GRHV & DMVA Welcome Governor Whitmer

Posted on: February 23rd, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans (GRHV) welcomed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist on Jan. 26. Both toured the home, thanked veteran members for their service and met with staff. Also present was Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, the new Adjutant General and DMVA (Department of Military & Veterans Affairs) Director. Before visiting GRHV, the governor met with soldiers, airmen and DMVA leaders on the vision and concerns of service members at the Joint Forces Headquarters in Lansing.
The visits were part of Whitmer’s efforts to meet state employees before her “State of the State” address on Feb. 12th.

30 Officers Graduate from T.E.A.M. School Liaison Program

Posted on: February 23rd, 2019 by webdesign No Comments


Michigan students will soon benefit from the addition of dozens of police officers recently trained in the Teaching, Educating, and Mentoring (T.E.A.M.) School Liaison Program. The Michigan State Police (MSP) hosted the four-day training, which concluded Thursday, Feb. 14th.
T.E.A.M. is a school-based, law-related curriculum that is taught to grades K-12 by T.E.A.M.-trained police officers with the goal of uniting educators, students and law enforcement officers to better equip children to protect themselves from crime.
During the 40-hour training course, officers receive instruction in student/juvenile psychology, classroom management, and public speaking. In addition to traditional topics like personal safety, the T.E.A.M. curriculum has been updated to address current issues including bullying and harassment, cybercrime, school security, social media use and vaping.
This class included 30 officers from six MSP posts, four sheriff’s departments, 11 city or township police departments and one tribal police department:
T.E.A.M. allows officers to teach at any of the three levels of education – elementary, middle or high school. The curriculum has been implemented in approximately 250 Michigan school districts.

Elk hunting season wrap-up and population survey results

Posted on: February 23rd, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

The 2018 elk hunting season stats are in, and the 2019 winter elk survey just wrapped up, providing a clear picture of where Michigan’s elk population currently stands.
Hunt period 1, which targets elk outside of their traditional range, was 12 days long. From Aug. 28-31, Sept. 14-17 and Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 99 state hunters harvested 68 elk (28 bulls and 40 antlerless elk.) In addition, all three Pure Michigan Hunt winners were successful during the first hunt period.
During hunt period 2, Dec. 15-23, another 100 state hunters harvested 78 elk (30 bulls and 48 antlerless elk). All locations in the northern tip of the state are open to hunting for this later hunt.
In order for regulated hunting to assist in managing elk, Michigan’s elk population first must be evaluated.Additional information about elk and elk hunting in Michigan can be found at Michigan.gov/Elk.

National Weather Service: High Winds Expected Sunday

Posted on: February 23rd, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

The national weather service is warning residents that high winds on Sunday will bring the risk for power outages, which could be widespread or lengthy. (see previous post or weather.gov/grandrapids). For useful information from the Michigan State Police on how to prepare, and what to do during and after a power outage go to michigan.gov/msp then hover over the Divisions tab and scroll down to “EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT & HOMELAND SECURITY” and then click on MI Ready. (http://ow.ly/ad4z30nMZdr)

Saturday Weather

Posted on: February 23rd, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 4pm. Cloudy, with a high near 45.

Berrien Treasurer Helping Those Facing Foreclosure

Posted on: February 22nd, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski will meet with property owners who are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure due to unpaid property taxes. Those who owe 2016 and/or 2017 taxes can set up a monthly payment plan to avoid foreclosure. Last year over 400 property owners avoided foreclosure by signing up for a monthly payment plan. This program has served to benefit property owners and allow them to avoid forfeiting their properties with an overall success rate of 92%. If you are unable to come to either the Treasurer’s St. Joseph office (at 701 Main Street) during normal office hours of 8:30-5:00 PM, or the Niles office on Tuesdays from 9:00 – 12:00 PM, Treasurer Witkowski has set special times when you can meet with him in Niles, Three Oaks, and Benton Harbor. For questions please call 269-983-7111, Ext 8569. The times and dates for these meetings will be held at the following locations to add convenience to Berrien County property owners.

March 2nd Benton Harbor City Hall 11:00 AM-3:00 PM
200 E. Wall Street
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

South Shore Line to Offer Discounts to Monthly Pass Holders

Posted on: February 22nd, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

The South Shore Line will be offering 10% discounts on monthly passes during the month of March.
During the polar vortex, South Shore Line services were suspended for several days due to the extreme temperatures. Crews ran tests throughout the day and night during this time to determine whether rail lines were safe. Unfortunately, the record-breaking temperatures caused problems ranging from downed electrical lines on South Shore Line’s tracks to damage on Metra Electric District tracks that the SSL runs on in Illinois, resulting in cancelled service on both train lines. Metra and South Shore Line crews worked around the clock to fix the issues in an expedited fashion. South Shore Line recognizes the strain and inconvenience that suspended services have on commuters. Therefore, as a way to say thank you, South Shore Line is offering a 10% discount on monthly pass purchases for the month of March. Discount pricing will automatically be applied at the time the March pass is purchased. In addition, South Shore Line is offering free Westbound rides on all off-peak and weekend trains through February 18 right in time for the Chicago Auto Show and Valentine’s Day. If you obtain your monthly pass through WageWorks, WiredCommute, or RTA, the South Shore is working with these vendors to make sure your discount is applied. For more information on train schedules, discounts and to plan a trip, please visit mysouthshoreline.com or download the SSL app (available for iPhone and Android).

MDOT Collecting Weather Related Data from Fleet Drivers

Posted on: February 22nd, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

Among the agencies using weather-responsive management strategies to improve traffic operations and maintenance is the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), an early adopter of integrating mobile observations (IMO) technology to collect data using fleet vehicles. MDOT’s Weather-Responsive Traveler Information System (Wx-TINFO) brings together environmental and weather-related data from fixed and IMO sources. The data are used for motorist advisories on roadside dynamic message signs and the Mi Drive traveler information website, which includes features such as images from snowplow cameras so travelers can track where plows are working. By offering travelers timely information, Wx-TINFO increases awareness of the safest trip alternatives and helps motorists make better decisions during inclement weather. The system also alerts maintenance staff to locations that need winter maintenance because of unsafe pavement and roadway conditions.

Natural Resources Management Act Passes in the Senate

Posted on: February 22nd, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

Hundreds of Michigan parks, beaches, campgrounds, piers, public pools and wilderness areas have been created or improved through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The program could be extended permanently if a huge public-lands package in Congress becomes law. The Natural Resources Management Act already passed the Senate overwhelmingly and is expected to get a vote in the House next week. Over more than 50 years, Michigan has received 329-million dollars in funding from the L-W-C-F. Jason Meekhof, with the upper Great Lakes chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, says the program touches every Michigander. Congress let the L-W-C-F lapse in September. It spends no taxpayer dollars, instead using revenues from offshore oil and gas leases in federal waters. Many of the most popular parks in Michigan have benefited, including Petoskey (Peh-TOSS-key) State Park, Holland State Park and Ludington State Park. Since its inception, the L-W-C-F has directed eight-point-2 billion dollars to support public lands nationwide. Tracy Stone-Manning with the National Wildlife Federation notes that this is a bipartisan issue – everyone wants to preserve the nation’s heritage. The bill also aims to support the thriving outdoor-recreation economy, which in Michigan generates more than 26-billion dollars a year and supports 232-thousand jobs.

Love Creek Nature Center & County Park ski trails remain closed

Posted on: February 22nd, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

At Love Creek Nature Center & County Park, ski trails remain closed due to poor snow conditions. Fat Bike trails are open for riding and rentals if you take care, snow changes from icy to soft as the temps change. Trails are open for hiking with or without dogs.

Tips for Michigan Taxpayers From the MI Department of Treasury

Posted on: February 22nd, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

Michigan taxpayers should choose a qualified tax preparer to ensure their individual income tax returns are completed correctly and appropriately, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.
Under state law, taxpayers are responsible for the content within their tax returns and for any additional payments, penalty and interest that may result from a tax preparer’s error. While the state of Michigan does not require tax preparers to be licensed, many are licensed, certified and belong to professional organizations that require a minimum level of education and provide ongoing training. To learn more about Michigan’s individual income tax and choosing a tax preparer, go to www.michigan.gov/incometax For more information about e-filing, go to www.mifastfile.org

National Weather Service: High Winds Expected Sunday

Posted on: February 22nd, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

The national weather service is warning residents that high winds on Sunday will bring the risk for power outages, which could be widespread or lengthy. (see previous post or weather.gov/grandrapids). For useful information from the Michigan State Police on how to prepare, and what to do during and after a power outage go to michigan.gov/msp then  hover over the Divisions tab and scroll down to “EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT & HOMELAND SECURITY” and then click on MI Ready. (http://ow.ly/ad4z30nMZdr)

Elk hunting season wrap-up and population survey results

Posted on: February 22nd, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

The 2018 elk hunting season stats are in, and the 2019 winter elk survey just wrapped up, providing a clear picture of where Michigan’s elk population currently stands.
Hunt period 1, which targets elk outside of their traditional range, was 12 days long.  From Aug. 28-31, Sept. 14-17 and Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 99 state hunters harvested 68 elk (28 bulls and 40 antlerless elk.)  In addition, all three Pure Michigan Hunt winners were successful during the first hunt period.
During hunt period 2, Dec. 15-23, another 100 state hunters harvested 78 elk (30 bulls and 48 antlerless elk). All locations in the northern tip of the state are open to hunting for this later hunt.
In order for regulated hunting to assist in managing elk, Michigan’s elk population first must be evaluated.Additional information about elk and elk hunting in Michigan can be found at Michigan.gov/Elk.

Michigan Department of Treasury Offers Tips for Financial Aid

Posted on: February 21st, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

The Michigan Department of Treasury is reminding students and their families that the very first step to take when applying for scholarships and other forms of financial assistance is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly referred to as the FAFSA. Priority consideration for state aid programs administered by Treasury’s Student Scholarships and Grants (SSG) division are given to students whose FAFSA is received at the federal processor on March 1 or earlier. To get started with the FAFSA, go to www.fafsa.gov. To learn more about state of Michigan scholarships and other financial assistance programs, go to MI Student Aid’s website at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaidor call toll-free at 1-888-447-2687.

Email Scam Hits Michigan Residents and Businesses

Posted on: February 21st, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

The Michigan State Police (MSP), Michigan Cyber Command Center (MC3) is noticing an increase in fraudulent emails containing malicious links or attachments that are being sent to businesses and individuals across Michigan. Recent emails have had subject lines that include terms such as “Invoice” or “Receipt.” The email contains an attachment or link to download a PDF, MS Word or Excel document that contains malware. Recent infections have been a result of the Emotet virus. Once infected, the virus has been known to steal contact information from any email address book that the user maintains, which allows the scammer to send spoofed emails to the user’s contacts. Other side effects of the malware include the stealing of passwords or banking information, encryption of user files and spreading of the virus to other computers that may be connected to the user’s network. The MC3 recommends carefully screening all emails prior to clicking links or opening any attachments. Any email with attachments or embedded web links should be handled with care until the recipient can verify the authenticity of the email. Users should consider if they are expecting an email or document from the “sender” prior to opening any attachments or clicking on any links.

DNR Fishing Report

Posted on: February 21st, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

Overall in southwest Michigan the inland lakes were fishable however use caution near any inlets or outlets. Crappie and bluegill could be found in eight to 15 feet and many were suspended just a few feet below the ice. Bluegill could also be found in the deepest portion of the lakes. There are no area specific reports for the WHFB listening area this week.

Berrien Treasurer Helping Those Facing Foreclosure

Posted on: February 21st, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski will meet with property owners who are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure due to unpaid property taxes. Those who owe 2016 and/or 2017 taxes can set up a monthly payment plan to avoid foreclosure. Last year over 400 property owners avoided foreclosure by signing up for a monthly payment plan. This program has served to benefit property owners and allow them to avoid forfeiting their properties with an overall success rate of 92%. If you are unable to come to either the Treasurer’s St. Joseph office (at 701 Main Street) during normal office hours of 8:30-5:00 PM, or the Niles office on Tuesdays from 9:00 – 12:00 PM, Treasurer Witkowski has set special times when you can meet with him in Niles, Three Oaks, and Benton Harbor. For questions please call 269-983-7111, Ext 8569. The times and dates for these meetings will be held at the following locations to add convenience to Berrien County property owners.

March 2nd Benton Harbor City Hall 11:00 AM-3:00 PM
200 E. Wall Street
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

South Shore Line to Offer Discounts to Monthly Pass Holders

Posted on: February 21st, 2019 by webdesign No Comments


The South Shore Line will be offering 10% discounts on monthly passes during the month of March.
During the polar vortex, South Shore Line services were suspended for several days due to the extreme temperatures. Crews ran tests throughout the day and night during this time to determine whether rail lines were safe. Unfortunately, the record-breaking temperatures caused problems ranging from downed electrical lines on South Shore Line’s tracks to damage on Metra Electric District tracks that the SSL runs on in Illinois, resulting in cancelled service on both train lines. Metra and South Shore Line crews worked around the clock to fix the issues in an expedited fashion. South Shore Line recognizes the strain and inconvenience that suspended services have on commuters. Therefore, as a way to say thank you, South Shore Line is offering a 10% discount on monthly pass purchases for the month of March. Discount pricing will automatically be applied at the time the March pass is purchased. In addition, South Shore Line is offering free Westbound rides on all off-peak and weekend trains through February 18 right in time for the Chicago Auto Show and Valentine’s Day. If you obtain your monthly pass through WageWorks, WiredCommute, or RTA, the South Shore is working with these vendors to make sure your discount is applied. For more information on train schedules, discounts and to plan a trip, please visit mysouthshoreline.com or download the SSL app (available for iPhone and Android).

Animal Control Shot Clinic For Dogs and Cats

Posted on: February 21st, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

Berrien County Animal Control will be hosting, another low cost shot clinic at the Eau Claire Fire Department, this Sunday from 10:00am – 3:00pm. One and three year rabies shots will be offered and distemper vaccines for both dogs and cats. Microchips will be available on a first come first serve basis at the first three clinics only. (Limited numbers of chips available, at these clinics.) You cannot pre register for microchipping, as they are on a first come first serve basis.
You will also be able to purchase your county license at the same time with. Animal Control asks to bring your license renewal form (PDF) with you and make sure your pet is on a leash or in a carrier. Registration is requested for all Clinics. These clinics are cash only.

$20.00 – 1 year Rabies
$25.00 – 3 year Rabies
$20.00 – Disptemper (canine or feline)
$25.00 – Microchip (Includes lifetime registration, PetLink) 


GRHV & DMVA Welcome Governor Whitmer

Posted on: February 21st, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans (GRHV) welcomed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist on Jan. 26. Both toured the home, thanked veteran members for their service and met with staff. Also present was Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, the new Adjutant General and DMVA (Department of Military & Veterans Affairs) Director. Before visiting GRHV, the governor met with soldiers, airmen and DMVA leaders on the vision and concerns of service members at the Joint Forces Headquarters in Lansing.
The visits were part of Whitmer’s efforts to meet state employees before her “State of the State” address on Feb. 12th

30 Officers Graduate from T.E.A.M. School Liaison Program

Posted on: February 21st, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

Michigan students will soon benefit from the addition of dozens of police officers recently trained in the Teaching, Educating, and Mentoring (T.E.A.M.) School Liaison Program. The Michigan State Police (MSP) hosted the four-day training, which concluded Thursday, Feb. 14th.
T.E.A.M. is a school-based, law-related curriculum that is taught to grades K-12 by T.E.A.M.-trained police officers with the goal of uniting educators, students and law enforcement officers to better equip children to protect themselves from crime.
During the 40-hour training course, officers receive instruction in student/juvenile psychology, classroom management, and public speaking. In addition to traditional topics like personal safety, the T.E.A.M. curriculum has been updated to address current issues including bullying and harassment, cybercrime, school security, social media use and vaping.
This class included 30 officers from six MSP posts, four sheriff’s departments, 11 city or township police departments and one tribal police department:
T.E.A.M. allows officers to teach at any of the three levels of education – elementary, middle or high school. The curriculum has been implemented in approximately 250 Michigan school districts.

House Being Moved From Mattawan to Paw Paw

Posted on: February 20th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

On Thursday February 21st a house is scheduled to be moved from Mattawan to Paw Paw. The move will start on Main St just south of I-94 in Mattawan at approximately 10:00 am. The planned route will head north on Main Street over the highway, turn left onto Red Arrow Hwy, go through downtown Paw Paw and then make a right on Hazen St. The destination is on Hazen St near Lake St. This will be a slow process that may involve temporarily moving overhead wires. It is unknown exactly when the house will be in downtown Paw Paw. The house will take up both lanes of the roadway. Law Enforcement will be assisting with traffic congestion. To avoid the inevitable traffic congestion, plan an alternate route.

2019 DNR licenses go on sale March 1

Posted on: February 20th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

According to the Michigan DNR, Most licenses and permits go on sale March 1, when the new license year begins. The March 1 start date includes hunting and fishing license sales, except for certain deer licenses and furbearer tags that are sold later in the year. Applications for the 2020 Pure Michigan Hunt also go on sale that day. Remember that 2018 fishing licenses, base/small-game licenses and ORV permits are valid through March 31, 2019. However, the 2019 versions of these licenses and permits can be purchased as of March 1. Order online at MDNR-eLicense.com or visit any Michigan retailer that sells DNR licenses. Kill tags and trail permits ordered online are mailed to customers and usually arrive in seven to 10 days. Check the DNR website www.michigan.gov/dnr/ for the latest season guides and digests, which will be posted as they become available. For license sales questions, email [email protected] or call 517-284-6057.

MDHHS hosting Problem Gambling Symposium March 1

Posted on: February 20th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month and to increase awareness of best practices and prevention and treatment services, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is hosting the 11th Annual Problem Gambling Symposium on March 1 at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.
The symposium will provide professional training, recovery stories and information on community resources. Titled, “Gambling…How Do You See It?”, the event will focus on the perception of gambling versus the reality and development of problem gambling.
Attendees will have the opportunity to experience a Gamblers’ Anonymous meeting, attend workshops addressing the impact of gambling on various communities and learn about problem gambling treatment and prevention services offered statewide. This symposium is open to professional and recovering members of the problem gambling community, as well as anyone interested in learning more about this growing concern to Michigan residents.
While social gambling isn’t a problem for most, for those facing a gambling addiction, it provides a sense of control and escape which, over time, can affect other areas of life.
If your gambling is getting out of control, call the Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline at 800-270-7117. The Helpline offers 24-hour support and calls are answered by trained, professional staff who work with a statewide network of qualified treatment providers and have access to community resources to which callers can be referred. All calls are confidential. Those who suspect their loved ones may have a problem with gambling are also encouraged to call the Helpline for support.
Online registration is available for the symposium. The cost to attend is $35.

Missing Allegan County Person

Posted on: February 20th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

The Michigan State Police Paw Paw Post reported a missing person, named Todd Lilge. Todd was last seen on Monday at around 10am at the Plainwell Police Station. Todd’s vehicle was located in Allegan County at a state gaming area on 125th Ave. near 43rd St. Todd is listed as 5’ 11” tall, 240 lbs, Gray/Brown hair, with brown eyes If you have any information about Todd’s whereabouts please contact MSP Paw Paw Post at 266-657-5551.

Michigan State Police Trooper Arraigned On Embezzlement

Posted on: February 20th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

On February 19, 2019, Jesse Binns, a trooper assigned to the Michigan State
Police (MSP) Niles Post, was arraigned in the Cass County District Court on a
felony charge of Embezzlement – $1,000.00 or more but less than $20,000.00 from
a non-profit or charitable organization, authorized by a special prosecutor assigned
out of Kalamazoo County. The criminal charge results from Binns’ employment as the assistant chief at Cass Central Fire Department; however, the MSP suspended Binns without pay in
September 2018. Binns will remain on suspension pending the outcome of the criminal matter.

Michigan’s Move Over Law Expanded

Posted on: February 20th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

Michigan’s Emergency Vehicle Caution Law, more commonly known as the Move Over Law, requires motorists to slow down and move over for stationary emergency vehicles with their lights activated. This month, the law was amended to require that when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated, motorists must carefully slow down to at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit and move over into an open lane, if possible. Emergency vehicles now also includes road maintenance vehicles, utility service vehicles and solid waste haulers. For more information, review OHSP’s updated brochure.

Wednesday Weather

Posted on: February 20th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

Snow and freezing rain expected before 2pm with a high temp of 36 degrees. A Winter Weather Advisory is also in effect until 3pm today.

Stewardship volunteers needed throughout February in southern Michigan state parks

Posted on: February 19th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

The DNR will host a number of volunteer stewardship workdays in February at state parks in southeast and southwest Michigan. Volunteers are needed to help locate and cut non-native, invasive shrubs that threaten to crowd out native plants and disrupt balance in high-quality ecosystems. Workdays are an enjoyable way to spend time outdoors while restoring Michigan’s ecosystems and learning about its inhabitants. Workday details (including meeting locations, the stewardship volunteer registration form and links to individual park maps and directions) are available on the DNR website at Michigan.gov/DNRVolunteers. All volunteers are asked to register either by using the form or via email. Southwest Michigan workdays:
Sunday, Feb. 24: Warren Dunes State Park (Berrien County), 1 to 4 p.m.
Volunteers should bring insulated, leather work gloves, drinking water and appropriate clothing for outdoor work, including long pants and sturdy, closed-toe shoes.
The DNR’s Volunteer Stewardship Program is a hands-on way for all ages to learn about and protect Michigan’s natural resources by collecting native seeds, removing invasive species, conducting plant and animal surveys, and other activities.

South Shore Line to Offer Discounts to Monthly Pass Holders

Posted on: February 19th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

The South Shore Line will be offering 10% discounts on monthly passes during the month of March.
During the polar vortex, South Shore Line services were suspended for several days due to the extreme temperatures. Crews ran tests throughout the day and night during this time to determine whether rail lines were safe. Unfortunately, the record-breaking temperatures caused problems ranging from downed electrical lines on South Shore Line’s tracks to damage on Metra Electric District tracks that the SSL runs on in Illinois, resulting in cancelled service on both train lines. Metra and South Shore Line crews worked around the clock to fix the issues in an expedited fashion. South Shore Line recognizes the strain and inconvenience that suspended services have on commuters. Therefore, as a way to say thank you, South Shore Line is offering a 10% discount on monthly pass purchases for the month of March. Discount pricing will automatically be applied at the time the March pass is purchased. In addition, South Shore Line is offering free Westbound rides on all off-peak and weekend trains through February 18 right in time for the Chicago Auto Show and Valentine’s Day. If you obtain your monthly pass through WageWorks, WiredCommute, or RTA, the South Shore is working with these vendors to make sure your discount is applied. For more information on train schedules, discounts and to plan a trip, please visit mysouthshoreline.com or download the SSL app (available for iPhone and Android).