Local News Archives

Upton Discusses Healthcare Vote

Congressman Fred Upton is explaining his vote last week for the Republican healthcare plan. Upton told WSJM News prior to last week’s vote he wouldn’t support the bill as long as it removed protections for those with preexisting conditions, but then he changed course. However, Upton tells us he only voted for the plan after securing $8 billion to set up high-risk pools. That $8 billion changed things.. ...Read Full Story

Cold Weather Causes Some SWM Crop Damage

The cold weather is taking a toll on some Michigan crops that have already bloomed or are blooming. Michigan State University Extension Educator Mark Longstroth tells Michigan News Network the damage is spotty, but the crops that saw the most damage were the juice grapes in southwest Michigan that are used in Welch’s grape juice.. ...Read Full Story

MI Lawmaker Found Dead Hours After Drunk Driving Arrest

From the Associated Press — A state representative from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has been found dead hours after he was released from jail on what may have been his second drunk driving arrest in less than two years. Police say John Kivela’s body was found about 1 p.m. Tuesday at a Lansing home and that there are no obvious indications of foul play. Clinton County Sheriff Lawrence Jerue told The Associated Press that the
Marquette Democrat was arrested Monday on southbound U.S. 127 near Maple Rapids. Jerue would not say what charge Kivela faced, but the Detroit Free Press reported he was arrested for drunken driving. Jerue said Kivela was released Tuesday on bond. Kivela pleaded guilty in December 2015 to drunken driving after his arrest the previous month in Clinton County.. ...Read Full Story

Death Investigation In Covert Township

Covert Township police are investigating the death of a man in his 20s found in a car in the 27-thousand block of 72nd Street. The man’s remains were in the passenger seat of 2002 Chevrolet Impala, and witnesses said the car had been there for “some time.” The cause of the man’s death hasn’t yet been determined, and an autopsy will be done. The body was found around 1 p.m. Monday. Police say they will have more information when it becomes available.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder: Moving Teachers To 401(K) May Be Less Expensive Than Thought

From the Associated Press — Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says transition and other costs that would come with closing the pension system to newly hired teachers may be lower than estimated previously. The Republican governor told reporters Monday he is “always open-minded” to
discussions with lawmakers. GOP legislative leaders are pushing to end a hybrid pension-401(k) plan that new school employees qualify for and instead give new hires a 401(k) only. Snyder has been resistant previously, citing large upfront costs associated with closing a pension plan.But he says there is new data showing that the costs of such a switch “might be somewhat less, but we’re still making determinations of what those may be.” A legislative analysis of past legislation estimated costs ranging from $1.6 billion to $3.8 billion in the first five years.. ...Read Full Story

State Takes Comments On Palisades Closure

The Michigan Public Service Commission has heard the public’s thoughts on the planned closure of the Palisades nuclear power plant. It held two hearings Monday in Lawrence on Consumers Energy’s request to end a contract with Palisades owner Entergy to buy power from the plant four years early. MPSC Chair Sally Talberg told WSJM News they’re looking at two things.. ...Read Full Story

Comcast Launches New Wi-Fi Service

Have you ever wanted your kids off wi-fi at bedtime but allow yourself to stay online? Comcast customers are now able to do that with today’s launch of XF-I. The company says it’s a new platform which puts the power of your home’s wi-fi in your hands. Comcast VP of Public Relations Michelle Gilbert spoke with Michigan News Network about it.. ...Read Full Story

Stevensville Business Taking Donations For Military Personnel

A Stevensville business is using this month to collect items to be sent to military personnel overseas. Postal Connections is hosting its second annual care package drive as part of Military Appreciation Month. They’re taking donations of healthy snacks, drink mix packets, microwavable food, non-perishable food, and toiletries. Just stop by Postal Connections on Red Arrow Highway between now and May 31 to drop off items. The business will then make sure everything it collects get sent to a local military base or veteran center in Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Pokagon Fund Highlights Scholarship Support

The Pokagon Fund is pointing to its role in helping Harbor Country area high school graduates go to college. Director Janet Cocciarelli tells WSJM News the fund has contributed more than $2.7 million to area scholarships since its inception. At the same time, the number of New Buffalo High School grads who go to college has gone p from 32% in 2008 to more than 90% today. In River Valley, that number has gone from 42% to 83%. Cocciarelli tells us, in addition to backing scholarships, the Pokagon Fund has contributed heavily to class field trips to colleges for high school students. She notes the importance of helping young people pay for post-secondary is constantly growing, as the cost of college has gone up 1,120% since 1978.. ...Read Full Story