Local News Archives

Student Arrested While Handing Out Constitution Sues College

From the Associated press — A Battle Creek community college is being sued by a student and two others who say they were arrested while peacefully distributing the U.S. Constitution last fall. Michelle Gregoire says she was told she needed permission to distribute written materials. A lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court accuses Kellogg Community College of violating free speech rights and other protections. A group called Young Americans for Liberty is also a plaintiff. The lawsuit says Kellogg Community College allows “expressive activity” only at an information table in the Student Center. Gregoire and others were arrested while talking to students outside the performing arts center and then locked in jail for hours. The prosecutor dropped the case. The college says it will review the allegations in the lawsuit.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Today Announces Hiring Of New Director

The St. Joseph Today Board of Directors has announced the hiring of Amy Zapal, of St. Joseph, as the organization’s new executive director. Zapal comes to St. Joe Today from the Heritage Museum and Cultural Center in St. Joseph, where she has been the executive director. She’ll take the reins from Interim Director and Events Manager Brian Smith, who stepped in following the resignation of former director Whitney Behnke in October.. ...Read Full Story

Septic Systems Pollute Waters Across Michigan

From the Associated Press — Research shows septic systems are polluting waters across Michigan. The Detroit Free Press reports more than 1 million of the individual waste disposal systems that don’t connect to a city sewer line still remain in the
state. A 2015 published research study from Michigan State University found E. coli from humans in all of the 64 rivers studied in the Lower Peninsula. Higher concentrations were found in areas with more septic systems. Grenetta Thomassey, spokeswoman for the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council based in Petoskey, says while 11 of Michigan’s counties have inspection requirements for septic systems when a property is sold, most counties and health districts don’t have one.
The study says Michigan is the only state in the U.S. that doesn’t manage septic systems statewide. Millions of homes nationwide still use septic systems.. ...Read Full Story

State: Commercial Fishing Enclosures Not Allowed In Great Lakes

From the Associated Press — Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says state law doesn’t allow for net-like commercial fishing enclosures in the Great Lakes. In an opinion released Tuesday, Schuette said net-pen aquaculture operators would have to register with the state, and laws related to aquaculture don’t permit registration of such facilities in Michigan’s Great Lakes waters. Schuette says raising fish for commercial purposes is permitted in private waters, but the Great Lakes are part of the “public trust.” The opinion came in response to a request by Republican state Senator Wayne Schmidt. The Associated Press emailed Schmidt seeking comment. State agencies last year recommended against net-pen aquaculture, saying it
would pose risks to the environment, recreation and tourism. Michigan has received aquaculture proposals. There are no net-pen fish farms in U.S. Great Lakes waters.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Commissioners Hear Positive Audit Report

The city of Benton Harbor is on strong financial ground. On Tuesday, commissioners heard the latest audit presentation, with Paul Matz, of the CPA firm Rehman Robson, telling them they added $413,000 to the fund balance this year. It now stands at about $4.3 million. He told WSJM News that’s good news, commending the administration and commission for planning well.. ...Read Full Story