Local News Archives

Straight Party Ticket Ban Struck Down By Judge

A federal judge has blocked Michigan’s new ban on straight-party voting, a law that was passed by Republicans but criticized by Democrats as a
way to discourage turnout among minorities. Judge Gershwin Drain signed an injunction Thursday, a week after hearing arguments. He says the law would place a “disproportionate burden” on the rights of black citizens to vote in the fall election. Lawyers say more than 70 percent of ballots in Detroit and Flint have been cast as straight-party — votes that go for all candidates of one party with just a single mark. The state attorney general’s office, which is defending the law in court, says Michigan joined 40 other states in banning straight-party voting. The judge says that’s irrelevant.. ...Read Full Story

Cotter: Prevailing Wage Repeal Off Table

It was a priority for Michigan Republicans when this legislative session began, but not anymore. Speaker Kevin Cotter says an attempt to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law is off the table for the remaining 20 legislative days in this session. Cotter told Michigan’s Big Show that the Governor opposes the bill because it is contrary to his efforts to promote and encourage skilled trades in Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Report: Courthouse Shooter Was School Volunteer

New information coming from our reporting partners at WKZO radio in Kalamazoo that Larry Gordon, the man who shot and killed two bailiffs at the Berrien County Courthouse, was also a volunteer at his daughter’s elementary school. Watervliet Public Schools superintendent Kevin Schooley confirms they only do security screens using fingerprints for employees, and did not know of Gordon’s extensive criminal history.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Conference Seeks To Help Combat Human Trafficking

Efforts to raise awareness about human trafficking and combat the problem will be the focus of a fall conference in Ann Arbor. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission on Thursday announced the September 29 event. The commission, the State Court Administrative Office and the Department of Health and Human Services are involved. The conference is open to law enforcement, legal professionals, victim service providers, protective services workers, judiciary staff and other human trafficking-related groups. Details are posted online. Michigan has stepped up efforts in recent years to shield minor victims from prosecution and crack down criminals involved in human trafficking. Notices are being posted at rest stops, airports and bus stations to educate the public and
offer help for victims.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Welcomes Two New City Officials

Some new city officials are in place in South Haven. This month, the city welcomed Travis Sullivan to serve as the new clerk. He comes to South Haven from Kalamazoo, where he worked in several positions in city government, as city records coordinator most recently. Sullivan has a Bachelor of Science degree in History and a Masters of Public Administration in public management from Grand Valley State University. Also welcomed this month was William Hunter, the new department of public works director. He comes from Grand Haven, where he also headed up DPW. He’d previously supervised the water plant there... ...Read Full Story

National Police Night Out Next Month

The annual police National Night Out is coming up next month. The event is held each year in communities all over the country to help the public get better acquainted with their law enforcement agencies. Locally, the Night Out will be in St. Joseph Township at Riverview Park on August 2. St. Joe Township Police officer Rick Knapp says, in light of recent events, it would be a good thing if there’s a strong showing from the community.. ...Read Full Story

Rock Collectors Flock To Van Buren State Park

Rock collectors have been flocking to a state park in Covert that has seen broad expanses of stone because of high water levels. MLive reports that Van Buren State Park is typically known for its massive dunes and sandy beaches, but now visitors are coming out in force this summer
searching for everything from beach glass to fossils. Albion College geology student Jennifer Nelson, who working at the park this summer, says whether beaches are sandy or rocky is determined by how much sand the lake’s tide consumes. Nelson says fossils, granite and shiny, colorful stones have been particularly popular among young collectors. Adult collectors often look for Petoskey stones, which are somewhat rare but possible to find. She says visitors are allowed to collect 25 pounds of rocks per year from state land.. ...Read Full Story