Local News Archives

Second Suspect Charged In Benton Harbor Shooting

A second suspect has been charged in a shooting death in Benton Harbor this month. 32-year-old Nathaniel Lee was shot twice and killed outside of the River Terrace apartment complex on August 15. The Berrien County Prosecutor’s office tells WSJM News police believe Lee was killed during a robbery attempt. Already charged in the case is 19-year-old Davion Turner of Conyers, Georgia. The newest charges are against 21-year-old Antonio Hall of Benton Harbor. He was arraigned Wednesday on charges of Felony Murder, Armed Robbery, and Felony Firearm. He’ll be back in court on September 1. Police believe there were two other suspects involved in the robbery. They continue to investigate.. ...Read Full Story

Man Charged In Crash That Killed Southwest Michigan Fire Chief

From the Associated Press — A 24-year-old man has been charged with reckless driving in the death of a fire chief who was hit while responding to a crash in southwestern Michigan. Brandon Clevenger of Springfield was charged Tuesday with reckless driving causing death. The Kalamazoo County sheriff’s office says he was driving nearly 90 mph and distracted by his phone just seconds before hitting a cement median wall. The car then crossed lanes on Interstate 94 and struck Ed Switalski. Switalski served as chief of Comstock Township Fire and Rescue for four years. The 55-year-old Switalski worked at the Kalamazoo-area department after more than three decades at the Pleasantview Fire District in suburban Chicago. WOOD-TV reports a judge Wednesday set Clevenger’s bond at $5,000. It wasn’t immediately known if he has an attorney.. ...Read Full Story

Chicago-Area Kids Arrested After Stolen Car Crash

A wild overnight incident for Michigan State Police along with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department and police from the city of St. Joseph, St. Joe Township and Lincoln Township. All of those departments were involved in the search for six young people out of the Chicago area after troopers tried to pull over what turned out to be a stolen car from Chicago on I-94 just before 2 a.m. Wednesday. The driver took off, got off on M-139, and crashed into a house. Three people were arrested there, but the others ran and stole a second car in the Wyndwicke neighborhood. They then crashed that one trying to get away, and were caught after a search of the area. Three of them, all girls 17 and younger, were released, while three juvenile boys are going to be facing multiple charges including possessing a stolen vehicle, hit and run, and theft of a motor vehicle. Somehow, no one was hurt.. ...Read Full Story

Pipestone Freeway Exits To Shut Down For Construction

Some traffic changes are coming to I-94 in Berrien County this week as a result of construction. The Michigan Department of Transportation tells WSJM News the ramps to both east and westbound 94 from Pipestone Road in Benton Township will be shut down starting this Wednesday. They’ll stay that way through November 30 while MDOT does bridge repairs. Also, it notes there will be some lane closures in effect on Pipestone under the highway. Additionally, lane closures on the I-94 Business Loop at exit 23 in Stevensville take effect Wednesday as a result of bridge work in that area. Once again, the project will run through November 30.. ...Read Full Story

Powerball Jackpot Up To $700 Million

The Powerball jackpot for Wednesday’s drawing is now up to $700 million. That’s the second highest it’s ever been. The Michigan Lottery’s Jeff Holyfield tells WSJM News he’s met Lotto players who have won some of those massive jackpots, and they tend to have something in common.. ...Read Full Story

Cass County Man Charged In Child Porn, Meth Case

A Cass County man could get life in prison in a case involving a total of 59 charges, many of which are child porn related. The Cass County Prosecutor’s office tells us 44-year-old Jason Ryans is charged with using a computer to commit a crime, possession of child sexually abusive material, habitual child sexually abusive activity, and possession of meth, among other things. He’s accused of committing those crimes between the start of this year and mid-July. Bond for Ryans has been set at $200,000, and police ask anyone with additional information on the case to contact them.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Schools Superintendent Receives Positive Performance Evaluation

The St. Joseph Public Schools Board of Education has released the results of Superintendent Ann Cardon’s annual evaluation. The board this week congratulated Cardon on what it called an outstanding performance with highly effective outcomes for the 2016-17 school year. The board writes, “Ann is a leader who cultivates an inclusive, caring and supportive school community that promotes academic success for each student in our district.” The board also applauded Cardon for presenting what it called sound methodologies in regards to staff development, school improvement, and instructional practices. Trustees say they forward to a continued partnership with Cardon.. ...Read Full Story

Water Company Employee Accused Of Stealing Drugs From Customer Homes

An employee of a water supply company is facing charges in Van Buren County after police say he used his position to break into the homes of customers to steal prescription drugs. Sheriff’s deputies were called out to the 27,000 block of Second Avenue in Pine Grove Township on Monday to investigate a breaking and entering complaint. That led them to the 35-year-old suspect. They say he’d been breaking into customers’ homes during his shift, and they’re looking for other possible victims. The name of the suspect has not yet been released. Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department.. ...Read Full Story

Dowagiac Man Facing Charges Over Theft From Utility Drop Box

One man is facing felony charges following a break-in to a utility payment drop box in Dowagiac this month. The police department tells us 53-year-old Garry Means was picked up on a warrant August 13 while charges were pursued in the theft case. Means is accused of stealing money from a drop box located along Pennsylvania Ave and New York Ave south of Commercial Street. He’s in the Cass County Jail with bond set at $200,000. Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Dowagiac Police Department.. ...Read Full Story