Local News Archives

Vigil To Remember Those Lost To Suicide

The Berrien County Suicide Prevention Coalition is hoping to bring some attention to programs in the area for those who may need help. September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in Michigan, and the coalition’s Trent Watford tells WSJM News there were 26 suicides investigated in Berrien County in 2014, and he thinks more went unrecorded.... [Read Full Story]

St. Joseph Football Gets New Scoreboard

When the St. Joe Bears take to the field this Friday for their first game at home of the season, they’ll have a brand new, state-of-the art scoreboard installed at Dickinson Stadium. The district announced Wednesday it’s been able to get the new board after the old one’s message center died last year mid-season and couldn’t be repaired. Superintendent Ann Cardon says she’s amazed by the things accomplished by the boosters and sponsors in making the new addition possible. The district thanks Auto-Owners Insurance, Insurance Management Services, the St. Joseph Improvement Association, and the Southwest Michigan Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine for their help. The Bears face Portage Northern this Friday for their first game of the year at Dickinson Stadium.... [Read Full Story]

Record Number Of Job Openings In July

The Labor Department says job openings soared in July to an all-time record high. There were 5.87 million job openings, which includes more people hiring and more people quitting their jobs. Michigan News Network Business Editor Murray Feldman two sectors are especially hot.... [Read Full Story]

Niles Man Charged In Kalamazoo Rape

A Niles man has been charged with first degree home invasion and first degree criminal sexual conduct and other charges in Kalamazoo after he allegedly let himself in through the unlocked door of an off-campus apartment near Western Michigan University. WMU Police claim 19-year old Stephen Casper then sexually assaulted the two women who were renting the place. Police say the crime happened at about 4 a.m. Sunday. He is being held on $35,000 bond.... [Read Full Story]

Marijuana Legalization Will Not Appear On MI November Ballot

Marijuana won’t be on Michigan’s statewide ballot in November. The state appeals court and the Michigan Supreme Court each turned down appeals Wednesday by a group trying to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. A group called the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee submitted 354,000 signatures, apparently enough to get marijuana on the ballot. But the Board of State Canvassers said more than 200,000 were collected outside a 180-day period, a decision that left the group short of enough names. In August, a judge at the Court of Claims said the state had “no clear legal duty” to count the stale signatures.... [Read Full Story]

[VIDEO] Results for Local Sailors in Tri-State Regatta

Several St. Joseph sailors are celebrating success at the Tri-State Regatta this past weekend. The weekend-long boat race started Friday in Chicago, going across Lake Michigan to St. Joseph. The second leg took racers from St. Joseph to Michigan City, and the third leg took them back to Chicago. Of the nine racers from St. Joseph, the boat IMAGINE came in ninth place in its round in the race from Chicago to St. Joseph, but won the race from St. Joseph to Michigan City. The boat Captain Blood came in eighth for its round in the first leg, and finished second in the next. Fuzzy Logic came in fourth and third in the first and second legs, respectively. None of the nine St. Joseph boats competed in the race from Michigan City to Chicago.... [Read Full Story]

One Killed In I-94 Crash Near Paw Paw

One person is dead and another injured following a crash on I-94 near Paw Paw this morning. Michigan State Police say it happened in the eastbound lanes, and led to the closure of the highway for several hours. Around 9 a.m. a westbound van crossed the median and hit a semi head-on. The driver of the van was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver of the truck was taken to Lakeview Hospital in Paw Paw. The names of the drivers have not yet been released.... [Read Full Story]

Report: Michigan University Tuition 6th-Highest In US

Michigan’s public universities collectively have the sixth-highest in-state tuition rates in the country, averaging $11,991, according to a new report. The study issued Tuesday by the Michigan League for Public Policy – a Lansing-based advocacy group for the poor – links rising tuition and student debt to decreased state higher education funding and state financial aid. It says Michigan has cut university funding by more than $262 million since 2003, a 30% drop after adjusting for inflation.... [Read Full Story]

Second New York Flight Added At SBN

A second direct flight is now available from South Bend International Airport to the New York City metro area. Airport spokeswoman Julie Curtis says the new flight on United will start today with the arrival of a flight from the Newark Liberty International Airport at 4:52 p.m.... [Read Full Story]

Senate Leader May Seek AG Opinion On Closing Detroit Schools

A top Republican lawmaker says he’s considering “all options” to challenge Governor Rick Snyder’s determination that no low-performing
Detroit public schools can be closed by the state for three years. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof said Tuesday one option is asking
Attorney General Bill Schuette for a legal opinion. Snyder’s office said last week he interprets the law creating a new, debt-free Detroit school district this summer to mean the State School Reform Office can’t close any district school until 2019. Meekhof says the law is “pretty clear” and he’s “confused” by Snyder’s analysis. Meekhof told reporters that passing clarifying legislation isn’t a “great option” because many majority Republicans “have fatigue on Detroit issues.” Attorney general opinions are legally binding on state agencies and officers unless reversed by a court.... [Read Full Story]

One Arrested For Drunk Boating In Van Buren County Monday

A reminder from police not to drink and boat. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department says an Illinois man was busted for boating over the legal limit on Labor Day in Columbia Township’s Scott Lake. Marine deputies ran into the man, who had a child in the boat with him, and while talking, they realized he’d been drinking. He was arrested on a charge of operating a vessel with a blood alcohol level greater than .08. Police remind boaters the same legal limit when driving a car also applies to boats.... [Read Full Story]

Kalamazoo Teen Shoots Self After Accidentally Shooting Teen

Police say a distraught teenager in southwestern Michigan killed himself after fatally shooting another teen while playing with a gun. The two shootings occurred Monday night in an alley in Kalamazoo. A witness explained to police what happened. Police didn’t publicly disclose
which victim was accidentally shot, but said there was no argument or altercation. The 17-year-old victims were identified as Marsavious Frazier and Daquarion Hunter. Hunter graduated from Loy Norrix High School in June, while Frazier was a student at Phoenix High School. Counselors were available Tuesday, the first day of school, to talk to students and staff who knew the victims. Nina Ricardo, who lives in the neighborhood, says she heard gunshots and rushed outside to round up her kids.... [Read Full Story]

Economic Club Of SWM Announces Next List Of Speakers

The next round of speakers set to address the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan has been announced. The club says its 2016-2017 speaker series will kick off on October 17 with former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Following that will be former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino on November 14, followed by astronaut Scott Kelly on March 22 and physicist Michio Kaku on April 20. The speaker series will wrap up with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on May 17. Also this week, the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan announced it’s going to allow the public a chance to see some of its speakers. Individuals can now sign up for memberships or buy single meeting tickets through The Mendel Center Box Office.... [Read Full Story]

Murder Charge Against BH Man Dismissed

A murder charge against a Benton Harbor man has been dropped thanks to a review of cell phone records which show he may not have been in town when the crime occurred. The Berrien County Prosecutor’s office says Reginald Collins was charged in the December 8, 2014 shooting death of Richard Street early last year. Police found Street’s body in a backyard along Union Street on the morning of the 9th, and believed the murder took place sometime between 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. the night before. They also had a witness who told them he saw Collins shoot Street. However, a review of Collins’ cell phone calls has shown he was in South Bend around 8:45 p.m. the night of the shooting. Prosecutors say that creates reasonable doubt he could have committed the murder. Collins will now likely be transported to Georgia, where he faces a probation violation charge.... [Read Full Story]

MI College Students Facing Increased Tuition, Debt

Some discouraging news for Michigan college students digging into the fall semester, as new data shows tuition in the state nearly has doubled at universities since 2003. The Back to School Report from the Michigan League for Public Policy also shows that more than 60% of students in Michigan graduate with debt. Peter Ruark, with the Michigan League for Public Policy, says investment in higher education is crucial to ensure the state has an educated workforce for the jobs of the future.... [Read Full Story]

Two Teens Shot In Kalamazoo

Two teenagers have been shot and killed in southwestern Michigan. Police report that Marsavious Frazier and Daqarion Hunter, both 17, were found in an alley Monday night in Kalamazoo. Officers initially responded to a report of one person shot in the city’s Edison neighborhood.
Police say both teens were pronounced dead at the scene after 9 p.m. Monday. The deaths are under investigation and no arrests have been reported.... [Read Full Story]

Gas Prices Trending Down

AAA Michigan says gas prices statewide have dropped 10 cents per gallon in the past week. The Dearborn-based auto club says the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline was about $2.28 per gallon on Sunday. That’s about 9 cents less than it was at the same point last year.
Of the 10 metro areas surveyed by AAA, Lansing and East Lansing have the lowest average price of about $2.15 per gallon. The highest average is about $2.38 per gallon in the Ann Arbor area. AAA says the average price in the Detroit area is about $2.35 per gallon, about 7 cents less than the same point last week. AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel prices at 2,800 gas stations across the state.... [Read Full Story]

Search for Missing Teen Suspended

Family and friends of a 17-year-old who is presumed drowned in Lake Michigan last week are upset that the search for him was called off over the holiday weekend. The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department say they will continue to watch the shoreline if he washes up on the beach. They say murky water and high waves late last week made it difficult to search. The two teens who drowned off Holland last week were the 72nd and 73rd to drown on one of the five Great Lakes this summer season, and two of ten to have died on West Michigan beaches. Lake Michigan has a reputation as the deadliest of the Great Lakes, primarily because it has the largest population surrounding it and large popular beaches, and the best and the worst beach weather. Long stretches of beach that run north and south, perpendicular to the westerly winds can create rip tides and under tows that can drag uninformed or unsuspecting swimmers to their deaths. Critics say tourism bureaus spend millions luring people from all over the region to Great Lakes beaches and do little to educate them about the dangers.... [Read Full Story]