Benton Harbor

AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato

CHICAGO (AP) — High winds across Lake Michigan have kicked up waves that have affected shoreline activity in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois.

The Chicago Park District was forced to close the city's the Lakefront Trail on Thursday after a lakeshore flood advisory and a beach hazards statement were issued by the National Weather Service.

The advisory warned of waves of five to eight feet from Lake County in Illinois to Lake County, Indiana.

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

 

The Benton Harbor mayor lead a delegation to Lansing Tuesday to meet with lawmakers and the Governor about a Department of Treasury lead plan that would close the district's high school in the spring of 2020.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer listened for more than two hours Wednesday night as Benton Harbor community members implored her not to close their high school.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

Benton Harbor community members and supporters gathered at the high school Tuesday night to protest a plan to close the high school.

 

In addition to Benton Harbor community members, people from school districts across Michigan that have been closed by the state came to lend their support.

Marilyn Ross-Golden has been teaching at Benton Harbor High School for 31 years. She helped more than a dozen students step up to the microphone at the meeting and say what they’re feeling.

Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio

 

The State of Michigan announced a plan last week that would close Benton Harbor High School and send its students to neighboring districts.

Benton Harbor Dept. of Public Safety

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A former officer who ran over a man who was fleeing police in Benton Harbor has been acquitted of assault but convicted of reckless driving.

Berrien County Trial Court Judge Arthur Cotter delivered the verdict Tuesday in the case against Steven Johnson and ordered him to pay $625 in fines and costs. Johnson received no jail time or probation for the misdemeanor conviction.

Johnson called it a "horrible accident" and says he didn't mean to hurt the man.

Benton Harbor Cracking Down On Illegal Dumping

Mar 22, 2019
LINDSEY SMITH / MICHIGAN RADIO

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A southwestern Michigan city says it's cracking down on illegal dumping as it grapples with a problem that's both an eyesore and expensive.

Benton Harbor officials said Thursday authorities have arrested four people in connection with illegal dumping. The Public Safety Department is working with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality on investigations.

Efforts to combat it include increasing fines and adding the cost of trash removal for those caught dumping it. Officials also might seize vehicles used for dumping.

Benton Harbor Area Schools is bearing down on a financial and academic crisis that might significantly impact its ability to provide quality educational services to its students, according to CEO/Superintendent Dr. Robert Herrera. During his public CEO/Superintendent meeting held Tuesday, Dr. Herrera provided a State of the District review since he took the reins in July 2018.

The J.C. Penney store at the Orchards Mall in Benton Harbor is slated to close July 5th.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

The Berrien County Health Department is beginning a campaign this week to hand out water filters to the residents of Benton Harbor. That’s after high lead levels were found in the city’s drinking water.

Some water in the city tested above action levels for lead last fall. Since that time city officials found the problem to be with the aging lead service lines that many Benton Harbor homes have.

Golfers put on a practice green in front of a clubhouse building
Jennifer Weingart

 

The events around the Senior PGA tournament tee’d off in Benton Harbor Tuesday.

 

The tournament is about golf, obviously, 156 players start official rounds on Thursday. There’s also the pro-am rounds Tuesday where some of the professional players go through the course with amateurs with ties to the title sponsor KitchenAid.

But off the fairway there are cooking and product demos by KitchenAid, concerts, a kids space and tastings from local wineries and breweries.

Championship Director Ryan Ogle.

 

The Orchards Mall in Benton Harbor is gaining new tenants under new management, while still apparently struggling to keep up with taxes and maintenance.

The Orchards Mall is losing one of it’s two remaining anchor stores. Carson’s will leave in the next few months, leaving just J.C. Penney.

The mall just paid its tax bill for 2015, the parking lot is riddled with potholes and visually the mall looks stuck in the 90s. Malls in general have been on the decline since shopping went online.

 

A group of Benton Harbor community leaders are meeting Thursday evening to discuss problems facing the city’s youth and possible solutions.

 

The group calls itself the Benton Harbor Area Schools Safety Coalition. This will be its first meeting.

 

The stated purpose is to respond to the-quote- “rising behaviors exhibited by children within the community.”

 

Benton Harbor Area Schools

 

After nine months of a partnership agreement between the State of Michigan and Benton Harbor Area Schools, the results are largely positive. Academic scores are mostly up, but some benchmarks are still falling short.

 

Benton Harbor Implements Income Based Tax-Exemption

Nov 7, 2017

 

Benton Harbor will implement a policy that allows property owners who live at or below the federal poverty level to apply for property tax relief.

 

The policy allows  a single homeowner making no more than $1,260 dollars a year  or families of up to 8 making $41,320 dollars annually to apply for a yearly property tax exemption.  
 

To apply, a single homeowner couldn’t have more than $35,000 in assets , while for a family of 8 the total would be $7,000.
 

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