Local News Archives

MI Chamber Supporting Energy Reform Legislation

An influential business group’s decision to support energy legislation is being called a “breakthrough” in an attempt to update Michigan’s energy laws. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce said Tuesday new versions of the bills would guarantee a competitive bidding process for electricity generation and preserve competition. The Republican-led Senate is expected to approve the plan shortly after the November 8 election. Chamber President and CEO Rich Studley says the breakthrough means there is “no good reason” that the GOP-controlled House should not send the legislation to Governor Rick Snyder by year’s end. He says the organization would oppose the bills it if believed they killed the “customer choice” program that gives competitors to DTE Electric and Consumers Energy up to 10 percent of power sales in their regions.. ...Read Full Story

Judge Approves Volkswagen Emissions Settlement

A federal judge in San Francisco has approved a $15 billion court settlement of most claims against Volkswagen for its emissions-cheating scandal. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer signed the order Tuesday approving the largest auto-scandal settlement in the nation’s history.
About 475,000 owners of VWs and Audis with 2-liter four-cylinder diesel engines now will be able to seek buybacks of their vehicles starting next
Tuesday. Most of the owners are expected to sell their cars back to VW after the company acknowledged cheating on emissions testing and putting dirty cars on the road. In addition to having their cars bought back, owners can each get payments of $5,100 to $10,000.. ...Read Full Story

SJ Officials Look To Crack Down On Blighted Properties

The city of St. Joseph will soon hire a new code enforcement officer, and officials hope that will make it easier to address the matter of blighted homes. Several weeks ago, a group of residents complained, in particular, about the home at 907 Wayne Street. The owner has been ticketed, and the city’s building inspector says he’s fixed some of the problems there. Mayor Mike Garey tells us the city has to respect property rights while ensuring standards are met in the community.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien Springs Community Expo Friday

Set for this Friday is the first every community expo at Berrien Springs High School. Anyone who’s interested in learning more about what the community of Berrien Springs has to offer is invited to stop by. Berrien Springs High School senior Daniel Chi is one of the organizers who tells us they want to better connect students with local businesses.. ...Read Full Story

September Home Sales Up In SWM

Homes sales in southwest Michigan remain strong, as the latest numbers show a 14% jump for the month this year over last year. Southwest Michigan Association of Realtors Vice President Gary Walter tells us September’s unit sales were the highest the region has seen in the month for ten years. It’s a good time to buy.. ...Read Full Story

Court Denies Request For Probe Of Snyder’s Flint Legal Bills

A Michigan court has rejected a request for a one-judge grand jury investigation of Governor Rick Snyder’s decision to use at least $2 million in state funds for his legal representation related to criminal probes of Flint’s water crisis. A city resident and her attorney said Tuesday that the Ingham County Circuit Court denied their petition. The judges did not state a reason in their ruling. The resident, Keri Webber, and lawyer Mark Brewer – former chairman of the state Democratic Party – filed a complaint Oct. 11 alleging the Republican governor broke the law by violating conflict-of-interest prohibitions and spending taxpayer money for personal benefit without proper authority. Snyder’s office has said the spending is “legally sound” because the fees are related to actions taken in his official capacity.. ...Read Full Story

Judge Blocks “Ballot Selfie” Ban

A judge has blocked Michigan law and policies that would prevent voters from taking photos of their ballot in the November 8 election. Joel Crookston of Portage sued in Grand Rapids federal court, saying his First Amendment right to free speech was violated. Judge Janet Neff issued a preliminary injunction Monday. State election officials had argued that the rules are intended to protect the integrity of the election. But the judge said it could be done without a sweeping prohibition. The secretary of state asked Neff to freeze her order so it can file an appeal.  Crookston filed a lawsuit after learning that a picture of a ballot could get him in trouble. He took a “ballot selfie” in 2012 while voting for a write-in candidate for Michigan State University trustee. No action was taken.. ...Read Full Story