Local News Archives

Upton Sees Path To Approval For CHIPS Act

Congressman Fred Upton is expecting to see federal action soon on the nation’s chip crisis. He tells WSJM News as the auto industry continues to be plagued by a shortage of chips, Congress is looking to boost their domestic production with the Creating Helpful Incentives for the Production of Semiconductors for America, or CHIPS Act.... [Read Full Story]

Berrien Commissioners Seek More For Rural Areas In MI Prosperity Roadmap

The Berrien County Board of Commissioners is holding off for a short time on officially supporting a plan for using Michigan’s ARPA funding. The board on Thursday considered a resolution supporting the MI Prosperity Roadmap Proposal, developed by the Coalition for a Strong and Prosperous Michigan. That group has laid out a proposal for spending $6 billion in federal funds. Commissioner Jon Hinkelman said Thursday he supports the map, but rural areas don’t figure into it much.... [Read Full Story]

Michigan Senate Approves $3.3B Water Infrastructure Bill

From the Associated Press — The Michigan Senate has unanimously approved $3.3 billion in water infrastructure spending to replace lead pipes and repair dams statewide while also sending money to a Detroit-area system that has struggled with flooding. The influx of aid will next be considered by the House, likely in the new year. It includes about $2.4 billion in federal funding. Senator Jon Bumstead, sponsor of the bill, says it would fund “transformational improvements” to aging water infrastructure. Michigan has an estimated 460,000 lead pipes. State regulations, made tougher following Flint’s water crisis, generally require that every line be replaced by around 2040.... [Read Full Story]

Prosecutor: Gun Was ‘Freely Available’ To Michigan Shooter

From the Associated Press — A prosecutor considering criminal charges against the parents of a boy accused of killing four students at a Michigan school says their actions went “far beyond negligence”. Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald says a gun “seems to have been just freely available” to Ethan Crumbley. McDonald says still are being considered against his parents. The 15-year-old Crumbley has been charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder and terrorism for a shooting Tuesday at Oxford High School in Oakland County, Michigan. The prosecutor says there are others “who should be held accountable.” Investigators say the semi-automatic gun was purchased by Crumbley’s father last week.... [Read Full Story]

Bail Denied To Teen Charged In School Shooting

From the Associated Press — 15-year-old boy has been denied bail and moved to jail after being charged in a Michigan school shooting that killed four students and injured others. Authorities on Wednesday revealed that Ethan Crumbley’s parents were summoned to discuss his behavior just a few hours before the bloodshed Tuesday. No motive for the shooting was offered by Oakland County
authorities. But sheriff’s Lieutenant Tim Willis told a judge that Crumbley recorded a video the night before the violence in which he discussed killing students. Crumbley is charged as an adult with 24 crimes, including murder and terrorism.... [Read Full Story]

‘Our Miracle’: Girl Goes Home After Surviving Plane Crash

From the Associated Press — An 11-year-old girl who survived a Michigan plane crash that killed her father and three other people has been released from a rehabilitation hospital. Laney Perdue of Gaylord was one of five people in a plane that crashed on Beaver Island off Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula on November 13. The family believes Laney survived because her father, Mike, shielded
her during the crash. Laney was released Wednesday from Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids. Her mother, Christie Perdue, says Laney is “our miracle.” Mike Perdue died, along with the pilot and a couple. The crash is being investigated by a federal transportation agency.... [Read Full Story]

South Haven Rotary To Ring Bells For Salvation Army Next Weekend

The South Haven Rotary will have members out ringing the bells for the Salvation Army next Saturday, December 11. Rotarians will be at the Golden Brown Bakery and Walmart. They have rung the bells for the Salvation Army every Christmas since 1982, and this year the efforts are dedicated to two longtime community members and co-chairs of the activity, Ralph Frost and Bob Stickland, who passed away this year. The South Haven Rotary says residents have been very generous over the years, and they’re asked to give a little more next Saturday by stopping by and dropping something into the Rotary’s red kettles.... [Read Full Story]

Intercare To Hold Lead Testing, Vaccine Event Saturday

Intercare is planning a holiday lead testing and COVID vaccination event for this weekend in Benton Harbor. It says everyone is welcome to its facility on M-139 this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for free COVID-19 vaccinations for kids 5 to 11, free lead testing, and flu shots. They’ll also offer COVID booster shots and COVID testing. Intercare notes Michigan has the highest rate of new coronavirus infections in the country, and only 59% of Michiganders are fully vaccinated. It adds getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your family, and to help control the pandemic. Insurance will be billed for tests taken at this event for those who have insurance, but there will be no out of pocket costs to anyone who attends. Staff from the Berrien County Health Department will be on hand to help with Saturday’s event.... [Read Full Story]

Berrien Health Department Continues COVID Vaccine Clinics

The Berrien County Health Department is urging everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as a new variant appears in the United States and the holidays are here. Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Brandon Vallee tells WSJM News they’ve continued to hold vaccine clinics each Tuesday and Wednesday. As boosters became available and as the vaccine opened up to children ages five to eleven, the clinics have been well attended.... [Read Full Story]

Vineland Center Could Be Used As An Indoor Recreation Facility

A new indoor recreation facility could be going into the former Vineland Center in St. Joseph, and it has a familiar name. The St. Joseph Township Planning Commission on Tuesday heard from building owner Joe Giannola about plans to open Slacker’s in the vacant facility. The plan is for Slacker’s to offer an arcade, bounce houses, laser tag, concessions, and space for birthday parties at the center. Gianolla is seeking a special use permit. St. Joseph Township Manager Denise Cook tells us with the planning commission signing off on the idea, it now will go to the full township board next Monday. Slacker’s currently operates out of the Orchards Mall in Benton Township. The Vineland Center has been unoccupied since last year.... [Read Full Story]

Oakland County School Shooter Charged With Murder, Terrorism

From the Associated Press — A Michigan teenager has been charged with murder, terrorism and other counts for a shooting that killed four fellow students and injured others at Oxford High School. Charges against 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley were announced Wednesday, a few hours after authorities reported the death of a fourth teen from the school in southeastern Michigan. Crumbley is charged as an adult with one count of terrorism causing death, four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts assault with intent to murder. The shooting occurred Tuesday, about 30 miles north of Detroit in Oakland County. Investigators say Crumbley was armed with a semi-automatic handgun purchased last week by his father.... [Read Full Story]

Whitmer Seeks Emergency COVID Testing Funds

From the Associated Press — Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration is asking lawmakers to quickly allocate $300 million in federal pandemic rescue funding to support COVID-19 testing at schools amid a fourth surge of infections in Michigan. The money was included in the relief law approved by Congress and President Joe Biden in March. It is set to expire next summer and is part of a
$2.5 billion supplemental spending request that state budget director Christopher Harkins sent to the Republican chairmen of legislative appropriations committees on November 19. The GOP-led Legislature returned to session Tuesday after a two-week break.... [Read Full Story]

Van Buren/Cass Health Department Offering Free HIV Testing Today, Tomorrow

The Van Buren/Cass District Health Department will hold a free walk in clinic to test residents for HIV today in recognition of World AIDS Day. The clinic will be in Lawrence from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and then again from 1 to 4 p.m. World AIDS Day takes place on December 1st every year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died. More than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS related illnesses. The clinic in Van Buren County will be at the health department office on South Street. There will also be a free HIV testing clinic at the department’s office in Dowagiac on Thursday. No appointment is needed for either.... [Read Full Story]

High School Students Tour SMC Esports Arena

Southwestern Michigan College is touting its Esports program as Esports become more popular around the country. SMC Campus Life Director Jeff Hooks tells WSJM News students from Berrien Springs, Covert, and Hartford toured the new Esports Arena in the Barbara Wood Building in November. SMC built the state of the art tech space for students to take part in competitive video game playing.... [Read Full Story]

Upton Asks Feds For More COVID Help In Michigan

Congressman Fred Upton and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell last week sent a letter to the Biden administration asking for more federal help in Michigan for hospitals as COVID-19 rates have soared. There are now 44 additional medical professionals working at hospitals in the state, provided by the federal government. WSJM News asked Upton if the Biden administration decision to send them was in response to his letter.... [Read Full Story]

State Announces Grants For Specialty Crops

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has announced more than $1.2 million in grants around the state to support the specialty crop industry. Among the recipients is the Michigan State Horticultural Society in Benton Harbor. It’s getting more than $90,000 for orchard innovations to sustain the Michigan peach and nectarine industry. The state ag agency says the grants come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and they focus on marketing, training, food safety, pest control, and plant health for specialty crops like fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and flowers. In addition to the MSU horticulture grant, a grant of $125,000 is going to the Michigan Wine Collaborative in Fennville to develop a competitive brand for Michigan wine to sustain grape sales. Governor Gretchen Whitmer says “supporting our rural economy is critical to Michigan’s economic success and will help us put Michiganders first.”... [Read Full Story]