Local News Archives

Gas Prices Make Sharp Jump To $2.55

Gas prices have made a huge jump around the area to $2.55 a gallon. GasBuddy analyst Patrick DeHaan put out the warning about the unexpected increase late this morning, and prices started moving higher a short time later. Triple A Michigan had put the statewide average at $2.37 before the jump, which was an 8¢ increase from a week ago. Crude oil prices have hit three-month highs. The increase is a 20¢ jump in pump prices in the St. Joseph-Benton Harbor area since this morning. The national average as of this morning according to AAA was $2.31 a gallon.. ...Read Full Story

Teens Arrested For Stealing Car In Dowagiac

Charges are pending against several teenagers accused of stealing a car outside the Northside Liquor store in Dowagiac. A woman told police she left the car running while she went inside to make a purchase, and when she came out a few minutes later, it was gone. A Cass County Sheriff’s deputy spotted the car about five miles away a few minutes later and pulled it over after a short chase near the intersection of M-51 North and Elm Street. Two 17-year-old boys from Benton Harbor were sent to the Cass County Jail on charges of receiving and concealing a stolen car and the 15-year-old from Dowagiac who was driving was also arrested. Two other juveniles were released to their parents. The car wasn’t damaged and was given back to the victim.. ...Read Full Story

Several Arrested Following Cass County Standoff

The arrest of an Elkhart man by Cass County Sheriff’s deputies after a nearly hour-long standoff on Sunday is also resulting in drug charges for three people at the house near Edwardsburg where he sought shelter. That 34-year-old man led police in Elkhart and Cass counties on a chase yesterday in a stolen car and has been sent back to Indiana. During a search of the home, police found a gallon-size Ziploc bag full of marijuana, another bag full of cocaine, $4,000 cash, over an ounce of meth, and two vehicles reported stolen in Indiana. Police arrested two women, 30 and 18-years-old, and a 40-year-old man. A third woman at the home was questioned but not arrested.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmaker Looks To Increase Broadband Access

A plan to help with the expansion of broadband internet in rural areas of Michigan is being worked on by state Representative Beth Griffin and state Senator Aric Nesbitt. Griffin tells WSJM News she’s reintroducing the legislation that would create a property tax exemption for companies that roll out broadband infrastructure.. ...Read Full Story

Donation Supports Dental Program For Kids

A donation of $200,000 is being made to a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services dental program this year by the Delta Dental Foundation. The foundation is the charitable arm of the non-profit insurer, Delta Dental. Executive Director Teri Battaglieri tells WSJM News the money will be used to provide sealants to elementary and middle school students through the state Oral Health Program’s SEAL Michigan initiative.. ...Read Full Story

State Clarification Sought Regarding BH Schools Agreement

Benton Harbor Area Schools CEO Robert Herrera is waiting on word from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office on what’s next for the district following a legal change last year that may eliminate its cooperative agreement with the state. Last week, Herrera told trustees the change may mean a restoration of school board control to the district come July. The Michigan Department of Education has told him to wait for those AG instructions. He can’t really answer anything until that’s ironed out.. ...Read Full Story

Latest Land Bank Report

2018 was a busy year for the Berrien County Land Bank. Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells us the entity manages foreclosed properties that can’t be sold at auction. He notes a big deal in 2018 was the sale of the former Alreco property in Benton Harbor, which is going to a medical marijuana producer.. ...Read Full Story

Deficit Plan For Schools Being Revised

The five-year deficit elimination plan for Benton Harbor Area Schools is being reworked by district officials with the Michigan Department of Treasury. Following a meeting this week, district CEO Robert Herrera told WSJM News the preliminary deficit plan proved to be unworkable on a year-by-year basis.. ...Read Full Story