Local News Archives

Upton Repeats Call To End Partial Gov’t Shutdown

Eight Republicans in the U.S. House joined with Democrats last week to approve legislation to reopen the federal government without including any money for President Trump’s border wall as a first step to end the partial shutdown. As we reported then, Congressman Fred Upton was among them, and he was the only Republican from Michigan to do so. He says it’s time to move on.. ...Read Full Story

Two Hurt In Bainbridge Crash

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a two vehicle head-on crash in Bainbridge Township Wednesday that left one of the drivers trapped in their vehicle. The department tells us it happened just before 5:30 p.m at Napier Avenue and Arent Road. The driver of a Nissan Sentra crossed the center line and struck a GMC Sierra pick-up. The pick-up then left the road and hit a utility pole, breaking the pole in half. The driver of the Nissan Sentra had to be freed from their vehicle by first responders and was then taken to Lakeland Hospital. The driver of the pick-up was also taken there. Police believe alcohol was a factor, and the names have not yet been released. American Electric Power was brought in to replace the utility pole. The crash caused traffic in the area to be re-routed for several hours.. ...Read Full Story

New County Commissioner Talks Priorities

New Berrien County Commissioner Bob Harrison is ready to get to work now that he’s been sworn in. Harrison, the former president of Lake Michigan College and now county commissioner for the Seventh District, told Moody in the Morning Wednesday he sees the declining population as a major problem for Berrien County.. ...Read Full Story

Meth Ring Busted In Southwest Michigan

A major meth ring has been busted in Kalamazoo. Michigan State Police tell us after a six month investigation also involving federal and local detectives, it was found the drug trafficking organization had delivered more than 400 pounds of methamphetamine from California to Kalamazoo in the past two years. On Tuesday of this week, the Southwest Enforcement Team got information that another shipment was on the way. Officers were able to intercept it, finding 27 pounds of ice hidden in a vehicle. Officers from SWET, the DEA, and troopers from the Michigan State Police Paw Paw post then executed a search warrant in Kalamazoo, finding two men in their 50s — one from Kalamazoo and one from California — who were taken into custody. While this was going on, officers in California found another 30 pounds of meth. The case is now being turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Grand Rapids, who will be working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in California to prosecute.. ...Read Full Story

BH Schools Lead Work About Finished

All but one of the water fixtures in need of replacement due to lead at Benton Harbor Area Schools have now been replaced. That word at this week’s district CEO meeting. Benton Harbor Area Schools had the water at all of the district’s facilities tested for lead after recent issues in the community and announced in November five fixtures were found to exceed the federal action level of 15 parts per billion. In addition, the district applied the stricter state standard of five parts per billion, finding a total of 20 fixtures above that. It then announced it would replace all of them. 19 are done. The one that has yet to be replaced requires some electric work as well, causing the delay. The district COO said at Tuesday’s CEO meeting that work is slated to be completed this Thursday.. ...Read Full Story

State Announces Blight Elimination Grants

From the Associated Press — Blight elimination funding is available for land banks and governmental units in Michigan counties with fewer than 50,000 people. The Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority says the Michigan Rural Community Demolition grants are designed to help communities remove vacant and abandoned structures from neighborhoods to prepare the areas for developments that spark business investment and provide good jobs. The maximum award per proposal is $50,000 and can be used toward dealing with vacant and abandoned, blighted commercial or residential structures. Proposals will be evaluated based on their anticipated impact in promoting
public safety, enhancing economic development, public and private investment in the project and alignment with the community vision or other place-making efforts. Applications will be accepted until 2 p.m. on February 15.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmakers Look To Reform Civil Forfeiture Laws

From the Associated Press — Republicans and Democrats in the Michigan House want to make it tougher for law enforcement to take ownership of property seized in drug cases that don’t result in convictions. The first bills introduced in the 100th Legislature Wednesday relate to asset forfeiture. Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield joined Democrats, including Attorney General Dana Nessel, to back the legislation. One bill would prohibit prosecutors from permanently confiscating assets thought to be associated with criminal activity unless a defendant is convicted of a drug crime, has entered into a plea agreement or no one claims any interest in the assets. The measure wouldn’t apply in seizures of property and cash worth more than $50,000, excluding the value of contraband. The House passed similar legislation last year, but it died in the Senate.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren District Library To Host Smithsonian Exhibit This Year

The Smithsonian is bringing a traveling exhibit to Van Buren County this year. The Van Buren District Library’s Kay McAdam tells us the Decatur branch will host “Main Street’s Crossroads: Change in Rural America” this fall. It’s one of six locations in Michigan to be selected as a site for the display. It’s all about how small towns became centers of commerce, trade, local politics, and culture in the United States. McAdam says they also have to put together locally-relevant programs.. ...Read Full Story

School CEO Hopes To Meet With Board Of Education Next Week

A meeting of the Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education could take place next week as district CEO Robert Herrera aims to work more closely with trustees on a vision for the district. After Tuesday’s CEO meeting, Herrera said he’s working to set a meeting date with the board as three new trustees have been elected and another needs to be appointed. He told WSJM News after much organization since he was brought in working under the state, he’d like school board input.. ...Read Full Story

High Schools To Take Part In Driver Safety Campaign

Students at Benton Harbor High School will take soon take part in a driver safety program offered by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning and Ford Motor Company. Strive For a Safer Drive is a peer-led traffic safety campaign that seeks to reduce traffic crashes, the leading cause of death for teens. The Office of Highway Safety Planning announced this week 62 schools statewide have been selected to receive grants of $1,000 to create the driver safety campaign. The top five in the state will get cash prizes ranging from $500 to $1,500. Also among the schools picked for Strive for a Safer Drive is Cassopolis Ross Beatty High School.. ...Read Full Story

Civil Rights Groups Praise Whitmer

Civil rights groups are celebrating a new directive from Governor Gretchen Whitmer that bans discrimination against LGBTQ people who work for the state or its contractors, or who service state properties. The directive specifically forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Erin Knott, with the group Equality Michigan, tells us the move will affect thousands of people.. ...Read Full Story

Coast Guard Begins Ice Breaking Program

From the Associated Press — An annual ice-breaking effort is starting on waterways in and around northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. The U.S. Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie says Operation Taconite commenced Monday in response to expanded ice growth in commercial ports along western Lake Superior and the St. Marys River in the eastern Upper Peninsula. Operation Taconite encompasses Lake Superior, the St. Marys River, the Straits of Mackinac, Georgian Bay, Green Bay, northern Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan. The Coast Guard says that various commercial waterways may close in the coming weeks after due consideration is given to the protection of the marine environment and the safety of island residents who use naturally formed ice bridges to get to and from the mainland.. ...Read Full Story

Guns Stolen In Van Buren County

Police are asking for the public’s help in solving the theft of several guns in Van Buren County this week. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department tells us someone broke into a home in the 63,000 block of 54th Avenue in Hartford Monday. The break-in happened sometime between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Stolen were a shotgun, a muzzleloader, and a 9 millimeter handgun. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department.. ...Read Full Story

Senator Nesbitt To Capitol Office Open House

Newly-elected state Senator Aric Nesbitt and his staff will host an open house at his Lansing office on the first session day of the year tomorrow. Nesbitt will welcome constituents from the 26th District to the Binsfeld Senate Office Building near the Capitol starting at 10 a.m. We asked the former state representative if he was used to the new title of senator.. ...Read Full Story

Gobles Man Arrested For Drunk Driving With 5 Kids In Car

A Gobles man is facing several charges after being caught not only driving while drunk with five kids in the car, but he and a passenger were also still drinking when police found them parked along 6th Avenue in Gobles near M-40. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department says they were called to a park on a report of two adult men who appeared to be drunk while five young children were running around. Deputies found the car about a half-mile away from the park and noticed the children, between the ages of two and seven, were not buckled up and were climbing all over the back seat. The driver was uncooperative and refused all sobriety tests at the scene and also refused to take a breath test after being sent to the jail. Investigators then got a warrant to take the man’s blood. He’s facing five counts of operating while intoxicated – child endangerment, felony resisting and obstructing, and driving with open intoxicants. No names have been released.. ...Read Full Story

Coloma Man Killed Trying To Walk Across I-94

A 33-year-old Coloma man has been killed while trying to cross I-94. Michigan State Police tell us the man was hit and killed around 6:15 Monday evening near mile marker 34 in Benton Township by a 38-year-old Delton woman. Investigators have not yet been able to figure out why the man was walking on the highway. The woman called 9-1-1 to say she thought she had just hit a person, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. There’s no word yet if she will face charges, but she did stay at the scene of the crash.. ...Read Full Story

Watervliet Police Looking For Missing 14-Year-Old Girl

Watervliet police are asking for help finding a missing teenage girl. Jaci Duncan is 14 and has not been seen since around 10 pm on Wednesday, January 2nd and is believed to have run away from home. In a Facebook post, police say they believe she may be with a Dowagiac man named Casey Carter, and add she has a history of running away. Duncan also took her dog with her when she left home. Anyone with information on where she and Carter might be is urged to call Watervliet police.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Forfeits Tuesday Boys Basketball Game Due To Dec. 21 Fight

There will be no varsity boys basketball game Tuesday for the South Haven Rams, as they are forfeiting the contest against Dowagiac. The move stems from the brawl that erupted during the Rams game on December 21 against Paw Paw, during which not only did the benches clear, but spectators also got involved. South Haven Public Schools superintendent Kevin Schooley has released a statement saying the players are being “disciplined consistent with MHSAA and local athletic code guidelines” and adds the team has met with the Paw Paw team to talk about how athletes need to support each other as part of healthy competition.. ...Read Full Story

Kalamazoo Uber Massacre Suspect Pleads Guilty

A man charged with killing 6 people and injuring two other in and around Kalamazoo has pleaded guilty to murder charges. Uber driver Jason Dalton, charged with the shootings in between picking up Uber passengers in 2016, pleaded guilty to all charges in front of a Kalamazoo County judge on Monday, saying he’d wanted to enter the plea for “quite a while.”. ...Read Full Story

Governor Whitmer Issues New LGBT Executive Directive

(Lansing, MI – AP) – Governor Whitmer has signed an executive directive to prohibit discrimination against LGBT people by state government, contractors and others, superseding an order that former Governor Rick Snyder signed just days before leaving office. Whitmer’s directive, like Snyder’s, requires all recipients of state contracts, grants and loans to extend protections to their employees. But hers does not provide an exemption for religious organizations. The Democrat signed the directive Monday at an LGBT community center in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale. It clarifies that employment protections cover all state employees and prohibits discrimination in state services, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. LGBT advocates and civil rights groups are applauding Whitmer’s move.. ...Read Full Story

Bloomingdale Man Charged For September Crash With Horse & Buggy

A crash between a van and a horse and buggy in Van Buren County is resulting in charges for the van driver. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department said over the weekend that 69-year-old Robert Rawson of Bloomingdale Township was charged late last week for the September 11 crash. The horse was killed, and the driver of the buggy suffered critical injuries. Police say Rawson’s van crossed the center line and hit the buggy head-on near the intersection of 46th Street and County Road 388 in Bloomingdale.. ...Read Full Story

SHAES: Report Of Woman Missing In Black River False

There’s word from South Haven Area Emergency Services that the search for a missing woman in the Black River this weekend was all for naught. SHAES officials tell WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids that Van Buren County Undersheriff Chad Hunt located the woman in the woods along the Kal-Haven Trail around 9 a.m. Saturday. After talking to the woman, who first said she was not the person they were looking for, they determined that she was, and she had never fallen into the river. Additionally, the woman hadn’t actually been missing.. ...Read Full Story

Produce Safety Training Offered

The Berrien County Conservation District is taking registrations for a produce safety training session it’s offering for free to those who bring food from the farm to the consumer. This is the first such class it’s offered, and it’s designed to get those workers compliant with federal requirements. Conservation District Produce Safety Technician Victoria Toney tells WSJM News us a good number of people in Berrien County could use the training.. ...Read Full Story

Watch Out For Tax Scams

This is the time of year when tax scams are on the rise. The Michigan Department of Treasury warns scammers are likely to hit at the beginning of the year — right before tax season — so they can get personal information, file fake income tax returns, and steal that money. Spokesperson Ron Leix told Michigan News Network more.. ...Read Full Story

Protective Vest For Van Buren County Police Dog

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department is getting a bullet and stab protective vest for one of its K9s thanks to a donation. Vested Interest in K9s, a group that gives police dogs protective vests throughout the country, is helping to provide Kuno with the duds. The vest is sponsored by Jim and Stephanie Balch of Battle Creek, and will be embroidered with the phrase “This gift of protection provided by the Balch Family.” Kuno is expected to get the vest within ten weeks. Vested Interest in K9s has provided more than 3,200 protective vests to police dogs around the nation.. ...Read Full Story

New Year, New Police Chief For Benton Township

A new year brings a new chief of police for Benton Township. With the retirement of former Chief Vince Fetke, Chief Brian Smit started this week. Smit tells WSJM News he’s excited to move up in the department from the role of detective-lieutenant. He’s been with the Benton Township Police Department since 1996, having previously been an officer in Benton Harbor for two years. He says he wants to engage the community so people know him.. ...Read Full Story

Commission Considers How To Handle Failed Roads

A new failed condition roads policy has been adopted by the Van Buren County Road Commission that has the agency pulverizing and turning into gravel roads that are found not fit to be patched. The road commission tells us it pulverized nine miles of road in 2018 at a cost of about $345,000. It says those were road segments that had failed beyond the point of maintenance. In 2019, seven of those newly-gravel roads will be examined to see if they can be repaved. The Van Buren County Road Commission Board last month adopted the failed road policy after discussing it with township governments. It lays out for staff how to identify a road as failed, and then how the locals affected will be engaged as a decision is made about it. The Van Buren County Road Commission says $1.2 million of its budget in 2017 was spent on fixing potholes. It’s hoping the new policy will help it to be more efficient.. ...Read Full Story

Big Grant For SWM Job Training

Kinexus has helped to secure a $1.9 million grant for southwest Michigan businesses to train workers. The money comes from the state’s Going Pro Talent Fund to help 43 local employers enhance their staff. Kinexus Director of Business Solutions Jeff Hannan tells WSJM News the money will supplement the cost for more than 1,600 workers to upgrade their skills in the manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality fields.. ...Read Full Story

Strong Attendance For SWM Lawmakers In 2018

The state lawmakers who represented southwest Michigan in Lansing during the most recent legislative session get gold stars for attendance. According to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s annual report on missed votes by lawmakers, former state Senator John Proos, former state Representatives Kim LaSata and Dave Pagel, and state Representative Beth Griffin missed zero votes in 2018. Former state Senator Tonya Schuitmaker missed 24 out of more than 1,600 roll calls taken in the Senate. The Mackinac Center’s Jack McHugh tells WSJM News the organization started tracking missed votes in 2003.. ...Read Full Story

Crews Search River For Woman

Police are looking for a woman who reportedly fell into the Black River in South Haven Township early Saturday. South Haven Area Emergency Services tells us it scoured the water after getting a report that a female had fallen into the river along the Kal-Haven Trail near 73rd Street around 3:25 a.m. The incident was reported by a male companion. The South Haven Police Department and Van Buren County Sheriff Department also joined in the search. The incident remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Treasurers Watching State Foreclosure Suit

A property foreclosure lawsuit headed to the Michigan Supreme Court is being watched closely by county treasurers across the state. That includes Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski, who tells us the results in the Oakland County case could affect Berrien “big time.” The suit is from a Southfield man who lost a property due to an unpaid tax bill of less than $9. Oakland County took the property and then sold it for $24,000. The man says he should get the proceeds that go above the tax bill. Witkowski tells WSJM News he understands, but it’s that extra revenue from foreclosure sales that pay for demolitions of abandoned buildings.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien Springs Lawmaker Ready To Get To Work

78th District Michigan Representative Brad Paquette is ready to get to work in Lansing. The Berrien Springs Republican was just elected in November, and tells us he looks forward to the start of the 100th Michigan Legislature on Wednesday. He wants residents in southern Berrien County to know his door and phone line are open.. ...Read Full Story

Credit Union Offers Help To Those Affected By Government Shutdown

A local credit union is offering a little help to members who are federal government employees affected by the shutdown. United Federal Credit Union tells us it’s offering those folks installment loan deferments and waiving the penalty for early withdrawals on share certificates, among other things. Chief Marketing Officer Erin Hennessy tells WSJM News they want those affected by the partial government shutdown to know something.. ...Read Full Story

This Is Blood Donor Month

The American Red Cross is asking everyone to make a New Year’s resolution to give blood. It’s scheduled several blood drives around southwest Michigan in the coming weeks. January is National Blood Donor Month, which the Red Cross says is appropriate because January is one of the slowest months of the year for blood donation. All those who come to donate by January 6 will get a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt while supplies last. You can schedule an appointment at RedCross.org or by using the Red Cross phone app. There’s also 1-800-RED CROSS.. ...Read Full Story

Man Charged In Death Of Child

A man accused of murdering a child in Cass County in October of 2016 has been arrested and arraigned. The Cass County Prosecutor’s Office tells us 47-year-old Lance Aaron Reeves of St. Joseph has pleaded not guilty to a charge of open murder and three charges of child abuse in the death of Savannah Gardner in Silver Creek Township. Reeves was arrested Thursday at a home in Hartford by the Michigan State Police Fugitive Apprehension Team. The prosecutor says Reeves is accused of repeatedly shaking Gardner and breaking her back. Charges in the case were authorized on December 21. Bond was denied to Reeves during Friday’s arraignment.. ...Read Full Story

Congresswoman Tlaib Makes Waves With Profanity Against President

Comments from freshman Detroit Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib are not sitting well with other members of the Democratic Party in Washington. Tlaib said this to loud cheers Thursday night regarding President Trump: “When your son looks at you and says ‘momma, look, you won. Bullies don’t win.’ And I said ‘baby, they don’t.’ Because we’re gonna go in there, and we’re gonna impeach the motherf—er.” Tlaib received a large cheer from those gathered around her at that remark, and defended what she said in a Friday tweet saying she will “always speak truth to power.”. ...Read Full Story

Upton Votes To End Government Shutdown, Saying “Enough”

Congressman Fred Upton is breaking from President Trump and hardline Republicans who want to put up a wall along the Mexican border. He is among the GOP members of the House who joined Democrats to approve bills to end the partial federal government shutdown on Thursday. On Twitter, Upton put out a statement saying “enough” but adds “much work remains” to secure the border. The government shut down in late December over the impasse regarding funding for a border wall. President Trump has vowed to veto any measure that does not include $5 billion for a wall, while Democrats and a growing number of Republicans say that it’s time to get the government open again and find other solutions for border security that don’t involve a wall. The bills that passed the House, however, are likely dead-on-arrival in the Senate, where Republican leaders are on Trump’s side.. ...Read Full Story

Conservation District To Offer Produce Safety Training

The Berrien County Conservation District is taking registrations for a produce safety training session it’s offering for free to those who bring food from the farm to the consumer. This is the first such class it’s offered, and it’s designed to get those workers compliant with federal requirements. Conservation District Produce Safety Technician Victoria Toney tells WSJM News us a good number of people in Berrien County could use the training.. ...Read Full Story

State Warns About Tax Scams

This is the time of year when tax scams are on the rise. The Michigan Department of Treasury warns scammers are likely to hit at the beginning of the year — right before tax season — so they can get personal information, file fake income tax returns, and steal that money. Spokesperson Ron Leix told Michigan News Network more.. ...Read Full Story

Road Commission Adopts Failed Roads Policy

A new failed condition roads policy has been adopted by the Van Buren County Road Commission that has the agency pulverizing and turning into gravel roads that are found not fit to be patched. The road commission tells us it pulverized nine miles of road in 2018 at a cost of about $345,000. It says those were road segments that had failed beyond the point of maintenance. In 2019, seven of those newly-gravel roads will be examined to see if they can be repaved. The Van Buren County Road Commission Board last month adopted the failed road policy after discussing it with township governments. It lays out for staff how to identify a road as failed, and then how the locals affected will be engaged as a decision is made about it. The Van Buren County Road Commission says $1.2 million of its budget in 2017 was spent on fixing potholes. It’s hoping the new policy will help it to be more efficient.. ...Read Full Story

Kinexus Secures $1.9 Million For Worker Training

Kinexus has helped to secure a $1.9 million grant for southwest Michigan businesses to train workers. The money comes from the state’s Going Pro Talent Fund to help 43 local employers enhance their staff. Kinexus Director of Business Solutions Jeff Hannan tells WSJM News the money will supplement the cost for more than 1,600 workers to upgrade their skills in the manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality fields.. ...Read Full Story

New Members Of Congress Sworn In

Several new members of Congress have taken the oath of office, some in the Michigan delegation, but it’s all in the midst of a partial federal government shutdown. President Donald Trump and congressional leaders plan to meet again Friday after a meeting Wednesday did not produce an agreement to end the shutdown. Congressman Dan Kildee, of Flint, doesn’t support building President Donald Trump’s wall.. ...Read Full Story

New Chair For Berrien County Commission

There’s a new chair in charge of the Berrien County Board of Commissioners. At Thursday’s organizational meeting of the board, Commissioner R. McKinley Elliott — more commonly known as Mac Elliot — was selected as the new chair. He replaces Jon Hinkelman in the post. Hinkelman had been the chair for six years. Elliot tells WSJM News some priorities moving forward are learning how to do more with less in an environment of static revenues and increased costs. He says he wants the county to be more efficient while still remaining an attractive employer in the face of private competition. He doesn’t expect major changes to how the Berrien County Board of Commissioners functions, telling us he’s not very excitable, except when it involves Notre Dame. Named as the county board’s vice chair Thursday was Commissioner Teri Sue Freehling.. ...Read Full Story

Two Injured In Head-On Crash

Two people had to be freed from the wreckage of their vehicles following a crash in Cass County Wednesday. It happened on M-60 near Calvin Center in Penn Township around 5:30 p.m. The Cass County Sheriff’s Department tells us when deputies arrived, they found the two drivers still trapped in their vehicles. They learned 67-year-old Miguel Guerrero of Stevensville had lost control of his vehicle because of icy conditions. He crossed the center line and crashed head-on into the vehicle of 62-year-old Rebecca Jo Jellison of Cassopolis. The Penn Township Fire Department freed the two drivers from their vehicles, and they were both taken to hospitals. Police have not described the extent of their injuries. The crash remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Highway Drug Bust In Lake Township

Baroda-Lake Township police managed to make a drug bust during a traffic stop on I-94 on Wednesday. The Baroda-Lake Township Police Department tells us Officer John Hopkins stopped a vehicle for speeding on westbound 94 near mile marker 17 around 10:30 a.m. and did a search of the car. During the search, he found crack , while an additional search turned up 24 packets of fentanyl. The suspected drugs were taken to the Berrien County Drug Lab, where they were confirmed. The estimated total street value of the drugs is pegged at $2,500. The driver of the vehicle was taken to the Berrien County Jail on charges of possession of fentanyl, possession of crack cocaine, driving on a suspended license, and having a misdemeanor traffic warrant out of Chikaming Township. The 53-year-old male suspect has not been identified.. ...Read Full Story

Two Meijer Robbery Suspects Apprehended

Two of the suspects in the robbery of the Stevensville Meijer store last month have been arrested. The Lincoln Township Police Department tells us it got a strong lead within the first hour of its investigation of the December 19 incident, and that eventually led to the identification of the three adults and one juvenile involved. Investigators weren’t able to immediately apprehend them because the suspects knew they were being sought. However, on Wednesday of this week, two of the suspects — a woman and the man who had been holding the gun during the robbery — turned themselves in at the Berrien County Courthouse. Police say the weapon used in the robbery turned out to be a CO2 air-soft pistol with no safety markings on it. The names of the suspects are being withheld until they’ve been arraigned. Police were called to the Meijer on Red Arrow Highway in the early morning of December 19 after four suspects — three men and one woman — got away with electronics and other items after being spotted stealing. One of them men pulled a gun on an employee. Lincoln Township police say they got help in the investigation from the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren Sheriff’s K9 Getting Protective Vest

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department is getting a bullet and stab protective vest for one of its K9s thanks to a donation. Vested Interest in K9s, a group that gives police dogs protective vests throughout the country, is helping to provide Kuno with the duds. The vest is sponsored by Jim and Stephanie Balch of Battle Creek, and will be embroidered with the phrase “This gift of protection provided by the Balch Family.” Kuno is expected to get the vest within ten weeks. Vested Interest in K9s has provided more than 3,200 protective vests to police dogs around the nation.. ...Read Full Story