Local News Archives

$125,000 Raised For Lakeland Pavilion

$125,000 has been raised to help pay for Lakeland Medical Center’s new pavilion, thanks to a celebration held recently at Lake Michigan College’s Mendel Center. The annual Lakeland Gala raised the highest amount to date, as supporters took part in a raffle, a silent auction, and made donations. The New York-themed event also included live music, dancing, and fine dining. Lakeland is planning a $160 million pavilion for its facility on Napier Avenue in St. Joseph. Set for completion in 2020, the pavilion will feature medical and surgical suites, a short stay unit, imaging centers, an intensive care unit, and education and community rooms. The 260,000 square foot addition will also mean a new entrance to the hospital.... [Read Full Story]

Charges Dropped Against Former MI Lawmaker

A judge has dismissed a misconduct charge against a former Michigan state lawmaker who quit office amid a sex scandal last year. Republican Todd Courser still faces a perjury charge in the case in Ingham County Circuit Court. The Detroit News reports that Judge William Collette dismissed the misconduct in office charge Thursday. MLive.com reports that Courser’s attorney, Matthew DePerno, argued that there was no criminal element to the charge related to an alleged violation of a state House rule.The attorney general’s office plans to proceed with the perjury charge and a misconduct charge in Lapeer County. Courser resigned before lawmakers voted to expel fellow GOP Representative Cindy Gamrat.
He’s accused of soliciting an aide to send a phony email to cover up an affair with Gamrat. Charges against Gamrat have been dismissed.... [Read Full Story]

New Neighborhood Planned For Harbor Shores

There’s a new development coming to Harbor Shores. Director of Real Estate Kerry Wright tells WSJM News they’re planning a new neighborhood. Work should begin in the next year on Harbor Village, which will be at the confluence of the St. Joe and Paw Paw Rivers. Wright says they’ve got big plans for the property next to the Inn at Harbor Shores.... [Read Full Story]

Researchers Predict Continued MI Job Growth

University of Michigan economists say the state’s economy will continue its post-recession recovery with continuing job growth for the next two years. George Fulton and colleagues Gabriel Ehrlich, Donald Grimes and Michael McWilliams on Friday issued an annual November forecast of Michigan’s economy. They say the state will add an average of 45,800 jobs per year in 2017 and 2018. That rate, however, is slowing from an average pace of roughly 70,000 jobs per year from 2014 to 2016. In all, Michigan will have gained more than 605,700 jobs during the economic
recovery from summer 2009 through the end of 2018. Overall, they say Michigan’s economic recovery will help the state’s unemployment rate hold steady around 4.6 percent through 2018.... [Read Full Story]

Head Of Trump MI Campaign Seeks State GOP Leadership

The Michigan director for Donald Trump’s successful presidential campaign is running to lead the state Republican Party. Scott Hagerstrom announced his bid Friday. Current chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel is planning to run again but is also under consideration by Trump to
head the Republican National Committee. Hagerstrom says Michigan has made “great strides” under GOP leadership, but “taxes are still too high, government is still too big, and Michigan families still feel left behind.” Four of Trump’s six Michigan campaign co-chairs announced their support for McDaniel Thursday. Republicans will elect the next chair at their February convention. Trump leads Democrat Hillary Clinton in unofficial returns. He would become the first Republican presidential nominee to win Michigan in 28 years. The state has until November 28 to make the results official.... [Read Full Story]

Ford, UAW Donate $6 Million To Motown Museum

Ford Motor Company and UAW-Ford are investing $6 million in the $50 million expansion of the Motown Museum in Detroit. The investment by the automaker and its collaboration with United Auto Workers members will fund a state-of-the-art performance center and other programming. Museum officials have said the expansion will create space for interactive exhibits at the Detroit tourist attraction. It will be designed and built around the existing museum, which includes the Motown studio with its “Hitsville U.S.A.” facade. Designers and architects are collaborating on details of the expanded space. The museum is located in the house where record company founder Berry Gordy launched his cultural and commercial music empire. The label started in 1959 and scores of stars and hits were created before Motown moved to California in 1972.... [Read Full Story]

Berrien Center Man Killed In Crash

An 81-year-old Berrien Center man has been killed in an accident in Berrien Township. Lieutenant Steve Campbell of the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells WSJM News Robert Froehlich pulled his pickup out in front of another pickup truck on Old US-31 from Dean’s Hill Road Friday morning. After the two trucks collided, Froehlich got out and was inspecting the damage when he was hit by a Toyota driven by 30-year-old Jennifer Garrett of Berrien Springs. Neither Garrett nor the other pickup driver, James Ferguson of Berrien Springs, were hurt. Froehlich was pronounced dead at the scene. Alcohol and drugs were not factors in the crash, which remains under investigation. Lt. Campbell says their report will be submitted to the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department for review once it’s complete.... [Read Full Story]

Dowagiac Man To Be Honored At Christmas Parade

The annual Candle-light Christmas Parade in Dowagiac is set for next month, and a local man who’s done a lot to collect money for the needy will be honored with a spot as its grand marshal. Jim Allen has headed up the Feed the Hungry campaign in Dowagiac since 2010, helping to raise more than $75,000 in that time. He’ll be in unit 3 during the December 2 event, riding in a limo. Organizers say that during November and December each year, Allen can be seen going door to door to local businesses drumming up support, and they just wanted to thank him. The Candle-light Christmas Parade steps off at 7 p.m. on Friday December 2 at Front and Main Streets. The day will also feature the annual tree-lighting ceremony.... [Read Full Story]

Six Trucks Stuffed So Far By Y Country Crew

This are going well for the 97-5 Y Country radio crew this week. They’ve been hanging out at Roger’s foodland in St. Joseph collecting food donations as part of the 20th annual Stuff a Truck drive, and so far have filled six trucks with items for the Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency. That’s not to mention the more than $3,100 they’ve raised. However, it’s not over. The crew will be there again live Friday and Saturday taking donations from folks. Just stop by between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, or between 8 and 10 a.m. Saturday to give. Food pantries could use the help this time of year.... [Read Full Story]

Economists Project Tight US Labor Market

Economists at the University of Michigan say in an annual forecast that they think the U.S. unemployment rate will stay below 5 percent next year. Five researchers at the university’s Department of Economics put out the report Thursday. They say they found a tightening U.S. labor market with a national economy forecast to add 3.7 million more jobs over the next two years. That’s a slower pace than over the last two years. But they say the predicted falling unemployment rate should help part-time workers who want full-time jobs. The researchers say they believe new light vehicle sales may have peaked and will slow gradually. They say that’s because their analysis found young adults own fewer vehicles because they can’t afford to own detached single-family homes.... [Read Full Story]

Police, Citizen Forum Held In Benton Harbor

Police departments in southwest Michigan are hoping to build a sense of trust and mutual understanding with citizens. That’s why a forum organized by Advocates And Leaders For Police And Community Trust — or, ALPACT — was held Thursday night in Benton Harbor. Retired Michigan State Police Captain Harold Love gave a presentation on the long-term stresses police officers face.... [Read Full Story]

Police Investigate Wire Thefts In Allegan County

Police could use your help in figuring out who stole as much as $15,000 worth of wire from two businesses in Allegan County. The thefts happened in late October, and then again very recently. Both were at rural-area businesses about five miles from Allegan. The suspect drove a quad to get to them and made off with heavy gauge electrical wire. Police think the person must have knowledge of how electrical systems work, and say the stolen wire is about 2 inches thick with the copper core being about a half inch. Scrappers should watch out for it. Anyone with information on the suspect is responsible should call the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department.... [Read Full Story]

AAA: Don’t Veer To Avoid A Deer

Don’t veer for deer. That’s AAA of Michigan’s message this month, as the prime time for car-deer crashes is now here. AAA spokesperson Susan Hiltz tells WSJM News when deer are on the move, you should know what to do if one runs in front of your car.... [Read Full Story]

Report: More Pregnant Women Smoking In Michigan

Women in Michigan are smoking while pregnant at a higher rate than just a few years ago. The Michigan League for Public Policy released data Thursday showing an 18% jump in pregnancy smoking since 2008. The organization’s Alicia Guevara Warren tells us efforts to prevent smoking need to be boosted among pregnant women and the young.... [Read Full Story]

SJHS Thanks Veterans

St. Joseph High School is saluting area veterans. For the third year, the school’s Student Senate has held their annual veterans breakfast to say thank you around the Veterans Day holiday. Mia Altholz is the Student Senate President and talked to WSJM News about the meaning of the event.... [Read Full Story]

Kate Upton Tweets Disgust At Cy Young Award Vote

The winner of this season’s American League Cy Young Award is former Detroit Tiger Rick Porcello of the Boston Red Sox. Porcello led the American League in wins with 22 wins. There are a lot of fans upset by the vote, notably the supermodel girlfriend of Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander. St. Joseph native Kate Upton took to Twitter to rip the Baseball Writers of America for Verlander’s second-place finish, saying quote “Hey MLB I thought I was the only one who could (expletive deleted) Justin Verlander” and noting he had the most first-place votes. To add more salt to the wound for Detroit fans, the National League Cy Young winner was another former Tiger, Washington’s Max Scherzer.... [Read Full Story]

MI Newspapers Continue Struggling

Media companies continue being squeezed by declining readership and ad revenues. Michigan News Network Business Editor Murray Feldman says newspapers have lost a third of their readers in the past three years, as more adults are getting their news off the web.... [Read Full Story]

Jesse Jackson Urges More Accessible Voting During MI Visit

The Rev. Jesse Jackson says voting needs to be more accessible for Americans in future elections. His comments came Wednesday in Ann Arbor, where he’s being honored at the University of Michigan for his decades of fighting for civil rights. Jackson, who campaigned in Michigan several times for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, says making it easier to vote is important in promoting bottom-up change. The Detroit News reports Jackson says: “It’s the tug of war for the soul of America.” Jackson also noted the polarization of the presidential campaign that led to Republican Donald Trump being elected president, calling it “straight-out racist, xenophobic, misogynist.” Jackson is delivering the keynote address Wednesday afternoon at Rackham Auditorium during a series of events at the university in his honor.... [Read Full Story]