Local News Archives

Hartford Police Release New Info On Monday Incident That Prompted School Lockdown

Hartford police are providing more information on a situation that resulted in a lockdown of Hartford Public Schools on Monday. Police Chief Tressa Beltran tells WSJM News they were contacted by the mother of an 18-year-old man that afternoon, telling them he was distraught over his girlfriend “possibly being in a volatile situation at her home” north of the city. Due to previous concerns, the mother told him to stop at a relative’s home and pick up his shotgun, which he did and put it in the trunk of the vehicle. She then called police for help finding him to ensure he didn’t harm himself. He was found in the parking lot of Hartford High School with his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s mother, and was taken by police to a hospital for a psychological evaluation. The incident happened after school was out for the day, but there were still students and staff at the building.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Public Safety: Two Shootings Under Investigation

Benton Harbor Public Safety officers are investigating a pair of Tuesday night shootings. In the first, a 29-year-old man was shot at a home in the 900 block of Ogden Avenue just before 9 p.m. and is in critical condition at Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo. Benton Harbor officers, however, weren’t called to that scene until about an hour later. He had initially been taken to Spectrum Health Lakeland and was later transferred. The second shooting happened around 1:20 a.m. Wednesday in the 900 block of Lavette, where a 44-year-old man was shot. He is in stable condition at Spectrum Health Lakeland in St. Joseph. No arrests have been made, and police have not identified any suspects in either shooting. Michigan State Police Major Crime Unit detectives are assisting.. ...Read Full Story

Chief Justice McCormack Calls Van Buren Courthouse Murals “Jarring”

The chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court says it’s “jarring” to see violent paintings in the Van Buren County courthouse. But Bridget McCormack says it’s not her job to tell local leaders how to manage the building. McCormack was there last week participating in an effort to observe and assist judges. One mural in a stairwell shows a bare-breasted woman holding a decapitated head and a spear. Another painting above a judge’s bench shows a nude man and nude woman begging for mercy. Local judges want the paintings covered up or removed, but county commissioners have said no. McCormack says the painting with the decapitated head could traumatize a crime victim. She says the old paintings might be appropriate for a museum but seem out of place in a courthouse.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Shooting Under Investigation

A shooting is under investigation in Benton Harbor. Our partners at WSBT-TV report a 29-year-old man was shot one time in the stomach shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday in the 900 block of Ogden Avenue, but no one called police for a little over an hour. The victim underwent surgery and is expected to make a full recovery. There’s no word on any suspects at this time. The victim did not live at the home where he was shot, but was apparently visiting relatives there.. ...Read Full Story

Chamber Of Commerce Pleased Government Shutdown Avoided, Confident On Roads

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is glad to hear Governor Gretchen Whitmer and legislative leaders in Lansing have reached a deal to have a state budget in place by the end of September even if it doesn’t include money to fix the state’s roads. Michigan Chamber of Commerce President Rich Studley tells WSJM News getting road money in place shouldn’t take priority over avoiding a state government shutdown.. ...Read Full Story

School Board Signals Support For Advisory Committee

The proposed Community Engagement and Advisory Committee to draft a plan for turning around Benton Harbor Area Schools is a step closer to becoming a reality. The state has proposed the creation of the autonomous committee that would have six months to issue recommendations for the district, and at a Tuesday meeting, the Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education signaled initial support. Vice President Joseph Taylor spoke with us after the meeting.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department Issues Annual Report

The Berrien County Health Department has released its report for 2018. Spokesperson Gillian Conrad tells WSJM News the department gave its report to the Berrien County Board of Health last week. She says some people might not realize how many things the county health department does around the community in a given year.. ...Read Full Story

Man Pleads Guilty To Cass County Shooting

The Cass County Prosecutor’s office says a man charged in a shooting outside of a bar last year has pleaded guilty to second degree murder. Rolandis Russel was charged with first degree murder in the death of Fabian Wesaw, and the plea deal reduces the charge to second degree murder while also dropping charges of assault with intent to murder, carrying a weapon with unlawful intent, possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, and four felony firearm counts. The prosecutor’s office says Russel admitted to leaving the Beeson Street Bar in the early morning hours of July 29, 2018 and getting a loaded AK-47 out of his SUV. He then fired 13 shots at a man with whom he’d been arguing. Instead, he hit and killed Wesaw, who had been standing nearby. Russell will be sentenced to a minimum of 43 years in prison on October 25.. ...Read Full Story

State Promoting Trails This Month

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is urging everyone to check out some of the state’s trails this month. DNR Trail Coordinator Paul Yauk tells WSJM News many people don’t even know about the recreation opportunities that pass by their own homes.. ...Read Full Story

Rep. Wendzel “Relieved” By Budget Agreement Without Road Solution

State Representative Pauline Wendzel is pleased the showdown between majority Republicans in the Legislature and Governor Whitmer is over for the time being regarding road funding. A deal was announced this week that the next fiscal year’s budget will not include the $2.5 billion Whitmer had been seeking for road work, as the leaders were unable to figure out where that money would come from.. ...Read Full Story

Hartford High School Threat Made But No Arrest

An investigation is underway into a possible threat against Hartford High School students. On Facebook, the high school said they were called by Hartford police a little after 5 p.m. Monday to be told someone was headed to the school with plans to harm either himself or students. The district was locked down, with all athletic teams, the band, and middle school students sheltering in place with the doors locked. The suspect was questioned by Hartford police, but no arrest was made. No other information has been released about that person. Everyone was safe, and the lockdown was lifted after the arrest. WSJM News has reached out to the Hartford Police Department for more information.. ...Read Full Story

Restoring Lighthouse Keepers’ House Carries $1M Price Tag

Renovations to the former lighthouse keepers’ dwelling in St. Joseph on North Pier Street to get it fully restored will be expensive. City Manager John Hodgson gave an update to the city commission on the possible purchase of the home by the city from the federal government, putting the price tag at around $1 million over the course of several years above and beyond any purchase price. He says the city does have experience now in renovating old structures with the lighthouses, but this is different.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Seeking Rotary Foundation Grants For Accessibility Improvements

A grant of just over $9600 is being sought by the city of St. Joseph’s Public Works Department to make three public recreation areas much more accessible. The city commission approved applying for the St. Joseph-Benton Harbor Rotary Foundation grant, which would purchase weather-resistant wheelchairs for the Whirlpool Compass Fountain, replace the swingset at Kiwanis Tiny Tots Park with one which includes a harness swing, and purchasing mobility sleds for the John and Dede Howard Ice Arena to allow those in wheelchairs to get on the ice. Mayor Mike Garey likes what he heard.. ...Read Full Story

Recycling Event His Month In Berrien County

The Berrien County Parks Department will hold a community recycling event this month at Silver Beach. It says now is the time to clean out your garage and basement, and also take a look at what’s under your sink. The county will take unwanted household chemicals and electronics at the September 21 event. Items that get dropped off will be disposed of and recycled responsibly. They’ll take yard and garden chemicals, used oil, old gasoline, unused medication, medical needles and sharps, spent batteries, spray cans, oil-based paint, and electronics. TVs come with a $20 fee and computer monitors will be $10. Latex paint will not be accepted, but you can drop that off at Ace Hardware in St. Joseph and Stevensville for a small fee. The community recycling event will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Silver Beach County Park on September 21. You can find out more right here.. ...Read Full Story

I-94 Repaving Project Starts This Week

The Michigan Department of Transportation will begin a repaving project on I-94 this week. It says the work will be on three miles of I-94 between M-239 and Kruger Road near New Buffalo, and it starts on Thursday. The project will mean daytime single-lane closures and nighttime double-lane closures in both directions. Drivers are advised to give themselves an extra few minutes if they are headed through the area. The project is expected to wrap up on October 24. You can stay on top of all MDOT construction projects at Michigan.gov/Drive.. ...Read Full Story

Police Investigate Bank Robbery In Three Oaks

Police are looking for a suspect after a bank was robbed in Three Oaks on Monday. Police Chief Dennis Buller tells us it happened at the New Buffalo Savings Bank on West Ash Street around 11:45 a.m. A man walked into the bank flashing a revolver and told the clerks to put the money up on the counter. They did so, and then the suspect told them to get down. That’s when he ran out, heading east on Ash in a dark blue Chrysler with a rusty patch at the bottom of the driver’s side door. The suspect is described as being about 5’6 to 5’8. He was wearing a mask, gloves, and a zip-up sweater. Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to contact police.. ...Read Full Story

Motorcycle Crash Kills Reserve Sergeant For Niles Police Department

A reserve sergeant for the Niles Police Department is dead following a motorcycle crash on Sunday. Police say the crash happened on 17th Street near Broadway in Niles around 6:50 p.m. 44-year-old Kenneth Ray was riding a motorcycle with a female passenger when he tried to avoid a cat that ran across the road in front of him. His bike tipped over, and he was pronounced dead as a result of his injuries. His passenger was taken by ambulance to a hospital where she was treated and released. Police say neither was wearing a helmet. Ray had been with the Niles Police Department for 24 years.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan’s Average Gas Price Up Slightly; Twin Cities Have 2nd Lowest Average

AAA Michigan says average gas prices statewide have risen 5¢ from a week ago to about $2.66 per gallon. The auto club says the average for regular unleaded has fallen 27¢ a gallon over the past year. The state’s highest average was in the Ann Arbor area at around $2.73. The lowest prices were in the Traverse City area at $2.38
per gallon. Benton Harbor and St. Joseph have the state’s second-lowest average price $2.54. According to GasBuddy, South Haven’s prices are in line with the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph area.. ...Read Full Story

Whitmer, GOP Leaders Will Proceed On Budget Without Road Fix

(Lansing, MI – AP) – Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Republican legislative leaders have agreed to enact a state budget without including a long-term funding plan to fix deteriorating roads. The trio said Monday they talked over the weekend and will immediately work to set spending targets to get the budget passed by October 1, avoiding a partial government shutdown.. ...Read Full Story

Board Could Vote This Week On Advisory Committee

The Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education is considering who will serve on the Community Engagement and Advisory Committee the state has proposed for turning the district around. At work session this past week, board President Stephen Mitchell said the Michigan Department of Treasury has been talking with trustees about the makeup of the committee, and the board has seen a couple of resolutions to establish it. However, trustees added some suggestions. Vice President Joseph Taylor said the state should listen.. ...Read Full Story

Police: Talk To Your About Cyberbullying

With a new school year now started, Michigan State Police are telling parents and students about the stiff penalties that can come with cyberbullying. Trooper Holly Higgs with the Niles post tells WSJM News cyberbullying is using a public media forum, or social media, to intimidate someone.. ...Read Full Story

Home Heating Assistance Credit Deadline This Month

As the days start to cool in Michigan, some people might be able to offset the cost of summer utility bills with the Michigan Home Heating Credit. Eligible households that paid for heat last winter have until September 30 to apply for the 2018 Home Heating Credit. Ross Yednock with the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan says both homeowners and renters can apply.. ...Read Full Story

Police, Schools Look To Help Traumatized Kids

A new partnership between the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department and Berrien RESA has been announced to help children dealing with trauma. The sheriff’s department says Handle with Care is designed to ensure a child who experiences a traumatic event has support in school. Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey says his deputies meet kids struggling with everything from a death in the family to neglect every day. He says in these situations, the sheriff’s department can work with RESA so the schools attended by such kids are aware. RESA Superintendent Kevin Ivers says the new program will help schools protect students and “help them be successful in the midst of chaos and trauma.” Handle with Care was launched in West Virginia in 2013, and since then has been adopted by several police departments, schools, and states. You can find out more right here.. ...Read Full Story

Fire Destroys Van Buren County Home

No one is hurt, but a home in Van Buren County’s Arlington Township is destroyed following a fire on Friday. South Haven Area Emergency Services says firefighters from multiple departments responded to the blaze on County Road 376 near 56th Street around 7:40 p.m. The Bangor Community Fire Department was the first dispatched to the scene on a report of smoke, and when firefighters arrived, they found the home already fully engulfed in flames. Mutual aid was provided at the scene by fire departments from Lawrence, Hartford, Paw Paw, Columbia, Keeler, Watervliet, and South Haven. The residents were not at home at the time, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Cornerstone Seeks To Grow Southwest Michigan

A campaign intended to attract new residents to southwest Michigan has been launched by Cornerstone Alliance. Cornerstone’s Christina Frank tells WSJM News Vacay Every Day will extol the virtues of southwest Michigan to those who visit the region from all over the country. The campaign aims to increase the region’s population by 10% over 10 years.. ...Read Full Story

Closure Of Bridgman Library This Month For Renovations

The Bridgman Public Library is letting all patrons know it will be closed starting on Friday, September 20 through Monday, October 7. The reason is renovations. The library is receiving new carpeting, a fresh coat of paint, and new furniture. It says during the closing, everyone can still use its online resources. It also notes that inter-library loans will be put on hold from September 16 through October 7, the date of its reopening. Anyone with questions can contact the Bridgman Public Library.. ...Read Full Story

Tickets For Speaker Series Engagement Now Available Online

Due to anticipated high demand, the South Haven Speaker Series is now selling tickets online for its September 19 engagement with former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm. Granholm will be at the Listiak Auditorium in South Haven to talk about the top trends she’s seeing in Michigan. This is the first time the South Haven Speaker Series has sold tickets online. Those who buy the advance tickets will have a separate entrance to the engagement so they can get in quickly. You can buy the tickets right here.. ...Read Full Story

Work Requirements Coming For Those In The Healthy Michigan Plan

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is notifying those who receive healthcare through the Healthy Michigan program that work requirements are going to kick in on January 1. Spokesperson Bob Wheaton tells WSJM News because of a change in law, those who are enrolled in Healthy Michigan will be required to report at least 80 hours of work per month to continue receiving benefits. It’s a policy inherited by the Whitmer administration.. ...Read Full Story

Lincoln Township Police Investigate Thefts From Vehicles

The Lincoln Township Police Department is reminding everyone to lock their cars as it’s investigating a rash of thefts from parked vehicles. It says around 4:30 a.m. on Friday, officers were called to area of Greg Drive, Williamsburg Drive, and Briarwood Drive on several vehicle break-ins. A K9 tracked the suspects to a driveway on Briarwood Drive, where they apparently entered an unlocked 2016 Honda CRV that had the keys in it. The suspects took off in the stolen vehicle and the K9 lost the track at that point. Thanks to video surveillance cameras at some nearby homes, police have footage of two suspects walking through yards and going from vehicle to vehicle. Officers are now reviewing the footage. The police department says the incidents are similar to others seen recently in nearby communities, and it’s not known if they’re all connected. In the meantime, they say everyone should lock their vehicles and remove valuables or at least keep them in the trunk.. ...Read Full Story

Watervliet Ramp Closure Starts Monday

The Michigan Department of Transportation will close the eastbound I-94 ramp to Watervliet at M-140 on Monday, and it’s going to stay closed for about seven weeks. MDOT spokesperson Nick Schirripa tells WSJM News the closure is due to maintenance work planned on the I-94 bridge over M-140.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Gets Nearly $28 Million To Fight Opioid Crisis

From the Associated Press — Michigan will get $27.9 million in federal funds to help families and communities deal with the opioid crisis. U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow said Wednesday the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is awarding the grant to expand access to treatment, prevention resources and data. The grant is part of roughly $1.8 billion that the department is giving states to boost their responses to widespread opioid addiction. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are supporting the initiative. The CDC has a three-year agreement with states, territories and localities to promote awareness of the crisis and bolster prevention programs and response initiatives. The funding will be administered through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as part of the State Opioid Response grant program.. ...Read Full Story

Indiana Death Linked To Use Of E-Cigarettes

Indiana has its first death, and the nation’s third, linked to the use of e-cigarettes. The State Department of Health says an adult over the age of 18 was confirmed as the first vaping-related death in that state on Thursday. The confirmation came the day after Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer directed this state’s Department of Health and Human Services to issue emergency rules banning the sale of flavored vaping products to everyone regardless of age, and also banned the marketing of the products. There are at least six vaping-linked illnesses under investigation in Michigan and 30 in Indiana. Previous deaths linked to the use of e-cigarettes have happened in Illinois and Oregon.. ...Read Full Story

July Home Sales Take “Step Backward”

“A step backward” for July home sales is how the Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors is presenting the numbers for the month. The number of homes sold fell from 390 in July 2018 to 317 this year, a 19% drop, and were also down 14% compared to June. Prices, though, are still rising. The median price in July hit $200,000, a sharp 21% increase from the $165,750 from last year. The median price is the price at which 50% of the homes sold were above that price, and 50% were below. The inventory of houses for sale dropped 3% below that in July 2018. At 1840 houses, the market had a 7.4-months supply of homes for sale. In July 2010, the market had an 18.1-month supply.. ...Read Full Story

United Federal Credit Union Quietly Settles Class-Action Case On Overdraft Fees

A class action lawsuit settlement by St. Joseph-based United Federal Credit Union managed to stay under the radar for several months. UFCU agreed to a $1.75 million settlement over claims it charged deceptive overdraft fees, and members hit with those fees between August 15, 2010 and September 30, 2018 could be eligible for part of the payout. The agreement first popped up on the website TopClassActions.com in March, and was reported by Credit Union Journal in August. United denies any wrongdoing, but agreed to the settlement anyway. The financial institution contends their overdraft fees are legal and were disclosed to members. Tonya Gunter sued after being hit with eight $30 overdraft fees on July 23, 2015, despite having money in her account to cover the transactions she made that day.. ...Read Full Story

Home Sales Fall In SWMI In June

Prices are up, but the number of homes sold in the area in July fell by 19% compared to a year ago. The Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors says home sales were also down by 14% from June with 317 sales closing, and the drop means year-to-date sales are up by just one house compared to 2018 at 1,986. The average selling price rose by 10% over last year to $251,423, while the median price shot up a whopping 21% to $200,000 from a year ago. It remains a tight market, as inventory of homes for sale fell and is down to a 7.4 month supply.. ...Read Full Story

“Porch Pirate” Bills Go To Governor Whitmer

From the Associated Press — Bills going to Governor Gretchen Whitmer would make it a state-level crime to steal mail, including packages left on doorsteps. The Legislature gave final approval to the legislation Thursday. It is a bid to combat rising reports of thefts as people who increasingly shop online are targeted by “porch pirates.” Supporters say the measures are needed because ID thieves and package stealers are not being punished under federal laws, and there are gaps in existing state laws related to the theft of checks.
Whitmer is expected to sign the bills. A first offense for mail theft would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. A repeat offense would be a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph-Lincoln Senior Center Seeing Strong Attendance

The St. Joseph-Lincoln Senior Center is seeing increased attendance as word of mouth gets around and the county’s population ages. The center’s board president, Rick Freridge, gave some numbers to the Berrien County Board of Commissioners Thursday night. He said about 260 individuals use the center on Lincoln Avenue each day, with attendance going up by about 17 to 19% each year. Freridge told WSJM News that new software, installed after the county asked for attendance numbers, has enabled the tracking.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven First Responders Honored

First responders with South Haven Area Emergency Services have been honored for their efforts to keep local beaches and Lake Michigan safe this summer. SHAES tells us the city of South Haven recognized the team on Wednesday. SHAES says it responded to several Lake Michigan alerts this summer, most notably on July 19 and August 21 when a total of five people were rescued in the incidents. The city will also honor members of the South Haven Police Department who were part of the rescues at a later date.. ...Read Full Story

Volunteer Event Makes A Difference For Ox Creek

A cleanup event along Ox Creek in the Benton Harbor area late last month attracted 29 volunteers from several organizations. Southwest Michigan Planning Commission senior planner Marcy Hamilton tells us local Rotary clubs, the Two Rivers Coalition, and the planning commission collected trash. How much of a difference did they make?. ...Read Full Story

Army Corps: Lake Michigan Just Shy Of Record High Levels In August

Lake Michigan did not break its all-time high water level record in August, but it was very high when compared to average. That’s according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which released its Great Lakes water level report for the month on Thursday. Forecaster Deanna Apps tells WSJM News Lake Superior tied its record high for the month while Lakes Michigan and Huron were about three inches below their record highs. She says the water levels have been trending up for a few years.. ...Read Full Story

Southwestern Michigan College Renaissance Faire This Weekend

Set for this Saturday is the Southwestern Michigan College Renaissance Faire. Taking place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside the Student Activity Center off Dailey Road in Dowagiac, the event will be a chance for knights of all stripes to set down their armor and have some fun. The activities will include live steel combat, comedic swordplay, belly dancing and an ax-throwing demonstration. Everyone can also feast on turkey legs while strolling the grounds, learn about weaponry, and shop for wares. The ren faire is fee and open to the public. You can find out more right here.. ...Read Full Story

Police Arrest Two After Drone Flown Over Michigan Stadium

From the Associated Press — Two people have been arrested for flying a drone over Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor during the Wolverine’s football season opener against Middle Tennessee State. The drone was reported about 10:17 p.m. Saturday. University Deputy Police Chief Melissa Overton says Thursday that the individuals arrested are not students at the school. The arrests were made after the report. The suspects face misdemeanor university ordinance and Federal Aviation Administration violations. Overton did
not release their names and said in an email that both were released pending the authorization of warrants. The case remains under investigation. Overton says there was no threat to the community. Game spectator Richard Sheridan told The Detroit News that he saw the drone hover over the stadium’s south end before flying away.. ...Read Full Story

Prosecutor Confirms Criminal Probe Against Berrien County Commissioner

Berrien County Prosecutor Mike Sepic is confirming there is an active criminal investigation against County Commissioner Teri Sue Freehling in connection with a civil lawsuit against her, the estate of her late husband, and county Drain Commissioner Christopher Quattrin. We have previously reported he and Michigan State Police have been looking into the case. Sepic tells WSJM News there have not been any criminal charges filed as yet, and he does not know at this point if it will rise to that level. However, a source tells our newsroom that Freehling is being urged to resign from the county commission and has been given a deadline to do so by the end of this week. The commission meets tonight at the St. Joseph Lincoln Senior Center at 6 p.m. In regard to the civil lawsuit, there has been no decision announced at this time by Judge Dennis Wiley on the requests of attorneys for the Freehlings and Quattrin to dismiss the case or whether to proceed to a jury trial.. ...Read Full Story

Sheriff’s Department Launches Program For Traumatized Children

A new partnership between the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department and Berrien RESA has been announced to help children dealing with trauma. The sheriff’s department says Handle with Care is designed to ensure a child who experiences a traumatic event has support in school. Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey says his deputies meet kids struggling with everything from a death in the family to neglect every day. He says in these situations, the sheriff’s department can work with RESA so the schools attended by such kids are aware. RESA Superintendent Kevin Ivers says the new program will help schools protect students and “help them be successful in the midst of chaos and trauma.” Handle with Care was launched in West Virginia in 2013, and since then has been adopted by several police departments, schools, and states. You can find out more right here.. ...Read Full Story

Everyone Reminded To Stay Off The Piers When Lake Michigan Is Active

South Haven Area Emergency Services is reminding everyone to stay off the Lake Michigan piers when there’s a lot of wave action. It says SHAES and the South Haven Police Department on Tuesday were called out to the south pier when calls came in about someone walking out near the lighthouse and then disappearing from view. Responders arrived to find a woman by herself out by the lighthouse. She told them she’d been out there for about an hour and had seen no one else. The woman, who recently moved to the area, also told officers she would walk behind the lighthouse when bigger waves would crash onto the pier. SHAES reminds everyone it is extremely dangerous to go out on the piers in high wave conditions.. ...Read Full Story

Ground Broken On $1 Billion Natural Gas Plant In Niles

It’s taken a few decades, but a natural gas plant is about to get under construction in Niles. Ground was broken Wednesday morning on the Indeck Energy Center, which carries a price tag of roughly $1 billion. Construction will take almost three years and require 500 workers on the site of a former railroad repair yard. David Hicks is the vice president of business development for the company and talked to our partners at WSBT-TV about the market conditions that helped to bring the project to fruition.. ...Read Full Story

Renovations Done At Secretary Of State Branch In Dowagiac

Renovations to the Secretary of State branch office in Dowagiac are now done, and will reopen later this month. The branch has been in a temporary office at the Lewis Cass Intermediate School District in Cassopolis on Dailey Road, and that office will be closing at 5 p.m. Friday. The renovated branch in Dowagiac won’t be ready to open for another week after that, and will be back in business at 9 a.m. on Monday, September 16. The Secretary of State’s office says office equipment and furniture will be moved back to Dowagiac from Cassopolis during the week-long closure, and all the phone lines, electrical, and IT services have to be reconnected. During the closure, residents are encouraged to do as much business as possible online at ExpressSOS.com or go to another area branch in Benton Harbor, Niles, or Paw Paw if needed.. ...Read Full Story

Baseline Middle School Student In South Haven Caught With Gun At School

South Haven police are investigating after a student at Baseline Middle School was found with a gun. In a message to parents, district officials say other students who knew of the weapon let an adult at the school know, and the principal and assistant principal quickly “responded by isolating the student and securing the weapon.” There is no word from the district or police if the gun was loaded or if there were any threats made. South Haven Public School officials add while educators hope to never be faced with such an issue, they are “thankful that our students did the right thing by reporting the information to a trusted adult.”. ...Read Full Story