Local News Archives

Millions Of Toyotas Being Recalled

Millions of Toyota vehicles are being recalled due to problems with Takata airbags. 5.8 million overseas vehicles are being sought after most U.S. models have already been taken back. Auto analyst John McElroy says it’s going to take several years for Takata to make enough airbags to go into those recalls.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren Adult Recovery Court Celebrates First Graduate

The first graduate of Van Buren County’s Adult Recovery Court has been celebrated. Last week, local judges and others gathered to observe as the first offender to make it through the recovery court’s rigorous program was passed through. The Adult Recovery Court was set up in 2015 as a way to help non-violent offenders stay out of prison while addressing the root cause of their troubles, which are often mental health-related. The Van Buren County court system has several specialty courts along those lines intended to reduce recidivism. Since they were created, the specialty courts have been exclusively state and federal funded.. ...Read Full Story

Bridgman’s Getaway Hopping This Week

If you’re looking for a hopping place to hang out for a World Series game, you might want to consider the Getaway in Bridgman. The Chicago Cubs-themed bar and grill has been a favored haunt of Cubs fans since 1983, and for the first time, they actually get to see their team in the World Series. Owner Tom Ackerman tells WSJM News the vibe is incredible.. ...Read Full Story

SWM Clerks To Open Offices Next Saturday

Clerk’s offices across Michigan will be open next Saturday for everyone to have one last chance to get an absentee ballot ahead of the November 8 election. The office in Benton Harbor will be open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and many other Berrien County community clerk’s offices will be open 9 to 2 for the day. Under state law, they have to be open that Saturday. Anyone still interested in voting absentee can show up, sign up, and then leave with their ballot. To find out details, call your local clerk.. ...Read Full Story

Drunk Driver Leads Police On High-Speed Chase

A 42-year-old Laporte man is facing several charges after police say he led them on a high-speed chase that started in Michigan and ended in Indiana this week. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us it all started about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday when someone reported their vehicle being hit by a reckless driver in the area of Red Arrow Highway and US-12 near New Buffalo. A sheriff’s deputy found the the Jeep Liberty in question, but it wouldn’t stop, and the chase continued across the state line to Indiana. It eventually ended when the suspect crashed while trying to exit I-94 at Michigan City. He was taken to a hospital in Indiana and is facing charges in that state. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department is also asking he be charged here with drunk driving, fleeing and eluding, and leaving the scene of an accident.. ...Read Full Story

Judge Won’t Budge On Blocking “Ballot Selfies”

A judge has refused to suspend her order that allows Michigan voters to take photos of their completed ballot in the November 8 election. Citing the First Amendment, Grand Rapids federal Judge Janet Neff blocked Michigan’s ban on taking so-called ballot selfies. The secretary of state is
appealing. The judge said Wednesday that she won’t freeze her decision while the legal process moves to a higher court. Joel Crookston of Portage filed a lawsuit in September. In 2012, he took a photo of his ballot while voting for a write-in candidate for Michigan State University trustee. He didn’t know it was illegal. Lawyers for the secretary of state are predicting “chaos” if voters take photos. They say it’ll lead to longer lines at polling places and other problems.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Signs Bill Requiring More Reporting At Veterans Homes

A new law will require the state of Michigan to report staffing levels, patient complaints and other information about state-run veterans homes four times a year. Legislation signed Wednesday by Governor Rick Snyder outlines quarterly reporting requirements for state agencies that evaluate conditions at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans and the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette. In February, Snyder replaced the director of Michigan’s veterans agency after an audit uncovered insufficient care and inadequate staffing levels at the Grand
Rapids facility. Snyder says veterans “deserve the highest standards of care available,” and the law helps ensure that conditions at the two homes are evaluated and reported more consistently and effectively. The bill was sponsored by Republican Representative Holly Hughes of Montague.. ...Read Full Story

Former Democratic Party Chair Blasts Snyder Court Decision

An Ingham County court judge has blocked a request for a one-person grand jury to investigate Governor Rick Snyder’s use of taxpayer money to handle legal matters connected to the Flint water crisis. The request was made by former Michigan Democratic Partyt Chair Mark Brewer, who says the state attorney general and the legislature have refused to act on the matter.. ...Read Full Story