Local News Archives

Couple Arraigned In Alleged Allegan County Crime Spree

An Otsego couple has been arraigned in a string of break-ins and auto thefts in southwest Michigan last week. The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department says the man and woman’s crime spree went on from early Thursday morning through the evening. They allegedly broke into three homes, in two cases taking off in stolen vehicles. The two were ultimately found at the man’s home. 34-year-old Kenneth Lapham and 21-year old Haley Jenkins were arraigned Monday. Lapham is charged with breaking and entering, unlawfully driving away an automobile, and felony firearm. Jenkins is charged with breaking and entering and unlawfully driving away an automobile. The two remain in the Allegan County Jail.... [Read Full Story]

Thompson Sentenced In Benton Twp Murder

A Benton Harbor man convicted in the shooting death of a Benton Township business owner has been sentenced to 35 to 60 years in prison. Roy Thompson was found guilty by a jury of second degree murder in June in the death of David Krieger last December. The 53-year-old was killed during a confrontation with Thompson about a dog the suspect allegedly kicked near Krieger’s family business, Michiana Supply. The victim’s brother, Stephen Krieger, remembered him in court.... [Read Full Story]

Michigan Gas Prices Up; Bucking National Trend

Gas prices nationwide are heading lower, but that’s not the case in Michigan this week. AAA Michigan reports the average statewide price is up 16¢ a gallon to $2.33, with the lowest average in Traverse City at $2.19 and the highest prices in the Saginaw/Bay City/Midland region at $2.38. Our prices locally jumped 21¢ over the past week to an average of $2.30 in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, while GasBuddy spotters put the prices in South Haven between $2.28 and $2.30. National oil market analyst Trilby Lundberg notes crude oil prices have been weak and supply is outpacing demand nationally, leading to a drop across the country of 6¢ in the last two weeks to $2.16. AAA Michigan says refinery issues in Illinois, Kansas, and Ohio are to blame for our latest spike.... [Read Full Story]

High School Football Practices Begin

Football season around the state of Michigan officially begins today as the Michigan High School Athletic Association allows teams to practice for the first time this morning. St. Joe, Lakeshore, and Benton Harbor will have their first games on Friday, August 26th. South Haven and Lake Michigan Catholic will be among the schools that have their first contest on Thursday, August 25th. Each team will be adding more and more of their gear as the week goes on, with helmets only on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday players can start wearing shoulder pads before gearing up in full pads for full contact practice on Friday. Of course our radio stations will have live coverage of all South Haven, Lakeshore, St. Joseph, and now Benton Harbor games this fall.... [Read Full Story]

Carbon Monoxide Eyed For Berrien Springs Death

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the deaths of an elderly woman and her dog in Berrien Springs. Extremely high levels of carbon monoxide were found in the home in the 4900 block of Appian Way yesterday afternoon. Authorities are eyeing the gas as the cause of the deaths, but the investigation is still ongoing. A haz-mat team was called out for a gas leak, and the carbon monoxide levels were tested about four hours after the gas was shut off. Our partners at WNDU NewsCenter 16 report Sheriff’s Department Captain Rockey Adams says when the levels were tested, the reading was around 1,000 parts per million, with 12-hundred considered a fatal amount. The fire department detected cyanide gas upon arrival. An autopsy will be performed to determine what killed the woman.... [Read Full Story]

MSU To Unveil New Sparty Monument

Work is moving forward on a new bronze monument to Michigan State University’s Sparty mascot. Those involved in the project say an October 12 unveiling is scheduled at the MSU Union in East Lansing. The statue will be perched on a bench with his muscular arms extended out. People will be able to sit next to Sparty and pose for photos. Oregon-based sculptor Alison Brown created a clay rendering that will be used to cast the statue, which is expected to weigh 1,500 pounds. The MSU Senior Class Council for 2016 picked the Bronze Sparty Statue Fund as its senior class gift, an annual fundraiser for special campus projects. Another statue known as “Sparty” is a popular campus photo spot. That statue
is located outdoors, within view of Spartan Stadium.... [Read Full Story]

Huge Crowd packs Summer Jam

Shadowland Pavilion at Silver Beach in Saint Joseph was a busy place on Saturday afternoon and evening as 97.5 Y-Country held its annual Summer Jam event. More than three-thousand people showed up to see Stephan Neal, Jared Knox, and headliner Michael Ray. Y-Country Summer Jam started in 1998. From 2005 through 2011, the event was part of the Sunday festivities at the Venetian Festival on the St. Joseph River, which is no longer in existence. The event has always highlighted bright, new, rising Country stars. Over the years, headliners have included artists and groups such as Toby Keith, Blake Shelton, Little Big Town, Darryl Worley, Jack Ingram, Luke Bryan, Lee Bryce, Parmalee, Cassadee Pope, and more!... [Read Full Story]

It was originally a golf outing fundraiser for breast cancer research and awareness. It changed its focus this year as a benefit for three St. Joseph children. The Denise Bohn Strong Golf Outing was held on Saturday. For the past six years, the event was known as “Tee-Off for TaTas”. Proceeds are going to the children of Denise Bohn-Stewart, who was killed by her husband in a murder-suicide at their home in April. The golf outing was at the Indian Lake Hills in Eau Claire to ensure their kid have the resources they need as they grow up. Event Organizer Kim Thum says the turnout was great…... [Read Full Story]

Security Enhancements Being Made At Berrien County Courthouse

Two additional deputies will now serve as full-time guards at the Berrien County Courthouse in St. Joseph. The county board of commissioners approved the expenditure at a Thursday meeting in response to last month’s courthouse shootings. Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey says they used to always have two deputies or one deputy and a bailiff transport inmates, but budget cuts around 2005 meant there were fewer deputies employed at the courthouse. He says always having two officers with the inmate will immediately improve security. The department is making other changes, as well.... [Read Full Story]

Electronics Recycling Event Set For This Month

Berrien County will hold another free electronics recycling event this month at Love Creek County Park in Berrien Center. Any county resident can come out on Wednesday, August 17 between 3 and 7 p.m. to drop off old, unwanted electronic items so they can be properly recycled. The only items for which there will be a fee are televisions and computer monitors, which will cost $20 and $10, respectively. For a complete list of the items that will be accepted, go to BerrienCounty.org/Recycle. You can also call 983-7111, extension 8234.... [Read Full Story]

Ann Arbor Bans Tobacco Sales To Those Under 21

Ann Arbor is banning the sale of tobacco to people under 21. City Council voted 9-2 on Thursday to give final approval to an ordinance raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in the city from 18. It’s joining the Tobacco 21 movement, which has been embraced by other communities in the U.S. The Ann Arbor News reports it takes effect January 1. Councilman Kirk Westphal says he’s “happy to do anything we can to play a leadership role on this effort in Michigan.” Supporters argue that the measure will make it harder for teens to get cigarettes, help prevent early tobacco addiction and save lives. Opponents argue it’s an overreach by the city and say those under 21 will go to other nearby
communities to buy cigarettes.... [Read Full Story]

Two Pick Up Flu From West MI Pig

Officials say two people who participated in a county fair in western Michigan picked up the flu from a sick pig. The Muskegon County health department is trying to reach other pig exhibitors who may have become ill. The county fair was held July 25-30. Jennifer Eisner of the state health department says the sick people were not admitted to a hospital. The flu is known as a variant of H3N2. A federal lab in Ames, Iowa, confirmed that the pig had the virus. Symptoms of the swine flu in people can be similar to other flu viruses: fever, aches and vomiting. The federal government says Michigan had nine cases from 2012 through 2015.... [Read Full Story]

Murder Sentencing Monday

Sentencing will be next week for a Benton Harbor man convicted in the shooting death of a Benton Township man. Roy Thompson was found guilty by a jury of second degree murder in June in the death of David Krieger last December. The 53-year-old was killed during a confrontation with Thompson about a dog the suspect allegedly kicked near Krieger’s family business, Michiana Supply. The victim’s brother, Stephen Krieger, testified in December that Thompson fired a single shot into David’s chest. Stephen Krieger and Thompson exchanged fire as well, but neither was hit by bullets. Sentencing is scheduled for Monday, and the penalty could be as high as life in prison.... [Read Full Story]

Kalamazoo Fountain Added To National Register of Historic Places

A fountain in downtown Kalamazoo’s Bronson Park that’s been criticized for its depiction of a Native American and a settler has been given its own listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports the “Fountain of the Pioneers” was previously on the register as part of the Bronson Park Historic District, but was approved this year for individual inclusion. Designed by Alfonso Iannelli and installed in 1940, it depicts a settler standing above an Indian wearing a headdress. Iannelli said in a 1940 statement that it was meant to convey “the advance of the pioneers and the generations that follow” with the Indian in “a posture of noble resistance.” The fountain was intended to depict history in Kalamazoo, but it’s been criticized as being racist.... [Read Full Story]

Opioid Abuse Summit This Month In Cass County

A summit on the state’s growing opioid abuse problem will be held this month at Southwestern Michigan College in Dowagiac. The all-day event slated for August 19 was partly organized by Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz, who says law enforcement and health professionals need to work together to help solve the opioid crisis. Fitz tells us special guest speaker will be Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, who headed a commission to examine the opioid issue.... [Read Full Story]

Olympics Get Underway Amid Zika Concerns

More than 40 athletes with Michigan ties will compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Opening ceremonies were held Friday in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The games are happening with concerns about the Zika virus, as it’s circulating in Brazil and other parts of Latin America. Michigan State Entomology and Microbiology Professor Ned Walker says anyone at the Olympics is at risk, especially pregnant women.... [Read Full Story]

Kalamazoo County I-94 Project Nearing Completion

A Michigan Department of Transportation construction project on I-94 is scheduled to wrap up soon. MDOT spokesperson Nick Schirripa says the work on the highway near Galesburg in Kalamazoo County is halfway finished. He says a new 40th Street bridge over I-94 is open, Michigan Avenue in both directions is now open, two of the new ramps for 94 at 40th Street are open.... [Read Full Story]

Cardboard Boat Races To Raise Money For United Way

The United Way of Southwest Michigan will be the recipient of funds raised by Whirlpool employees this month with their “Rock the Boat” Cardboard Boat Races event at the Inn at Harbor Shores. Whirlpool’s Casey Tubman says those who participate will have a chance to use an empty appliance box to build a boat which they can then race in the river.... [Read Full Story]

Couple Arrested In String Of Break-Ins, Auto Thefts

A boyfriend and girlfriend have been arrested in a string of break-ins and auto thefts in Allegan County this week. The sheriff’s department says the suspects, ages 34 and 21 and from Otsego, began their crime spree around 8 a.m. Thursday when deputies responded to the scene of break-in. Police say the sister of the female suspect returned to her home in Watson Township to find the couple had been there and then fled. Not long after, deputies were called to a second home that had been burglarized, with a firearm and a Chevy Impala among the things stolen. The next break-in came around 5:30 p.m. and involved the theft of a Dodge Ram. Police finally caught up with the couple around 9:30 p.m. when they found the stolen Ram at the male suspect’s home. Both were arrested, and are now in the Allegan County Jail.... [Read Full Story]

Berrien County To Receive Extra Help To Fight Homelessness

The state of Michigan is receiving $4.5 million to fight homelessness in three counties, including Berrien. Bob Wheaton, with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, says the federal grant money will be used to expand an already-existing program in Detroit to both the Lansing area and hard-hit areas of Berrien. The agency will work with Emergency Shelter Services to identify homeless individuals, get them into housing, and then address root causes of their homelessness.... [Read Full Story]

93-Year-Old Woman Drowns In Lake Michigan

The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department says a 93-year-old woman is dead after she was pulled from Lake Michigan by first responders Friday. It happened at a beach southwest of Fennville. Deputies arrived at the scene to learn Elizabeth Bennett lived in the area, and regularly would swim in the lake at that location. She was described as being in good physical shape, and witnesses said she always swam with a floatation device. Fire and ambulance personnel pulled Bennet from the water and attempted CPR, but were not successful. The sheriff’s department says an autopsy will determine the cause of death, which could have been the result of a medical condition.... [Read Full Story]

Sculpture Of King, Hesburgh Planned In Downtown South Bend

A sculpture of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and University of Notre Dame President Theodore Hesburgh is planned for a downtown South Bend plaza. The bronze sculpture is being modeled after a photograph of King and Hesburgh joining hands during a 1964 civil rights rally in Chicago. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg says people will be able to hold hands with the King and Hesburgh figures as others did at the rally. The sculpture will be created by retired Indiana University South Bend art professor Tuck Langland. The project’s estimated $240,000 cost will be paid for by donations, including from Notre Dame, which Hesburgh led from 1952 until 1987. Officials plan to unveil the sculpture next June on a plaza near the St. Joseph County Courthouse.... [Read Full Story]

Off-Road Vehicle Riders Can Use Trails For Free August 20-21

Off-road vehicle enthusiasts can ride free of charge on state-designated routes and trails for a limited time later this month. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has scheduled a free-ORV weekend for August 20-21. No ORV license or trail permit will be required on those two days, which officials say will save riders up to $36.25. The DNR designates two free-of-charge ORV weekends each year. Officials say the policy is meant to encourage riders to buy a license and trail permit for use during the rest of the year on the 3,800-mile ORV trail network. Fees collected from riders are used for trail expansion, maintenance and upgrades, as well as law enforcement and fixing damage from illegal use.... [Read Full Story]

BP Whiting Refinery Discharges Waste Into Lake Michigan

An operational issue has caused BP’s large northern Indiana refinery near the southern shore of Lake Michigan to discharge about five times more industrial waste into the lake than allowed. The Times of Northwest Indiana reports that the refinery has been dealing with the problem at its wastewater treatment plant since Friday. The company told the Indiana Department of Environmental Management that it discharged more than 8,900 pounds of total suspended solids Monday. It’s allowed to discharge nearly 5,700 pounds per day.... [Read Full Story]

Michigan Getting $3.4 Million In Settlement With Drug Maker

Michigan is expected to get nearly $3.4 million of a multi-state settlement with a pharmaceutical company. Attorney General Bill Schuette says in a statement Friday that the money ispart of a $125 million national settlement with Cephalon. Part of the money will go to Michigan consumers who bought the drug Provigil. The settlement ends a multistate investigation into conduct by Cephalon that delayed generic versions of Provigil from entering the market for years, causing consumers to pay higher prices. The company denied wrongdoing. The settlement is subject to court review.... [Read Full Story]

Berrien Commissioners Approve Use Of Additional Courthouse Deputies

Two additional deputies will now serve as full-time guards at the Berrien County Courthouse in St. Joseph. The county board of commissioners approved the expenditure at a Thursday meeting in response to last month’s courthouse shootings. Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey says the department used to always have two deputies transfer inmates, but that had to be cut. He’s glad to get the old positions back.... [Read Full Story]