Local News Archives

Whooping Cough Spreads Among The Amish In Southwest Michigan

From the Associated Press — A health official says cases of whooping cough are spreading among Amish residents in southwestern Michigan.
Val Newton, prevention services director for the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency, told the agency’s board Thursday that whooping cough, or pertussis, has struck up to 30 members of St. Joseph County’s Amish community. The Daily Reporter of Coldwater reports that there is concern that the highly contagious bacterial infection could spread to Branch and Hillsdale counties. Pertussis can be prevented with vaccines and treated with antibiotics. Newton says the first area family affected by whooping cough declined treatment. Doctors in the three counties are being contacted to suggest testing patients – especially young children. Whooping cough is usually spread by coughing or sneezing. It causes a severe cough that can last for months.. ...Read Full Story

LGBT Advocacy Groups Talk Trump Transgender Ban

President Donald Trump’s abrupt ban on transgender troops serving anywhere in the U.S. military caught the Pentagon flat-footed. Defense officials struggled to explain what they called Trump’s “guidance” and say it won’t be followed until Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is actually directed to stop allowing transgender Americans into the service. Locally, OutCenter executive director Mary Jo Schnell tells WSJM News this sort of rhetoric from the White House is dangerous because transgender people are “supremely at risk” when this stuff happens.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Begins Trade Trip To China

From the Associated Press — Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is leaving this weekend on a nine-day investment mission to China. The Republican governor says he plans to focus on promoting business growth that will create jobs, attract investment in Michigan and promote Michigan as a tourist destination. He’s scheduled to leave on Sunday and return to Michigan on August 8. Snyder will visit Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Shanghai and Hangzhou, where he will promote Michigan business opportunities, visit companies and meet with government leaders. He will participate in forums in Guangdong and Sichuan on trade, tourism, education and other topics. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, 10 Michigan companies and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Director Jamie Clover Adams also are among those traveling to China.. ...Read Full Story

Ford Celebrating 100 Years Of Trucks

Ford Motor Company is marking the 100th anniversary of its line of trucks. Ford historian Bob Kreipke tells us trucks have always been around, but in the beginning, they were like longer and tougher cars. Ford’s original 1-ton truck left it up to its owners to install a box for hauling. As far as the company’s top selling truck, it’s a familiar one.. ...Read Full Story

SMC Receives $50,000 For Nursing Facility

The new expanded nursing facility at Southwestern Michigan College has received another substantial donation. The Huizenga Family Foundation has awarded a $50,000 classroom to the building. The foundation is named for Charles B. Huizenga, who led the Niles School Board in the 60s and 70s, sat on the Niles City Council, and also sat on the Lake Michigan College Board of Trustees. His granddaughter carries on the tradition of service by running the foundation. The $50,000 classroom at SMC’s nursing building comes as the college spends $9.6 million to more than double its size so twice as many students can be accommodated. SMC says it’s doing so in response to increasing demand for nurses in the region and around the country. The goal is to be finished next fall.. ...Read Full Story

Mendel Center Honors Volunteers

The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College has honored its volunteer of the year. During its annual volunteer appreciation reception this month, the center gave the award to Jean McNitt, who has worked for Mendel for 19 years. She has served during Mendel Center events in several ways during that time, and most recently has been the box office clerk. Also this month, the Mendel Center saluted ten of its volunteers who have hit the 25 year mark for service. Grace Kelmer, the associate director of The Mendel Center Mainstage, says the volunteers “exemplify an incredible level of commitment to what The Mendel Center does for our community.”. ...Read Full Story

Police National Night Out Next Week

It’s almost time once again for the annual police National Night Out. Next Tuesday, from 5 to 8 p.m. police departments all over the country will be hosting gatherings at parks in their communities to meet the public and do some demonstrations. In St. Joseph, you’ll be able to find officers at Riverview Park’s Briarwood Pavilion. In Benton Harbor, police will be at Dwight P. Mitchell City Center Park. This will be the 34th year for National Night Out, and in addition to just chatting with folks, police will be providing hot dogs and beverages. In St. Joseph, they’ll have Ronald McDonald on hand. Everyone’s invited to lock their doors, leave on their porch lights, and go to a local park to spend time with neighbors and police.. ...Read Full Story

Buchanan Schools Superintendent Retiring

Buchanan Community Schools Superintendent Andrea van der Laan is retiring at the end of August. She’s been with the district for seven years now, and tells WSJM News when she first came to town from Wyoming, Michigan, her first task was to campaign for a $30 million bond. Since then, the district has undergone a physical transformation.. ...Read Full Story