Local News Archives

Grand Opening For Andrews University Observatory Next Week

Andrews University plans to celebrate the completion of its new observatory with a grand opening next week. The observatory was originally built in 1957, and the physics department’s Kelly Youngberg tells WSJM News they’ve rebuilt it to make the dome bigger and automate the shutters, among other things. Andrews makes the observatory available to the public about 30 nights per year.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren Specialty Courts Get $694,000 State Grant

Van Buren County is getting a grant of more than $694,000 to run its specialty courts. The money from the state court administrative office will help continue the county’s drug treatment court, the family treatment court, the Swift and Sure Sanctions Program, and the adult and youth recovery courts. The county has also been awarded a grant to set up a sobriety court for second and third-time drunk driving offenders. Specialty Courts Administrator Rachel Lindley tells WSJM News the programs are designed to help keep some offenders from being stuck in the system indefinitely by giving them extra attention.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joe Fall Festival Underway

Taking place this Saturday downtown is the annual St. Joseph Fall Festival. Everything kicked off Friday with the big bed race down Lake Boulevard, and now St. Joe Today’s Whitney Behnke tells WSJM News Saturday features the St. Joseph Wine Festival and Public Art Auction where you can buy the bug statues that were situated around downtown this summer.. ...Read Full Story

Funeral Held For Slain MI Police Officer

Detroit’s police chief has posthumously promoted a 20-year officer who died five days after being shot while chasing a suspect. Chief James Craig announced the promotion of Sergeant Ken Steil to captain at the end of his funeral Friday at a suburban church. The announcement drew a standing ovation at the packed service. Craig said: “we all love Kenneth Steil.” The husband and father of two sons was nicknamed “Shark” for his diving skills. He was shot in the shoulder and died last Saturday of a blood clot. 21-year-old Marquise Cromer is charged with first-degree murder. Govenor Rick Snyder ordered U.S. and Michigan flags lowered to half-staff Friday in Steil’s honor. A state trooper heading to the funeral was injured when a vehicle struck his motorcycle on a freeway.. ...Read Full Story

WMU Seeking Record For Renewing Marriage Vows

Western Michigan University is lining up hundreds of couples to renew their marriage vows as part of a homecoming weekend record attempt.
The Kalamazoo Gazette reports the school on October 8 is seeking to set a new Guinness World Records mark for the largest vow renewal ceremony. Guinness says the current mark of 1,087 couples was set at Miami University in Ohio in 2009. Western Michigan University is asking couples to register in advance to participate in the group ceremony at the Kalamazoo school’s East Campus. Couples must provide a photocopy of their marriage license. The ceremony will be officiated by Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell. The event will include commemorative photo stations, live music, a wedding cake and a toast.. ...Read Full Story

MI Court Revives Lawsuit Over Allegan Corn Maze

Headed to a haunted corn maze during the Halloween season? Watch your step. The Michigan appeals court has given new life to a lawsuit by a man who broke his leg while trying to get out of a tricky maze at night in western Michigan. The court says the wet path may have been open and obvious to Michael Davis back in 2013. But the court says there’s another liability issue — whether Davis was forced by employees to use that path as his only exit from the Witches of New Salem maze in Allegan County. In an opinion released Friday, the appeals court reversed a decision by a judge who had dismissed the lawsuit. The ruling means Davis can take the case to trial.. ...Read Full Story

Automaker Tesla Sues Michigan Over Dealership Laws

Tesla Motors has sued Governor Rick Snyder and other state officials, challenging a 2014 law that clarified that automakers can only sell through franchised dealerships. The federal lawsuit seeks a declaratory judgment that the “anti-Tesla” law is unconstitutional and an injunction to prevent its enforcement. Tesla says it prefers that legislation be enacted but was told recently by lawmakers that no hearing will be held.. ...Read Full Story