Berrien County

Photo Of The Week - Through the Trees

Oct 1, 2020
John L. Trapp

We are starting to see hints of fall and autumn colors in our latest Photo of the Week. Thanks to John L. Trapp of Buchanan, Michigan, for this shot that he captured on a rainy day late in September at the Galien River County Park in New Buffalo Township in Berrien County. John says conditions that day gave the image an impressionistic quality. 

 

Email Photo of the Week submissions to us at wvpe@wvpe.org. 

Swimming Advisories Extended For Parts Of Lake Michigan

Aug 17, 2020

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — The National Weather Service has extended swimming advisories for parts of Lake Michigan as forecasters predict high waves and strong currents. The beach hazard statements were issued Sunday and now run into Tuesday evening and that officials are urging people to stay out of the water. Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties in Indiana are under advisories. So are Cook and Lake counties in Illinois and Michigan's Berrien County.

LAKESIDE, Mich. (AP) — The body of a 13-year-old Otsego girl has been found near a beach along Lake Michigan in southwestern Michigan following an apparent drowning. The Berrien County sheriff's office says the body was reported about 12:30 p.m. Friday in Lakeside. The girl was reported missing about 9 p.m. Thursday at Warren Dunes State Park in Lake Township. A search for her was suspended Thursday night due to darkness. It was resumed Friday morning.

 

Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio

Since the start of July, Berrien County has seen an increase in new COVID-19 cases and the percent of COVID-19 tests coming back positive has increased as well. The trend has local health officials concerned.

Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio

Since the start of July, Berrien County has seen an increase in new COVID-19 cases and the percent of COVID-19 tests coming back positive has increased as well. The trend has local health officials concerned.

https://www.facebook.com/205580118100/photos/a.443560258100/10151245230553101/?type=1&theater

COLOMA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 47-year-old man has been shot to death by a homeowner during an alleged break-in in southwestern Michigan. The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph reports that police responded about 2:30 a.m. Thursday to a report of a home invasion in progress in Coloma Township. Coloma Township Police Chief Wes Smigielski says the homeowner came outside with his hands up when officers arrived. Officers found the body of Kevin Cox inside the home. He had been shot once. Smigielski says the homeowner did not know Cox. The shooting remains under investigation.

Berrien County Sheriff

ROYALTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A body has been recovered from a river in southwestern Michigan two days after a 45-year-old man was reported missing while rescuing a juvenile who was struggling in the water. The Berrien County sheriff's office says members of its marine unit found the apparent drowning victim shortly before 9 a.m. Sunday in the Saint Joseph River. The body was found about a half-mile from the area in Royalton Township where two adults and three juveniles were swimming Friday evening from a pontoon boat.

Lakeland Beginning to Reschedule Postponed Appointments

Apr 22, 2020
Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ Alissa Eckert, MS

 

Spectrum Health Lakeland is starting to put select appointments and procedures back on the calendar as the impact of social distancing measures begin to show in local COVID-19 numbers.

 

Elective procedures are not part of the change, and any emergency or urgent care will still be prioritized. But some procedures that could be safely postponed for a few weeks, but not longer, will start to be scheduled at Lakeland facilities.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

The Berrien County health department is focusing on contact tracing and monitoring vulnerable populations in the fight against the coronavirus.

Berrien County Health officer Nicki Britten says the department is working on speaking to anyone who had close contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19. She says that work is important but people should be aware of scams. 

Berrien County Reports Three Additional COVID-19 Cases

Mar 23, 2020
Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ Alissa Eckert, MS

  Berrien County Michigan is reporting an additional three cases of COVID-19, bringing the county’s total to five. 

Only one of the three newly reported cases is related to the March 8th concert at Andrews University. That case is a man over 60 who did not go to the concert, his wife did. She is one of the original two cases reported Saturday. The couple is recovering at home.

The other two cases are also men over age 60. One is self-isolating at home, the other is being treated at Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joe.

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

UPDATE: 

The Michign Dept. of Health and Human Services is now reporting 3 COVID-19 cases in Berrien County. In the state as a whole, 1,035 cases have been reported. So far Michigan has seen 8 deaths from the coronavirus. 

NEW:

Two people in Berrien County have tested positive for COVID-19.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

The state of Michigan has confirmed two cases of COVID-19 in Metro Detroit. Michiana organizations are continuing to prepare for the possibility of a local outbreak.

No major closures have happened in Southwest Michigan yet. But health officials are saying local businesses are restricting non-essential international and domestic travel. The health department says individuals should do the same.

Photo Of The Week - Frozen Fruit

Mar 5, 2020
Dave Coulston

WVPE's Photo of the Week is of frozen fruit in Berrien County. This image was actually submitted to us late in 2019 by Dave Coulston of Niles. The snow and the fruit captured in this image seem representative of how the seasons can clash. A timely reminder as we look ahead to the offiical start of spring on March 20th. 

We'd love to see your images too. 

Email photos to wvpe@wvpe.org. 

Make sure to include your name, where you live, names of people in the photo, date the photo was taken and the location where the photo was taken. 

Berrien County Debates Becoming A Gun Sanctuary

Feb 13, 2020
Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE News

Berrien County will not be following in the footsteps of other Michigan counties that have declared themselves gun sanctuaries. But the board of commissioners did emphasize their duty to uphold the constitution at a heated meeting Thursday.

BRIDGMAN, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State Police say a trooper was injured when a suspect’s car struck the officer as the driver sped away from a traffic stop.

Police say troopers had stopped a Jeep Cherokee for speeding along Interstate 94 in Berrien County about 3 a.m. Monday when its driver accelerated and raced away, leaving an officer with minor injuries.

The suspect’s vehicle continued east on I-94 in southwestern Michigan, with police in pursuit, before exiting in Bridgman and getting onto westbound lanes of I-94.

RICK BOWMER/AP PHOTO/FILE

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — Michigan health authorities are reporting a 6th fatality linked to Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

Berrien County Health Department officials said Monday the victim was one of two people who contracted the mosquito borne virus. The death occurred Saturday.

Cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis first appeared in West Michigan at the end of August. The virus has been reported in Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties. The outbreak has resulted in 10 human cases and 46 animal cases.

Michigan Easing Permit Process To Fight Lakeshore Erosion

Nov 17, 2019
Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

MANISTEE, Mich. (AP) — State regulators say they want to make it easier for lakeshore property owners to get permits to temporarily fix the effects of high water, especially along Lake Michigan.

The permit fee is being reduced to $100, and a public notice in most cases won’t be required. The goal is to stabilize eroding shore with sandbags, although the bags must eventually be removed.

Benton Harbor Incumbent Mayor Holds Off Challenger

Nov 6, 2019
Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

Marcus Muhammad, the current mayor of Benton Harbor, has won another term following Tuesday's election. 

According to unofficial results out of Berrien County, with 100% of precincts reporting, Muhammad got 612 votes while his challenger, Ron Singleton, got 521 votes. 

http://mi-berriencounty.civicplus.com/Facilities/Facility/Details/Animal-Control-18

HAGAR TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Officials say they've reopened old animal control facilities in southwestern Michigan as they care for nearly 80 dogs and cats that were removed from a filthy home.

Michigan Dept. of Corrections

(Warning: This story contains graphic details of sex assault)  

Rick Bowmer/AP Photo/File

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — Officials in Kalamazoo County say a person who contracted a mosquito-borne virus called Eastern Equine Encephalitis has died.

The Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services says that the person was one of two in the county to contract the virus. Another confirmed case has been reported in Berrien County and health officials are trying to determine if two other people who became ill in Kalamazoo County have the virus.

Kalamazoo officials have not released any information about the person who died.

The family of a mother and five children that died in a fire at a Benton Harbor motel last summer have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the motel’s owner. 

The lawsuit was filed back in April but the Curtis family’s attorney recently publicized the information in an email.

BUCHANAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Officials have identified the four people killed when another car ran a stop sign at a high rate of speed and slammed into their vehicle in southwestern Michigan's Berrien County.

Sheriff's officials identified the driver as 66-year-old Robert Klint of Sawyer. The passengers have been identified as 60-year-old Melissa Klint of Sawyer, 22-year-old Landyn Klint of Sawyer and 52-year-old Virginia resident Kent Williamson.

Breastfeeding on the Bluff Event in St. Joe Saturday

Jul 31, 2019
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

Breastfeeding mothers are gathering on the bluff in St. Joe Michigan on Saturday for an event that is both local and global.

Breastfeeding on the Bluff is an annual event put on by the Berrien County Health Department and the Berrien County Breastfeeding Coalition. The first week in August is World Breastfeeding Week.

COURT.MI.GOV

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — A woman convicted of telling her daughter to make a false report of sexual abuse has failed to persuade the Michigan Supreme Court to take the case.

Improvements To Warren Dunes Coming

Apr 19, 2019
Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources

SAWYER, Mich. _ Visitors to Michigan's Warren Dunes State Park may see intermittent closures through the spring and summer as two renovation projects get underway at the area along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan.

Crews have already started a more than $1 million project to renovate Red Arrow Highway, which serves as the main entrance to the sand dunes and beaches in Berrien County.

A $2 million project will also begin this month to replace toilets and bathhouse buildings in the park's day-use area.

Read more here about the project on the Michigan DNR website:

Opiate Overdoses Rising In Berrien County

Apr 16, 2019

Today the Berrien County Prosecutor's Office announced that in the last two weeks the prosecutor’s office has received reports of an extraordinary number of overdose deaths and overdose recoveries in a short period.

 Though not yet confirmed by autopsy reports, death scenes would suggest that these deaths have been throughout the county. In addition, it is reported there have been more than a usual number of treatments at emergency rooms as well.

LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a body found along Lake Michigan in Berrien County has now been identified.

Multiple Michigan news agencies now report that police have identified the body as that of a Chicago woman who jumped into Lake Michigan at the North Avenue Beach in Chicago back on Dec. 21, 2018.

The victim is identified as Eddisa Concepcion Herrara. Her cause of death has been determined to be an accidental drowning.

Legacy.com

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) - A man convicted in the fatal shooting of his wife inside a marijuana grow room in their southwestern Michigan home has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.
 
John Lewis was given the mandatory punishment Monday in a Berrien County courtroom after a jury in February found him guilty of murder .
 

Authorities say he killed 55-year-old Carla Lewis in 2017 in their Niles Township home near the state's border with Indiana and then called 911, saying two men had broken into the home, killer her and fled in her car.
 

Indiana Michigan Power

    

BRIDGMAN, Mich. (AP) - A reactor at a nuclear power plant in Berrien County is shutting down this week for refueling, maintenance and testing.
 
Indiana Michigan Power says power has been reduced at Cook Nuclear Plant's Unit 1 and the unit will be shut down starting Wednesday. The anticipated length of the outage isn't being disclosed. About 1,750 contracted workers will supplement the plant's 1,100-person staff for the work.
 

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