WCSG News

 
July 19

7/19/18 – BC Police Respond To Another Attempted Abduction

Battle Creek police say an attempted abduction appears strikingly similar to a report just a few days ago in the city.  This morning around eight, a young woman reports a man tried to grab her while she was walking on a path at Riverside School.  She was able to scream and get away, drawing the attention of other walkers.  Police say the person she described is similar to a person believed responsible for a similar event two days ago at Minges Circle.  You are urged to call police if you spot something suspicious, or know of information that might be […]
July 19

7/19/18 – UP School District Has Lead Water Concerns

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) — A school district in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula says tests found elevated levels of lead in water at some of its buildings. WLUC-TV reports Marquette Area Public Schools recently had samples tested in part because of similar issues reported at Northern Michigan University and concern for the safety of students and employees. The station says lead levels above a recommended threshold were found in some drinking fountains, classroom sinks, custodial sinks and other water sources. Tests also looked for copper, but no issues were found. The district says many newer fixtures such as bottle fill stations, drinking […]
July 19

7/19/18 – Baby Giraffe Born in West Michigan

You are invited to a baby naming party! Bouler Ridge Wild Animal Park announced a male baby was born to Ginger, their newest giraffe at Boulder Ridge. Today is the first day the baby will be on display. The park is also running a special promotion to help name the baby.  They’ll take your submission on Facebook until July 26.  They’ll then take the four best names and have people vote on those.  They expect to release the name just in time for Baby Animal Day, July 30th. Baby giraffes are typically born after 14 months of gestation.  They usually […]
July 19

7/19/18 – AirB&B To Collect Kent County Taxes

Kent County and the home rental agency announced Wednesday a tax agreement authorizing the company to collect hotel taxes on behalf of its Kent County hosts. When someone registers on the AirB&B site, tax will be collected rather than having the home owner be responsible for requiring, calculating and being responsible for making sure the tax payments are included. The county says hosts and hotels are not necessarily in competition but the home stays were not being recognized and the numbers were too big to ignore.  In 2017, there were 22-thousand AirB&B guests in Kent County alone.  Those stays went […]
July 18

7/18/18 – Soccer team released from Thai hospital

CHIANG RAI, Thailand (AP) — The 12 boys and their soccer coach who were rescued from a cave in northern Thailand have appeared at a news conference, entering to applause from the media and classmates. The boys put on a quick demonstration of their ball-handling skills in a special miniature soccer field set up in the hall where they are meeting the media on Wednesday. They then hugged their friends before taking seats up front with doctors and others who helped them during their ordeal. Doctors took the first two questions, and said the 13 were healthy in body and […]
July 18

7/18/18 – Feds: Michigan in need of special education intervention

DETROIT (AP) — Federal education officials say Michigan is the only state in the U.S. that needs intervention after failing to meet federal special education requirements this year. The Detroit News reports that the U.S. Department of Education determined the need for intervention after evaluating Michigan’s compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act for the 2016-17 school year. Education experts say Michigan’s rating reflects its high drop-out and low graduation rates for students with disabilities. Federal officials say 29 percent of Michigan children with disabilities dropped out of school and 63 percent graduated with a regular high school diploma. […]
July 18

7/18/18 – Lawsuit challenging ban on school aid will switch courts

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A lawsuit challenging Michigan’s ban on public aid for private schools is moving to federal court. The case was filed in state court in March by a Grand Rapids Catholic school, parents and some lawmakers. But it was withdrawn Tuesday after lawyers decided that federal court is a more appropriate venue. John Bursch says the lawsuit will be refiled. The ban on public aid for private schools was added to the state Constitution in 1970. A judge earlier this year blocked Michigan from giving $2.5 million to private schools for fire drills, inspections and other state […]
July 18

7/18/18 – Michigan officials: Don’t wait to lock in propane prices

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan officials say propane users should lock in fuel prices now, even though heating season is months away. The Michigan Agency for Energy says U.S. propane stocks are slightly higher now than they were a year ago. But they’re 27 percent below levels seen in 2016. Executive Director Anne Armstrong Cusack says customers should sign contracts soon instead of waiting until winter, when demand is higher. More than 8 percent of Michigan households use propane as their primary heating fuel. Michigan leads the nation in total residential propane consumption. Propane prices are not regulated. But the […]
July 17

7/17/18 – Freese Decker Appointed New Spectrum CEO

Spectrum Health has named its new leader and she comes from within the organization.  Tina Freese Decker has been Spectrum’s Chief Operations Officer and has been with the hospital for 16 years.   Freese Decker says she’s both humbled and thrilled to be chosen as the new leader for the 26-thousand employees.  “I will strive every day to ensure I live up to your expectations and guide our organization to be the best we can be.”   Current Chief Executive Officer Richard Breon announced his retirement last fall and that set off an international search for his successor.  Spectrum Board […]
July 17

7/17/18 – Grand Rapids, Kent County decide against merging 911 service

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Grand Rapids and Kent County officials in western Michigan have decided against the idea of merging 911 their emergency dispatch centers. Kent County Central Dispatch handles all calls for the county except those within Grand Rapids city limits. The idea of combining services has been discussed in recent months, but WOOD-TV reports county and city leaders determined it wouldn’t make financial sense. Grand Rapids Interim City Manager Eric DeLong says the cost of merging the centers would be around $3.6 million and save an estimated $400,000 a year. The Grand Rapids Press reports vocal opposition […]
July 17

7/17/18 – Pres. Trump returns to U.S.

-President Trump returned to Washington last night. On Monday he took part in a summit in Helsinki, Finland with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two followed up with a press conference, saying the meeting was a good first step. Pres. Trump drew fury from Republicans after saying both Russia and the U.S. are to blame for strained relations and by not standing behind the U.S. intelligence assessments that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections. Trump said he has great confidence in the intelligence community, but Putin gave a “strong and powerful” denial. He said he doesn’t “see any reason why” […]
July 17

7/17/18 – Man drowns in Allegan County lake

(Mlive)- CHESHIRE TOWNSHIP, MI — A 32-year-old man was pronounced dead Monday, July 16, after police said he drowned in Eagle Lake of Allegan County. Deputies from the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched around 6:20 p.m. to a report of a man who was drowning in Eagle Lake near 102nd Avenue in Cheshire Township. Before officers arrived, family members of the man found him in the water and pulled him to shore. First responders from the sheriff’s office and Allegan Life EMS performed CPR until a pulse was found. The man was transported to a Kalamazoo area hospital, where […]
July 17

7/17/18 – 4 of 5 teens take plea deal in fatal Michigan rock-throwing

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — An attorney says four Michigan teens charged with murder in a fatal rock-throwing incident have agreed to accept a lesser charge of manslaughter. The plea deal was disclosed in court Monday, although no guilty pleas were immediately made. Attorney Jim Gust, who represents one of the four, says they’re expected to spend some time in juvenile detention. More court hearings are planned. The boys, ages 15 to 17, were charged last fall with second-degree murder in the death of Kenneth White, who was in a van on Interstate 75 when a rock crashed through the windshield. […]
July 17

7/17/18 – Hawaii volcano boat tours continue after lava injuries

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii tour boat operators plan to continue taking visitors to see lava, but will follow the Coast Guard’s revised policy and stay farther away after an explosion caused molten rock to barrel through the roof of a vessel, injuring 23 people. The Coast Guard prohibits vessels from getting closer than 984 feet (300 meters) from where Kilauea volcano’s lava oozes into the sea. The agency had been allowing experienced boat operators to apply for a special license to get closer up to 164 feet (50 meters), but it stopped allowing those exceptions Monday morning. A woman in […]
July 16

7/16/18 – Trump and Putin meet in Helsinki

HELSINKI (AP) — President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin opened their summit Monday as the American president declared that “the world wants to see us get along.” Trump laid out a list of topics for discussion that notably did not include Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. “We have not been getting along well for the last number of years,” Trump said as he and Putin sat down at the Presidential Palace in Finland’s capital. “But I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship. … I really think the world wants to see us get along.” […]
July 16

7/16/18 – Michigan group donates K-9 vests in officer’s memory

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A Kalamazoo County police dog is getting a protective vest in memory of a fallen officer. The Officer Collin Rose Memorial Foundation and Vested Interest Inc., a Massachusetts nonprofit, are sponsoring the vest for Roseco. The German Shepard’s vest will include a note remembering Wayne State University Sgt. Collin Rose. The Kalamazoo native was killed in 2016 in Detroit. Foundation President Chris Powell says it’s a way to keep Rose’s memory alive. The group sponsors protective equipment for police dogs, has created a scholarship in Rose’s name and supports people who’ve lost companions in the line […]
July 16

7/16/18 – Michigan gas prices rise 7 cents to $3 per gallon

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says average gas prices statewide have risen about seven cents in the past week to about $3 per gallon. The Dearborn-based auto club says Monday that the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline is about 65 cents more than at the same point last year. Michigan’s lowest average price was about $2.96 per gallon in the Marquette area. The highest was about $3.06 a gallon in the Traverse City area. The Detroit-area’s average was about $3, up about 2 cents per gallon. AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel prices at 2,800 gas stations across […]
July 16

7/16/18 – Jet Ski accident claims life of G.R. man

(Mlive) – Allegan County sheriff’s divers recovered a Grand Rapids man’s body after he drowned in Dumont Lake. ALLEGAN COUNTY, MI – Police identified a Grand Rapids man as the victim of a jet-ski accident at Dumont Lake. The body of 47-year-old , Gregory Troy Williams was found Sunday, July 15, after a four-hour search. His son, who was operating the jet ski, survived. A witness called 911 at 3:42 p.m. to report an accident involving a personal watercraft. The caller said two people were on the jet ski when it flipped after hitting the wake of a boat. The […]
July 13

7/13/18 – Plane found in U.P. after 21 years

ST. IGNACE, Mich. (AP) — Authorities believe they have discovered the wreckage of a small plane that crashed more than 20 years ago in northern Michigan. The Mackinac County sheriff’s office says national forest personnel found the wreckage Wednesday in the Hiawatha National Forest near St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula. A single-engine Piper took off Sept. 14, 1997, from Drummond Island in Lake Huron. The 45-year-old pilot, Mark Davies, and his wife, Janet, were heading to Howell, about 300 miles (480 kilometers) to the south. A flight plan wasn’t filed. The National Transportation Safety Board says the plane was […]
July 13

7/13/18 – Pres. Trump in UK

ELLESBOROUGH, England (AP) — President Donald Trump is in the U.K. He declared Friday that his relationship with Prime Minister Theresa May was better than ever . President Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom was overshadowed by comments he made about immigration and he also said he would have handled things differently concerning Brexit. Protests and rallies are taking place in some 50 U.K. cities as the local people express their dislike of President Trump. The president started the day by reviewing a private military exercise alongside May at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He also plans to have tea […]
July 13

7/13/18 – West Virginia crews sent to Michigan to reduce wildfire risk

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Division of Forestry has sent a crew of 20 to Michigan to help reduce the risk of wildfires. The division says in a news release 12 trained division foresters and eight civilian firefighters left West Virginia on Wednesday. Some will be stationed at the Hiawatha National Forest in the Upper Peninsula and others will be at the Huron-Manistee National Forests. Dry conditions exist in the region although no large wildfires have been reported. The crew is expected to be in Michigan for two weeks.
July 13

7/13/18 – Heavy rains cause flooding in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

HUBBELL, Mich. (AP) — Heavy rains have caused more flooding in parts of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that were still working to recover from last month’s severe flooding. WLUC-TV reports at least 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of rain fell Thursday in the Keweenaw Peninsula, closing roads in Hubbell and elsewhere. The station says some roads that were repaired after last month’s flooding were damaged again. Hubbell resident Ben Jeffery says he was awakened Thursday by a lightning strike and saw “a river coming across M-26.” Crews were repairing parts of that roadway in Houghton County. Last month’s rain swelled waterways that […]
July 13

7/13/18 – Agency seeks ways to keep fire retardants out of Great Lakes

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A U.S.-Canadian agency is suggesting ways the two nations can help prevent flame-retardant chemicals from polluting the Great Lakes. The International Joint Commission made the recommendations in a report Thursday. They’re directed toward both federal governments as well as states, provinces, tribes and cities. Flame retardants have been added to a variety of commercial and consumer products since the 1970s, including electronic devices, plastics, mattresses and carpets. They’re highly toxic and found in all five of the Great Lakes, particularly Erie and Ontario. The U.S. and Canada are developing a strategy for managing risks from […]
July 12

7/12/18 – “What’s in a Name?” In This Case, This Says It All!

Shakespeare wrote that a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. In this case, the Corpse Flower is an accurate description of the plant that is blooming at the Frederick Meijer Gardens. The plant that typically blooms once every ten years, has now been 18 years in the making in Michigan after transplant from its native home in Indonesia.  The bloom only lasts a short time, releasing a pungent odor that befits its’ name. Steve Lawarre, Director of Horticulture at the Gardens says the plant arrived as a small seeding that produces a single leaf that looks […]
July 12

7/12/18 – Pres. Trump forecasts ‘escalation’ between US and Iran

(AP) – President Donald Trump arrived at NATO headquarters in Brussels where he is attending a second day of meetings with leaders of the military alliance. President Trump is demanding that NATO member nations dramatically increase their spending on defense. He said it has been frustrating because “Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russia.” During the trip, President Trump also has questioned the necessity of the alliance and said, “What good is NATO, if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and […]
July 12

7/12/18 – Michigan day care provider must pay $1.8M in toddler’s death

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — A former western Michigan day care provider has been ordered to pay $1.8 million after pleading guilty to child neglect in the death of a toddler by an 8-year-old girl. The Muskegon Chronicle reports Muskegon County Circuit Judge William Marietti also sentenced 52-year-old Keysha Collins on Wednesday to five years’ probation and 6 months’ jail afterward. He says some or all the sentence could be suspended. Marietti adds Collins has shown remorse and taken responsibility. Authorities say the girl, also cared for in Collins’ home, killed 14-month-old Korey Landon Brown in April 2017. Prosecutors have said […]
July 12

7/12/18 – Lawyers making final pitches in Flint water criminal case

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A judge is hearing key arguments in the most significant criminal case related to Flint’s lead-contaminated water. The head of Michigan’s health department, Nick Lyon, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and other crimes. He’s accused of not timely alerting the public about a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in the Flint area in 2014 and 2015. Some experts have tied the outbreak to Flint’s poorly treated water. Legionella bacteria can emerge through misting and cooling systems. Judge David Goggins must decide whether there’s enough evidence to send Lyon to trial. He’s hearing arguments Wednesday and July 25. Special […]
July 12

7/12/18 – Enbridge asks for more supports for Line 5

MACKINAW CITY, Mich. (AP) — More than two dozen people spoke out at a public hearing against a proposal for more anchor supports in the Straits of Mackinac to bolster twin oil pipelines. Enbridge Inc. is asking the Department of Environmental Quality to allow installation of 48 additional supports for its Line 5 pipes. A public hearing Wednesday evening in Mackinaw City drew waterfront property owners, environmentalists and others. Line 5 extends from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario. A nearly 5-mile (8-kilometer) section runs beneath the straits, where Lake Huron and Lake Michigan converge. The company has made several requests […]
July 11

7/11/18 – Government falls short of deadline to reunite kids, parents

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Some immigrant toddlers are back in the arms of their parents, but others remained in holding facilities away from relatives as federal officials fell short of meeting a court-ordered deadline to reunite dozens of youngsters forcibly separated from their families at the border. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Ever Reyes Mejia walked out of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement center Tuesday, carrying his son. The boy was secured in a booster seat, and father and son were driven away. Another boy and a girl who had been in temporary foster care were reunited with their Honduran fathers […]
July 11

7/11/18 – Explosion rocks Wisconsin town after natural gas main struck

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (AP) — An explosion rocked a Wisconsin community after a contractor struck a natural gas main in a downtown area filled with bars and other businesses, injuring two firefighters and a police officer, authorities said. Firefighters and police officers responded to a reported gas leak, and an evacuation was underway when the blast happened Tuesday, said Sun Prairie police Lt. Kevin Konopacki. He added that lives were likely saved as a result of the evacuation. No deaths were reported, but Konopacki said buildings would be searched in the Madison, Wisconsin, suburb of about 30,000 once the flames […]
July 11

7/11/18 – US rescuer details high-risk Thai cave mission

MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) — The Thai boys saved from a flooded cave endured dives in zero visibility lasting up to half an hour and in places were put in a harness and high-lined across rocky caverns, said a leader of the U.S. contingent that was part of the operation, calling it a “once in a lifetime rescue.” Derek Anderson, a 32-year-old rescue specialist with the U.S. Air Force based in Okinawa, Japan, said the dozen boys, ranging in age from 11 to 16, and their coach, who were trapped for more than two weeks, were “incredibly resilient.” “What was […]
July 11

7/11/18 – NATO leaders meet in Brussels

-(AP) -President Donald Trump has arrived at NATO headquarters in Brussels for the first of two days of summit talks with allies. President Trump is planning to press his counterparts to increase their spending on defense, having publicly criticized many European nations for failing to meet their commitments to the mutual defense pact. Leaders of the alliance are set to discuss their collective readiness, as well as the future of NATO’s mission in Afghanistan and combating terrorism. The President is also set to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the meeting.