Local News Archives

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]

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]