Local News Archives

2 Teens Missing In Lake Michigan Near Holland State Park

Emergency crews have temporarily suspended their search for two teenage boys who went missing while swimming in Lake Michigan. Authorities at the scene in Holland State Park say four teenage boys were swimming Wednesday evening when they were pulled out by strong currents and high waves around 7:30 p.m. Two boys managed to get out of the water, and boats and helicopters were used to search for the other two. The U.S. Coast Guard and the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department plan to resume searching for the teenagers today.... [Read Full Story]

Foreclosure Possible For Orchards Mall

The future of the Orchards Mall in Benton Township is cloudy at best. Foreclosure next year by the Berrien County Treasurer’s Office is a possibility, as mall owner Mike Kohan owes $324,000 in property taxes dating back to 2014, the year he bought the facility. Treasurer Bret Witkowski says unless Kohan starts making payments, the county could wind up taking ownership of the mall. It could be put up for auction at that point. Witkowski says vendors are worried about the possibility of the mall being foreclosed, and he’s working on getting answers for them. There are just two dozen tenants at Orchards Mall, with 14 of those being retailers.... [Read Full Story]

Proos Talks Committee Findings On Violent Crime In Michigan

State Senator John Proos says Michigan is doing a better job of catching violent criminals with recent programs it’s put in place. Proos co-chaired a hearing recently on violent crime where he outlined statistics that show while the overall prison population is down, the percentage of violent crimes to be solved is up 10% over 10 years. Proos says the offenders are where they belong.... [Read Full Story]

Doctor Offers Tips On Back To School Sleep Schedule

School starts for most students next Tuesday, and parents are already trying to get their little ones to go to bed earlier. Dr. Alice Doe is a sleep specialist at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo and says to get the body clock of kids reset off summer hours, they’ll need a routine which could include reading, putting on their pajamas, brushing their teeth, and other activities to trigger sleep.... [Read Full Story]

Upton To Visit Flint Thursday

Congressman Fred Upton will be in Flint Thursday to learn more about what’s been done to solve the city’s water crisis. He tells WSJM News there are still things Congress can do to ensure more cities don’t wind up with lead tainting their water supply.... [Read Full Story]

Senator Gary Peters On An MI Motorcycle Tour

Senator Gary Peters is spending this week touring Michigan on a motorcycle, stopping in 26 counties. On Thursday morning, he’ll be in Bloomingdale to talk with staff at Bloomingdale Communications, a broadband provider. Peters says he wants to help expand high-speed internet access to rural areas.... [Read Full Story]

MI Officials: No Asian Carp DNA Found In State Waters This Year

Officials say no genetic material from invasive bighead or silver carp has been detected in Michigan waters this year. The state Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are searching Michigan’s Great Lakes tributary rivers for Asian carp DNA. After this year’s work is completed, more than 7,000 water samples will have been collected since 2013. One sample from the Kalamazoo River tested positive in 2014, but officials say the source probably was a boat or angler from another water body. The DNR says it is waiting for results of a final round of sampling from the St. Joseph, Grand, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Macatawa, Galien and Black rivers. But thus far, no samples this year have turned up signs of Asian carp.... [Read Full Story]

Man Found Competent For Trial In Kalamazoo Bicycle Killings

A 50-year-old man charged with striking and killing five bicyclists with his pickup truck in Kalamazoo has been found competent to stand trial. A hearing was held Wednesday in Kalamazoo County District Court for Charles Pickett Jr. He was evaluated by the state’s Center for Forensic Psychiatry at the request of his attorney. Pickett is charged with five counts of second-degree murder, four counts of reckless driving causing impairment and driving while intoxicated causing death. Police have reported that Pickett had taken pain pills and muscle relaxers less than two hours before the June 7 crash. Another four bicyclists were injured when he struck them from behind on a two-lane road in Cooper Township, south of Grand Rapids. Pickett faces a September 21 preliminary examination.... [Read Full Story]

Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg To Speak At Notre Dame

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is planning to speak at the University of Notre Dame. University president the Rev. John Jenkins announced that Ginsburg will speak at the Purcell Pavilion on September 12. He says she will talk about a wide range of issues with U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Ann Claire Williams, who is a Notre Dame alumna and board of trustee member.... [Read Full Story]

Benton Harbor Moves Millage To May

Voters will not be deciding on the sinking fund millage for Benton Harbor Area Schools in November. The school board has voted to move that to the May primary at a special meeting last night. Board member Stephen Mitchell told our partners at WNDU NewsCenter 16 he’d rather put the question in front of voters now, rather than wait.... [Read Full Story]

Dowagiac, South Haven Robberies May Be Related

The search is on for an armed robber who pulled a gun at the Quick Stop liquor store in South Haven just before 9:30 Monday night and got away with cash out of the register. Police are looking at surveillance video trying to identify the suspect, who is described as black, about 6-feet-2, and was wearing dark clothing along with a mask and gloves. There is also the possibility according to police that the same suspect robbed a Marathon station in Dowagiac about an hour later. In that robbery, a customer’s wallet was also taken along with money out of the till. A police K-9 was unable to track the man out of the gas station. Anyone with information on the robberies is asked to call South Haven Police or Dowagiac Public Safety.... [Read Full Story]

LMC Board Welcomes New Member

The Lake Michigan College Board of Trustees has welcomed a new member. On Tuesday, the board swore in Jeff Curry to serve in a three-year term replacing Stephen Small, who joined in 2013 and resigned this month. Curry is a past president of the Lake Michigan College Foundation, and a past president and current treasurer of the Niles Board of Education. He’s also a member of the Michigan Gateway Community Foundation and the committee for the Buchanan Promise. Previously, he’s worked with Kinexus, the United Way of Southwest Michigan, and the Niles-Buchanan YMCA. Curry is a St. Joseph native who lives in Niles and works for Stay Metrics. LMC Board President Mary Jo Tomasini says he’s an excellent addition with the insight to help LMC innovate. Curry replaces Stephen Small, of South Haven, who stepped down to teach at the college.... [Read Full Story]

Senator Gary Peters To Be In Van Buren County Thursday

Senator Gary Peters is going to make a stop in Van Buren County this week. Peters is currently on a motorcycle tour of the state, heading to 26 counties and making 12 stops over five days to talk with Michigan residents about things going on in Washington. On Thursday, he’ll stop at Bloomingdale Communications, on West Kalamazoo Street in Bloomingdale, to discuss the work being done to get broadband internet to rural Michigan residents. Bloomingdale Communications is a broadband provider. Peters will roll into town about 11 a.m. Also Thursday, Peters will make stops in Jones and Sturgis.... [Read Full Story]

State Sharing $89 Million For Low Income Heat Assistance

More than a dozen Michigan-based organizations and companies will share $89 million for energy assistance programs for low-income
households or schools. The grants were approved by the Michigan Agency for Energy in conjunction with the state Department of Health and Human Services. The projects include helping low-income utility customers pay their bills on time and assisting them with budgeting to provide for energy expenses. Grants include $17 million for DTE Energy, $15 million for TrueNorth Community Services, $13.7 million for the Salvation Army, $13.2 million for Consumers  Energy and $8.8 million for the Heat and Warmth Fund.... [Read Full Story]

MI Student Test Scores A Mixed Bag

Michigan students improved in slightly more than half of the grades and subjects tested on newer, more rigorous standardized assessments,
but their proficiency declined in other areas. M-STEP results released Tuesday show that fewer than half of the students were proficient in 17 of 18 subject-grade tests. State officials say there’s work to be done, but they’re pleased testing times dropped and results are being released four months earlier than last year — the first time the M-STEP was given. Also being released are SAT college entrance exam scores. The SAT was
administered to 11th-graders for the first time after Michigan switched from the ACT. 60% of students were deemed college and career ready in reading and writing, but just 37 percent were college and career ready in math.... [Read Full Story]

Lincoln Township Residents Warned About Wave Of Car Break-Ins

Lincoln Township police are reminding residents to keep their cars locked, as there’s been a rash of vehicle break-ins lately. Police chief Dan Sullivan says the thieves have been striking mostly unlocked cars since the beginning of August. Most recently, there were 15 reports of car break-ins this past Sunday and Monday. Sullivan says one tip is simply to not leave anything valuable in your car.... [Read Full Story]

Dowagiac Gas Station Robbed Monday

Police are looking for an armed robber who struck a Marathon station in Dowagiac Monday night. Dowagiac police say the suspect walked into the gas station on Spruce Street around 10:40 p.m. flashing a handgun. He made off with the cash from the register, as well as a customer’s wallet. The suspect was wearing a mask and a hood at the time, along with dark clothing. He’s described as being about 6’1 and 200 pounds. A search for him with a police K9 didn’t turn up anything. Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call the Dowagiac Police Department.... [Read Full Story]

Michigan’s Apple Crop Expected To Set Record

It’s expected Michigan apple growers will harvest a record 31-million bushels or 1.3 billion pounds of apples this year. The Michigan Apple Committee says that’s up by 7-million bushels from last year, and well above the average of 22.8 million bushels for the state. Michigan Apple Committee Executive Director Diane Smith credits excellent weather conditions for growing apples this summer, and says with the heat we’ve had, the flavor is also expected to be as excellent as the size of the crop. Harvest is underway now for early-season varieties, and will continue through the fall. Michigan has over 800 family-run apple farms with over 11-million apple trees in commercial production.... [Read Full Story]

Notre Dame Receives $5M Donation For Business Incubator

(South Bend, IN – AP) – The University of Notre Dame has received a $5 million donation to build the second phase of a business incubator near campus. The donation was made by the late Thomas Quinn and his wife, Diane. The money will fund a 40,000-square-foot, three-level facility located on a 12-acre site immediately south of the campus that will expand Innovation Park. Construction is expected to begin in late fall or early winter.... [Read Full Story]

Kalamazoo Police Believe They’ve Cracked Cold Case From 2013

He has been the prime suspect since an 88-year-old neighbor was beaten to death in his own home on Kalamazoo’s east side three years ago this month. Now, authorities in that city say 43-year-old Todd Maneke is facing open murder charges for allegedly killing Alfred Minka. Kalamazoo Public Safety Captain Victor Ledbetter says the man they arrested was the most likely candidate from the beginning, but it took a lot of good old fashioned detective work and a bit of evidence that had been overlooked to finally put all the pieces in place.... [Read Full Story]

AAA Michigan: Be Safe On Roads Over Labor Day

If you’re planning on going out of town this Labor Day, you’re not alone. Triple-A Michigan expects over one million Michiganders to travel this weekend, making it the third most traveled holiday of the summer season. And with so many people on the roads, spokeswoman Susan Hiltz says the risk factors greatly increase.... [Read Full Story]

Flood Warning For Berrien, Cass Counties

Parts of southwest Michigan are under a flood warning until 3 p.m. today. The National Weather Service says a thunderstorm this morning dropping about three inches of rain an hour from Benton Harbor to Cass County is to blame. Northeastern Berrien and northwestern Cass counties are under the warning, including Stevensville, St. Joseph, Benton Harbor, Dowagiac, Eau Claire and Millburg. The National Weather Service is urging people to not drive through flooded areas, noting most flood-related deaths happen in vehicles.... [Read Full Story]