Local News Archives

Samaritans Who Helped State Trooper Honored In Lansing

Two men who helped out a Michigan State Police trooper who was under attack by a couple of criminal suspects back in February have received special state accolades. Jerry Burnham, of Berrien Springs, and Keith Pepple, of Plainwell, were honored on the state Senate floor Wednesday by Senators John Proos and Tonya Schuitmaker. Proos said it was a good thing the two came along while Trooper Gerry Guild was under attack along the side of US-31 in February.. ...Read Full Story

Surprise Guilty Plea In Cass County Rape Case

A Cass County rape trial has been ended early after the suspect confessed and pleaded guilty Wednesday morning. The Cass County Prosecutor’s office tells WSJM News 21-year-old Markal Leneal Jackson, of Benton Harbor, halted the proceedings just as an investigating officer was about to testify. He’s pleaded guilty as charged to two counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct. It’s alleged Jackson raped a 13-year-old girl while staying at her family’s Dowagiac home last March. The victim testified she’s viewed him “as a brother.” Jackson is now scheduled to be sentenced August 4.. ...Read Full Story

Child Dies In Cass County Farming Accident

A child is dead following a farming accident in Cass County. The sheriff’s department tells WSJM News it happened around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 19,000 block of Dewey Lake Street in Volinia Township. The child was riding on a piece of farming equipment and fell under it. The equipment then rolled partially on to him. He was taken to Borgess/Lee Memorial Hospital where he passed away. The sheriff’s department is continuing its investigation. Police have not released the name or age of the boy.. ...Read Full Story

Board Doesn’t Vote On Part Time Legislature Petition

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s elections board has declined to vote on the form of Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley’s part-time Legislature ballot drive petition because he said a member has a conflict of interest and he urged the board not to act. Calley said Wednesday that Norm Shinkle, the board’s chairman, has a consulting contract with the conservative Michigan Freedom Fund – whose officials have criticized the proposal to make the legislature part-time. Calley, a likely Republican gubernatorial candidate, says it would be “inappropriate” for the board to consider the petition form. He says securing pre-approval of the petition form is optional and signature gathering is ongoing. Shinkle says he has no conflict of interest and was unaware of the Freedom Fund opposing the petition. He says he has always supported a part-time legislature.. ...Read Full Story

Everything Back To Normal At Leco

Everything’s back to normal at Leco Corporation in St. Joseph following an investigation of suspicious activity Wednesday. Around 1:30 p.m. police issued a lockdown order for the area around Leco, saying a suspect who was possibly armed had been spotted nearby. Leco evacuated the property while the St. Joseph Department of Public Safety searched the entire facility. They found nothing. The potential suspect they were looking for was later found in another county. Police say no one was injured and there were no incidents of criminal activity or work place violence there.. ...Read Full Story

Leco In St. Joseph Evacuated, Potential Suspect Later Found

A tense situation Wednesday afternoon at Leco Corporation in St. Joseph as the building was evacuated due to a possible threat that now appears to be resolved. The St. Joseph Department of Public Safety issued an emergency alert around 1:30 p.m. asking everyone to avoid the area saying there may have been an armed individual there. Specifically, they asked people to avoid State Street near Hilltop Avenue in the south part of the city. The Berrien County Sheriff’s department tells us the potential suspect thought to have been seen at the building has now been located outside of the county. Police are conducting a search of the building as a precautionary measure. St. Joseph Public Safety says the lockdown order is “essentially” over.. ...Read Full Story