Local News Archives

Kirk And Julie Cousins Buy Saugatuck Golf Course

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Clearbrook Golf Course in Saugatuck is now owned by Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and his wife, Julie. They write in a letter to the community they purchased the course from friends Jim and Candy Jeltema, who continue to own and operate The Grill Room restaurant and the clubhouse. In their letter, they call west Michigan a “special community” and say they have enjoyed living in the Saugatuck/Douglas area since building a home there in 2018. They agreed with Jim that the course was a community treasure and needs to remain a golf course as it has since 1926. The Cousins say they have no plans to change the course at this point, but say they will start burying power lines that are over the course and adding perimeter landscaping. Kirk Cousins grew up in Holland and played college football for Michigan State.... [Read Full Story]

Aric Nesbitt Named Senate Minority Leader

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Senator Aric Nesbitt has been elected the Minority Leader of the Michigan Senate for the term starting in January. The Lawton Republican won reelection this week for his second and final term in the Legislature. Democrat Winnie Brinks of Grand Rapids will be the Senate Majority Leader, and Representative Joe Brooks of Detroit will be the first Black Speaker of the House. Democrats won the majority in both chambers this week along with the governor’s office for the first time since the early 1980s.... [Read Full Story]

Social Districts Possible For South Haven

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The South Haven City Council is considering establishing a Social District from October 1 2023 until May 15 2024. They heard from City Manager Kate Hosier and Assistant City Manager Griffin Graham last night on the idea, with Hosier noting she has spoken with St. Joseph City Manager John Hodgson on their experience, and he has told her it has been positive. She says it wouldn’t be taxing for police to patrol.... [Read Full Story]

Apartment Fire In Plainwell Kills Woman

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An elderly woman has died in an apartment fire in Plainwell Saturday night. Fire crews were sent to the apartment on North Main Street around 11:15 p.m. and put out the fire in her apartment. Investigators believe it could be linked to cigarette smoking and an oxygen generator but have not finalized that as yet. Her name has not been released.... [Read Full Story]

Railroad Track Coming To Michigan Flywheelers Museum

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The Michigan Flywheelers Museum will be taking delivery in the next few weeks of railroad track to complete its Black River Railroad in Geneva Township near South Haven. Museum member Mike Lagness of Bridgman saw an internet ad for 10,000 feet of railroad that were being sold by Swannee River Railroad in Lufkin, Texas. Owner Todd Swan has been making trains for parks since 2014 and his trains can be found in amusement parks, zoos, and private collections nationwide. Museum president Patrick Ingalls quickly contacted Swan about the track and he agreed to hold it until the museum membership approved the purchase. The railroad will offer rides on the scale model Hanson Express train engine and cars that were donated in 2021 by Russel and the late Merlin Hanson of St. Joseph. The engine and cars were engineered and built by the House of David for its Benton Harbor amusement park in the mid-1900s. Ingalls calls it “pure luck” that they have obtained the track.... [Read Full Story]

Suspicious Death Near South Haven

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Van Buren County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the death of a 33-year-old Kalamazoo man near South Haven. His body was found by a man who was trying to find good hunting property in the 68-thousand block of Baseline Road near 66th Street in Geneva Township. An autopsy will be done today, and his name has not been released.... [Read Full Story]

Allegan County School Preparedness Seminar This Week

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A preparedness seminar will be held Thursday at Allegan High School by the Allegan County Safe Schools Network. It will be from 8:30 a.m. until noon by invitation only. The network is a new collaboration intended to bring schools, public safety, and public health officials together to talk about serious threats to public, private, and parochial school districts. The targeted audience is superintendents, school board members, principals, teaching staff, facilities and operations directors, school liaison officers, school safety members/coordinators, maintenance supervisors, public health, public safety, and social workers.... [Read Full Story]

Hartford, Cassopolis Schools Getting EPA Grants For Electric Buses

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Hartford Public Schools will get over $1.5 million dollars from the Environmental Protection Agency to purchase four electric buses. The grants through the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program totaling $54 million in Michigan were announced by US Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters. Cassopolis Public Schools will receive nearly $1.2 million to buy three electric buses. EPA’s Clean School Bus Program helps states accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles, produce cleaner air in and around schools and communities, and save schools money. This program will also drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, boost domestic manufacturing, and create good-paying jobs.... [Read Full Story]

Group Calls For Investment In State Parks

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The Nature Conservancy in Michigan is calling for the state to use a part of its budget surplus to shore up the Michigan State Park Endowment Fund to help ensure parks infrastructure is well maintained into the future. The Nature Conservancy’s Rich Bowman tells us a record number of people have used state parks since the pandemic started, and for a variety of reasons.... [Read Full Story]

Funds Available To Help Small Businesses Affected By Palisades Closure

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As Van Buren County residents and businesses adjust to the closure of the Palisades nuclear power plant, another $100,000 is being made available to small businesses for technical and financial help. Ashley Breitner with the Economic Growth Institute at the University of Michigan tells us the institute has teamed up with Market Van Buren and the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission for this latest effort. Small businesses that sign up will have a team sent in from the Economic Growth Institute.... [Read Full Story]

SHOUT For South Haven Raising Funds For Outdoor Fireplace

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SHOUT for South Haven has raised more than $21,000 in less than two weeks for an outdoor fireplace it’s planning at Dyckman Park. The group’s Tom Renner tells WSJM News they have to raise $40,000 to match the $40,000 challenge Public Spaces – Community Places Grant pledged by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for the fireplace. He says the community has come out in support of the project.... [Read Full Story]

Guided Hike Saturday At Paw Paw Prairie Fen Preserve

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The Nature Conservancy in Michigan is hosting a guided hike at its Paw Paw Prairie Fen Preserve on Saturday. The hike is free and includes cider and donuts from 10 am until noon. The preserve is off Van Kal Avenue in Mattawan and people need to register before the event. The hike will be a mile and a half over wide, flat, and well-packed terrain. Those attending should bring a water bottle, wear waterproof boots and plan on layering since it may be chilly in the morning but get warmer as the day progresses. It’s best to check the weather before heading to the preserve, just to be safe.... [Read Full Story]

Seven Could Face Charges In Drug Bust

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Seven people are facing possible charges after a drug bust by the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit. Detectives got a search warrant and raided the home in the city of Hartford Tuesday and found several of the suspects had meth and other narcotics on them. One woman had warrants for her arrest and was inside a bedroom with a man who had tried to prevent officers from entering by putting himself against the door. Officers had been investigating the home for meth sales over the past five months. The charges will be under review by the Van Buren County Prosecutor and could include maintaining a drug house, possession an delivery of meth, and resisting and obstructing.... [Read Full Story]

Otsego Man Wins $1 Million On Powerball

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A 60-year-old Otsego man is the state’s newest millionaire. Mark Brooks claimed his Powerball prize from the Michigan Lottery after matching the five white balls and missing the Powerball on September 24. Brooks says he buys two Powerball tickets every Friday and when he checked the ticket on his way home from work, the scanner said to file a claim. The clerk got the same message, so he checked the numbers when he got home. Brooks says he was thinking it was wrong. He plans to pay his bills and save the rest of the money for retirement. The current Powerball jackpot is $508 million.... [Read Full Story]

West Nile Virus Found In Allegan County Crow

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The Allegan County Health Department says a wild crow found dead in an Otsego yard has tested positive for West Nile virus. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services informed the health department of the crow’s virus. No human cases of West Nile virus have been found in Allegan County yet this fall.... [Read Full Story]

New Veterans Services Building Opens In Van Buren County

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The new Veterans Services Building in Van Buren County has held its grand opening. It opened Thursday at 11 a.m. at 226 East Michigan Avenue in Paw Paw. The new facility is in the Old Time Capsule Museum in downtown. It offers a single level entry for disabled veterans and their families and has a common area for veterans to sit down and network. A computer center is also available for people to use VA.gov and other Veteran Affairs websites and has the ability for people to conduct TeleHealth appointments and do Zoom meetings for the VA Appeals Court, saving people time and expenses doing those appointments. The new center has been done with unanimous support of the Van Buren County Board of Commissioners.... [Read Full Story]