Local News Archives

Pokagon Pow Wow Starts Today

The 33rd annual Pokagon Band of Potawatomi “Kee-Boon Mein-Kaa” Pow Wow will be this Saturday and Sunday. The tribe’s Trish Williams tells WSJM News the event is a way to celebrate the Pokagon culture, and everyone is welcome to attend.. ...Read Full Story

Scream Park Preview Coming Up

The Niles Scream Park is gearing up for another spooky season. The park’s Aaron Smith tells WSJM News they’re putting the finishing touches on the displays and will show them off with a sneak peak party next Friday. You can get tickets for free by performing a good deed.. ...Read Full Story

Hearing On PFAS Contamination Next Week

Governor Rick Snyder is applauding an announcement this week that the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Environment has scheduled a hearing on PFAS contamination in water systems. The subcommittee will learn about the situation in Parchment this summer, hearing from the head of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team. The governor says the “emerging contaminants known as PFAS are a national concern and need a national spotlight to be addressed appropriately.” Congressman Fred Upton tells us the hearing will be next week, and he believes it will start the process of ensuring the problems of Parchment won’t be experienced again. He says he’s working on legislation that would require the Environmental Protection Agency to publish drinking water regulations for PFAS nationwide. About 3,000 residents of the Parchment area in Kalamazoo County were unable to drink their local water for weeks this summer when high levels of the carcinogen PFAS were found in the system. Parchment is now getting its water from the city of Kalamazoo.. ...Read Full Story

Sheriff To Talk Immigration In Washington

Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey will be in Washington, D.C. next week to take part in a conference on immigration. As president of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association, Bailey will be Michigan’s representative among the 50 sheriffs who will meet with the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and members of Congress. Bailey tells WSJM News he has a couple of goals.. ...Read Full Story

Nurse Pleads To Tampering With Valium

From the Associated Press — A nurse who took Valium for her own use and diluted the medicine for others has pleaded guilty to tampering with a consumer product. The Grand Rapids Press says Kristie Ann Mollohan of Kalamazoo pleaded guilty
Thursday in federal court. Police say she was a home-health nurse in 2016 when a 4-year-old boy in her care died of seizures after his medication was diluted. But prosecutors acknowledged that they can’t prove Mollohan’s conduct resulted in the death.
She admits removing liquid Valium, also known as diazepam, from three patients. The medicine was supposed to be used to suppress their seizures. Mollohan told investigators that she diverted the drug because she was depressed about family problems.. ...Read Full Story

Lognjohn Gets Warren Endorsement

Democratic congressional candidate in the Sixth District Matt Longjohn has received the endorsement of Senator Elizabeth Warren as he seeks to unseat Congressman Fred Upton. In a Facebook post this week, Longjohn’s campaign said he’s proud to have the backing of the Democratic senator from Massachusetts. Warren says Longjohn, a physician, “has a proven record of putting people first.” Longjohn is making healthcare a major focus of his campaign. Warren writes he’ll “never stop fighting until families in Michigan have access to affordable healthcare and prescription drugs.”. ...Read Full Story

Major Crystal Meth Bust In Benton Harbor, Kalamazoo, Phoenix

Federal officials are charging 18 people with drug counts after a 14-month investigation into crystal meth dealing in southwest Michigan. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Grand Rapids says drugs were sent through the mail, and authorities made nine undercover drug buys of almost two pounds of the drug. Search warrants were executed in Benton Harbor and Kalamazoo and Phoenix, Arizona. Nearly 17 pounds of crystal meth was seized during the investigation along with five guns. Eight suspects are from Benton Harbor, eight are from Kalamazoo, and the other two are from Atlanta, Georgia and Phoenix. One remains on the loose, and the FBI is asking for the public’s help finding 26-year-old Scotty Deandre-Marcus Campbell of Benton Harbor.. ...Read Full Story

Seven Hurt In Crash Near Edwardsburg

Seven people are recovering from injuries in a crash near Edwardsburg. It happened just after 5 p.m. Thursday in Milton Township at the intersection of US 12 and Beebe Road in Cass County, and one person had to be airlifted to a hospital. Police also had to extricate one person.. ...Read Full Story

Business Groups Back Environmental Cleanup Plan

From the Associated Press — Key business groups are backing Governor Rick Snyder’s proposed fee hikes to pay for environmental cleanup and water infrastructure needs across Michigan. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Farm Bureau joined the Republican governor at a news conference Thursday to support the $179 million plan, which he first unveiled earlier this year. Snyder wants the GOP-led Legislature to pass the new or increased fees before he leaves office. The plan would raise the landfill dumping fee, costing households no more than $3.99 more per year. Snyder says Michigan’s fee is lowest in the Great Lakes region and would remain below the regional average after being increased. The new fee would replace a bond issue approved by voters that generated $675 million but is expected to dry up.. ...Read Full Story

Small I&M Rate Cut Coming

A small rate cut is coming soon to customers of Indiana Michigan Power. I&M spokesperson Tracy Warner tells WSJM News the Michigan Public Service Commission has approved bill credits totaling $8.7 million for Michigan customers. The bill credit is a result of the federal corporate tax cut approved last year. Warner says the savings are being passed down to customers.. ...Read Full Story

Land Auction Next Month

Things are coming together for the next Berrien County land auction. Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells WSJM News there will be auction of foreclosed properties September 18 at the DANK. Up for grabs will be exclusively vacant properties.. ...Read Full Story

NCAA Clears MSU Of Rule Violations

From the Associated Press — Michigan State University says the NCAA has cleared it of any rules violations in the Larry Nassar sexual-assault scandal. Athletic director Bill Beekman says the university “cooperated fully with the inquiry” and welcomes the NCAA’s conclusion. The school says it got a letter this week from the NCAA’s vice president for enforcement, Jonathan Duncan.
Nassar pleaded guilty to assaulting girls and women while working as a campus sports doctor for Michigan State athletes and gymnasts in the region. Separately, the university says the NCAA found no violations in how the football and basketball teams responded to assault allegations against players. Beekman’s statement was released Thursday, the same day former gymnastics
coach Kathie Klages appeared in court . She’s charged with lying to investigators about complaints about Nassar. Her attorney says she’ll fight the charges.. ...Read Full Story

State Police Back To School Reminder

With students in most Michigan school districts heading back to school next week, Michigan State Police are reminding everyone to take extra steps to be safe. MSP Trooper Kellie Shaffer with the Paw Paw post tells WSJM News kids who walk to school or the bus stop need to be reminded of the few things by their parents.. ...Read Full Story

Amber Alert Suspect Arrested Near Sturgis

A 37-year-old man is in police custody in Sturgis after triggering an Amber Alert overnight when police say he abducted his three children. Fernando Cruz was arrested this morning after a standoff near Sturgis. The three kids, ages 2, 4, and 5, were found safe. Police believe Cruz crossed into Indiana before being arrested back in southern Michigan. Sturgis Public Safety Chief Geoff Smith called Cruz and convinced him to surrender peacefully this morning. He was believed to be armed, and police were called to the home of the children’s mother after Cruz allegedly assaulted her and took off with the kids.. ...Read Full Story

Tornadoes Confirmed In Michigan This Week

From the Associated Press — The National Weather Service has confirmed two weak tornadoes struck northern Michigan.
It says a brief twister rated EF-1 with estimated peak winds of 100 mph Tuesday night damaged two homes near West Branch in Ogemaw County. The other rated EF-0 with estimated peak winds of 80 mph mainly damaged trees near Alba in Antrim
County. The National Weather Service says Tuesday night’s storms dumped up to 3 inches of rain in the Grand Rapids area. The Muskegon area has received 8 to 10 inches of rain since Sunday. Consumers Energy says more than 80,000 customers remained without power Tuesday afternoon and some might not get have it restored until late Friday. Separately, Great Lakes Energy reported 25,000 outages.. ...Read Full Story

PFAS Hearings Soon In Congress

Hearings inspired by the PFAS contamination in the water system of Parchment could be held soon in Congress. The Kalamazoo County community was unable to use its local water for weeks when the chemical PFAs was found in dangerously-high levels. Residents got the green light to drink the water again this week, and Congressman Fred Upton tells WSJM News he wants leaders in Washington to learn from what happened.. ...Read Full Story

Coloma Grads Searching For Time Capsule

Former classmates reunited in Coloma this past weekend to uncover a time capsule they buried 30 years ago, but they couldn’t find it. The Herald Palladium reports the seven classmates and two teachers spent two hours on Sunday digging outside Coloma Junior High School. Tracy Gilmer says she remembers putting a Michael Jackson cassette in the box, along with assignments in an accelerated writing-and-reasoning program, including a flag for a fictional country. A teacher, Sandi Sanders, says information about the capsule was filed away but lost. Coloma Superintendent Dave Ehlers says the box may have been unearthed earlier when work was performed to alleviate flooding behind the school. The group still might use a metal detector and keep hunting. Anyone who knows anything about the time capsule’s location can call Coloma Community Schools.. ...Read Full Story

Kinexus Planning Manufacturing Month

Kinexus is gearing up for its 6th annual Manufacturing Day with a new twist this year. The organization tells us they’re going to hold a whole Manufacturing Week. Slated for October 1 through October 5, the week will be a chance for local students and their parents to tour manufacturing facilities and learn about the job opportunities the industry is expected to offer in the coming years. Kinexus Director of Business Solutions Jeff Hannan tells WSJM News more than 1,200 people attended last year.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph City Commission To Hold Special Session Thursday

The St. Joseph City Commission will hold a special meeting Thursday night. They had to cancel Monday night’s regular meeting for a lack of a quorum, with City Manager John Hodgson telling us one commissioner was out of town and two others had health matters that prevented them from being there. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall and is expected to be brief with just five items on the agenda. Hodgson says those matters require attention and votes now and couldn’t be put off until the September 10 meeting. Commissioners will vote on a pavement preventative maintenance program, which will have an asphalt seal put on some roads for the first time. They will be considering a contract with an Iowa contractor to do the work.. ...Read Full Story

LMC Economic Impact Study

The Lake Michigan College Board of Trustees this week heard the results of an economic impact study on the college. Susan Hackett, a consultant with EMSI, a labor market analysis firm, said a look at 2016 and 2017 data for southwest Michigan showed LMC resulted in added regional income of more than $170 million when you consider the higher earnings for graduates, ripple effects, and direct employees. Hackett told WSJM News there are also the “social savings” of having a college.. ...Read Full Story

Engler Talks MSU Reforms Post-Nassar

Classes are underway for the year at Michigan State University, with the campus community still recovering from the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal. Interim MSU president John Engler spoke with WSJM Wednesday morning about the changes that he’s made since taking over to try to address what happened and the cover-up of the abuse at several levels.. ...Read Full Story

Charges Filed In Bridgman Dog Bite Case

Bridgman police say the story about a dog biting a three-year-old boy isn’t entirely true. The child’s father, 24-year-old Elex Dubar, is now facing charges of filing a false police report. His friend, 55-year-old Douglas Essig, is also facing charges in the case of having a dangerous animal causing serious injury and conspiracy to falsely report a misdemeanor. Investigators say Dubar and Essig made up the story about a woman walking her dog that attacked the little boy to try to cover up the bite that actually came from Essig’s dog. Dubar had told police his son was attacked by a brown lab mix that was being walked by a woman in a pink shirt and blue yoga pants, and authorities spent several days trying to find a woman that didn’t exist. Essig’s dog is quarantined, and Dubar told police the idea to come up with the story came from his friend during a phone call from the hospital.. ...Read Full Story

Judge: MI Law Burdens Independent Candidates

From the Associated Press — A federal judge says Michigan’s law governing how independent candidates can qualify for the ballot “severely burdens” the constitutional rights of attorney general candidate Christopher Graveline. District Judge Victoria Roberts issued a preliminary injunction Monday ordering the state to certify Graveline for the November ballot as long as he
submitted at least 5,000 valid voter signatures. She says the requirement to obtain 30,000 valid signatures within 180 days is arbitrary. Graveline, a federal prosecutor who quit his job to run, filed his lawsuit in July. He turned in roughly 14,000 signatures. Major- and minor-party candidates for attorney general are chosen at nominating conventions and do not have to circulate petitions. Republicans nominated state House Speaker Tom Leonard on Saturday, while Democrats backed lawyer Dana Nessel on Sunday.. ...Read Full Story

LMC Dedicates Todd Center

The former Western Michigan University building at the Benton Township campus of Lake Michigan College is now the Edward J. Todd Center at LMC. A dedication for the recently-acquired building was held Tuesday. LMC President Trevor Kubatzke told WSJM News the building will house several college programs.. ...Read Full Story

Lawmaker Meets With Students

As lawmakers spend most of their time this summer on the campaign trail, they’re still meeting with constituents. Sometimes, they’re not even old enough to vote. Representative Mary Whiteford, who represents part of Van Buren County along with Allegan County, says she asked visiting students from Allegan’s Dawson Elementary this summer about what was important to them and their family. She says one raised his hand and said he wanted to be sure there were police officers.. ...Read Full Story

Early Elk Season Opens

From the Associated Press — The opening period of Michigan’s elk hunting season is getting underway during the centennial year of the species’ return to the state. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says 100 hunters will have 12
days beginning Tuesday to pursue an elk. Seventy antlerless-only licenses and 30 any-elk licenses have been issued.
Officials say the early period lets hunters shoot an elk anywhere within the elk management unit except within the core range area. That approach is designed to keep most of Michigan’s elk inside the core range. It was 100 years ago that seven elk were brought from the western U.S. to re-establish Michigan’s herd. The population is now estimated at 1,200, exceeding the goal of 500 to 900. A September 8 celebration of the centennial is planned in Gaylord.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Remembers John McCain

Congressman Fred Upton is remembering Senator John McCain, who passed away Saturday. Upton, who campaigned with McCain in 2007 as the Arizona senator was seeking the Republican nomination for president, tells us he and McCain had a special bond. Upton tells WSJM News he remembers one early morning in February of 2007 when he and McCain were in Traverse City knocking on doors and asking for support.. ...Read Full Story

Highway Cams Visible At MDOT Site

The Michigan Department of Transportation continues to roll out traffic cameras along highways across the state. A glance at Michigan.gov/Drive will show you clusters of traffic cams all over heavily driven areas. MDOT spokesperson Nick Schirripa tells WSJM News some cameras were taken down for a while.. ...Read Full Story