Local News Archives

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]

No Major Problems At Silver Beach For Independence Day

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department says it was a peaceful Fourth of July weekend at Silver Beach. The department this year stepped up patrols at the county park in St. Joseph after a disturbance prior to last year’s fireworks show. It says, in all, 28 citations were issued, 24 of them for having alcohol on the beach. In addition, 15 arrests were made over the weekend, all misdemeanors that included possession of marijuana, minor in possession, and drunk driving. The sheriff’s department adds it responded to 21 service calls at the beach, many of which were missing children and all of whom were found. It thanks its partner agencies and southwest Michigan residents for helping to keep Independence Day safe.... [Read Full Story]

Paw Paw Lotto Winners Buy Local Bar

A million-dollar Powerball win three years ago by a Paw Paw couple has resulted in them buying the bar where they purchased their lucky ticket. The story of Jeff and Robin McCarty is being highlighted this week by the Michigan Lottery as one of the success stories of the multi-state game. They kept their jobs and used their winnings to buy a new house, and then this spring purchased Mike’s North 40 on M-40 in Paw Paw. The name was changed slightly to McCarty’s North 40, and now they run it together. Jeff McCarty tells Michigan Lottery officials they used to joke with the previous owner about buying the establishment, and got serious about it last year.... [Read Full Story]

South Haven Police To Discuss North Beach Riot

South Haven Police will be holding a debriefing this week to talk about the riots on North Beach that resulted in the use of pepper spray, and a decision to evacuate the thousands there Sunday night prior to their big fireworks show. The goal will be to determine if they could have done something better. North Beach was closest to the launch site and the most crowded, and Sergeant Kyle Griffith says they had brought in extra officers from all over in anticipation of a huge crowd.... [Read Full Story]

Three Straight Weeks Of Gas Price Declines

Gas prices in Michigan are down 11¢ a gallon to start the week at $2.35. Triple-A Michigan notes it’s the third straight week of declines, and prices are 60¢ lower than this time a year ago. Traverse City has the state’s lowest average price for the third week in a row at $2.20, while Marquette drivers pay the most at $2.42. In St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, our prices average $2.23, down 15¢ over the past week. GasBuddy says five stations in Dowagiac are under $2 per gallon, while South Haven’s prices are at $2.09 and $2.10. The Dowagiac stations are the state’s lowest prices. While a federal report shows gasoline demand in the U.S. is at an all-time high, refineries are increasing output and supply is keeping pace.... [Read Full Story]

Boat Fire Under Investigation

Investigators are working to figure out what caused a fire to start on a 48-foot Jefferson boat at the Pier 33 Marina on Saturday. The St. Joseph Department of Public Safety says the boat was left unusable by the damage, though they got the flames under control in about 20 minutes. The fire was contained to the engine compartment and rear bedroom area. Everyone who was on board was able to get off the boat without anyone getting hurt. Fire crews were called to the scene just after 1:30 p.m. and are still investigating the blaze.... [Read Full Story]

North Beach In South Haven Evacuated Before Fireworks

Several people are in police custody and at least three were hurt, including a police officer, in a massive melee on North Beach in South Haven just before the Light up the Lake fireworks Sunday night. South Haven Police evacuated the beach around 10 p.m. after the fights broke out. Michigan State Police were also called in to help with getting everyone off the beach. Bottles where thrown before police made the decision to close North Beach to the public. A similar situation marred the fireworks in St. Joseph last year at Silver Beach County Park, but no evacuations were made in that case.... [Read Full Story]