Local News Archives

United Way Collecting Food For Local Pantries Wednesday

Volunteers from the United Way of Southwest Michigan are spending Wednesday helping eleven local food pantries stock up for the summer. The United Way’s Charlotte Rogers tells WSJM News it’s Christmas in June as they aim to beef up the donations given to the food pantries at a time when, usually, donations go down. Plus, the need is up right now.. ...Read Full Story

“Invasive Species Blitz” Planned For Next Month

An effort will be made around southwest Michigan early next month to fight invasive species. The Southwest by Southwest Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, or CISMA, is staging a public education blitz. The Van Buren Conservation District’s Eleanor Serocki tells WSJM News they’re going to hold events in Berrien, Van Buren, and Cass Counties to wash boats and remind boaters that’s the best way to stop invasive species.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Road Commission Gets New Interim Director

There’s a new interim director in charge at the Berrien County Road Commission. Road Commission Board Chair August Zielke tells WSJM News they’ve picked current accounts payable specialist Lindie Delk to take over the leadership role. Zielke tells us Delk has been with the commission for several years, wearing a variety of hats. He says she’s the perfect person for the job. Delk is just the interim managing director, and the commission’s board is still taking applications for the permanent post. She could wind up with it. The board posted the position about three weeks ago. The Berrien County Road Commission has been without a director since Louis Csokasy retired in April.. ...Read Full Story

Two Injured When Car Leaves Road, Hits Tree In Oronoko Township

Two people are recovering after their vehicle crashed into a tree in Oronoko Township Monday morning. Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township police tell WSJM News it happened about 4:30 a.m. on Shawnee Road near Hartline Road. An SUV driven by 43-year-old Gretchen Wessendorf, of Stevensville, was eastbound on Shawnee when it left the road because a westbound vehicle veered into its lane. The driver lost control and the SUV went airborne before hitting the tree. The woman was trapped inside, while her 10-year-old son was able to free himself. Both were taken to a hospital after the driver was freed with the Jaws of Life.. ...Read Full Story

Bridgman Woman Wins $300,000 In Michigan Lottery

A Berrien County woman is celebrating this week because she’s a big lottery winner. The 61-year-old from Bridgman, who wishes to remain anonymous, won $300,000 in the Double Bonus Cashword scratch off game Monday. The Michigan Lottery tells WSJM News she picked up the winning ticket at Midtown Liquor Store in Bridgman and cashed in her winnings Tuesday. The lucky winner decided to keep it a surprise from her husband until after getting the check. She plans to buy a new car, and the money will help her husband retire a little early. She told the Michigan Lotto she always felt like she’s win one day. It just took her a while.. ...Read Full Story

Fettig Stepping Down As Whirlpool CEO

There is a change at the top of the world’s largest home appliance maker. Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool says CEO Jeff Fettig is stepping down from his role as CEO effective October 1. He will remain the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Whirlpool’s new CEO will be Marc Bitzer, currently the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer. Fettig has been Chairman and CEO since 2004, and has worked for Whirlpool for 36 years. In a statement, he says his “primary role is to support Whirlpool, Marc and our leadership team in this planned CEO transition.” Bitzer joined the company 18 years ago, and Fettig says he “has a deep understanding of our business throughout the world and has personally led our operations and delivered strong results.” The incoming CEO was named to his current job in October 2015 and previously served as Vice Chairman, which included overall leadership of Whirlpool North America and Whirlpool Europe, Middle East, and Africa.. ...Read Full Story

Legislature Approves Teacher Pension Changes

From the Associated Press — The Michigan Legislature has given final approval to legislation to coax more newly hired school employees into a 401(k)-only benefit instead of one that includes a traditional pension. The Republican-controlled House approved the bill 55-51 Tuesday. It will go to Governor Rick Snyder’s desk for his expected signature after a procedural step in the GOP-led Senate. Republicans say the legislation will keep the state from accumulating more debt and modernize a major public-sector retirement system. Democrats say the bill is an attack on the teaching profession and will make it harder to recruit quality educators. The measure would automatically enroll employees hired on or after February 1, 2018, in a 401(k)-only plan unless they opt out and instead pay more of their salary toward a pension than current workers do.. ...Read Full Story

State House Approves Budget

From the Associated Press — The Michigan House has approved a $56.7 billion state budget after an agreement was finalized between Republican leaders and Governor Rick Snyder’s administration. The GOP-led chamber voted 64-43 for a general budget Tuesday and 72-35 for the education budget. The Senate is expected to take final votes Thursday before the legislature’s summer recess. Majority Republicans say the state would spend about 2 percent more in the fiscal year starting in October, if federal dollars are factored in. They emphasize that overall spending would rise no more than inflation and be down slightly in the general fund. Democrats say money should be diverted from savings to fix deteriorating roads because a GOP-passed 2015 transportation funding plan is being phased in too slowly.. ...Read Full Story

Judge Denies Effort To Block Funding For New Detroit Arena

From the Associated Press — A federal judge has denied a request to block some public funding for Little Caesars Arena and the Detroit Pistons’ move from the suburbs. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith issued his decision late Monday, saying a requested injunction would cause “catastrophic damage” to Detroit. The lawsuit says Michigan law prohibits spending school property tax revenue on the projects because a tax voters approved in 2012 was to be used exclusively for Detroit’s public schools. It said a vote from city residents was needed first. Activist Robert Davis and D. Etta Wilcoxon, who is running for City Clerk, had sought to block the Detroit Downtown Development Authority from using the money. The arena, which will be home to the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and the NBA’s Pistons, opens this fall.. ...Read Full Story