Local News Archives

Another Sign Of Spring: Oberon Day Arrives

For craft beer lovers, today is nearly a holiday: Oberon Day, the release for the year of Kalamazoo County-based Bell’s Brewery’s popular wheat ale. Bars started tapping this year’s kegs at midnight on Monday to celebrate the official release. Bell’s founder Larry Bell says in most of the country, Oberon is only available during the warm months because it’s the type of beer that pairs well with sunshine and baseball games. But Bell’s operations director John Mallett says it has a different meaning for others.. ...Read Full Story

New Michigan Task Force Seeks To Stop Abuse Of Elderly

A new task force has been formed to help stop physical abuse, financial exploitation, emotional abuse and neglect of elderly people in Michigan. State Attorney General Dana Nessel joined with Michigan Supreme Court Justices Richard Bernstein and Megan Cavanagh and others Monday to announce the formation of the Michigan Elder Abuse Task Force. Nearly three dozen organizations including law enforcement, state agencies and advocacy groups have committed to being part of the effort. Michigan residents are urged to report signs or concerns about elder abuse to Nessel’s office, which has established an elder abuse hotline for anonymous tips, 800-24-ABUSE (844-242-2873) or online .. ...Read Full Story

Upton Responds To What’s Been Released Of Mueller Report

“We had to get to the bottom of it, and the conclusions had to take us to where we are today,” says Congressman Fred Upton on the release of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller into the Trump administration and Trump campaign. The St. Joseph Republican supported the investigation and told Michigan’s Big Show there are more documents that are yet to be released.. ...Read Full Story

Lory’s Pace Run, Walk, and Rock Coming Up

Registrations are being taken for the next Lory’s Place Run, Walk, and Rock. This is the 15th year for the event, which raises money for Lory’s Pace, a St. Joseph-based program that helps people cope with grief. The Run, Walk, and Rock will be Saturday, May 18. The timed 5K run and walk course will take runners and walkers through St. Joseph’s Edgewater area and into Tiscornia Park. Meanwhile, rocking chairs will be available for spectators throughout the morning along the edge of the course. Individuals or groups can sponsor a rocker. That money goes to Lory’s Place, along with the registration fees paid by runners and walkers. You can find out more right here.. ...Read Full Story

Mayor Talks Priorities In Annual Address

Benton Harbor is building forward. That was the message of Mayor Marcus Muhammad as he delivered his annual State of the City address this past week. Speaking at the Benton Harbor Public Library on Tuesday, Muhammad said the city has come a long way since being under state control, pointing to five years of positive fund balances.. ...Read Full Story

Drive-By Shooting In Benton Township Meijer Parking Lot

Benton Township police are reportedly looking for a suspect in a drive-by shooting in the parking lot of the Meijer store on Pipestone Road. A 34-year-old Benton Harbor man says he was walking in the grass between the store and a car wash when someone in a dark four-door sedan fired four shots at him out the window of the car. The man was not hurt in the incident, which happened around 4 p.m. Saturday.. ...Read Full Story

Website Lists Conditions Of 11,000 MI bridges

The Michigan Department of Transportation has launched a new online dashboard to make information about the condition of bridges around the state known to the public. MDOT Deputy Chief Bridge Engineer Beckie Curtis tells WSJM News the site includes data on more than 11,000 bridges. It goes over the state of each.. ...Read Full Story

Record Year For United Way

The United Way of Southwest Michigan has marked a record fundraising year. At its annual celebration at Lake Michigan College th9is month, the organization announced it raised more than $4.2 million with its 2018 campaign. United Way of Southwest Michigan President Anna Murphy tells WSJM News the region cares.. ...Read Full Story

BH Police Focus On Illegal Dumping

An effort is underway in Benton Harbor to crack down on the illegal dumping of trash. The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety tells us discarded tires, mattresses, and other junk have become a major problem. Word went out Thursday about a new tip line that has been set up for people to report the practice. Police say the situation has gotten so bad the city has spent more than $169,000 on extra dumpsters to remove the illegally dumped material over the past three years. The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety has made four arrests as part of its illegal dumping investigation since last week. To report the illegal dumping of trash in Benton Harbor, call or text 269-944-7929.’. ...Read Full Story

Tax Proposal Gets Attention Statewide

A tax credit being floated by Cornerstone Alliance President Rob Cleveland is getting some attention statewide. Cleveland tells WSJM News he came up with the idea for the HUGE credit while brainstorming with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. It would give an income tax break to recent college graduates in Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Tuition At LMC Is Going Up

A tuition increase is coming for students at Lake Michigan College. At this week’s LMC Board of Trustees meeting, an increase of 1.5% for in-district students was approved. LMC President Trevor Kubatzke tells WSJM News the move is in response to increased operating costs.. ...Read Full Story

Man Shot Through Window In Cass County

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a Saturday shooting in Mason Township. It says deputies were called out to a home on Starbrick Street near Tharp Lake Road shortly before 12:30 a.m. and learned a 57-year-old man had been shot through a window. He told deputies some unknown subjects had come to his home and demanded to speak with him. He said that when he refused to come outside, the subjects fired a gun through a window, injuring him. The man was taken to to Elkhart General Hospital in Elkhart Indiana, and police say he was listed in stable condition as of 11 a.m. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Cass County Sheriff’s Department.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Visits School Robotics Facility

Just a few weeks after it was dedicated, Congressman Fred Upton has paid a visit to the new robotics facility at St. Joseph High School. He stopped by the Edward J. Todd Innovation Center Monday. Upton tells WSJM News FIRST Robotics is a program that helps kids apply their science, technology, and math skills.. ...Read Full Story

Town Hall Planned At Benton Harbor Area Schools

There will be a town hall meeting on April 3 for the public to learn more about problems currently faced by Benton Harbor Area Schools. The board of education has scheduled the town hall for 6 p.m. at the high school cafeteria. There are several questions about the district’s future as declining enrollment is making its borrowing power go down. Meanwhile, the district’s cooperative agreement with the state is set to end on July 1, likely returning control of the schools back to the board of education. Everyone is welcome to attend the April 3 meeting.. ...Read Full Story

Measles Outbreak In Oakland County

State health officials are responding to a measles outbreak in Oakland County. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Angela Minicuci tells WSJM News it all started with one person who got the measles while traveling. Since then, the total number of cases as a result of the one infection is up to eight. Minicuci says Michigan also had a high rate of measles last year.. ...Read Full Story

Bill Designed To Help Prevent Suicides

State Representative Beth Griffin of Mattawan is a co-sponsor of legislation designed to help prevent suicides in Michigan. She tells WSJM News the proposal would create the Suicide Fatality Review Act, allowing Michigan counties to establish a review task force. Those panels would include doctors, police, mental health experts, and others who have been affected by suicide. They would look for trends and patterns locally in an effort to address the situation, and meet following a student’s suicide. Griffin’s bill exempts the local panels from Open Meetings Act laws.. ...Read Full Story

Effort To Combat Abuse Launched At Andrews University

Andrews University is rising up to fight abuse. Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Michael Nixon tells WSJM News the university hosted its first-ever Rise Up Against Abuse Rally last week, launching the Rise Up Against Abuse initiative. It’s to help people use awareness, intervention, and prevention to take action against all forms of abuse.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Girl, Family Raise $1,600 For Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital

A St. Joseph girl is turning a bit of personal heartbreak last summer into something positive. Seven-year-old Devyn Whitney has a prosthetic right leg and is missing some fingers due to being born with a condition called Fibular Hemimelia, but didn’t feel like she was different from anyone else until last summer at the Krasl Art Fair according to her mom, Stephanie Watkins. Devyn noticed people staring and whispering for the first time and became upset, with her mom taking her down to the Whirlpool Compass Fountain to get away.. ...Read Full Story

Driver Killed In Bloomingdale Township Crash

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a deadly crash Thursday afternoon in Bloomingdale Township. A 57-year-old Paw Paw man was killed when his pickup went off the road on 24th Avenue west of M-40 and hit a tree. The crash happened just after noon. The driver was the only one in the truck, and he was not wearing a seat belt. The man’s name has not been released.. ...Read Full Story

Senator Nesbitt Wants Auto Insurance Reforms Before June 27

State Senator Aric Nesbitt wants major changes to Michigan’s auto insurance system passed and on the desk of Governor Whitmer before lawmakers head out on their summer break at the end of June. He announced the self-imposed deadline this week in an effort to spur action after the House and Senate have tried for years to make changes. Lawmakers from both parties have said it was one of the top issues they heard about from voters during last year’s campaign, especially as more studies show Michigan’s insurance premiums are the highest in the country. To blame for that is the mandate that policies include lifetime health coverage for catastrophic injuries in crashes. Nesbitt says one of the biggest issues they’re looking at is giving drivers choices for the coverage levels they want, and adds everything is on the table. His Senate Bill 1 is pretty open-ended in order to make modifications.. ...Read Full Story

Today Is World Water Day

Michiganders plan to show their support for the right to clean drinking water with the 26th annual World Water Day on Friday. The event highlights the importance of clean drinking water across the globe. Grand Rapids Water Protectors chief Shannon Abbott tells us several battles over water are going on across Michigan, including fights against chemical contamination and keeping water affordable. Abbott notes low-income communities and people of color face the brunt of those battles.. ...Read Full Story

Lincoln Township Police Department Receives K9

A new officer is about to start at the Lincoln Township Police Department. Echo is a 1-year-old Belgian Malinois recruited to be the department’s K9, and she just arrived in the United States from Poland last week. Lincoln Township Police Chief Gary Soper tells WSJM News the department collected $30,000 from the public to get the K9. That support came in from businesses and individuals.. ...Read Full Story

Talons Out Honor Flight Announces Student Essay Contest

A student essay contest has been launched by Talons Out Honor Flight. The organization takes veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam to their memorials in Washington, D.C. for free, and the two winners of the essay contest will get to go along on the June 1 trip. Talons Out Honor Flight President Bobbie Bradley tells WSJM News the essays should be about the experiences of a World War II or Korean War vet from the student’s community.. ...Read Full Story

Police Launch Tip Line To Report Illegal Dumping In Benton Harbor

An effort is underway in Benton Harbor to crack down on the illegal dumping of trash. The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety tells us discarded tires, mattresses, and other junk have become a major problem. Word went out Thursday about a new tip line that has been set up for people to report the practice. Police say the situation has gotten so bad the city has spent more than $169,000 on extra dumpsters to remove the illegally dumped material over the past three years. The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety has made four arrests as part of its illegal dumping investigation since last week. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is also assisting. To report the illegal dumping of trash in Benton Harbor, call or text 269-944-7929.. ...Read Full Story

New Boating, Fishing Laws Take Effect

If you boat or fish in Michigan, some new laws go into effect today. Boaters are now required to take steps to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. That includes things like draining all water from any live wells and bilges and ensuring that the watercraft and trailer are free of all aquatic organisms, including plants.. ...Read Full Story

State House Bill Would Lower Drunk Driving Threshold

Newly introduced legislation would make Michigan the second state to lower its drunken-driving limit to a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.05%. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is supporting the House bill that was proposed by Democrats Thursday. It would drop the limit to 0.05% from 0.08%, which is the limit in all other states except Utah. Utah dropped to the 0.05% threshold in December.. ...Read Full Story