Local News Archives

NRC Talks Cook Plant

The duties of some of the most detail-oriented, safety minded engineers in the area were on display at the Silver Beach Center in St. Joseph Tuesday, as the resident inspectors from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission who oversee the safety efforts at Bridgman’s Cook Nuclear Plant met with the public. One of them is John Ellegood, who has been at Cook for six-and-a-half years and tells WSJM News he enjoys being able to share what they do with people.. ...Read Full Story

Donation To Bridgman STEM Lab

STEM education in Bridgman is getting a boost. The Bridgman Foundation for Educational Excellence gave the final $150,000 of $300,000 raised to support the F.C. Reed Middle School STEM Lab during this week’s school board meeting. Superintendent Shane Peters tells us the school’s approach is a little different than others when it comes to the science, technology, engineering, and math lab as all 5th through 8th graders can participate in the STEM lab.. ...Read Full Story

Mutt March Today

Animal Aid of Southwestern Michigan will hold its annual Mutt March today. The Mutt March raises money for the animal rescue organization. It’s a walk including dog owners and their friends in St. Joseph. The theme this year is “Rescue to Rescue: Honoring Rescue, Law Enforcement and Military,” and will feature participants including the St. Joseph Department of Public Safety, veterans groups, and first responders. The march starts at 11 a.m. at Lake Bluff Park in St. Joseph with an entry fee of $10. Animal Aid is an all-volunteer organization that works to find homes for animals. You can find out more about the Mutt March at AnimalAidSWMI.org.. ...Read Full Story

“Commodity Fair” Teaches Kids About Farm Risk

As county fairs are held around Michigan this summer, young future farmers have been receiving a lesson in risk management through a program of the CME Group. The company has teamed up with 4H chapters across the country for the past six years to offer its Commodity Carnival at fairs. CME Group’s Tim Andriesen tells WSJM News the carnival allows young people to simulate raising hogs by having them take part in a game in which they raise small eggs that represent livestock and weigh the costs versus revenue. The lesson they hope to teach?. ...Read Full Story

Detroit Mayor Suing Over Auto Insurance Law

From the Associated Press — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and residents have filed a federal lawsuit over Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance law. The Detroit News reports that the lawsuit was filed Thursday against Patrick McPharlin, the director of Michigan’s Department of Insurance and Financial Services. The department oversees the state’s no-fault insurance system.
The lawsuit alleges the system has caused excessive rates and is unconstitutional. The filing says Michigan’s average auto insurance premium is more than $3,000, while the national average is about $1,500. The suit says Detroit has the highest auto rate of any city in the U.S., with drivers paying an average of about $6,200 for insurance. Department spokeswoman Andrea Miller says officials are reviewing the complaint. The lawsuit is asking the court to give the state six months to change the
system.. ...Read Full Story

Red Arrow Highway Reconstruction Planned

You may have noticed that Red Arrow Highway is not in the best shape south of Bridgman in Berrien County, and at least part of that is about to change. Berrien County Road Department Director Jason Latham tells WSJM News they’re going to reconstruct two miles of Red Arrow Highway, from the south end of Bridgman to Browntown Road, starting just after Labor Day.. ...Read Full Story

Schuitmaker, Leonard Fight For Attorney General Nomination

From the Associated Press — The race to become Michigan’s next attorney general will be set this weekend, when 2,100 Republican activists choose between two state lawmakers vying for the nomination to face Democrat Dana Nessel this fall.
House Speaker Tom Leonard and Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker are battling to succeed term-limited Bill Schuette, the Republican nominee for governor. Both lawyers point to their career backgrounds to argue they are best prepared for the job, while citing different reasons why they are best positioned to win in November.The nominee selected Saturday at a Lansing convention will try to extend a 16-year run in which a Republican has served as the state’s top lawyer and law enforcement official. Nessel, who won her party’s support at an April convention, will be officially nominated in East Lansing Sunday.. ...Read Full Story

Honor Flight Next Month

Set for September 15 is the next Talons Out Honor Flight. Talons Out is an organization that provides free trips to Washington, D.C. for veterans of the Korean War and World War II so they can see their war memorials. The group’s Bobbie Bradley tells WSJM News they’ve been doing this since 2013.. ...Read Full Story

Kinexus Recognizes Offender Success Program

Kinexus is celebrating its Offender Success program. The employment agency in Benton Harbor tells us Offender Success pairs up recently-released inmates with job opportunities and programs designed to prevent them from re-offending. Offender Success Director Derek Knuth tells WSJM News the program has delivered a 61% region wide placement rate since being started in 2017. Knuth tells us it works when all parties are committed.. ...Read Full Story

Road Department Contract Approved

The Berrien County Board of Commissioners has approved its first tentative labor contract with the Berrien County Road Department since taking the road operation over last year. At a Thursday meeting, the county commission agreed to a three-year contract with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324, which includes 51 employees, says Berrien County Road Department Director Jason Latham. He spoke with WSJM News about the contract and the affected employees.. ...Read Full Story

Report: MI Schools Getting Short Changed

Michigan students will be missing out on almost $1 billion in funding this school year, and a new report blames what it calls “state budgeting gimmicks.” Voters approved the School Aid Fund more than two decades ago to support K-through-12 education, but research from the Michigan League for Public Policy shows over the past nine years, $4.5 billion from the fund was shifted to universities and community colleges. Report co-author Peter Ruark tells us it’s a tactic to prevent General Fund dollars from being used on higher education.. ...Read Full Story

Coach Charged With Lying In Nassar Case

From the Associated Press — Investigators say a former head gymnastics coach at Michigan State University lied in June when she denied that witnesses had told her in the past about being sexually assaulted by former sports doctor Larry Nassar.
Charging documents released Thursday don’t specify who allegedly reported Nassar’s abuse to the former coach, Kathie Klages.
But former gymnast Larissa Boyce has said she told Klages that Nassar had abused her in 1997, when Boyce was 16. Boyce had been training with the Spartan youth gymnastics team at the time. Klages has denied that Boyce reported abuse to her.
In his warrant request, special agent David Dwyre with the Michigan attorney general’s office says he told Klages in June that he was conducting a criminal investigation. He says she proceeded to “knowingly and willfully” make statements she knew were false or misleading. A message seeking comment was left Thursday with attorneys for Klages.. ...Read Full Story

West Nile Virus Found In Berrien County

The West Nile virus has been found in Berrien County. Berrien County Health Department spokesperson Gillian Conrad tells WSJM News the illness was confirmed in a woman in late July. She couldn’t tell us more about the specific case, but said it was the first this year in the county. West Nile is relatively rare in the county.. ...Read Full Story

Kalamazoo Planning “Graffiti Gardens”

From the Associated Press — A southwestern Michigan city is planning what are known as graffiti gardens where people can legally draw or paint on billboard-like plywood structures. Kalamazoo is working to provide more opportunities for art on utility boxes and streets to create an alternative to illegal graffiti. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports graffiti gardens in Upjohn Park and Rockwell Park would offer another legal outlet, though profanity, nudity or gang sings would be prohibited. The update comes as the City Commission is reviewing amendments to noise offenses that add other nuisances, including graffiti and issues with vacant properties. Some of these are already restricted, but the changes would add more specific language and make them enforceable by civil infraction of up to $200. A planning official is meeting with local artists to find spaces for public
art.. ...Read Full Story

MSU Searching For New President

From the Associate Press — Michigan State University trustees have appointed 19 members to a search committee looking for the school’s next president. The selections were announced Wednesday. The committee will have 10 men and nine women – including various representatives for students, faculty, the board of trustees and others. A co-chairwoman of the presidential search committee, Trustee Dianne Byrum, says the panel is “inclusive, diverse and representative of the broader MSU
stakeholders.” After Lou Anna Simon resigned in January amid fallout from the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal, Michigan State named former Gov. John Engler as interim president. The board of trustees plans to announce a new president no later than June 2019.. ...Read Full Story

Car Break-Ins Reported In South Haven

A series of car break-ins has law enforcement busy around the South Haven area. Incidents of break ins in Casco Township and South Haven have been reported, leading the South Haven Police Department to tell residents to be vigilant and not leave valuable items in sight and always lock your car. Police are asking anyone that sees suspicious activity or has information about these break ins to call your local law enforcement agency.. ...Read Full Story

MI Utilities Steadfast O Coal Plans

The Trump administration announced on Tuesday it’s loosening rules on emissions from coal-fired power plants, rolling back the requirements of President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The new rules would largely allow states to regulate emissions, and in Michigan, it’s unclear whether utilities or the Department of Environmental Quality would seek less stringent air-pollution controls for state’s 15 coal-fired power plants. Pete Ternes with DTE Energy tells us his company plans to close all of its coal plants by 2040 and is sticking with its plans to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions significantly.. ...Read Full Story

Upton On Return Of House

When the U.S. House gets back to work after Labor Day, Congressman Fred Upton will be pushing for the implementation of new rules for the chamber. He tells WSJM News November’s elections are likely to result in a shift of power in the House, and the new Speaker must not be allowed to block popular ideas just because they come from another party.. ...Read Full Story

Update On Michigan Water Testing

From the Associated Press — Michigan officials say they’re halfway finished with collecting samples for a statewide study of toxic chemicals that have been detected in 33 states’ drinking water. The Department of Environmental Quality has sampled 892 of Michigan’s 1,841 public water systems and schools with their own wells. They are looking for polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS. From those samples, 341 laboratory test results have come in. Only the city of Parchment’s results have exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion, which is also the level the DEQ has set to trigger cleanup of groundwater used for drinking. The Michigan League of Conservation Voters says a tougher standard is needed.The state is spending $23 million to locate PFAS contamination, identify sources and oversee cleanups.. ...Read Full Story

Crowdfunding Campaign For New Theater Goes Well

A new theater in Benton Harbor is ready to begin renovations. Ghostlight Theater Director Martha Hesse tells WSJM News a crowdfunding campaign started this past Sunday, and was just a few hundred dollars from its goal as of Wednesday afternoon. The Ghostlight is seeking a $50,000 match from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, along with another $50,000 match from a local foundation. Hesse tells us the theater could open Memorial Day weekend, 2019.. ...Read Full Story

Longjohn Addresses Commission

Democratic candidate for Congress in Michigan’s Sixth District Matt Longjohn stopped by Benton Harbor City Hall on Monday to speak with the Benton Harbor City Commission. Longjohn, a doctor, promoted his healthcare credentials to commissioners, saying his experience as a public health official puts him in a good position to better serve citizens.. ...Read Full Story

Existing Home Sales Surge In July In SWMI

Sales of existing homes in July surged 18% over last year according to the Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors. Average and median sales prices were nearly unchanged. The inventory of houses for sale rose slightly from a 5.9 month supply in June to a 6.29 month supply in July. Year-to-date, the total dollar volume of homes sold is up 5%, while that volume was higher by 20% compared to July 2017. The number of bank-owned or foreclosed homes as a percentage of all transactions in July dropped to 4%, which is a low for the year and even with the level last July and August. The highest percentage for the month was 35% in July 2009.. ...Read Full Story

Record Number Of Schools Starting Early

At least 143 Michigan school districts have asked for waivers to begin school before Labor Day this year, the largest number since a law was passed requiring the later start. The tourism industry argued the later start gave them more summer weekends, despite arguments from educators that it was bad for kids. Michigan State University economist Paul Ballard says he doubts the economic bump is worth the damage it does.. ...Read Full Story

NWS Again Cautioning Against Swimming In Lake Michigan

A beach hazards advisory is still in effect until 8 tonight from the National Weather Service for the Lake Michigan shoreline all the way from Indiana to Manistee. While there have been people surfing the big waves today in South Haven, NWS meteorologist David Cook says it’s recommended people don’t swim, especially if they’re not too experienced.. ...Read Full Story

Water Main Break Impacting South Haven, Casco Twp

A water main break is impacting service in the city of South Haven. City officials are working on a boil water notice for the area of East Wells Street northward to include Casco Township. The notice will be from the Lake Michigan shore to I-196. They don’t have an estimate as yet as to when the repairs will be complete and the boil notice lifted.. ...Read Full Story

Artists Envision Murals For Benton Harbor

There could soon be an effort to beautify areas of Benton Harbor with murals. At this week’s city commission meeting, Anna Russo-Sieber with ARS Arts and Culture Center in Benton Harbor and Detroit-area artist John Sauve made their initial pitch to commissioners. They had no details; just a proposal that murals be painted on buildings throughout the city. Sieber told WSJM News public art has been shown to be a boost for communities.. ...Read Full Story

Cherry Beach Project In Home Stretch

An effort in Chikaming Township to raise money for the expansion of a popular beach is now in its home stretch. Chikaming Township Supervisor David Bunte tells WSJM News the Cherry Beach Project seeks to raise about $1 million for the purchase of three acres adjacent to the beach.. ...Read Full Story

Upton Expects Debate

There will be a debate or more between Congressman Fred Upton and Democratic opponent Matt Longjohn in the race for the Sixth District congressional seat. Upton tells WSJM News he’ll make it a priority. Longjohn has called for six debates.. ...Read Full Story

Fair Attendance Slightly Down

Preparations are already underway for next year’s Berrien County Youth Fair now that the 2018 event is all wrapped up. Berrien County Youth Fair Director Karen Klug tells WSJM News about 105,000 people walked through the fairground gates last week. That’s compared to 121,000 the previous year. The biggest attractions?. ...Read Full Story

City Manager Talks Continue

Benton Harbor City Commissioners continue to discuss the status of City Manager Darwin Watson. At Monday’s meeting, they emerged from a closed session, requested by Watson, at which they considered his employment agreement. In the end, commissioners voted to amend the city manager’s contract without specifying in what way. Mayor Marcus Muhammad said an ad hoc committee consisting of Commissioners Ron Singleton, Duane Seats, and Sharon Henderson would work out that amendment. Muhammad said they would have ten days. In February, the commission voted against an extension of Watson’s contract while still leaving him in place. The discussion is expected to resume at the next city commission meeting.. ...Read Full Story

Cook Nuclear Plant NRC Inspectors Hold Open House

The duties of some of the most detail-oriented, safety minded engineers in the area were on display at the Silver Beach Center in St. Joseph Tuesday, as the resident inspectors from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission who oversee the safety efforts at Bridgman’s Cook Nuclear Plant met with the public. One of them is John Ellegood, who has been at Cook for six-and-a-half years and tells WSJM News he enjoys being able to share what they do with people.. ...Read Full Story

Bridgman Middle School STEM Lab Gets Sizable Donation

STEM education in Bridgman is getting a boost. The Bridgman Foundation for Educational Excellence gave the final $150,000 of $300,000 raised to support the F.C. Reed Middle School STEM Lab during this week’s school board meeting. Superintendent Shane Peters tells us the school’s approach is a little different than others when it comes to the science, technology, engineering, and math lab as all 5th through 8th graders can participate in the STEM lab.. ...Read Full Story

Line 5 Hearing

With concerns about the safety of Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac, Senator Gary Peters held a U.S. Senate hearing in Traverse City today. He took testimony from officials from the Coast Guard, NOAA, and Skip Elliott, administrator of the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.. ...Read Full Story

City Continues Tax Fight

A tax tribunal case between Harbor Shores and the city of Benton Harbor will continue. At a Monday meeting, the city commission rejected a settlement with Harbor Shores regarding its 2017 and 2018 assessments. The golf course wants its taxable value adjusted lower. The settlement, if accepted, would have caused a loss of about $33,000 to the city. The city assessor warned commissioners the fight could drag out for years with little chance for the city. Mayor Marcus Muhammad liked the situation to “an indecent proposal.”. ...Read Full Story

LMC Offering Campaign Class

A new kind of class is being offered this upcoming academic year at Lake Michigan College. The college tells us it’s holding a course to teach students how to run a political campaign. LMC political science professor Tiffany Bohm tells WSJM News Campaigns and Elections will cover several election-related topics, like public speaking, data analysis, and voter registration.. ...Read Full Story

Proos Honors Ambulance Service

State Senator John Proos has saluted the Edwardsburg Ambulance Service for reaching its 50th anniversary. Proos on Friday presented the service with a special tribute during a visit to Dowagiac. He tells us first responders “are supremely dedicated people who work night and day to save lives and help make Southwest Michigan a great place to live.” He also commended the community for supporting the ambulance service and making sure it has the latest training and equipment. Proos presented the service’s Jenn Hartzell and Alyssa Cox with the tribute, which was signed by himself, Governor Rick Snyder, state Representtaive Dave Pagel, and Congressman Fred Upton.. ...Read Full Story

Campaign Responds To Calls For Debate

The campaign of Congressman Fred Upton has indicated it is interested in scheduling debates between Upton and Democratic opponent Matt Longjohn, although it’s not being more specific than that. Longjohn last week challenged Upton to six debates, one in each of the district’s counties. After we contacted the Upton campaign to ask for a response, we were sent a statement attributed to campaign manager Nate Henschel. It says the campaign “will participate in public forums, discussions, and debates surrounding the issues. We plan on working with our opponents to ensure voters can see and hear for themselves our contrasting visions for the future of Southwest Michigan.” The Longjohn campaign says Upton called for debates after he secured the Republican nomination for the Sixth District seat this month.. ...Read Full Story

Car Break-Ins Reported

Another round of car break-ins is under investigation by the St. Joseph Department of Public Safety. The department posted on its Facebook page Monday, saying the culprits are going through unlocked cars. There was also an attempted home break-in Sunday night, although the city isn’t saying exactly where it was. Everyone’s reminded to keep their house and car doors locked, and to remove valuables from their vehicles. Anyone who has security cameras that captured suspicious activity is asked to contact the St. Joseph Department of Public Safety. ...Read Full Story

Gas Prices Falling

AAA Michigan reports that the average price for a gallon of gas has dipped about 10¢ in the last week on average, from just under $3 to $2.89 per gallon. But, they also say that price is nearly 50¢ higher than last year at this time. They also expect prices to spike again as we approach the Labor Day holiday weekend two weeks from today. The Benton Harbor-St. Joseph average is down a nickel to $2.90 per gallon, but if you go into Van Buren County, GasBuddy notes there are good bargains to be had, with prices in Gobles down to $2.68 and South Haven’s prices are around $2.81. Triple-A says gasoline inventories in the Midwest increased last week for the first time since the end of June, and that helped to stabilize the market and even bring the prices down. Michigan’s lowest prices according to the auto club are in Traverse City at $2.75.. ...Read Full Story

Three Women Shot In Benton Township

Benton Township police are looking for suspects in a triple shooting. They were called to a home around 2:30 a.m. Sunday in the 800 block of Eastern Avenue for a report of shots fired and found three Benton Harbor women injured. All three were outside at a party when they were shot. According to police, 31-year-old Tiera Clark was shot in the chest and throat area, 31-year-old Holli Meridy was shot in the shoulder, and 30-year-old Alicia Watson was shot in the neck. There is no word on their conditions. Police have not identified any suspects or motive as yet.. ...Read Full Story

New Home For Berrien Cancer Service

A move is in the works for Berrien County Cancer Service. Organization CEO Nancy Church tells WSJM News they’re relocating from their building on Red Arrow Highway near Stevensville to the second floor of the Marie Yeager Cancer Center in Royalton Township. She says this will put Berrien County Cancer Service closer to many patients.. ...Read Full Story

Closing Tax Loophole Means Big Bucks

School districts around Berrien County have seen their revenues jump dramatically since the closure of a property tax loophole last year. Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells WSJM News legislation from state Representatives Dave Pagel and Kim LaSata made it possible to revoke the homestead exemptions of property owners making that claim on more than one property. Since the crackdown, Witkowski says nearly a million dollars more has been collected for Berrien County schools.. ...Read Full Story

Rural Development Grants For SWM

Congressman Fred Upton has announced a couple of grants for Berrien and Van Buren counties. His office tells us the first USDA Rural Development grant in Berrien is $95,000 for the village of Baroda. It will be used to build a road through the industrial park. The park has 14 lots, 12 of which are sold to businesses looking to construct facilities. However, there isn’t road access to all of the sites. The grant will change that. It’s expected to lead to the creation of 20 jobs. The other grant is for $41,000 for Van Buren County to conduct a comprehensive countywide economic development plan. It will focus on three areas — transportation, workforce housing, and internet connectivity. Congressman Upton says the two USDA Rural Development grants will “directly help boost our local economy and create local jobs.”. ...Read Full Story

Prison Closing This Year

The Ojibway Correctional Facility in the western Upper Peninsula will close in December. The Michigan Department of Corrections announced the closure today as the prisoner population continues to decline statewide. State Representative Scott Dianda, who represents the western Upper Peninsula, tells Michigan News Network it’s bad news.. ...Read Full Story

Historical Society Fundraising For Museum

The Bangor Historical Society is looking to purchase its museum Museum on West Monroe Street. The society tells us it’s had a generous landlord for years, but now, the landlord would like to sell the building in the next year. So, that means the museum will have to purchase the building or move. Bob Emmert, president of the museum, spoke with WSJM News about the issue.. ...Read Full Story

Public Art On Hold

There will not be any public art on the sidewalks in the city of St. Joseph next year. The program is being paused for a year, partly due to the retirement of communications director Susan Solon, and partly because she says it’s been successful in bringing people and families downtown and helping to fill storefronts that had been empty when it began as an economic development tool 15 years go.. ...Read Full Story

Milestone For Horizon Bank

Horizon Bank has announced a new milestone. The bank that serves northern Indiana and southwest Michigan has surpassed $4 billion in total assets. Horizon Bank CEO Craig Dwight says this is the first time the institution has passed that mark in its 145 year history. He adds the bank is proud of reaching that level, believing the growth “helps us to continue on our mission of serving local communities.” He credits the latest news to “profitable acquisitive and organic growth.” Horizon Bank has more than 50 locations throughout Indiana and Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Group Studies Local Retail Needs

Cornerstone Alliance is looking at all options to help Benton Township replace the Target store in the Fairplain Plaza, which closed earlier this year. To that end, they’ve hired an organization called The Retail Coach to study the market. The company’s Will Kline talked about the work with 98.3 The Coast.. ...Read Full Story

Police Citizens Academy

Anyone interested in learning more about police work will soon have a chance to take part in a Michigan State Police Citizens Academy. Trooper Alan Fitzpatrick of the Paw Paw post tells WSJM News the next academy will start September 24, and they’re taking registrations now. He says each Monday session looks at different aspects of the work state police do.. ...Read Full Story

Online Sales Tax Collections Increasing

The state of Michigan will begin collecting sales taxes on online purchases from out of state sellers next month. The Michigan Department of Treasury tells us a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision has prompted it to change the state’s sales tax administration. Shoppers were previously required to track and annually self-report uncollected taxes from mail order and online retailers physically located outside of Michigan. Treasury says this week’s announcement allows for the more efficient collection of the sales tax by collecting from businesses rather than individuals. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a more than 30-year precedent allowing the Michigan Department of Treasury to collect sales tax from retailers physically located outside the state if the retailer exceeds $100,000 in sales or 200 or more transactions in Michigan within the previous calendar year. The state Treasury Department estimates more than $200 million in additional state revenue will be collected each year under the new sales tax rule.. ...Read Full Story

Push To Improve National Parks

National Parks in Michigan and around the nation could get some TLC if Congress Acts. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is promoting bipartisan legislation that would address the $12 billion maintenance backlog at parks across the country. Yaron Miller with the Pew Charitable Trusts Restore America’s Parks campaign says many of the problems at the parks impact access and safety.. ...Read Full Story

Local Wines Win Awards

Some southwest Michigan wineries have come out on top in a statewide competition. Held in Lansing on August 9 was the 2018 Michigan Wine Competition. Out of 415 wines entered, wineries of the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail were awarded 125 medals, including three in the Best of Class category. Among them were St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw, which took home the top honors in the categories of Dessert Wine and Fruit Wine. Winning in the Semi-Dry Red Wine category was Lawton Ridge Winery out of Kalamazoo. The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail is a collaboration of 20 member wineries all located in Southwest Michigan. You can find out more about them at MIWineTrail.com.. ...Read Full Story

Road Commission To Try Again

The Van Buren County Road Commission is going to try again. After a ballot proposal asking the public for a millage increase to improve the roads was shot down last week, Road Commission Engineer Manager Larry Hummel says they’re now going to put it on the November ballot. He told The Herald Palladium trying again in November will allow more time to promote the millage proposal. The goal is 3 mills over 12 years, generating about $10 million per year. The ballot language will be revised to better explain how the money will be shared with local governments. The millage proposal was rejected last week with about 44% voting in favor. The Van Buren County Road Commission tells us it needs extra money in order to get the county’s roads in better shape. Hummel says about 67% of them are in poor condition.. ...Read Full Story

Man Found Guilty Of Murder

An Elkhart, Indiana man has been found guilty of murder in Cass County. The Cass County Prosecutor’s Office tells us 33-year-old Joseph Craigo’s trial wrapped up Friday after about a half hour of deliberations. The trial included testimony from 19 witnesses about the night in March of last year when Craigo’s father was killed. The prosecution said a methamphetamine-addicted Craigo went to his parent’s house with the intention of taking what he wanted and then killing his father. It tells us Craigo used a homemade knife to try to slit his father’s throat before plunging it into his neck. Criago’s 66-year old-mother testified he threatened to kill her as he fled the scene. Craigo had claimed self-defense, and later, that we was covering for his mother, who he said actually committed the murder. In court, though, he admitted to the stabbing. Craigo will be sentenced on September 14. The penalty for murder in the first degree is mandatory life in prison without parole.. ...Read Full Story

Allegan Deputies To Carry Anti-Overdose Drug

Deputies with the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department will now be carrying anti-overdose drug Naloxone as part of their regular equipment. Naloxone is a simple nasal spray that can get a person breathing again when they experience an opioid overdose. The sheriff’s department tells us a grant helped to buy enough doses for all of its divisions to keep on hand. The Grand Rapids Red Project came to Allegan and Saugatuck to provide Naloxone training to staff of the sheriff’s department. The drug has become a common piece of standard police equipment in southwest Michigan as the opioid epidemic continues to cause overdose deaths.. ...Read Full Story