Local News Archives

State Police To Collect Toys In BH, Niles

Everyone will have a chance to help Michigan State Police collect toys, clothing, and food for kids in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program this coming weekend. For the third year in a row, the Niles post is holding a Stuff a Blue Goose toy drive Saturday. Trooper DeWayne Robinson tells our newsroom they’ll fill up an MSP vehicle with toys.... [Read Full Story]

Report: Some Recalled Toys Could Still Be On Store Shelves

An annual survey of toy safety is out just in time for the holiday shopping season. “Trouble in Toyland 2016” from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund found that over a dozen recalled toys may be available for sale online. The group’s Mike Litt tells us that over the past 30 years, the annual report has contributed to more than 150 recalls. It’s also helped push for toy safety legislation.... [Read Full Story]

Niles Scream Park Raises $124,000 For Charity

The Niles Scream Park has done it again. During its most recent season of scares, the spooky non-profit attraction managed to raise more than $124,000 for charities all over southwest Michigan. This was the 43rd year in a row for the Niles Scream Park, and the money it collected will go to more than 55 area children’s organizations, civic groups, and other charities. Some funds will also be used to support four college scholarships for local high school grads. This year’s Scream Park had six attractions in all, and it took 530 volunteers giving up 22,000 hours of their time to run for the Halloween season. The park also hit a milestone this year, welcoming its 1.8 millionth visitor.... [Read Full Story]

University Of Michigan Beats Ohio State In Blood Drive

The University of Michigan may have lost on the football field, but the school topped Ohio State University in an annual drive to get blood donations. The Ann Arbor school says in a statement that Michigan had 2,363 donations and Ohio State brought in 2,355 in the 35th annual blood drive. Michigan and Ohio State competed in the weeks before Saturday’s football game between the Wolverines and Buckeyes in Columbus, Ohio. The blood drive is called “Blood Battle” and Ohio State had won the last two blood drive competitions. The University of Michigan gets the American Red Cross traveling trophy. On the football field, Ohio State beat Michigan in double-overtime.... [Read Full Story]

Republican States That Expanded Medicaid Want It Kept

Republican-led states that signed onto Medicaid expansion are in a tough spot as they wonder if president-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to dump the Affordable Care Act means the expansion goes away. Former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer fought her own Republican party in the state
Legislature to push through expansion three years ago. Brewer now hopes one of the pillars of President Barack Obama’s health care  law can be saved. She says there’s no more cost-effective way to provide insurance to the working poor. Nearly 400,000 Arizonans have gained Medicaid
insurance since Brewer’s proposal took effect in 2014 and about 9 million nationwide. Many officials in the GOP-led states that embraced expansion are also strong proponents of the program.... [Read Full Story]

SW Michigan Has State’s Lowest Gas Prices

Michigan’s lowest gas prices are right here in southwest Michigan. GasBuddy says South Haven’s prices are as low as $1.78, which is the rock-bottom level in the state. Triple-A Michigan’s latest survey of prices shows the Benton Harbor-St. Joseph area has an average of $2 per gallon, which is the lowest of the 10 areas the auto club surveys daily. Statewide, the average is $2.08, down 3¢ from last week. While prices are falling, they’re still up by 23¢ a gallon from last year statewide and up 18¢ in the Twin Cities.... [Read Full Story]

2016 A Strong Year For SWM Home Sales

Southwest Michigan’s housing market has been strong throughout 2016, although sales took a bit of a breather in the month of October. The Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors’ Philip Amodeo tells WSJM News sales for the month were down 6% from October of 2016. However, the year as a whole remains strong.... [Read Full Story]

Study Examines Healthcare Needs In Southwest Michigan

A year-long study done by Lakeland Health has given us a sense of what communities need to help residents live healthy, and also what folks around southwest Michigan are concerned about. The 2016-2019 Community Health Needs Assessment took about a year to compile, and points to several things weighing on the public’s mind, says Lakeland’s Dr. Lynn Todman.... [Read Full Story]

Mixed Reaction In MI to DeVos Appointment

The selection of Betsy Devos to serve as the next U.S Secretary of Education is getting mixed reactions around Michigan. Among those on board with the appointment are Grand Rapids Schools Superintendent Theresa Weatherall and Congressman Bill Huizenga, who say Devos has been a supporter of education.... [Read Full Story]

Christmas In The Village Next Week In Stevensville

The village of Stevensville is gearing up to celebrate Christmas. Its annual Christmas in the Village event is set for next Saturday, December 3. The day will feature crafts, food, Santa, the Lakeshore Lancers Band, and a whole lot more. Santa can be found at the village hall starting at 3 p.m. and there, he’ll take pictures with the kids. The children will also get a free goodie bag and a map for a special goodie hunt. There will also be a photo booth set up next door at the village garage, which will serve for the day as a magical Christmas display. Village leaders invite everyone to come by with the kiddies for some cookie decorating and ornament making. Christmas in the Village will run from 3 to 6 p.m.... [Read Full Story]

Group Seeking Funds To Open Sojourner Truth Museum

A non-profit which wants to open a museum honoring the accomplishments of famed abolitionist Sojourner Truth is hoping to raise $150,000 to purchase Fremont Elementary School in Battle Creek. The Sojourner Truth Museum Foundation published a GoFundMe page Thursday. Truth had long history in Battle Creek. The former slave moved there in 1857, six years after delivering her “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech in Ohio. That speech still sees frequent performances to this day. Battle Creek Public Schools closed Fremont in June, citing declining enrollment. The foundation wants to open the museum by 2019.... [Read Full Story]

Wahmhoff Farms To Load Trees For Troops Monday

It’s almost time once again for Wahmhoff Farms in Gobles to load up a truck with Michigan-grown Christmas trees to be sent to military personnel. Since 2005, more than 176,000 free trees have been sent to soldiers through the Trees for Troops program around the country. At 10 a.m. Monday, Wahmhoff Farms will pack up their shipment for the year. The trees are being sent to Fort Benning, Georgia this time around. Volunteers of all kinds are welcome to come out to the farm to help with the loading event. They’ll also have donuts and cider for all the folks who help. You can find out more about Trees for Troops at TreesForTroops.org.... [Read Full Story]

Sensors To Measure “Fan Quakes” At Michigan-Ohio State Game

Ohio Stadium is sure to be rocking on Saturday when the rival Ohio State and Michigan football teams take the field. Geologists will find out just how much. They’ve planted sensors around the stadium this year to measure the seismic activity created by fans. Ohio State and Miami University professors teamed up with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to devise the “FanQuakes Magnitude Scale.” It converts the
shaking coming from fans into the perceived magnitude of a naturally occurring earthquake. So far this season, the biggest quake came after Curtis Samuel’s touchdown catch at the beginning of the second half against Nebraska. The shaking lasted over two minutes and reached a FanQuake Magnitude of 5.2. Researchers say they’re expecting fans at Saturday’s game to “take it to another level.”... [Read Full Story]

Slain MI Police Officer Had SWM Ties

A Wayne State University Police Officer shot and killed in the line of duty this week was originally from Kalamazoo County. Officer Colin Rose is a native of Richland, where his parents still live. Friends of his family there have been passing out blue light bulbs for homeowners to put in their front porch lights as a salute to Rose. Family friend Tim Sampey says the 29-year-old had a warm personality.... [Read Full Story]

MI Shoppers Split Between Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is giving Black Friday a run for its money in Michigan. AAA’s latest Consumer Pulse survey shows the top shopping day this year for Michiganders will be Monday, when 48% of respondents said they’d try to snag a deal. 47% said Black Friday. As AAA’s Susan Hiltz tells WSJM  News, either way, this is a good time for retailers.... [Read Full Story]

Powerball Jackpot Now More Than $400 Million

If you’re feeling lucky, then you may want to buy a Powerball ticket this Saturday. The jackpot has now climbed to $403 million, which is the 13th largest lotto jackpot in U.S. history. To win that money, all you have to do is match all five numbers, plus the Powerball. Of course, the odds aren’t exactly in your favor. The chances of actually getting all five numbers plus the ball are 1 in more than 292 million. If someone wins this Saturday, they’ll have the option of collecting their money over 30 years, or all at once in a lump sum payment of about $250 million. You can get your ticket through 9:59 p.m. Saturday.... [Read Full Story]

McDonald’s Donating 1,000 Christmas Trees To Detroit Families

McDonald’s restaurant owners are donating 1,000 live Christmas trees to Detroit-area families. Five hundred trees, tree stands and gift cards will be given at a private event Saturday morning to families pre-selected by area churches. The remaining trees will be available from 1-3 p.m. on a first-come basis at the McDonald’s on Eight Mile Road near Woodward Avenue. The trees are 5 feet tall to 6 feet tall. Event organizers say Detroit-area McDonald’s restaurant owners also have donated turkeys, hats and scarfs, school supplies and other items to families in need as part of their support for the community.... [Read Full Story]

Moon Rock Coming To West MI Museum

A moon rock from the 1971 Apollo 15 mission is coming to a western Michigan museum. The rock will be displayed starting Monday at Calvin College’s Bruce Dice Mineralogical Museum in Grand Rapids. A reception will be held at the museum Monday night. It will remain in the museum until Feb. 16, 2017. The rock is on loan. Museum director Renee Sparks says the lunar sample is “not a very exciting rock, but something truly beyond value.”... [Read Full Story]

Edwardsburg Official Resigns Over Conflict Of Interest

A township official from southern Michigan who faced conflict of interest allegations has resigned from a local board. The South Bend Tribune reports Frank LaPierre recently resigned as chairman of Ontwa Township’s wastewater board. Edwardsburg businessman Robert J. Donnelly had publicly criticized LaPierre for being board chairman while working for an engineering firm the township contracts with for consulting and wastewater system work. LaPierre claimed Donnelly had threatened him, but Donnelly denies that allegation. Police investigated allegations Donnelly had threatened LaPierre and others but did not recommend that prosecutors pursue charges. LaPierre’s resignation letter cites a growing workload but also says disruptions created by some individuals had “made it, not only uncomfortable, but impractical to participate in a secure and safe environment.”... [Read Full Story]

State Waives Park Fee For Black Friday

Here’s a Black Friday deal that won’t cost a dime: free entry to Michigan state parks if you don’t have the annual recreation passport. The state is waiving fees Friday at 103 state parks and recreation areas and 138 rustic campgrounds. Parks chief Ron Olson says a hike “is the perfect way to
burn off some of those Thanksgiving calories.” The Department of Natural Resources is joining a national effort to get people outside on the day after the holiday. It was started last year by outdoor recreation retailer REI.... [Read Full Story]