Local News Archives

Prosecutor: Shooting Of Inmate Was Justified

The Berrien County Prosecutor’s office has found the July 11 shooting of a jail inmate by court officers to be justified. The office released its analysis of the incident on Wednesday, laying out the circumstances that led to inmate Larry Gordon seizing of an officer’s gun and killing two security officers before being fatally shot by bailiffs. The report says Gordon knew he was facing a lengthy prison sentence, and had told other inmates in the Berrien County Jail he would not be able to do serve it. He also asked them about the courthouse layout. The prosecutor describes how Gordon came to get a gun, take hostages, and then shoot two officers. It says no criminal charges will be filed in Gordon’s shooting. You can see the full analysis below.. ...Read Full Story

Police Seize $30,000 Worth Of Drugs In BH Raid

Two people are facing charges following a drug bust in Benton Harbor Wednesday. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us officers raided an apartment at 525 Columbus Avenue around 7 a.m. finding 92 grams of heroin, 188 grams of crack, and three loaded semi-automatic handguns. Police say the estimated value of the drugs alone is about $30,000. The two people arrested both have criminal records. They’re now facing a variety of new charges. Police note the apartment building is less than 1,000 feet from a school.. ...Read Full Story

Cass County Standoff Ends Peacefully

A standoff that began after two women on horseback were struck by a vehicle in Cass County has ended peacefully. Michigan State Police say a man surrendered Wednesday morning after barricading himself in his Cass County home Tuesday night. Troopers tell us the man intentionally struck them on Tuesday night, and the women and horses have minor injuries. The standoff began after the 32-year-old refused to talk with investigators, and negotiators were called in because the suspect had weapons in the home. The man, whose name wasn’t immediately released, faces charges of assault and driving without a license.. ...Read Full Story

EMU Students Protest Racist Graffitti

Students at Eastern Michigan University are protesting after more anti-black graffiti was discovered on campus this week. The protests include a sit-in early Wednesday at the EMU Student Center on the school’s Ypsilanti campus. The university says the graffiti was discovered Monday spray-painted on the exterior of Ford Hall and was immediately removed. On Tuesday, school President Jim Smith announced the creation of the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion. He says in a message to campus that the vandalism is “hateful” and says the school is working to foster respect, equity and inclusion. The university has said that a reward for information about similar graffiti that appeared in late September has been doubled to $10,000 and applies to the latest incident as well. The earlier graffiti led to protests.. ...Read Full Story

Cancer Claims Van Buren 911 Dispatch Director

The director of 911 dispatch in Van Buren County has died from cancer. Jeri Tapper was 59 and died yesterday after a four-year battle against the disease. According to her obituary, Tapper had been at the helm of Van Buren County 911 Dispatch for 29 years. The Paw Paw native is survived by her husband, two children, seven grandchildren, both parents, and two sisters. Tapper’s visitation will be Friday morning at 10 at Adams Funeral Home in Paw Paw, with her funeral to follow at noon.. ...Read Full Story

Pscholka To Receive Farm Bureau Award

A special honor is being given to state Representative Al Pscholka this week. The Berrien County Farm Bureau is presenting him with its Distinguished Service to Agriculture award. The bureau says it’s for Pscholka’s ongoing support of ag interests in Lansing. Among other things, it says Pscholka has worked with state and federal agencies on the great freeze that damaged crops in Southwest Michigan in 2012, and ensured there’s money in the budget for fruit research. Pscholka tells us he started his campaign six years ago at Radom’s Farm in Bainbridge Township to highlight the ag heritage of southwest Michigan, so it’s kind of fitting for his service to come full circle with the award. He’ll get it Thursday.. ...Read Full Story

Palisades Firefighters Return From Competition

Firefighters for the Palisades nuclear power plant are back home after spending last week competing in the Scott World Firefighter Combat Challenge in Alabama. Fire Brigade Marshal Bill Gruppen tells WSJM News the team took part in what ESPN has called the toughest two minutes in sports. It helps them stay on their toes.. ...Read Full Story

SWM Racers Rally To Help Boy With Leukemia

The mother of a 5-year-old southwest Michigan boy who is battling leukemia is thanking the local racing community for its outpouring of support. Leah Dibble, who co-owns the Hartford Motor Speedway with her husband, Tim, says their son Timmy was diagnosed with the disease last month. He’s been in a Kalamazoo hospital since.. ...Read Full Story