Local News Archives

Governor Snyder Does Not Expect To Be Charged Over Flint Crisis

(Lansing, MI – AP) Governor Rick Snyder says he has “no reason to be concerned” about being charged in the Flint water investigation. Snyder’s comments to the “Detroit Free Press” occurred as the bill for his legal fees reached $4.9 million, all paid by taxpayers. The governor says much of the money has been spent on producing documents requested by Attorney General Bill Schuette’s investigators. Snyder says investigators “keep on asking” and his lawyers “keep on responding.”... [Read Full Story]

Snyder To Welcome 41 New State Troopers Thursday

Governor Rick Snyder will deliver the keynote address at a graduation ceremony for 41 new Michigan State Police troopers in Lansing on Thursday. Snyder says the graduation of the 131st Trooper Recruit School a stepping stone toward the reconstruction of the state police agency. He’s hoping to not just see officer counts improve in the next year, but he also wants to see bonds improve between law enforcement and the communities they serve.... [Read Full Story]

Governor Signs Energy Plan

A far-reaching energy plan has been signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder. The package sets the state’s energy goals for the next several years. State Representative Aric Nesbitt tells us it considers just about everything.... [Read Full Story]

SWM Lawmakers Say Goodbye In Lansing

State Representative Al Pscholka has said goodbye to the Michigan House. Outgoing lawmakers got to give their farewell messages on the floor Wednesday. Pscholka has a message for the kids of Michigan, telling them even if they get a bit of a rough start in life, they can still go far.... [Read Full Story]

MI Congressman Criticized For Delaying Treatment Of Son

A Republican congressman said he delayed treatment of his son’s broken arm as an example of the kind of choices Americans will have to make when Republicans’ repeal of the health care law shifts more out-of-pocket costs to consumers. Representative Bill Huizenga told Michigan news site MLive.com that he and his wife opted to place a splint on their son’s arm and wait until the next morning to take him to the doctor rather than seek immediate but more costly treatment at an emergency room. Huizenga is an opponent of President Barack Obama’s health care law and a  supporter of tax-free health savings accounts to help people cover their medical bills. Several liberal websites blasted Huizenga, a father of five.... [Read Full Story]

Benton Harbor Officer Cleared In Fatal Shooting

There will be no charges filed in the officer-involved shooting of a Benton Harbor man in October. 28-year-old Darius Wimberly was shot and killed by the officer on October 18 after police say he ambushed them as they responded to a call at a home on Pavone Street. Body camera footage released by the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety shows the ambush occurring. The Berrien County Prosecutor’s office says it has determined the officer who shot Wimberly was acting in self defense and in defense of others. Prosecutors say their investigation has revealed Wimberly was having a dispute with someone at that home on Pavone who wasn’t there that night. They say it’s not clear if Wimberly knew he was shooting at police when he ambushed them, as it was dark and they didn’t have their lights on. He had been seen at that home the night before.... [Read Full Story]

Cass County Sheriff’s Department Warns Of Possible Police Impersonator

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department is warning everyone about a possible police impersonator. It says around 2 p.m. Tuesday, two people called dispatch after someone tried to pull them over on M-40 in Newberg Township. Dispatch had them go to a Shell Mart to wait for deputies to arrive. When they got there, the deputies were told the person who tried to pull them over didn’t present any police ID, and had made statements hinting he was a cop. He’s described as a white male, about 65 years old, with white hair and a beard who was driving a red SUV with equipment racks and gear on top. The SUV also had white flashing lights and large antennas, along with several stickers. It may have said “rescue” on the front. Anyone with information is asked to call the Cass County Sheriff’s Department.... [Read Full Story]

Pedestrian Killed On US-12 In Galien

A woman is dead after she was hit by a car in Galien on Tuesday evening. Michigan State Police tell us 50-year-old Gracie Harper was walking in the middle of the westbound side of US-12 on the west end of the village around 6:30 p.m. when she was struck by a westbound vehicle. The driver was unable to see her because it was dark and the road isn’t lit there. Police don’t believe alcohol or drugs were a factor for the driver, who was not hurt. They’re still waiting on lab results from the victim.... [Read Full Story]

211 Service Now Available In Every Part Of Michigan

State officials say the 2-1-1 information service phone number will be available to Michigan residents across the state. The Michigan Public Service Commission announced Tuesday that service was approved for St. Clair County. The move means that 2-1-1 is available in every corner of the state. The abbreviated phone number is designed to connect residents with services,
like for energy assistance. It can also be used during a crisis, like during severe weather. The commission says there are eight community resource call centers in Michigan.... [Read Full Story]

Not Guilty Pleas Entered In Flint Water Case

Not-guilty pleas have been entered by three of the four people newly charged in the Flint water investigation. Gerald Ambrose, Howard Croft and Daugherty Johnson briefly appeared in court Tuesday. They are charged with conspiracy and other crimes.
Ambrose is Flint’s former state-appointed emergency manager. Croft is Flint’s former public works director, and Johnson is the former utilities director. They’re all accused of keeping Flint on Flint River water and using a water treatment plant that wasn’t ready for service. The water wasn’t treated to control corrosion. As a result, lead leached from pipes and old fixtures.
Former Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley also is charged. He hasn’t appeared in court.... [Read Full Story]

Prosecutors Still Waiting For Perez Murder Case To Proceed

The man charged in a January double murder in Coloma is still not going to trial. Alex Perez is charged in the deaths of Renee and John Mitchell, who were found beaten to death in their Coloma home on January 15th. Perez was later arrested in Colorado. In June, he was found incompetent to stand trial. However, the ruling also said he could be made competent through treatment at a state psychiatric center. The Berrien County Prosecutor’s office tells us a status report in court on Tuesday revealed Perez has still not been admitted to the center. His trial can’t happen until he is admitted and treated. The prosecutor says the office is still waiting for space to open up.... [Read Full Story]

Mercy Hospital Chimney Taken Down, Demolition On Schedule

In a sign of the continuing work on the building’s demolition, the chimney at the former Mercy Hospital in Benton Harbor is now gone. Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells WSJM News it was removed Tuesday. Demolition is on track to be done at the end of the month, and next, Witkowski says they’ll have to clean up the property and find a buyer.... [Read Full Story]

State Commission Reviewing Utility’s Request To Stop Buying Power From Palisades

The Michigan Public Service Commission wants to know how the early closure of the Palisades nuclear power plant will affect the state’s reserve energy capacity. That’s just one of the things the MPSC is looking at as it reviews Consumers Energy’s request to end its Palisades contract in 2018, rather than 2022. Spokesperson Judy Palnau tells our newsroom reserve capacity was in danger of going below the recommended level to begin with.... [Read Full Story]

Joique Bell Helps Local Kids Shop With A Cop

Some Benton Harbor area kids have once again been treated to a bit of a shopping spree with the Shop with a Cop program, thanks to Meijer, local police departments, and Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell. He was on hand Tuesday morning as a group of kids, identified by local schools as needing help, took to Meijer in Benton Township to pick out about $100 worth of items for themselves. Bell’s foundation is a backer of the annual Shop with a Cop event. This year, parents also got to get in on the action by picking out up to $300 worth of food, clothes, or gifts.... [Read Full Story]

Grand Rapids Woman Gives Birth To Identical Triplets

A Grand Rapids woman has given birth to three identical babies. WZZM-TV reports that Ivan, William and Harrison Vandermolen were born three weeks ago, just minutes apart. The triplets have been doing well in the hospital, and their parents, John and Julie Vandermolen, hope to bring them home in the next few days. The Vandermolens had been trying to have a baby for a while. Julie Vandermolen had a miscarriage, and later became pregnant with the triplets shortly after the
death of her father. Julie Vandermolen says it’s easy to tell the boys apart right now because they’re three very different sizes. John Vandermolen says that task might be a little more difficult in six months, and that they’ll have to get bracelets or
stickers to identify them.... [Read Full Story]

Police: No Foul Play In Death Of Saugatuck Woman

The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department says a woman whose body was found at a Saugatuck Township playground this week died as a result of hypothermia. The woman has been identified as 40-year-old Jamie Jon Dollar, from the Saugatuck area. She was discovered Sunday by some children at the playground near a mobile home park on Blue Star Highway. Police are waiting for toxicology results to find out if alcohol and drugs were a factor. They don’t believe the death is the result of foul play.... [Read Full Story]

Former Emergency Managers Charged In Flint Water Crisis

More charges have been filed by Michigan’s attorney general in the investigation into the lead-tainted water crisis in Flint, Michigan, including against two former state-appointed emergency managers. Attorney General Bill Schuette on Tuesday charged former emergency managers Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose with multiple 20-year felonies for their failure to protect the residents of Flint from health hazards caused by contaminated drinking water. Schuette also charged Earley, Ambrose and Flint city employees Howard Croft and Daugherty Johnson with felony counts of false pretenses and conspiracy to commit false pretenses in the issuance of bonds to pay for a portion of the water project that led to the crisis.... [Read Full Story]

New Charges To Be Announced In Flint Water Crisis

(Flint, MI – AP) The Michigan attorney general is announcing more criminal charges in the Flint water investigation. Attorney General Bill Schuette has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday. Nine people so far have been charged in an investigation of Flint’s lead-tainted water system and an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. Those nine are eight current or former state employees and a Flint water plant employee.... [Read Full Story]

GM To Temporarily Idle Five Factories

General Motors will temporarily close five factories next month as it tries to reduce a growing inventory of cars. Spokeswoman Dayna Hart says the factories will close anywhere from one to three weeks due to the continuing U.S. market shift toward trucks and SUVs. Just over 10,000 workers will be idled. The company’s Detroit-Hamtramck and Kansas City, Kansas, factories will be shut down for three weeks, while a plant in Lansing, Michigan, will be down for two weeks. Factories in Lordstown, Ohio, and Bowling Green, Kentucky, each will be idled for one week. The factories make just about every car in the General Motors lineup. Last month, almost 62 percent of all U.S. vehicle sales were trucks and SUVs.... [Read Full Story]

Benton Harbor Leaders Salute Local Success Story

The Benton Harbor City Commission has saluted a local success story. At Monday’s meeting, a key to the city was presented to Psychelia Terry, the founder of UI Global Brands. She graduated from Benton Harbor High School, went to Western Michigan University, worked for Whirlpool, and then started a lingerie company that’s now a multi-million dollar cosmetics and apparel operation. Terry told WSJM News she was thrilled to come home for the honor.... [Read Full Story]

MI Lawmakers Praised For Bipartisanship

Michigan lawmakers have wrapped up all voting for the year, and groups from both sides of the aisle are commending them for managing to get a few things done in a bipartisan way. Rachel Richards, with the Michigan League for Public Policy, tells us one bright spot is a plan to ease some of the rules for expelling students.... [Read Full Story]