Local News Archives

Television Series To Shoot In South Haven

Audrey Niffenegger is a name you might not be familiar with. She is an author born in 1963 in South Haven, with her debut novel, “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” being published in 2003. It was made into a 2009 movie starring Rachel McAdams, Eric Bana, and Ron Livingston, but it didn’t always stay true to the novel. The book is a love story about a man with a genetic disorder causing him to time travel without notice, and his wife who is an artist that tries to deal with her husband often being absent. It’s getting a second life thanks to HBO, which is producing a series based on the book, and producers have been scouting parts of South Haven for filming. It’s currently in the very early stages of production.. ...Read Full Story

St. Joseph To Consider LGBTQ Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

The St. Joseph City Commission is looking into becoming the 45th local government in Michigan to enact its own anti-discrimination ordinance to protect the LGBTQ community, as efforts in the state Legislature to expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to that end have fallen short for decades. Commissioners heard from OutCenter Executive Director Mary Jo Schnell last night, who urged them to look into the issue.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Shell Station Hit By Armed Robbers

South Haven Police are looking for two suspects accused of an armed robbery shortly before 11:30 Sunday night at the Shell gas station in the 400 block of Broadway. One is a black male about 6-feet tall with a medium build who was in a hoodie and light colored sweats. The other was shorter, dressed in a dark hoodie and sweats, and police don’t know if that person is male or female. Both had their faces covered by bandanas. One pulled a handgun on the clerk while the other stole several packs of cigarettes. They also got away with cash and other undisclosed items from the store.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Fire Safety Fun Night

With this being Fire Prevention Week, South Haven Area Emergency Services is planning to hold its annual Fire Safety Fun Night on Thursday. Executive Director Ron Wise tells WSJM News everyone’s welcome to bring the kids down to Fire Station 3 on Blue Star Highway from 5 to 8 p.m.. ...Read Full Story

Lawsuit Over Ballot Selfies Continues

From the Associated Press — Eager to snap and post an online photo of your Michigan ballot in the November 6 election? Think again. A lawsuit over photos in polling places still hasn’t reached the finish line – more than two years later. Next year seems likely. A voter in the Kalamazoo area sued in 2016 to try to stop Michigan rules and laws that bar people from taking a photo of their marked ballot or publicly exposing it. Federal Judge Janet Neff granted an injunction, clearing the way for so-called ballot selfies. But a higher court stepped in and said a change just days before the Trump-Clinton election would be a “recipe for election-day confusion.” Joel Crookston’s lawsuit against the secretary of state still is ongoing while another election approaches. Crookston says his free-speech rights are being violated.. ...Read Full Story

Positive Audit For SJ Schools

The latest financial audit has found St. Joseph Public Schools to be in good shape. At a Monday meeting, the board of education was told the district in the last year spent slightly less than what it took in, with both figures around $27 million. Superintendent Ann Cardon also told WSJM News they tucked some money away for a rainy day.. ...Read Full Story

LMC Names New Wine Center

Lake Michigan College has named its new wine and viticulture center in honor of a Stevensville couple who has worked to help the college complete major projects. LMC President Trevor Kubatzke tells WSJM News the Welch Center will be named in honor of Mike and Lisa Welch.. ...Read Full Story

Big Fire Department Exercise Tonight In Baroda

Fifteen fire departments from Berrien and Cass counties are getting together tonight in Baroda for a large scale multi-fire department exercise. The training is designed to practice and test the ability to provide a constant flow of at least 2,000 gallons per minute through a ladder truck for 30 minutes. That’s used in fighting rural fires, as hydrants aren’t as available in most of Baroda and Berrien County. The departments will begin the training at 7 tonight at the Baroda Fire Department.. ...Read Full Story

State Promotes PACE Senior Program

The Michigan House has approved a resolution from state Representative Mary Whiteford to declare September PACE Awareness Month. The Casco Township Republican tells us PACE, or Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, helps keep senior Michiganders from having to live in nursing homes.. ...Read Full Story

South Haven Land Purchase

The old Michigan State Police Post in South Haven is owned by the city and they lease out the building. The property around the building, however, is still owned by the state and they want the city to buy it. City Manager Brian Dissette spoke with WSJM News about the deal.. ...Read Full Story

Opioid Overdose Recovery Training

An opioid overdose prevention training event is set for this month in Benton Harbor. This time organized between the Berrien County Suicide Prevention Coalition and the Voice Change Hope Alliance, it will be offered in the afternoon so more people can attend. The Suicide Prevention Coalition’s Trent Watford tells WSJM News opioid overdoses and suicide are often related.. ...Read Full Story

Find Unclaimed Property Online

A new website has been launched by the Michigan Department of Treasury for residents to search for unclaimed property. Treasury’s Terry Stanton tells us the department receives unclaimed properties like dormant bank accounts, life insurance policies, stocks and bonds, and even safe deposit box contents. The state has held on to as much as $1 billion in unclaimed property over the years, and the new website makes finding those things easier.. ...Read Full Story

Work Requirement Could Hurt Healthcare Numbers

The percentage of uninsured adults in rural Michigan dropped by 22 points since the state expanded Medicaid, according to a recent study by Georgetown University and the University of North Carolina. The state Legislature passed a bill this summer to require people on Healthy Michigan to work 80 hours a month, nine months a year, in order to maintain coverage. But Emily Schwarzkopf, a policy analyst with the Michigan League for Public Policy, calls that a “one step forward, two steps back” approach and predicts people will fall off the insurance rolls.. ...Read Full Story

Anti-Lamprey Spraying In Van Buren County

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is applying lampricides to the Campbell Creek system in Van Buren County for about the next week. They started last Tuesday and will continue through this coming Thursday. Administrator Scott Grunder tells WSJM News the goal is to fight the invasive sea lamprey, an effort that has been underway for about 60 years. The service applied lampricide to the Paw Paw River in Van Buren County last year, and Grunder says next week’s operation is related. He tells us the sea lamprey are a threat to Great Lakes fish.. ...Read Full Story

Restaurant Possible For Jean Klock Park

A feasibility study into the development of a restaurant and ballroom at Jean Klock Park in Benton Harbor is about to get underway. Don and Barbara Meeks received the approval this week of the city commission to start looking into their idea, which would be a public-private partnership as the park belongs to the city. Meeks says he began talking about the idea two years ago with a friend from Benton Harbor who now lives in Florida.. ...Read Full Story

Hope For Federal Parks Funding

Congress hasn’t made a significant investment in to upgrade and fix the National Park system in more than 50 years, but that could soon change. A vote in the U.S. Senate this week could advance legislation to address the $11.6 billion in deferred maintenance needs. Marcia Argust with the “Restore America’s Parks Campaign” at The Pew Charitable Trusts tells us with 2.7 million visitors every year, Michigan’s national parks are the backbones of many local economies.. ...Read Full Story

Spectrum Absorbs Lakeland

Lakeland Health is now officially a division of Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health. The board for each entity has signed the deal and finalized it. Spectrum Health Lakeland President Loren Hamel tells WSJM News Lakeland’s 4,000 employees have now been added to Spectrum’s 26,000 employees.. ...Read Full Story

State Police Increasing Trooper Ranks

128 prospective Michigan State Police troopers are now taking part in a training academy in Lansing. MSP Captain Monica Yesh tells WSJM News the recruits go through 26 weeks of all-day study that covers topics including traffic stops, defense, firearm use, criminal law, and ethics. The academy is underway as Michigan State Police look to bolster their ranks with many looming retirements.. ...Read Full Story

This Is Fire Prevention Month

With the weather turning colder and furnaces firing up, this is Fire Prevention Month in Michigan. State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer tells WSJM News there have been 91 fire deaths in the state this year, many because people don’t physically test their smoke detectors each month.. ...Read Full Story

Fernwood Opening New Education Center

After more than four years of planning and construction, Fernwood Botanical Garden in Buchanan Township is about to open its new 5,500-square-foot Sims Education Center. The grand opening is October 14. Fernwood tells us the $2 million facility will house classes, workshops, interactive exhibits, research materials, and a gathering space. It replaces the 35-year-old Nature Center on the Fernwood grounds where youth classes and camps have historically been held. Fernwood tells us the place boasts several modern design concepts, like a green roof that covers 25% of the building. It will also work with a rain garden to mitigate the effects of rainwater runoff. Fernwood says the Sims Education Center has been made possible by Seed the Future, a fundraising effort that to date has raised more than $3 million for Phase One of the 10 to 15-year garden master plan.. ...Read Full Story

Longjohn Defends Doctor Cred

Democratic candidate for Congress in Michigan’s Sixth District Matt Longjohn has been under fire this week by Republicans. They say he has never been licensed as a doctor in Michigan, although he’s campaigned as a doctor and on healthcare issues as looks to replace Congressman Fred Upton. Longjohn tells WSJM News he graduated with a medical degree and has not been misrepresenting himself.. ...Read Full Story