Local News Archives

“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]

Berrien County Voters In A Mood To Say “Yes” Tuesday

Berrien County voters were feeling generous Tuesday.  They approved almost all of the ballot proposals before them in primary voting. The only things to go down were Southwest Michigan Regional Airport millages in Bridgman and Lake Township, but millages for the airport passed in the communities most closely surrounding it. Elsewhere, voters said yes to local ballot proposals in Bridgman, Eau Claire, New Buffalo, Watervliet, Coloma, New Buffalo Township, Royalton Township, Sodus Township, Watervliet Township, St. Joseph Township, and Baroda Township. As of late Tuesday, some results were still not yet available for some proposals in Buchanan Schools and Niles Township. ... [Read Full Story]

LaSata Claims Victory In 79th District State House Primary

Kim LaSata’s campaign is calling it a victory in the GOP primary for state House in the 79th District. With most Berrien County precincts reporting, LaSata has a healthy lead over closest primary rival Ryan Arnt. She says she now knows what it’s like to feel humbled by winning an election. LaSata added voters can expect her to represent them well if she makes it to Lansing in November.... [Read Full Story]

Van Buren County Election Results

The race for state House in the 66th District is shaping up in Van Buren County following Tuesday’s primaries. Republicans picked Beth Griffin to run as their candidate in November to replace outgoing state Representative Aric Nesbitt. She beat out Matthew T. Nilson, and will face Democrat Annie Brown. The GOP primary for sheriff, meanwhile, resulted in a win for Daniel Abbot over closest challenger David Walker. A variety of ballot proposals also passed in Van Buren County Tuesday night. Voters countywide approved proposals for roads and for the Van Buren Conservation District. Locally, voters were in a mood to say yes in Arlington Township, Bloomingdale Township, Decatur Township, Porter Township, South Haven Township, Hamilton Township, Hartford Schools, and Lawrence Schools.... [Read Full Story]

Upton Expects Zika Funding Next Month

Congress could approve funding to fight the Zika virus as soon as next month. Congressman Fred Upton says a previous House effort to approve about $600 million in spending while allowing another $385 million earmarked for other priorities to be reprogrammed was rejected by the Senate. He says the two chambers will be negotiating.... [Read Full Story]

Berrien Officials: Demand To Pay Back Federal Funds “Unacceptable”

Berrien County officials say a demand from the Federal Economic Development Administration to pay back more than $783,000 the county gave to Whirlpool in 2001 is unacceptable. A press release issued Tuesday says the county used $610,000 of EDA money to help Whirlpool move its technology center from Dayton to Benton Township, requiring Whirlpool to guarantee it would maintain its employment levels in the area for at least ten years. In 2011, after Whirlpool had met the loan’s terms, the loan was forgiven. Then, in a letter dated June 30 of this year, the county was ordered by the EDA to pay back the $610,000, plus interest. County officials say the EDA was told several times about the loan and its terms, and never objected. The county now says “it is unacceptable for EDA staff to demand repayment of these funds 15 years after this venture was initiated, nine years after the EDA was notified of the very loan structure to which it now objects, and 5 years after the terms of this loan were fully satisfied.” The press release goes on to say Berrien County “is not inclined to submit to the EDA’s recent demands” to pay the money back.... [Read Full Story]

Money Raised For Berrien County Foster Children

Money has been raised to buy gifts for children in Berrien County’s foster care system, thanks to an event held Tuesday at Slumberland Furniture in Benton Township. “Christmas in August” featured games, a dunk tank, a bounce house, and food and refreshments. Heather Hoffman, with the Berrien County Department of Health and Human Services, says the money goes to its Operation Good Cheer program.... [Read Full Story]

Benton Harbor Birthday Celebration This Week

Benton Harbor’s 150th birthday is coming up, and a celebration is planned for this Thursday to mark the occasion. The Morton House Museum on Territorial Road will hold a party starting at 7 p.m. It’s to feature a birthday cake for the city, tours of the house, refreshments, and local speakers who will talk of their experiences in Benton Harbor since the 1950s. They’re set to include Mamie Yarbrough and Janet Dasse Frazier. There will also be an exhibit called “150 Years of Benton Harbor History,” featuring historic photos of the community, artifacts from as far back as 1866, and information on the House of David. Everyone is welcome to the party, and if you can’t make it, the Morton House notes that the exhibit on the city’s history will be up through October 29 every Saturday. You can find out more at www.facebook.com/MortonHouseMuseum.... [Read Full Story]

LMC To Pursue Facilities Improvement Millage

Lake Michigan College will ask voters for a new millage to pay for a variety of facility improvements come November. At a Tuesday meeting, the board of trustees approved moving forward with the ballot question. LMC President Dr. Bob Harrison says the roughly $4 million per year raised by the millage would make many things possible.... [Read Full Story]