Local News Archives

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]

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]