Local News Archives

MI Unemployment Unchanged In August

Michigan’s jobless rate was unchanged at 4.5 percent in August from July, remaining at its lowest level in 15 years. The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget says that total employment recorded a reduction of 7,000 in August as the state’s labor force decreased by 5,000. The number of unemployed in Michigan rose by 2,000. Michigan seasonally adjusted jobless rate in August was below the state’s
August 2015 rate of 5.1 percent. The U.S. jobless rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent in August. Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, says Wednesday the state’s labor market situation was stable. Governor Rick Snyder says in a statement Michigan needs to “continue our efforts to strengthen our workforce and create more opportunities for all Michiganders.”. ...Read Full Story

ITT Tech Shutting Down Friday

The for-profit college ITT Technical Institute says in a federal filing that it will stop operating Friday. Carmel, Indiana-based ITT Educational Services Inc. said in a Wednesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it would stop services about a week after it announced it would close its campuses. The company’s main lender recently seized ITT’s bank accounts. The college chain is shutting down all 130 of its U.S. campuses. The move affects more than 35,000 students and more than 8,000 jobs. Federal education officials banned the company last month from enrolling new students who use federal financial aid. The Education Department said the company had become a risk to students and taxpayers. ITT has laid off at least 660 Indiana workers. It had about 1,900 students in Indiana.. ...Read Full Story

Legislation Would Increase Michigan’s Beer Tax

At least one Michigan lawmaker wants to raise the state’s beer tax by 244%, and the organization that represents wine and beer sellers is crying foul. State Representative Tom Hooker, of Byron Center, introduced the plan on Wednesday. The beer tax hasn’t been raised since 1966, but Brett Visner, with the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association, tells WSJM News that’s no reason to mess with a growing industry.. ...Read Full Story

Bill Aims To Make Fresh Fruits And Vegetables Available In Underserved Areas

A plan from state Representative Dave Pagel to help people in rural and urban areas get access to fresh fruits and veggies is getting high marks from the American Heart Association. The legislation had a hearing in the state House Wednesday, with the association’s Dave Hodgkins speaking in favor. He tells WSJM News folks in certain areas just don’t have any grocery stores in their towns, and have to buy food at little corner shops.. ...Read Full Story

Trump Visits Flint

The city of Flint is again making national headlines this week as Donald Trump has paid it a visit. On Wednesday, Trump toured the city’s water plant, and spoke at an historically black church. He said Flint can be helped.. ...Read Full Story

Suspect Arrested In String Of Dowagaic Burglaries

A suspect has been arrested in a string of burglaries in Dowagiac. The police department tells our newsroom the home break-ins happened between between last Wednesday and Monday of this week. Homes on Orchard Street, Oak Street, and Florence Street were broken into, and the stolen items included guns. Police say they spoke with several witnesses, leading them to a suspect in Berrien County on Monday. 20-year-old Brett Adam Gibson, of Dowagiac, is now facing a variety of charges. Police say he’s confessed to all three of the break-ins, and is now in the Cass County Jail on $75,000 bond.. ...Read Full Story

Graves Of Veterans Vandalized In Bangor

50 graves markers honoring veterans have been damaged by vandals at a cemetery in Bangor. Police Chief Tommy Simpson tells WSJM News the graves of veterans at Arlington Hill Cemetery are given special markers with American flags on them. Someone broke the markers and took the flags. It was discovered Wednesday morning.. ...Read Full Story

State Education Board Issues Guidance On LGBT Students

Michigan’s education board has approved guidance to schools on creating an inclusive environment for LGBT students. The guidelines are voluntary but have spurred criticism from conservative lawmakers, particularly over restroom and bathroom policies for transgender students.
The Democratic-controlled State Board of Education passed the guidance 6-2 Wednesday, after receiving passionate public testimony from people in support and against. Recommendations to schools include making good faith efforts to address students by their chosen name and pronoun when asked. The guidance also urges schools to let transgender students use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. Education officials say the draft guidance was amended to encourage local school districts to engage their communities in the development of their own policies and to urge greater consideration for parental involvement. Critics say the revisions are meaningless.. ...Read Full Story