Local News Archives

Proos Celebrates Passage Of STEM Plan

State Senator John Proos is pleased to see some STEM education legislation he sponsored received its final, ceremonial signing by the governor. Last week, Proos tells WSJM News he invited local students and educators to Lansing for the signing of bills that would create a special STEM certification on the transcripts of high school students.. ...Read Full Story

Report Examines Payday Lenders

A new report sheds light on the dangers of payday loans, prompting consumer advocates to call for new regulations in Michigan. Community Economic Development Association of Michigan Senior Policy Specialist Jessica AcMoody tells us by charging annual percentage rates equivalent to 340%, payday lenders cost Michiganders more than $94 million in 2016 alone. She says these loans target the vulnerable.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Looking At Downtown Future

A Chicago-based consulting firm headed up by a St. Joseph native will tackle shaping the future of the city’s downtown. Houseal Lavigne Associates was hired by the city commission this week to begin the study. The firm is led by John Houseal, who says growing up here helps him fully understand the unique needs of the city when it comes to figuring out the best way to address the needs of the entire community.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Man Killed In Kalamazoo; Suspect Arrested Near GR

A man accused of shooting and killing a Benton Harbor man at a Kalamazoo liquor store is in jail and awaiting arraignment. According to the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, 23-year-old Tykarri Lucas was shot and killed around 1:30 a.m. Saturday at J&B Discount Liquor on Stockbridge Avenue. The 27-year-old suspect was captured several hours later at a home in Wyoming, south of Grand Rapids, and taken back to Kalamazoo. The name of the suspect has not been released pending his arraignment. Police have not indicated any motive or said what led to Lucas’ shooting death.. ...Read Full Story

Niles Woman Arrested For Deadly Hit-And-Run

A 23-year-old Niles woman is in the Berrien County Jail awaiting charges for a deadly hit-and-run accident. According to the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, her blood-alcohol level was over three times the legal limit when she was arrested for the Saturday afternoon crash in Berrien Township. Deputies say 32-year-old Todd Harrington of Berrien Springs was on his bicycle on Pokagon Road when he was hit by the woman’s SUV, and was pronounced dead at the scene. A man and his young son called police with the vehicle description and license plate number, leading authorities to her home in Niles where she was arrested.. ...Read Full Story

11-Year-Old Dies In Accidental Drowning

A birthday celebration ended in tragedy in Cass County’s Howard Township this weekend. The sheriff’s department says an 11-year-old boy drowned at a pool party Saturday evening. The boy was in the pool with several other kids when someone noticed he was at the bottom of the pool. The other kids brought him up, and parents started CPR while calling 911. The boy was pronounced dead at Lakeland Hospital in Niles, and police say the drowning appears to have been accidental. The child’s name is not being released. He was a guest at the party.. ...Read Full Story

State Facing Teacher Shortage

Too many Michigan schools districts without enough teachers, according to the head of a administrators group. Wendy Zdeb of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals told Michigan News Network recruiting new teachers is tough, but keeping them is tougher, and many leave teaching after five years.. ...Read Full Story

Lake Township Park Improvements

A ribbon cutting will be held this month to mark the opening of a new feature at Lake Township Park in Bridgman. Township Treasurer Bob Clark tells WSJM News a renovation project two years in the making for the disc golf course is wrapping up. The disc golf course originally built in 2004 has expanded thanks to the 2016 purchase of ten acres next door. Clark says this expanded court will be a big improvement over the old one.. ...Read Full Story

Busy Time At Benton Harbor Area Schools

It’s been a busy time at Benton Harbor Area Schools. At a Tuesday meeting, CEO Robert Herrera told the board of education about some of the things being done as the new school year gets underway. Among them are a couple of online learning programs to help students with credit recovery. Herrera told WSJM News this is the first year Benton Harbor Area Schools has applied for a state Seat Time Waiver to have online learning.. ...Read Full Story

New Marina Possible For South Haven

The city of South Haven is taking steps to acquire another marina. City Manager Brian Dissette tells WSJM News the city council this month voted to send a grant application to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund for assistance in buying All Seasons Marine along the Black River.. ...Read Full Story

Big Equipment Purchase For St. Joe

The city of St. Joseph’s Public Works Department is moving ahead on replacing its largest vehicle, the jet/vac sewer cleaner truck. Public Works director Tom MacDonald told the city commission Monday it’s the most important vehicle they use, and it’s used a lot.. ...Read Full Story

Teen Shot In Benton Township

The Benton Township Police Department is investigating after a teen was shot early Saturday morning. It happened in the 200 block of Pine Street just after 4 a.m. Responding officers arrived to find a 15-year-old boy with gunshot wounds to his stomach area and leg.  The victim had been inside the home when several shots were fired at the house from the street out front. No one else was hurt. The victim was taken to Lakeland Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. No suspects have been identified. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the Benton Township Police Department.. ...Read Full Story

BH Marijuana Applications

Benton Harbor is now taking applications for medical marijuana businesses seeking to operate in the city. In a notice put out last week, the city says those proposals could be for any medical marijuana business currently legal under Michigan law. That would include grow facilities, processors, provisioning centers, safety compliance facilities, or transporters. The Benton Harbor City Commission late last year voted to allow up to 25 such businesses in the community. In order to qualify for permission, an operator must provide the city with information on their knowledge and experience, their understanding of the law, and how they intend to operate their facility as an “integrated part of the community.” The applications come with a $5,000 fee, and must be turned into the clerk’s office by the end of business on October 1. So far, NoBo Partners out of Colorado has pursued the former Alreco Metals property, paying a deposit of $20,000 to the Berrien County Land Bank for the foreclosed parcel.. ...Read Full Story

Great Lakes Cleanups Today

Today brings the biggest effort to clean up Great Lakes of the year. Alliance for the Great Lakes spokesperson Jennifer Caddick tells WSJM News hundreds of beach cleanups are being held throughout the Great Lakes region, and everyone’s welcome to show up. The Alliance for the Great Lakes cleanup made a big difference last year. ...Read Full Story

Online Visitation To Berrien Inmates

A new internet visitation program is coming to the Berrien County Jail. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us those who want to visit an inmate over the internet will be able to do so starting Wednesday. The program will be available Mondays through Sundays with some limits on how many internet visits an inmate can have. The sheriff’s department says an inmate can only have two visits per day with a maximum of ten per week. Only three visitors are allowed at a time, and all sessions will be monitored by jail personnel. The sheriff’s department warns inappropriate behavior may cause the visit to be terminated and the visiting privileges taken away. It’s made a website available to schedule those internet visits. You can find out more right here.. ...Read Full Story

Napier Avenue Planning Meeting Coming Up

The Southwest Michigan Planning Commission is close to wrapping up its report on pedestrian options for Napier Avenue in St. Joseph and Benton Townships, and a meeting will be held this month for the public to offer more input. Associate planner Ryan Fellows tells WSJM News the question is whether sidewalks can be put in along Napier when the Berrien County Road Department starts repaving the road from the St. Joe River to I-94 next year. The planning commission is making recommendations.. ...Read Full Story

State Police Recruiting More Women

A women’s recruitment seminar is planned by Michigan State Police for next month in southeast Michigan. Michigan State Police Captain Monica Yesh tells WSJM News only about 10% of the force is women, and they’ve been improving on that the last few years. Women staff from the MSP will address the seminar to talk about what they do and the opportunities available. They range from road patrol to computer work to undercover investigations. Yesh has been with the state police for about 30 years.. ...Read Full Story

MSP Identifies Body Found In St. Joseph River

Robert Freshour Jr. is the name of the man whose body was found floating in the St. Joseph River near Niles the morning of Saturday, September 8. Michigan State Police released his identity Friday afternoon. They are still investigating his discovery and his death. Freshour was from South Bend, and his body was spotted around 11 a.m. that day by two fishermen in Bertrand Township. There’s no word yet on the cause of death.. ...Read Full Story

GM Issues Recall Over Power Steering Problem

From the Associated Press — General Motors is recalling more than a million big pickup trucks and SUVs in the U.S. because the power-assisted steering can briefly shut down. The recall covers certain 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups as well as Chevy Tahoe and Suburban SUVs. Also affected are 2015 Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon SUVs.
GM says the power steering can fail momentarily during a voltage drop and suddenly return, mainly during low-speed turns. A failure would increase the risk of a crash. The company didn’t mention any crashes in documents filed with the government.
Dealers will update the power steering software at no cost to owners. No date has been set for the recall to begin. GM recalled 2014 model year trucks last year for the same problem.. ...Read Full Story

Deadline Soon For Home Heating Assistance

Time is running out to apply for the Michigan Home Heating Credit this year. The deadline is September 30, and Consumers Energy spokesperson Brian Wheeler tells us thousands of Michigan residents who might quality for that home heating assistance may be missing out. He says people shouldn’t be reluctant to apply.. ...Read Full Story

New Anti-Crime Effort In Benton Harbor

“Stop the violence, stop the silence.” That’s the message from Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad as he and other community leaders spearhead a new initiative to reduce violent crime in the city. At a Thursday press conference, Muhammad stood with police and church leaders to appeal for unity in Benton Harbor.. ...Read Full Story

Grant Application Mistake Addressed By Berrien County Board

A massive project to clean up Ox Creek in Benton Township and Benton Harbor will continue with grant money from the state after the Berrien County commission approved a resolution to protect the county from being stuck holding the bag if the Department of Environmental Quality demanded any money back. The DEQ approved a grant of $743,000, but it was later discovered the Drain Commissioner’s office used the county’s tax ID number by mistake on the application. Drain Commissioner Christopher Quattrin said Ox Creek is the dirtiest creek in the county, and one of the dirtiest in the state, adding there are several things their project will address.. ...Read Full Story