Local News Archives

50,000 Expected At Chicago Women’s March

From the Associated Press — Organizers say about 50,000 people are expected to attend a women’s march in Chicago the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. The Women’s March on Chicago is scheduled to begin with a rally in Grant Park at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The march through downtown is set for 11:30 a.m. The event is planned for the same day as a larger Women’s March on Washington. About 200 other “sister marches” are scheduled around the country. Organizers say that like those marches, the Chicago event is intended to send a message to the Trump administration “that women will defend and further their rights.” Jessica Scheller is a co-chairwoman for the Chicago march. She says grassroots organizers will rally attendees and highlight ways they may get involved in various issues.... [Read Full Story]

Cass County Hit-And-Run Under Investigation

A hit-and-run accident is under investigation in Cass County. Michigan State Police say a pedestrian was hit in Howard Township Tuesday night around 6 in the 1000 block of Huntly Road. Police haven’t yet determined what kind of vehicle hit the man, but did recover a passenger side mirror at the scene. The victim is expected to recover despite suffering serious injuries. State police are asking anyone who knows what happened call the Niles post.... [Read Full Story]

Speedway Hiring More Than 1,000 Employees

If you’re looking for a job, Speedway needs about 1,000 people. The gas station-convenience store chain announced Wednesday it’s about to hire that many workers across nine states, including Michigan. They’ll be doing open interviews at every store next Wednesday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Speedway says it’s filling all positions. There are Speedways in Bridgman, Berrien Springs, Coloma, Three Oaks, Niles, Bangor, Paw Paw, and Mattawan. Good luck.... [Read Full Story]

MDOT Working With Other States To Prepare For Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles are about to take over the world, and road agencies in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania want to be prepared. That’s why the new Smart Belt Coalition is being formed. Matt Smith, with the Michigan Department of Transportation, tells us MDOT is working with its counterparts to ensure technology to accommodate self-driving vehicles is installed on roads.... [Read Full Story]

Student Arrested While Handing Out Constitution Sues College

From the Associated press — A Battle Creek community college is being sued by a student and two others who say they were arrested while peacefully distributing the U.S. Constitution last fall. Michelle Gregoire says she was told she needed permission to distribute written materials. A lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court accuses Kellogg Community College of violating free speech rights and other protections. A group called Young Americans for Liberty is also a plaintiff. The lawsuit says Kellogg Community College allows “expressive activity” only at an information table in the Student Center. Gregoire and others were arrested while talking to students outside the performing arts center and then locked in jail for hours. The prosecutor dropped the case. The college says it will review the allegations in the lawsuit.... [Read Full Story]

St. Joseph Today Announces Hiring Of New Director

The St. Joseph Today Board of Directors has announced the hiring of Amy Zapal, of St. Joseph, as the organization’s new executive director. Zapal comes to St. Joe Today from the Heritage Museum and Cultural Center in St. Joseph, where she has been the executive director. She’ll take the reins from Interim Director and Events Manager Brian Smith, who stepped in following the resignation of former director Whitney Behnke in October.... [Read Full Story]

Septic Systems Pollute Waters Across Michigan

From the Associated Press — Research shows septic systems are polluting waters across Michigan. The Detroit Free Press reports more than 1 million of the individual waste disposal systems that don’t connect to a city sewer line still remain in the
state. A 2015 published research study from Michigan State University found E. coli from humans in all of the 64 rivers studied in the Lower Peninsula. Higher concentrations were found in areas with more septic systems. Grenetta Thomassey, spokeswoman for the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council based in Petoskey, says while 11 of Michigan’s counties have inspection requirements for septic systems when a property is sold, most counties and health districts don’t have one.
The study says Michigan is the only state in the U.S. that doesn’t manage septic systems statewide. Millions of homes nationwide still use septic systems.... [Read Full Story]

State: Commercial Fishing Enclosures Not Allowed In Great Lakes

From the Associated Press — Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says state law doesn’t allow for net-like commercial fishing enclosures in the Great Lakes. In an opinion released Tuesday, Schuette said net-pen aquaculture operators would have to register with the state, and laws related to aquaculture don’t permit registration of such facilities in Michigan’s Great Lakes waters. Schuette says raising fish for commercial purposes is permitted in private waters, but the Great Lakes are part of the “public trust.” The opinion came in response to a request by Republican state Senator Wayne Schmidt. The Associated Press emailed Schmidt seeking comment. State agencies last year recommended against net-pen aquaculture, saying it
would pose risks to the environment, recreation and tourism. Michigan has received aquaculture proposals. There are no net-pen fish farms in U.S. Great Lakes waters.... [Read Full Story]

Benton Harbor Commissioners Hear Positive Audit Report

The city of Benton Harbor is on strong financial ground. On Tuesday, commissioners heard the latest audit presentation, with Paul Matz, of the CPA firm Rehman Robson, telling them they added $413,000 to the fund balance this year. It now stands at about $4.3 million. He told WSJM News that’s good news, commending the administration and commission for planning well.... [Read Full Story]

Attorney General Joins Suit Seeking Home Water Delivery In Flint

From the Associated Press — Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has joined Flint residents in a lawsuit that seeks home delivery of bottled water if lead filters haven’t been properly installed. In a court filing Tuesday, Schuette urged a judge to keep a November injunction in place. Governor Rick Snyder’s administration wants federal Judge David Lawson to drop the order, citing improvement in Flint’s water. Schuette and special counsel Noah Hall say state regulators have “lost credibility” to enforce rules on lead in water. Lawson’s order directs the state and Flint to deliver bottled water if a home filter isn’t working. At the same time, he’s also appointed a mediator to try to settle the dispute between the state and Flint residents. Residents are urged to drink bottled water or filtered tap water.... [Read Full Story]

Lakeland Announces $90,000 In Grants

Lakeland Health has announced $90,000 in grants for four local organizations. The money comes from Lakeland’s Community Wellness Endowment, which was created in 2014 to sponsor groups that promote healthy living. The recipients for 2017 are the Niles-Buchanan YMCA, which will receive $25,000 for a capital expansion, Centered on Wellness, which is getting $20,000 for technical support, the Greater Niles Economic Development Corporation, getting $35,000 for a trail project, and LOGAN Community Resources, receiving $10,000 for its autism learning center. Lakeland says it hopes the grants will empower local organizations to increase access to care and improve outcomes.... [Read Full Story]

Police K9 Helps Find Runaway Teen

A teenager who ran away from Goshen City, Indiana is back with his family after being found in Cass County Monday. The sheriff’s department says deputies were called out in the early evening to Newberg Township on a report of three runaway teens in the area. Deputies arrived to learn two of the teens had already decided to go home, but the third one was hiding out in some woods. So, a department K9 named Faust was brought in and his nose led them to the missing 17-year-old. The teen was taken into custody and then brought back to his grandmother.... [Read Full Story]

Man Accidentally Shot In Cass County

Police are looking into possible charges after a Cassopolis man was accidentally shot on Monday. The Cass County Sheriff’s Department tells our newsroom deputies were called out to a home in Milton Township around 12:30 p.m. on a report of a man with a gunshot wound. They got there to find 42-year-old Justin Anderson with a non-life threatening injury. Turns out Anderson was hit by a shot fired by his neighbor about 500 to 600 yards away. The neighbor had been target shooting when one of his shots missed the backstop. The bullet went through some woods before it hit the victim. He’s now recovering and police are looking into whether to charge the neighbor. They remind everyone to use caution when target shooting.... [Read Full Story]

University Of Michigan Announces Projects To Fight Poverty

From the Associated Press — The University of Michigan is announcing a series of projects as part of its new initiative to address poverty. The effort called “Poverty Solutions” will explore and test models to ease the effects of poverty and broadly share that knowledge. The Ann Arbor school on Tuesday is revealing details of nine projects funded through the program with
grants totaling $200,000. The projects include efforts to alert low-income homeowners about an exemption to reduce their property taxes. Others include employing health workers in neighborhoods to help residents and collaborative community-academic research partnerships. The program is co-sponsored by the Detroit Urban Research Center, a partnership among the U-M schools of Public Health, Nursing and Social Work; the Detroit Health Department; Henry Ford Health System; and nine community-based organizations.... [Read Full Story]

GM To Invest One Billion in U.S. Plants

No details yet but General Motors will announce plans today to invest a billion dollars in its U.S. plants today, something it’s reportedly been planning for months. The plans will reportedly maintain or create about a thousand jobs.  Some of the money will go into Michigan plants, but beyond that we have no detail.  Edmunds-dot-com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell says it reportedly has nothing to do with tweets from Donald Trump threatening to impose 35% tariffs on vehicles made in Canada or Mexico. She says the Trump tweets may be changing the way they deliver the good news, but not the news itself.... [Read Full Story]

Charity Gives Out Record Amount Of Food In 2016

Despite the economic recovery, many southwest Michigan families continue to need food assistance and Feeding America West Michigan tells us it’s been able to step up and meet that demand. Spokesperson Andrew Steiner tells WSJM News the organization gave out a record amount in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties in 2016.... [Read Full Story]