fire Chief

From the Associated Press — A 24-year-old man has been charged with reckless driving in the death of a fire chief who was hit while responding to a crash in southwestern Michigan. Brandon Clevenger of Springfield was charged Tuesday with reckless driving causing death. The Kalamazoo County sheriff’s office says he was driving nearly 90 mph and distracted by his phone just seconds before hitting a cement median wall. The car then crossed lanes on Interstate 94 and struck Ed Switalski. Switalski served as chief of Comstock Township Fire and Rescue for four years. The 55-year-old Switalski worked at the Kalamazoo-area department after more than three decades at the Pleasantview Fire District in suburban Chicago. WOOD-TV reports a judge Wednesday set Clevenger’s bond at $5,000. It wasn’t immediately known if he has an attorney.. ...Read Full Story

Chicago-Area Kids Arrested After Stolen Car Crash

A wild overnight incident for Michigan State Police along with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department and police from the city of St. Joseph, St. Joe Township and Lincoln Township. All of those departments were involved in the search for six young people out of the Chicago area after troopers tried to pull over what turned out to be a stolen car from Chicago on I-94 just before 2 a.m. Wednesday. The driver took off, got off on M-139, and crashed into a house. Three people were arrested there, but the others ran and stole a second car in the Wyndwicke neighborhood. They then crashed that one trying to get away, and were caught after a search of the area. Three of them, all girls 17 and younger, were released, while three juvenile boys are going to be facing multiple charges including possessing a stolen vehicle, hit and run, and theft of a motor vehicle. Somehow, no one was hurt.. ...Read Full Story