Local News Archives

Berrien Commissioners Cancel Animal Control Hearing

The Berrien County Board of Commissioners is taking a step back from the new county animal control ordinance. The controversial law has been in the works for several months now, and it had been scheduled for a hearing next Thursday. However, the hearing has now been cancelled. Board of Commissioners Chair Jon Hinkelman tells our newsroom the response from the public to the animal control ordinance has made commissioners realize they “need more time to review and to provide explanation for areas of the ordinance.” A vote on the rule scheduled for December 22 has also been cancelled.... [Read Full Story]

MI Lawmakers Approve New Wolf Hunting Law

Michigan lawmakers may re-enact a wolf-hunting law declared unconstitutional by the state appeals court. The Republican-led Senate voted 27-10 along party lines Thursday to define wolves as a game species and to authorize the state to designate game. The bill goes to the House.
It’s the fourth time lawmakers have considered wolf-hunt laws in recent years. Wolf hunting isn’t allowed in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota under a federal court decision. But Sen. Tom Casperson says he wants Michigan positioned if Congress removes wolves from endangered species status. In 2014, Michigan voters rejected laws allowing wolf hunts. But the votes were symbolic because legislators had approved a third measure. That law was nixed last month because a provision providing free hunting licenses to military members isn’t related to scientifically managing wildlife.... [Read Full Story]

Kinexus To Work With Palisades Staff As Shutdown Looms

Among the agencies that will be working to help the displaced workers of the Palisades nuclear power plant will be Kinexus. Zachary Morris, with the jobs training and economic development organization, says it will coordinate with Van Buren County as the shutdown approaches. He tells WSJM News many of the Palisades staff should be able to find work.... [Read Full Story]

Pokagons Announce New South Bend Casino

The first Native American tribe in Indiana to have land returned to it from the federal government has announced plans to build a casino in South Bend that will open in early 2018. The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi tribe says the 175,000-square-foot casino will have 55,000 square feet of gambling space and 1,800 gambling devices. The size of the casino is smaller than documents previously submitted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and doesn’t include an 18-story hotel included in those plans. Tribal Chairman John Warren says the tribe had to include how big the casino could eventually become when submitting those plans. He says the plans announced Wednesday are the first phase. The tribe says the project will include four restaurants, three bars and about 4,500 parking spaces.... [Read Full Story]

Palisades Nuclear Power Plant To Close In 2018

Entergy will close the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in Covert Township in 2018. The company says the plant will be refueled as scheduled in the spring, and permanently shut down on October 1, 2018. Entergy says since purchasing the plant from Consumers Energy in 2007, “market conditions have changed substantially, and more economic alternatives are now available to provide reliable power to the region.” The company’s chairman and CEO Leo Denault says they will work to help the plant’s roughly 600 employees find other jobs. Shutting down Palisades will save Consumers’ Energy customers up to $172 million over four years.... [Read Full Story]

Benton Twp Denies Proposed Gas Station

The Benton Township Board of Trustees has put the brakes on a gas station, car wash, and convenience store planned for the corner of M-63 and Enterprise Way. Pri Mar Petroleum was looking to get the parcel rezoned, and the township board this week was unanimous in denying that request. It did so following recommendations from the Benton Township Planning Commission and the Berrien County Planning Commission. Residents in the Rocky Gap area also expressed objections, complaining about noise and traffic. It’s the second time in less than ten years a gas station for that spot has been rejected.... [Read Full Story]

Hate Crimes On The Rise In Michigan

A new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center confirms student anxiety and incidents of harassment are increasing in Michigan and across the nation following the 2016 presidential election. Maureen Costello, report author, tells our newsroom children who are anxious have a harder time learning, but parents can help.... [Read Full Story]

Judge Stops Michigan Recount

The presidential election recount in Michigan has been stopped. A federal judge Wednesday evening dropped an order that the recount proceed. That’s after an appeals court found Green Party candidate Jill Stein doesn’t qualify as an aggrieved candidate because a recount still wouldn’t make her the winner. Stein had requested the recount. Following Wednesday’s decision, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette issued the following statement:... [Read Full Story]

Proos Promotes Plan To Spur Investment In Border Counties

State Senator John Proos is hailing a new plan to spur business investment in border areas of the state. The state already offers a variety of tax breaks and other help to businesses that create jobs, and Proos says the new legislation would remove a requirement that the person hired for a new job live in Michigan. He tells us that in places like Southwest Michigan, changing the rule that would help a lot of companies.... [Read Full Story]

MI House Approves Compensation For Innocent Inmates

Michigan lawmakers have approved legislation to compensate innocent inmates. Under a bill passed 104-2 by the House Wednesday, the state would pay ex-inmates $50,000 for each year of their wrongful incarceration, along with attorney fees. Some wouldn’t qualify for the money if they served simultaneous sentences for other crimes. Others would be ineligible because they successfully sued for civil rights damages, which can be a difficult effort since police and prosecutors often have immunity. Michigan has released more innocent prisoners than all but four states. The Senate plans to soon send the bill to Governor Rick Snyder. The sponsor, Democratic Senator Steve Bieda of Warren, says the compensation is the least the state can do for people who were “just plucked out of their regular lives and lost their freedom.”... [Read Full Story]

MI Supreme Court To Hear Kalamazoo River Oil Spill Suit

The Michigan Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a lawsuit that links a man’s health problems to a disastrous oil spill that spoiled the Kalamazoo River in 2010. Chance Lowery says he suffered coughing, headaches and vomiting when he was exposed to fumes from the heavy crude near his home in Calhoun County. He says those problems led to a ruptured artery. The issue for the Supreme Court is whether Lowery needs to present expert testimony to sustain his lawsuit against Enbridge Energy. The case is on the docket Wednesday. Lowery’s lawyers say there should be no dispute that his problems were related to toxic fumes. Enbridge argues that expert testimony is needed. The company
says Lowery lived miles from the spill, and his health problems occurred weeks later.... [Read Full Story]

Federal Judge Weighs Whether To End Michigan Recount

(Lansing, MI – AP) – A federal judge could decide whether to end Michigan’s presidential recount after the state’s second-highest court said the Green Party nominee was ineligible to seek a second look at millions of ballots. The federal judge who on Monday ordered the recount to begin will hold a hearing today on whether to stop it. The state elections board also is meeting today, a day after the Michigan appeals court ordered it to dismiss Jill Stein’s recount petition. The court noted that she got 1 percent of the vote and has no chance of catching Republican Donald Trump, who narrowly defeated Hillary Clinton in the state.... [Read Full Story]

Joique Bell Back With the Detroit Lions

Joique Bell is a Lion once again. The Detroit Lions announced Tuesday the Benton Harbor native has been added back to the roster. Bell, a running back, played for the Lions for four seasons, between 2012 and 2015. He most recently played for the Chicago Bears, beginning in October and lasting four games. Bell is one of two new additions to the Lions roster announced Tuesday. The other is Corner back Asa Jackson.... [Read Full Story]

Tripplett Fired By Benton Harbor Schools

Former Benton Harbor High School Principal Rodger Tripplett has been fired. At a Tuesday meeting, the board of education heard from district attorney Eric DeLaporte that Tripplett’s teaching and administrator certificates have been suspended by the Michigan Department of Education. He said they had no choice but to terminate him.... [Read Full Story]

Talons Out Honor Flight Holding Essay Contest

Talons Out Honor Flight, which gives trips to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. to veterans of that war, is holding a special contest. It’s giving young people a chance to win a ride along for the next honor flight. All a student has to do is submit an essay about a World War II or Korean War vet from Michigan.... [Read Full Story]

AAA Study Examines Risks Of Drowsy Driving

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]

More Than $350,000 Raised For Mosaic CCDA

Mosaic CCDA’s efforts to raise money for a relocation within the city of Benton Harbor have so far resulted in more than $350,000 raised. Mosaic on the Move launched in early October, and a recent donation of $300,000 has helped to push it forward. Mosaic President Brian Bennett tells us the organization is humbled to see the community support. Mosaic on the Move’s overall goal is to raise $850,000 to relocate the Mosaic Retail Store, Jobs for Life Program, and Harbor Shine Enterprises, hopefully to 200 Paw Paw Avenue in Benton Harbor. It’s found another location for Cafe Mosaic at 325 Main Street, where King Kong Express used to be. The new place is expected to be open in February.... [Read Full Story]