Local News Archives

Suspect Arraigned In Bangor Fatal Shooting

A 19-year-old Bangor man remains in the Van Buren County Jail following a fatal shooting Friday night. Michigan State Police tell us Thurman Fletcher is charged with open murder and felony firearm in the death of 28-year-old Eddie Holland, of Hartford. They say both suffered gunshot wounds in a drug deal gone wrong around 8 p.m. Friday at Lions Park in Bangor. Holland died at Lakeland Hospital in Watervliet, while Fletcher showed up at Bronson in South Haven with gunshot wounds to the leg and foot. Fletcher was arraigned on Monday and denied bond. He’s due back in court for a preliminary exam on February 22.. ...Read Full Story

Meteor Lands In Like Michigan

That green thing that shot across the Midwestern sky early Monday morning was a rock that crash landed into Lake Michigan from outer space. At least, that’s according to preliminary findings from the American Meteor Society. Mike Hankey is the society’s operations manager, and says the physical makeup of the flying rock is what makes it light up in different colors as it plunges through the Earth’s atmosphere.. ...Read Full Story

Hundreds Protest Trump In West Michigan

From the Associated Press — Hundreds of people took part in new western Michigan protests over the weekend of President Donald Trump’s attempt to ban refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the country. Crowds gathered Sunday at a Kalamazoo park and at the entrance to Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids. Kalamazoo resident Nancy Hammoudah said at the rally she believed it was dehumanizing to only talk about Muslims such as herself in terms of national security. Protesters lined the streets outside the Grand Rapids airport, chanting and holding signs with slogans such as “No Wall, Try Love.” At least one Trump supporter was at the demonstration, holding a sign that said “Clueless Demonstrators on Parade.”. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Leading The Way On Shifting Public Workers Away From Pensions

From the Associated Press — Michigan lawmakers appear ready to take another whack at public employee benefits as the state struggles under the weight of pension and health care obligations. The move reflects renewed determination to shift workers to 401(k)-style retirement systems, even if it happens in baby steps. Other states have made more modest changes, but the latest push shows that conservatives want to approve big reforms 20 years after Michigan became the first state to close pensions to future state workers. Republican Governor Rick Snyder is pressing to address $14 billion in unfunded liabilities spread across more than 330 communities. Michigan is taking a leading role because of its size and the fact that GOP legislators and Snyder turned what was once a stronghold of organized labor into a right-to-work state.. ...Read Full Story

Gas Prices Up, But Down 30¢ In Past Month

We’re paying a little more at the gas pump than last Monday. Triple-A Michigan says our statewide average is up by 4¢ to $2.24 a gallon. Locally, Benton Harbor and St. Joseph prices average less at $2.20, up nearly a dime from a week ago. The auto club says Traverse City has the state’s lowest average price at $2.19, while Marquette drivers are paying the most at $2.39. This is the fourth straight week that the Upper Peninsula has the state’s highest prices. Triple-A says low demand and a healthy supply of gasoline in the Great Lakes region should pressure prices lower for “a while,” and they also note suppliers are offering steep discounts to clear out product. Despite the uptick in prices this week, Michigan’s prices are down 30¢ per gallon in the last month, which is the steepest drop in the country.. ...Read Full Story

Unemployment Agency Private Data May Have Been Breached

From the Associated Press — Michigan says nearly 1.9 million residents may be at risk after the potential release of their Social Security numbers and names as part of a software update to the state’s unemployment benefits system. State officials made the announcement Friday.
They say the total number of people affected will not be known until an investigation is finished. People potentially at risk include those whose
payroll is processed by one of 31 third-party vendors that works with the Unemployment Insurance Agency. The software update was done in October. The state says it identified a “vulnerability” on January 30 and blocked further unauthorized access that day. Users of the Michigan Data Automated System who potentially had access include employers and human resources professionals, not unemployment claimants or the
general public.. ...Read Full Story

Bangor Man Charged With Murder

A 19-year-old Bangor man is facing a charge of open murder following a shooting on Friday night. Michigan State Police say a 29-year-old Hartford man was killed. MSP and the Bangor Village Police Department arrested the suspect around 9:30 p.m. Saturday. He’s now in the Van Buren County Jail. In addition to open murder, the suspect is charged with felony firearm. Police say they aren’t releasing any additional information at this time.. ...Read Full Story

State School Reform Office To Review Benton Harbor Schools This Week

The Michigan School Reform Office will be visiting Benton Harbor Area Schools this coming week to review three district buildings for possible closure. At a town hall this past week, Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker said she’s aiming to convince the SRO changes made since she came on board will turn those buildings around. She tells WSJM News if the district loses the 1,200 students affected, mostly elementary kids, then it won’t be able to function.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien Treasurer To Hold Tax Payment Plan Meetings

Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski is hoping taxpayers who are behind on their bill will come to a meeting this month where they could work out a payment plan. Witkowski’s taking the show on the road with meetings planned in Niles, Coloma, and Benton Harbor. He tells WSJM News taxpayers who owe 2014 or before taxes are invited.. ...Read Full Story