Local News Archives

Corrections Head Blasts Possible Prison Cuts

From the Associated Press — Michigan’s corrections director says a Senate-approved plan to cut tens of millions of dollars in prison spending would lead to layoffs and low staffing levels that would make prisons unsafe. Heidi Washington lodged her criticism Monday, days after a Republican senator suggested that Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget proposal favors inmates over schoolkids. The Snyder administration typically hasn’t aggressively pushed back so much in public against spending blueprints passed by the GOP-led legislature. Washington says the prison population isn’t declining rapidly enough to justify a prison closure and the Senate plan would hurt the Corrections Department’s ability to later shut one down. Republican Senator John Proos of St. Joseph says cutting the prisons budget would save money that could be spent on education, roads or to give people a tax cut.. ...Read Full Story

Cass County Crash Injures Three

A 29-year-old Kalamazoo woman is facing drunk driving, child endangerment, and driving with an expired license charges after a crash just before midnight last night in Cass County. The sheriff’s department says her 9-year-old daughter and 11-month-old son were in the car, and all three were taken to Dowagiac Lee Memorial Hospital for minor injuries. The kids are now in the custody of Child Protective Services. Deputies say the woman lost control and rolled into several trees before the car came to rest on its side in the 57-thousand block of M-62 in LaGrange Township. The woman’s blood alcohol level was not revealed by the sheriff’s department.. ...Read Full Story

Gas Prices Up Statewide

AAA Michigan says gas prices statewide have risen by about 6 cents per gallon in the past week. The Dearborn-based auto club says late Sunday the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline was about $2.40 per gallon. That’s about 13¢ more than it was at the same point last year. AAA says the lowest average price was about $2.34 per gallon in the Marquette area. The highest average was about $2.42 per gallon in the Ann Arbor area. The auto club puts the average price in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor at $2.39, up 8¢ in the past week, while GasBuddy spotters peg South Haven prices between $2.32 and $2.34 a gallon. AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel prices at 2,800 gas stations across the state.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Leaders Opposing Short-Term Rental Bill

The St. Joseph City Commission is speaking out against some legislation proposed in Lansing. The bill would stop local governments from regulating short-term rental properties. St. Joe City Manager John Hodgson tells WSJM News municipal governments should be able to control how much residential property is used for vacation housing.. ...Read Full Story

Stevensville Company Planning Expansion Thanks To Tax Break

The village of Stevensville has approved a tax break for a local manufacturer as it plans an expansion. This week, the village council approved a tax abatement for Darren Mayer Performance Engineering, a company that designs custom superchargers for race cars. It’s planning a more than 4,900 foot expansion set to retain 10 jobs and add 3 more. The investment is more than $500,000. The company worked with Cornerstone Alliance on pursuing the tax abatement, with Cornerstone saying it appreciates the village’s support. DMPE has been in Stevensville for 13 years.. ...Read Full Story

Buchanan Fire Department Receives Pet Oxygen Mask

First responders in Buchanan now have a new tool to help save pets in distress. Invisible Fence of Southwest Michigan has donated a pet oxygen mask to the fire department. The organization has a goal of equipping every fire station in the country with the masks. They’re designed to make it possible for emergency responders to provide oxygen to animals who have suffered smoke inhalation in fires. So far, Invisible Fence has given more than 12,400 of the masks. Several departments in Van Buren County also have the pet oxygen masks.. ...Read Full Story