Local News Archives

South Haven Chamber Launches Contest For Students

The South Haven Area Chamber of Commerce has developed a program for students in the South Haven, Bangor and Covert Public school systems called Youth in Business Competition. Individual students have a chance to develop a hypothetical business and present the business plan to the community and win prize money. Chamber Director Kathy Wagaman says taking part is very simple.. ...Read Full Story

Retired Police Officers Backing Proposal 1

While almost every police department opposes the effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan, several retired police officers disagree. Sheriffs across the state say they’re concerned about more people getting high behind the wheel and children having greater access to the drug if it’s legalized. But the group Law Enforcement Action Partnership, or LEAP, presented former police officials who support Proposal 1. Among them is retired Canton police officer Steve Miller.. ...Read Full Story

Water Testing Continues In Benton Harbor

Water testing is continuing in the city of Benton Harbor after eight homes were found to have elevated levels of lead in late October. City Manager Darwin Watson says more than 200 water testing kits have been given to residents in the first week since the tests came back, and many have been sent to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and a South Bend lab for more testing. Bottled water is being provided for free by the city to any homes that have levels of lead in the water above 15 parts per billion. Southwest Michigan 2-1-1 is now handling the calls to the Water Response Hotline that had been set up by the city, and people can get questions answered there regarding water testing, blood lead testing in children, and other lead exposure prevention actions along with being connected to local resources. That number is answered 24 hours a day. More information on lead is available at the Berrien County Health Department’s website and the city of Benton Harbor’s website.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph AT&T Store Burglarized

Police in St. Joseph are still looking for one of the four suspects who broke into the AT&T store at 1021 Main Street a little after 3 a.m. today. Three were arrested in Kentwood outside of Grand Rapids this morning. St. Joseph Public Safety says the four smashed the window in the door of the business and were in and out within 40 seconds, stealing several display items. All four had their faces covered by masks.. ...Read Full Story

Man Busted For Crack In Niles

A 24-year-old man is in the Berrien County Jail on four felony charges and one misdemeanor after his arrest in Niles this week. Elbert Briggs was arrested on an outstanding warrant during a traffic stop on Tuesday near 6th and Wayne. Niles police say a search of the vehicle in which Briggs was a passenger turned up $150 worth of crack and a loaded 9mm pistol. Both the gun and the drugs were where the man had been sitting in the car. He’s facing a charges of possession with intent to deliver for the drugs along with three gun felony charges and a misdemeanor for unlawful use of a vehicle. Briggs was arraigned on Wednesday.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien County Has New Chief Public Defender

Berrien County has a new Chief Public Defender. The job opened up on August 3 with the resignation of Carl Macpherson, and Christopher Renna has been serving in that role in the interim. The county board Thursday voted to promote Renna to the post of Chief Public Defender on a permanent basis. WSJM News spoke to Renna about the mission of the office.. ...Read Full Story

Fettig Named General Chair Of 2020 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

Whirlpool board of directors chairman and retired CEO Jeff Fettig will serve as the general chair of the 2020 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor. He will serve as an ambassador for the tournament and lead the executive committee that puts on the event every other May at Harbor Shores. In a statement, Fettig calls it an honor and pleasure to work with the PGA of America on the event, and says his committee is committed to making the 2020 tournament the best ever staged locally. He retired as CEO of the world’s largest home appliance maker last year after 13 years at the helm of the company. 2020 will be the fifth KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship to be played at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Harbor Shores.. ...Read Full Story

Eight SWMI School Districts Receiving Security Grants From State

Eight school districts in southwest Michigan are receiving school safety grants from the state of Michigan. Overall, the state is awarding $25 million to 114 districts, 42 private schools, 22 charters, and 10 regional districts. Of the ones around here, Benton Harbor Area Schools are getting the largest award with a nearly $929,000 grant that will require a match. The other seven don’t have a matching fund requirement and total just under $257,000 combined. Those are going to Benton Harbor Charter School Academy, Berrien RESA, Berrien Springs Public Schools, Countryside Academy, Marcellus Community Schools, Michigan Lutheran High School, Mildred C. Wells Academy, and Sodus Township School District. The money is meant to upgrade door locks and add other security features as a result of school shootings in other parts of the country.. ...Read Full Story

Three Oaks To Upgrade Sewage Lagoons

Water and sewer bills are going to be going up by as much as $8 a month in Three Oaks to pay for upgrades to the village’s sewage lagoons. The increases follow three months of study of the system without the waste from Journeyman Distillery, which is being shipped off elsewhere to allow officials to see if the system could handle just the regular wastewater. Village Manager Mike Greene tells us it could not.. ...Read Full Story

South Bend Cubs Renew Agreement With Chicago Cubs Through 2022

It’s an affiliation which has revived minor league baseball in South Bend, and it will stay in place for at least the next three seasons. The Chicago Cubs have extended their Player Development Contract with the South Bend Cubs through 2022, marking the third extension of the deal first announced in 2015. South Bend Cubs owner Andrew Berlin says in a statement the parent club “recognizes our commitment to developing their players with our world-class facilities and the dedication our fans have for the Cubs players.” Since the team switched its Major League affiliation from the Arizona Diamondbacks, over 1.3 million fans have packed Four Winds Field for ballgames in the past four years. The Chicago Cubs have sent four major leaguers down for rehab assignments, and five South Bend Cubs players have reached the majors at Wrigley Field.. ...Read Full Story

Boil Water Advisory Issued For Sodus Twp, Part Of Benton Twp

All Benton Township water customers south of the Paw Paw River and all of them in Sodus Township are under a boil water advisory until further notice. Benton Township officials say a drop in water pressure in the system is to blame, and that could lead to bacterial contamination. They are working on making fixes, and say the boil advisory has been issued as a precaution. The problem is due to the malfunction of two pressure sustaining valves today, as they automatically closed when the township had to temporarily change the flow of water in the distribution system as part of the 4 million gallon Euclid Standpipe project. the water pressure has been restored, and samples are being tested now for bacteria.. ...Read Full Story

15-Year-Old Unlicensed Driver Crashes Friend’s Car

Charges are likely against a 15-year-old boy for a crash early Tuesday morning in Hartford. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office says the teen, who does not have a license, was driving the car of a 17-year-old girl to take her home when he swerved to miss a deer and crashed into a tree. She suffered a broken leg and had to be taken to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo. The driver was taken to a hospital in Watervliet for an ankle injury. The two were headed back to Hartford from Grand Junction when the crash happened in the 50-thousand block of County Road 687 around 4:30 in the morning. Both teens were wearing seat belts. The boy is expected to be charged with driving without a license causing serious injury.. ...Read Full Story

Schuette Cancels TV Ads In All Markets Except Detroit

(Lansing, MI – AP) — Republican Bill Schuette’s gubernatorial campaign is canceling planned TV ads across Michigan in the final week of the race, except in the Detroit market. Schuette on Tuesday nixed $445,000 worth of ads on broadcast stations in Grand Rapids, Flint, Lansing, Traverse City and Marquette. A planned $441,000 ad buy in metro Detroit is intact. A Schuette spokesman says the campaign does not comment on ad strategy.. ...Read Full Story

Siblings Killed At Indiana Bus Stop Identified

Indiana State Police have released the names of three young siblings who were struck and killed by a pickup truck as they crossed a road before sunrise to board a school bus. Sergeant Tony Slocum says 6-year-old twin brothers Xzavier and Mason Ingle died at the scene Tuesday morning along with their 9-year-old sister, Alivia Stahl. All three were students at Mentone Elementary School.. ...Read Full Story

SoS Johnson Expects High Voter Turnout Tuesday

The midterm election is one week from today and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson expects a strong turnout. She says we could reach levels that would rival the 2016 presidential election, when turnout was 64.9%. Johnson says a million absentee ballots have been requested. She reminds voters there’s no straight ticket voting.. ...Read Full Story

One Killed In Red Arrow Highway Crash

A 74-year-old Lincoln Township woman has died as the result of a near head-on crash on Red Arrow Highway just north of I-94. Lincoln Township police say she was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators say the woman was heading northbound on Red Arrow when she turned into the path of a pickup driven by a 41-year-old from Fairplain Township, who was not hurt. The crash happened in the area of several fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King, and Long John Silvers just after noon on Monday. Despite the crash being fatal, Red Arrow was not closed and one lane remained open heading south while police investigated the wreck. The crash remains under investigation.. ...Read Full Story

Two Arrested In Van Buren County Drug Bust

Two people are in the Van Buren County Jail following a drug raid in Lawrence, and charges are pending against three others. The sheriff’s department went to the home in the 55-thousand block of 56th Street last Thursday evening on a tip of drug activity and the possibility a parole absconder was at the home. That man, 31-year-old David Sewell of Hartford, was found hiding in a bathroom. Others in the home are accused of trying to destroy meth evidence. In addition to Sewell, deputies arrested 29-year-old Felina Snider of Lawrence on a probation violation. The other suspects are two men, 34 and 42-years-old and a 28-year-old woman, all from Lawrence.. ...Read Full Story

Girl Escapes Attempted Abduction In Benton Harbor

Benton Harbor authorities are looking for a man accused of trying to abduct a 14-year-old girl Monday morning. It happened around 6:45 a.m. on the city’s north side at the girl’s bus stop at the corner of Main and Hull. She tells police the man grabbed her from behind, but she was able to run off. The man is 5’9″ and was wearing a dark blue or black Nike sweatshirt. Public Safety Director Dan McGinnis tells us they don’t know the suspect’s race, but say he had been seen dressed in the same clothes and in the same area on Friday. Benton Harbor Public Safety officials are urging parents to be especially vigilant and walk their kids to the bus stop, and stay with them if possible until they’re picked up for school.. ...Read Full Story

Buchanan PD Looking For Armed Robbery Suspect

Police in Buchanan are looking for an armed robbery suspect. He pulled a gun on the clerk at a convenience store Sunday just after 11:30 a.m. in the 200 block of South Oak street and got away northbound on the street with cash out of the register. No one was hurt. Surveillance photos released by the police department show the suspect on top of the counter demanding the cash. He is described as a black male in his 20s who was dressed in a red hoodie with a face mask, black pants, black gloves and black boots. Anyone who knows anything about the robbery is urged to call Buchanan police.. ...Read Full Story

Republicans Have Fun With Clinton Endorsement Of Whitmer

The endorsement of Gretchen Whitmer for governor by Hillary Clinton isn’t necessarily a shock, but the Republican National Committee is having some fun with it. RNC communications director for Indiana and Michigan, Michael Joyce, put out a statement mocking the endorsement by saying “It’s great that Hillary Clinton endorsed Gretchen Whitmer; nobody knows how to win Michigan better than Hillary Clinton.”. ...Read Full Story