Local News Archives

Van Buren County Election Results

The race for state House in the 66th District is shaping up in Van Buren County following Tuesday’s primaries. Republicans picked Beth Griffin to run as their candidate in November to replace outgoing state Representative Aric Nesbitt. She beat out Matthew T. Nilson, and will face Democrat Annie Brown. The GOP primary for sheriff, meanwhile, resulted in a win for Daniel Abbot over closest challenger David Walker. A variety of ballot proposals also passed in Van Buren County Tuesday night. Voters countywide approved proposals for roads and for the Van Buren Conservation District. Locally, voters were in a mood to say yes in Arlington Township, Bloomingdale Township, Decatur Township, Porter Township, South Haven Township, Hamilton Township, Hartford Schools, and Lawrence Schools.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Expects Zika Funding Next Month

Congress could approve funding to fight the Zika virus as soon as next month. Congressman Fred Upton says a previous House effort to approve about $600 million in spending while allowing another $385 million earmarked for other priorities to be reprogrammed was rejected by the Senate. He says the two chambers will be negotiating.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien Officials: Demand To Pay Back Federal Funds “Unacceptable”

Berrien County officials say a demand from the Federal Economic Development Administration to pay back more than $783,000 the county gave to Whirlpool in 2001 is unacceptable. A press release issued Tuesday says the county used $610,000 of EDA money to help Whirlpool move its technology center from Dayton to Benton Township, requiring Whirlpool to guarantee it would maintain its employment levels in the area for at least ten years. In 2011, after Whirlpool had met the loan’s terms, the loan was forgiven. Then, in a letter dated June 30 of this year, the county was ordered by the EDA to pay back the $610,000, plus interest. County officials say the EDA was told several times about the loan and its terms, and never objected. The county now says “it is unacceptable for EDA staff to demand repayment of these funds 15 years after this venture was initiated, nine years after the EDA was notified of the very loan structure to which it now objects, and 5 years after the terms of this loan were fully satisfied.” The press release goes on to say Berrien County “is not inclined to submit to the EDA’s recent demands” to pay the money back.. ...Read Full Story

Money Raised For Berrien County Foster Children

Money has been raised to buy gifts for children in Berrien County’s foster care system, thanks to an event held Tuesday at Slumberland Furniture in Benton Township. “Christmas in August” featured games, a dunk tank, a bounce house, and food and refreshments. Heather Hoffman, with the Berrien County Department of Health and Human Services, says the money goes to its Operation Good Cheer program.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Birthday Celebration This Week

Benton Harbor’s 150th birthday is coming up, and a celebration is planned for this Thursday to mark the occasion. The Morton House Museum on Territorial Road will hold a party starting at 7 p.m. It’s to feature a birthday cake for the city, tours of the house, refreshments, and local speakers who will talk of their experiences in Benton Harbor since the 1950s. They’re set to include Mamie Yarbrough and Janet Dasse Frazier. There will also be an exhibit called “150 Years of Benton Harbor History,” featuring historic photos of the community, artifacts from as far back as 1866, and information on the House of David. Everyone is welcome to the party, and if you can’t make it, the Morton House notes that the exhibit on the city’s history will be up through October 29 every Saturday. You can find out more at www.facebook.com/MortonHouseMuseum.. ...Read Full Story

LMC To Pursue Facilities Improvement Millage

Lake Michigan College will ask voters for a new millage to pay for a variety of facility improvements come November. At a Tuesday meeting, the board of trustees approved moving forward with the ballot question. LMC President Dr. Bob Harrison says the roughly $4 million per year raised by the millage would make many things possible.. ...Read Full Story

Auto Sales Down In July

U.S. auto sales were expected to drop slightly in July as unusually hot weather kept buyers indoors. Kelley Blue Book predicted a 1 percent decline from last July to about 1.5 million vehicles, while auto pricing site TrueCar.com expected sales to be flat for the month. TrueCar said some automakers offered big discounts to help beat the heat. General Motors’ sales fell 2% while Ford’s U.S. sales fell 3%. Both automakers reported declines in pickup truck sales, their best-sellers, but strong sales of big SUVs. Sales of the Ford Expedition more than doubled, while sales of the GMC Yukon were up 32%. Other automakers will report sales later Tuesday.. ...Read Full Story

AM General To Get $356M To Build Humvees For Afghanistan

AM General has been awarded a $356 million contract to make more than 1,600 Humvees for the Afghanistan national army and police at its factory in northern Indiana. The company said in a news release the work to make the 1,673 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles will be done at its plant in Mishawaka. The work is scheduled to begin this month and is expected to be completed in a year.. ...Read Full Story

Judge: Lawsuit Linked To House Sex Scandal Can Go Forward

A federal judge has ruled in favor of two former Michigan House aides who say they were illegally fired before a sex scandal broke in the Capitol. Judge Gordon Quist says Keith Allard and Ben Graham were engaged in protected activity under a whistleblower law when they reported wrongdoing by lawmakers Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat. Their lawsuit against the House can go forward. The aides were fired last July, shortly before an affair by Courser and Gamrat became public. Courser and Gamrat were accused of trying to cover up the affair. One quit the House, and the other was expelled. The Detroit News says the House had asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit. But Quist says Allard and Graham “spoke out on matters of public concern.”. ...Read Full Story