Local News Archives

Report Recommends Slowing Pace Of Charter Schools

The rapid growth of charter schools could lead to the privatization of America’s public school system, according to a new report from the Independent Media Institute. It says 40% of the nation’s 6,700 charter schools are part of corporate chains or franchises. Stan Salett, report co-author, says most major -S cities are now divided into private and public tracks, and argues the future of one of the nation’s few institutions where people from diverse backgrounds come together is at risk.. ...Read Full Story

10-Year-Old Boy Hit By Vehicle, Killed, In Kalamazoo County

Authorities say a 10-year-old boy has died after being struck by a vehicle while crossing a street in Kalamazoo County. Police in Kalamazoo Township say the boy was trying to cross Wednesday night in an area where there was no crosswalk or stoplight. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports
he was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His name wasn’t immediately released. Conditions were described as dark and rainy at the time. Police earlier said the boy was among a group of young people in the area. Police say the 52-year-old Kalamazoo man who was driving the vehicle wasn’t injured. The child’s death is under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Audit: One Doctor Approved 11,800 Marijuana Patients In One Year

A state audit says one physician was able to certify more than 11,800 Michigan medical marijuana patients in one year. The audit released Thursday criticized the state’s medical marijuana program for not verifying doctor certifications to combat potential fraud. Auditors found 22 other physicians who certified nearly 47,000 applicants, an average of eight per work day. The state says it began randomly auditing doctor certifications in late September. Under Michigan law, 211,000 patients registered with the state are growing their own marijuana or obtaining it from 37,000 designated caregivers who supply a limited number of people. Patients can legally use marijuana if they have a “debilitating medical condition” such as cancer and or a disease with side effects such as seizures or severe and chronic pain.. ...Read Full Story

Trump Urges Early Voters To Change Their Ballots

Donald Trump is urging some early voters for Hillary Clinton to change their ballots for him. But it’s unlikely enough will heed his call to affect the presidential race. Trump urged early voters in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Michigan on Tuesday to change their ballots for him if they’re having a “bad case of buyer’s remorse” after voting for Clinton. Those states do allow early voters to change their ballots. But the deadline was Tuesday in Minnesota and deadlines in the other states are fast approaching. Election officials say voters rarely change absentee ballots. University of Wisconsin-Madison political scientist Barry Burden says he doesn’t expect large numbers of people will change their minds this year. He said early voters tend to be especially enthusiastic about their favorite candidate.. ...Read Full Story

Van Buren Road Commission Marks 100 Years

It’s been 100 years for the Van Buren County Road Commission, and this week, they’ll hold a birthday celebration. The road commission’s Greg Pardike tells WSJM News the agency was formed a few years after a 1909 state law called for uniformity in road standards. It had one employee, and the roads then were much different.. ...Read Full Story

Prosecutor: Shooting Of Inmate Was Justified

The Berrien County Prosecutor’s office has found the July 11 shooting of a jail inmate by court officers to be justified. The office released its analysis of the incident on Wednesday, laying out the circumstances that led to inmate Larry Gordon seizing of an officer’s gun and killing two security officers before being fatally shot by bailiffs. The report says Gordon knew he was facing a lengthy prison sentence, and had told other inmates in the Berrien County Jail he would not be able to do serve it. He also asked them about the courthouse layout. The prosecutor describes how Gordon came to get a gun, take hostages, and then shoot two officers. It says no criminal charges will be filed in Gordon’s shooting. You can see the full analysis below.. ...Read Full Story

Police Seize $30,000 Worth Of Drugs In BH Raid

Two people are facing charges following a drug bust in Benton Harbor Wednesday. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells us officers raided an apartment at 525 Columbus Avenue around 7 a.m. finding 92 grams of heroin, 188 grams of crack, and three loaded semi-automatic handguns. Police say the estimated value of the drugs alone is about $30,000. The two people arrested both have criminal records. They’re now facing a variety of new charges. Police note the apartment building is less than 1,000 feet from a school.. ...Read Full Story

Cass County Standoff Ends Peacefully

A standoff that began after two women on horseback were struck by a vehicle in Cass County has ended peacefully. Michigan State Police say a man surrendered Wednesday morning after barricading himself in his Cass County home Tuesday night. Troopers tell us the man intentionally struck them on Tuesday night, and the women and horses have minor injuries. The standoff began after the 32-year-old refused to talk with investigators, and negotiators were called in because the suspect had weapons in the home. The man, whose name wasn’t immediately released, faces charges of assault and driving without a license.. ...Read Full Story