Local News Archives

Little Free Library In Works For Benton Harbor

A Little Free Library is coming to Benton Harbor this weekend as part of National Reading Month. The Berrien County Democratic Party will hold an event on Sunday at the Wide Awake United Church of Christ at the corner of Bellview and Pipestone in Benton Harbor to put the finishing touches on the Little Free Library which will be installed in the city later this year.... [Read Full Story]

Winter Weather Advisory For SWMI

We are under a winter weather advisory until 11 tonight. The National Weather Service is predicting most areas will get two-to-three inches of snow today, with another inch tonight. Some more lake effect snow is possible tomorrow, and forecasters are predicting a total of 3 to 5 inches for the area by the time the system is done. Much more is expected along the East Coast, and that storm is going to impact anyone planning to fly today and tomorrow.... [Read Full Story]

Gas Prices Fall 7¢ Statewide

Increased oil production in the U.S. is helping to put pressure on gas prices. We’re starting this week with prices averaging $2.32 in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph according to Triple-A Michigan, which is a drop of 8¢ a gallon. Statewide, we’re down 7¢ to $2.34. The auto club says the lowest average price is in Traverse City at $2.29, with the highest in Jackson at $2.41. Oil services company Baker Hughes tells AAA that seven oil rigs in the U.S. went into production last week, bringing the total to 609, which is the most since October 2015.... [Read Full Story]

Mr. Blossomtime Crowned

Mr. Blossomtime for this year is Hunter Ackerman of Hartford. This year’s Miss Blossomtime will be crowned tonight at the Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College starting at 7 p.m. If you can’t make it to LMC for the event, tune in to News/Talk 94.9 WSJM for coverage with Zack East, Sandie Lieberg, and Lindsay Kay Zvonar. Something new this year is a public vote for one of the queens in the top ten. The other nine will be selected by the judges.... [Read Full Story]

Governor’s Panel: Make Community College Free

(Lansing, MI – AP) – Michigan should make community college free for all and give merit-based scholarships to high school graduates who attend the state’s public universities, says a commission formed by Governor Rick Snyder. The panel released a report Friday that calls for getting rid of grade levels and instead advancing students only once they master content.... [Read Full Story]

Mr., Miss Blossomtime To Be Crowned

Mr. and Miss Blossomtime will be crowned Sunday and Monday night. The pageant has been running for over 110 years in southwest Michigan and the public gets a say for the first time. One of the Queens will be elected to the top ten based on votes on the Internet, and the other nine will be selected by the judges. The poll can be found here, and this year’s Queens can be found by following this link. Tickets are available for $15 for Sunday and $20 for Monday night. If you can’t be there in person, News/Talk 94.9 WSJM will again broadcast Monday night’s event with Zack East, Sandie Lieberg, and Lindsday Kay Zvonar.... [Read Full Story]

MI House OKs Keeping Expelled Lawmakers From Filling Own Seats

The Michigan House has approved legislation to prohibit a lawmaker who resigns or who has been expelled from office from running in the special election to fill the seat. The bill which passed 72-36 Thursday is a response to former Representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat running in special elections to finish the remainder of their terms in 2015. Representative Aaron Miller of Sturgis sponsored the bill.... [Read Full Story]

Allegan County Deputy Crashes

Exactly what caused an Allegan County Sheriff’s deputy to lose control and crash on M-40 in Valley Township early Friday morning is under investigation. Extensive damage was done to the police car when it went into a ditch and hit several trees. The deputy was not hurt thanks to the airbags deploying and his seat belt. He was treated and released from a hospital, and the department is waiting to figure out just what happened before any action is taken. The crash happened just before 4 a.m.... [Read Full Story]

Coho Salmon Season Expected To Be Good

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is anticipating a good year for coho salmon fishing in Lake Michigan. The lake’s coho season is open year round, but the DNR says activity normally starts picking up in March. The fish have a consistent migration pattern, moving north into New Buffalo, St. Joseph, and South Haven before moving away from the shore for the summer. Coho harvest on Lake Michigan was up 25% last year compared to 2015, and the DNR expects this year to be just as good – if not better. More than 20,000 mature fish returned last year for spawning, indicating this year will be a good one. The DNR also plans to stock 1.5 million coho salmon in Lake Michigan this spring.... [Read Full Story]

Realtor Of The Year Named

A realtor from Buchanan is this year’s Realtor of the Year for the area. The Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors has honored Linda Johnson of Integrity Real Estate Professionals in Niles with the award this year. She has been licensed as a realtor for the past 14 years and serves on the association’s Standard Forms Committee and Finance Committee. Johnson has previously won several MLS Production Awards, winning Silver Awards in 2008, 2014 and 2014 and the Gold Award in 2013.... [Read Full Story]

Criminal Justice Reforms Set For State Senate Passage

Michigan lawmakers have approved legislation that aims to keep 100,000 criminals who are under state supervision from breaking the law again. The 20-bill package passed by the House Wednesday limits the length of incarceration for offenders who violate their probation and creates a more intensive parole program. Senator John Proos sponsored several of the bills.... [Read Full Story]

Winds Blamed For Power Outages

The high winds throughout Michigan are causing problems keeping the lights on in some areas. Indiana Michigan Power is reporting about 9,000 customers early this afternoon without electricity, most in an area north of Paw Paw. By 3:30, that number had been cut to just under 5,500. Consumers Energy says statewide, more than 180,000 of its customers have lost power. Consumers says some might not get it back until Sunday due to the widespread damage from the winds.... [Read Full Story]

Accused Kalamazoo Mass Murderer Gets Trial Date

Suspected mass murderer Jason Dalton is now scheduled to go on trial June 13 in Kalamazoo County. Dalton faces 16 charges, six of them murder counts, for a shooting spree around Kalamazoo last February. Among his victims were a father and son from Mattawan and a Baroda woman. Dalton is expected to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, and told police the app for his job with Uber took control of his mind that day. Two people survived the shootings, which happened in three different locations, hours apart. In between, he kept picking up people for Uber, with several police calls made about his reckless driving. Dalton had originally been set to go on trial last fall, but the court date was pushed back.... [Read Full Story]

Flint Lead Pipe Replacement Project Could Be Finished In 2019

From the Associated Press — The head of Flint’s water pipe replacement program says the city hopes to finish the project in 2019. Retired National Guard Brigadier General Michael McDaniel coordinates the FAST Start initiative to replace lines that leached lead into homes and businesses. He made his comments during the first day of a three-day water infrastructure conference in Flint. He says they hope to replace pipes to 6,000 homes this year. The city has said at least 30,000 homes may have service lines that need replacement. Residents still are being urged to use water filters. Flint was under state control when it switched in 2014 from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River to save money. The river water was not properly treated to prevent pipe corrosion. Elevated levels of lead later were found in some children.... [Read Full Story]

Legislation Would Mandate Paid Sick Time For MI Workers

A plan that would guarantee all Michigan workers paid sick time has been introduced in the state legislature. A bill in the Senate would mandate employers give an hour of sick pay for every 30 hours worked. Democratic State Representative Stephanie Chang has introduced a similar House measure, and says it would solve a big problem for low-income workers.... [Read Full Story]

Upton Praises GOP Healthcare Plan

Congressman Fred Upton is among the Republican rank and file supporting the House GOP’s American Health Care Act, designed to replace the Affordable Care Act. The plan released this week would keep in place the ACA’s prohibition on insurers denying coverage to people because of pre-existing conditions. It would also keep in place a provision letting people to stay on their parents’ insurance through the age of 26. Upton in a statement Tuesday called the GOP plan responsible, adding it gives low income Americans who receive insurance through the ACA a “stable transition period” so “the rug won’t be pulled out from under them.” Below is Upton’s entire statement.... [Read Full Story]

BH School Officials To Work Out Details Of State Partnership Agreement This Month

Leaders from Benton Harbor Area Schools will soon learn details of the district’s new partnership agreement with the state, buying three buildings targeted for closure 18 months of extra time. Last week, the governor’s office announced it’s giving the opportunity to buildings on a School Reform Office list of the state’s lowest performing schools. Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker tells WSJM News stakeholders will meet with state officials on March 23 to establish how the district can use the new partnership to show the state that the three schools are improving.... [Read Full Story]