Local News Archives

State Fair Officials Still Deciding Whether To Show Pigs This Year

Lots of animals will be at the Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair in Novi over Labor Day weekend, but we’re not sure if pigs will be among them. That’s as eight people have caught the swine flu , a variant of Influenza A H3N2 from pigs at county fairs in Muskegon, Cass, & Ingham Counties. That’s according to Jackie Scramlin , co-director of livestock at the state fair.... [Read Full Story]

MI School District Cancels First Day Of Classes Due To Flat Tires

Someone wasn’t eager to start the new school year in a Jackson County community. The first day of classes in the Concord district was canceled Wednesday because tires were deflated on all 10 buses. Superintendent Dan Funston tells the Jackson Citizen Patriot there wasn’t enough time to refill the tires. Funston says it’s “awfully disappointing,” especially after a successful open house Tuesday night. Concord will try again Thursday, although teachers didn’t get a break. They still had to report to classrooms Wednesday. Of course, they don’t ride school buses.... [Read Full Story]

Edwardsburg Man Found Dead In Kalamazoo Parking Lot

A grisly discovery in a Kalamzoo parking lot. A 32-year-old Edwardsburg man’s body was found Tuesday morning inside his pickup truck in the parking lot near the Planet Fitness on Stadium Drive. Kalamazoo Public Safety investigators aren’t sure how long Stephen Heuer had been dead, but say there were no obvious signs of foul play, they do say it was obvious that the body had been there for a long period of time. The scene was secure and the city’s forensic team spent some time collecting samples for testing. It’s being treated as a suspicious death until an autopsy has been conducted and determines the cause of death. Heuer had been reported missing.... [Read Full Story]

Governor Snyder Seeks To Undo Court Order In Flint Water Probe

(Lansing – AP) – Governor Rick Snyder is challenging a court order that bars a Flint hospital from contacting state health authorities on any future issue related to the city’s water woes. Snyder says the Aug. 17 order by a Genesee County judge has “tied the hands of state employees” to protect the public. The Detroit News reports that the order tells McLaren Hospital to talk only to the county health department on Flint water-related matters. Andrea Bitely, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, says investigators are trying to protect health data related to lead poisoning and deaths from Legionnaires’ disease. Bitely says an amended order will be sought. But she says any suggestion that the state health department can’t do its job “is simply untrue.” Flint’s water supply was contaminated by lead.... [Read Full Story]

State Police Review Thousands Of Blood Alcohol Tests

A Michigan State Police spokesman says no one was wrongly prosecuted for drunken driving as a result of blood-alcohol tests that were  incorrectly analyzed. Lieutenant Mike Shaw says the problem involved a high-tech processing file on a machine at the state police lab. It affected 4,001 cases statewide over a four-month period. But Shaw said Tuesday that a new round of tests showed only “minute” differences. Half the tests didn’t require any correction. Shaw says the revised results also didn’t have an impact in cases where the blood-alcohol level was initially
found to be near 0.08, the threshold for drunken driving. In 18 cases, Shaw says the new results put the blood-alcohol level at 0.17 or slightly higher, the threshold for “super drunk.” New reports are being sent to prosecutors.... [Read Full Story]

Auto Supplier Preparing To Show Off Autonomous Car Technology

Auto supplier Delphi is working to have autonomous vehicle technology ready to sell to automakers by 2019. CEO Kevin Clark says there are several reasons why self-driving cars are attracting interest. First, regulators want fewer traffic injuries and fatalities. Also, municipal planners want less of a need for parking. He adds consumers are expressing interest, as well.... [Read Full Story]

MI Rally Held To Protest Trade Deal

A rally was held Tuesday in Ann Arbor by those opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a new trade deal being pushed by the Obama administration. Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO, says the agreement would lead to more American jobs being shipped elsewhere. He says Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, State Representative Gretchen Driskell, and Macomb County Prosecutor Suzanna Shkreli were to be among the political leaders in attendance.... [Read Full Story]

South Haven Area Emergency Services Rescues Iguana From Tree

It was a harrowing rescue conducted by South Haven Area Emergency Services on Tuesday. Police were called out to a home near South Haven Place and Bailey Avenue in the afternoon hours on a report of an iguana on the loose. When officers arrived, the iguana, named Harold, scampered up the tree. So firefighters brought in a ladder truck. After several minutes of coaxing, they managed to catch the two-foot lizard. Meanwhile, Harold’s owner appeared at the scene and told officers he had escaped about a month ago. Harold, who appeared to be healthy, was reunited with the owner. Responders say it’s not known exactly what Harold had been up to while on the run.... [Read Full Story]

LMC Celebrates Opening Of Hanson Technology Center

Lake Michigan College’s Hanson Technology Center is now open for business. LMC broke ground on the $12 million facility at its Napier Avenue campus just last year, and on Tuesday, the grand opening was held. LMC President Dr. Bob Harrison says the Hanson Tech Center will serve as a modern manufacturing training ground, but that’s not all.... [Read Full Story]

Morton House To Receive Salvaged Mercy Hospital Pieces

The Morton House in Benton Harbor has agreed to help preserve what’s salvaged from the former Mercy Hospital building once it’s demolished next month. Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski says the letters spelling out the name of the facility will be handed over to the Morton House, along with any cornerstones that are found. Also, the group could sell bricks from the building.... [Read Full Story]

Interviews For St. Joseph Clerk Today

The St. Joseph City Commission will hold a special meeting today to interview four candidates for the position of clerk and finance director. The interviews will start at 10 a.m. at city hall and last through after 2 p.m. Commissioners have set aside one hour for each interview, with one at 10, the next at 11, a break for lunch at noon, and then the others at 1 and 2 p.m. The candidates are Tonia Betty, currently the clerk for the city of Watervliet, Ian Haight, current clerk for Hagar Township, Lisa LaValley, an accountant at Shepherd Caster Corporation, and Sara McCallum, the treasurer of Pere Marquette Township in Mason County. Today’s interviews will be open to the public. City Manager John Hodgson tells us once the position of clerk/finance director is filled, commissioners will move on to finding a new public safety director.... [Read Full Story]

Tornado Doesn’t Stop Grand Rapids Couple From Marrying

Not even tornado sirens could stop a Michigan couple from saying “I do.” As the sirens blared across Grand Rapids, Brandon Warner married Breane Proctor in front of family members and guests at a church. Warner told The Grand Rapids Press that he decided to proceed with Saturday’s ceremony, despite the storm threat, and that if they “were going to get hit, maybe it was meant to be.” The new bride said, “We just kind of shrugged our shoulders and went down the aisle.” After exchanging vows, storm sirens sounded again and everyone stood beneath
the church’s balconies, away from its stained-glass windows. The newspaper reports that a little less than an hour after they said “I do,” a tornado reportedly touched down less than three miles away.... [Read Full Story]

Report: Higher Ed Funding Down, Tuition Up

College tuition is rising, and it’s coming at a cost beyond personal and family finances to students in Michigan and the rest of the country, according to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Michael Mitchell, a policy analyst with the center, says while the funding increase in the last budget cycle helped, Michigan’s public colleges are still left to figure out how to address the needs of their students, with fewer dollars.... [Read Full Story]

Proos Hearing To Focus On Reducing Violent Crime

Michigan lawmakers will be looking at ways violent crime could be reduced in Michigan with a state Senate subcommittee hearing this week. State Senator John Proos, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Corrections, says part of the focus will be programs approved in the last few years designed to prevent released inmates from re-offending. He says helping convicts get job training and find work saves everyone in the end.... [Read Full Story]

Whirlpool Breaks Ground On Greenville Expansion

Ground has been broken on Whirlpool’s latest expansion to its Greenville, Ohio factory distribution center. On Monday, the Benton Harbor-based appliance maker announced that it’s almost doubling the size of its Ohio center for KitchenAid products. The company says its goal is to make Greenville the global hub of its small appliances business. Monday’s groundbreaking follows Whirlpool’s $40 million investment in the Greenville manufacturing plant, part of a larger $80 million project to expand facilities across Ohio. The company announced the project in May.... [Read Full Story]

Police Increase Patrols For Drunk Drivers

You may notice an increased police presence on Michigan roads for the next few weeks, as the latest Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is now underway. Melody Kindraka, with the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, says it started last week and runs through Labor Day. The goal is to keep state roads safe for the end-of-summer holiday.... [Read Full Story]

Rain Keeps Berrien Youth Fair Attendance Slightly Down

Leaders at the Berrien County Youth Fair are already planning for next year, now that the 71st annual event has wrapped up in Berrien Springs. Fair Director Karen Klug says heavy rain last week did keep attendance down a bit. The fair saw 118,000 visitors, compared to 125,000 in 2015. Still, Klug says the staff and exhibitors all came together to brave the weather.... [Read Full Story]

National Weather Service Confirms Van Buren County Tornado

The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado touched down in Van Buren County Saturday. Meteorologists tell WSJM News an EF-1 level twister formed around Bangor, and made its way up to Grand Junction. They’re still trying to determine whether it was the same tornado that continued on into the Grand Rapids area, or whether it fizzled out in Allegan County. Tornadoes are ranked in intensity from EF-0 to EF-5. An EF-1, like Saturday’s, would come with winds of over 100 miles per hour. The weather service says the last time an EF-5 hit in Michigan was in the Hudsonville area in 1956. Saturday’s Bangor tornado brought down power lines and trees all over town.... [Read Full Story]

Tornado Assessments Continue Today

Cleanup is continuing today in West Michigan from a tornado outbreak over the weekend. Survey teams from the National Weather Service are headed back out to Allegan, Kent, Ottawa and Van Buren counties today to survey tornado damage. The NWS says there is preliminary evidence of EF-1 damage in Van Buren, Allegan and Ottawa counties along with EF-0 damage in Kent County.... [Read Full Story]

Gas Prices Rise 7¢

Michigan’s average gas price is up to $2.32 a gallon, the ninth-highest price in the country according to Triple-A Michigan. Prices at the pump jumped 7¢ a gallon from last week. Of the ten metro areas surveyed by the auto club, the highest price is in Marquette at $2.38, while drivers in Traverse City are enjoying the state’s lowest average at $2.27. In Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, our average price stands at $2.28, up 12¢ in the past week. South Haven prices range from $2.24 to $2.39 this morning. GasBuddy.com spotters put the lowest price at two-dollars-four-cents at a gas station in Belding, near Grand Rapids.... [Read Full Story]

Notre Dame’s Kelly Kicks Redfield Off Team, Suspends Butler

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly says he has kicked starting safety Max Redfield off the team and suspended reserve cornerback Devin Butler indefinitely after they were arrested in separate incidents. Kelly says four others arrested with Redfield after state police say they found marijuana and a loaded handgun inside their car are subject to internal discipline. He also said in a statement released Sunday the players could still face additional discipline from the university.... [Read Full Story]

Most Power Restored From Saturday Storm

Nearly all the lights are back on in West Michigan from Saturday’s strong storms that spawned tornadoes from Van Buren County to Montcalm County. The Associated Press reported early this morning there were still nearly 20,000 in the dark, but updated numbers from Consumers Energy show considerable progress in getting repairs made. As of 5 a.m., the utility had just over 400 of its customers who were still without power. Of those 400, one customer is in Van Buren County and three are in Allegan County.... [Read Full Story]

Over 19,000 Still Without Power From Saturday Storms

More than 19,000 homes and businesses in West Michigan remain without power after a storm that spawned at least four tornados. Consumers Energy reports the Grand Rapids area was hardest hit by Saturday’s storm. Kent County has 18,370 customers without power, Allegan County has nearly 500 and Ottawa County more than 400. There are just three Consumers Energy customers in Van Buren County who were without power as of early this morning. The National Weather Service says an EF-1 tornado with winds of 90 mph touched down about 3:10 p.m. Saturday. Crews are out determining whether there were any others. The tornado touched down near Orleans, 30 miles east of Grand Rapids, and was on the ground for eight miles through Ionia and Montcalm counties. The weather service says the tornado brought down several large trees, including one that landed on a house, and blew out a garage wall.... [Read Full Story]