Local News Archives

Illinois Man Arrested After Chase

A 21-year-old Illinois man is in the Berrien County Jail on several charges following a police chase Tuesday morning. Darrien Connor was spotted by a sheriff’s deputy doing 88 miles an hour on I-94 eastbound near US 12 and gave chase. Connor pulled off at John Beers Road and turned north on Red Arrow Highway. Police stopped the chase due to speed and the erratic driving of the suspect. Another deputy then saw the vehicle pull into a driveway on Lakeshore Drive and run. He was tracked into a wooded area, with a boot being left behind and was finally caught in the 2700 block of West Garden Lane in Shoreham. Great Lake Drone Company was called in to help find Connor. Police found a loaded gun in the SUV.. ...Read Full Story

Man Shot, Killed At Briarwood Apartments

A 27-year-old Benton Township man has died after being shot in the chest early this morning at Briarwood Apartments on Union. Township police were called to the scene just after 4 a.m. and learned two men were in an argument, and two to three shots were fired. The victim was already in the emergency room at Spectrum Health Lakeland and had died before officers got there. The other man has not been arrested or identified yet. Anyone who has information on the shooting is asked to call Benton Township Police Detective Bureau at 269-925-1135 or Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP.. ...Read Full Story

COVID Cases Up 9,350 Since Saturday

Michigan’s COVID-19 cases are up by 9,350 for Sunday and Monday. The Department of Health and Human Services says deaths rose by 93 since Saturday and are now at 9,947. Total cases since March are at 404,386. In Berrien County, there are 7,195 cases and 121 deaths. Van Buren County has 3,144 cases and 53 have died there.. ...Read Full Story

Two Hurt In Cass County Gun Mishap

Two people are hospitalized in South Bend after being hurt in an accidental shooting Sunday night. The Cass County Sheriff’s Department says 28-year-old David Williamson and 8-year-old Jeremiah Crago were target practicing shortly before 9 p.m. when deputies say the gun malfunctioned. The two are listed in stable condition at South Bend Memorial Hospital. Edwardsburg police helped with the investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Whitmer Serving As Co-Chair Of Biden Inauguration

One of five co-chairs of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration will be Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The Biden team announced the five on Monday, and it will be chaired by Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina. Also serving as chairs are Congressman Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, Congresswoman Lisa Rochester of Delaware and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Whitmer said she is humbled by the honor, and also co-chaired Biden’s campaign. Biden’s inauguration is set for January 20. The ceremony will be quite a bit different from past years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and plans are still being made.. ...Read Full Story

$500,000 Grant To Help Area Agency On Aging Work With Hospital

A $500,000 grant is going to the Region IV Area Agency on Aging so it can help to improve health outcomes among seniors. Agency CEO Christine Vanlandingham tells us a 2019 study found seniors need help addressing social determinants of health. That would include things like housing, transportation, and recreation that affect health, but aren’t direct ailments. The Area Agency on Aging will work with Spectrum Health Lakeland to address those determinants when a senior seeks care.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Teacher Honored By Farm Bureau

A Berrien County teacher has been named as the Michigan Farm Bureau’s 2020 Educator of the Year. Steve Rigoni retired from Countryside Academy at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. He was nominated for the statewide honor by the Berrien County Farm Bureau, which says his lineup of courses included botany, zoology, agriculture, food science, natural resources, and wildlife management. Rigoni designed Countrysuide Academy’s educational barn, structuring the pens, water systems, lighting, temperature controls and storage to handle many livestock species throughout the school year, and he also led students through propagating flower and vegetable plants from seed, which the students later took home. Berrien County Farm Bureau President Ed Kretchman says Rigoni “has been a teacher, mentor, adviser and role model for his students.” He received the Michigan Farm Bureau’s Educator of the Year Award during its virtual recognition event on Monday.. ...Read Full Story

Free Books For Kids Available In Van Buren County

Children in Van Buren County can now get free books thanks to a program at the Van Buren District Library. It says participants in the November Read to Give Challenge logged 790 books during the month, far surpassing the original goal of 500. Once that goal was reached, the district library’s Friends groups purchased a variety of books to be distributed through United Christian Services. They’re now available at the charity’s offices, as well as the Porch and Linda’s Closet. Anyone who wants to find out more can call the Van Buren District Library.. ...Read Full Story

Scholarships Announced For United Way Volunteers

The United Way of Southwest Michigan has announced its Volunteer United Youth Scholarship Awards for the season. The group says scholarships are going to Anna Glomski of Paw Paw High School, Jonathan Leach of Ross Beatty High School in Cassopolis, and Zoey Martin of Niles High School for their efforts on behalf of the community this year. Glomski volunteered with Young Explorers, the Van Buren Youth Fair, the Paw Paw Youth Soccer Camp, and the Key Club Adopt A Family, while Leach volunteered with Backpack Ministry, Operation Christmas Child, Adopt a Highway, and the Cass County Medical Facility. Martin volunteered weekly with the disabled in assisted living as she has for several years. The United Way says its scholarship recipients have “demonstrated a commitment to volunteerism through innovation, dedication, and advocacy for community improvement.”. ...Read Full Story

Fifth Graders Invited To Submit Entries In Missing Kids Day Poster Contest

The Michigan State Police Missing Children’s Clearinghouse is taking entries in this year’s National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest. The agency’s Jolene Hardesty tells WSJM News the contest seeks fifth graders to draw up posters bringing attention to the issue of missing children with the theme of “Bringing our Missing Children Home.” Entries come in from kids across the state each year, and Hardesty says it’s interesting to see what they come up with.. ...Read Full Story

6,000 New Cases Of COVID Identified In Michigan For Saturday

Michigan is reporting 6,004 additional cases of COVID-19 for Saturday. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services coronavirus website says the state has now had a total of more than 395,000 cases of COVID since the pandemic started. The state recorded 193 additional deaths on Saturday, 145 of which were identified through a review of vital records around the state. Michigan has had a total of 9,854 COVID deaths since March. For Saturday, the Berrien County Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard shows the county with 109 new cases over Friday. The county has had a total of 7,000 cases with 117 deaths, an increase of one over the previous day. On Saturday, the county was showing 64 non-ICU hospitalizations and 7 patients in the intensive care unit. Van Buren County on Saturday reported 35 additional cases of COVID-19 for total of 3,034 since march. Van Buren County has had a total of 51 COVID deaths.. ...Read Full Story

Armed Robbery Leads To High Speed Chase

A Texas man is facing charges after police say he robbed a gas station in St. Joseph and then led officers on a high speed chase early Friday morning. The St. Joseph Township Police Department says officers were called to the Citgo station on Niles Road in St. Joseph shortly before 1 a.m. Friday. Security video showed them a suspect had gone in and handed the clerk a note demanding money from the register. He also brandished a handgun. The suspect left the store with money, and not long after, police got a report of a vehicle matching the description of the Dodge Charger he’d been driving. From there, a chase began that took the suspect and police on I-94 and all the way to Mattawan. That’s where the suspect crashed and tried to run, but he was caught after a short while. Police found a handgun in his vehicle and the suspect was taken to the Berrien County Jail on a variety of charges. He has been identified as a 24-year-old Texas man. No one was hurt in the robbery.. ...Read Full Story

Donation Means New Ski Equipment At Love Creek County Park

Love Creek County Park now has some brand new skiing equipment, thanks to a donation from the Bitzer Family Fund. The Berrien County Parks Department says without the generosity of the fund, it wouldn’t have been possible for the county to get such high-quality cross country ski equipment. Parks Director Brian Bailey says, “Their support of our ski program here at Love Creek is remarkable and we are extremely grateful.” Additionally, the parks department has announced more support has come into Love Creek County Park from the Bike Michiana Coalition, hosts of the Love Biketober Fest event in 2019. Although that event couldn’t take place this year, the department says Love Creek County Park is still reaping the benefits of the 2019 event in the form of funds and volunteers.. ...Read Full Story

Health Official Talks About Latest COVID Developments

Berrien County saw a slight dip in reported COVID cases in the week after Thanksgiving, but that could be because some testing sites closed down for the holiday. Speaking Friday, Berrien County Health Officer Nicki Britten said it will still be a few days before we learn how much of a jump in COVID the area will see due to Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, the CDC has updated its quarantine rules for those who may have been exposed.. ...Read Full Story

Whitmer Asks Legislature To Approve COVID Package

From the Associated Press — Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is asking state lawmakers to approve $300 million in spending to fight the coronavirus into 2021, including money to support the broad-based distribution of vaccines. Thursday’s request is in addition to the Democratic governor’s previous call for $100 million in direct aid to people and businesses hit hardest by the pandemic. COVID-19 funding and other outbreak-related bills are a top priority in the remaining two weeks of session. The state budget office says the $300 million is needed to continue critical response activities that cannot be funded with previously authorized federal aid after December 30.. ...Read Full Story

More Than 8,600 New Cases Of COVID Identified In Michigan For Friday

Michigan is reporting 8,689 additional cases of COVID-19 for Friday. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services coronavirus website says the state has now had a total of more than 389,000 cases of COVID since the pandemic started. The state recorded 81 additional deaths on Friday, making for a total of 9,661 COVID deaths since March. For Friday, the Berrien County Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard shows the county with 194 new cases over Thursday. The county has had a total of 6,891 cases with 116 deaths, an increase of two over the previous day. On Friday, the county was showing 67 non-ICU hospitalizations and 7 patients in the intensive care unit. Van Buren County reported 100 new cases for Friday, for a total of 2,999 since March. The state website says Van Buren County has had a total of 48 COVID deaths.. ...Read Full Story

Area Agency On Aging Awarded $500,000 Grant

A $500,000 grant is going to the Region IV Area Agency on Aging so it can help to improve health outcomes among seniors. Agency CEO Christine Vanlandingham tells us a 2019 study found seniors need help addressing social determinants of health. That would include things like housing, transportation, and recreation that affect health, but aren’t direct ailments. The Area Agency on Aging will work with Spectrum Health Lakeland to address those determinants when a senior seeks care.. ...Read Full Story

Shoreline Protection Work In St. Joseph Close To Completion

Work to protect the shoreline along Silver Beach in St. Joseph is nearing completion. Berrien County Administrator Brian Dissette told the Berrien County Board of Commissioners on Thursday contractor Triple D Excavating has put large rocks in place near Lake and Park Streets where erosion was threatening the right of way. He showed commissioners pictures of the site.. ...Read Full Story

State Records More Than 7,000 New COVID Cases For Thursday

Michigan is reporting 7,146 additional cases of COVID-19 for Thursday. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services coronavirus website says the state has now had a total of more than 380,000 cases of COVID since the pandemic started. The state recorded 175 additional deaths on Thursday, 112 of which were identified through a review of vital records. Michigan has had a total of 9,580 COVID deaths since March. For Thursday, the Berrien County Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard shows the county with 99 new cases over Wednesday. The county has had a total of 6,697 cases with 114 deaths, an increase of four over the previous day. On Thursday, the county was showing 57 non-ICU hospitalizations and 5 patients in the intensive care unit. Van Buren County reported 47 new cases for Thursday, for a total of 2,899 since March. The state website says Van Buren County has had a total of 47 COVID deaths.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Puts Brown School On Remote Learning Due To COVID

St. Joseph Public Schools is shutting down Brown School through next Friday, December 11 and putting all students into virtual learning. In a letter to parents, superintendent Dr. Thomas Bruce says it’s due to a “significant number of confirmed teachers with COVID-19, another exhibiting symptoms, and two more teachers in quarantine through December 14th-16th.” Additionally, the elementary has 44 students in quarantine due to the positive and probable cases. The school is the smallest in St. Joseph for in-person learning with 281 students. Bruce says the decision to close is “not made lightly.”. ...Read Full Story

State Releases Interim Racial Disparities Task Force Report For COVID-19

The state of Michigan is out with an interim report on the progress of the Michigan Task Force on Racial Disparities with COVID-19. Chaired by Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, it shows significant progress in cutting the average number of cases and deaths among African-Americans. From March and April to September and October, the average cases per million per day for African-American Michiganders dropped from 176 to 59. In the same period, the number of probable deaths per million per day among African American Michiganders dropped significantly from 21.7 to 1.. ...Read Full Story

United Way Announces Scholarship Recipients

The United Way of Southwest Michigan has announced its Volunteer United Youth Scholarship Awards for the season. The group says scholarships are going to Anna Glomski of Paw Paw High School, Jonathan Leach of Ross Beatty High School in Cassopolis, and Zoey Martin of Niles High School for their efforts on behalf of the community this year. Glomski volunteered with Young Explorers, the Van Buren Youth Fair, the Paw Paw Youth Soccer Camp, and the Key Club Adopt A Family, while Leach volunteered with Backpack Ministry, Operation Christmas Child, Adopt a Highway, and the Cass County Medical Facility. Martin volunteered weekly with the disabled in assisted living as she has for several years. The United Way says its scholarship recipients have “demonstrated a commitment to volunteerism through innovation, dedication, and advocacy for community improvement.”. ...Read Full Story

Recounts Scheduled In Two Berrien County Elections

Recounts in a couple of close Berrien County elections from November are now scheduled. The Berrien County Board of Canvassers will first recount the village president race in Galien this Friday. In that race, Kenneth Chappell and Paul Palmer were separated by just two votes. The recount will start at 9 a.m. and be done at the South County Building in Niles. Due to gathering restrictions, the public will only be able to watch online. You can do so at Berrien County’s YouTube channel. Then, the Berrien County Board of Canvassers will do a recount in the race for Berrien County Commission in the Fifth District next Tuesday. In that case, Bruce Gorenflo and Rayonte Bell had an exact tie. A drawing was held to break the tie, and it favored Gorenflo, but Bell had the right to request a recount. That recount will start at 9 a.m. Tuesday, also at the South County Building in Niles. Once again, you can only watch online.. ...Read Full Story

State Suspends Liquor License Of St. Joseph Business

The Silver Beach Hotel’s liquor license has been suspended for alleged violations of the state’s COVID rules. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission says an emergency suspension of the license was issued after an investigation by the St. Joseph Department of Public Safety found the place was hosting indoor gatherings and providing indoor dining in violation of the November 15 orders from the state. Officers entered the establishment in the early morning hours of November 22 and say they found 30 to 40 people dining and drinking, most of them without masks. The manager then tried to make officers leave. Therefore, the Silver Beach Hotel’s liquor license is suspended, and there will be a hearing on it December 11.. ...Read Full Story

Nearly 7,000 New COVID Cases Identified In Michigan For Wednesday

Michigan is reporting 6,955 additional cases of COVID-19 for Wednesday. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services coronavirus website says the state has now had a total of more than 373,000 cases of COVID since the pandemic started. The state recorded 81 additional deaths on Wednesday for a total of 9,405 COVID deaths since March. For Wednesday, the Berrien County Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard shows the county with 125 new cases over Tuesday. The county has had a total of 6,598 with 110 deaths. On Wednesday, the county was showing 63 non-ICU hospitalizations and 7 patients in the intensive care unit. Van Buren County reported 52 new cases for Wednesday, for a total of 2,852 since March. The state website says Van Buren County has had a total o 45 COVID deaths.. ...Read Full Story

Free Flu Vaccinations In Allegan County

Allegan County residents can receive free flu vaccines this month at the Allegan County Health Department. Appointments can be made by calling the Health Department and are available on Thursday December 3rd from 1 to 4. Morning and afternoon appointments are also available on Thursday December 10th and Thursday December 17th. The vaccine is available to anyone over six months of age. The Health Department is located at 3255 122nd Avenue, Suite 200, in Allegan. Call 269-673-5526 for an appointment.. ...Read Full Story

State House OKs Confidentiality Program For Abuse Survivors

From the Associated Press — The Michigan state House approved a series of bills Tuesday that would provide a greater level of confidentiality for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Under the proposals, victims of crimes and their children would be given an identification number and a substitute address for the state to mail items such as driver’s licenses and other state documents.
Bill sponsor Holly Republican Senator Ruth Johnson said in a media release that the program would put Michigan on par with 37 other states that provide address confidentiality programs for crime victims. The bills now head back to the Senate, which previously passed the bills, to consider changes the House made.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Sheriff K9s Get Vests

Three Berrien County Sheriff’s Office K9s have new bullet and stab protective vests. Blek, Maxx, and Mika have received the help from the non-profit Vested Interest in K9s, Incorporated. Their program is open to dogs at least 20 months old and are employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies in the U.S. This potentially lifesaving body armor for four-legged K9 officers is U.S. made, custom fitted, and NIJ certified. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 4,101 vests to K9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations.. ...Read Full Story

Entries Being Taken For Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest

The Michigan State Police Missing Children’s Clearinghouse is taking entries in this year’s National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest. The agency’s Jolene Hardesty tells WSJM News the contest seeks fifth graders to draw up posters bringing attention to the issue of missing children with the theme of “Bringing our Missing Children Home.” Entries come in from kids across the state each year, and Hardesty says it’s interesting to see what they come up with.. ...Read Full Story

Foster Kids Scholarship Fund Seeking Donations

State education officials are urging people to make a donation to the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund as the year runs down. Michigan Office of Postsecondary Financial Services Director Robin Lott tells WSJM News the fund gives college scholarships to young people in the foster care system. It’s raised $1.3 million since 2012, and Lott says donations are down this year due to COVID canceling many events. She notes foster kids have a harder time getting a college education.. ...Read Full Story

Upton, Others Push New Stimulus Proposal

Congressman Fred Upton was among the members of Congress to announce a new bipartisan proposal for a COVID-19 stimulus package on Tuesday. The U.S. House Problem Solvers Caucus and a group of senators pitched the $908 billion proposal. Upton said afterward he hears each day from constituents who are struggling to get by in the COVID pandemic. He added, “Congress should not go home until we are able to get a COVID-19 deal passed and signed, delivering real help to those who need it most.” The new plan includes $160 billion for state and local governments, $180 billion for additional unemployment benefits, $288 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $16 billion for vaccine distribution, and $10 billion for broadband rollout. Upton said Tuesday Congress “shouldn’t be going home and bringing an empty suitcase.”. ...Read Full Story

State Police Holding Stuff A Blue Goose Drive This Weekend

The annual Michigan State Police Stuff a Blue Goose item drive will be this weekend. The agency seeks to fill up as many Blue Geese, or MSP patrol cars, as it can for local non-profits. The items collected will be given to Mosaic’s Wonderland Toy Store, Helping Hands of Cass County, and Red Bud Area Ministries. Helping Hands Director Mary Tompi tells WSJM News they provide food and clothing to those in need, and this year has been busy.. ...Read Full Story

Two Teens Facing Charges After Chase With Niles Police

Two 17-year-olds from Niles are facing charges after a chase with police on Tuesday. The Niles Police Department says it all started when police tried to pull over a vehicle for a registration violation around 1:40 p.m. The vehicle took off north on M-51 heading out of the city with police in pursuit. It crashed near Pucker Street, going down a steep river embankment. Four males got out and the police officer saw one of them throw a gun into the river. The same teen jumped into the river in an attempt to get away. All four were eventually caught. Two were taken to a hospital to be evaluated for minor injuries, while the other two were lodged at the Niles Police Department facing criminal charges. One 17-year-old is charged with fleeing and eluding, while the other is charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a stolen firearm, and an outstanding warrant.. ...Read Full Story

Free Children’s Books Available In Van Buren County

Children in Van Buren County can now get free books thanks to a program at the Van Buren District Library. It says participants in the November Read to Give Challenge logged 790 books during the month, far surpassing the original goal of 500. Once that goal was reached, the district library’s Friends groups purchased a variety of books to be distributed through United Christian Services. They’re now available at the charity’s offices, as well as the Porch and Linda’s Closet. Anyone who wants to find out more can call the Van Buren District Library.. ...Read Full Story

Love Creek County Park Gets New Cross Country Skiing Equipment

Love Creek County Park now has some brand new skiing equipment, thanks to a donation from the Bitzer Family Fund. The Berrien County Parks Department says without the generosity of the fund, it wouldn’t have been possible for the county to get such high-quality cross country ski equipment. Parks Director Brian Bailey says, “Their support of our ski program here at Love Creek is remarkable and we are extremely grateful.” Additionally, the parks department has announced more support has come into Love Creek County Park from the Bike Michiana Coalition, hosts of the Love Biketober Fest event in 2019. Although that event couldn’t take place this year, the department says Love Creek County Park is still reaping the benefits of the 2019 event in the form of funds and volunteers.. ...Read Full Story

New Commander In Charge Of Niles State Police Post

There’s a new post commander at the helm of the Michigan State Police post in Niles. With the departure of First Lieutenant Mike Dawson, Lieutenant Ryan Schoonveld has now been promoted. As post commander, Schoonveld will be responsible for the operation of the Niles Post and the Hagar Detachment, and will manage the delivery of Michigan State Police services to the people of Berrien and Cass counties. He’s originally from Holland and now lives in St. Joseph. In his 21 year career with the MSP, Schoonveld has served at the Monroe Post, the former Bridgman Post, the Niles Post and the Paw Paw Post. He’s held the ranks of trooper, detective trooper, sergeant, and lieutenant. Schoonveld says these have been challenging times for police and community, and he looks forward to engaging with everyone, adding he is “ready to listen, to lead by example, and continue providing the excellent service you have come to expect out of the MSP Niles Post.” He started in the new role on Sunday.. ...Read Full Story

State Releases COVID Numbers For Sunday, Monday

Michigan is reporting 10,428 additional cases of COVID-19 for Sunday and Monday combined. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services coronavirus website says that averages out to 5,214 per day across the two days. Michigan has now had a total of more than 360,000 cases of COVID since the pandemic started. The state recorded 98 additional deaths across Sunday and Monday, and has had a total of 9,134 COVID deaths since March. For Monday, the Berrien County Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard shows the county with 71 new cases over Sunday. The county has had a total of 6,418 with 109 deaths. On Monday, the county was showing 59 non-ICU hospitalizations and 8 patients in the intensive care unit.. ...Read Full Story

Cities Want Community Stabilization Plan

Municipal leaders across Michigan are calling on state lawmakers to adopt a Community Stabilization Plan that addresses the dire fiscal situation facing communities across the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has caused a host of issues for local governments, including increased costs, decreased tax revenues, and challenges adhering to the Open Meetings Act while also maintaining social distancing protocols. The plan does not call for a tax hike, but does call on the legislature to pass a law that allows the state’s income tax communities to continue collecting income taxes as if the pandemic did not happen.. ...Read Full Story

Man Hurt By Falling Tree In Cass County

A Cass County man is recovering after he was injured by a falling tree over the weekend. The Cass County Sheriff’s Department says it happened at the man’s property in the 18,000 Block of Brownsville Road in Calvin Township just before 6 p.m. Sunday. Sheriff’s deputies were called to assist the Penn Township Fire Department after 40-year-old Ro-Mell Dungey was hurt. He had been trying to remove trees on his property when one of the trees fell on him. His 14-year-old son removed the tree and then went to find help. Fire and EMS personnel removed Ro-Mell from the woods and Medflight took him to South Bend Memorial Hospital in Indiana. His condition has not been released.. ...Read Full Story

Governor Proposes $100 Million COVID-19 Relief Plan

From the Associated Press — Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants state legislators to approve a $100 million COVID-19 relief plan when they return to session during December. The Democratic governor sent a letter to leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature asking for the state-based stimulus program that she said “will provide direct financial support to the families and small
businesses that have been hit hardest by the pandemic.” Whitmer’s request comes as legislators are scheduled for a return to session on Tuesday until December 17 and Congress has been deadlocked in negotiations over potentially billions of dollars in emergency COVID-19 assistance.. ...Read Full Story

COVID Puts Plans For Test Of New Michigan Train Line On Hold

From the Associated Press — The coronavirus pandemic has forced supporters of a new passenger train service to northern Michigan to put off plans for test rides on the proposed 240-mile line. The Detroit Free Press cites backers of the Ann Arbor-to-Traverse City
route as saying those test runs were slated for 2021. They are now on hold. The deputy director of a nonprofit organization leading the push for the new line, James Bruckbauer, says test runs are part of a multistep process that will also include deciding on an operating structure. But he says organizers aren’t sure when they’ll be able to do them “because of COVID-19 concerns.” Advocates say the service would give people along the line flexibility in commuting to jobs.. ...Read Full Story

Detroit Mayor: 5K Residents A Day Could Get Vaccine In 2021

From the Associated Press — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says he expects 5,000 residents a day will receive vaccines once they are made widely available. Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, Duggan also discussed the logistics of vaccinating some 700,000 city residents. He says convention centers and parking areas near stadiums would play major roles. Hospital workers, first-responders, those over 65 and other groups more at risk of coronavirus infection were expected to be first in line to receive vaccinations. Duggan said he expected some vaccines to be available to the wider public early in 2021. At 5,000 vaccinations a day,
Duggan said it would still likely take three or four months to complete vaccinations once they start in Detroit.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department Receives CARES Act Funds

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department has received more than $127,000 in federal CARES Act money. The department says it worked closely with the Van Buren County Finance Department to apply for the assistance during the pandemic. It’s already used the federal funds to purchase two trailers, traffic cones, folding tables, chairs, a generator, and an EZ up tent, and plans to use the money for mobile drive-up COVID testing sites, future mobile vaccinations, and similar programs. The sheriff’s department says it also was able to buy in-car computers and laptops for the county’s Emergency Operation Center and administration staff. Sheriff Dan Abbott notes that thanks to the CARES Act dollars, no local taxpayer funds had to be spent on coronavirus needs.. ...Read Full Story