Local News Archives

Centreville Schools Closed For Two Days Due To Threat

Authorities in Centreville have interviewed two students in connection with gun threats made against the local school district. The St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department said Friday it will conduct additional interviews regarding the threats. The school district canceled classes Thursday and Friday, but Superintendent Rob Kuhlman issued a statement saying it’s safe for students to return to a normal schedule and that classes would resume Monday. The disruption was prompted by a tip reported to the state’s OK2Say tip line.. ...Read Full Story

New Light Rail System Launches In Detroit

From the Associated Press — Streetcars are picking up passengers in Detroit with the official launch of the $140 million QLINE light rail system.
A ceremony was held Friday morning, followed by the start of service along Woodward Avenue. Speakers included Gov. Rick Snyder, Mayor Mike Duggan and businessman Dan Gilbert. Passengers won’t have to pay until Monday when it will cost $1.50 to ride anywhere along the 6.6-mile roundtrip route connecting the downtown riverfront to the New Center Area. That fare is good for three hours. The QLINE features three-piece streetcars that are each 66 feet long and can carry an average of 125 passengers per car. The project was led by private businesses and philanthropic organizations in partnership with local, state and the federal government.. ...Read Full Story

Consumers Energy Ranked By Forbes As Best MI Employer

Forbes has put out its list of the 500 best employers in the United States, and Consumers Energy makes a strong showing. The utility has been named the best large company to work for in Michigan, and the 62nd best nationwide. Spokesperson Megan Brown tells WSJM News employees were polled in order to create the rankings, and it’s no surprise to her folks like working at Consumers.. ...Read Full Story

Safe Boating Day Next Week In St. Joseph

If you drive by the Berrien County Courthouse in St. Joseph next weekend and see a bunch of police vehicles and boats, feel free to stop by and check them out. Saturday, May 20 will bring the Coast Guard’s annual Safe Boating Day. Petty Officer Sam Van Lent, with the St. Joe station, tells WSJM News emergency response agencies will be there to show off equipment.. ...Read Full Story

Cornerstone Chamber: New Location Will Allow For Expanded Services

Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce says its upcoming move to downtown St. Joseph will allow the organization to grow, expand its services, and better serve members. The chamber announced this week the relocation to Ship Street from Benton Harbor. The chamber tells us it looked at more than 15 locations for a new home in both communities, factoring in the leasing and other costs, before it made a pick. It purchased the property without needing to take out a loan or take on any other debt. Cornerstone Chamber also tells members the third floor of the Horizon Bank building offered the most value, the most space available, and required the least renovations. It adds the chamber’s partnership with Cornerstone Alliance, which is staying in Benton Harbor, remains strong.. ...Read Full Story

Flint To Receive $100 Million After Snyder’s OK

From the Associated Press — Flint will receive $100 million in federal funding to address the city’s drinking water crisis after the supply was contaminated with lead. Governor Rick Snyder signed the aid into law this week, months after it was initially approved by then-President Barack Obama and Congress. State lawmakers in recent weeks passed a bill to send the money along to Flint. The federal aid requires a $20 million state match, which will be provided from funding already authorized last year. The new money will be used to replace corroded pipes that leached lead and to update aging water mains and infrastructure. Water meters will be replaced and an engineering study will be done.. ...Read Full Story

Senate Panel Approves Bill Banning Mutilation Of Girls

Legislation to make female genital mutilation illegal in Michigan has taken another step forward in Lansing. This week, the Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would make it a felony to knowingly transport a girl to receive FGM. The legislation was proposed by state Senator Tonya Schuitmaker, who has been among the lawmakers taking the lead on this issue since recent criminal cases surrounding FGM came up in the news. FGM is illegal under federal law, but not state law. Schuitmaker tells us no child should be subjected to this “type of brutality.” The Senate Judiciary Committee has also recently approved legislation to ban the practice of female genital mutilation, in general. The bills are quickly moving toward final approval.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren County Chiropractor Charged With Medicaid Fraud

A Van Buren County chiropractor is facing felony charges of Medicaid fraud. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the case against 53-year-old Ahad Lofti on Thursday. He tells us Lofti owned and ran chiropractic clinics in Hartford, Bangor, Paw Paw, and South Haven. He’s accused of billing supplies to the Medicaid program that were not eligible for Medicaid billing. They included custom-made shoe inserts and therapeutic pillows. The Medicaid program allegedly paid Lotfi nearly $200,000 over two years as a result of the fraudulent billing. Lofti was arraigned Thursday in Lansing and released on $20,000 bond.. ...Read Full Story