Local News Archives

Board Doesn’t Vote On Part Time Legislature Petition

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s elections board has declined to vote on the form of Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley’s part-time Legislature ballot drive petition because he said a member has a conflict of interest and he urged the board not to act. Calley said Wednesday that Norm Shinkle, the board’s chairman, has a consulting contract with the conservative Michigan Freedom Fund – whose officials have criticized the proposal to make the legislature part-time. Calley, a likely Republican gubernatorial candidate, says it would be “inappropriate” for the board to consider the petition form. He says securing pre-approval of the petition form is optional and signature gathering is ongoing. Shinkle says he has no conflict of interest and was unaware of the Freedom Fund opposing the petition. He says he has always supported a part-time legislature.. ...Read Full Story

Everything Back To Normal At Leco

Everything’s back to normal at Leco Corporation in St. Joseph following an investigation of suspicious activity Wednesday. Around 1:30 p.m. police issued a lockdown order for the area around Leco, saying a suspect who was possibly armed had been spotted nearby. Leco evacuated the property while the St. Joseph Department of Public Safety searched the entire facility. They found nothing. The potential suspect they were looking for was later found in another county. Police say no one was injured and there were no incidents of criminal activity or work place violence there.. ...Read Full Story

Leco In St. Joseph Evacuated, Potential Suspect Later Found

A tense situation Wednesday afternoon at Leco Corporation in St. Joseph as the building was evacuated due to a possible threat that now appears to be resolved. The St. Joseph Department of Public Safety issued an emergency alert around 1:30 p.m. asking everyone to avoid the area saying there may have been an armed individual there. Specifically, they asked people to avoid State Street near Hilltop Avenue in the south part of the city. The Berrien County Sheriff’s department tells us the potential suspect thought to have been seen at the building has now been located outside of the county. Police are conducting a search of the building as a precautionary measure. St. Joseph Public Safety says the lockdown order is “essentially” over.. ...Read Full Story

United Way Collecting Food For Local Pantries Wednesday

Volunteers from the United Way of Southwest Michigan are spending Wednesday helping eleven local food pantries stock up for the summer. The United Way’s Charlotte Rogers tells WSJM News it’s Christmas in June as they aim to beef up the donations given to the food pantries at a time when, usually, donations go down. Plus, the need is up right now.. ...Read Full Story

“Invasive Species Blitz” Planned For Next Month

An effort will be made around southwest Michigan early next month to fight invasive species. The Southwest by Southwest Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, or CISMA, is staging a public education blitz. The Van Buren Conservation District’s Eleanor Serocki tells WSJM News they’re going to hold events in Berrien, Van Buren, and Cass Counties to wash boats and remind boaters that’s the best way to stop invasive species.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Road Commission Gets New Interim Director

There’s a new interim director in charge at the Berrien County Road Commission. Road Commission Board Chair August Zielke tells WSJM News they’ve picked current accounts payable specialist Lindie Delk to take over the leadership role. Zielke tells us Delk has been with the commission for several years, wearing a variety of hats. He says she’s the perfect person for the job. Delk is just the interim managing director, and the commission’s board is still taking applications for the permanent post. She could wind up with it. The board posted the position about three weeks ago. The Berrien County Road Commission has been without a director since Louis Csokasy retired in April.. ...Read Full Story

Two Injured When Car Leaves Road, Hits Tree In Oronoko Township

Two people are recovering after their vehicle crashed into a tree in Oronoko Township Monday morning. Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township police tell WSJM News it happened about 4:30 a.m. on Shawnee Road near Hartline Road. An SUV driven by 43-year-old Gretchen Wessendorf, of Stevensville, was eastbound on Shawnee when it left the road because a westbound vehicle veered into its lane. The driver lost control and the SUV went airborne before hitting the tree. The woman was trapped inside, while her 10-year-old son was able to free himself. Both were taken to a hospital after the driver was freed with the Jaws of Life.. ...Read Full Story