Local News Archives

New MDOT Traffic Site

The Michigan Department of Transportation has updated its Drive website to be more user friendly. Spokesperson Nick Schirripa tells WSJM News MDOT recently discontinued the MI Drive phone app, and redesigned the website to work better with mobile devices.. ...Read Full Story

New Admins At Niles Community Schools

A couple of new principals have been hired at Niles Community Schools. Superintendent Dan Applegate tells us the district has hired Jeron Blood as the new Ballard Elementary principal and Jennifer Shabazz as the principal of Northside Child Development Center. Blood has previously served as the assistant principal and associate principal at Edison Middle School in the Unit 4 School District of Champaign, Illinois. Shabazz joins the Niles Community Schools from the South Bend Community School Corporation where was the assistant principal at Brown Intermediate Center. Blood says he looks forward to working collaboratively with the Ballard Elementary teachers and staff, and contributing to a positive learning environment. Shabazz says she wants to support the needs of teachers, staff, and families. Applegate says the district is excited to welcome both.. ...Read Full Story

Buyer Found For Vacant Industrial Property

A medical marijuana producer out of Colorado could soon own the vacant Alreco Industrial property in Benton Harbor. Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells us NoBo Partners recently came to the Berrien County Land Bank with an offer of $450,000 for the 11-acre site. That’s after the same offer had been made by the Harvest Group, another medical marijuana producer, earlier this spring. At a Thursday meeting, the land bank voted to tell the two prospective buyers each had ten days to come up with a $20,000 deposit and a letter of support from the city. Whichever could do it first would be able to buy the property.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Expects Parchment Hearing

The local response to the PFAS contamination in Parchment and Cooper Township in Kalamazoo County is getting high marks from Congressman Fred Upton. He tells WSJM News when the harmful chemical was detected at high levels in the water there, the locals acted quickly to solve several problems.. ...Read Full Story

Report: Immigrant Businesses Have Big Impact

A new report looks at the effects immigrant entrepreneurs have on Michigan’s economy. The Michigan League for Public Policy report says immigrants account for 12% of business owners in the state, and 20% of Main Street business owners. These are smaller-sized, local-oriented stores and services. Report author Victoria Crouse tells us these businesses are important to the fabric of Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Ox Creek Improvements Planned

The Southwest Michigan Planning Commission is hoping to attract public interest in its efforts to improve the Ox Creek Watershed. It tells us a new website has been launched specifically for the Ox Creek Watershed Improvement Plan, which outlines steps being taken to improve the water quality, a vision for development of the area, resources, and contact information. The Ox Creek Watershed is in Benton Township around the general area of the Orchards Mall. It flows into the Paw Paw River, and is part of the far west section of the larger St. Joseph River Watershed. The Southwest Michigan Planning Commission tells us its plan focuses on a revitalized Orchards Mall with mixed use developments and public gathering spaces. The plan is intended to deal with pollution. You can find out more at the new project website, SustainOxCreek.org.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan’s Longest Garage Sale Underway

Michigan’s Longest Garage Sale is underway this weekend. Taking place through Sunday, the US-12 Heritage Trail Garage Sale is a series of sales taking place all the way from New Buffalo to Detroit. The Southwest Michigan Planning Commission’s Kris Martin helps to organize the event and spoke with WSJM News about it.. ...Read Full Story

Student Athlete Concussions Down

The number of concussions suffered by high school athletes in Michigan continues to fall. In its third annual report, the Michigan High School Athletic Association says concussions were down 10% in the most recent school year compared to the one prior, and they were down 19.6% from the first year of the study. Football had the most per 1,000 athletes, but the MHSAA notes girls reported three-times more concussions than boys in the same sport. Boys, though accounted for two-thirds of all the head injuries due to playing more contact sports. Varsity athletes suffered 56% of the concussions, and the MHSAA says the majority happened during games.. ...Read Full Story

State Warns About Student Loan Scams

The Michigan Department of Treasury is warning all students to watch out for loan and scholarship scams. Acting Deputy State Treasurer Anne Wohlfert tells WSJM News this is the time of year when many college-bound students are getting their financial ducks in a row. They may get offers for bogus loan programs.. ...Read Full Story

Maytag Ironman Steelhead Sunday

Set for this Sunday is the 16th annual Maytag IronMan 70.3 Steelhead, an endurance triathlon that starts at Jean Klock Park in Benton Harbor. Race Director Mike Ryan tells WSJM News about 2,000 people will take part in the event. It will take the triathletes on a mile swim in Lake Michigan, followed by a bike ride to South Haven, and then back to Benton Harbor. They’ll have a 13 mile run through the Whirlpool campus. Ryan says the participants were streaming into Benton Harbor on Friday.. ...Read Full Story