Local News Archives

Michigan Jobless Rate Rises To 5.3% In February

(Lansing, MI – AP) – The state says Michigan’s unemployment rate rose to 5.3% in February, while the number of people entering the job market continued to grow. The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget said the rate rose from 5.2% in January and compared with a national February jobless rate of 4.7%. Last month’s jobless rate in Michigan was three-tenths of a percentage point higher than the state’s year-ago rate of 5.0%. The agency says the state’s workforce rose by 23,000 during February, with increases in both total employment by 17,000 jobs and in unemployed workers by 7,000. It says February marked the second consecutive monthly jobless rate increase in Michigan and continued an upward trend from a low of 4.8% last May and June.. ...Read Full Story

Area Housing Market Softens A Bit

Housing prices are down a bit in Michigan’s Great Southwest. The latest monthly report from the Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors notes February’s average selling price dropped 22% from January, while the median price of $114,000 was down 20%. When compared to last year, the prices are higher by 7% for the average price and 4% for the median price. There were 187 houses sold in Berrien County and the western parts of Cass and Van Buren counties last month, a drop of 7 homes from a year ago. Houses are spending fewer days on the market, however, with it taking an average of 116 days for a home to sell compared to 131 days in February 2016.. ...Read Full Story

Astronaut Scott Kelly Speaks To Economic Club Of SWM

Captain Scott Kelly is the latest guest to appear before the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan. The retired NASA astronaut addressed the crowd at the Mendel Center Wednesday night, reflecting on what he learned during his more than one year in space and throughout his military career. He said that he’s marveled at the International Space Station, reflecting on all the work some 15 nations put into constructing it in seemingly-impossible conditions.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Not Expecting Final Budget To Include Some Proposed Cuts

Congress will likely be hammering out a federal budget all the way through the summer, according to Congressman Fred Upton. He tells our newsroom President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Meals on Wheels, AmeriCorps, and other popular programs should not be regarded as etched in stone just yet. Meals on Wheels, for example, is something Upton thinks Congress will preserve.. ...Read Full Story

State House Unanimously Approves Bill To Help Human Trafficking Victims

Human trafficking victims would get help rebuilding their lives under legislation approved by the Michigan House. House members unanimously approved the measure on Wednesday. Republican Representative Bronna Kahle, of Adrian, sponsored the bill that could forgive
prostitution-related offenses victims were forced to commit, even if they have a prior conviction. She says the bill would make them eligible for parole and deferral instead of jailing them so that they have a chance to become productive members of society. Victims now are only eligible for one-time deferred sentences for certain charges the victim was forced to commit if all conditions of probation have been met. It also only applies to victims who have had no previous convictions. The bill now moves on to the GOP-controlled Senate for approval.. ...Read Full Story

New Board Chair At Honor Credit Union

There’s a new board chair in place at Honor Credit Union. At a meeting this week, former Honor CU Board Chair Larry Olson stepped down and handed the gavel to Mimi Elwell. Olson has served on the Honor Credit Union Board as a volunteer for more than 40 years, with his most recent tenure as chair beginning in 2007. He’ll now serve in the vice chair role. Elwell started with Honor CU in 1980 as the chair of the Supervisory Committee. She has served the last eight years as secretary of the board, and Honor CEO Scott McFarland says if anyone can fill Larry Olson’s shoes, it’s her. During Olson’s tenure, Honor Credit Union, which used to be known as Berrien Teachers Credit Union, has grown to be a more than $700 million operation. The credit union also serves 60,000 members across the state of Michigan.. ...Read Full Story