Local News Archives

Benson On Implementing Proposal 3

Now that Michigan voters have approved Proposal 3, they will be able to register the same day they cast their ballot. Michigan Secretary of State-elect Jocelyn Benson told Michigan’s Big Show Wednesday morning the proposal partly spelled out how to implement that new option. She says special early voter registration sites will have to be created at clerk’s offices, and not at the polls themselves in order to avoid overburdening the election workers.. ...Read Full Story

Second Loss For Van Buren Road Proposal

A second attempt to pass a county-wide road millage in Van Buren County failed on Tuesday. The millage was to bring the county’s primary road up to good condition as about 67% of the primary roads are currently in poor condition. What happens now? Van Buren County Road Commission Engineer-Manager Larry Hummel spoke with WSJM News shortly after Tuesday’s vote.. ...Read Full Story

Two New Berrien Commissioners

Voters in many areas across Berrien County selected their county commissioners Tuesday. Among the contested races, 1st District Commissioner David Volrath has defeated a challenge from Patricia Camarena-Rose Barbary. 9th District Commissioner Ezra Scott also retains his seat, edging out challenger David Blum. 12th District Commissioner Michael Majerek narrowly beat a challenge from John Klimek by 95 votes. There’s a new county commissioner in the 7th District, and it’s Bob Harrison, who edged out James Organ. Speaking of new commissioners, the 6th District’s new commissioner is Chris Heugel, who ran unopposed. Then there’s the other commissioners who were re-elected unopposed. They include Mamie Yarbrough of Benton Harbor, who told us Tuesday night she’s optimistic about what’s ahead.. ...Read Full Story

Whitmer: Drinking Water, Roads Top Agenda

From the Associated Press — Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer says her initial legislative priorities will include cleaning up drinking water and fixing the roads. The Democrat spoke with reporters in Detroit on Wednesday after her victory over Republican Bill Schuette. She says working on infrastructure “is at the top of the list.” She campaigned on a pledge to “fix the damn roads” and says too many Michigan communities are grappling with contamination from old chemicals – not to mention
infrastructure issues exposed by Flint’s water crisis. Whitmer, a former legislative leader, will be proposing her initiatives to a
Republican-led Legislature. She says the Legislature is a co-equal branch of government and she will work very hard to build relationships with lawmakers and forge bipartisan deals.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Wins 17th Term In US House… Barely

In the tightest election of his career, Congressman Fred Upton has won reelection for a 17th term in the U.S. House. Upton held off on a victory speech at Shadowland Pavilion in St. Joseph until close to 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, waiting on more numbers to come in from Kalamazoo and Allegan counties.. ...Read Full Story

Haight Concedes In Race For 21st District

While  there was positive news for Democrats around Michigan on Tuesday, in southwest Michigan, Democrats didn’t fare as well. Republicans appear to retain the state legislative seats despite some attempts by local Democrats to dislodge them. One candidate who fell short was Ian Haight, the Democrat who ran against Kim LaSata for state Senate in the 21st District. He told us he thinks it was worth sending a message.. ...Read Full Story

Wendzel Wins 79th State House Seat

Pauline Wendzel is headed to the state House. The Watervliet native defeated Democrat Joey Adams in the race to succeed state Senator-elect Kim LaSata on Tuesday and spoke to WSJM News after declaring victory. Wendzel says auto insurance reform will be her top priority in Lansing after hearing that throughout the district as she went door-to-door over the last several months.. ...Read Full Story

Homelessness Among Veterans Going Down

The rate of homelessness among Michigan veterans continues to trend down. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development this week released its Annual Homeless Assessment Report, which found the total number of reported veterans experiencing homelessness in the state in 2018 was down 10.3%. The number of homeless vets in Michigan has also declined by 28% since 2010. HUD says, nationally, veteran homelessness in 2018 decreased 5.4% since last year, and nearly 50% since 2010. Veterans Administration Secretary Robert Wilkie says the new numbers show strategies being implemented to fight homelessness among veterans have been working.. ...Read Full Story

Local Transportation Study Workshop Planned

A study on the future of transportation in the St. Joseph and Benton Harbor areas will be discussed at an open house next week. “Principles in Motion” is the new Long Range Transportation Plan for the area. It’s been put together by the Twin Cities Area Transportation Study, or TwinCATS. TwinCATS tells us the study uses the input of local officials while setting transportation goals and looking at how to spend federal money. The plan is intended to serve as a blueprint for transportation over the next 25 years in the Twin Cities area. An open house for everyone to see what’s in it and chat with planners will be held next Tuesday. It will be at the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission office in Benton Harbor from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. You can learn more about the transportation plan right here.. ...Read Full Story