Local News Archives

Red Cross Offering Disaster Training

The American Red Cross of Southwest Michigan is offering everyone a chance to learn about how to respond to disasters with a training day this month. On Monday, September 26, the session will be held at the Red Cross St. Joseph office, and folks can get information on how to become a disaster services volunteer. Those trained volunteers are sent into disaster areas to provide recovery services, shelter, and food, and also to conduct assessments of the damage. To find out about signing up, call the American Red Cross of Southwest Michigan at 556-9619 and ask for the training coordinator.... [Read Full Story]

Rock Alliance 3 Day Ride Returns To Southwest Michigan

More than $2,500 has been raised for the Bohn-Stewart Children’s Education Fund by the Rock Alliance with its annual 3 Day Ride. A caravan of 16 motorcycles left St. Joseph on Thursday, returning to Stevensville on Saturday for a party at Coach’s Bar and Grill. The ride, organized by Rock 107 WIRX, took riders throughout the northern part of the lower Peninsula. One rider told us it was the best 3 Day Ride he’s taken.... [Read Full Story]

Women’s Self Defense Classes Offered This Fall In Berrien County

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department will be holding some women’s self defense classes starting this month. The training is in the Rape Aggression Defense, or RAD, System. RAD is designed to teach any woman, regardless of age or physical ability, how to fend off a would-be rapist using simple techniques. The classes are free, and involve three four hour sessions. They’ll be offered in Eau Claire, Sawyer, St. Joseph, and Coloma beginning September 29, and going through November 1. To find out more or to sign up, call the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department at 983-7141, extension 7302.... [Read Full Story]

VB Sheriff’s Department Urges All To Have An Emergency Plan

September is National Preparedness Month when everyone’s urged to make a household plan for emergencies. The Van Buren County Office of Domestic Preparedness says it’s important for each family to take the time and create a plan that outlines who to call, what to bring, and where to go when there’s a situation like a tornado or winter storm. The whole family should be clued in to the plan, and each home should have an emergency kit at the ready. The kit should contain food, medicine, blankets, water, important documents, a flashlight, and a weather radio. The sheriff’s department says a good place to go for guidance is Michigan.gov/MIReady.... [Read Full Story]

Andrews University Homecoming Events This Month

Andrews University will be celebrating its annual homecoming this month. From September 29 through October 2, a variety of events will be held at the Berrien Springs campus, and the public is invited to come and take part. Among other things, they’ll have a 5K Harvest Run, the 30th annual parade, a classic car show, and a concert. Andrews holds the celebration each fall as a way of welcoming the students in for another year. A complete schedule of the homecoming events can be found at alumni.andrews.edu/homecoming.... [Read Full Story]

Michigan Stands To Benefit From Water Resources Act

With strong bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate, the Water Resources Development Act was passed Thursday afternoon — though it has an uncertain future in the House. The legislation is worth $10-billion, including $100-million to replace and repair lead water pipes in Flint. Senator Debbie Stabenow says the legislation will benefit several communities.... [Read Full Story]

Recycling Event Saturday In Van Buren County

Set for this weekend in Van Buren County is a pesticide and tire recycling event. It’s being offered by the Van Buren Conservation District, and will be on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Collection will be at the South Haven Public Works building on 8th Avenue. They’ll take household chemicals, pesticides, and tires and make sure they’re properly disposed or recycled. There is a fee to drop off certain items. Latex paint will be $2 per gallon, and household chemicals $1.10 per pound. However, it’ll be free to drop off passenger tires. You can find out more at VanBurenCD.org/recycling.... [Read Full Story]

Lake Michigan College Night This Month

It will be 70 colleges in one place on one night this month as Lake Michigan College holds its annual College Night. High school kids planning to head to a four-year university can go and meet with admission reps from all over the country. LMC’s Barbara Craig tells WSJM News the event is a great resource for those students about to enroll in college.... [Read Full Story]

PARK(ing) Day Held in Berrien County

Information on what the public wants added to their communities has been gathered by Wightman and Associates as part of its annual PARK(ing) Day events in southwest Michigan. The engineering and architectural firm set up temporary parks in parking spaces in Benton Harbor, Watervliet, and Benton Township Friday to talk with folks about development. Wightman’s Shelby Kintz told WSJM News they started PARK(ing) Day three years ago.... [Read Full Story]

$7.2 Million Expansion Planned For Berrien County Jail

A $7.2 million expansion is being planned for the Berrien County Jail. On Thursday, the county board of commissioners approved moving forward with finalizing plans for the work. It will mean the addition of new cell areas at the jail, new kitchen equipment, a medical area, and holding areas. The work is intended to extend the jail’s lifespan by decades. Plans are being drafted now, and construction could start next year.... [Read Full Story]

Bogseth Found Guilty In Wife’s Murder

A Van Buren County man has been convicted of first-degree murder in the beating death of his wife. A jury found Brent Bogseth guilty on Friday. Bogseth will be sentenced November 7. 32-year-old Kimberly Bogseth’s body was found September 9, 2015 on a trail in Columbia Township. She was reported missing about a week earlier. During the search for her, police found Kimberly Bogseth’s cellphone and a hammer in her husband’s SUV. A medical examiner ruled that she had died from blunt-force trauma.... [Read Full Story]

Machete-Wielding Man Arraigned

A Niles man is now charged with a pair of counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and three counts of assault and resisting police in Cass County. 44-year-old Marty Ray Gipson was arrested while wielding a machete this week at a home in Howard Township. His girlfriend called police and said he was drunk, had taken a bunch of pills and was acting crazy. An officer used rubber bullets to subdue Gipson, allowing for him to be arrested and taken to the Cass County Jail. He’s locked up with bond set at $10,000. Police were called to the home shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday. They found the woman and a six-year-old child hiding from Gipson in a car outside the house. He warned her that if police came for him, quote, “I’m not going out alive.”... [Read Full Story]

Pscholka Says Beer Tax Hike Unlikely

Beer taxes won’t be jumping by 200% in Michigan if state Representative Al Pscholka has anything to say about it. Republican Rep. Tom Hooker of Byron Center, near Grand Rapids, is proposing the increase and wants to put the money toward substance abuse courts. Pscholka tells Michigan’s Big Show, heard on News/Talk 94.9 WSJM that Hooker doesn’t drink.... [Read Full Story]

Van Buren County Murder Trial Goes To Jury

The murder trial of a Van Buren County man is now in the hands of the jury. The prosecutor’s office claims that Brent Bogseth was angry over his wife’s affair with a neighbor, crushed her skull with his favorite hammer and then hid her body in the woods near their home in northern Van Buren County, just over a year ago. The body of 32-year-old Kimberly Bogseth was found by the same neighbor who confirmed their affair on the witness stand this week. The defense claims the evidence is circumstantial and that others also had motive. Bogseth’s hammer has never been found. The jury met behind closed doors for a short time yesterday and will resume deliberations this morning.... [Read Full Story]

Cass County Deputies Use Rubber Bullets To Nab Machete-Wielding Man

A man who made threats while wielding a machete is in custody in Cass County, thanks to quick action by sheriff’s deputies armed with rubber bullets. The department says deputies were called to a home on Little Street in Howard Township around 1:15 a.m. Thursday and found a woman who told them her boyfriend was inside screaming and swinging around the large blade. She also said he was on pills. The deputies forced their way into the home and the man came at them with the knife, so they shot him with “less than lethal” rubber bullets. That gave them a chance to cuff the man and he was arrested. After a trip to a hospital, he was then lodged in the Cass County Jail on a slew of charges.... [Read Full Story]

Saturday Jean Klock Park Cleanup Moved Back To Sunday

A cleanup event planned for this Saturday at Benton Harbor’s Jean Klock Park has been rescheduled. Friends of Jean Klock Park says due to expected rain, they’ve bumped the volunteer event back to Sunday. It was supposed to happen on Saturday. Everyone’s welcome to show up to Jean Klock Park to pick up trash and log it for the Alliance for the Great Lakes database. Sunday’s cleanup will take place between 9 a.m. and noon. If you go, bring along a pair of gloves.... [Read Full Story]

Upton: Plan Would Improve Rural Phone Service

Legislation designed to improve phone service in rural areas is making its way through Congress. The House Energy and Commerce Committee held discussions this week on the Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act of 2015. Congressman Fred Upton tells WSJM News it would add new requirements on carriers.... [Read Full Story]

Muhammad Meets With Snyder In Lansing

Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad has met with Governor Rick Snyder to discuss the future of the city and its relationship with the state. The meeting on Tuesday took place at the Romney Building in Lansing, and Muhammad tells WSJM News he talked to the governor about the city’s needs.... [Read Full Story]

MI Schools Have New Guidelines For LGBT Students

The Michigan Board of Education has issued new guidelines to districts on how to treat LGBT students. The guidelines are voluntary, but have spurred criticism from conservative lawmakers, especially over restroom and bathroom policies for transgender students. State Representative Jon Hoadley says the policy is needed because LGBT students are more likely to face bullying.... [Read Full Story]

Zika Virus Shows Up In West Michigan

Nine cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed in west Michigan, specifically in Ottawa County. Kristina Wieghmink, with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, says they’re all travel-related cases in people ranging in age from a teen to 50, but there are no pregnant women. She has advice for anyone traveling to countries where Zika is prevalent.... [Read Full Story]

Flags To Be Lowered For Lawmaker Killed In Traffic Crash

Governor Rick Snyder has ordered that flags be lowered Friday in the state Capitol complex and within the northern Michigan legislative
district of a lawmaker who was killed in a traffic accident. Flags will be lowered to half-staff for third-term Republican Representative Peter
Pettalia. He died Monday when his motorcycle collided with a pickup truck whose driver turned into his lane on southbound M-33 in Montmorency County. A memorial service is scheduled for Friday afternoon at the Presque Isle Lighthouse. Pettalia’s 106th House District includes all or parts of five counties along Lake Huron in the northeastern Lower Peninsula. Snyder says an outpouring of condolences for Pettalia from across Michigan “show how much his commitment to public service was respected and how much he will be missed.”... [Read Full Story]

2-Year-Old Boy Hit By Car In Sodus Township

A 2-year-old boy is being treated at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo after he was struck by a car in Sodus Township Thursday. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tells our newsroom deputies were called to Meadow Springs Trailer Court around 12:40 in the afternoon. When they arrived, they found a car stopped in the road and the boy being held by his father. Medic One took the boy to Lakeland Hospital, and he was airlifted from there to Bronson in Kalamazoo. Police say alcohol was not a factor in the crash. It’s still under investigation.... [Read Full Story]

Suspected Drunk Driver Causes Transformer Fire

A suspected drunk driver has turned out to be the cause of a power outage that affected parts of Lincoln and St. Joseph Townships overnight Thursday. The Lincoln Township Police Department says 72-year-old Thomas Zabadal, of St. Joseph, rolled his 2005 Buick near 500 Glenlord Road around 10:45 p.m. Wednesday. Police say he sheared an American Electric Power pole while doing so which caused a transformer to catch fire. That led to a power outage that shut down Upton Middle School and hit other businesses on Thursday. Officers found Zabadal’s blood alcohol level to be over the legal limit, and he’s been charged with drunk driving. He suffered minor injuries in the crash.... [Read Full Story]

MI Unemployment Unchanged In August

Michigan’s jobless rate was unchanged at 4.5 percent in August from July, remaining at its lowest level in 15 years. The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget says that total employment recorded a reduction of 7,000 in August as the state’s labor force decreased by 5,000. The number of unemployed in Michigan rose by 2,000. Michigan seasonally adjusted jobless rate in August was below the state’s
August 2015 rate of 5.1 percent. The U.S. jobless rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent in August. Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, says Wednesday the state’s labor market situation was stable. Governor Rick Snyder says in a statement Michigan needs to “continue our efforts to strengthen our workforce and create more opportunities for all Michiganders.”... [Read Full Story]

ITT Tech Shutting Down Friday

The for-profit college ITT Technical Institute says in a federal filing that it will stop operating Friday. Carmel, Indiana-based ITT Educational Services Inc. said in a Wednesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it would stop services about a week after it announced it would close its campuses. The company’s main lender recently seized ITT’s bank accounts. The college chain is shutting down all 130 of its U.S. campuses. The move affects more than 35,000 students and more than 8,000 jobs. Federal education officials banned the company last month from enrolling new students who use federal financial aid. The Education Department said the company had become a risk to students and taxpayers. ITT has laid off at least 660 Indiana workers. It had about 1,900 students in Indiana.... [Read Full Story]