Local News Archives

Nesbitt Named Lottery Commissioner

Former state Representative Aric Nesbitt has a new job. The Lawton Republican was just term limited out of office at the end of last year, and now it’s been announced he’ll be the new Michigan Lottery commissioner. In the post, Nesbitt will oversee management of the Lottery Bureau and work with lawmakers on coming up with new policies. The 37-year-old Nesbitt has replaced M. Scott Bowen, who resigned for private sector work. Governor Rick Snyder thanked Nesbitt for work he’s done in the state legislature, adding he’s confident Nesbitt’s experience is well-suited to the new role.. ...Read Full Story

School Budget: More For At-Risk, Less For Cyber/Private Students

From the Associated Press — Faced with discouraging test scores, Governor Rick Snyder is proposing a shift so much more state money is spent on academically at-risk students and less goes toward educating private and home-schooled students or those attending online charter schools. He also wants to continue closing the gap between Michigan’s lower- and higher-funded districts – to $668 per pupil. Snyder’s plan would increase overall spending by 1 percent and hike basic per-student aid by between $50 and $100. It is largely being embraced by traditional school interests. However, Republicans who control the legislature and school-choice advocates oppose some facets, and negotiations will shape just how much each district can expect for next school year.. ...Read Full Story

Brothers Charged After Assault On Michigan State Police Trooper

A couple of Indiana brothers are in jail after they allegedly attacked a Michigan State Police trooper along the side of US-31 Monday morning in Berrien County. Michigan State Police say the trooper tried to pull over an unlicensed motorcyclist near Matthew Road in Berrien Township when the motorcyclist took off at a high speed. That resulted in a three mile chase which ended when the 19-year-old lost control of the bike. He then attacked the trooper. During that struggle, the motorcyclist’s brother pulled over and also started fighting with the trooper. Two passersby then stopped and steppedin , making it possible for the trooper to arrest the brothers. Police say the motorcycle was stolen out of Van Buren County, and the brothers may have been involved in several recent break-ins. Their names haven’t been released.. ...Read Full Story

Legislation Would Reduce Cost Of Brownfield Projects

From the Associated Press — The Michigan Senate is poised to pass legislation that would help developers with financial costs of cleaning up brownfield sites to build on. The bills would allow developers to keep portions of taxes generated by people and businesses moving in when the project is done. Although no money would initially be given to developers, they would be required to have all the money needed to complete the project and cleanup. Only after they start having people move in would they be able to collect on taxes. There would a $40 million cap that developers can be reimbursed and each city that qualifies could only get one project per year. MIThrive, a coalition of communities, chamber and development leaders from all around the state, supports the legislation.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Speaker Series Begins Next Month

It will be a busy year for the South Haven Speaker Series. Its 2017 lineup was announced Friday, and board president Mark Odland tells WSJM News the guests will include professors, journalists, and school officials. The South Haven Speaker Series is a bit different from other, bigger name programs in that they invite guests based on which topics of the day organizers want to discuss, rather than aiming for celebrities.. ...Read Full Story

Candlelight Vigil To Remember Kalamazoo Shooting Victims

A candlelight vigil will be held for the one-year anniversary of a shooting rampage in southwestern Michigan that killed six people and wounded two others. Details about a permanent memorial to honor the victims and survivors will be released after Monday’s vigil at Wings Event Center, formerly Wings Stadium, in Kalamazoo. Organizers say the multiyear project will include a physical monument.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan’s Lowest Gas Prices Are In SW Michigan

If you seek Michigan’s lowest average gas prices, look about you. Triple-A says the Benton Harbor and St. Joseph area has the state’s cheapest fuel at an average of $2.20 to start the week, down nearly 13¢ from a week ago. Statewide, the average is down a nickel at $2.26. Up in Marquette, Upper Peninsula drivers are shelling out the most on average for the sixth straight week at $2.45 a gallon. According to Triple-A, our average price is right in the middle – 25th nationally for the lowest average price, and our 5¢ drop was the second biggest change over the past week. The auto club notes crude oil prices have slipped, despite reports that OPEC members cut 890,000 barrels of oil per day in January and some, like Saudi Arabia, cut production more than was required.. ...Read Full Story

Lieutenant Governor To Go On Trade Mission To Mexico

From the Associated Press — Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley is heading to Mexico for a three-day trade mission aimed at attracting job-creating investments and exploring new sales opportunities for Michigan companies. Calley, members of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and about two dozen other business executives will leave Sunday. They will take part in the Automotive Meetings Queretaro supply chain-oriented forum in Queretaro, Mexico. Calley is expected to meet with automotive and aerospace companies and with executives from two Mexican firms that have operations in Michigan. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community and talent development. This trip marks the third time officials with the group will travel to Mexico with Michigan firms to participate in the business forum.. ...Read Full Story

Railroad Engineer To Study Bluff In St. Joseph

CSX Railroad is planning to send an engineer to St. Joseph next month to talk with local officials about a section of the bluff that some fear is in danger of collapsing. Part of the bluff near 2405 Old Lakeshore looks like it could cave in, and St. Joe City Manager John Hodgson tells WSJM News he, the mayor, and representatives of Congressman Fred Upton met with CSX this month to talk about it.. ...Read Full Story