Local News Archives

Post Election, Women Look To Keep Up The Momentum

There were big election wins for women in Michigan last week with the positions of governor, attorney general, and secretary of state all going to female candidates. Additionally, Michigan will have five women in the U.S. House come January, while female candidates in other states also ran and won at higher rates. Can the momentum continue into 2020? Louisiana State University professor Nichole Bauer tells us that’s the hope, noting women of color fared especially well this year.. ...Read Full Story

Gas Prices Down Sharply Over Past Month

AAA Michigan says average gas prices statewide are down 10¢ in the past week to about $2.61 per gallon amid continued lower oil prices. The Dearborn-based auto club says the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline is about 15¢ less per gallon than the same point last year. AAA says Michigan gas prices are at the lowest level since March after dropping 33¢ a gallon in the past month. In Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, we have the second-lowest average price in the state at $2.52, with only Grand Rapids lower at $2.47. South Haven’s prices are as low as $2.39 according to GasBuddy, but that area is not included in AAA’s price survey.. ...Read Full Story

Senator-Elect Nesbitt Lands Leadership Post In Return To Legislature

The return to the Legislature of a veteran politician from southwest Michigan will come with a leadership role. Aric Nesbitt, the Senator-elect in the 26th District that covers Van Buren and Allegan counties and part of Kent County, will serve as the President Pro Tem of the Senate in the upcoming term. During his full six years in the House, Nesbitt was the Majority Floor Leader in his final term and chaired the Committee on Energy. He will take over for Senator Tonya Schuitmaker, who is term limited, in January following last week’s election. After being term-limited out of the House, Nesbitt served for about a year as the director of the Michigan Lottery before stepping down to launch his Senate bid.. ...Read Full Story

Deer Poaching Charges Likely For Three Bloomingdale Men

Charges are pending against three Bloomingdale men for poaching. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department was called to the area around 41st Street and 24th Avenue in Bloomingdale around 11 pm Sunday when someone saw a truck in the area and someone inside shining a light into the fields along with hearing a gunshot. The three were in the process of dressing the deer in the driveway of a home when deputies pulled up, and determined the suspects had used the lighting to lure the deer and shoot it, several days ahead of the start of firearms deer season on Thursday. The Department of Natural Resources has confiscated both the deer and the rifle used to kill it. Likely charges against the men, two of whom are 20 and one is 21, include hunting without a license and hunting after hours. No names have yet been released.. ...Read Full Story

Successful State Food Drive

The annual Harvest Gathering food drive run by the Michigan Attorney General’s office is being described as a success this year. AG spokesperson Megan Hawthorne tells us Attorney General Bill Schuette started the Harvest Gathering in 1991 when he was the state agriculture director. As part of the effort, the Michigan Secretary of State collects food and money through its branch offices.. ...Read Full Story

Transportation Study Workshop Planned

A study on the future of transportation in the St. Joseph and Benton Harbor areas will be discussed at an open house this coming week. “Principles in Motion” is the new Long Range Transportation Plan for the area. It’s been put together by the Twin Cities Area Transportation Study, or TwinCATS. TwinCATS tells us the study uses the input of local officials while setting transportation goals and looking at how to spend federal money. The plan is intended to serve as a blueprint for transportation over the next 25 years in the Twin Cities area. An open house for everyone to see what’s in it and chat with planners will be held this coming Tuesday. It will be at the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission office in Benton Harbor from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. You can learn more about the transportation plan right here.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Superintendent Search In Final Stretch

South Haven Public Schools could be a step closer to having a new superintendent. The South Haven Board of Education this week announced it’s narrowed its list of four finalists down to one. That finalist is Kevin Schooley, the current superintendent at Watervliet Public Schools. The board has interviewed four candidates, and Schooley is the only one who’s been invited back for a second interview. That interview will be held this coming Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Integrated Learning Center at South Haven High School, and beforehand, there will be an open house. It’s set to run from 5 to 6 p.m. The public is welcome to attend both the open house and the interview. South Haven School Board President Laura Bos tells us the task of narrowing down the field of candidates was difficult, but “the board felt Mr. Schooley provides the best fit for South Haven and has offered him a second interview.”. ...Read Full Story

2018 A Deadly Year On The Great Lakes

From the Associated Press — A water safety nonprofit group says 2018 has been a deadly year on the Great Lakes, with at least 110 drownings recorded. The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project , which has tracked drowning deaths since 2010, says this is the first year that it’s recorded more than 100 drownings. The Holland Sentinel reports the hot summer may have been a factor in the increase. The deaths include 39 in Lake Michigan and 35 in Lake Erie. The deaths have prompted efforts to increase safety along Great Lakes beaches. Among those who died was 20-year-old Brandon Schmidt, who drowned in Lake Michigan in August off of western Michigan. WOOD-TV reports his mother Brandi Donley notes that warning signs, safety equipment, education and training are needed. Donley says: “It can happen to anyone.”. ...Read Full Story

St. Joe Downtown Master Plan Being Drafted

Residents and business owners from St. Joseph are being asked to weigh in on a master plan for the downtown that’s being drafted right now. Paul Finn, a planner with the firm Houseal Lavigne, tells WSJM News “Downtown Vision” will be a document the city can use to guide development in the area for the next 15 to 20 years.. ...Read Full Story