Local News Archives

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]

Poll: Police Harassment Familiar To Some Minorities

Two-thirds of young African-Americans and 4 in 10 Hispanics say that they or someone they know has experienced violence or harassment at the
hands of the police. That’s according to a new GenForward poll. The poll found about 2 in 10 in each group say that was a personal experience, including about 3 in 10 black men. GenForward is a survey of adults age 18 to 30 by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The poll follows several recent killings of young black men by police and the killing of police officers last month in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.... [Read Full Story]

Benton Harbor 150th Birthday Party

Birthday cake, refreshments and local community leaders were on hand Thursday night as the Morton House Museum threw a party to commemorate Benton Harbor’s 150th birthday. Museum Board of Director Chuck Jager says the Morton House is the oldest house in Benton Harbor. And to celebrate…... [Read Full Story]

Cardboard Boat Races To Raise Money For The United Way

Time to register for the Rock the Boat Cardboard Boat Races is running out. The event organized by Whirlpool employees is set for August 27 at The Inn at Harbor Shores, and the registration deadline is next Monday. The Cardboard Boat Race will raise money for the United Way of Southwest Michigan. Everyone who takes part will get to make a small board out of cardboard and then see how long, or if, it floats. You can also sponsor a boat if you’d like to contribute. To find out more about signing up, go to UWSM.org/RockTheBoat .... [Read Full Story]

Coloma Glad-Peach Festival Starts Friday

Starting this Friday is the 49th annual Coloma Glad-Peach Festival. The event celebrates the region’s peach growers, and gives everyone a chance to have a good time. Festival President Julie Pupedis says vendors open up around noon Friday and then the opening ceremony is at 6:15 p.m. Then, it’s on to the evening’s entertainment.... [Read Full Story]

Lansing Court Reviewing Security After Attempted Attack

Security policies are being reviewed at a courthouse in Michigan’s capital after a man on trial for sexual abuse tried to attack a prosecutor with a long piece of metal. Video of the incident was posted online by the Lansing State Journal. It shows Joshua Harding pulling something from his sleeve Tuesday, crossing the courtroom and lunging at prosecutor Jonathan Roth. Roth got out of the way at the last second while a Meridian Township police detective tackled Harding. Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth says the video, taken by a courtroom security camera, is “breathtaking.” The sheriff says he doesn’t know where Harding got the metal piece. Chief Judge Janelle Lawless says she’s in favor of having jail inmates pass through a metal detector before entering court.... [Read Full Story]

“Breastfeeding On The Bluff” Planned For Saturday

The benefits of breastfeeding are the inspiration for an event planned for Saturday on the bluff in downtown St. Joseph. “Breastfeeding on the Bluff” is set for 10 a.m. The event is being organized by the Berrien County Breastfeeding Coalition and the county health department, and will feature moms from all over the area. Health department spokesperson Gillian Conrad says it’s better for both the baby and the mom when a mother breastfeeds.... [Read Full Story]

Judge Won’t Intervene In Juvenile Lifer Resentencings

A federal judge won’t stop the process of resentencing hundreds of Michigan prisoners who are serving no-parole sentences. Judge John Corbett O’Meara on Wednesday turned down a request for an injunction that would have affected so-called juvenile lifers, prisoners who were sentenced
to life for murder committed when they were under 18. In the months ahead, they’ll be resentenced because the U.S. Supreme Court says automatic no-parole sentences for teens are illegal. The punishment still is possible but only after a thorough hearing at which a judge would learn more about the defendant’s background. Lawyers for juvenile lifers claim a no-parole sentence still would be an unconstitutional punishment. But O’Meara says any challenge should first be made at the resentencing hearings in state court, not in federal court.... [Read Full Story]

Milestone Reached In Construction Of New Red Wings Home

The new home of the Detroit Red Wings has reached a construction milestone. A ceremony took place Thursday to mark the placement of the final piece of structural steel for the roof of Little Caesars Arena. Olympia Development of  Michigan says the piece of steel, in keeping with tradition, bears the signatures of the project’s ironworkers. The arena is scheduled to open in 2017 after the Red Wings play a final season at Joe Louis Arena. It’s part of an entertainment district being built north of
downtown. Mike and Marian Ilitch co-founded Little Caesars in 1959 and bought the Red Wings in 1982. Mike Ilitch bought the Detroit Tigers in 1992.
... [Read Full Story]

50-Kilometer Run Saturday To Raise Money For LOGAN Center

The LOGAN Autism Learning Center is preparing to move from the First Congregational Church in St. Joseph to the former Stump School in Benton Harbor, and it’s chief strategy officer will be running 50 kilometers this weekend to help raise money. Dr. Josh Diehl will start at the school around 4 a.m. Saturday and run to South Bend to the start of LOGAN’S Run on the Notre Dame campus. He says the rules have him only drinking tapwater on the run unless donations are made for specific things.... [Read Full Story]

Donald Trump To Speak Monday At Detroit Economic Club

The Detroit Economic Club says Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will speak in Detroit next Monday. Club members and their guests must purchase tickets. Club spokesman Matt Friedman says Trump’s midday speech at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center will be open to the news media but not the general public. Other presidential candidates have given speeches at the Economic Club, including Mitt Romney in 2012 and Trump’s rivals during the recent primary season. Trump won the Michigan Republican primary.... [Read Full Story]

Appeals Court To Hear Arguments On Emergency Manager Law

A federal appeals court is hearing a dispute over Michigan’s emergency manager law. In 2014, a judge in Detroit swept aside most claims in a lawsuit by critics. But he allowed the case to go forward on whether the law violates the U.S. Constitution by having a disproportionate impact on communities with large black populations. The appeals court will hear arguments Thursday in Cincinnati. Emergency managers have exceptional power to run local governments and school districts, while elected officials typically are pushed aside for 18 months or more. Michigan voters overturned Governor Rick Snyder’s first emergency manager law in 2012. But he and fellow Republicans in the Legislature came back with another version. The state has had a law allowing for the takeover of local governments and schools in a financial emergency since Governor Jim Blanchard signed Public Act 101 in 1988 due to a fiscal emergency in Hamtramck. It was amended in 1990 and replaced in 2011 by Public Act 4, which itself has been replaced.... [Read Full Story]

Robbery Victim Shoots Attacker In Benton Harbor

One robbery suspect is at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor and another is in the Berrien County Jail after their victim turned the tables at Harbor Towers. Benton Harbor Public Safety says the robbery victim opened fire on the suspects after one of them hit him in the face with a weapon when he refused to give them cash. The suspect who had to be airlifted to Ann Arbor was shot in the face and is expected to survive. The other ran off and was later arrested, and Public Safety Director Dan McGinnis says that person has confessed. No names have been released yet. Exactly when the incident happened has not been made clear.... [Read Full Story]

Mobile Boat Wash Coming To SWM This Weekend

Southwest Michigan boaters will have a chance to get their watercraft cleaned while learning about invasive species prevention this weekend. On Saturday, Michigan State University’s Mobile Boat Wash will be in Paw Paw and Watervliet. The boat wash is used to show boaters how they can properly clean off their boats, trailers and aquatic equipment to get rid of invasive species that might be clinging to them. Anyone who wants a free boat wash can take their craft to Maple Lake in Paw Paw from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. or to Paw Paw Lake in Watervliet from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 6.... [Read Full Story]

Report Says Cities Could Save By Using Clean Energy

Commercial business owners across Michigan could improve their bottom lines, as well as residents’ health, by embracing energy efficiency and clean-energy investments outlined in the Clean Power Plan. That’s according to a report from the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Public Policy. Dr. Marilyn Brown, with the institute, says one big step would be to require all buildings over 100,000 square feet to document and report their energy usage.... [Read Full Story]

$160 Million Expansion Planned At Lakeland Medical Center

A $160 million expansion for Lakeland Medical Center has been announced. The Lakeland Health Board of Directors this week voted to proceed with the new Lakeland Medical Center Pavilion at the facility on Napier Avenue in St. Joseph. The five-story pavilion will feature medical and surgical suites, a short stay unit, imaging centers, an intensive care unit, and education and community rooms. It will also include a new main entrance to the facility with a focus on amenities for visitors. Lakeland Health President Dr. Loren Hamel says the project comes from the organization’s long-term capital facility plan, and is intended to equip the hospital to continue providing for the needs of local patients into the future. A ground breaking ceremony for the pavilion will be held in October, and it’s expected to be completed in 2020. You can find out more at www.lakelandhealth.org/pavilion.... [Read Full Story]

Professional Wrestler Wins MI Primary

Unofficial returns show professional wrestler “Rhyno” edging two other candidates in the Republican primary for a Michigan legislative seat.
Terrance Gerin of Dearborn led by just 54 votes out of more than 2,700 cast in Tuesday’s election. As the ballots were counted, Gerin, known as “Rhyno” or “Rhino,” was at a World Wrestling Entertainment event in Tennessee, according to the WWE website. The 40-year-old says on his campaign website that he attends Dearborn City Council meetings and is concerned about public pools closing. He wants local businesses to sponsor the pools so they stay open. Gerin faces an uphill climb in November’s general election against health care consultant Abdullah Hammoud because the district favors Democrats. Democratic Representtaive George Darany could not run again under term limits.... [Read Full Story]

[VIDEO] National Night Out Celebrated in Berrien County

Residents of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor get together with local law enforcement for an evening of food and fun. The thirty-third Annual National Night Out was held Tuesday, and law enforcement agencies from all over Berrien County celebrated with residents in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor. St. Joseph has been observing National Night Out for at least thirty years, according to Rick Knapp of the St. Joseph Township Police Department.... [Read Full Story]

Conservative Outsiders Win MI Congressional Primaries

Republican voters have backed conservative outsiders to advance in Michigan’s open U.S. House primaries. Little-known retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Jack Bergman upset two politically experienced candidates in northern Michigan’s Republican primary. He faces ex-state Democratic Party Chairman Lon Johnson in a competitive race in November. In the Thumb, victorious retired vocational school company CEO Paul Mitchell,
a Republican, will be favored in the fall general election over former Democratic state Rep. Frank Accavitti Jr. Mitchell spent millions of his own money to win the GOP primary that is open due to a retirement. In Detroit, Rep. John Conyers, the longest-serving member of the House, won
the primary in his heavily Democratic district.... [Read Full Story]