Local News Archives

MDOT Prepares For Winter

The Michigan Department of Transportation is ready to go for the winter. Spokesperson Nick Schirripa tells WSJM News construction projects in southwest Michigan, especially Berrien County, look like they’ll all be wrapped up before the end of construction season.. ...Read Full Story

Free Pet Microchipping This Weekend

We all love our pets and despite our best efforts to keep them safe and secure sometimes they escape outdoors. That’s one reason the Al-Van Humane Society and Community Education Center is having a free microchipping clinic for pet owners from Allegan and Van Buren Counties. Board President Lisa Galdikas spoke with WSJM News about the program.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Commission To Have Non-Discrimination Ordinance Within Three Months

The St. Joseph City Commission is expecting to have the draft of a non-discrimination ordinance on the table within the next three months that would provide legal protection in the city for LGBTQ residents. Mayor pro tem Laura Goos says there is a lot of research that still needs to go into the ordinance, but they have established some guiding principles for city attorney Laurie Schmidt to consider.. ...Read Full Story

Howard Ice Arena To Be Closed On Thanksgiving

A Turkey Day tradition is ending in St. Joseph, as the city will not have the John and Dede Howard Ice Arena open on Thanksgiving this year. The numbers for skating on the holiday have been trending lower in recent years, based on the weather, and city officials have determined they’d much rather have arena employees be able to enjoy the holiday with their families. Mayor Mike Garey says city employees go above and beyond what’s expected and deserve a break.. ...Read Full Story

U Of M Team Looking At Benton Harbor Issues

A team from the University of Michigan has spent the past year studying problems faced by the city of Benton Harbor and how they could be addressed. At a Monday meeting, members of U of M’s Urban Collaboratory gave the public an update on their progress. The Collaboratory’s Jerome Lynch told WSJM News one focus is the Ox Creek watershed, which is affected by runoff. The team has put sensors into the creek to study the issue and believes simple valves in existing infrastructure like dams could be used to control how much runoff winds up in the creek and when, along with how polluted it is.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmaker Wants To Expunge Marijuana Convictions

A state lawmaker says it’s time to expunge the records of Michigan residents convicted if minor marijuana related offenses. State Representative Sheldon Neeley of Flint told Michigan News Network now that voters have approved a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana, he’s anticipating his bill will move forward in Lansing. He also says Governor Rick Snyder has indicated support, assuming the plan makes it through the legislature.. ...Read Full Story

Teacher In Hot Water For Throwing Chair

A teacher for the Benton Harbor Charter School Academy is facing charges for throwing a chair in his class. Our reporting partners at WNDU NewsCenter 16 report 49-year-old Thomas Barnes of St. Joseph grabbed the chair some rowdy students were kicking and threw it. No one was hurt, although the chair did hit one girl in the leg. The Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office now says Barnes is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, which is a four-year felony. He’s due in court on Friday, and he has been fired.. ...Read Full Story

Unemployment Offices Offering Earlier Hours

From the Associated Press — The state’s Unemployment Insurance offices are adjusting their hours as part of an effort to better serve the public. The Talent Investment Agency says office hours in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Saginaw are being adjusted based upon feedback that earlier hours are more in demand. Talent Investment Agency Director Wanda M. Stokes says in a statement that the changes will help offer “the best chance for benefit service and reemployment success.” The new office hours of operation now will be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays; 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. Details are posted online. All other local offices are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. ...Read Full Story

Post Election, Women Look To Keep Up The Momentum

There were big election wins for women in Michigan last week with the positions of governor, attorney general, and secretary of state all going to female candidates. Additionally, Michigan will have five women in the U.S. House come January, while female candidates in other states also ran and won at higher rates. Can the momentum continue into 2020? Louisiana State University professor Nichole Bauer tells us that’s the hope, noting women of color fared especially well this year.. ...Read Full Story

Gas Prices Down Sharply Over Past Month

AAA Michigan says average gas prices statewide are down 10¢ in the past week to about $2.61 per gallon amid continued lower oil prices. The Dearborn-based auto club says the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline is about 15¢ less per gallon than the same point last year. AAA says Michigan gas prices are at the lowest level since March after dropping 33¢ a gallon in the past month. In Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, we have the second-lowest average price in the state at $2.52, with only Grand Rapids lower at $2.47. South Haven’s prices are as low as $2.39 according to GasBuddy, but that area is not included in AAA’s price survey.. ...Read Full Story

Senator-Elect Nesbitt Lands Leadership Post In Return To Legislature

The return to the Legislature of a veteran politician from southwest Michigan will come with a leadership role. Aric Nesbitt, the Senator-elect in the 26th District that covers Van Buren and Allegan counties and part of Kent County, will serve as the President Pro Tem of the Senate in the upcoming term. During his full six years in the House, Nesbitt was the Majority Floor Leader in his final term and chaired the Committee on Energy. He will take over for Senator Tonya Schuitmaker, who is term limited, in January following last week’s election. After being term-limited out of the House, Nesbitt served for about a year as the director of the Michigan Lottery before stepping down to launch his Senate bid.. ...Read Full Story

Deer Poaching Charges Likely For Three Bloomingdale Men

Charges are pending against three Bloomingdale men for poaching. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department was called to the area around 41st Street and 24th Avenue in Bloomingdale around 11 pm Sunday when someone saw a truck in the area and someone inside shining a light into the fields along with hearing a gunshot. The three were in the process of dressing the deer in the driveway of a home when deputies pulled up, and determined the suspects had used the lighting to lure the deer and shoot it, several days ahead of the start of firearms deer season on Thursday. The Department of Natural Resources has confiscated both the deer and the rifle used to kill it. Likely charges against the men, two of whom are 20 and one is 21, include hunting without a license and hunting after hours. No names have yet been released.. ...Read Full Story

Successful State Food Drive

The annual Harvest Gathering food drive run by the Michigan Attorney General’s office is being described as a success this year. AG spokesperson Megan Hawthorne tells us Attorney General Bill Schuette started the Harvest Gathering in 1991 when he was the state agriculture director. As part of the effort, the Michigan Secretary of State collects food and money through its branch offices.. ...Read Full Story

Transportation Study Workshop Planned

A study on the future of transportation in the St. Joseph and Benton Harbor areas will be discussed at an open house this coming week. “Principles in Motion” is the new Long Range Transportation Plan for the area. It’s been put together by the Twin Cities Area Transportation Study, or TwinCATS. TwinCATS tells us the study uses the input of local officials while setting transportation goals and looking at how to spend federal money. The plan is intended to serve as a blueprint for transportation over the next 25 years in the Twin Cities area. An open house for everyone to see what’s in it and chat with planners will be held this coming Tuesday. It will be at the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission office in Benton Harbor from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. You can learn more about the transportation plan right here.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Superintendent Search In Final Stretch

South Haven Public Schools could be a step closer to having a new superintendent. The South Haven Board of Education this week announced it’s narrowed its list of four finalists down to one. That finalist is Kevin Schooley, the current superintendent at Watervliet Public Schools. The board has interviewed four candidates, and Schooley is the only one who’s been invited back for a second interview. That interview will be held this coming Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Integrated Learning Center at South Haven High School, and beforehand, there will be an open house. It’s set to run from 5 to 6 p.m. The public is welcome to attend both the open house and the interview. South Haven School Board President Laura Bos tells us the task of narrowing down the field of candidates was difficult, but “the board felt Mr. Schooley provides the best fit for South Haven and has offered him a second interview.”. ...Read Full Story

2018 A Deadly Year On The Great Lakes

From the Associated Press — A water safety nonprofit group says 2018 has been a deadly year on the Great Lakes, with at least 110 drownings recorded. The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project , which has tracked drowning deaths since 2010, says this is the first year that it’s recorded more than 100 drownings. The Holland Sentinel reports the hot summer may have been a factor in the increase. The deaths include 39 in Lake Michigan and 35 in Lake Erie. The deaths have prompted efforts to increase safety along Great Lakes beaches. Among those who died was 20-year-old Brandon Schmidt, who drowned in Lake Michigan in August off of western Michigan. WOOD-TV reports his mother Brandi Donley notes that warning signs, safety equipment, education and training are needed. Donley says: “It can happen to anyone.”. ...Read Full Story

St. Joe Downtown Master Plan Being Drafted

Residents and business owners from St. Joseph are being asked to weigh in on a master plan for the downtown that’s being drafted right now. Paul Finn, a planner with the firm Houseal Lavigne, tells WSJM News “Downtown Vision” will be a document the city can use to guide development in the area for the next 15 to 20 years.. ...Read Full Story

Court To Celebrate Adoptions

Coming up this month will be Adoption Day at the Van Buren County Courthouse in Paw Paw. Veronica Stillson with the Van Buren County Circuit Court Family Division tells WSJM News it’s a day when several adoptions are made official by the judge and everyone celebrates.. ...Read Full Story

Veteran Homelessness Down

The rate of homelessness among Michigan veterans continues to trend down. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development this week released its Annual Homeless Assessment Report, which found the total number of reported veterans experiencing homelessness in the state in 2018 was down 10.3%. The number of homeless vets in Michigan has also declined by 28% since 2010. HUD says, nationally, veteran homelessness in 2018 decreased 5.4% since last year, and nearly 50% since 2010. Veterans Administration Secretary Robert Wilkie says the new numbers show strategies being implemented to fight homelessness among veterans have been working.. ...Read Full Story

Effort To Weed Out Invasive Plants At SMC

Students at Southwestern Michigan College have had a chance to learn about local invasive plant species and also fight them on their campus in Dowagiac. SMC Agriculture Tech Coordinator Stacey Rocklin tells WSJM News a group of about 50 looked for invaders at the college’s pollinator field on October 26.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Calls For Civility

From the Associated Press — Governor Rick Snyder has given another pitch for civility in government and politics. Snyder spoke Friday at the Detroit Economic Club, taking friendly questions about his two terms from the head of DTE Energy. The Republican says a lack of civility is the “greatest threat” to the country. Snyder says the focus should be on solving problems, not insulting people. He says he’s most proud of keeping young people in the state and Detroit’s turnaround, which began with a bankruptcy filing that he authorized. He says “enough was enough” in Detroit, after years of mismanagement and poor services. Snyder didn’t mention the Flint water crisis while on stage. Later, he said there were failures at all levels of government. He doesn’t plan to pursue another elective office in Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

A Look At Implementing Proposal 2

Michigan’s legislative districts could drastically change now that voters have approved Proposal 2. The ballot proposal hands over the drawing of districts to a citizens commission, taking that power away from the state legislature. Katie Fahey with Voters Not Politicians, the group behind the initiative, tells WSJM News this new commission will have four Democrats, four Republicans, and five independents. There will be two ways someone might wind up on it.. ...Read Full Story

Adjustment To Cemetery Fees

It’s a matter of grave concern for families of the recently-deceased in the city of South Haven cemetery. The city council approved a resolution for fairer burial plot pricing this week. City Manager Brian Dissette tells us the city had been charging the out-of-town rate for a plot in cases where the family being charged lived out of town, but the deceased was a resident.. ...Read Full Story

Officials Urge Measles Vaccinations

From the Associated Press — Health officials are urging people to get vaccinated and take other precautions after confirming 15 cases of measles in Michigan this year. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services gave an update Friday,
saying it’s the highest level the state has seen since 1994 when 26 cases were reported. Earlier this week, the Oakland County Health Division said two Oakland County residents with the disease arrived on a flight at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus the evening of October 23. Health officials note measles is a highly contagious illness and vaccinations are an effective way to prevent it. Measles typically will start with a high fever, red eyes, runny nose, sensitivity to light, and eventually rashes on the face and head that progresses to other parts of the body.. ...Read Full Story

“Buddy Bench” Given To Covert Schools

Covert Elementary School now has a Buddy Bench. The Buddy Bench is a place for students who feel lonely on the playground to make new friends. Students from many southwestern Michigan schools wrote in and this time Covert Public Schools was awarded a Buddy Bench from Mid-West Family Broadcasting and Honor Credit Union. Mariah Boss, who is the social services counselor at the school, spearheaded a student letter writing campaign to compete for the bench. She spoke with WSJM News.. ...Read Full Story

State Police Collection Drive This Saturday

Michigan State Police are holding their annual Stuff a Blue Goose collection drive Saturday, November 10. The MSP will be stationed at Tyler Automotive in Niles and Fairfield Inn and Suites in Stevensville from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to collect toys, food, and clothing for those who are less fortunate, and everyone’s asked to stop by and help them out. The “Blue Goose” is a Michigan State Police patrol vehicle, and has been referred to as such for decades. State police hope to stuff their cars full of the toys, food, clothing, and monetary donations that people give. All of the items gathered will go to those families supported by Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Berrien and Cass Counties, and everything stays local. Michigan State Police ask everyone to stop by and help to make the holidays a little better for the people of Berrien and Cass counties.. ...Read Full Story

Proposal 2 Has Passed. What Happens Next?

Now that Michigan voters have approved Proposal 2 to turn over the drawing of legislative districts to a citizen commission instead of the state legislature, how will it all work? Katie Fahey, the founder of Voters Not Politicians, tells WSJM News this new commission will be four Democrats, four Republicans, and five independents.. ...Read Full Story

Adoption Day Set For This Month

Coming up this month will be Adoption Day at the Van Buren County Courthouse in Paw Paw. Veronica Stillson with the Van Buren County Circuit Court Family Division tells WSJM News it’s a day when several adoptions are made official by the judge and everyone celebrates.. ...Read Full Story

BH Schools Released From Consent Agreement

Benton Harbor Area Schools has been released from its consent agreement with the Michigan Department of Treasury. Treasury spokesperson Ron Leix tells WSJM News since the district’s cooperative agreement with the Michigan Department of Education has been in place, the consent agreement, which covers finances, has taken a back seat. So…. ...Read Full Story

One Dead In Mobile Home Fire

The Covert Township Police Department is investigating a fatal fire on Friday. It tells us the Covert Township Fire Department, Michigan State Police, the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department, South Haven Area Emergency Services, and Pokagon Tribal Police all responded to the 29,000 block of 76th Street just before 7 a.m. for the fire at a mobile home. It was a single-wide with one occupant, and when responders arrived, the home was fully engulfed. Crews found 75-year-odl Jerry Lee Rawson on the ground outside. They believe he managed to crawl out of a window. Emergency crews performed CPR and Rawson was taken to Bronson South Haven Hospital where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy will be performed. Fire personnel believe the cause of the blaze was misuse of a portable propane heater.. ...Read Full Story

Covert Township Mobile Home Destroyed By Fire

A Covert Township mobile home is a complete loss after a Friday morning fire that broke out around 7 a.m. on 76th Street. The resident of the home is hospitalized at Bronson-South Haven Hospital, and authorities have not disclosed what the person’s injuries are. The cause remains under investigation. Covert Township firefighters were joined by those from Watervliet and South Haven Area Emergency Services.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Priorities Include Environmental Cleanup

From the Associated Press — Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says his legislative priorities before leaving office include pushing through fee increases to pay for environmental cleanup, water infrastructure and recycling needs. The Republican governor met with GOP lawmakers Thursday, the beginning of the “lame-duck” period. It’s a final chance for Republicans to enact bills before Democratic Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer takes office in January. Snyder also wants to work on a supplemental budget bill. He did not mention minimum wage and paid sick time ballot initiatives the Legislature enacted two months ago, but business groups want the Republican-led Legislature to amend those laws despite objections from Democrats. Snyder has proposed raising the landfill dumping fee and imposing a new state fee on water customers.. ...Read Full Story

Veterans To Be Honored At BH Nursing Home

Some veterans living at a Benton Harbor nursing home will receive special pins as a thank you for their service today. Hallmark Living nursing home activities aid Rosa Long tells us 13 veterans in total, including a few staff members, will get the pins along with certificates at 11 a.m. The nursing home salutes its veterans every year, but the pins they’re getting today are new.. ...Read Full Story

Sheriff’s Department Receives Care Packages

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department has received the gift of gratitude for its efforts to keep the community safe. The department tells us on Thursday it received a care package for each deputy from Operation Gratitude, a non-profit Military and First Responder support organization. The group has sent more than 2.1 million packages to police, military, and other first responder groups since 2003. The care packages received this week by Berrien County deputies included food, entertainment, hygiene, and handmade items, along with personal letters of support. The care packages were sent to Operation Gratitude by donors from every state in the nation. It took hundreds of volunteers to put them together. The sheriff’s department thanked Operation Gratitude for its generosity.. ...Read Full Story

Hundreds Of Volunteers Serve Seniors

The United Way of Southwest Michigan had volunteers out and about throughout Berrien and Cass counties Thursday for its eighth annual Day of Action for Seniors. Volunteer Engagement Manager Julee Laurent tells WSJM News teams from businesses, schools, churches, and more took part in Rake a Difference, raking leaves at the homes of seniors.. ...Read Full Story

Progressive Groups Pleased With Election Results

Progressive groups say they’re encouraged by victories in the races for governor, attorney general, and secretary of state, as well as in ballot initiatives to clean up elections and legalize marijuana. Katie Fahey with Voters Not Politicians, the anti-gerrymandering group behind Proposal 2, tells us more than two million people voted to create an independent redistricting commission in an attempt to end gerrymandering – when districts are redrawn after the 2020 Census.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Lowers Flags To Honor Bar Shooting Victims

From the Associated Press — Governor Rick Snyder is joining President Donald Trump’s call to lower Michigan and U.S. flags to half-staff through sunset on Saturday to honor the victims of the mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California.
Michigan residents, businesses, schools, local governments and other organizations are encouraged to display the flag at half-staff. Flags should be returned to full-staff Saturday evening. When flown at half-staff, the U.S. flag should be hoisted first to its peak for an instant and then lowered to half-staff. The flag should again be raised to full staff before being lowered for the day.
Authorities say a Marine combat veteran opened fire Wednesday night at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, killing 12 people before apparently taking his own life.. ...Read Full Story

State Drive Collects 400,000 Pounds Of Food

The annual Harvest Gathering food drive run by the Michigan Attorney General’s office is being described as a success this year. AG spokesperson Megan Hawthorne tells us Attorney General Bill Schuette started the Harvest Gathering in 1991 when he was the state agriculture director. As part of the effort, the Michigan Secretary of State collects food and money through its branch offices.. ...Read Full Story

Downtown Master Plan Meeting In St. Joseph

Residents and business owners from St. Joseph are being asked to weigh in on a master plan for the downtown that’s being drafted right now. Paul Finn, a planner with the firm Houseal Lavigne, tells WSJM News “Downtown Vision” will be a document the city can use to guide development in the area for the next 15 to 20 years.. ...Read Full Story

What’s Next After Elections

Now that the election is over, what’s next? Oakland University Political Science Professor Dave Dulio told Michigan News Network he wouldn’t be surprised if opponents challenged proposals one and two — gerrymandering and recreational marijuana.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Superintendent Search Narrowed Down

South Haven Public Schools could be a step closer to having a new superintendent. The South Haven Board of Education on Tuesday announced it’s narrowed its list of four finalists down to one. That finalist is Kevin Schooley, the current superintendent at Watervliet Public Schools. The board last week interviewed four candidates, and Schooley is the only one who’s been invited back for a second interview. That interview will be held next Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Integrated Learning Center at South Haven High School, and beforehand, there will be an open house. It’s set to run from 5 to 6 p.m. The public is welcome to attend both the open house and the interview. South Haven School Board President Laura Bos tells us the task of narrowing down the field of candidates was difficult, but “the board felt Mr. Schooley provides the best fit for South Haven and has offered him a second interview.”. ...Read Full Story

Steel Plant Fire Contained

South Haven Area Emergency Services was able to make short work of an industrial fire on Wednesday morning. The agency tells us its responders quickly contained a fire reported at Lakeshore Iron on County Road 687 near County Road 388 around 11:15. Workers at the steel fabricator reported seeing a fire in the ceiling and quickly evacuated. Responding firefighters contained the fire to the attic. SHAES tells us because water had to be shuttled from tankers, the agency received mutual aid from firefighters out of Bangor, Columbia, Ganges, Lee, and Fennville. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and there were no injuries.. ...Read Full Story

Benson On Implementing Proposal 3

Now that Michigan voters have approved Proposal 3, they will be able to register the same day they cast their ballot. Michigan Secretary of State-elect Jocelyn Benson told Michigan’s Big Show Wednesday morning the proposal partly spelled out how to implement that new option. She says special early voter registration sites will have to be created at clerk’s offices, and not at the polls themselves in order to avoid overburdening the election workers.. ...Read Full Story

Second Loss For Van Buren Road Proposal

A second attempt to pass a county-wide road millage in Van Buren County failed on Tuesday. The millage was to bring the county’s primary road up to good condition as about 67% of the primary roads are currently in poor condition. What happens now? Van Buren County Road Commission Engineer-Manager Larry Hummel spoke with WSJM News shortly after Tuesday’s vote.. ...Read Full Story

Two New Berrien Commissioners

Voters in many areas across Berrien County selected their county commissioners Tuesday. Among the contested races, 1st District Commissioner David Volrath has defeated a challenge from Patricia Camarena-Rose Barbary. 9th District Commissioner Ezra Scott also retains his seat, edging out challenger David Blum. 12th District Commissioner Michael Majerek narrowly beat a challenge from John Klimek by 95 votes. There’s a new county commissioner in the 7th District, and it’s Bob Harrison, who edged out James Organ. Speaking of new commissioners, the 6th District’s new commissioner is Chris Heugel, who ran unopposed. Then there’s the other commissioners who were re-elected unopposed. They include Mamie Yarbrough of Benton Harbor, who told us Tuesday night she’s optimistic about what’s ahead.. ...Read Full Story

Whitmer: Drinking Water, Roads Top Agenda

From the Associated Press — Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer says her initial legislative priorities will include cleaning up drinking water and fixing the roads. The Democrat spoke with reporters in Detroit on Wednesday after her victory over Republican Bill Schuette. She says working on infrastructure “is at the top of the list.” She campaigned on a pledge to “fix the damn roads” and says too many Michigan communities are grappling with contamination from old chemicals – not to mention
infrastructure issues exposed by Flint’s water crisis. Whitmer, a former legislative leader, will be proposing her initiatives to a
Republican-led Legislature. She says the Legislature is a co-equal branch of government and she will work very hard to build relationships with lawmakers and forge bipartisan deals.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Wins 17th Term In US House… Barely

In the tightest election of his career, Congressman Fred Upton has won reelection for a 17th term in the U.S. House. Upton held off on a victory speech at Shadowland Pavilion in St. Joseph until close to 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, waiting on more numbers to come in from Kalamazoo and Allegan counties.. ...Read Full Story

Haight Concedes In Race For 21st District

While  there was positive news for Democrats around Michigan on Tuesday, in southwest Michigan, Democrats didn’t fare as well. Republicans appear to retain the state legislative seats despite some attempts by local Democrats to dislodge them. One candidate who fell short was Ian Haight, the Democrat who ran against Kim LaSata for state Senate in the 21st District. He told us he thinks it was worth sending a message.. ...Read Full Story

Wendzel Wins 79th State House Seat

Pauline Wendzel is headed to the state House. The Watervliet native defeated Democrat Joey Adams in the race to succeed state Senator-elect Kim LaSata on Tuesday and spoke to WSJM News after declaring victory. Wendzel says auto insurance reform will be her top priority in Lansing after hearing that throughout the district as she went door-to-door over the last several months.. ...Read Full Story

Homelessness Among Veterans Going Down

The rate of homelessness among Michigan veterans continues to trend down. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development this week released its Annual Homeless Assessment Report, which found the total number of reported veterans experiencing homelessness in the state in 2018 was down 10.3%. The number of homeless vets in Michigan has also declined by 28% since 2010. HUD says, nationally, veteran homelessness in 2018 decreased 5.4% since last year, and nearly 50% since 2010. Veterans Administration Secretary Robert Wilkie says the new numbers show strategies being implemented to fight homelessness among veterans have been working.. ...Read Full Story

Local Transportation Study Workshop Planned

A study on the future of transportation in the St. Joseph and Benton Harbor areas will be discussed at an open house next week. “Principles in Motion” is the new Long Range Transportation Plan for the area. It’s been put together by the Twin Cities Area Transportation Study, or TwinCATS. TwinCATS tells us the study uses the input of local officials while setting transportation goals and looking at how to spend federal money. The plan is intended to serve as a blueprint for transportation over the next 25 years in the Twin Cities area. An open house for everyone to see what’s in it and chat with planners will be held next Tuesday. It will be at the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission office in Benton Harbor from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. You can learn more about the transportation plan right here.. ...Read Full Story