Local News Archives

September Home Sales Up In Southwest Michigan

Homes sales in southwest Michigan remain strong, as the latest numbers show a 14% jump for the month this year over last year. Southwest Michigan Association of Realtors Vice President Gary Walter tells us September’s unit sales were the highest the region has seen in the month for ten years. It’s a good time to buy.... [Read Full Story]

LMC Continues Search For New President

If everything goes as planned, Lake Michigan College will have a new president by the end of March. Board of Trustees Chair Mary Jo Tomasini gave WSJM News an update on the search for a new leader this week, saying the deadline for candidates is next month, and then the college will start whittling them down.... [Read Full Story]

Berrien County Clerk Preparing For Election Day

This is a busy time for the Berrien County Clerk’s office, with the big November 8 election looming. Clerk Sharon Tyler tells WSJM News everyone’s doing election training, and they’re testing all of the equipment to make sure it’s accurate. As for voters, she reminds them of what they should do come November 8.... [Read Full Story]

Niles Scream Park Welcomes 1.8 Millionth Visitor

The Niles Scream Park has welcomed its 1.8 millionth visitor. A woman from Elkhart got the lucky distinction on Sunday, October 16. She was at the park with a couple of friends from Michigan when she learned she was the big winner. Cindy Bowers was given a pack of goodies. The Niles Scream Park has been providing thrills and chills for more than 40 years now, operating as a non-profit and donating proceeds to charity. It’s got plenty planned for this weekend as Halloween approaches. As for the big holiday — the scream park plans to mark Halloween with a marriage. A South Bend couple will be married on the midway Monday at 8 p.m. Visitors are welcome to witness the event and cheer the couple on.... [Read Full Story]

Grant Awarded To New Troy Company For Improvements

A New Troy company has been awarded a state grant that will enable it to improve its facility and buy new equipment. The office of state Senator John Proos says Vickers Engineering is receiving a $160,000 Michigan Business Development Program grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The company plans to use the money as part of a $5.1 million investment in capital equipment and building improvements, resulting in an estimated 50 jobs. Vickers Engineering, established in 1970, makes precision machine and prototyping for the automotive industry, among other things. Senator Proos says the grant is “outstanding news for Berrien County and the entire Southwest Michigan region.”... [Read Full Story]

Today Is World Stroke Day

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is recognizing Saturday as World Stroke Day. It’s a chance for everyone to take a moment to become familiar with the signs of a stroke. A stroke happens when the blood supply to any part of the brain is disrupted. The department of health says stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in Michigan, as well as a major cause of disabilities, and the key to treating one is quick action when symptoms appear. Those include face weakness, arm weakness, and difficulty speaking. Everyone’s urged to learn more about the risk factors and take steps to lead a healthier life. You can find out more at Stroke.org.... [Read Full Story]

Hartford Library Halloween Celebration Today

The Hartford Library is celebrating the season today with its 6th annual Halloween Fun Festival. Everyone’s welcome to show up between 1 and 3 p.m. for games, prizes, face painting, crafts, food, and fun for kids of all ages. Also dress up if you like, as there will be a prize for the best costume. The event is free for anyone to stop by.... [Read Full Story]

Battle Creek Man Jailed In Dog’s Death

A southern Michigan man convicted of beating a dog that later had to be euthanized has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison. 55-year-old David Hursley of Battle Creek was convicted last month of felony torturing a dog and misdemeanor cruelty to animals. The Battle Creek Enquirer reports a Calhoun County judge sentenced him Friday to three years and 10 months. Hursley could have received up to 15 years.
Police say Hursley hit a dog with a baseball bat and shot it with a pellet gun in February. He told officers the dog had bit another man. Assistant Calhoun County Prosecutor Dana Porter said Hursley’s attack was excessive compared with the dog’s actions. His attorney told the judge the case has been about emotion, rather than the law.... [Read Full Story]

MI School Board Candidate Asking People Not To Vote For Her

A Michigan woman whose name is on the ballot for a school board seat in her community is encouraging people not to vote for her. Bridget Smith filed earlier this year to run for one of three four-year terms on Frankenmuth’s school board, but afterward was hired to serve as city manager for Frankenmuth, a Bavarian-themed community about 75 miles northwest of Detroit. When she was being hired as city manager she indicated that she would drop her school board bid. But the deadline to withdraw had passed and her name remains on the November 8 ballot.
She tells The Saginaw News she’s “out there desperately trying to get people to not vote for me,” but still wants people to vote in the election.... [Read Full Story]

Chikaming Twp Culvert Replacement Almost Finished

The $1.4 million replacement of a culvert on Red Arrow Highway in Berrien County is almost finished. The Berrien County Road Commission says the road is ready for asphalt paving, the guardrails have to be installed, and then the road can be reopened. The project to replace the nearly 80-year-old culvert near Cherry Beach Road began in August. It was originally slated to start in April, but local business owners complained it would damage the busy tourist season, so the road commission agreed to a delay. The work has meant the closure of Red Arrow Highway between between Three Oaks Road and Warren Woods Road. The road commission says traffic can get back to normal very soon.... [Read Full Story]

Muskegon Heights Financial Emergency Declared Over

Governor Rick Snyder says a financial emergency has been resolved in the Muskegon Heights School District in western Michigan after several years of state oversight. Snyder’s office announced Friday that a Receivership Transition Advisory Board has been appointed to ensure a smooth transition to local control. The district’s emergency manager Steve Schiller notified the governor last week of his determination about the district’s improving finances. Snyder says in a statement this marks “a new day for Muskegon Heights.” A financial emergency was declared in 2012. Since then, the state says the district’s deficit has declined $9.9 million to a projected $2 million earlier this year. And the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy was created as a charter school authorized by the district.... [Read Full Story]

General Motors Completes Major Solar Project

General Motors and DTE Energy have unveiled a recently completed power solar array at the automaker’s Warren Transmission plant in
suburban Detroit.Officials say the 900-kilowatt solar array is the largest on a GM site in the state. It has more than 2,800 panels and is installed on four acres. Detroit-based DTE now has 28 solar arrays in Michigan. The utility has three additional large-scale solar arrays under construction in Detroit and Lapeer. DTE Vice President of Business and Development Irene Dimitry says the utility has made $2 billion in investments in solar and wind power since 2008. GM has said it is committed to meet the electricity needs of its global operations with 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.... [Read Full Story]

Palisades Fire Brigade Competing In Alabama

Some members of the Palisades nuclear power plant’s fire brigade have spent the past week taking part in what ESPN calls “the toughest two minutes in sports” down in Alabama. They’re in Montgomery for the 25th annual Scott World Firefighter Combat Challenge. It’s a firefighter championship that attracts hundreds of people from departments all over the country each year. The competition mimics some of the more difficult tasks a firefighter has to perform as the contestants, wearing full fire gear, climb a 5-story tower, hoist hoses all over the place, and rescue a 175-pound dummy. The Palisades Fire Brigade has qualified for Worlds more than a dozen times now, and is the only nuclear plant team at the competition. It wraps up on Saturday. You can follow the brigade’s progress at its Facebook page.... [Read Full Story]

GVSU Accused Of Delaying Sexual Assault Reports

Ottawa County authorities say Grand Valley State University has a policy discouraging prompt reporting of sexual assaults, which undermines their ability to gather evidence and successfully prosecute the crimes. Ottawa County Prosecutor Ronald Frantz tells MLive the process is concerning because it hampers the ability to build cases. The university’s police department investigates sexual assaults on campus and
is supposed to forward cases with enough evidence to the prosecutor’s office. Frantz says reports trickle in from the university weeks, and sometimes months, late. Frantz’s claims come as the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department investigates a string of four off-campus assaults this fall near the university’s main campus in Allendale. University spokeswoman Mary Eilleen Lyon says the school has no policy discouraging prompt reporting of sexual assaults, but rather one that encourages quick reporting with respect for the victim’s needs.... [Read Full Story]

Michigan Men Adopt Stray Dog, Puppies At Bachelor Party

A group of men from Michigan have returned from a bachelor party in Tennessee with a stray dog and her litter of puppies in tow. MLive reports that groom-to-be Mitchel Craddock and his friends were on a 5-day trip at a cabin in the woods when a stray dog approached their front door.
She wouldn’t come inside, but wolfed down the food and water the men gave her. Craddock says the group eventually noticed she was producing milk. They found her seven puppies in a den down the road from the cabin. Craddock says the puppies looked like they were 5- to 6-weeks old and were very healthy. Each of the men took one of the puppies home. Craddock’s grandparents took the mother and one of her puppies.... [Read Full Story]

Report: More MI Children Now Insured

More kids in Michigan have health insurance these days. That’s according to a report by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. It says that in 2015, 95% of kids nationally were insured, while 97% of Michigan kids had care. CEO of Michigan’s Children Matt Gillard says that’s great, but there’s still a need to invest in programs that serve the educational, economic, and social needs of families.... [Read Full Story]

Martin’s To Serve Free Meals To Veterans Next Month

Martin’s Supermarkets will once again be serving up free meals to veterans this Veterans Day. Every location of the supermarket chain will offer the meals to vets on Friday, November 11. Any active, inactive, or retired military veteran can stop by between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to get a meal from the deli. All you need to do is bring along a military ID, and you don’t have to buy anything. This year’s Honor Meal will be fried chicken, mashed potatoes, ice cream, and cake. Veterans can also enter a raffle to win a $50 Martin’s gift card.... [Read Full Story]

New Kitchen Helps Train LMC Culinary Students

Lake Michigan College has a new feature to help teach its culinary management students. A temporary kitchen, resembling a restaurant kitchen, is now up and running at the Napier Avenue campus. The board of trustees was given a tour this week. LMC VP of Academic Services Leslie Kellogg tells WSJM News the kitchen helps train students for the tourism industry in the region.... [Read Full Story]

Arrest Made Over Stolen Campaign Signs

One person is facing charges after being arrested this week for stealing campaign signs in Cass County. The Silver Creek Township Police Department made the arrest in the early morning hours of Thursday. The suspect allegedly stole campaign signs from two separate properties around 4 a.m. They’re now facing a charge of larceny under $200, and could get up to 93 days in jail and $500 in fines. The suspect posted bond after being arrested, and faces arraignment later this week.... [Read Full Story]

BH School Board Votes Confidence In Superintendent

The Benton Harbor School Board has reaffirmed its support for Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker. At Thursday’s meeting, Treasurer James Turner proposed a vote of confidence in Walker and it passed. The move came after last week’s vote by the board not to fire suspended High School Principal Rodger Tripplett. Turner told us the suspension of Tripplett has been a controversy, and it’s unfortunate Walker has been blamed by some for it.... [Read Full Story]