Local News Archives

Al-Van Humane Society Anniversary

The Al-Van Humane Society in South Haven is a non-profit animal welfare organization dedicated to providing emergency food and shelter for homeless pets. Providing public education is an important part of Al-Van’s efforts to reduce the number of homeless and unwanted pets. Celebrating 50 years of service to Van Buren and Allegan counties, Al-Van is inviting the public to the South Haven Brew Pub this Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. to share stories and pictures of shelter animals over the years and to have a beer named after them. Details of the event can be found at Al-Van.org.. ...Read Full Story

School Threat Suspect Arrested

The man wanted for calling in a phony threat about someone with a gun at Eau Claire High School earlier this month is now in the Berrien County Jail. Police arrested 32-year-old Justin Bashore of Niles during a traffic stop Wednesday night on M-140 near Napier Avenue. Bashore was in the back seat of the car. He was arrested on five outstanding warrants out of Berrien and Cass counties including a felony for false reporting of a felony. On September 7, police say he called Berrien County dispatch saying there was a teenager with a rifle in one of the school bathrooms, prompting an evacuation and a search. No gun or armed teenager were found.. ...Read Full Story

Governor Snyder: Road Lockout Is Over

More than 150 stalled road projects across Michigan will resume because road builders have agreed to end a lockout of a union of heavy equipment operators. Governor Snyder announced the end of the labor impasse Thursday. He says the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association is ending the more than three-week long lockout of Operating Engineers Local 324, which started September 4 after the union sought to negotiate new contracts with contractors individually rather than through MITA. Union members will report to work immediately, and the priority will be for projects that can be finished before the arrival of winter weather. Snyder met with both sides earlier this week and says the contractors and union will use professional mediation through the winter to help them negotiate a new contract. The state had been considering activating the National Guard to handle some of the work.. ...Read Full Story

Vote On Spending Plan Likely

A major federal spending bill will be considered by the U.S. House this week to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month, and among its supporters is Congressman Fred Upton. He tells us the bill is a combination of 12 different appropriations bills that cover defense, health, education, and labor. President Trump announced on Twitter last week he’s not the biggest fan because of one thing that’s missing.. ...Read Full Story

West Nile Death In Allegan County

A death from the West Nile virus has been announced in Allegan County. West Nile, a mosquito-borne illness, can lead to serious neurological complications, especially in the elderly or people with diabetes or hypertension. The Allegan County Health Department’s Lisa Letts tells WSJM News you’re advised to avoid mosquitoes until the first hard frost.. ...Read Full Story

Planning Underway For Red Arrow Trail

The public has had a chance to review a possible Red Arrow Highway trail project being planned in Berrien County. At an open house on Wednesday, Berrien County Parks Director Brian Bailey told WSJM News the master plan for the linear trail from Bridgman to New Buffalo is being put together now.. ...Read Full Story

August SWM Home Sales Report

Home sales in southwest Michigan dropped a bit during August. The Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors tells us in August the number of houses sold dropped 7% from August of 2017. Also, the average and median selling prices once again increased. This time, the average leaped 21% and the median price went up 7%. The association tells us the August 2018 average and median selling prices and total dollar volume, along with the year-to-date prices and volume, set the highest records since 2006 in the year-over-year comparison. That average selling price in August was more than $238,000. Inventory of houses for sale decreased 4% from a year ago, meaning the availability of homes remains a concern. Meanwhile, the percentage of sales that were foreclosures went up in August to 6% from July’s 4%.. ...Read Full Story

Final Defendant Sentenced For Kalamazoo-Van Buren Meth Ring

A 39-year-old Kalamazoo man is headed to prison for more than 19 years for his part in a meth ring in Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties that operated from July 2016 until last December. Michael Neeley was the last of nine people to be sentenced in the federal case. Neeley’s 235-month sentence is the longest handed down to the drug dealers due to his extensive prior criminal history. Federal prosecutors say the drug traffickers got started with a meeting with a Phoenix, Arizona meth supplier in July 2016 and soon began selling crystal meth in southwest Michigan, receiving the drugs through UPS and the regular US mail. Among those previously sentenced were Noel Saldana of Hartford, the ringleader who was given 210 months in prison, and Justin Smith of Watervliet, who was sentenced to 10 years.. ...Read Full Story