Local News Archives

Michigan AG Charging Man With Threatening Cops Online

A Detroit man has been charged with making threats on Facebook against police officers. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Detroit’s police chief announced charges Wednesday against Nheru Littleton. They say he used social media in July to encourage the killing of white officers after the fatal shooting of five officers in Dallas. Detroit Chief James Craig says a threat against an officer is a “threat against our entire community.” The 40-year-old Littleton is charged with using a computer to commit a crime and making a threat of terrorism. The status of his court appearance in Trenton and identity of his lawyer weren’t immediately known. In August, Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy had declined to file charges, citing evidence problems and other issues.... [Read Full Story]

“Coffee With A Cop” This Friday In Buchanan

Everyone’s invited to head out to the Union Coffee House in Buchanan this Friday for Coffee with a Cop. It’s a program of the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department to better engage the public. They’ll have officers there ready to chat with people about whatever’s on their minds. Deputy Kelly Laesch tells WSJM Nwws folks talk about a bunch of things.... [Read Full Story]

Police: Facebook Threats Were Unrelated

Police don’t think incidents in South Haven and Covert involving teens making threats while posing as clowns on Facebook are related. Two teens were identified by police as having threatened others, but Covert Township Police Chief Jay Allen tells WSJM News they were separate incidents. The Covert threat was reported Saturday.... [Read Full Story]

Health Department Offering Flu Shots This Month

It’s getting to be the time of year when you should be thinking about getting a flu shot. Gillian Conrad, with the Berrien County Health Department, tells WSJM News everyone six months old and up should get vaccinated. Although the nasal spray isn’t being recommended this year, she says it’s no big deal to get a shot.... [Read Full Story]

Man Completes Rowboat Trip Across Lake Michigan

Jacob Beckley is safe in Chicago after a nearly 24 hour trip across Lake Michigan in a rowboat to raise money to fight childhood cancer. Beckley left St. Joseph Monday morning, followed by a spotter boat in case of trouble, and he made it to his destination early Tuesday. His goal was to raise $25,000 for Lurie Children’s Hospital, of Chicago, and as of Tuesday afternoon, he’d raised more than $18,000. Beckley originally meant to leave St. Joseph Sunday night, but fog forced him to reschedule for Monday. On his Row4ACure Facebook page, Beckley posted a message Tuesday morning saying he made it safely to shore, adding, “Right now I have no muscles.” He rowed about 65 miles during his trip across the lake. You can find out more at Row4ACure.com.... [Read Full Story]

Paralyzed Brothers Receive Custom Van Thanks To Donations

A group of strangers touched by the story of two paralyzed brothers has given them a customized minivan. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that 26-year-old Matthew and 24-year-old Adam Chaffee, who were paralyzed in two separate accidents, received the $80,000 vehicle Monday from a Grand Rapids-area couple, a Grand Haven man and pastors in East Jordan. The group worked with Grand Rapids-based Clock Mobility, a company that specializes in handicapped-accessible vans, to create the vehicle for the brothers’ needs. Matt became a paraplegic after a November 2014 motorcycle crash. Adam was living with and taking care of his brother in Kalamazoo when he became injured in a lake accident in July 2015. He is now a quadriplegic. The brothers have also been the recipients of an online fundraising site that has paid for medical bills and some living expenses.... [Read Full Story]

Paul Clements Hoping To Ride Clinton’s Coattails To Win Over Upton

The polls show Hillary Clinton with a solid lead against Donald Trump in Michigan, and there are candidates who hope that translates down the length of the ballot. One of those is Democratic congressional candidate Paul Clements, who is trying for a second straight election to unseat Congressman Fred Upton. He’s hoping the unpopularity of Trump at the top of the Republican ticket resonates in other races.... [Read Full Story]

School Districts Across Michigan Gear Up For Fall Count Day

(AP) – School districts across Michigan are encouraging students to be in the classroom for Count Day. Wednesday is the first Count Day of the school year, with 90% of state funding at stake based on how many students attend classes. It’s particularly crucial for the state’s school districts with deficits and declining enrollments. A second Count Day is February 8.... [Read Full Story]

Credit Unions Becoming More Popular In Michigan

Credit union membership in Michigan is continuing to rise,with it now at about 5 million, or roughly half the population. Philip Heinlen, CEO of Northwest Consumers Federal Credit Union, says people are bound to look for alternatives to big banks after headlines like the recent Wells Fargo scandal. Bank workers issued credit cards without customers’ consent to meet company sales goals.... [Read Full Story]

BH City Commission Opposing Sale Of 200 Paw Paw

Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad is leading the charge as city commissioners oppose the possible sale of property at 200 Paw Paw Avenue. Monday night, the commission approved a resolution from Muhammad saying the property can’t be sold because it was acquired with federal grant money. Muhammad tells WSJM News authorization given to City Manager Darwin Watson by former Emergency Manager Tony Saunders to sell 200 Paw Paw without the city commission’s approval was wrong.... [Read Full Story]

Clown-Related Facebook Threat Rattles Covert Schools

A 15-year-old from South Haven is in hot water after allegedly making threats to Covert Schools while posing as a clown on Facebook. On Monday, officers were sent to the district’s schools after the threat was discovered Saturday. They were able to determine it was not credible, and their suspect was found not long after. The case will be turned over to the prosecutor. Covert Schools Superintendent Bobbi Morehead tells us she decided to use Monday’s incident as a “teachable moment,” and have instructors talk with the kids about being responsible on the internet. Meanwhile, similar clown-related incidents have been reported in South Haven and Benton Harbor. City Manager Darwin Watson says you should report any funny business to the police.... [Read Full Story]

Cass County K9 Helps Make Another Bust

Cass County Sheriff’s Department K9 Faust has done it again, nabbing another criminal suspect. The department tells our newsroom deputies were checking out a home in Howard Township last Friday, looking for a person who had skipped parole. Faust was on scene and helped locate not only the suspect, but also some meth. The man is now in the Cass County Jail. Faust is a 3-year old Dutch Shepard who has worked for the department since July.... [Read Full Story]

Illinois Man Begins Row Across Lake Michigan

An Illinois man has embarked on a quest to row across Lake Michigan to raise money for the fight against childhood cancer. Jacob Beckley tried to leave Sunday night, but had to turn around after about a mile due to thick fog. He then relaunched Monday morning. State Senator John Proos was on hand for the departure, telling WSJM News he’s a big supporter of Beckley’s cause.... [Read Full Story]

AAA Michigan: Statewide Average Gas Prices Rise 6¢

AAA Michigan says gas prices statewide have risen by about 6¢ per gallon in the past week. The Dearborn-based auto club says the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline was about $2.24 per gallon on Sunday. That’s about 29¢ less than it was at the same point last year. The lowest average price was about $2.15 per gallon in the Traverse City area, while the highest average was about $2.28 per gallon in the Ann Arbor area. Our average in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph is a penny higher than Traverse City at $2.16, giving us the second-lowest prices in the state. Our price at the pump is up a dime compared to last week. AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel prices at 2,800 gas stations across the state.... [Read Full Story]

Wrong Way Driver Stopped On I-94

Michigan State Police avoided a potential tragedy on I-94 overnight when a wrong-way driver was spotted heading west in the eastbound lanes near 9th Street in Kalamazoo County. Troopers were able to stop all traffic on the highway near Paw Paw around 12:30 a.m. and managed to get the driver off the highway before she crashed into anyone. She is a 63-year-old from Portage who was arrested for a second drunk driving offense, possessing dangerous drugs, and reckless driving. The woman is now in the Van Buren County Jail awaiting arraignment. Her name has not been released. No one was hurt.... [Read Full Story]

Deadly Crash In Van Buren County

An 18-year-old man from Holly has died after a single-vehicle crash in Decatur on Saturday. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department says a 15-year-old boy from Paw Paw remains hospitalized at Kalamazoo’s Bronson Hospital for his injuries. The older teen crashed his car on 36th Street just north of 96th Avenue at 1:30 Saturday afternoon, and both teens were trapped in the vehicle. The driver was airlifted to Kalamazoo, where he later died. No names have yet been released, and police haven’t put out more information as yet on the details of the accident.... [Read Full Story]

South Haven Bridge Project Starts Monday

A major construction project is about to get underway on a bridge in South Haven, and it could affect your commute well into next year. Michigan Department of Transportation spokesperson Nick Schirripa tells us they’re replacing the bridge beams and deck on Blue Star Highway over the Black River. They’re also doing some work under the bridge.... [Read Full Story]