Local News Archives

Schools Recognized For Being HEARTSafe

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is recognizing 164 schools around the state that have earned the MI HEARTSafe School designation for the 2018-2019 academic year. Department spokesperson Lynn Sutfin tells WSJM News the HEARTSafe program was created six years ago to help schools be sure they’re prepared to help someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. They have to meet certain guidelines.. ...Read Full Story

Whitmer Orders Flags Lowered For Milliken

From the Associated Press — Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags lowered at all state buildings and grounds in honor of late Governor William G. Milliken. Milliken was Michigan’s longest-serving governor. He died Friday at age 97.
Whitmer said Saturday the flags should be displayed at half-staff on all state buildings, grounds and facilities through November 1. They’re being lowered for 14 days to honor each year Milliken served as Michigan’s chief executive. Whitmer, a Democrat, called Milliken “a true statesman who led our state with integrity and honor.” The Republican was promoted to governor from lieutenant governor in 1969 when Governor George Romney resigned to join President Richard Nixon’s administration. Milliken subsequently won three elections but didn’t run again in 1982, retiring from politics after 14 years as Michigan’s governor.. ...Read Full Story

Teen Shot In Benton Township

The Benton Township Police Department is looking for a suspect after a 16-year-old was shot on Saturday afternoon. Officers were called to Spectrum Health Lakeland on a report of a gunshot victim. When they arrived, they were told the victim and two friends had been walking south on Agard Street near McKann Street around 1:15 p.m. when a black Jeep Cherokee approached them. A backseat passenger brandished a handgun through the window and fired three shots. The victim was hit in the cheek. The Cherokee then took off south on Agard, turning onto McKann and going out of view. The victim’s friends took him to the emergency room, where he was being treated for non life threatening injuries. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact the Benton Township Police Department.. ...Read Full Story

Volunteers Sought For 2020 Tax Season

The 2020 tax season isn’t far away, and free income tax filing programs are looking for Michiganders willing to give their time to help others. The Consumers Energy Foundation has provided a $200,000 dollar grant to support the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan’s tax assistance work, which includes hiring and training tax-prep volunteers. Brian Wheeler with Consumers Energy says their interest is helping the people they serve in Michigan communities.. ...Read Full Story

Heritage Museum Planning Day Of The Dead Celebration

The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center in St. Joseph will hold a fall celebration with an international twist just after Halloween this year. Director Brian Carroll tells WSJM News it’s the second annual Day of the Dead Celebration in partnership with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra. He says the two team up to have a celebration all about the Mexican Dia de los Muertos.. ...Read Full Story

Drug Takeback Day October 26

There will be a statewide drug takeback event this month. The Drug Enforcement Agency is teaming up with Michigan State Police and others to collect unneeded prescription medications. If you have any sitting in your cabinet, you’re encouraged to stop by a state police post on Saturday, October 26 to drop them off. Police say getting opioids out of homes and destroyed can help to combat the ongoing opioid crisis. All 30 Michigan State Police posts will take part in the takeback event, which will run on the 26th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During a takeback event in April, state police posts collected more than 1,100 pounds of medications.. ...Read Full Story

Fire Destroys Dowagiac Area Barn

Firefighters from Dowagiac and Wayne Township were able to contain a blaze at a barn just outside of Dowagiac on Thursday morning, but the structure was a total loss. The Dowagiac Police Department says the fire was reported in the barn behind an unoccupied house in the 56,000 block of M-51 near Pokagon Street around 5 a.m. Firefighters arrived quickly, but the place was already fully engulfed. They believe the fire had been going for some time before anyone saw it. The building was under renovations and it was insured. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

LaSata Holds Rountable With Women Business Owners

Southwest Michigan women small business owners met with state Senator Kim LaSata on Friday as she held a roundtable discussion with them to learn about their priorities and concerns. LaSata presented the group with a copy of her Senate Resolution 86, which recognizes October 2019 as Women’s Small Business Month and encourages residents to support women-owned small businesses. LaSata notes there are more than 29,000 women business owners in Michigan providing more than a quarter million jobs. On Tuesday, the Michigan Senate unanimously adopted LaSata’s Senate Resolution 86.. ...Read Full Story

Health Department Warns About Vaping Dangers

An injunction this month put on hold Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s ban on flavored vaping products, which are now back on store shelves. However, the Berrien County Health Department’s Gillian Conrad tells us the risks posed to young people by those e-cigarettes remain. She says there are simply too many unknowns about vaping products to say with any certainty they’re safe. She says just as teen cigarette use went down, teen e-cigarette use went up.. ...Read Full Story

Over 100 Animals Seized In Edwardsburg From “Deplorable Conditions”

More than 100 animals have been seized from a home in Edwardsburg by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office and Cass County Animal Control. Sheriff Richard Behnke’s office tells us they raided the home in the 24-thousand block of May Street back on October 8 after getting animal cruelty tips. The animals were in “varying states of health living in deplorable conditions” according to the sheriff’s office. The names of the suspects are not yet being released, as no arrests have been made. The investigation is ongoing. The sheriff’s office has not said what animals were taken in.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan State Police Investigating Shooting Death Of Suspect By Bristol, IN Officer In Michigan

Detectives from the Michigan State Police Fifth District Special Investigation Section are investigating the shooting death of a man by Indiana police in Michigan. Just after 12:30 Friday morning, police in Bristol, Indiana began chasing a vehicle that then crossed the border into White Pigeon. The suspect rammed the patrol vehicle during the chase, prompting the Bristol officer to open fire. The shots killed 46-year-old David Sanders, a white man from Three Rivers. During the investigation, officers learned Sanders was not armed. The Bristol officer suffered minor injuries and has been put on administrative leave. That officer’s name has not been released.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren County Sheriff Warning Of Phone Scam

A warning is going out from Van Buren County Sheriff Dan Abbott about a phone scam. He says callers are asking for donations to the sheriff’s office for an oldies music event, which isn’t happening. Abbott says he called the number given to him by a potential victim and says no one answered and it’s an “obvious spoofing.” He is offering a list of tips to avoid being victimized, with adding your number to the National Do Not Call Registry at the top. Other suggestions include being cautious of caller ID because scammers can change the number that shows up, which is what spoofing is, and never say “yes” at the start of the call if asked if you can hear the other person. That’s because your “yes” answer could be recorded and then used as proof you agreed to make a purchase or have your credit card charged.. ...Read Full Story

New Location For Biannual Whirlpool Appliance Sale Next Month

There will be a new location in a few weeks for the latest Whirlpool Appliance Sale that will benefit the United Way of Southwest Michigan. Previously held at a now-former Whirlpool property on Hilltop Road in St. Joseph, the sale will be held in the Orchards Mall on November 2 and 3 in the old Carson’s location. The sale is held twice a year to raise money for the Whirlpool Employee United Way Campaign.. ...Read Full Story

Tax Preparation Volunteers Sought

The 2020 tax season isn’t far away, and free income tax filing programs are looking for Michiganders willing to give their time to help others. The Consumers Energy Foundation has provided a $200,000 dollar grant to support the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan’s tax assistance work, which includes hiring and training tax-prep volunteers. Brian Wheeler with Consumers Energy says their interest is helping the people they serve in Michigan communities.. ...Read Full Story

Local Groups Work To Relieve Medical Debt For Residents

An effort to relieve medical debt for struggling residents of Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties is now well underway thanks to Harbor Country Mission, Lake Street Community Church, and the I CAN Cafe. They announced at Thursday’s meeting of the Berrien County Board of Commissioners they have raised the $15,000 that will be the seed money for New York Charity “RIP Medical Debt” to buy up debt from collectors. Harbor Country Mission’s David Heyn told WSJM News more about the program.. ...Read Full Story

Ann Cardon Out At Traverse City Area Public Schools

Ann Cardon is out at Traverse City Area Public Schools. The school board held a special meeting Thursday where it was announced Cardon has resigned. She’d been on the job for a little more than two months after leaving St. Joseph Public Schools. UpNorthLive reports the school board president in Traverse City “announced the mutual agreement and resignation of Superintendent Ann Cardon” following public comment at Thursday’s meeting. It was reported last week board members were at odds with Cardon over school funding and how often the board should meet. They held a special meeting last Friday where nearly 30 people spoke, all of them in favor of Cardon. No action on Cardon was taken by the board at that meeting. The public comments in favor of Cardon continued at Thursday’s meeting. Cardon just started as superintendent at Traverse City Area Public Schools in August after being chosen unanimously by the school board.. ...Read Full Story

State Recognizes HEARTSafe Schools

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is recognizing 164 schools around the state that have earned the MI HEARTSafe School designation for the 2018-2019 academic year. Department spokesperson Lynn Sutfin tells WSJM News the HEARTSafe program was created six years ago to help schools be sure they’re prepared to help someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. They have to meet certain guidelines.. ...Read Full Story

Drug Takeback Day This Month

There will be a statewide drug takeback event this month. The Drug Enforcement Agency is teaming up with Michigan State Police and others to collect unneeded prescription medications. If you have any sitting in your cabinet, you’re encouraged to stop by a state police post on Saturday, October 26 to drop them off. Police say getting opioids out of homes and destroyed can help to combat the ongoing opioid crisis. All 30 Michigan State Police posts will take part in the takeback event, which will run on the 26th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During a takeback event in April, state police posts collected more than 1,100 pounds of medications.. ...Read Full Story

Covert Police Investigating Possible Drug Overdose Death

Police in Covert are looking for two men who dropped off an Illinois man at South Haven Hospital’s emergency room last week. That man, 36-year-old Jayson Piper of Brookfield, was pronounced dead at the hospital. His death is under investigation as a possible drug overdose, but autopsy results are still pending. Police have released surveillance photos from the entrance of the emergency department of the two men who brought in Piper on October 12 at 6:30 p.m. They are not calling the men suspects, and say they think the two might have information about what led to Piper’s death. Police believe the man had been at a party in the Covert or South Haven area right before being brought to the hospital.. ...Read Full Story

Road Commission: “Shake Your Mailbox”

As the winter approaches, the Van Buren County Road Commission is asking homeowners to secure their mailboxes. It says you can prepare your mailbox for winter by tightening screws and ensuring the post and box are secure enough to endure large amounts of thrown snow. The road department’s policy states the agency will only replace mailboxes or posts if it is determined its own equipment made direct contact with the mailbox, and not when the box is knocked over by snow or slush that is thrown by the plow. Therefore, it’s urging everyone to shake their mailbox this October to avoid a bigger headache later on.. ...Read Full Story

Retired Fighter Pilot Nicole Malachowski Addresses Economic Club

Using setbacks as opportunities was a theme of Wednesday night’s presentation of the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan as retired U.S. fighter pilot Nicole Malachowski spoke in Benton Township. Malachowski served in the U.S. Air Force for 21 years, becoming the first woman Thunderbird and rising to the rating of command pilot. She served as a White House Fellow and advised First Lady Michelle Obama on issues related to service members.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Urges Whitmer On State Budget

Congressman Fred Upton has teamed up with several of his Michigan colleagues to send a letter to Governor Gretchen Whitmer asking her to reconsider some line item vetoes she put into the most recent state budget. Upton tells WSJM News Whitmer cut funding to several important programs.. ...Read Full Story