Local News Archives

Secretary Of State Creates Election Security Commission

The new Michigan Election Security Commission created by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is expected to release a set of recommendations to improve the integrity of Michigan’s elections by the end of the year. Benson tells WSJM News she set up the body to get the input of elections and computer experts from around the country. We asked if she has any predictions for what the body will recommend.. ...Read Full Story

As Drivers Fume Over Fee Increase, Whitmer Orders Audit Of MCCA

A quick check of Facebook will show you Michigan drivers are livid by the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association announcement that the annual fee charged per vehicle to pay for the unlimited medical coverage of people hurt in crashes is going up by $24 a year in July. Governor Whitmer is also questioning the increase, which comes amid what is believed to be the best chance to reform the auto insurance system to date in the Legislature. Whitmer is ordering an audit into the MCCA following the association’s announcement that the fee is going up to $220 per vehicle in July.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Auto Fee Rising To $220 Per Vehicle In July

Michigan’s mandatory fee to cover unlimited medical benefits for injured drivers is rising to $220 a year in July, which is a record high. When implemented, the fee will be more than double what it was 10 years ago. Currently, drivers pay $192 per vehicle every year, so the increase will be $2.33 per month on a monthly auto insurance bill.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Needs To Move Pipes From Under Hale Buildings

As the city of South Haven works on attracting new businesses downtown, some things the public doesn’t see or think about have to be changed. Those things include the sanitary sewer main that is underneath the Hale Building instead of under the street, and that dates back to the early 1900s. Progress is being made to sell the Hale Block and Mayor Scott Smith tells us grants will help rebuild the water and sewer lines.. ...Read Full Story

Elkhart Man Drives Into Pond While Having Medical Issue

An Elkhart man is recovering from a medical issue that caused him to go off the road and into a pond in Cass County this week. The sheriff’s department says 51-year-old Alfred Hooker told officers he felt dizzy while driving north on M-40 north of Bair Lake Street Wednesday morning and tried to pull off to the side. Hooker went right into a pond, and was helped to shore by a passerby after getting out of his vehicle. A tow truck pulled out the car, and he was taken to the hospital to be checked out. Police say they don’t believe alcohol or drugs were involved, and say Hooker was wearing his seat belt when he drove into the pond.. ...Read Full Story

Conservation District Holds Farming Conference

The Van Buren Conservation District has held its annual Farming for the Future conference. Nearly 170 southwest Michigan farmers attended the event last Wednesday in Lawrence. The conservation district holds the forums to teach local ag producers about ecologically-friendly ways of growing. The meeting was opened by Congressman Fred Upton, who discussed tariffs and immigration issues. The guest speaker was agricultural consultant Gary Zimmer. His keynote focused on carbon-based farming and how to incorporate biological practices into a farm. The Van Buren Conservation District’s Collen Foestieri says the discussions are “a good reminder to not be married to one system,” telling us she hopes the farmers “came away with inspiration to try something new on their farms this year”. ...Read Full Story

Mental Health First Aid Training Planned For Next Month

The Healthy Berrien Consortium in partnership with Riverwood Center is offering free mental health first aid training next month. The eight hour course will be on Thursday, April 18. Riverwood Center Mental Health First Aid Instructor Kimberly Sparkmon tells WSJM News the program has been in the community for several years, and as many as 1,000 people in Berrien County have received the training. She calls it “first aid for the brain.”. ...Read Full Story

Senator LaSata Sued By Campaign Consulting Firm For Breach Of Contract

State Senator Kim LaSata is being sued for breach of contract. MIRS News in Lansing is reporting Sterling Consulting Corporation filed the lawsuit in Ingham County Circuit Court last Wednesday, alleging LaSata has $37,600 in unpaid campaign bills with the firm. The lawsuit says the Berrien County senator agreed to pay Sterling $5,200 per month along with a 15% commission on the gross cost of media placement during the 2018 campaign but still owed $36,600 plus interest at the end of February. A statement from Senator LaSata to MIRS, which WSJM News has requested, says “A good faith effort was made by the campaign team and our legal counsel to resolve this dispute prior to a lawsuit being filed. We look forward to resolving this private business matter as quickly as possible.” MIRS also reports LaSata’s Senate campaign committee has 224 outstanding debts listed by the Secretary of State’s Michigan Campaign Statement Debts and Obligations site.. ...Read Full Story

More Measles Cases In Oakland County, One In Wayne County

The number of measles cases in southeast Michigan is now up to 22 since March 13. 21 are in Oakland County, and one is in Wayne County. It’s all because of an outbreak initially caused by one person who had traveled internationally. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Angela Minicuci tells WSJM News measles is so contagious that state health officials are telling people who may be infected to use caution when so much as seeking medical attention.. ...Read Full Story