Local News Archives

New Information Released On Courthouse Shooting

Larry Gordon planned his attempted escape from the Berrien County Jail and courthouse last Monday in an incident that ended with his death and the deaths of courthouse security director Joe Zangaro and bailiff Ron Kienzle. Sheriff’s Department Detective Greg Sanders says officers found a letter Gordon had written to his ex-wife in his cell.. ...Read Full Story

Sheriff To Update Courthouse Shooting Investigation

We will know more later today about the shootings at the Berrien County Courthouse last week that killed two court officers. Sheriff Paul Bailey will give his first press conference in over a week at 10 a.m. to detail what their investigation has discovered so far. What we know for sure is jail inmate Larry Gordon somehow managed to get a gun out of the holster of Deputy James Atterberry Jr and shoot him, Kenya Ellis of Benton Harbor, and bailiffs Joe Zangaro and Ron Kienzle. Zangaro and Kienzle were killed, and other officers killed Gordon. The shooting happened as he was being led back to a holding cell after a court appearance. WSJM plans to carry the press conference live this morning, and it will also be available on our podcast page later today.. ...Read Full Story

Lansing Serial Killer Up For Parole

A man who admitted to killing four mid-Michigan women in the 1970s is up for parole. The Lansing State Journal reports Thursday that 61-year-old Donald Miller is scheduled to meet next month with a member of the state parole board. Miller was sentenced to 30 to 50 years in 1979 for the rape and attempted murder of two Delta Township teenagers. He also confessed to killing four women, but a lack of evidence forced the Ingham County prosecutor to offer him reduced charges in exchange for leading them to the bodies. Seven parole hearings were held between 1989 and 1997. Relatives of the dead women and officials have opposed parole over the years. Miller is being held at a correctional facility in Jackson and declined an interview.. ...Read Full Story

Open House At Berrien County Animal Shelter Friday

Anyone interested in seeing the new Berrien County Animal Control facility in Benton Township will have a chance to do so Friday. Animal Control Director Val Grimes says everyone is welcome to come out between 1 and 7 p.m. to take a tour and even walk a dog. She says she’s very pleased with the new building and the public should see it.. ...Read Full Story

Prosecutor Files Sentencing Motions In Ten Juvenile Murder Cases

Sentences of life in prison without parole are being sought for a second time by the Berrien County Prosecutor’s office in ten cases that go as far back as 1967. The prosecutor’s office on Thursday announced it has filed motions seeking that sentence in response to a couple of Supreme Court rulings striking down mandatory life without parole sentences for juvenile offenders. Since the 2012 ruling, judges have the option of handing down life without parole to a juvenile, but they can also impose a lesser sentence. The ruling in 2016 was made retroactive. The prosecutor’s office says in all ten local cases affected by the rulings, it’s asking once again for just that sentence. The prosecutor had until the end of this week to file motions with the request. All ten cases involve murder.. ...Read Full Story

Kalamazoo Spill Settlement Renews Calls To Shut Down Line 5

The settlement reached in the Kalamazoo River oil spill is intensifying calls from citizen and environmental groups to shut down Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac. A $177 million federal oil spill settlement with Enbridge Energy Partners was announced Wednesday for the 2010 pipeline rupture. Deb Hansen, with Concerned Citizens of Cheboygan and Emmet County, contends the settlement is inadequate, and says it shows the risk the state is taking for continuing to allow Enbridge pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac.. ...Read Full Story