Local News Archives

Skunk To Serve As Ambassador To Grand Rapids Zoo

When Turnip the skunk visits schools, nursing homes and other places there will be no need to hold noses. As a sort of animal ambassador for Grand Rapids’ John Ball Zoo, she’s been de-scented ahead of her role to educate people about skunks. The Grand Rapids Press reports Wednesday that Turnip won’t be on exhibit at  the zoo. Instead, she is being trained. She will take strolls with staff and meet zoo visitors.
Zookeeper Sarah Bontinen says skunks often are misunderstood. The zoo wants to see the year-old Turnip to show how interesting and useful the animals can be. Bontinen says “skunks only spray when they feel imminent danger” and “they don’t want to spray unless they feel like they have to.”. ...Read Full Story

Walk To End Alzheimer’s This Weekend

The annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s is coming up Saturday in St. Joseph. Walk manager Kristin Burt says they will welcome anyone, and even their dogs, at the event. She says “anyone with a brain is at risk for this disease, and that’s why we want anyone and everyone to come to this walk and have more awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and help us raise funds that can help find a cure.”. ...Read Full Story

Two Hurt In Motorcycle v. Deer Crash

A Lawrence couple is hospitalized in Kalamazoo after hitting a deer on their motorcycle in Cass County. The sheriff’s department says 65-year-old Leonard and 63-year-old Terri Lee Strefling suffered minor injuries in the crash, which happened around 7:30 last night in Volinia Township. The deer ran out in front of their bike as they were headed north on Decatur Road. Police say both people were wearing helmets, and alcohol wasn’t a factor.. ...Read Full Story

Researchers Using Underwater Robot To Study Lake Michigan

Scientists are retrieving data from an underwater robot for the first time since it was deployed to gather information about the Lake Michigan fish food supply. The U.S. Geological Survey and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute launched the vehicle August 1. It is measuring volumes of algae and tiny animals called zooplankton, which form the base of aquatic food chains. Experts say the findings will help develop estimates of how many predator fish Lake Michigan can support. They say it’s been hard to develop accurate measures of algae and zooplankton using conventional technologies. The robot will ply the southern portion of the lake for 25 days, at depths ranging from 9 feet to 150 feet. It’s being removed temporarily Tuesday so scientists can download data and recharge the battery.. ...Read Full Story

Study Examines Progression Of Federal Minimum Wage

According to a new analysis, if the federal minimum wage had grown at the same pace as increases in worker productivity, it would be nearly $19 an hour in 2016. Meanwhile, business groups argue that raising the wage could lead to job loss, especially in the midwest and south. David Cooper, with the Economic Policy Institute, says he doesn’t believe increasing the minimum wage would lead to job losses, as some business groups say.. ...Read Full Story

Berrien Springs Senior Living Community Fire

No one’s injured, but there were some tense moments at a Berrien Springs Senior Living Community Tuesday when a fire broke out in one of the units. The Oronoko Township Fire Department was dispatched to Timber Ridge Manor at US-31 around 6 p.m. when a stove top caught fire. The building filled with smoke, causing residents to be evacuated. Firefighters had the situation under control quickly, and used fans to clear the building while residents waited outside. The building did not suffer any fire damage, nor was there serious damage to the unit where it started. Everyone was let back in by 8 p.m. ...Read Full Story