Local News Archives

Berrien County Holding Recycling Event His Week

If you’ve got a bunch of junk piled up in your basement or garage and you’d like to have it recycled, this is your week. Berrien County Environmental Property Manager Jill Adams tells WSJM News the county is doing a Reduce, Reuse, Recycle event on Wednesday at Lake Michigan College. Lots of people always show up.... [Read Full Story]

Children, Woman Attacked By Dog In Cass County

Two children are recovering after they were attacked by a dog in Cass County on Sunday. The sheriff’s department tells our newsroom the two-year-old and seven-year-old were saved by a 44-year-old woman who was also hurt. The attack happened about 5:40 p.m. in the 63,000 block of Crooked Creek in Calvin Township. Sheriff’s deputies were able to get the dog into custody, and it’s being kept in quarantine for ten days before they decide what to do with it. The two-year-old is now in an Indianapolis hospital after being airlifted to South Bend due to severe head trauma. The seven-year-old was treated at Lakeland in Niles, along with the woman who helped them. Police say criminal charges could be pursued in the case against the dog’s owner.... [Read Full Story]

Expelled MI Lawmaker Sues For Back Pay

From the Associated Press — A former Michigan lawmaker kicked out of the House because of a sex scandal says she was illegally expelled and deserves back pay. Cindy Gamrat, a Republican from Allegan County, says House leaders violated her rights in 2015. She filed a new lawsuit last week in federal court in Grand Rapids. Gamrat is seeking back pay as well as money for distress and humiliation. She says she had struck a deal to be censured, not removed from office. Attorney Sarah Riley Howard, a lawyer representing two former House aides, says the lawsuit “has no merit.” Gamrat’s former husband is also named in the lawsuit. He’s accused of using listening devices to try to catch Gamrat and Todd Courser, a Lapeer County Republican, in their affair. Courser quit the House.... [Read Full Story]

Consumers Energy Shopping For New Gas Powered Plant

The Associated Press erroneously reported this weekend that Consumers Energy planned to buy the Palisades Nuclear Plant and convert it to Natural Gas. That is not happening, and the AP has since issued a correction. The real story is that Consumers Energy is shopping around for an existing gas powered facility that can provide the megawatts they will be losing when the Covert reactor shuts down in the summer of 2018. The Michigan Public Service Commission says it may not approve the closure of the plant without the assurance that Consumers has the juice it needs to cover peak loads. They are planning a pair of public hearings on the issue on May 8th.... [Read Full Story]

Two Arrested in High Speed Chase

Three people have been arrested after a 40-mile high-speed chase across multiple midMichigan counties. It began as police in Gratiot County were searching for a suspect who allegedly punched an elderly man in a grocery store and tried to take his groceries. Authorities pursued a car on U-S 127 matching the description of one linked to the incident. After the chase that hit speeds of 110 miles-per-hour, police arrested the woman for fleeing and eluding authorities… and for outstanding warrants from multiple counties. Two men inside were also arrested.... [Read Full Story]

Niles Hotel Reopens After CO Leak Kills Teen

The Quality Inn in Niles reopened over the weekend, after making the necessary improvements, and passing a building inspection. They booked their first rooms since the death of 13-year-old Bryan Watts on April 2nd. Watts and 5 friends were overcome by Carbon Monoxide fumes that accumulated in an indoor pool because of a faulty ventilator on the gas fired heater that warmed the water in the pool. The others all survived. The building was technically in compliance, and was not required to have a detector because of its age. That building code is currently being reviewed by Lansing Lawmakers. The Watts family is reportedly consulting with an attorney and may file a civil suit.... [Read Full Story]

Michigan Supreme Court on Religious Schools

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments this week in an uncommon case — can courts intervene when religious schools reject students? Churches and faith-based schools operate with broad protections under the First Amendment. But this case raises questions about whether a student claiming discrimination can overcome that legal threshold. The parents of a student at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Pontiac say she was illegally turned down because of a learning disability. The Catholic school denies any discrimination and insists the girl was rejected because of low grades.... [Read Full Story]

Talons Out Honor Flight Set For This Month

Talons Out Honor Flight, the group that takes veterans on free trips to Washington, D.C. to see war memorials, is planning its next trip for April 22. Vice President Dan Moyle tells WKZO News by the time it’s finished, they will have taken more than 750 vets to Washington. He’s hoping a big crowd comes to welcome the veterans back to Michigan at Kalamazoo Christian Middle School the night of the trip.... [Read Full Story]

Free Pet Adoption Day Coming Up

The Grand Rapids-based Bissell Pet Foundation is once again planning to empty out the shelters this month. Last year, the group helped find homes for more than 2,800 cats and dogs with a couple of events in which it paid the adoption expenses at shelters around the state. Spokesperson Holly Kroeze tells WSJM News they’re doing it again April 29.... [Read Full Story]

UPDATE — Police Identify Victim In Friday Shooting

The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety has identified the man killed in a shooting outside the Salvation Army on Friday. They say 30-year-old John Conyers had come to the area from Tampa, Florida about six months ago. He was employed locally and staying at the Salvation Army. Conyers was shot and killed near the parking lot about 8 p.m. Friday. An autopsy was done in Grand Rapids on Saturday, and the death has been ruled a homicide. Police are still looking for a suspect, and anyone with information on the case is asked to contact them.... [Read Full Story]

One Arrested In Benton Harbor Shooting

The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety has arrested one suspect in a Saturday shooting. It happened in the late evening hours at River Terrace apartments, and the victim has been identified as 22 year-old Ronald Hill, of Benton Harbor. Upon arrival at the scene, police detained several people and were able to identify their suspect through interviews. He was taken to the Berrien County Jail and his name has not yet been released. The victim was taken to Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph, and is expected to recover. Michigan State Police are assisting Benton Harbor Public Safety in the investigation.... [Read Full Story]

Crime Victims Honored With New Plaque At Berrien Courthouse

The victims of crime are now permanently honored at the Berrien County Courthouse in St. Joseph. On Thursday, Prosecutor Mike Sepic and representatives from several groups that help victims dedicated a plaque and a flower bed right out front honoring those directly hurt by crime. County Victim Services Coordinator Carolyn Groen told WSJM News they wanted to send a message.... [Read Full Story]

Andrews University International Food Fair Today

Today brings the annual Andrews University International Food Fair. The Berrien Springs university tells us it usually gets around 8,000 visitors for the event. This time around, they’ll offer samplings from nearly two dozen ethnic clubs, including the Korean Club, Peruvian Club, Brazilian Club, Indian Club and Haitian Club, among others. Everyone’s invited, and there’s a small fee to get in. The proceeds will go to the clubs organizing the event. The International Food Fair will take place from noon to 7 p.m. at the Johnson Gym on campus.... [Read Full Story]

Upton Supportive Of Strike On Syria

Congressman Fred Upton has come out in favor of the missile strike ordered Thursday by President Donald Trump on Syria. He’s issued a statement, saying he believes “these targeted, measured airstrikes were an appropriate response to the unfolding atrocities.” However, Upton also says the president should work with Congress on dealing with Syria as he moves forward. The president ordered more than 50 Tomahawk missiles fired on a Syrian air base this week after Syria launched a chemical attack on one of its rebel-held cities on Tuesday.... [Read Full Story]

One Dead In Benton Harbor Shooting

The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety is investigating a fatal shooting on Friday night. It tells us officers were called to 233 Michigan Street, outside the Salvation Army, around 7:50 p.m. They arrived to find a 30-year-old man severely wounded by gunfire. He was taken to Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph, where he was pronounced dead. His name has not yet been released, and police are investigating the circumstances of the shooting. Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Benton Harbor Public Safety.... [Read Full Story]

Everyone Reminded To Stay Away From Downed Power Lines

Everyone’s reminded to keep a safe distance from downed power lines following this week’s wind storm. Most utilities say the safe distance is about 25 feet. The Lincoln Township Fire Department is also issuing a warning after a close call on Friday. In a Facebook post, it says someone picked up a downed power line that was wrapped in a tree along Lincoln Avenue. Luckily for that person, the line was dead. If you do find a downed power line, you should call the fire department. It has voltage detectors that can be used to determine whether the line is dangerous. You can also notify the electric company.... [Read Full Story]

Longtime Andrews University Symphony Director Stepping Down

The Andrews University Wind Symphony will present its annual spring concert on April 23, and it will be the last performance of the symphony’s longtime director. Alan Mitchell has directed the ensemble for nearly three decades, and he’s retiring this summer. The Wind Symphony will perform Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland, Overture to Candide by Leonard Bernstein, and Irish Tune from County Derry by Percy Granger, among other pieces. The program will also have two soloists on hand. The retiring Alan Mitchell will be on trombone. Anyone who wants tickets can get them at the Andrews University website or at the box office.... [Read Full Story]

Comerica Park Unveils New Food Options On Opening Day

Friday was opening day for the Detroit Tigers, and Comerica Park Chef Marc Szubeczak came up with a new menu for the year. He’s added some healthy options like Chicken Shawarma nachos, which replaces the standard tortilla chips with chips made out of toasted pita. However, he told Michigan News Network there are also options if you want to break your diet.... [Read Full Story]

St. Joseph Lighthouse Project Wins Statewide Award

The lighthouse restoration project in St. Joseph has received a statewide honor. It’s getting the Michigan Historic Preservation Network 2017 Building Award. The MHPN is a non-profit that recognizes efforts to preserve Michigan’s history. Heritage Museum and Cultural Center Interim Director Tracy Gierada tells WSJM News the work done by volunteers to fix up the North Pier Inner and Outer Lights in St. Joe deserves praise.... [Read Full Story]

Today Is National Beer Day

Today is National Beer Day. It came just as as heavy tailgating took place in Detroit for the Tigers home opener. When it comes pairing the perfect beer with your snack of choice, master brewer Tom Block told Michigan News Network he has a suggestion for a good beer when eating a hot dog. It’s a Michigan craft beer.... [Read Full Story]

United Way Report Examines The Working Poor

The United Way has compiled a report on the condition of working families in Michigan and found low-wage jobs are prevailing. United Way of Southwest Michigan Program Director Doug Ferrall tells WSJM they’ve identified a class of workers they’re calling ALICE. That is, Asset Limited, Income Constrained, but still Employed. He says ALICE workers aren’t poor. Yet, they have few assets, struggle with child care and healthcare, and are one emergency away from disaster.... [Read Full Story]

One Arrested In St. Joseph Twp Heroin Bust

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department has arrested a Benton Harbor man as part of a heroin bust in St. Joseph Township. It tells us officers raised a home along Parker Avenue on Thursday afternoon after gathering evidence drugs were being sold there. During their search, officers found seven grams of heroin, worth about $900, along with marijuana and an assault rifle. Turns out that rifle had been stolen out of Benton Township. 36-year-old Reuben Holliday the Third was arrested on several drug charges. He’s now in the Berrien County Jail.... [Read Full Story]

Utilities Expect All Outages To Be Restored By Late Tonight

Tens of thousands of Michigan residents are still waiting for their power to be restored following Thursday’s wind storm. DTE, on the east side of the state, was working to restore power to just under 38,000 customers Friday afternoon, while Consumers Energy spokesperson Brian Wheeler told Michigan News Network they’ve made a lot of progress from having almost 80,000 out at the storm’s peak.... [Read Full Story]

Wayne County Circuit Court Gets The Day Off

The court that serves Michigan’s largest county can’t compete with the first home game for the Detroit Tigers. Wayne County Circuit Court says Friday is a holiday for jurors. No one needs to report to the two courthouses that handle criminal and civil cases. Why? Parking is simply too tough around Comerica Park.... [Read Full Story]

I&M Power Restoring Continues

Indiana Michigan Power has restored service to more than two-thirds of customers who lost power as a result of heavy wind gusts on Thursday. Service is expected to be restored to the remaining customers – most of them in southwest Michigan – by 11 p.m.... [Read Full Story]

Crews Working to Restore Power

Crews are working to restore power to thousands of customers in Michigan after storms packing high winds, snow and heavy rain hit the state. Authorities say Thursday’s weather was a factor in at least one death, a fatal crash on snowy roads in southwestern Michigan. DTE Energy says nearly 50,000 of its customers lost power. Thursday’s mix of snow and rain across much of Michigan also caused flooding.... [Read Full Story]