Local News Archives

Benton Harbor Mayor Talks Police-Community Relations

Following the recent police shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana, as well as Thursday’s killings of five police officers in Texas, Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad says police and the communities they serve need to better communicate. Muhammad says he recently attended a national mayor’s conference in Washington, D.C., and was among those asked by President Obama to ask their local police to find ways of addressing police misconduct while also thanking them for their service. Muhammad says he’s spoken with Department of Public Safety Director Dan McGinnis about the issue.... [Read Full Story]

Berrien County Pesticide Collection Coming Up

Time is running out to sign up to have unwanted pesticides disposed of by Berrien County. The parks and recreation department says Wednesday, July 27 will be the final Clean Sweep collection of 2016 for unwanted agriculture pesticides. It’s a chance to get rid of those chemicals in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. The registration deadline is July 13, next Wednesday. Anyone who wants to sign up can call Berrien County Environmental Property Manager Jill Adams at 983-7111, extension 8234. Or, you can get a form to sign up at Berrien, Cass, or Van Buren County MSU Extension offices or Conservation District offices. They’ll also provide you with the drop-off site details. More than 2.2 million pounds of unwanted pesticides have been properly disposed through the statewide Clean Sweep program since it started. The next closest Clean Sweep collection site is located in Kalamazoo.... [Read Full Story]

Dry Conditions Not Hurting Southwest Michigan Farmers

Farmers in southwest Michigan are being mostly spared from the abnormally dry conditions that have been threatening crops elsewhere in the state. Mark Longstroth, with the MSU Extension office in Van Buren County, says drought stress is only showing up in some of the corn and soybeans. He says the region’s fruits are faring quite well.... [Read Full Story]

Trump To Appear Next Week With Indiana Governor

Donald Trump is to appear with Indiana Governor Mike Pence at a fundraiser next week. Pence is considered a leading candidate to be Trump’s running mate, and he’s listed as a host of Tuesday’s Indianapolis event on an invitation obtained by The Associated Press. A Pence spokesman confirmed the governor’s plans to attend the private fundraiser. Tickets range from $2,700 per person to $250,000 per  couple. An appearance by Pence would be the latest in a series of apparent auditions for Trump’s vice presidential prospects. Tennessee Senator Bob Corker and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich both appeared  at rallies with Trump this week. Corker has since withdrawn his name from consideration. And New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is also being vetted for the post, was set to appear with Trump in Miami on Friday before the event was canceled because of the mass shooting in Dallas. Trump is expected to name his choice in the coming days.... [Read Full Story]

Upton Praises House Action On Opioids

Congressman Fred Upton is hailing U.S. House action designed to reduce the abuse of opioids. Following this week’s passage of the conference report to accompany the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, Upton issued a statement saying the “overwhelming bipartisan vote of 407-5 underscores the urgency” in addressing the nation’s growing epidemic of deaths by opioid abuse. Speaking on the House floor in May, Upton noted the issue has become a major health crisis.... [Read Full Story]

Thousands Turn Out For Krasl Art Fair

The 55th Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff is underway in downtown St. Joseph. Thousands of visitors have taken to the bluff to see and purchase the work of 200 jewelers, ceramic artists, painters, sculptors, glass artists, and more. Krasl Art Center Marketing Director Breeze Ettl says the event is one of the biggest art shows in  the country.... [Read Full Story]

Court Order Could Lead To Thousands Of Deportations

Thousands of undocumented immigrants are worried that their sign up information for President Obama’s “Dreamers” program now could get them deported. Last month’s Supreme Court decision striking down parts of the president’s executive action means a federal judge’s pending order for the release of 50,00 immigrants’ names and addresses still is a threat. The order could be upheld at an August 22 hearing. Thomas Saenz, with MALDEF, says the order affects only some of the millions who registered for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or ‘DACA’ program.... [Read Full Story]

18 Grand Rapids Zoo Animals Killed When Water Pump Fails

Eighteen cownose stingrays and three spotted bamboo sharks have died after an apparent pump malfunction in a lagoon at a western Michigan Zoo. The John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids reports Friday on its website that one of two pumps for the lagoon shut down late Thursday and the backup alarm system designed to notify staff also did not function properly. Officials say flooding from thunderstorms that began moving across the state Thursday may have shorted a circuit connected to the pumps. Staff found the stingrays and sharks dead Friday morning. Low oxygen levels were found in water samples. Officials say the zoo “is currently discussing the best way to honor and memorialize these amazing special animals who brought so much joy and amazement to so many people.”... [Read Full Story]

Krasl Art Fair Starts Today

It’s time for the Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff in downtown St. Joseph. Krasl Marketing Director Breeze Ettl says the 55th annual event is expected to attract more than 50,000 people to the area. They’ll be able to browse and purchase the work of 200 artists along the bluff starting at 10 a.m. Saturday.... [Read Full Story]

Ribbon Cutting Held For Pokagon Village In Hartford

A ribbon cutting ceremony has been held to celebrate the completion of the first phase of a Pokagon tribal village development in Hartford. On Friday, eight housing units that have been finished at a roughly 40-acre site on Red Arrow Highway, not far from the Pokagon’s Four Winds Casino Hartford, were unveiled. Tribal Government Manager Jason Wesaw says the village will continue to expand into the future. He notes the Pokagons have always had a presence in the Hartford area, and says it’s nice to see progress on providing housing for some of those residents.... [Read Full Story]

National Weather Service Warns About Conditions On Lake Michigan This Weekend

The National Weather Service is warning about dangerous conditions along some Lake Michigan beaches this weekend. It says that on Saturday, July 9, wind speeds and waves will be high. The weather service has issued a beach hazards statement for 11 p.m. Friday through 11 p.m. Saturday from St. Joseph all the way up to Manistee. Rip currents are possible, and the weather service says swimming conditions could be dangerous. Relatively cool weather this Saturday could help to keep some people out of the water.... [Read Full Story]

Trump Appear With Indiana Governor Next Week

Donald Trump is to appear with Indiana Governor Mike Pence at a fundraiser next week. Pence is considered a leading candidate to be Trump’s running mate, and he’s listed as a host of Tuesday’s Indianapolis event on an invitation obtained by The Associated Press. A Pence spokesman confirmed the governor’s plans to attend the private fundraiser. Tickets range from $2,700 per person to $250,000 per couple. An appearance by Pence would be the latest in a series of apparent auditions for Trump’s vice presidential prospects. Tennessee Senator Bob Corker and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich both appeared at rallies with Trump this week. Corker has since withdrawn his name from consideration. And New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is also being vetted for the post, was set to appear with Trump in Miami on Friday before the event was canceled because of the mass shooting in Dallas. Trump is expected to name his choice in the coming days.... [Read Full Story]

Two Arrested In Cass County Meth Bust

Two people are facing charges following a meth bust in Cass County. The Cass County Drug Enforcement Team says it assisted at the scene in the 69,000 block of South River Road in Porter Township on Thursday. A 52-year-old man was arrested when he was found to be in possession of meth, paraphernalia, and a large amount of Mexican currency. A 42-year-old woman found in the home was also arrested. The man was charged with possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, and the woman was charged with possession of methamphetamine. Their names have not yet been released, and police ask anyone with knowledge of drug activity to contact them.... [Read Full Story]

Brandon Beshires Ruled Competent For Trial In Baby’s Death

A Benton Harbor man is headed to trial in July for the death of an eight-month-old boy. Brandon Beshires was found competent to stand trial on Friday on a murder charge. He is accused of killing Carter Donovan in February. Beshires was supposed to be caring for the boy while his mother was at an appointment, but instead, the baby died from trauma to the head. He was ordered to undergo a competency exam in April. Berrien County Prosecutor Michael Sepic tells WSJM News the trial is scheduled to start July 12.... [Read Full Story]

Governor Snyder Won’t Lead Michigan Delegation At RNC

For the first time in recent memory, the governor of Michigan will not lead the state GOP delegation to the national Republican convention next week. Governor Rick Snyder says he’ll be “making an appearance,” but he’s not a delegate. The governor also tells Michigan News Network Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick he’s staying out of the presidential election and will stay out for some time. When asked if he would campaign if there was a different candidate other than Donald Trump, Snyder reiterated he’s staying out of the presidential race and has many priorities in Michigan and is staying focused on those.... [Read Full Story]

Five Dallas Police Officers Killed In Ambush During Protest

President Barack Obama is denouncing the sniper attacks on Dallas police. Speaking at the site of a NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, Obama called last night’s shootings a “vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement” and says “we are horrified over these events.” The President vowed that those responsible will be held “fully accountable” and that “justice will be done.”... [Read Full Story]

MI Credit Unions Welcome Changes To State Law

Michigan’s credit unions are celebrating some regulatory changes they say will soon make it easier for them. The state law that governs their services and lending capacity — the Michigan Credit Union Act — has gotten its first update since 2003. Tiffany Ford, President of the University of Michigan Credit Union, says the changes will give the not-for-profit cooperatives greater flexibility and allow them to expand. She says despite tough times, the state’s credit unions have continued to grow and keep money flowing, and she sees a bright future ahead.... [Read Full Story]

Friday Mega Millions Jackpot Now At $540 Million

If you’re feeling lucky, Friday would be an especially good day to buy a lotto ticket. The jackpot for the Mega Millions game is now $540 million. Once it gets that high, the ticket sales typically jump, so the jackpot could go even higher. The Michigan Lottery’s Jeff Holyfield says he’s met big-time lotto winners, and there’s a common feeling among them.... [Read Full Story]

Celebrate Bridgman This Weekend

It’s time for the annual Celebrate Bridgman event. Set for Saturday, the day will feature a variety of family-friendly activities all around town. Mayor Hannah Anderson says it’s a great way to celebrate the community, and also welcome in some visitors.... [Read Full Story]

Dowagiac Police Investigating Hit & Run

Dowagiac police are investigating the hit and run of a pedestrian on Thursday. The department of public safety says it happened shortly before 4 p.m. on Riverside Drive near Hill Street. A 17-year old girl told officers she’s been riding her skateboard when she was grazed by a car that didn’t stop. The girl suffered scrapes and cuts in the fall. She was treated and released from Borgess Lee Memorial Hospital, and police are looking for the driver. The vehicle is described as being maroon and possibly an older “boxy style” Chevrolet. It was last seen driving south on Riverside. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Dowagiac Department of Public Safety.... [Read Full Story]

St. Julian Winery President Dies

The president of St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw has died. A message posted to the winery’s website says David Braganini passed away unexpectedly on July 5. In addition to leading St. Julian Winery, Braganini served on the board of WineAmerica, as well as the board of directors of the Michigan Wine Producer’s Association. He was also the founder of the Lake Michigan Wine Trail. The winery says his memory and spirit will live on in all of its products, while Congressman Fred Upton issued a statement calling Braganini a “friend, a father, and a trailblazer in support of the wine industry throughout our state.” Family and friends are invited to visit on Sunday, July 10 from 2 to 8 p.m. with a Rosary at 7:30 p.m. at the Adams Funeral Home at 502 West Michigan Avenue in Paw Paw.... [Read Full Story]