Local News Archives

Lake Superior State University Releases 2018 Banned Words List

The wordsmiths at Lake Superior State University have again released their list of words and phrases the public has grown tired of. The 44th annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use includes “wheelhouse, as in an area of expertise; in the books, as in finished or concluded,” says LSSU’s John Shibley. The list also has on it “wrap my head around, which I was surprised hadn’t been banned before, platform… and this may be a little controversial, collusion.”. ...Read Full Story

Shore Erosion Causes Concern In New Buffalo

Leaders in the New Buffalo area are hoping to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to stop shoreline erosion in the area. This month, Army Corps Major General Mark Toy visited New Buffalo to learn more about the serious need for action. New Buffalo Township Supervisor Michelle Heit spoke with him and tells WSJM News there’s no beach left in her own community and homes are being threatened. She says residents have spent a fortune on revetments to try to protect their properties. ...Read Full Story

Buchanan Event Discontinued

The city of Buchanan has announced it’s discontinuing the winter Thrill on the Hill event. In a statement, the city says due to unpredictable winter weather and the cost to replace and repair equipment needed to put on the event, the “difficult decision” has been made to end it. The annual winter Thrill on the Hill featured sledding down the big hill downtown on snow produced on site. The event was canceled last year due to uncooperative weather. The city says the summer Thrill on the Hill will continue, though. That is slated for the first weekend in August.. ...Read Full Story

Support Affirmed For Pere Marquette Line

As the Michigan Department of Transportation works on a long-term plan for rail service around the state, the Twin Cities Area Transportation Study, or TwinCATS, wants to make sure the Pere Marquette rail line isn’t left in the dust. Southwest Michigan Planning Commission associate planner Ryan Fellows tells WSJM News the TwinCATS committee this month approved a resolution to that end.. ...Read Full Story

Theater Unveiling 2019 Plans

A reveal party for the first season of Benton Harbor’s new GhostLight Theater will be held Sunday. GhostLight Executive Director Martha Hesse told WSJM News Thursday they’ve got big plans for 2019, and all will be announced to donors at Sunday’s shindig.. ...Read Full Story

Financial Literacy, Tax Preparation Events Planned

You can find out how to save thousands on your taxes and get financial advice at Show Me the Money Day, a series of community fairs to be held across the state in January and February. There will be 38 events in all. The first one is January 21 in Sault Saint Marie, but this year there will be ten in the city of Detroit alone, four in Kalamazoo, one in Flint and many more. Brian Rakovitis with the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan tells us the fairs offer valuable advice.. ...Read Full Story

OutCenter Director: Snyder Order “Bittersweet”

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is moving to bar state contractors and the recipients of state grants or loans from discriminating against LGBTQ employees. The Republican, who will leave office next week, issued his directive Friday. It requires all new or amended contracts, grants, or loans to include a covenant stating the recipient will not discriminate against workers or applicants based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Mary Jo Schnell with the OutCenter in Benton Harbor tells WSJM News word of Snyder’s order is “bittersweet.”. ...Read Full Story

Slow Start To Ski Season

With mild weather so far this winter, the skiing season has gotten off to a slow start for most resorts in southwest Michigan. Swiss Valley Ski Area in Jones tells us they usually aim to open the second week of December, but this year, probably won’t be open until next week. Even with snow produced on site, it remains too warm for reliable skiing. Timber Ridge Ski Area near Gobles tells The Herald Palladium much the same. An exception is Bittersweet Ski Area in Otsego. Manager Victor Gayheart tells WSJM News they started making snow in November.. ...Read Full Story

Palisades Back Online Following Refueling Outage

The Palisades nuclear power plant in Van Buren County is back in service following a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage. Palisades tells us control room personnel returned the plant to operation Friday morning. The refueling and maintenance outage started October 28. During the outage, crews replaced about one-third of the fuel in the reactor, and inspected and upgraded hundreds of pipes, pumps, and electrical components. The project took 1,900 professionals, including nearly 1,300 specialist contractors. The work they did was designed to prepare Palisades for operations over the next three and a half years. This was the 26th refueling outage in the plant’s history. Palisades is slated for permanent closure in 2022.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Moves To Bar LGBT Discrimination By State Contractors

From the Associated Press — Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is moving to bar state contractors and the recipients of state grants or loans from discriminating against their LGBT employees. The Republican, who will leave office next week, issued his directive Friday, effective immediately. It requires all new or amended contracts, grants or loans to include a covenant stating that the contractor or recipient will not discriminate against workers or job applicants _ including by considering their sexual orientation or gender identity. Snyder says “it is essential for state government to be a leader in welcoming all people to our state and ensuring that everyone is treated fairly and with
respect.” There is an exception for religious organizations. Civil service rules already prohibit discrimination against LGBT state
employees.. ...Read Full Story

Report: Michigan’s Road Salt Storage Sites Need Work

(Lansing, MI – AP) – About half of Michigan’s road salt storage facilities are in poor condition. The critique comes from the Michigan Department of Transportation and was included Thursday in a report from the state auditor general. Road salt buildings are owned by the counties, but MDOT helps maintain them because a portion of the salt is used on roads controlled by the state. There are 189 county storage sites, and 48% are in poor condition, 41% are good and 11% are fair. The audit report says salt storage facilities can be risky if not structurally sound. There also can be environmental impacts when salt is regularly exposed to water. Lawmakers have approved $5 million to rehab salt storage sites.. ...Read Full Story

MSP: Traffic Deaths More Than Double In Weekend Ahead Of Christmas

‘Twas a deadlier Christmas holiday period on Michigan roads this year than last. Michigan State Police say according to preliminary reports received by Wednesday afternoon, 10 people were killed in nine separate crashes in the state between December 21 and December 23, which was the Operation C.A.R.E. Lifesaver Weekend period when extra police were on the roads. Last year, MSP officials say four people were killed during the Operation C.A.R.E. initiative. Of the 10 deaths this year, four were pedestrians and three wrecks were alcohol-related. The current Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is still running and will end on December 31.. ...Read Full Story

Events Planned To Help MI Residents With Finances

You can find out how to save thousands on your taxes and get financial advice at Show Me the Money Day, a series of community fairs to be held across the state in January and February. There will be 38 events in all. The first one is January 21 in Sault Saint Marie, but this year there will be ten in the city of Detroit alone, four in Kalamazoo, one in Flint and many more. Brian Rakovitis with the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan tells us the fairs offer valuable advice.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Signs Cyberbullying Bill, Vetoes Baby Box Bill

From the Associated Press — Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has signed a bill making it a crime to cyberbully and has vetoed one that would have amended the law to let parents surrender a newborn inside a special “safety device.” The Republican governor signed legislation Thursday to let Michigan businesses count out-of-state workers for the purposes of qualifying for state economic development incentives. He vetoed a bill he says would have increased the number of digital billboards. The cyberbullying law makes it a misdemeanor to post a message or statement on the internet with the intent of threatening and committing violence against another person. Snyder says the newborn law is important, but it’d be inappropriate to let parents deposit a baby into a device rather than hand it to a police, fire or
hospital employee.. ...Read Full Story

Indigent Defense Rules Costly For Some MI Officials

From the Associated Press — Some officials in Michigan say new state rules designed to give financially limited defendants effective legal representation in court cases are costing too much money to implement. The Detroit News reports that Oakland County officials are seeking a court order that says they don’t have to comply with the state regulations until the county receives a grant to cover the cost.
The new rules require counties to provide court-appointed attorneys with continuing education and private spaces for discussions with their clients, among other things. Oakland County officials have made several requests for about $3 million a year to hire additional assistant prosecutors and magistrates. The state has rejected those requests, saying they’re asking for money that no other county is
receiving.. ...Read Full Story

Buchanan Discontinues Winter Thrill On The Hill

The city of Buchanan has announced it’s discontinuing the winter Thrill on the Hill event. In a statement, the city says due to unpredictable winter weather and the cost to replace and repair equipment needed to put on the event, the “difficult decision” has been made to end it. The annual winter Thrill on the Hill featured sledding down the big hill downtown on snow produced on site. The event was canceled last year due to uncooperative weather. The city says the summer Thrill on the Hill will continue, though. That is slated for the first weekend in August.. ...Read Full Story

Police ID Meijer Robbers

The Lincoln Township Police Department says it’s been able to identify the four suspects who robbed the Meijer in Stevensville last week. The department on Wednesday posted to its Facebook page, saying “the suspects responsible for the armed robbery at Meijer have been identified. This is all the information that we can release at this point.” It told us Thursday afternoon more information would be released soon. The robbery at the Meijer on Red Arrow Highway happened last Wednesday around 12:30 in the morning. Four suspects — three men and one woman — were seen stealing electronics, and when they were confronted by store personnel, one of them pulled a gun. They then got away. We’ll keep you up to date on the investigation as police release more information.. ...Read Full Story

Dowagiac Elementary Principal Dies Following Knee Surgery

Students and staff at Patrick Hamilton Elementary in Dowagiac are mourning the loss of the school’s principal. In a Facebook post, Dowagiac Union Schools deputy superintendent Dawn Conner says Heather Nash died Thursday morning following complications from what had been described as a routine knee surgery earlier this month. A prayer vigil was held at the school Sunday night. Nash served as principal at Patrick Hamilton Elementary for over a decade. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.. ...Read Full Story

2018 Michigan Lottery Winnings Set Record

New homes, new cars, luxury vacations, and financial security top the wish lists of Michigan Lottery winners this year. Lottery officials say 44 people won at least $1 million this year from the games, and overall, players collected a record $2.2 billion in prizes. A $9.64 million Lotto 47 jackpot on October 10 was the largest prize won in Michigan this year, and that was split by two winners, one from Bay and the other from Macomb counties. Three people won a jackpot of $4 million from four different games, with the most recent being a Sault Ste. Marie man who claimed his prize on Wednesday at Michigan Lottery headquarters in Lansing. In the 2018 fiscal year, the Lottery provided more than $941.2 million for Michigan’s public schools, its fourth record contribution in row. Since it began in 1972, the Lottery has contributed more than $22 billion to support public education in Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Governor-Elect Whitmer Adding To Cabinet

Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer has named additional members of her Cabinet, including the state’s top environmental regulator and the leader of a transportation agency she says needs more funding to fix the roads. The Democrat on Thursday announced Paul Ajegba will become the director of the Department of Transportation. He has worked at MDOT 28 years. Liesl Eichler Clark, co-founder of a clean-energy policy consulting firm, will lead the Department of Environmental Quality, which has been under fire during Governor Snyder’s tenure for its role in the Flint water crisis.. ...Read Full Story

Two Michigan Regulators Take Plea Deals In Flint Water Case

(Lansing, MI – AP) – Two Michigan environmental regulators implicated in the Flint water scandal have pleaded no contest to misdemeanors in exchange for more serious charges being dropped. Michael Prysby and Stephen Busch, employees at the state Department of Environmental Quality, also agreed to testify against others under the terms of their deals. They entered their pleas Wednesday. A no contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren Conservation District To Recruit For Envirothon

Recruitment will be starting soon in Van Buren County for high school students looking to compete in Envirothon, a natural resources and environmental competition. Kyle Mead is with the Van Buren Conservation District and has been working with the program since he was a high school student over 15 years ago in Lawrence and says right now, they’re still working on the details for the meetings.. ...Read Full Story