Local News Archives

Upton: Still Lots To Do Before Lame Duck Ends

There may have just been a big election, but that’s no reason for Congress to step away from its responsibilities. That’s the belief of Congressman Fred Upton, who tells WSJM News one of the big things to be done in the lame duck session is the final approval of his 21st Century Cures legislation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that will happen.... [Read Full Story]

BH City Commissioners Approve Budget Amendment

A $65,000 budget amendment sought by Benton Harbor City Manager Darwin Watson has been approved by the city commission. At Monday’s meeting, Commissioner Duane Seats wanted to know how there could have been a $65,000 underestimation for what would be needed by police for overtime. He opposed the amendment saying someone should take responsibility. Mayor Marcus Muhammad said the adjustment had to be approved.... [Read Full Story]

Chikaming Twp Culvert Work All Finished

The $1.4 million replacement of a culvert on Red Arrow Highway in Berrien County is now done. The Berrien County Road Commission this week celebrated with a ribbon cutting. The project to replace the nearly 80-year-old culvert near Cherry Beach Road in Chikaming Township began in August. It was originally slated to start in April, but local businesses complained it would damage the busy tourist season. So, the road commission agreed to the delay. The work meant the closure of Red Arrow Highway between Three Oaks Road and Warren Woods Road for several months. Traffic in the area is now back to normal.... [Read Full Story]

South Haven Health Systems Becoming Part Of Bronson

South Haven Health Systems will now be called Bronson South Haven. That’s after voters this week approved making SHHS part of Bronson Healthcare. The move is designed to make the South Haven entity better able to provide care to patients in the long term. The South Haven Health Systems Board of Trustees announced its plans with Bronson back in April, but it had to clear voter approval. This week, that happened with 89% of the public voting yes. SHHS President Joanne Schroeder says the move will ensure “strong, local healthcare for our community for years to come.” The transition will take effect on January 1.... [Read Full Story]

GM Cutting About 2,000 Jobs

General Motors is cutting shifts at two plants, eliminating about two thousand jobs. The Lansing Grand River Plant builds Camaros and Cadillacs. The Lordstown plant makes the Chevy Cruze small car. AutoTrader analyst Michelle Krebs says this comes as sales of those products have been declining.... [Read Full Story]

Snyder Ready To Work With Trump

Governor Snyder says he’ll be working to improve Michigan’s relationship with the White House under a Donald Trump presidency. Snyder points out that Trump and Hillary Clinton made numerous stops here during the campaign. And he expects jobs to part of that conversation with president-elect Trump.... [Read Full Story]

Voters Approve LMC Millage Request

Voters have approved Lake Michigan College’s millage request. It was a close one, but in the end, the millage passed by about 680 votes. LMC President Dr. Bob Harrison tells WSJM News it’s gratifying to get the public’s support. Now that the money is secured, detailed planning for building improvements and course offerings begins.... [Read Full Story]

Upton Congratulates Trump

Congressman Fred Upton has congratulated President-elect Donald Trump. The St. Joseph Republican stayed out of the race for president, not endorsing Trump. However, following Trump’s surprise and decisive victory Tuesday Upton issued a statement saying that he’s willing and able to work with whoever was elected. Upton also says the voters “have clearly spoken,” adding it’s time to put divisiveness behind and work toward common goals.... [Read Full Story]

School Board Candidate Gets Wish, Loses Election

Bridget Smith wanted voters not to elect her to Frankenmuth’s school board — and they didn’t. Smith filed earlier this year to run for one of three four-year terms on the school board, but afterward was hired to serve as Frankenmuth’s city manager. When she was being hired by the Bavarian-themed community about 75 miles northwest of Detroit, Smith indicated that she would drop her school board bid. But the deadline to withdraw had passed and her name remained on Tuesday’s ballot.She encouraged voters not to cast ballots for her and Smith placed last among
the four candidates.... [Read Full Story]

MI Judge Seeking To Beat Age Limit Loses

A judge seeking to get around Michigan’s age limit by challenging another judge has lost an election in Livingston County. But Carol Sue Reader won’t be out of a job. She’ll still remain on the county’s District Court through 2018. Reader challenged fellow Judge L. Suzanne Geddis in the election Tuesday. Geddis was elected to another six-year term by a comfortable margin. Under the Michigan Constitution, judicial candidates can’t run if they’re 70 or older. That restriction disqualifies Reader in 2018, so she tried to get Geddis’ seat before hitting the age limit. Geddis said it all seemed “greedy.” The judges appeared together during the final weeks of the campaign season, sparring over temperament and other issues.... [Read Full Story]

Grand Rapids-Area Voters Approve Tax Increase For Zoo, Museum

Kent County voters have supported a proposed tax increase to help fund a zoo and a museum. Preliminary results from Tuesday’s vote show the proposal passing to boost the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Public Museum. The Grand Rapids Press reports the tax will generate about $8.9 million a year for the two publicly owned institutions. Proceeds from the tax would be split evenly between the zoo and the museum, which will continue to be managed by separate boards. With the new millage, Kent County voters will get discounted zoo admission for
seniors and school groups get in free. At the museum, Kent County children age 17 and under will get free admission and Kent County adults will get discounted admission and free parking.... [Read Full Story]

Beth Griffin Wins In 66th State House District

Van Buren County will continue to have a Republican in the state House. Van Buren County Commissioner Beth Griffin defeated Democrat Annie Brown yesterday, winning with a margin of a little more than 25-hundred votes. She will take the seat currently held by Representative Aric Nesbitt, who is term limited. Nesbitt chaired the efforts of House Republicans to hold on to their majority in the House, which they were able to do successfully.... [Read Full Story]

LMC Millage Inching Toward Passage

It appears the Lake Michigan College capital millage proposal is going to be approved. As of 4 a.m., two precincts were still left to be counted in Berrien County and the “yes” votes were ahead by 1,078 tallies. The ten-year millage is expected to raise about $4.364 million in the first year. The money will be put toward safety and security improvements, energy efficiency upgrades, renovation of classrooms, IT upgrades, and other capital improvements.... [Read Full Story]

Dave Pagel Wins In The 78th District

It’s a third term for state Representative Dave Pagel. The Republican handily defeated Democratic rival Dean Hill Tuesday, carrying the district by about 9,000 votes. Pagel owns Pagel Farms in Berrien Springs. His district covers several south Berrien County townships, as well as the cities of New Buffalo, Buchanan, and Niles.... [Read Full Story]

Upton: Now Is The Time To Heal

Congressman Fred Upton says now is the time for healing. He easily coasted to victory in the Sixth District over Democratic rival Paul Clements Tuesday. Holding a Chicago Cubs Win flag during his victory speech, Upton promised supporters he will do all he can to ensure the nation’s problems are addressed and politics takes the back seat.... [Read Full Story]

New Faces Coming To Berrien County Board

There will be some new faces on the Berrien County Board of Commissioners in the next term. In southern Berrien County, long-time Democratic Commissioner Andy Vavra lost his bid for reelection as Republican Ezra Scott beat him, 3,384 to 2,993. Another incumbent Democrat, John Klimek, has also been defeated. Republican Michael Majerek defeated him by 355 votes. In District 3 in Benton Township, Democrat Don Meeks will succeed Marletta Seats with a win over Michael Sleep the Second. Seats did not seek another term as she ran unsuccessfully for the state House. The rest of the County Commission ran unopposed.... [Read Full Story]

Upton Defeats Clements In Congressional Race

Fred Upton has secured a 16th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. The St. Joseph Republican easily defeated Democrat Paul Clements of Kalamazoo for the second consecutive election. Upton had a wide margin of victory in Berrien, Van Buren, and Cass counties and overcame a Democratic surge in Kalamazoo County to win there, also. Hillary Clinton currently has a roughly 9,000 vote edge over Donald Trump in Kalamazoo County, but enough voters split their tickets there to also give Upton an edge.... [Read Full Story]

84-Year-Old Benton Harbor Woman Killed In Crash

Police have released the name of a woman killed in a Berrien Township crash this week. It happened early Sunday evening on US-31 south of Lake Chapin Road. Michigan State Police say a vehicle carrying five people left the road and flipped several times. All five people were taken to Lakeland hospital, and killed in the crash was 84-year-old Ruby Johnson, of Benton Harbor. The driver was a 19-year old woman from Benton Harbor, while the other passengers were all females, ages 18, 18, and 15, from Benton Harbor. The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Police say a lack of seat belt use may have contributed to the injuries.... [Read Full Story]

Plenty At Stake In Michigan On Election Day

The race for president, 14 U.S. House seats, two Michigan Supreme Court justice posts and control of the 110-member Michigan House are at stake in the election. The spotlight Tuesday is on the presidential race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. Both candidates and their surrogates have campaigned for the state’s 16 electoral votes.... [Read Full Story]

Clinton Rallies Supporters In Ottawa County

The Democratic presidential nominee wandered into staunchly Republican territory in West Michigan on the day before the election. Over 4,500 people packed Grand Valley State University’s Fieldhouse to hear from Hillary Clinton yesterday afternoon. She told the crowd that a vote for her is a vote for your own wallet.... [Read Full Story]