Local News Archives

Michigan Only State With Gas Price Rise In Past Week

Gas prices are up over last week in just one state: Michigan. Triple-A says the statewide average rose 6¢ a gallon over the past week to $2.70, with Ann Arbor’s $2.79 being the highest and Traverse City’s $2.56 being the lowest. The Benton Harbor/St. Joseph average of $2.59 is the second-lowest in the state. GasBuddy’s Patrick DeHaan says prices nationwide have fallen for a “surprising” fifth straight week to $2.60 per gallon, the lowest level in almost five months. He noted as of Sunday afternoon, 49 of the 50 states had lower prices than a week before. According to GasBuddy, South Haven’s average price is $2.49, but that market isn’t included in Triple-A’s survey. There is also a gas price war ongoing in Kalamazoo today, with prices down to $2.17 a gallon.. ...Read Full Story

Police Looking For Missing Grand Junction Man With Dementia

Police are asking for help trying to find a missing 84-year-old Grand Junction man with dementia. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office says Chuck Hazard was last seen in the Hastings area between Kalamazoo and Lansing around 4:20 a.m. Saturday. Hazard admitted he was lost and was trying to find his way back home at the time. He is driving a red Ford Fusion with the Michigan plate ECQ-4591, and the car has American flags on both front windows. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office says he most often visits the South Haven area. Hazard is about six-feet tall, 190 pounds with gray hair and brown eyes and was last seen in a red shirt and a black baseball cap. Police add he is in need of medication, and a neighbor is currently caring for his four pets until he returns.. ...Read Full Story

No Charges In Deadly 2018 Cosmo Extended Stay Fire

There will be no charges filed in the July 28, 2018 fire at the Cosmo Extended Stay motel in Benton Township that killed a woman and five of her children between the ages of 2 and 10. Berrien County Prosecutor Mike Sepic says the fire was caused by the careless use of a hotplate by a resident in room 135, which he says does not reach the level of gross negligence to result in criminal charges. Additionally, he says the investigation found some long-term residents of the motel had disabled their smoke detectors, which is not something the owner of the building, Sodus Hospitality, could be charged for. Sepic adds smoke was not a factor in room 212 where the six members of the Curtis family were killed, and the lack of an alarm in the room did not delay their attempts to get out. Because of when the motel was built, it was not required to have smoke alarms connected in series, which had it been a newer building with that requirement, the prosecutor says it might have resulted in the Curtis family trying to get out sooner than they did. A May 2016 inspection by the Michigan State Police Fire Marshall Division found several fire and life safety components had been fixed by the building owner.. ...Read Full Story

State Highlights Child Support System

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is bringing attention to the state’s child support system now that Governor Gretchen Whitmer has declared this to be Child Support Month. Department spokesperson Bob Wheaton tells us nearly $1.2 billion in child support went out to Michigan families in 2018. 71.4% of those payments were made on time, usually via paycheck withholdings.. ...Read Full Story

Grand Reopening This Week For Chapin Mansion

A grand reopening of the historic Chapin Mansion in Niles will be held this coming week now that a rehabilitation project for the landmark is complete. Niles History Center Director Christina Arseneau tells WSJM News improvements have been planned at the site for about three years, and now they’re ready to reopen it to everyone.. ...Read Full Story

Three Arrested For Cass County Assault

Three people are in the Cass County Jail thanks to a sheriff’s department K-9. Faust tracked a 19-year-old man from Edwardsburg, a 30-year-old Niles woman, and a third suspect about four-and-a-half miles from a home in the 19-thousand block of Hoffman Road in Penn Township. Police had been called there around 5 p.m. Saturday on a report of an aggravated assault, during which the suspects got into the home, got into a fight with a home owner, and one of them pepper sprayed the home owners. The third suspect was arrested on outstanding warrants, and no information is available on that person. The other two are facing charges that include resisting and obstructing police and aggravated assault.. ...Read Full Story

Pokagon Fund Supporting Kids Reading Program

The Pokagon Fund has awarded a $5,000 grant to the United Way of Southwest Michigan to expand Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Harbor Country. The United Way says this means more kids under the age of five living in Harbert, Lakeside, New Buffalo, Sawyer, Three Oaks, and Union Pier will get a jump start on school-readiness with books mailed each month to their homes. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library mails books to the homes of enrolled young people from birth until they turn five years old. The United Way of Southwest Michigan offers Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to preschool children in Berrien and Cass counties for free. There are currently 195 children enrolled in the program in the Pokagon Fund service area.. ...Read Full Story

Drunk Driving Crackdown Underway

Michigan State Police have begun Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign for Labor Day. It started Wednesday, and now extra police patrols are out on the roads watching out for drunk drivers. The three week Labor Day enforcement period will run through September 2. While the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning spokesperson Kari Arend told WSJM News this summer the state has a zero-tolerance drugged driving law.. ...Read Full Story

Wednesday Meeting On Parks Plan

The Berrien County Parks Department is planning its next meeting to hear from the public on its five year parks plan. The department says the plan covers the developments planned at all county parks from 2020 through 2024. The included parks are Rocky Gap, Silver Beach, Love Creek, Madeline Bertrand, Paw Paw River, Historic Courthouse Square, and Galien River, as well as the Red Arrow Linear Trail. The plan is needed for the county to qualify for state recreation grants. An open house will be held prior to the Berrien County Parks Commission Meeting at the New Buffalo Township Hall on August 21. The open house will be from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Everyone is also invited to submit comments directly to the Berrien County Parks Department. You can send an email to Parks@BerrienCounty.org.. ...Read Full Story

“Veggie Van” Coming To St. Joseph This Week

Rolling into St. Joseph this coming week will be the YMCA’s Veggie Van, courtesy of Spectrum Health Lakeland. Spectrum’s Kelsey Haynes tells WSJM News the Veggie Van is a mobile farmer’s market loaded up with fresh fruits and vegetables from local growers. The green machine will be at the YMCA of Southwest Michigan office on Hollywood Road in St. Joseph from 3 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 21. Haynes says the van is based out of Grand Rapids, and is intended to help bring fresh produce to areas where it may be difficult to get. Benton Harbor qualifies as one of those locations. To find out more about the Veggie Van, click this link.. ...Read Full Story

State Proposes Advisory Committee To Make Recommendations For Benton Harbor Schools

State officials are proposing the creation of a Community Engagement and Advisory Committee to be tasked with assessing problems at Benton Harbor Area Schools and then coming up with recommendations to fix them. At a Friday meeting of the Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education, State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks laid out a plan designed to maintain “a viable K-12 education system for Benton Harbor families.” She said the committee would consist of the school board, district staff, Deputy State Treasurer Joyce Parker, residents, and businesses. Parker told us the goal is to get community input and be transparent as an assessment of the district’s problems is done.. ...Read Full Story

EPA Gives $3.7 Million To Protect Endangered Lake Superior Reef

From the Associated Press — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is spending $3.7 million to remove copper mining waste rock from a Lake Superior harbor where it threatens an important fish spawning area. Waste known as stamp sands was dumped along the lakefront during the early 20th century. It covers 1,400 acres of shoreline and lake bottom and is drifting toward Buffalo Reef, where trout and whitefish reproduce. A dredging operation is expected to continue through this year. About 157,000 cubic yards of rock will be removed from Grand Traverse Harbor and a trough will be dug to create a sediment trap near the reef. The EPA funding was awarded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a program that focuses on longstanding environmental problems in the region. The state of Michigan is contributing $3 million.. ...Read Full Story

Immigration Groups Concerned About Rule Changes

Local experts say the latest changes to federal immigration laws would have damaging ripple effects on Michigan’s immigrant families. Under the new rule, legal immigrants who are applying for green card status would be denied if they’ve used federal assistance programs, like Medicaid or SNAP. At the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, attorney Tania Morris Diaz says it’s important for families to understand what the changes could mean, and seek counseling or legal help if needed.. ...Read Full Story

Sheriff’s Deputy Receives Award

Berrien County Sheriff’s Deputy Kelly Laesch has received an award for her work on behalf of the community as the sheriff’s department crime prevention coordinator. The department says Laesch got the Joe D. Sutton Call to Justice Award at the Elder Law of Michigan Award Ceremony in Grand Rapids on Wednesday. The awards are given to those who advocate for, educate, and assist individuals in need, with a focus on older adults and those with disabilities. Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey says he’s proud to support Deputy Laesch, adding she continues to advocate for those who are the most vulnerable and works to share information with the public.. ...Read Full Story

State Waives Off-Road Vehicle Fees This Weekend

From the Associated Press — Off-road vehicle enthusiasts can explore Michigan’s 3,700 miles of trails and five “scramble” areas that are open to them for no charge this weekend. All rules pertaining to ORVs still apply. But riders on designated routes and trails will not need an ORV license or trail permit Saturday and Sunday. Ron Olson of the Department of Natural Resources’ Parks and Recreation Division says it’s the perfect opportunity to get a look at Michigan’s off-road riding areas. A Recreation Passport is required where applicable, such as the scramble areas. They include the St. Helen’s Motorsport Area in Roscommon County; the Black
Lake Scramble Area in Cheboygan County; Silver Lake State Park in Oceana County; Bull Gap in Oscoda County and The Mounds in Genesee County.. ...Read Full Story

Man Arrested For Bangor Arson, South Haven Assault, Pointing Weapon At Police

Police have an arson and assault suspect locked up in the Van Buren County Jail. South Haven police and county sheriff’s deputies were called to a car fire on Center Street in Bangor early Friday morning, and determined it had been intentionally set. Later in the morning, a call came in about the arson suspect pointing a gun at someone at the Shell gas station on Broadway Street in South Haven. The man led both South Haven and county deputies on a chase, pointing a gun at them several times and twice evading stop sticks until officers were able to use a pit maneuver to stop the fleeing car. He was arrested without incident, and officers found a pellet gun and arson evidence in the car. The suspect’s name has not been released pending his arraignment on multiple felony charges.. ...Read Full Story

State Officials, Benton Harbor School Board Meeting This Evening

Several state officials, including new state Superintendent Michael Rice, will be in Benton Harbor today for a meeting with the Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education. Rice is on record opposing the Whitmer administration’s proposal to suspend operations of Benton Harbor High School until the district’s finances and academics improve, giving board members hope that they’ll be able to avoid a shutdown. The state is also sending representatives from the Treasury and Education departments along with the governor’s office. The meeting to discuss the way forward for the district begins at 5 p.m. at Benton Harbor High School.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan OKs $1.3M Compensation For Man Exonerated Of Murder

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s attorney general has approved $1.3 million in compensation for a 61-year-old man who spent nearly three decades in prison before being exonerated in the arson-related deaths of his wife and two young daughters. Dana Nessel’s office says the award was approved Thursday following a review of David Gavitt’s claim under the state’s Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act. Compensation is calculated based on $50,000 for each year a person is in prison. Gavitt, of Ionia, was sentenced in 1986 to life without parole and spent 26 years in prison before an Ionia County prosecutor agreed the arson evidence behind his conviction no longer was credible. The case helped inspire the compensation act. 32 states and the District of Columbia provide money to people rebuilding their lives after being wrongly convicted.. ...Read Full Story

County Board Sets Objectives

The Berrien County Board of Commissioners has approved its operational objectives for 2019 and 2020. The document was approved unanimously at a Thursday meeting. It comes out of strategic planning sessions held in the early part of this year. They involved commissioner visits to county facilities, meetings with department heads, and discussions on the issues faced by Berrien County. Among the objectives listed for the coming year and a half or so are maintaining a safe and resilient county for employees and the public and the use of asset management planning. Also, focusing on the support of county infrastructure, improving the private sector job market and tax base, and making Berrien County the “employer of choice” by improving personnel policies, salaries, and benefits. Additionally, the county commission makes it a goal to establish Berrien County’s fiscal position in the top 25% of Michigan counties through budgeting, oversight, and long-range planning. Finally, the county aims to increase efficiency and use social media to keep the public informed.. ...Read Full Story

School Board Authorizes Equipment Purchases

Some big purchases have been authorized by the Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education as it prepares the district for a new school year. At a meeting on Tuesday, the board approved more than $900,000 of equipment purchases. It authorized spending $75,000 on new computer servers for the district, as the COO noted the current ones crash every day. The money will come from the sinking fund. Up next was the purchase of a new fire alarm system for Fairplain East at a cost of $385,000. The money will come from a grant and the sinking fund. Finally, the board approved upgrades to the food service area of the high school. It was noted the district had a fund set up to cover those kitchen improvements as all food prep is now being done at the high school.. ...Read Full Story

BBB Issues Advisory About Wine Event

The Better Business Bureau in west Michigan is warning everyone about buying tickets for an upcoming R&B wine tasting event being advertised for August 23 in Paw Paw. The BBB says the event is one of many organized by a group that was the subject of a recent warning from the Better Business Bureau in St. Louis, Missouri. It says the event listing claims proceeds will go to charity, but BBB investigators in St. Louis couldn’t find any evidence the alleged charity, Screaming Hearts Foundation, is recognized as a charity by the IRS. The event listing by a company called Erotic Wine Tastings says tickets cost $25, all sales are final, and the location of the event will not be revealed until five days before the scheduled date. However, the BBB says one of those events recently scheduled in Indianapolis was cancelled at the last minute and customers had trouble getting refunds. The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan suggests all donors do their research before giving to a charity, and use caution when considering paying for tickets to an event that provides limited information.. ...Read Full Story

Police Asking For Help Finding Missing Niles Woman

Police are asking for help finding a 49-year-old Niles woman who hasn’t been seen since late May. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department says Rebecca Percy is white, about five-feet tall, 140 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair. She has been known to stay in both the Benton Harbor and Niles areas, but the last contact she had with family was around May 20. The last known sighting of her was that same day in Niles. Police are asking if anyone knows where she is, to call the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Detective Bureau at 269-983-7141 extension 7224.. ...Read Full Story

Opening Of Benton Township Arby’s Set For August 26

If you’re among those in the Benton Harbor and St. Joseph area really missing Arby’s, mark Monday, August 26 on your calendar. That’s the opening day for the fast food chain’s return to the Twin Cities after more than 10 years. Construction on the new restaurant is getting close to wrapping up at Napier and M-139, almost directly across the street on Napier from the last Arby’s that was torn down a few years ago after sitting vacant and rotting for at least a decade. The Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber of Commerce says a ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. on the 26th, with the restaurant opening to the public an hour later. The location will employ 30 people and be open 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.. ...Read Full Story

Murals At Van Buren Courthouse To Be Covered Up

The Van Buren County Board of Commissioners is poised to approve a request from the local county judges to cover up a couple of murals at the courthouse that depict topless women. The committee of the whole on Tuesday signed off on the request from Van Buren County Chief Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Brickley to hide the murals, which have been there for many decades.. ...Read Full Story

DNR Launches Map Documenting Invasive Species Projects

A new online map showing the progress made in fighting invasive species around the state has been launched by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The DNR’s Joanne Foreman tells WSJM News the map gives you a chance to see what’s been done all over the state regarding invasive plants, animals, and diseases since the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program was created in 2014.. ...Read Full Story

Allegan Men Charged With Ripping Off Elderly Homeowner

Two Allegan County men are looking at 20 years in prison for a scheme that ripped off an elderly Holland man of nearly $300,000. The U.S. Attorney in Grand Rapids says 55-year-old James Black and 24-year-old Tyler Harris are charged together in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud, while Harris also faces a charge of welfare fraud. Authorities say the elderly Holland homeowner hired Harris to do roof repairs, which then ballooned up to $298,000 in costs due to false problems including dangerous working conditions, employee injuries, lawsuits, and tax issues. Harris has been taken into custody and appeared Wednesday before a federal magistrate, while Black’s whereabouts remain unknown. Anyone with information on his location is asked to contact authorities. Anyone who believes they were defrauded by the pair can call the U.S. Attorney’s office in Grand Rapids.. ...Read Full Story

Veterans Workforce Development Conference Underway In Detroit

The second annual National Veteran Workforce Development Conference is taking place today through Friday at the Crown Plaza in Detroit. The conference represents all different aspects of veteran services with experts in the field to provide educational and employment assistance. Dave Dunkel is a strategy specialist with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and says the number of veterans entering the workforce is significant.. ...Read Full Story

Apparent Drowning Of Indiana Teen In Porter Township Under Investigation

Authorities are investigating the apparent drowning death of an Indiana teenager in Cass County. The sheriff’s department was called to Long Lake in Porter Township at 7:30 Tuesday night when 19-year-old Janelle Miller of Shipshewana took a break from wake boarding with friends and left their boat for a swim. The group called 911 when they couldn’t find her in the water, and then dove in to search. Deputies also were unable to locate her, and neither was West Michigan Air Care as the helicopter scanned the lake. It wasn’t until just before 11 p.m. when the Van Buren County Dive Team and Cass County Marine Division were able to find Miller’s body. She was not wearing a life jacket, but police say alcohol was not a factor in her death.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Agriculture Officials Planning Trade Mission To China

From the Associated Press — The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is planning another trade mission to China. The fourth annual trip is scheduled for November 8-12 and the agency says representatives of Michigan food and agriculture companies will travel to Guangzhou, Chengdu, and Shanghai. It’s part of an effort to better understand the Chinese market and meet with Chinese buyers interested in Michigan products. Michigan officials say China is the state’s fifth-largest export market for food and agriculture products. The Food Export Association of the Midwest will also conduct a trade mission to South Korea on November 6-7, giving Michigan companies another chance to explore trade prospects.. ...Read Full Story

BH School Board To Meet With State Officials Friday

The Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education will meet with state officials this week to talk about what’s next for the district. At a session on Tuesday night, board President Stephen Mitchell said the meeting will be at Benton Harbor High School at 5 p.m. Friday. Board Vice President Joseph Taylor told us later that representatives from the governor’s office, the Michigan Department of Education, and the Michigan Department of Treasury will be at the meeting. State Superintendent Michael Rice is also expected. Taylor is optimistic.. ...Read Full Story

Governor Declares Child Support Month

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is bringing attention to the state’s child support system now that Governor Gretchen Whitmer has declared this to be Child Support Month. Department spokesperson Bob Wheaton tells us nearly $1.2 billion in child support went out to Michigan families in 2018. 71.4% of those payments were made on time, usually via paycheck withholdings.. ...Read Full Story

Online Map Shows Proposed Injection Wells In Michigan

A new online map helps people find out if any waste injection wells are being permitted near them. The map pinpoints all the sites in Michigan where companies have applied to dump toxic waste from oil and gas exploration. Peggy Case, who heads the group Michigan Citizens For Water Conservation, says even though the waste is injected 4,000 feet underground, Michigan is riddled with old well bores that could allow it to seep elsewhere.. ...Read Full Story

Enrollment Open For Bridge Academy

Fall enrollment for the Bridge Academy in Benton Harbor is now open. Interim director Allie Knapp says enrollment will be open through October 2 as they serve non-traditional students between the ages of 16 and 19, and adults over the age of 20, with the first day of class set for Tuesday, September 3.. ...Read Full Story

Ferris State Scholarship Established To Honor Late South Haven Couple

The memory of the late Norris and Irene Johnson of South Haven is being honored by their adopted daughter and her husband with a $350,000 scholarship endowment at Ferris State University for foster children aging out of the system and wanting to attend the school. That daughter is Patsy Eisler, the wife of Ferris State University President Dr. David Eisler, and she tells our newsroom it was her husband’s idea after recently receiving a bonus from the university.. ...Read Full Story

WMU Secures Grant To Fight Opioid Epidemic

Western Michigan University students will be getting hands-on experience fighting the opioid epidemic hitting the state thanks to a $1.35 million federal grant. The funding is from the Health Resources and Services Administration and will support WMU’s Michigan Youth Prevention and Recovery from Opioid Youth Disorders program, known as MY-PROUD for short.. ...Read Full Story

South Bend International Adds Sarasota, Florida Nonstop Flights On Allegiant

There will be six nonstop destinations from South Bend on Allegiant in the coming months. The carrier is adding nonstop flights twice a week between South Bend International Airport and Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, with those flights going on sale for an introductory price of $69 one-way starting tomorrow. That price will be good on select flights until May 12 of next year. It will be a seasonal route out of South Bend, and the introductory price does not include baggage fees and other additional charges.. ...Read Full Story

Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over Campaign Starts This Week

Michigan State Police are planning another Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign for Labor Day, and it starts this week. Beginning on Wednesday, extra police patrols will be out on the roads watching out for drunk drivers. The three week Labor Day enforcement period will run through September 2. While the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning spokesperson Kari Arend told WSJM News this summer the state has a zero-tolerance drugged driving law.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Today: Bluff Stairs Mural A Hit

It’s a hit. That’s the feeling regarding the butterfly mural painted on the steps leading up the bluff to downtown St. Joseph this summer. The work was commissioned by St. Joseph Today with the city’s approval, and executive director Amy Zapal explained the thought process behind the mural to the city commission on Monday.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien Parks Department Taking Comments On Five Year Plan

The Berrien County Parks Department is planning its next meeting to hear from the public on its five year parks plan. The department says the plan covers the developments planned at all county parks from 2020 through 2024. The included parks are Rocky Gap, Silver Beach, Love Creek, Madeline Bertrand, Paw Paw River, Historic Courthouse Square, and Galien River, as well as the Red Arrow Linear Trail. The plan is needed for the county to qualify for state recreation grants. An open house will be held prior to the Berrien County Parks Commission Meeting at the New Buffalo Township Hall on August 21. The open house will be from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Everyone is also invited to submit comments directly to the Berrien County Parks Department. You can send an email to Parks@BerrienCounty.org.. ...Read Full Story

Meth Busts In Benton Township

The Southwest Enforcement Team says it made several meth-related arrests with a couple of busts in Berrien County last week. The first one was on Thursday when police arrested 27-year-old Shaquille Burton at the Quick Way Party Store on South Fair Street in Benton Township. The arrest came after a month-long investigation into the distribution of meth in Bangor, Kalamazoo, and Benton Harbor, and detectives seized about five ounces of meth. Then on Friday came another series of arrests. SWET says 47-year-old James Snow was arrested following a three-month investigation into the distribution of meth at his home in Benton Township. During a search, police say they found two ounces of crystal meth, eighteen guns, and other drug-related items. Snow is charged with possession with intent to deliver crystal meth, possession of a firearm, maintaining a drug house, and a bond violation. Four others were arrested in the home on various charges.. ...Read Full Story

Police Looking For Two Suspects Following Chase In Benton Harbor

Two suspects remain on the loose following a chase with police in Benton Harbor on Sunday night. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department says the chase started around 11 p.m. when officers tried to pull over a Jeep Cherokee for a traffic violation on Main Street near Seeley. The Jeep took off, running several stop signs as it sped down Highland, McCord, and Britain. The sheriff’s department gave up the chase, but the vehicle crashed into another vehicle at Britain and Pipestone. The driver and a passenger took off running, leaving a 19-year-old Benton Harbor woman in the vehicle. She suffered non-life-threatening injuries, as did the 17-year-old driver of the car the suspects hit. Police say the suspect’s vehicle was stolen out of Madison, Wisconsin. They continue to look for the driver and his passenger. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department.. ...Read Full Story

Niles Gas Station Hit By Armed Robbers

Niles police are looking for two men accused of robbing the Admiral Gas Station at 640 Chicago Road at gunpoint late Sunday night. The men had their faces hidden and wore gloves while each had a semi-automatic gun. They took off on foot after emptying out the cash register. No one was hurt, but the clerk told police the men fired their weapons both inside and outside the store. The robbery happened just a few minutes before midnight on Sunday. Police have not released descriptions of the suspects, and are asking for tips to be called in to the Niles Police Detective Bureau at 269-683-0404 or submitted anonymously online at tipsoft.com.. ...Read Full Story

Whitmer: No State Gov’t Shutdown On My Watch

The last time Michigan had divided government, there were two state government shutdowns in 2007 and 2009, both under former Governor Jennifer Granholm. Not this year, says Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who was in the state Senate during both of the previous shutdowns. She says it won’t happen on her watch, and the Republican leaders of the House and Senate are in her corner.. ...Read Full Story

Niles Woman Killed When Hit By Car

A 49-year-old Niles woman has died after being hit by a car just after noon on Sunday on North 5th Street in Niles Township. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department says Candace Barna was in the road trying to pick up a piece of clothing lost while she was a passenger on the back of a motorcycle, and 75-year-old Helen Jo Carpenter told deputies she was unable to avoid the crash. Barna was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash is still under investigation, but investigators don’t believe speed or alcohol were factors in what happened. Carpenter told deputies she saw Barna walk into the road, but couldn’t stop in time.. ...Read Full Story

Cass County K-9 Finds Missing Man

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Nellie is the hero of a 70-year-old Cassopolis man. Michael Cox got lost Sunday night in a wooded area near his home, and his caretaker called police when he went for a walk around 7:45 pm and hadn’t come back by 9. The sheriff’s department says Nellie led handler Deputy Graves to Cox, who was found laying behind some thick bush shortly before midnight. He was cleared by medics with Life Care Ambulance and went home. His caretaker had called police due to concerns over the man’s medical issues. The discovery by Nellie followed several hours of searching by friends and deputies.. ...Read Full Story