Local News Archives

BHAS Sued Over Student’s Sexual Assault

Benton Harbor Area Schools, Superintendent Shelly Walker, and former high school principal Rodger Triplett are being sued in federal court by the family of an autistic teenager over the girl’s sexual assault by a former star football player. 18-year-old Timothy Bell, Jr. is serving a year in the Berrien County Jail for raping the girl, who was 14 at the time, in 2015 just after the Tigers’ football season concluded. He recorded the assaults on his cell phone, and shared the video with friends. Bell entered a guilty plea in July to the crime. The girl’s family filed the suit in federal court in Grand Rapids on Tuesday, alleging the school district protected Bell and created a hostile environment for the victim. In the lawsuit, they say she was forced to face her attacker daily and was taunted for months.. ...Read Full Story

Police Looking For Kids Kidnapped From Benton Harbor

Police are investigating a parental kidnapping in Benton Harbor. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us Scottie Hall and Courtney Gibson allegedly took their children from a home at 600 Nate Wells Sr. Drive just hours after the court ordered them into protective custody and placed them in foster care yesterday. They are believed to be in Indiana, driving a 2001 Lincoln four door sedan with Indiana plates of XLL-123. Deputies say Hailey Hall is 12, five-feet tall with brown hair and weighs around 100 pounds, while Scottie Hall Jr. is 8, around 4’6″, 65 pounds, and also has brown hair. Anyone who knows where Hall and Gibson went with the kids is urged to call the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department.. ...Read Full Story

Hilltop Repaving Work Set For this Year

Coming soon will be a resurfacing project for Hilltop Road in St. Joseph. It’s an effort  being taken on jointly by the city, the township, the road commission, and the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission. Project Engineer Alan Smaka, with Wightman and Associates, tells us they’re doing a variety of work on the road.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Budget Proposal To Include $260 Million In Savings

From the Associated Press — As Republican lawmakers push for an income tax cut, Governor Rick Snyder instead will propose growing Michigan’s savings account to $1 billion. State budget director Al Pscholka told The Associated Press Tuesday that Snyder wants to add a “sizable” $260 million to the budget stabilization, or rainy day, fund in the next fiscal year. It would be the largest deposit since Snyder’s first year in office. The Republican will unveil his budget plan Wednesday. Pscholka says it’s smart to save money because of “one-time” tax revenues and looming budget pressures. Lawmakers voted to permanently shift general funds to road repairs starting in 2018. Other squeezes include Medicaid expansion costs and the phase-out of business equipment taxes. Snyder also will propose directing $1.2 billion to the Public School Employees Retirement System.. ...Read Full Story