Local News Archives

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

General Motors Reports Record Earnings

General Motors reported a record third-quarter profit that doubled the same period a year ago, despite falling sales and market share in the U.S. The Detroit automaker earned $2.77 billion, or $1.76 per share, compared with $1.36 billion, or 84 cents per share a year ago. Sales in the U.S., GM’s most lucrative market, fell nearly 4 percent in the quarter. But GM said its strategy to cut low-profit sales to rental car companies, a strong performance in China and cost cuts led to the record. Excluding a 4-cent benefit from an unspecified ignition-switch recall recovery, GM made $1.72 per share. That beat Wall Street estimates of $1.46 per share. Revenue hit a record $42.8 billion. U.S. auto sales have started to slow after hitting a record 17.5 million last year.. ...Read Full Story

Kalamazoo Accepts $70 Million In Donations

The Kalamazoo City Commission has taken a step toward using roughly $70 million in private donations to help cover city costs. The commission voted 6-1 to approve the memorandum of understanding during a public meeting Monday. The document outlines the agreement between donors and the city as well as each party’s commitment to the Foundation for Excellence. The foundation, introduced in July, would help stabilize Kalamazoo’s budget, decrease property taxes and invest in infrastructure and neighborhood improvement projects. The $70 million would be donated over three years to endow the foundation. It’s expected to be created by the end of August 2017. City Commissioner Matt Milcarek gave the dissenting vote, saying he’d like to see an example of how the foundation will be a sustainable model for the city.. ...Read Full Story