Local News Archives

Michigan COVID-19 Cases At 4,650 With 111 Deaths

A big jump is being reported by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in COVID-19 cases statewide. The new figures released Saturday show an increase of 993 cases to 4,650. An additional 19 have died, bringing that total to 111. In southwest Michigan, Allegan County has gone from 1 to 2 cases; Berrien from 18 to 22; Cass from 1 to 2; Kalamazoo from 11 to 15; and Van Buren County’s number is up from 3 to 4 from Friday. There remain no confirmed cases in St. Joseph County. No one has died from coronavirus in southwest Michigan to date, and the Berrien County Health Department says three of the people in the county who tested positive have fully recovered.... [Read Full Story]

State Launches COVID-19 Volunteer Website

Michigan has launched a website for people to volunteer to help out in their communities as the COVID-19 crisis continues. They’re seeking medical professionals as well as residents who just want to contribute. The office of Governor Gretchen Whitmer has released the following statement:... [Read Full Story]

Humane Society Seeking Funds, Supplies

With many Michiganders sheltering in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan is looking for some extra help. It says shelter life has been rough during the pandemic, and its animals need support. The organization notes it has its own particular set of challenges right now, needing resources for supplies, medicine, utilities, staffing, and more. It’s launched a crowdfunding campaign in an effort to collect $30,000 to get through the coronavirus. As of Friday afternoon, the organization had raised $2,250. You can find it right here. The Human Society also needs items like bleach, paper towels, laundry detergent, floor cleaner, postage stamps, and Lysol. They’ve got donation bins outside the shelter on M-139 in Royalton Township.... [Read Full Story]

SWM Home Sales Down In February, Prices Up

Home sales in southwest Michigan were down in February, although prices were up. The Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors says the number of houses sold in February of this year dropped to 181 from 235 in February of 2019 for a 23% decrease. However, the average selling price was up 12% over the same period. Meanwhile, the median price soared 30%. With fewer houses sold, the total dollar volume, even with higher selling prices, was down 14% in February. The association says housing inventory was down 2% from February of 2019, while the percentage of sold homes that were foreclosures remained the same as January at 7% overall.... [Read Full Story]

State Confirms More Than 800 New Cases Of COVID-19

The number of COVID-19 cases in Michigan rose by 801 from Thursday to Friday. The latest numbers from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services also show 32 new deaths. The state’s total number of cases as of Friday afternoon was 3,657. It’s had 92 deaths. Berrien County has seen seven new cases, now with 18 total. Van Buren County has one new case, bringing its total to three. Cass County has one. The city of Detroit is listed as having 1,075 cases of COVID-19 with 23 deaths. Oakland County has 824 with 26 deaths, and Wayne County, which is being counted separately from Detroit, has 735 with 14 deaths. The cases are divided about equally between men and women, while men account for 65% of the deaths.... [Read Full Story]

Upton Speaks In Favor Of Stimulus Bill

Congressman Fred Upton took to the U.S. House floor on Friday to urge his colleagues to approve the COVID-19 stimulus bill. The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act would send checks of at least $1,200 to every American adult, bail out airlines, provide financial aid to small businesses, and expand unemployment benefits, among other things. Upton said the coronavirus crisis warrants major action.... [Read Full Story]

Michigan Department Of Health and Human Services Revising COVID-19 Reporting

Changes are being made to how the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports COVID-19 cases in the state. Starting today, they will no longer give updates of new cases by county, and instead will offer a map illustrating case density by county. Cumulative cases and deaths will still be broken down county-by-county, however. The reporting time is also moving an hour later in the day from 2 to 3 p.m., as there have been several times in the past week where the release of the numbers has been delayed. Health officials add information regarding the pandemic is changing rapidly, and remind Michiganders the most recent information can be found at Michigan.gov/coronavirus and at CDC.gov/coronavirus.... [Read Full Story]

Meijer No Longer Accepting Any Returned Merchandise Due To COVID-19

If you have something from Meijer that needs to be taken back, you’ll need to put it aside for a while. The retailer is no longer taking returns of any sort due to the coronavirus pandemic, and that will last until April 16 at the earliest. Meijer has already stopped accepting bottle and can returns. The new change keeps customer service desks open, but only for postal services, lottery sales, and Western Union services. Also suspended are rentals of carpet cleaners and power washers and exchanges for Soda Stream carbonation containers. Customers who currently have the rental cleaning equipment are being asked to hold on to it until the health crisis eases. Meijer is extending the window for returns to 120 days to accomodate any receipts that would have expired during the suspension.... [Read Full Story]

Niles History Center Offering Virtual Tours

The Niles History Center is offering virtual tours while the COVID-19 crisis continues. It says it’s making the resource available so people can continue to learn about local history even while safe in their homes. The center has put up historical photos, videos, and other information on its Facebook page and is planning virtual tours of the historic Chapin Museum. During the closure of the Niles History Center, staff are working on collection inventory and updating the storage areas and first floor exhibits. Work at the Historic Chapin Mansion and Fort St. Joseph Museum is proceeding on schedule. The Niles History Center has put up videos of virtual field trips at its website and YouTube channel.... [Read Full Story]

DNR Suspending Burn Permits

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is suspending burn permits around the state. DNR fire supervisor Dan Laux says emergency response resources need to be kept available for other priorities at this time. He also says the order protects firefighters who often work closely together on scene and when traveling to and from incident locations. The decision to hold off on allowing burns has the support of the state fire marshal. Open burning in some parts of the state may still be allowed in areas where the ground is snow-covered.... [Read Full Story]

Michigan Coronavirus Cases Up Sharply Again To 2,856

There are another 561 people in Michigan who have tested positive for COVID-19. The new number of cases in the state is now 2,856, with 60 deaths. Metro Detroit remains the state’s epicenter, with 2,404 cases total in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, including the city of Detroit. That region has also recorded 52 of the state’s COVID-19 deaths. Cass County is one of the new additions to the list, as that county’s first case has been confirmed. St. Joseph County is now the only area of southwest Michigan where no one has tested positive for the illness. Berrien County has 11 people who have tested positive, and Van Buren County has two. The state is again releasing the number of tests that have been done. As of Wednesday afternoon, which does not reflect today’s spike in cases, there had been 9,109 people tested with 6,550 of those coming back negative.... [Read Full Story]

Arson, Attempted Murder Charges Faced By Ohio Woman For Lincoln Twp Mobile Home Fire

An Ohio woman is in the Berrien County Jail, accused of setting a mobile home on fire in Lincoln Township. Firefighters and police were called to The Spring Lake Mobile Home Park on West John Beers Road around 10:30 Wednesday night. The fire had been put out by the time they arrived. The 28-year-old suspect had taken off before the officers and firefighters got to the scene, but she was found a short time later and arrested. Police say she’s related to the home’s occupants and had driven there due to a family dispute, which caused her to allegedly start the fire. No one was hurt, and damage is estimated at around $7,000.... [Read Full Story]