Local News Archives

State Police: No Criminal Wrongdoing By Suspended BH Principal

Michigan State Police investigators have found no evidence to back up allegations included in a document from Benton Harbor Area Schools Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker that a suspended principal had child pornography. Detective Mike Spring tells WSJM News their Major Crimes Task Force in Benton Harbor looked into the accusations against Rodger Tripplett, and found no criminal wrongdoing. The case is closed on their end. As far as Tripplett’s fate with the school district, that remains up in the air. The school board will meet next week to discuss it’s next steps.. ...Read Full Story

Suspended BHHS Principal Speaks Out

Suspended Benton Harbor High School Principal Rodger Tripplett is firing back against accusations included in a 17-page document from Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker that he allowed dozens of students to graduate without meeting state requirements and that he possessed and shared child pornography involving a 12 or 13-year-old student. That document has been obtained by the “St. Joseph Herald Palladium.” Tripplett spoke to reporters outside the district’s administration building Friday morning after a meeting on his suspension was canceled without a reason given.. ...Read Full Story

BHAS Board Cancels Meeting On Suspended HS Principal

The fate of suspended Benton Harbor High School Principal Rodger Tripplett remains in limbo. The school board had been scheduled to meet in closed session Friday morning at 11 to discuss where to go after putting him on paid administrative leave on June 20. The “St. Joseph Herald Palladium” has obtained a copy of Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker’s 17-page letter outlining allegations against Tripplett, including sharing and possessing child pornography. Tripplett is accused of possessing a video of a 12 or 13-year-old student engaged in sexual activity and not reporting it to police. Walker’s letter states the suspended principal got the video in order to document its existence and that it was being shared by students. Tripplett’s sister, Sharon James, resigned from her post as the Benton Harbor School Board President on Monday. No reasons have been given for James’ resignation or for the cancellation of Friday’s special meeting by the board.. ...Read Full Story

Project Personal Care Under Way

A wide variety of personal care items are being collected at Village Market in South Haven to help the needy in Van Buren County. Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency and SuperHits 103.7 COSY FM are once again conducting Project Personal Care through 2 p.m. Saturday.. ...Read Full Story

Boy Bitten By Rabid Bat

Two Grand Junction boys are being treated with preventative rabies shots after one of them was bitten by a rabid bat in his sleep. MLive reports Brian Cripps was bitten on his finger around 5 a.m. on October 3 while in bed, waking up to find the bat still on his finger. The 11-year-old grabbed the bat, woke up his younger brother, and then got the attention of their parents. Cripps’ 10-year-old brother is also being treated in case he was bitten without realizing it. The boys’ mother says they have occasionally had bats inside their home during their six years there, and normally have been able to chase them out if the family’s cats hadn’t killed them first. So far this year, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says 33 bats in the state have tested positive for rabies along with four skunks.. ...Read Full Story

Vandalia Woman Missing

Police are working to find a Vandalia woman who hasn’t been seen since Tuesday night. The Cass County Sheriff’s Department tells WSJM News 48-year-old Ramona Huffman left home to walk to a nearby gas station just after 9 p.m., and never returned. At this point, they don’t know if someone took her or if she’s voluntarily missing. She’s described as white, 5’6″, 175 pounds with blue eyes and brown hair. Huffman was wearing gray pants, a black T-shirt, and peach-colored zip-up sweatshirt when she disappeared. Anyone with information is urged to call the Cass County Sheriff’s Department.. ...Read Full Story

Motorcycle Crash Kills One

A motorcyclist has reportedly been struck and killed in a hit and run crash on I-94 near the Paw Paw exit. 9-1-1 dispatch got calls from several motorists that they stopped to help a man found lying on the pavement at about 6:15 Wednesday morning. His motorcycle was found nearby. He was pronounced dead at the scene by EMT’s when they arrived. Paw Paw police are asking for information from anyone who may have seen the body or witnessed the collision. Information about the victim is being withheld until the family is notified.. ...Read Full Story

Kindergartner Run Over By Lawnmower

A kindergartner from Dowagiac is in critical condition at Bronson Methodist after was run over by a lawnmower yesterday (Wednesday). Five year old Lucas Doyle was reportedly running behind a riding mower being operated by a female relative when she suddenly put it into reverse and ran over the boy. Because of the severity of the injuries and the loss of blood, the boy was transported by AirCare chopper to Bronson Methodist in Kalamazoo, where he underwent emergency surgery. The youngster reportedly suffered extensive internal injuries and lacerations and will require more surgeries. The matter is under investigation.. ...Read Full Story