Local News Archives

Lawmakers Close To Deal On Third Grade Reading Bill

Michigan lawmakers are nearing a deal on legislation designed to improve third-graders’ reading but that has been caught up in a dispute over making students repeat a grade if they lag too far behind. A conference committee is scheduled to meet late Tuesday afternoon. The bill has been pending with the panel since March after the House and Senate passed different versions. Compromise legislation, which is still subject to revisions, would keep intact many exemptions under which kids could still advance to fourth grade for “good cause” even if they have reading difficulties. The new bill would exempt newer students who did not receive an appropriate individualized reading intervention in their old district or if the superintendent determines that an exemption is in a student’s “best interests.”. ...Read Full Story

Murder Charges Filed In Jessica Heeringa Case

Authorities have charged a man with murder in the 2013 disappearance of a gas station clerk in western Michigan. Jessica Heeringa disappeared from the gas station where she worked in Norton Shores, near Muskegon. The body of the 25-year-old woman hasn’t been found. Investigators weren’t able to break the mystery until Jeffrey Willis was arrested in May in a different case. Willis was charged Tuesday with kidnapping and murder. He’s already awaiting trial in two more cases in Muskegon County: the fatal shooting of a 36-year-old female jogger in 2014 and the attempted abduction of a teenage girl in April. The Associated Press has left a message seeking comment from his lawyer. Police said they found rope, handcuffs and syringes in Willis’ van when they arrested him in the spring.. ...Read Full Story

Southeastern US Gas Problems Not Likely To Impact SWMI

North Carolina has declared a state of emergency after a pipeline burst in Alabama, spilling 300,000 gallons of gasoline In Shelby County. It’s one of a number of east coast states that could see fuel shortages and higher gas prices as a result. GasBuddy’s Patrick DeHaan says it shouldn’t impact fuel prices here in the Midwest, and he expects prices to slowly fall through the week.. ...Read Full Story

Bill To Ban Local Regulation Of Plastic Bags Set To Advance

(Lansing, MI – AP) – Efforts to rid Michigan communities of plastic shopping bags would be banned under a bill set to advance in the Republican-led Legislature. The House Commerce and Trade Committee could vote on the legislation Tuesday. The measure won Senate approval in May. The bill would prohibit local governments from enacting ordinances that regulate, prohibit or impose a fee on the use or sale of “auxiliary containers” – which is defined as reusable or single-use bags, cups, bottles or other packaging from stores and restaurants. More than 150 municipalities across the country have passed ordinances either to ban the environmentally unfriendly plastic bags or to charge a fee for them. None are in Michigan, though at least two counties – Washtenaw and Muskegon – have considered whether to limit the bags.. ...Read Full Story

Politico: Bush 41 To Vote For Clinton

We’ve known for months that former President George H.W. Bush wasn’t planning to vote for Donald Trump. Now, a member of the Kennedy family says Bush has told her he will be voting for Democrat Hillary Clinton for President. Former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend, the daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, tells Politico Bush made his choice known to her yesterday. She also put up a photo of herself with the former President with the caption “The President told me he’s voting for Hillary!!” You’ll recall Clinton’s husband defeated Bush in the 1992 presidential election.. ...Read Full Story

BH Commissioners Approve Jean Klock Park Boulevard Work

$18,000 in repairs will be made to the boulevard at Jean Klock Park following a lengthy discussion by Benton Harbor City Commissioners Monday. The vote came after some debate about whether Harbor Shores should pay for the repaving under its lease agreement. City Manager Darwin Watson said Harbor Shores is only responsible for day to day maintenance, and not repairs.. ...Read Full Story