Local News Archives

Lawmaker Slams Gas Tax Proposal

State Representative Beth Griffin says there’s zero chance the Michigan House will approve the 45 cent gas tax increase proposed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. We asked the Republican lawmaker from Mattawan what should be done to raise money for fixing the roads. Griffin says state leaders need to get creative instead of jacking up taxes.. ...Read Full Story

Skywarn Training This Week

Registrations are now being taken for Skywarn training in Berrien County. The Berrien County Office of Emergency Management says Skywarn is a program that teaches anyone how to spot signs of severe weather. The volunteers then become spotters for the National Weather Service to warn communities about impending dangers. In Berrien County, Skywarn training is offered through a partnership with the National Weather Service Northern Indiana Office. Right now, there are more than 330 active spotters registered in Berrien County alone. The next Skywarn training event will be this Wednesday in Berrien Springs. It runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. You can register for it right here.. ...Read Full Story

Report: Police Grow Facial Image Database

From the Associated Press — A newspaper reports the Michigan State Police’s Statewide Network of Agency Photos has grown to nearly 50 million facial images. The Detroit Free Press reports the Secretary of State’s Office has been giving state police its digital photos since 1998 and state police started using facial recognition technology in 2001. Those include ones taken for driver’s licenses or ID cards. The newspaper reports the database also can include social media images if police obtained them as part of a criminal investigation. State police spokeswoman Shanon Banner says in an email all of the agency’s facial examiners are trained by the FBI and any matches between suspect photos and database photos “only provide ‘investigative leads’ back to the investigating agencies.” She says the photos “are never considered to be positive identification.”. ...Read Full Story

State Warns Of Healthcare Data Breach

From the Associated Press — Hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents potentially affected by a health care data breach are being urged to take extra precautions about their personal information. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Department of Insurance and
Financial Services Director Anita Fox on Monday issued a warning about the breach involving Detroit-based Wolverine Solutions Group.
The breach was discovered last year. Information of more than 600,000 in Michigan may have been affected, including customers of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Health Alliance Plan, McLaren Health Care, Three Rivers Health and North Ottawa Community Health System. Wolverine Solutions Group says it mailed letters to all impacted individuals. The company says compromised information could include names, addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers, insurance contract information and numbers, phone numbers and medical information.. ...Read Full Story

Indiana Michigan Power Announces Program For Electric Vehicles

Indiana Michigan Power is launching a new program for the owners of electric cars to save money on charging them. It says those customers can now get lower rates by charging their vehicles during off-peak hours using a sub-meter. The sub meter would be connected to a customer’s electrical panel and reduce the amount of equipment needed, possibly lowering installation costs. I&M tells us the Michigan Public Service Commission has approved the program, allowing customers to have only the electric car charging equipment on time-of-day-rates while still being billed under one account. The affected customers would receive a bill credit when charging their vehicles on nights and weekends. I&M is also offering to install the first 250 sub-meters for free. You can find out more right here.. ...Read Full Story

Upton, Stabenow Rip Trump’s Proposed Great Lakes Funding Cut

For the third straight year, President Trump’s proposed budget includes steep cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The funding was zeroed out in his first two budgets, only to be restored by Michigan’s congressional delegation. Senator Debbie Stabenow says the new budget proposal slashes the GLRI by 90%. She is predicting that just like the past two years, Michiganders will speak up and push back against the cuts.. ...Read Full Story

Cass County Semi Crash Under Investigation

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the crash of a semi in Newberg Township. Deputies say the driver, 50-year-old Katherine Aris of Ypsilanti, fell asleep behind the wheel just before 6 Sunday morning on M-60 and crashed on the side of the road. The wreck resulted in around 100 gallons of fuel and oil being spilled. Aris was wearing her seatbelt and was taken to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo to be treated for her injuries. She was headed to Detroit at the time of the accident.. ...Read Full Story

Non-Discrimination Ordinance Up For Final Approval By St. Joe City Commission

A non-discrimination ordinance with specific protections for the LGBTQ community is on the agenda for final approval tonight by the St. Joseph City Commission. Slight changes have been made since the first reading of the NDO two weeks ago. If approved, which is expected, the city will become the 45th local government in the state to enact such an ordinance as state lawmakers have been reluctant for decades to expand Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to make it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The OutCenter is hopeful the new St. Joseph ordinance will spur other local governments in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties to enact similar measures.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmaker Aims For More CTE Training

A three-bill legislative package has been introduced in the Michigan House aimed at allowing high school students more flexibility to pursue career and technical training. State Representative Beth Griffin of Mattawan tells WSJM News her piece of the package is a bill to let high school students take computer science instead of certain electives. Griffin says young people should have options to receive an education suited to their career goals.. ...Read Full Story

City Approves Creek Cleanup Easements

Benton Harbor City Commissioners have agreed to grant easements to the Berrien County Drain Commissioner for city-owned properties along Ox Creek. At Monday’s meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Duane Seats said the move was the first step toward allowing a wide-ranging cleanup of the Ox Creek drain system.. ...Read Full Story

State Police Warn About Elder Abuse

More than 500,000 elderly Americans experience abuse each year, and that’s why Michigan State Police are reminding everyone of the warning signs. MSP Trooper Holly Higgs of the Niles post tells WSJM News the abuse isn’t always physical, as she once saw with a case in Niles.. ...Read Full Story

BH Water Filter Distribution Continues

The Berrien County Health Department says it will continue to provide water filters to residents of Benton Harbor as the city works to rid itself of lead issues. Health Department spokesperson Gillian Conrad tells WSJM News they’ve given out nearly 1,700 of the filters so far this year, and will make the filters and their cartridges available in a variety of locations on a regular schedule moving forward.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Reveals Next Move

Former state Senator John Proos is ready to talk about what he’s doing next. Proos left office last year after 14 years in Michigan government. He told WSJM News on Monday he’s started a consulting firm intended to help businesses and other organizations solve government problems.. ...Read Full Story

Push Continues For Auto Insurance Reform

The Insurance Alliance of Michigan says now is the time for auto insurance reform. Director Tricia Kinley tells us the issue has attracted support from state lawmakers of both parties, and she’s optimistic this time. Kinley says the unlimited medical benefits included in policies is responsible for Michigan having the highest premiums of all the states. She says there also needs to be a fee schedule for crash-related medical treatment.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Agencies Receive Donated Emergency Kits

A citizen-led initiative has meant the donation of 22 kits for treating serious bleeding emergencies to South Haven Area Emergency Services and the South Haven Police Department. South Haven Area Emergency Services tells us the kits will now be placed in every city police and fire vehicle. The kits were bought thanks to a fundraiser organized by resident Sandy Fenske. Emergency Services Chief Ron Wise says local ambulances already have the needed equipment, but may not always be the first to arrive on scene. The new kits include a tourniquet, pressure dressing, compressed gauze for an uncontrolled bleeding wound, scissors, and protective gloves. Police Chief Natalie Thompson says the kits allow for a much more robust supply of lifesaving equipment for first responders.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Planning Sesquicentennial Celebration

Plans are underway in South Haven for the city’s sesquicentennial. It was 150 years ago in 1869 that South Haven became a village. Groups of community leaders have been meeting in recent months to discuss celebration possibilities. The official kickoff is planned for May 10th with a community picnic and other activities at Stanley Johnston Park, but the event is still in the planning stages. Visit southhaven.org/150 for historical information and planned events.. ...Read Full Story

Pokagon Band Honors Dowagiac Man

A Dowagiac man has been honored by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Elders Council for his efforts to help the community. Brian Antisdel, a Pokagon citizen, received an eagle feather at a recent ceremony led by a spiritual elder. Antisdel is well-known in the community for delivering food and water to residents, paying for negative lunch balances at the middle school, and distributing heaters to schools. He’s also delivered water to Flint and helped with safety and management during the pipeline protest at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. Elders Council Chair Judy Winchester says Antisdel “has chosen a path consistent with the Seven Grandfather teachings of the Pokagon Band.” The eagle feather is an honor given to those who demonstrate strength, bravery, or act in alignment with traditional teachings.. ...Read Full Story

Consulting Firm Talks Turnaround Plan With School Board

A consulting firm out of Southfield that has helped Detroit Public Schools Community District reduce student losses could soon be helping Benton Harbor Area Schools do the same. Eric Foster with Banks and Company told school board trustees at a Thursday meeting the district needs to adopt a five-year turnaround plan that focuses on outreach and appealing to the community. That’s as the board looks to improve enrollment numbers and overcome debt. Foster said the public needs to be kept informed.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien Road Plan Now Online

The new three-year asset management plan of the Berrien County Road Department is now online. The plan covers all aspects of the road agency’s resources and lays out improvement plans for the roads over the next three years. Department Director Jason Latham told us last month this is all to ensure good planning.. ...Read Full Story

Advocates Seek More Great Lakes Funding

From the Associated Press — Advocacy groups are lobbying Congress to pump more money into programs to protect Great Lakes water quality. More than 100 representatives of organizations in the region are in Washington, D.C., this week for an annual gathering in support of funding for Great Lakes priorities such as toxic pollution cleanups and fighting invasive species. The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition organizes the trip. Policy Director Chad Lord says a high priority this year is boosting federal investment in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. The coalition wants at least $8.6 billion for the purpose, which is three times the current spending level. It also seeks $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and $3.8 million for work at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Illinois to block invasive Asian carp.. ...Read Full Story

State Rep Proposes Keeping Michigan On Standard Time

Michigan would stay on Eastern Standard Time year round and ditch the twice-annual time change under a bill from a northern Michigan lawmaker. Representative Michele Hoitenga is proposing the change, which would make the state the third to not observe Daylight Saving Time along with Arizona and Hawaii. If she’s successful, we’d be on the same time as New York for the winter, but when everyone else springs forward, Michigan would be on the same clock as Chicago and Central time. It would eliminate 10:30 pm sunsets on Lake Michigan and also end what Hoitenga calls an “antiquated” and “impractical” practice. Her bill has been sent off to the House Commerce and Tourism Committee, where it might sit until the clock expires on this session next year.. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Commission Votes No Confidence In City Manager

No specific reasons were laid out for the resolution, but the Benton Harbor City Commission has voted “no confidence” in City Manager Darwin Watson. At a hastily-called special meeting Thursday which was unable to be attended by Watson or Mayor Marcus Muhammad, Commissioner Ronald Singleton put forth the no confidence motion over the objection of Mayor Pro Tem Duane Seats.. ...Read Full Story

County Affirms Support For Recreation Projects

When Berrien County communities seek grants to improve parks, they’ll have support from the Berrien County Board of Commissioners. At this week’s meeting, the board approved a resolution stating its backing for those projects on the grounds that they are good for the health of residents. County Administrator Bill Wolf said it was a broad action covering all areas of the county. Commissioner Mamie Yarborugh said it can give a community a boost when they’re pursuing a recreation grant. The board’s resolution was approved unanimously. It came on the same day the Michigan House approved the latest list of grant recommendations from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board. The county commission’s resolution notes such support from the board is often sought by local municipalities.. ...Read Full Story

Board Votes To Borrow Operating Funds, Talks Turnaround

The Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education is looking to turn the school district around, and it took the first step at a meeting on Thursday. Last week, the board was told it’s facing a possible payless payday in June if it doesn’t seek a Tax Anticipation Note, borrowing operating funds against expected tax revenue. The board approved the TAN Thursday. Trustee Joseph Taylor told WSJM News talk about there being a crisis in the district is overblown.. ...Read Full Story

Help Coming In For Stevensville Woman Facing Home Loss

A Stevensville woman who has been seeking to avoid tax foreclosure while being treated for breast cancer is getting some of the help she needs. Shannon O’Brien came to Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski in December when she learned her property could be foreclosed due to unpaid taxes from 2016. The mother five, including triplets, is a nurse who has been going through chemotherapy for stage 3 breast cancer. Witkowski tells WSJM News he was able to use money donated to the Hopeful Home Fund to pay off her 2016 taxes.. ...Read Full Story

Possible Changes For Weko Beach

Weko Beach in Bridgman could soon be seeing some changes. For one, Bridgman Parks and Recreation Director Joan Guilfoyle tells WSJM News the beach could be going back to the policy stating dogs are not allowed on part of the beach while on their way to Warren Dunes State Park next door.. ...Read Full Story

House Approves List Of Recommended Parks Grants

A list of recreation and parks projects recommended for state grants by the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board has been approved by the state House. Thursday’s vote moves the list of grants on to the Michigan Senate. Among the 60 projects statewide that are included in the list is $2.4 million to acquire 42 acres for the Grand Beach Nature Preserve in Berrien County. It will be used to develop a trail system. State Representative Brad Paquette says “Grand Beach Nature Preserve is already a great part of our community,” and the acquisition will make it better for tourism. Also included in the latest list of grants is $534,000 to add another 126 acres to the Cornish State Game Area in Van Buren County. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is made up of money acquired by the development of minerals on state land. Each year, those dollars go to recreation projects all over the state.. ...Read Full Story

Road Agencies Enacting Weight Restrictions

The Berrien County Road Department and the Van Buren County Road Commission will implement seasonal weight restrictions to try to protect the roads from damage as the spring arrives. Van Buren County Road Commission Engineer-Manager Larry Hummel tells WSJM News when there has been an extended period of freezing weather, frost builds up under the road. As it thaws from surface on down, the road up top is in danger.. ...Read Full Story

Senate Majority Leader Slams Whitmer Tax Proposal

From the Associated Press — A top Republican lawmaker is strongly criticizing Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s proposal to raise taxes on some businesses while providing relief to retirees and low-income workers. Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said Wednesday that “taking actions like that would be doubling down on stupid.” The Democratic governor outlined the tax overhaul in her budget Tuesday. It’s
an attempt to reverse parts of a tax rewrite enacted by her Republican predecessor. Shirkey says Michigan shouldn’t return to “old” tax policies and must stay focused “on what we’ve been doing the last eight years.” He also says drivers cannot “absorb” Whitmer’s proposed 45-cents-a-gallon fuel tax hike, though he agrees $2.5 billion is needed to fix the roads. Whitmer says the business tax increase would offset lost revenue from aiding seniors and low-wage workers.. ...Read Full Story

Sturgis Man Guilty Of Felonious Assault For Stabbing Vandalia Man

Jealousy over a woman is at the heart of a stabbing in Cass County. Jurors have convicted 45-year-old Michael Johnson of Sturgis on two felony assault charges for stabbing a 51-year-old Vandalia man, who is the father of his step-grandchild. During the trial, jurors learned both Johnson and the victim were romantically involved with the suspect’s stepdaughter, and the attack stemmed from that love triangle. A first responder testified the knife was driven so deep into the victim’s back near his spine that pliers were needed to remove it. Johnson faces up to 28 years in prison when he’s sentenced on April 5.. ...Read Full Story

Stevensville Woman Battling Cancer Looks To Avoid Foreclosure

A Stevensville woman with stage 3 breast cancer is struggling to keep her home, and there are ways you can help. Shannon O’Brien owes on her property taxes, and Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski is working with her to pay it off. He tells WSJM News the Hopeful Home Fund, set up with the United Way of Southwest Michigan, will be used to help Shannon get caught up. In addition, a GoFundMe campaign has been started to help Shannon out. Shannon is a working mom with five kids, three of them triplets, and Witkowski says the fund set up with United Way is intended for exactly this type of situation. He tells us any donations made to the Hopeful Home Fund through the United Way of Southwest Michigan will go to paying off Shannon’s tax bill moving forward. Anyone who wants to help can contact the United Way of Southwest Michigan. Or, you can give to the GoFundMe campaign.. ...Read Full Story

Woman Hit, Killed By Alleged Drunk Driver In Buchanan

Michigan State Police are investigating the death of a 36-year-old Benton Harbor woman in Buchanan. She was hit and killed by a truck while trying to cross Red Bud Trail near Howe Lane just after 9 pm Wednesday. The driver of the truck, a 65-year-old Buchanan man, is in the Berrien County Jail on a charge of drunk driving causing death. His blood alcohol level has not been released, nor have any names. Troopers tell WSJM News the man stayed on the scene of the crash.. ...Read Full Story

EPA: 2017 Vehicle Mileage Increased Slightly

From the Associated Press — The Environmental Protection Agency says the average gas mileage for the fleet of U.S. new vehicles rose slightly in 2017 to a record 24.9 mpg. But an environmental group says the 0.2 mpg increase fell short of the 1 mpg jump required under Obama-era rules. The EPA says in a statement that the performance raises concerns about the industry’s ability to meet, in a cost-effective way, future requirements put in place by the Obama administration. The EPA has proposed freezing the standards at 2021 levels through 2026. The EPA says automakers met the Obama-era standards. But the Safe Climate Campaign says that happened only because the companies used zero-emissions vehicle and other credits for technology not measured in EPA mileage tests.. ...Read Full Story

Farming For The Future Conference This Month

The Van Buren Conservation District is taking registrations for its annual Farming for the Future conference, which is set for this month. The district’s Colleen Forestieri tells WSJM News the day-long events are intended to help local growers learn about environmentally-responsible methods they could be using.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Backs Resolution To Curb Emergency Declarations

A bi-partisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. House is backing a resolution intended to reduce the use of national emergency declarations by presidents. Among the co-sponsors of the plan is Congressman Fred Upton, who tells WSJM News this amendment to the National Emergencies Act would require the approval of Congress when a declaration is declared. The move is inspired by President Trump’s recent emergency declaration.. ...Read Full Story

Sheriff To Be Honored By Boy Scouts

Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey is being honored by the Boy Scouts of America with the organization’s Soaring Eagle and Good Turn awards this week. The LaSalle Council of the Boy Scouts tells us the awards are given to individuals whose leadership in business, industry, government, education, or other endeavors have “contributed significantly to the growth and vitality to their community.” Bailey served as a police officer for 39 years before being elected sheriff in 2001. The Boy Scouts write during this time “he has supported the youth in the community by sponsoring the Exploring Post 602” in Benton Harbor. The sheriff will get his awards tonight (thursday) at Lake Michigan College’s Bertrand Crossing Campus in Niles.. ...Read Full Story

Agency Boosts Funding For Recycling Projects

From the Associated Press — Michigan officials say they’re stepping up financial support for recycling infrastructure projects. The state Department of Environmental Quality says it’s boosting available funding for grants from $500,000 to $3.7 million and is extending the deadline for applications to May 1. The DEQ originally announced the grant opportunity last November in support of the state’s goals of increasing the recycling rate and ensuring convenient recycling access by supporting development of infrastructure for the purpose. Local and tribal government agencies, nonprofits, school districts, colleges and regional planning agencies are among those eligible to seek funding of up to $1 million. Application information is available online .. ...Read Full Story

Mall Enters Tax Payment Plan

Despite bad news this week about the JC Penney closing, the new owners of the Orchard Mall in Benton Township have been working to turn things around on the tax front. Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells WSJM News the mall is now signed on to a payment plan for its 2017 property taxes. That’s after the mall owners paid off the 2016 taxes last month.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Man Killed In Crash

One person is dead following a crash in Van Buren County on Wednesday morning. South Haven Area Emergency Services tells us it responded to the scene along County Road 687 about 10:30 a.m. A car driven by a 30-year-old South Haven man had been southbound when it left the road, traveled for hundreds of feet, and then hit a tree. Responders had to use the Jaw of Life to pull the driver out. He was taken to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo where he was pronounced dead. The name of the driver has not been released, and the crash remains under investigation by the by the Van Buren Sheriff’s Department.. ...Read Full Story

Man Arrested For Stealing Ambulance, Leading Police On Chase

Police have a 35-year-old man jailed after he allegedly stole an ambulance and led police on a 90-plus mile-per-hour chase for several miles on I-94. The Three Oaks Ambulance was swiped from the Panera Bread parking lot on Niles Road at I-94 Wednesday afternoon when the crew stopped for lunch after taking a patient to Spectrum Lakeland Hospital. Baroda-Lake Township police spotted the ambulance headed west on the highway and gave chase, with Pokagon Tribal Police deploying stop sticks to blow out one of the front tires. The suspect ditched the ambulance in the parking lot of a church on US-12 and was caught after trying to run away. He is also jailed with a “hold” from the U.S. Department of Justice, but police aren’t releasing those details.. ...Read Full Story

Citizens Donate Emergency Kits To South Haven Agencies

A citizen-led initiative has meant the donation of 22 kits for treating serious bleeding emergencies to South Haven Area Emergency Services and the South Haven Police Department. South Haven Area Emergency Services tells us the kits will now be placed in every city police and fire vehicle. The kits were bought thanks to a fundraiser organized by resident Sandy Fenske. Emergency Services Chief Ron Wise says local ambulances already have the needed equipment, but may not always be the first to arrive on scene. The new kits include a tourniquet, pressure dressing, compressed gauze for an uncontrolled bleeding wound, scissors, and protective gloves. Police Chief Natalie Thompson says the kits allow for a much more robust supply of lifesaving equipment for first responders.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Opposing Democratic Campaign Plan

Congressman Fred Upton has concerns about a Democratic election reform plan set for a House vote this week. Among other things, House Resolution 1 would establish automatic voter registration, set up a non-partisan redistricting commission, and impose stricter campaign finance rules. Upton tells WSJM News another thing it would do is allow some matching funds for congressional campaigns. He thinks that would create a mess.. ...Read Full Story

Commissioners, Mayor Clash Over Resolution

Late last year, the Benton Harbor City Commission approved a resolution to update its procedures to allow for motions from the floor and rule suspensions at the will of the majority. However, that change has not taken effect due to objections from the city attorney. Last month, we reported Commissioner Juanita Henry has sought clarity and expressed frustration with Mayor Marcus Muhammad over the matter, and that hasn’t changed. At Monday’s meeting, she proposed a protest resolution, which the mayor rejected. Muhammad said he’s following the proper rules of order, adding no one wants a return to the days of surprise commission votes.. ...Read Full Story

Insurance Group Optimistic About Chances For Auto Reforms

The Insurance Alliance of Michigan says now is the time for auto insurance reform. Director Tricia Kinley tells us the issue has attracted support from state lawmakers of both parties, and she’s optimistic this time. Kinley says the unlimited medical benefits included in policies is responsible for Michigan having the highest premiums of all the states. She says there also needs to be a fee schedule for crash-related medical treatment.. ...Read Full Story

Bills Intended To Encourage CTE Training

A three-bill legislative package has been introduced in the Michigan House aimed at allowing high school students more flexibility to pursue career and technical training. State Representative Beth Griffin of Mattawan tells WSJM News her piece of the package is a bill to let high school students take computer science instead of certain electives. Griffin says young people should have options to receive an education suited to their career goals.. ...Read Full Story

One Killed In Southwest Michigan Crash

One person has died in a series of crashes and pileups on western Michigan roads amid blowing snow and slick pavement. Michigan State Police say one person was killed in a crash on US-131 in Allegan County about 7:40 a.m. that left northbound lanes closed for about two hours. The victim’s name wasn’t immediately released. The National Weather Service says more than 3 inches of snow was measured in the county Tuesday morning. It issued a winter weather advisory for several West Michigan counties for periodic snow showers through 7 p.m. Tuesday, including Van Buren County. State police also say a pileup on I-96 collected as many as 12 vehicles. The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office says I-94 was closed in both directions near Kalamazoo at one point.. ...Read Full Story

Illinois Man Jailed In Berrien County After Police Chase

An Illinois man is in the Berrien County Jail after a police chase in northern Indiana and southern Berrien County. Indiana officers were chasing 33-year-old Mark Jenkins of Blue Island in LaPorte County and as they were turning around in New Buffalo at Exit 1, they saw he had crashed into a sign post in front of the McDonald’s. Jenkins got away from that scene and allegedly stole a pickup truck before being caught by a Grand Beach police officer at a car wash in the city of New Buffalo around 10 a.m. today. Along with Hobart police and the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office in Indiana, Grand Beach, New Buffalo, Pokagon Tribal police and the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department were involved in making the arrest.. ...Read Full Story

Former State Rep., Budget Director Al Pscholka Analyzes Whitmer Budget Proposal

Former state Representative Al Pscholka of Stevensville is one of the most qualified people in Michigan to break down Governor Whitmer’s budget proposal, as he served as the House Appropriations Committee chairman and as budget director for Governor Snyder after leaving the House. Pscholka talked to WSJM News about several aspects of the budget, first and foremost being the fuel tax increase proposal. He says Governor Whitmer is “trying to put down a marker here” with the thought roads are a $2.5 billion annual expense.. ...Read Full Story

Governor Whitmer Unveils Budget Proposal With Fuel Tax Hike

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is laying things out bluntly regarding the state’s crumbling roads and struggling educational system. In revealing her proposed budget before a joint session of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, Whitmer says 78% of the state’s roads are rated at good to excellent condition, well below the industry standard of 90%. She says it will take $2.5 billion more than what is currently being spent to get to the 90% level.. ...Read Full Story

City Manager Praises Staff For Quick Sinkhole Response

Benton Harbor City Manager Darwin Watson is saluting city staff for their quick work to fix a sinkhole that caught a school bus last week. On Friday, the First Student bus carrying Berrien RESA students got stuck in the sinkhole on Highland Avenue near Hall Park. At Monday’s city commission meeting, Watson said public safety officers and the DPW got the kids off the bus, the bus out of the hole, and then addressed the broken water line that caused the sinkhole.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Starts Consulting Business

Former state Senator John Proos is ready to talk about what he’s doing next. Proos left office last year after 14 years in Michigan government. He told WSJM News on Monday he’s started a consulting firm intended to help businesses and other organizations solve government problems.. ...Read Full Story