Local News Archives

Man Arrested For Two Bridgman Home Invasions

A 43-year-old man is in the Berrien County Jail awaiting possible home invasion charges for allegedly breaking in to two homes in Bridgman during a three-hour span Thursday night and early Friday morning. The homeowners in the first incident found the man in a bedroom in their home in the 42-hundred block of Orchard Street, and he ran off after being confronted. Bridgman police say the Lincoln Township police K-9 Echo caught the man after the second break-in, laying in the yard behind a nearby shed. That happened in the 97-hundred block of Baldwin Road. The suspect’s name has not been released, and police say he has addresses in both Berrien Springs and Bridgman. Nothing appeared to have been stolen in either case, and no damage was done.. ...Read Full Story

University Of Michigan Installing Locks For Security Push

The University of Michigan will install locks on all classroom and lab doors inside a building where reports of an active shooter triggered campus-wide panic last spring. The active shooter alert occurred in March when a sorority held an event featuring balloon popping at the same time as a vigil nearby for victims of the deadly New Zealand mosque shootings.. ...Read Full Story

Two Injured In Highway Crash

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a Friday crash on I-94 that involved six vehicles. It says deputies were sent to the scene at eastbound I-94 near the Van Buren County line in Watervliet Township around 6:30 p.m. They learned there had been a chain reaction crash where traffic had been backed up due to construction near Hartford.. ...Read Full Story

Muskegon Police Officer On Leave After Apparent KKK Document Seen At Home

(Muskegon, MI – AP) – A white police officer in western Michigan is on paid administrative leave after an apparent Ku Klux Klan document was seen framed on a wall of his home. The Muskegon Police Department opened an internal investigation after Robert Mathis, who is black, posted on Facebook that he saw the document while touring the officer’s Holton-area home, which was for sale. He said he also saw Confederate flags at the house, and said he prayed about what to do for several hours before posting photos he took inside the house.. ...Read Full Story

U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers Readies Decision On Underwater Oil Pipeline Supports

(Associated Press) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it’s preparing to decide whether to let Canadian oil transport company Enbridge install supports for its underwater oil pipeline in Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac. Enbridge disclosed Wednesday that erosion had opened a gap beneath one of two Line 5 pipelines in the channel linking Lakes Huron and Michigan. The gap is about 6 feet wider than allowed under a state easement.. ...Read Full Story

BBB: Unlicensed Dowagiac Roofer Sentenced, Business Shut Down

A Dowagiac man will be on probation for three years and his unlicensed roofing business has been shut down after he pleaded guilty to one count of false pretenses between $1,000 and $20,000. The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan’s Phil Catlett says they had been expressing concerns for “some time” about All Tech Repair and Roof Sealants. Company owner Jeffrey Burks was sentenced Friday and a condition of his probation is he’s not allowed to reopen the business. The case against him came from accusations he was collecting money from customers, but not following through with any work. The BBB says All Tech has an F rating due, in part, to the complaints that went unanswered.. ...Read Full Story

Illinois GOP Urges Trump Not To Set Blagojevich Free

The Illinois Republican Party’s chairman is urging President Trump not to follow through on the idea he broached this week of freeing imprisoned former Governor Rod Blagojevich. Tim Schneider said in a written statement Friday that officials found guilty should serve their full sentences, especially in a state where he says “corrupt, machine-style politics is still all too common.”. ...Read Full Story

Suspect In Benton Harbor Triple Shooting Caught

The suspect in the July 31 murder of 29-year-old Arsenio Jordan in Benton Harbor is now jailed. 21-year-old Eric Holbrook was arrested Friday by Benton Harbor Public Safety officers, Berrien County Sheriff’s officers and Michigan State Police troopers at the River Terrace apartment complex. Police also arrested his 24-year-old brother, Dennis Holbrook, for his alleged involvement in the triple shooting along with an unidentified 43-year-old woman. Eric and Dennis Holbrook are expected to be arraigned next week, and are being held without bond in the Berrien County Jail. Authorities are still trying to find one other man, Dondrell Blackamore, Jr., who they want to talk to as a person of interest in the case.. ...Read Full Story

United Flight Attendant Accused Of Being Drunk On Flight To South Bend

A Wisconsin woman is due back in court in South Bend August 29 to face public intoxication charges. Julianne March is a flight attendant with United, and was caught on video by a passenger on an August 2nd flight between Chicago and South Bend appearing drunk on the job. Police say her blood alcohol level was .20, five-times what’s allowed for flight crew members. A passenger also tweeted United Airlines about the incident, saying March appeared “quite drunk” on the brief morning flight. March answered “Chicago” when asked where she was upon being arrested in South Bend.. ...Read Full Story

Charges Filed In July 30 Bridgman Home Invasion, Shooting

A 33-year-old Bridgman is facing a first-degree home invasion charge for a July 30 incident in which police say he forced his way into a home in the 97-hundred block of Evergreen Drive and got into a fight with a 34-year-old acquaintance. The suspect is Christopher Betts, and he is free on bond after being arraigned on Thursday on the charge, which followed his release from the hospital.. ...Read Full Story

New State Superintendent Opposed To Closing Benton Harbor High School

The Whitmer administration is not fully united when it comes to the possibility of closing Benton Harbor High School. Michael Rice, the new state superintendent, tells Bridge Magazine he opposes the proposal by the governor to close the school in exchange for forgiving about two-thirds of the 18-million dollar debt faced by Benton Harbor Area Schools. When the administration made its plan known, Rice was still the superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools, and has only been at the helm of public education statewide for a little more than a week. BHAS board members tell Bridge Magazine they appreciate Rice’s stance, as they are continuing to negotiate with the governor’s office to prevent the high school from closing.. ...Read Full Story

Harbor Country Mission’s David Heyn talks about the death of Bob Klint

Bob Klint, who worked at Harbor Country Mission and spearheaded the idea of medical debt relief that the organization is involved in, was killed last Friday in a horrible car crash in Buchanan.  The crash also took the lives of his wife, daughter and brother-in-law. They are asking that in lieu of flowers that you make donations in Bob Klint’s memory to Harbor Country Mission to support their work helping people who are financially struggling.. ...Read Full Story

Area Peach Crop Non-Existant

From too much rain to a trade war with China, Michigan farmers have more than their share of challenges this year. Peach growers in southwest Michigan have their own struggles, all due to the polar vortex in January that dropped temperatures down to 18-below zero. That killed a large number of trees according to Stover’s Farm Market general manager Kenny Stover in Berrien Springs. He tells our partners at WSBT-TV they have little to no crop.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Public Schools Tout State Ranking On Niche.com

New rankings from Niche puts St. Joseph Public Schools among the best districts in the state. The 2020 rankings have St. Joseph rated 13th best. The criteria used include achievement on the state M-STEP and SAT tests, college readiness, teacher quality, facilities, student and parent perception, student opportunities, and health and safety. In a statement, the district’s director of curriculum, instruction and assessment Kelly Gaideski calls it “rewarding” to be recognized for the ongoing efforts to improve both student achievement and their well-being.. ...Read Full Story

PFAS Meeting Set For August 21 At Hartford High School

There will be an update later this month on the PFAS contamination in Hartford around the site of the former Du-Wel plant. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy will hold a public forum along with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department on August 21 at Hartford High School starting at 6 pm. George Friday is the environmental health director for the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department and says 82 residential wells were tested.. ...Read Full Story

Pedestrian Hit By SUV On Napier Monday Dies From Injuries

We have an update regarding the car-pedestrian crash on East Napier Avenue in Benton Township on Monday. Police tell WSJM News that the man who was hit while walking on the edge of the road, 52-year-old David Snyder, has died from his injuries. Sndyer died Wednesday at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo. He was airlifted there from Spectrum Health Lakeland with head trauma and a broken leg. Snyder was walking along the fog line in the outer lane when he was struck by an SUV driven by Georgette Lanier. There is no word yet if any charges will be filed, and police say the crash remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

YMCA Of Southwest Michigan Merging With YMCA Of Michiana

The YMCA of Southwest Michigan is getting larger with the approval of its board of directors and the board of the YMCA of Michiana to merge into one organization. It will be effective at the start of 2020, and the YMCAs will collectively serve more than 20,000 members and employ over 500 people. YMCA of Southwest Michigan board member Tom Grant says in the spring of 2018, the association began helping on the management side with the Michiana chapter after that organization lost its CEO.. ...Read Full Story

Missing West Michigan Girl Found In Rhode Island Man’s Home

A 43-year-old Rhode Island man is facing sexual assault charges after police found a 15-year-old west Michigan girl who had been reported missing in is home. Local police acted on information submitted by the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department to raid the home in Warwick of Charles Morancey on Tuesday. They arrested him on four charges of third-degree sexual assault and found the girl safe.. ...Read Full Story

Voters Approve All Local Road Millage Renewals In Michigan

Michigan voters are showing their willingness to spend money to fix roads around the state while action by state lawmakers to fund road repairs remain stuck in neutral. During Tuesday’s primary election, the County Road Association of Michigan notes all 14 road millage renewals passed with an average support rate of 75% and all of those have been renewed every time they were on the ballot since 2008.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren Conservation District Offering Well Water Testing

Residents in Van Buren County with private wells for drinking water can have their water tested by bringing an unfiltered sample to the Van Buren Conservation District in Paw Paw all next week. Technician Kyle Mead says they will test for nitrates and nitrites in your water, which is basically nitrogen that can occur naturally or from lawn treatments and farm fertilized fields.. ...Read Full Story

Detroit House Explosion Investigated

(Detroit, MI – AP) – Fire officials in Detroit are investigating the cause of a house explosion on the city’s east side. The explosion collapsed the home Tuesday afternoon and an ensuing fire scorched at least one neighboring house. No injuries were reported. Officials were looking into a possible natural gas leak.. ...Read Full Story

Buttigieg Ramps Up Outreach To Democratic Superdelegates

South Bend Mayor and Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg is ramping up his outreach to Democratic Party superdelegates with a phone call to them outlining the scope of his 2020 presidential campaign. The outreach suggests Buttigieg’s campaign is looking beyond the early primary states to the possibility of a convention fight for the nomination.. ...Read Full Story

Power Out For Some Of Downtown St. Joseph

Power is out to a good chunk of downtown St. Joseph this afternoon. Indiana Michigan Power says over 11-hundred customers are impacted, and the outage started just before 12:30. The Berrien County Courthouse is closed for the rest of the day, as is the Berrien County Administration Building due to the outage. County officials say those will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. The utility expects the lights to be back on around 5 tonight. WSJM News is told the cause of the outage is work being done to dismantle and rebuild the power plant next to Clementine’s Too.. ...Read Full Story

Dr. David Mathews Retiring As Southwestern Michigan College President

A change is coming at Southwestern Michigan College. After 18 years as president, Dr. David Mathews is retiring, and his last day will be December 31. Mathews joined SMC in 1997 as Dean of Arts and Sciences and Instructional Innovation, and became vice president of instruction the next year. He was appointed the school’s seventh president in 2001. The college says he’s developed and executed 18 consecutive balanced budgets, with investments in student success and facilities improvements all being done within those constraints. Under his guidance, the SMC Foundation grew from $1.3 million in assets to over $12 million, which Board of Trustees chairman Thomas Jerdon says has had a “huge impact” on wider scholarship availability for students.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Mayoral Primary Today

Voters in the city of Benton Harbor will be narrowing down the field of mayoral candidates today. Six candidates are on the ballot: Mayor Marcus Muhammad, City Commissioners Juanita Henry, CF Jones, and Ron Singleton, along with Margie Carter and Jamie Davis. Commissioner Henry urged as high a voter turnout as possible during last night’s city commission meeting.. ...Read Full Story

Recreational Marijuana Question Headed To November Ballot In South Haven

The South Haven City Council has voted not to adopt an initiated ordinance to prohibit the manufacture and sale of recreational marijuana. The Concerned Citizens of South Haven submitted a petition with over 100 signatures to prohibit recreational marijuana. The city council voted to put the issue on a public ballot in November. Mayor Scott Smith says he didn’t like what they were being asked.. ...Read Full Story

NRC To Hold Webinar On Decommissioning Of Nuclear Plants This Week

The upcoming decommissioning of the Palisades nuclear power plant will be the topic of a public meeting by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission this fall. The NRC will hold a webinar this Thursday at 1 p.m. in conjunction with the 11 forums staff will hold across the country at sites of soon-to-be-closed nuclear power plants. No date or location has been set as yet for that meeting regarding Palisades. The Covert Township power plant is set to be shut down in 2022, but decommissioning the facility will take several years of work after the reactor is idled for good. Entergy agreed to sell the facility last August to Holtec International for the decommissioning. That sale includes the transfer of licenses, spent fuel, and Nuclear Decommissioning Trusts.. ...Read Full Story

Man Airlifted To Kalamazoo Hospital After Being Hit Walking On Napier In Benton Township

A 53-year-old man is in critical condition at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo after being hit by a SUV on East Napier Avenue near Columbus in Benton Township this morning. The Benton Township Police Department says David Snyder suffered a broken leg and head trauma in the crash, which closed down Napier for a few hours just after 11 a.m. The driver involved has been identified as 48-year-old Georgette McKinney. According to police, Snyder was walking in the outer lane near the fog line when he was hit. Both Snyder and McKinney are from Benton Township. He was airlifted to the Kalamazoo hospital after first being taken to Spectrum Health Lakeland in St. Joseph.. ...Read Full Story

Stolen Bikes And More Recovered By St. Joseph Twp Police

Items stolen in St. Joseph Township are slowly being recovered by police. In Facebook posts, the township police department says several bicycles reported stolen in the Fairplain area along with the city of St. Joseph and Shoreham areas have been found and they’re asking those who have been victimized to call to see if their bike is among those recovered. Additionally, police say they’ve been able to take in several items believed stolen from vehicles in the township. Those include a digital camera and a handheld gaming system. Proof of ownership will be needed to claim those items. Police say in late July, there was a rash of vehicle larcenies, with items being swiped from unlocked cars and trucks in neighborhoods north and south of Napier Avenue.. ...Read Full Story

Dowagiac Shootings Ruled Murder-Suicide

Dowagiac authorities are confirming the death of a couple over the weekend was a murder-suicide. Investigators say 41-year-old Jason Clark shot his 49-year-old wife, Tonia, before turning the gun on himself. She called 9-1-1 Saturday night to report the shooting and was still alive when police arrived, but died after being taken to Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital. Police say a child was also at the home at the time, but he was not hurt. The shooting happened in the Clark family home in the 300 block of McOmber Street, and remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

LMC: Easier Than Ever For Students To Transfer Credits To Michigan Universities

It’s easier than ever for Lake Michigan College students to transfer their credits to any university in the state. It’s thanks to the launching of a new website, mitransfer.org, from the Michigan Transfer Network. It’s designed to simplify the search process for schools and their transfer requirements. The new website is the result of the 2018 state budget and replaced a site that had been up since 2007. The updated portal came about after two yeas of development by the Michigan Community College Association, the Michigan Association of State Universities, and the Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities, all of which are based in Lansing. LMC provost and vice president of academic affairs Leslie Kellogg was part of the committee that oversaw development of the new site.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Political Titan L. Brooks Patterson Dies At 80

Longtime Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has died at his suburban Detroit home months after announcing he had pancreatic cancer. The 80-year-old Patterson died Saturday in Independence Township, halfway through a seventh term leading the affluent county. Detroit Free Press columnist Carol Cain was a longtime friend and remembered Patterson in comments on Michigan’s Big Show.. ...Read Full Story

State Advises Students To Follow Best Practices With Financial Aid

With high school graduates across Michigan preparing to head off to college, the Michigan Department of Treasury is offering them some advice on seeking financial aid. Office of Post-Secondary Financial Planning Director Anne Wohlfert tells WSJM News students need to know about the the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. That’s the first step. But don’t just assume a loan is the only way to go.. ...Read Full Story

“Enough Is Enough” – Upton Calls For Red Flag Gun Laws

Saying “enough is enough” following the weekend mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, Congressman Fred Upton is calling for action. The St. Joseph Republican says Congress needs to pass bipartisan Red Flag laws to give law enforcement and mental health officials “the tools to deny weapons capable of such carnage from being on the streets.” Upton says a “common sense response” to mass shootings in the United States is “way overdue.”. ...Read Full Story

County Parks Millage Could Go Up

Berrien County Commissioners are looking at the possibility of a small increase in the parks millage. At a meeting of the board of commissioners last month, Commissioner Bill Chickering said there are big parks expenses on the way as various improvements at parks around the county are made. He told WSJM News he heard from Berrien County Parks Director Brian Bailey that Bailey has been crunching some numbers.. ...Read Full Story

College Names Learning Center For Former Trustee

Southwestern Michigan College has dedicated a portion of its Fred L. Mathews Library to a former trustee who passed away in 2017. The Carole A. Tate Teaching and Learning Center was officially dedicated last month. SMC says the center is located in the Mathews Library, one of SMC’s three original buildings. Carole Tate served on the Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees for 18 years, and was the only trustee from the Van Buren County portion of SMC’s district. She died on October 7, 2017 in Arizona. SMC Board of Trustees Chairman Thomas Jerdon says “Carole was an exceptional trustee” who he had the privilege of serving with. Throughout her career, Tate worked as the Van Buren District Library children’s librarian and as a media specialist for Lakeshore, Marcellus, and Decatur public schools.. ...Read Full Story

Dowagiac Husband, Wife Dead In Shooting

Dowagiac police are investigating the shooting deaths of a couple Saturday night. A 911 call came in just before 9 p.m. Saturday of a woman shot by her husband in the 300 block of McOmber Street. When officers arrived, they found the 41-year-old husband dead and the 49-year-old wife still alive after being shot. She died after being rushed to Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Township Police Night Out Tuesday

Preparations are underway for the next National Night Out, the event where police agencies all over the country mingle with the public and offer demonstrations in order to foster better relationships with the people they serve. In St. Joseph, the Night Out will be August 6 at Maiden Lane Community Park in the township. The gathering will include several local police and fire departments, a Jaws of Life demonstration, fire trucks and police cars, stations where parents can get the fingerprints of their kids taken, hot dogs, soda, chips, and ice cream, this year from Culver’s. The National Night Out will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 on the 6th and everyone’s invited.. ...Read Full Story