Local News Archives

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]

Ruling Prevents Prosecutors From Seeking No-Parole Sentences For Juveniles

A judge has barred Michigan prosecutors from seeking new no-parole sentences for potentially hundreds of prisoners. Federal Judge John Corbett O’Meara signed a restraining order Thursday and set a court hearing for July 28. He acted at the request of lawyers for 360 juvenile lifers. The lawyers said action was needed because of a July deadline for prosecutors to disclose whether they’ll again pursue tough sentences for people who were convicted of murder when they were teens. In 2013, O’Meara said juvenile lifers must be given a parole hearing, likely their best chance at freedom. The state appealed, and a higher court recently sent the case back to O’Meara for more work.... [Read Full Story]

Detroit City Study Launched Through University of Michigan

A dozen projects are being launched through the University of Michigan this summer as part of the Detroit City Study. An open house is Thursday evening at the University of Michigan Detroit Center to kick off the work, which is part of the Campus of the Future effort that challenges University of Michigan students to think about the role of universities over the next 50 years. Twelve graduate students from the Ann Arbor school will lead research projects in July and August. They’re getting a $1,500 stipend for their efforts. Work will be done in three categories: Learning in the City: Urban Education, Place-Making and Sustainable Humanities. Subjects include the importance of green spaces, the arts as a community revitalization catalyst and the impact of education changes.... [Read Full Story]

West Michigan Economy Continues Slow Improvement

The west Michigan economy has seen “a modest upturn” as the summer has begun. That’s the term Dr. Brian Long would use to describe the West Michigan economy at mid-year. The director of Supply Chain Management Research at Grand Valley State University, in his monthly survey of purchasing managers, said that all of of indices showed improvement in June after slipping a little in May.... [Read Full Story]

Charges Likely Next Week From South Haven Melee

Van Buren County officials say it will be next Tuesday before they will be ready to formally charge the first of the approximately 50 people arrested in Sunday night’s violence on North Beach in South Haven. City officials and police say they plan to take a few months or longer to decide what they will do next year to improve security, or reduce the risk of another outbreak of violence like the one that occurred this year. Ian Kozic witnessed the melee.... [Read Full Story]

Benton Harbor Schools Could Merge With The Dream Academy

Benton Harbor Schools Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker is working on a plan to merge the district with the Dream Academy, now that the latter has lost its charter. More than 200 students attend the Dream Academy, and with the school shutting down, Walker says Benton Harbor Area Schools could take them in. They’d be kept together in one building, and Walker says the logistics are still being worked out.... [Read Full Story]

Pigeons Killed In Royalton Township Barn Fire

More than 100 trained pigeons are dead following a barn fire in Royalton Township Wednesday afternoon. Firefighters from Royalton, Lincoln, and St. Joseph Townships all responded to the scene at the structure on Scottdale Road behind the Dove Nest Bed & Breakfast around 4:30 p.m. They managed to put the fire down and keep it from spreading to nearby buildings, but the barn suffered heavy damage. The Royalton Township Fire Department says the fire was out after about a half hour, and estimates about $40,000 in damages. There were no injuries, and the cause of the blaze is under investigation.... [Read Full Story]

Upton Hails Passage Of Mental Health Legislation

The U.S. House has approved legislation designed to improve care for mental illness in the United States. The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, backed by Congressman Fred Upton, is designed to ensure the federal government funds evidence-based programs and remove barriers to care. Speaking on the House floor Wednesday, Upton said the plan could help millions.... [Read Full Story]

Krasl Art Fair This Weekend

It’s almost time for the Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff in downtown St. Joseph. Krasl Marketing Director Breeze Ettl says the 55th annual event is set for this weekend and 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.... [Read Full Story]

Cook Unit 2 Shut Down For Repairs

The Cook nuclear power plant in Bridgman has shut down its Unit 2 reactor due to a rupture in a moisture separator reheater. The problem occurred after midnight Wednesday. Cook plant spokesperson Bill Schalk says the rupture led to the release of non-radioactive steam.... [Read Full Story]

Anti-Pipeline Protest Held At Attorney General’s Home

Groups opposed to an oil pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac have targeted the Midland home of Michigan Attorney General Bill
Schuette. The groups say in a release that more than 60 people demonstrated Wednesday, demanding that Schuette take action to shut down Enbridge Energy’s Line 5. State police Lieutenant  Mike Shaw says no arrests were made and troopers remained outside the home until the demonstrators left. In a statement, Schuette spokeswoman Andrea Bitely called the demonstration “a cowardly assault by professional protesters whose car license plates mostly appeared to be from out of state.” Bitely says Schuette has “made clear the pipeline is a risk and is working
hard with all groups involved to find a public policy solution that protects the Great Lakes.”... [Read Full Story]

Kalamazoo Woman Charged In Crash That Killed 4-Year-Old

A Kalamazoo woman has been charged in connection with a rollover crash that left a 4-year-old boy dead. WOOD-TV and WWMT-TV report that 24-year-old Nicole Camden is expected to be arraigned Wednesday on operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death and other charges.
Police say a minivan rolled over April 1 in Kalamazoo Township. Jayden Johnson was ejected from the van and killed. Jayden’s 6-year-old brother was not injury. His father suffered minor injuries. An arrest warrant was issued Tuesday. Camden surrendered Wednesday to police
and was jailed.... [Read Full Story]

MI Attorney General Refiles Charge Against Former Lawmaker

The Michigan attorney general’s office has refiled a charge against former state lawmaker Todd Courser, who quit office in a sex scandal last year.
Courser is accused of soliciting an aide to send a phony email to cover up an affair with Cindy Gamrat, a Republican from Allegan County. State prosecutors filed the charge Wednesday in Lapeer County, the site of the alleged crime, after a judge said Ingham County wasn’t the appropriate place. Courser still faces two additional charges in Ingham. He denies criminal wrongdoing. He and Gamrat had an affair while they served in the House. Gamrat was kicked out by lawmakers. Like Courser, Gamrat was charged by the attorney general’s office. But charges against her were dismissed on June 14 by Lansing Judge Hugh Clarke Jr.... [Read Full Story]

Second High School For Benton Harbor Considered

With the charter being pulled this summer by Bay Mills Community College shutting down the Dream Academy in Benton Harbor comes the issue of what do those families and students do this fall. There are reportedly discussions underway to merge the chater school with the Benton Harbor Area Schools and create a second high school. Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker tells our partners at WNDU NewsCenter 16 they are talking about doing that for this coming school year, saying there is a strong desire to keep the Dream Academy students together within their community. A School of Choice Enrollment Fair was held last week for families of Dream Academy students, but our cameras were not allowed in and no one on sight was authorized to talk about the options for students.... [Read Full Story]

Mega Millions Up To $508 Million

The next Mega Millions jackpot is going to be at least $508 million since no one matched all of the numbers for last night’s drawing. Michigan Lottery spokesman Jeff Holyfield says disbelief is the most common emotion people feel when learning they’ve won so much money. He reminds any potential winner they have plenty of time to prepare before coming forward.... [Read Full Story]

South Haven Leaders Talk Weekend Violence

South Haven city leaders are reviewing their options following Sunday’s disturbance at North Beach. The beach was evacuated and more than 50 arrests were made when fights broke out in the crowd and glass bottles started getting thrown around leading up to the Light Up the Lake fireworks show. Acting Police Chief Natalie Thompson says she’s planning meetings with the public and other law enforcement agencies to find a strategy for next year.... [Read Full Story]

Benton Harbor Farmers Market To Open Wednesday

The Benton Harbor Farmers Market will reopen for the summer Wednesday. Located at Dwight P. Mitchell City Center Park downtown, the farmers market will feature fresh fruits and vegetables from local growers on sale each Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The market accepts Bridge Cards, as well as Senior Project FRESH and WIC coupons. In addition to the food for sale, the market will feature cooking demonstrations, taste tests, and games for children. The Benton Harbor Farmers Market is operated by the Berrien County Health Department and supported with grants from Be Healthy Berrien through the United Way. It will be open each Wednesday through the end of September.... [Read Full Story]

Seat Belt Use Up In Michigan

The use of seat belts is up among Michigan drivers. The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning says it went up nearly 2% from 2015 to 2016. Spokesperson Anne Readett says a study by University of Michigan finds it’s at 94.5%. She notes that’s better than most other states, although ideally, all drivers would buckle up.... [Read Full Story]

Report Highlights Michigan’s Effort To Fight Opioid Abuse

Michigan is among the states taking strong action to fight opioid abuse. A legislative review from Stateline, a project of The Pew Charitable Trusts, highlights several bills introduced in the state this year that would stem the prescription of pain medication and help those who are addicted. Executive Director Scott Greenberger says the number of overdose deaths from opioids has skyrocketed in recent years and almost every state is doing something.... [Read Full Story]

Pscholka: US-31 To Be Completed

A long-awaited road construction project in southwest Michigan is finally set to get started. State Representative Al Pscholka says the Michigan Department of Transportation’s next five-year plan includes the completion of US-31, connecting the highway to I-94. He says the work is several decades in the making.... [Read Full Story]

Near-Record Mega Millions Jackpot Tonight

The Mega Millions lottery jackpot is at a near record for tonight’s drawing. Michigan Lottery Spokesperson Jeff Holyfield says it’s now $454 million, the highest it’s been all year. Tickets are selling at a quick pace, as Holyfield notes people like to imagine all of the ways their lives would change if they won that much money.... [Read Full Story]