Local News Archives

MI Democrats Question Some Trump Appointments

Michigan Democrats are expressing their reservations about Exon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson becoming the next secretary of state. Flint Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee tells us Tillerson has questionable ties to Russia. Kildee also worries about Trump’s EPA choice, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.... [Read Full Story]

Toys For Tots Donation Jar Stolen In Dowagiac

Police could use your help in finding the Grinch who stole a Toys for Tots donation jar from a gas station in Dowagiac. The department of public safety tells our newsroom it happened at the Shell Mart on North Front Street late Sunday. Police have released photos of the suspect, who’s a white man wearing a dark coat. He was driving a white car. Anyone who can identify the man is asked to call Dowagiac Public Safety. You can see surveillance pictures below.... [Read Full Story]

Experts Urge Holiday Shoppers To Avoid Going Into Debt

The average American will spend $936 on holiday gifts this year. That the second highest amount on record, according to the National Retail Federation. Kathryn Greiner, with University of Michigan Credit Union, tells us the pressure to provide this time of year can lead people to take extreme measures, including turning to payday lenders.... [Read Full Story]

MI Lawmakers Approve Greater Access To Overdose Drug

Pharmacists across Michigan could dispense, without a prescription, a drug that reverses the effects of an overdose under legislation going to Governor Rick Snyder. The state House unanimously approved the bill Tuesday. The sponsor, Republican Representative Anthony Forlini of Harrison Township, says the measure would help stem rising opioid overdose deaths. He says the bill would put the antidote in the hands of more people who might be present when someone overdoses.... [Read Full Story]

Benton Harbor Man Pleads Guilty In Death Of 8-Month-Old Boy

A Benton Harbor man has pleaded guilty for the death of an eight-month-old boy. The Berrien County Prosecutor’s office tells us Brandon Beshires pleaded guilty Monday to first degree premeditated murder in the death of Carter Donovan back in February. Beshires was supposed to be caring for the boy while his mother was at an appointment, but instead, the baby died from trauma to the head. Prosecutor Michael Sepic says Beshires was in court for an evidence hearing Monday, but instead entered the plea. A charge of child abuse and a charge of felony murder have been dropped in the case, but it won’t make any difference at sentencing. Beshires will be sentenced to life in prison on January 30. Also that day, the baby’s mother, Autumn Atchley, will be sentenced for being an accessory after the fact in the case.... [Read Full Story]

Report: Michigan Stands To Lose With ACA Repeal

With Congress poised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, about 887,000 people in Michigan stand to lose their health insurance. That’s according to a report from the Urban Institute. Joan Alker, with the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, tells us the folks who lose out aren’t just low income.... [Read Full Story]

GPS Technology Helps MDOT Better Track Plows

Thanks to GPS and other technology, the Michigan Department of Transportation is able to better coordinate and supply its snow plows this winter. Spokesperson Nick Schirripa tell us they put automatic vehicle location devices in all the plows in 2013, and drivers can also check in on where plows are located.... [Read Full Story]

Cornerstone Alliance Unveils Five Year Plan

Cornerstone Alliance has completed its five year plan for the economic development of Berrien County. President Rob Cleveland tells WSJM News it comes after six months of working with businesses and communities to find out what Cornerstone can improve. One thing it calls for is telling the southwest Michigan story.... [Read Full Story]

LaSata To Hold Local Swearing In Ceremony This Week

Southwest Michigan’s newest elected officials are being sworn in over the next week. A ceremony is planned for this Thursday at the Berrien County Courthouse to swear in state Representative-election Kim LaSata. Her husband, Judge Charles LaSata, will preside as she takes the oath. The ceremony will be Thursday at 4 p.m. Meanwhile, there’s a swearing in ceremony planned for next week in Van Buren County for a variety of elected officials there. On Monday, the county commission, clerk, treasurer, drain commissioner, state rep, and anyone else you can name will be sworn in at the courthouse. It’ll be at 4 p.m. with special guest Congressman Fred Upton on hand.... [Read Full Story]

Online Retailers Hoping For Big Bucks Today

Cyber retailers have started out the week with some big gains. Monday is Green Monday, a term coined by EBay in 2007 to describe its best sales day in December, traditionally the second Monday of the month. About $2 billion were were expected to be spent online Monday, compared to nearly $3.5 billion for Cyber Monday. Dr. Patricia Huddleston, a retail professor at Michigan State University, says mobile sales will only add to online purchases in the coming years.... [Read Full Story]

One Lane Of I-94 Bridge Over Red Arrow Highway Closed For Repairs

A crash on Sunday has resulted in the closure of one lane of the westbound in I-94 bridge over Red Arrow Highway in Stevensville. Michigan State Police say a car and a semi crashed into each other, resulting in damage to the bridge wall. Although no one was injured in the crash, the bridge had to be shut down for several hours while it was inspected. Although the bridge itself has been deemed safe for vehicles, the wall needs to be repaired. The left lane of the bridge will be closed until that happens.... [Read Full Story]

UPDATE: Body Found in Benton Harbor Identified

Police say a man whose body was found in the snow in Benton Harbor over the weekend had been shot several times. According to the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety, the victim is 28-year-old Joshua Deairest Hutchinson. He was found in the 800 block of Superior Street Sunday. The investigation into Hutchinson’s death is underway, and police are offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who comes forward with information leading to the arrest of whoever’s responsible. You can reach Benton Harbor Public Safety at 927-0293.... [Read Full Story]

South Haven Gets New Chief of Police

A 24-year employee of the South Haven Police Department is now the new Chief of Police. Natalie Thompson was selected from a field of thirty-three other candidates who applied for the Police Chief position. The recommendation comes from a ten-person selection committee, made up of representatives from the faith-based community, South Haven Public Schools, South Haven Charter Township, South Haven City Council, South Haven Area Emergency Services, Michigan State Police and South Haven Police Department. During her tenure, Thompson has worked as a patrol officer and undercover detective in the Michigan State Police’s Southwest Enforcement Team. She was promoted to Sergeant in 2008 and then to Deputy Chief in 2013. Since February of this year, Thompson has served the City of South Haven as the Police Department’s Acting Chief.... [Read Full Story]

Study Finds Drowsy Driving A Big Danger

Avoiding alcohol and distractions behind the wheel aren’t the only things you should be doing to help keep the roads safe. AAA has released a new report finding drowsy driving is a huge threat to driver safety, with just one or two hours of missed sleep doubling your crash risk. That’s according to spokesperson Susan Hiltz.... [Read Full Story]

Shop With A Cop Bigger Than Ever

More families and children than ever will have a happier holiday thanks to the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Division by providing assistance to the community through the “Shop with a Cop” program. The event was held Saturday by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Division who partnered up with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain’s, the Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township Police Department, the Fraternal Order of Police Explorers Program, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Sworn Deputies, and the Saint Joseph City Department of Public Safety. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Division along with the partner agencies and organizations assisted 11 families and 40 children by allowing the children to shop for Christmas gifts for themselves, their family members, and their friends. The families and children were from the Watervliet, Niles, Berrien Springs, and Eau Claire area. Following the “shopping”, the children and their families were taken to Michiana Christian Embassy in Niles for lunch and gift wrapping with Mrs. Claus and members of Michiana Christian Embassy. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Division also provided food baskets to all 11 families, thus allowing them to have a wonderful holiday dinner and food for the holiday season.... [Read Full Story]

State Rep Working To Save Palisades Plant

State Representative Aric Nesbitt has sent a letter to Consumers Energy, Entergy Corporation, and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, imploring them not to shutter the Palisades nuclear power plant in Covert Township. Nesbitt tells us Entergy and Consumers Energy abandoning their electric contract is a raw deal.... [Read Full Story]

Body Found In Benton Harbor

Benton Harbor police are investigating after a body was found in the snow on Sunday morning. The department of public safety says the young man was discovered in the 800 block of Superior Street, and describe the death as suspicious in nature. The victim’s name has not been released pending notification of family. Anyone with information is asked to call the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety at 927-0293.... [Read Full Story]

Cook Plant Remains In Strong Financial Position

With this week’s announcement that the Palisades nuclear power plant is shutting down, we wondered if this means anything for the Cook plant near Bridgman. Cook spokesperson Bill Schalk tells WSJM News shifting market trends have hurt smaller, single unit nuclear plants, but the two-unit Cook plant remains a big asset for its owner, Indiana Michigan Power. He points out I&M is investing big in Cook.... [Read Full Story]