Local News Archives

Ticket Issued For Crash With Church

One ticket has been issued for a crash in St. Joseph on Tuesday that resulted in an SUV hitting the steps of a church. The department of public safety tells our newsroom the crash happened around 2 p.m. at Broad and Church Streets. It says a sedan ran a stop sign on Church Street, leading to a crash with an SUV. The SUV then lost control and wound up on the church property. There were no injuries, but the driver of the car that ran the stop sign was ticketed. The church was not damaged.. ...Read Full Story

Honor CU To Move South Haven Branch

The South Haven branch of Honor Credit Union is moving. The credit union has bought some property on County Road 388 in town where it says it can add more amenities for customers. They’ll include drive-thru lanes, a drive-up ATM, and a night drop, as well as Saturday drive thru service. The goal is to have the new building finished next year. The spot is right across from the Sherman Dairy Barn and next to Hannapel Home Center. Honor Credit Union’s current branch on Phillips will stay open until the new location is ready.. ...Read Full Story

Hiring Expected To Be Flat In Third Quarter

The job market in Berrien County has been a little sluggish, according to the latest business outlook report from the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. It says a decline in professional and business services employment pushed the employment rate down about 0.2% in the second quarter. The report anticipates flat job conditions in the third quarter based on mixed economic indicators in the second. Manufacturing led the way in adding new jobs in the county during the quarter, while services shed jobs and government employment was flat. The Upjohn Institute notes the region lost 7,400 jobs between 2007 and 2013, most of which were during the Great Recession. The area’s employment rate is still slightly below where it was before the recession started.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph Fall Fest This Week

Set for this upcoming weekend is the annual St. Joseph Fall Festival. St. Joe Today’s Whitney Behnke tells WSJM News the event will kick off with Friday’s Rotary and Slumberland Great Bed Race, when a bunch of people race down Lake Boulevard. Saturday will bring a variety of activities for the kids.. ...Read Full Story

Snyder Signs Medical Marijuana Regulations Into Law

Governor Rick Snyder has signed into law new marijuana regulations that he says clarify Michigan’s 8-year-old voter-approved initiative that legalized the drug for medical use. The Republican governor says the legislation signed Wednesday will implement a “solid framework” giving patients a safe way to buy marijuana. The laws impose a new tax on dispensary shops and establish a state licensing system to grow, process, sell, transport or test marijuana. Non-smokable forms of the drug such as lotions and tinctures will become legal. A monitoring system will track marijuana from “seed to sale.” Snyder says municipalities can regulate the location and number of marijuana businesses in their communities.
The laws will take effect in 90 days. People wanting state operating licenses can begin applying in late 2017.. ...Read Full Story

More Information Released On Heeringa Case

Police documents show the suspect in the disappearance of Jessica Heeringa from a Norton Shores gas station where she worked had visited the store several times. Credit card records released Wednesday also show Jeffrey Willis was at the store on the night of April 26, 2013, the night before Heeringa went missing. Willis is charged with murder in the Heeringa case, and his cousin, Kevin Bluhm, is charged with being an accessory after the fact. Police revealed Wednesday that Bluhm had previously told investigators he helped to bury Heeringa’s body, but later took the story back. In addition to the Heeringa case, Willis is charged with murder and attempted kidnapping in separate cases.. ...Read Full Story

House Approves Third Grade Reading Bill

The Michigan House has approved an early literacy bill that requires that third-graders be held back if they lag in reading, unless they qualify for an exemption. The Senate is expected to pass the legislation later in the afternoon and send it to Governor Rick Snyder for his expected signature. Starting in the 2019-20 school year, third-graders wouldn’t advance unless their state reading score is less than a grade level behind, they show proficiency through an alternative assessment or they demonstrate mastery through work samples. Parents could seek a “good cause” exemption letting kids still be promoted to fourth grade. The bill, which requires schools to intervene early when students are having reading problems, passed on a 60-47 party-line vote in the Republican-controlled House, with Democrats in opposition.. ...Read Full Story

Legislature Votes To Expand Freedom Of Information Act

The Michigan House has voted to make the governor’s office and the Legislature subject to the state’s public records law. Michigan’s 40-year-old Freedom of Information Act explicitly exempts the governor’s office from records requests. And a 1986 opinion by the state attorney general says lawmakers also intended to exclude themselves. Michigan is one of two states to wholly exempt the governor’s office from public records requests. Michigan also is among a minority of states where lawmakers are exempt. The bills approved 100-6 Wednesday by the Republican-led House would exempt from disclosure communications between constituents and legislators along with other certain information. The legislation may stall in the Senate, whose Republican leader appears unenthusiastic. Supporters say subjecting the governor and legislators to FOIA would show that politicians are committed to transparency.. ...Read Full Story

Bargains Remain For Berrien County Property

The second property tax foreclosure auction of the year by the Berrien County Treasurer’s Office is being deemed a success. Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells our newsroom they sold about two-thirds of the properties available yesterday. He says a lot of properties were sold in the area between Colfax and Britain in Benton Harbor.. ...Read Full Story

Four Kids Killed, Mother Injured In Suburban Detroit

Four children between the ages of four and 19 are dead in suburban Detroit, and their mother has been critically injured. Dearborn Heights Police Captain Michael Petri says a suspect has been arrested and it appears the killings are “from a domestic violence-type situation.” Authorities have not released the age of the woman who was hurt, but note she is hospitalized in critical condition. Police at the Dearborn Heights station says no was immediately available to offer updated information. State police are on the scene assisting local investigators. Mayor Dan Paletko called the killings “a tragedy in every sense of the word.” The children were 4, 6, 17, and 19.. ...Read Full Story