Local News Archives

Fire Prevention Group Urges Thanksgiving Caution

Fire prevention group ESCAPE is issuing some guidelines for folks ahead of Thanksgiving to help make sure the holiday is safe for everyone. The organization’s Mike McLeieer tells us it’s important to not get distracted from your work in the kitchen once the stove and oven are on. Also, he recommends cleaning the oven.... [Read Full Story]

Michigan Blood Implements New Protections Against Zika

Michigan Blood is taking new steps to help prevent the spread of the Zika virus. The organization announced Monday it’s going to test all blood donations for the mosquito-borne illness. It’s working with an Indiana company to do so. That means things will change a little bit for donors. Michigan Blood says they’ll now have to be at least 112 pounds, instead of the previous 110, because an extra tube of blood will be taken for testing. Also, no one will be deferred if they’ve been to a Zika risk area, which could mean a 2% decrease in deferred donors. The changes took effect Friday, and Michigan Blood tells us they’re all about patient safety.... [Read Full Story]

Ground Broken On Autonomous Vehicle Testing Facility

Developers have broken ground on what is billed as a world-class testing facility in Michigan for driverless vehicles. Governor Rick Snyder and other officials attended a Monday groundbreaking for the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti Township. The facility will be located
at the site of a former General Motors plant. It’s also where B-24 bombers were made during World War II. Snyder says the facility “will put Michigan at the forefront of the autonomous movement.” Willow Run Arsenal of Democracy Landholdings Limited Partnership recently
bought the property, paving the way for construction. The center plans to open in December 2017. It will be available for use by private industry, government, standards bodies and academia. Companies will be able to lease office space, garages and other amenities.... [Read Full Story]

Semi Driver Hospitalized After Tanker Rolls, Catches Fire

The quick response of other semi drivers is being credited with saving the life of a gasoline tanker driver this morning in South Haven. Police say they pulled the man to safety after he was thrown from his rig when it overturned on the ramp at Exit 26 for Pullman Road shortly after 3 a.m. The tanker caught fire and was allowed to burn itself out by South Haven Area Emergency Services. The driver is now being treated at South Haven Community Hospital. There is no word on his condition or where he is from. The fire shut down northbound I-196 for about two hours this morning.... [Read Full Story]

Tanker Fire Closes Part Of NB I-196

If your drive takes you north on I-196 in the South Haven area this morning, you’ll need a different route. The highway is shut down at Exit 20 due to a gasoline tanker fire early this morning. The semi rolled as it was exiting the highway at 3:15 and caught fire. Other semi drivers quickly pulled the driver away from the flaming wreckage, and that driver has been taken to South Haven Community Hospital for treatment. South Haven Emergency Services says the fire is being allowed to burn itself out.... [Read Full Story]

Lansing Region’s First Venture Capital Firm Launches

The Michigan State University Foundation has launched a $5 million venture investing subsidiary to help university start-ups that are on the brink of market launch. The Lansing State Journal reports that Red Cedar Ventures would invest a minimum of $250,000 in businesses created by faculty and students to help get their services or products onto the market. The foundation’s executive director, David Washburn, says the firm wants to show the investment community that it’s willing to commit resources to make sure technologies that come from the university are successful. Red Cedar Ventures is the first venture capital firm based in the Lansing region. Andrew McColm, managing director of Venture Creation for Spartan Innovations, the foundation’s commercialization arm, says Red Cedar Ventures helps fill a gap in business funding.... [Read Full Story]

Lansing Region’s First Venture Capital Firm Launches

The Michigan State University Foundation has launched a $5 million venture investing subsidiary to help university start-ups that are on the brink of market launch. The Lansing State Journal reports that Red Cedar Ventures would invest a minimum of $250,000 in businesses created by faculty and students to help get their services or products onto the market. The foundation’s executive director, David Washburn, says the firm wants to show the investment community that it’s willing to commit resources to make sure technologies that come from the university are successful. Red Cedar Ventures is the first venture capital firm based in the Lansing region. Andrew McColm, managing director of Venture Creation for Spartan Innovations, the foundation’s commercialization arm, says Red Cedar Ventures helps fill a gap in business funding.... [Read Full Story]

Three Arrested For Drugs, Guns In South Haven

South Haven Police have three men locked up in the Van Buren County Jail on a slew of drug and gun charges. They were arrested at the Meijer store Friday. Officers were called to the store on a report of two men trying to steal liquor, and found them with a third suspect in the parking lot. A search turned up what police call a “substantial amount’ of marijuana and crack cocaine along with a lot of cash, which they say is consistent with selling drugs.... [Read Full Story]

New Residential Development Coming To Harbor Shores

Coming soon to Harbor Shores will be a new residential development. On Friday, Harbor Village was announced. It’ll be a 78 home neighborhood right next to the Inn at Harbor Shores, at the confluence of the Paw Paw and St. Joseph Rivers, featuring town homes, row homes, and single family homes. Harbor Shores Real Estate Director Kerry Wright tells WSJM News the neighborhood will have several amenities.... [Read Full Story]

Police Agencies Look To Create Trust, Understanding With Public

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]

Michigan Sees Drop In Homelessness

Homelessness is in the spotlight this week, as groups across Michigan work to find ways of preventing it, and the latest data is showing recent efforts have made a difference. Eric Hufnagel, Director of the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness, tells WSJM News homelessness in the state went down 6% last year. Part of the reason is new tools to help assess each person seeking help.... [Read Full Story]

LMC Gets $1.6 Million Grant For Its Educational Opportunity Center

A program at Lake Michigan College that helps students from disadvantaged backgrounds pursue a higher education has been funded for another five years. The U.S. Department of Education this week awarded LMC $1.6 million to maintain its Educational Opportunity Center through 2021. LMC has run the Educational Opportunity Center since 1994, and since then, it’s served more than 25,000 students. The EOC is a free community resource hub that connects disadvantaged students with services that could help them earn a degree. It guides them through the admissions process at any college, connects them with tutors, and gives them access to computers, among other things. LMC is one of 143 colleges and organizations nationwide to get a grant to continue such a program.... [Read Full Story]

UPDATE: Two Illinois Men Killed In I-94 Crash Near New Buffalo

Two people are dead following a crash on I-94 near New Buffalo Saturday morning. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells WSJM News it happened in the westbound lanes near mile marker 2 about 10 a.m. A vehicle with two 20-year-old men from Illinois lost control and slid under a semi that was parked on the shoulder. The two men were killed. The crash caused I-94 near New Buffalo to be shut down for several hours. The sheriff’s department accident reconstruction team is still investigating.... [Read Full Story]

Stuff A Truck Food Drive Sets New Record

97-5 Y Country radio has set a new record with its latest Stuff a Truck food drive. Volunteers and staff this past week managed to fill a 23-foot truck 12 times with food for the Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency. That’s more than they’ve ever collected before. The staff and volunteers stationed themselves at Roger’s Foodland in St. Joseph for the week, taking donations from shoppers and others. In addition to all of the food they collected, they raised nearly $10,000. The donations help the community action agency keep people fed through the winter. Y Country thanks everyone who helped support the 20th annual drive.... [Read Full Story]

Hundreds Come Out For Kids Christmas Carnival

The Christmas season is here, and a special party was held Saturday at LMC’s Mendel Center to celebrate. The 6th annual Kids Christmas Carnival, partly sponsored by Mid-West Family Broadcasting, featured bounce houses, pictures with Santa, cookie decorating, and much more. Mid-West Family’s Lindsay Zvonar told us the event was a huge success.... [Read Full Story]

Two Dead In I-94 Crash Near New Buffalo

Two people are dead following a crash on I-94 near New Buffalo Saturday morning. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells WSJM News it happened in the westbound lanes near mile marker 2 about 10 a.m. A car crashed into a semi, going underneath it. Both fatalities were in the car. The crash caused westbound I-94 near New Buffalo to be shut down for several hours. Sheriff’s department accident reconstructionists were brought in to further investigate, and the new Buffalo Township Fire Department assisted at the scene.... [Read Full Story]

Upton Holding “Holidays For Heroes” Card Drive

It’s time once again to help make the holidays a little better for the military. Congressman Fred Upton’s office is holding yet another Holidays for Heroes greeting card collection drive. Between now and December 2, anyone can send or drop off a holiday card at Upton’s offices in St. Joseph or Kalamazoo, and they’ll make sure it gets to a soldier. Schools around the Sixth District have also been invited to make cards. The Red Cross, which will deliver the cards, asks that they not have any glitter or other objects attached, and it also asks that senders don’t write their full names on them. You can find out more about Holidays for Heroes here.... [Read Full Story]

$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]