Local News Archives

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