Local News Archives

Benton Harbor Schools Partnership With State Coming Together

The new partnership agreement between Benton Harbor Area Schools and the state of Michigan is starting to come together. Benton Harbor Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker tells WSJM News she’s learning new things each day about how the partnership allowing three struggling schools in the district to stay open will look. She says the deal won’t just be more state control.. ...Read Full Story

Petition Seeks Ouster Of Bangor School Officials

Recent controversies surrounding Bangor Public Schools have led to the publication of an online petition seeking to oust the school board and the former superintendent, who is now the chief operations officer. The petition on Change.org as of Wednesday afternoon had about 140 signatures. It lists the recent internet posting of a video featuring teachers engaged in an inappropriate conversation as among the reasons there needs to be changes in the district. It also cites confusion over administrator qualifications, teacher pay, and academic rankings. The petition states, “We are tired of the good ol’ boy network.” The school board is not required to respond to the petition. Its next meeting is Monday, March 20 at 6 p.m.. ...Read Full Story

Shoplifting Cop Fired

Stealing groceries has ended the law enforcement career of a man once named the Berrien County “Deputy of the Year.” Lieutenant Trent Babcock was fired this week for shoplifting nearly $200 in groceries from the Niles Walmart in February. He entered a guilty plea to retail fraud charges on March 3, and was ordered to pay $400 in court costs and fees. Sheriff Paul Bailey has told several media outlets that he fired Babcock on Monday, but did not give any further details. Babcock was the county’s “Deputy of the Year” in 2013, prior to his promotion to lieutenant.. ...Read Full Story

Virus Outbreak Cancels Classes In Lawrence

There’s no school in Lawrence today, but not because of the weather. It’s what has been happening inside the building, mainly the spread of a nasty virus between classmates and staff that prompted the administration to call for a time out. Health officials are working with school officials in Van Buren County to try and limit the spread of the contagious virus.. ...Read Full Story

FOIA Expansion Bills Introduced By Sen. Schuitmaker

Senators Tonya Schuitmaker of Lawton and Rick Jones of Grand Ledge are introducing bills to require the Executive and Legislative branches of state government be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. The package goes one step farther than the effort in the House, which has proposed a modified and limited version of the law be applied to the legislature. The act requires that upon request, that any citizen can ask for a copy of any public document, and with the advent of new technologies, that includes E-mail and other communications. Michigan is one of only two states where FOIA isn’t in place for the governor and Legislature. The move toward transparency was prompted in part by the Flint water crisis.. ...Read Full Story

Scammers Look To Profit On Recent Wind Storm

With power now restored for most Michiganders from last week’s wind storms, many of those impacted are picking up the pieces. Experts say that means it’s a busy time for scammers. Lori Conarton, with the Insurance Institute of Michigan, tells us most wind damage will be covered by insurance policies, however those who are renting properties may find themselves in a tough spot.. ...Read Full Story