WCSG News

 
September 21

9/21/18 – Pfizer holds job fair, expects 650 hires over the next several years

KALAMAZOO, MI  (Mlive)– Pfizer is holding a career fair in downtown Kalamazoo while working to fill 200 immediate openings, with another 450 expected in the coming years. The event will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, at the Radisson, 100 West Michigan Avenue, in downtown Kalamazoo. Pfizer representatives will be there to conduct onsite interviews, with the goal of filling openings as quickly as the next few weeks, Pfizer said. The company’s plant in Portage has more than 200 immediate openings, including manufacturing, engineering, skilled trades and many other positions, Pfizer said. Jobs require a minimum of a […]
September 21

9/21/18 – 4 Michigan community mental health centers get funding boost

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — Four Michigan community mental health centers have been selected as Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics and are getting a boost in funding. U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan on Thursday announced the designation for Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; Easter Seals Michigan in Auburn Hills; West Michigan Community Mental Health System in Ludington and HealthWest in Muskegon. Stabenow says each clinic will get $4 million in funding over the next two years to provide comprehensive behavioral health and addiction treatment services. The mental health centers are among more than two dozen selected nationwide. […]
September 21

9/21/18 – Gov. Snyder mulling use of National Guard for road projects

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder is looking at the possible activation of National Guard heavy equipment operators as an option to resume road projects stalled by a lockout. Snyder spokesman Ari Adler tells The Detroit News for a story Thursday that the work stoppage will put motorists’ safety “at risk this winter” and that the governor “is looking at what options are available to finish projects as quickly as possible.” Adler says another option would be withholding payments for contractors on the projects. A contract between the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association and the Operating Engineers 324 union […]
September 21

9/21/18 – Attorneys general asking DEA to tighten drug manufacture

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Attorneys general from West Virginia and 10 other states are asking the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to further tighten the manufacture of opioids. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office says the DEA’s preliminary quotas for 2019 don’t reflect the federal agency’s position that demand shouldn’t be equated with legitimate need. He said he believes the proposed quotas are still excessive, even with a 10 percent reduction. The letter was signed by Morrisey and attorneys general from Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska and Utah. It was dated Wednesday. West Virginia by far […]
September 20

9/20/18 – Carolinas worn out by Florence

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Hurricane Florence is still wearing out the Carolinas, where residents have endured an agonizing week of violent winds, torrential rain, widespread flooding, power outages and death. Frustration and sheer exhaustion are building as thousands of people wait to go home seven days after the storm began battering the coast. Florence is blamed for at least 37 deaths, including those of two women who drowned when a sheriff’s van taking them to a mental health facility was swept off a road. With the remnants of Florence finally out to sea and skies bright over rivers still swelling […]
September 20

9/20/18 – New landslide kills 15, buries houses in Philippines

NAGA, Philippines (AP) — A massive landslide buried dozens of homes near a central Philippine mountain Thursday, killing at least 15 people and sending rescuers scrambling to find survivors after some sent text messages pleading for help. The slide surged down on about 30 houses in two rural villages after daybreak in Naga city in Cebu province, Roderick Gonzales, the city police chief, told The Associated Press by telephone as he helped supervise the search and rescue. Seven injured villagers were rescued from the huge mound of earth and debris. Some victims still managed to send text messages after the […]
September 20

9/20/18 – Michigan unemployment rate down to 4.1 percent in August

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s unemployment rate fell by two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.1 percent in August. Figures released Wednesday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget show Michigan’s jobless rate was two-tenths of a percentage point higher than the national rate of 3.9 percent last month and five-tenths of a percentage point lower than the state’s August 2017 rate of 4.6 percent. The agency says total employment in Michigan changed little during the month while the number of unemployed fell by 11,000. Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives Director Jason Palmer says Michigan’s […]
September 20

9/20/18 – Michigan agency helping reuse abandoned site in Belding

BELDING, Mich. (AP) — A former gas station site in Ionia County will be evaluated for redevelopment with financial assistance from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The DEQ recently awarded a $27,500 grant to the county’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority for use at the property in the town of Belding. The grant will pay to examine the property and plan for its safe reuse. Testing will determine whether environmental cleanup is needed. The site is next to an elementary school in a residential neighborhood. The gas station has been demolished but broken concrete and asphalt have made the site an […]
September 19

9/19/18 – Pres. Trump to visit North Carolina to survey Florence impact

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will travel to North Carolina on Wednesday to survey the impact of Hurricane Florence. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Tuesday confirmed Trump’s travel plans to North Carolina, which bore the brunt of the powerful storm. Days after the hurricane rolled through, the region is dealing with massive flooding. In Wilmington, residents lined up by the hundreds for free food, water and tarps while officials opened up to the public two routes that had previously been impassable. Florence is being blamed for at least 34 deaths in three states. Remnants of the once-powerful […]
September 19

9/19/18 – Kim agrees to dismantle main nuke site if US takes steps too

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — The leaders of North and South Korea announced a wide range of agreements Wednesday which they said were a major step toward peace on the Korean Peninsula. But the premier pledge on denuclearization contained a big condition, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stating he’d permanently dismantle his main nuclear complex only if the United States takes corresponding measures. Compared to the vague language of their two summits earlier this year, Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed in their second day of meetings to an ambitious program meant to tackle soaring tensions […]
September 19

9/19/18 – Michigan election law challenge will take time, judge says

PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) — A lawsuit that challenges Michigan’s restrictions on young first-time voters won’t be heard in time for the fall election. Federal Judge Robert Cleland says the case won’t be on a fast track. He says the lawsuit is a “work of extraordinary complexity and scope.” The lawsuit seeks to overturn rules that require some voters to cast a ballot in person when they vote for the first time. The lawsuit also targets a law that requires a voter’s registration to match a voter’s address on a driver’s license. Lawyers for college Democrats say the restrictions prevent […]
September 19

9/19/18 – Drone to survey Michigan lake in search for toxic chemicals

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Environmental regulators say they’ll deploy a drone over a northern Michigan lake to search for sources of toxic chemicals that are emerging as a widespread threat to drinking water systems. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will fly the drone over Lake Margrethe in Crawford County to locate springs that could be laced with chemicals from firefighting foam used at the nearby Camp Grayling military base. The foam contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS. The industrial compounds are used in many consumer products and processes, from food packaging to clothing production. The DEQ […]
September 19

9/19/18 – ArtPrize competition marks 10th year in western Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The 10th international ArtPrize competition is kicking off its run in western Michigan. The event starts Wednesday and goes through Oct. 7. It features the work of more than 1,400 artists at more than 160 venues vying for $500,000 in cash prizes. ArtPrize officially opens with the midday “ArtPrize 10 Opening Whistle” event in Grand Rapids where a steam-powered train whistle sounds. Winners are announced Oct. 5 after public voting. Following this year, organizers plan to hold ArtPrize every other year instead of annually. Following ArtPrize 10, a new event is planned every other year […]
September 18

9/18/18 – Consumers Energy Kicks Off Battery Storage Era At Western Michigan University

KALAMAZOO, MI  – Consumers Energy on Monday, ushered in a new technology on the campus of Western Michigan University, starting operation of a new large-scale battery that should store enough energy to power 1,000 homes at any time. “Advances in battery storage technology have now reached the scale that they power entire communities on demand,” said Tim Sparks, Consumers Energy’s vice president of electric grid integration. “Our Clean Energy Plan calls for more solar and wind electric generation facilities that will depend on battery storage to be dependable sources of energy for our customers for when the wind isn’t blowing or […]
September 18

9/18/18 – Russia blames Israel for plane shot down by Syrian missile

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian reconnaissance aircraft was shot down by a Syrian missile over the Mediterranean Sea, killing all 15 people on board, the Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday. It blamed Israel for the crash, saying the plane was caught in the crossfire as four Israeli fighters attacked targets in northwestern Syria. The Russian military said the Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft was hit 35 kilometers (22 miles) offshore late Monday as it was returning to its home base nearby. “The Israeli pilots were using the Russian aircraft as a shield and pushed it into the line of fire of the […]
September 18

9/18/18 – Hurricane rating system fails to account for deadly rain

TRENTON, North Carolina (AP) — When meteorologists downgraded Hurricane Florence from a powerful Category 4 storm to a Category 2 and then a Category 1, Wayne Mills figured he could stick it out. He regrets it. The Neuse River, normally 150 feet away, lapped near his door in New Bern, North Carolina, Sunday even as the storm had “weakened” further. People like Mills can be lulled into thinking a hurricane is less dangerous when the rating of a storm is reduced. But those ratings are based on wind strength, not rainfall or storm surge — and water is responsible for […]
September 18

9/18/17 – Kalamazoo will shut down Bronson Park encampment Tuesday, manager says

KALAMAZOO, MI (Mlive)  — People camping in Bronson Park for the last month are being asked by the city of Kalamazoo to leave by 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18 under threat of arrest. The Bronson Park encampment had just under 100 tents as of Monday evening. Kalamazoo City Manager Jim Ritsema said the demonstration violates local ordinances, but allowed it to remain until a surprise announcement at Monday’s City Commission meeting. People who do not leave are subject to possible arrest, Ritsema said. Since the protest began on Aug. 19, Ritsema consistently said the demonstration is illegal and would be ended eventually. He […]
September 18

9/18/17 – Michigan sees human Eastern equine encephalitis case

ALLEGAN, Mich. (AP) — Health officials say a resident of western Michigan has been infected with Eastern equine encephalitis . The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Allegan County Health Department announced Monday that the person was hospitalized in late August. Eastern equine encephalitis is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S. It can be fatal and often leaves survivors with brain damage. Southwestern Michigan has experienced outbreaks of the disease in people and horses in the past, with the most recent outbreaks occurring in the early 1980s, mid-1990s and 2010. Health officials say […]
September 17

9/17/18 – Hurricane Florence

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Authorities are looking at going by air and water to get food into a North Carolina city that was cut off from road access by Florence’s floodwaters. The major highways into the Wilmington area, Interstate 40 and U.S. 74, were not accessible Sunday, officials said. “There is no access to Wilmington,” Woody White, chairman of the county Board of Commissioners, said Sunday at a news conference. State Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon said one of his top priorities was determining how to restore ground access to the area. Trogdon said the state was working with the Department […]
September 17

9/17/18 – Kent County unveils interactive recycling exhibit

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — An eastern Michigan county has unveiled an interactive exhibit meant to encourage residents to recycle. The Grand Rapids Press reports that the Kent County Department of Public Works created the $300,000 exhibit in the county’s Recycling and Education Center. The exhibit depicts a landfill, gives a history of recycling and waste, shows the facility’s recycling process and illustrates how recyclables are turned into other objects. Department spokeswoman Kristen Wieland says the exhibit will show visitors the importance of home recycling. The exhibit is part of the department’s goal to reduce landfill waste. Wieland says officials […]
September 17

9/17/18 – AAA: Michigan gas prices up 1 cent to $2.94 per gallon

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says average gas prices statewide are up about 1 cent in the past week to about $2.94 per gallon. The Dearborn-based auto club says early Monday the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline is about 38 cents more than at the same point last year. Michigan’s lowest average price was about $2.75 per gallon in the Traverse City area. The highest was in the Ann Arbor area at about $2.97 a gallon. The Detroit-area’s average was about $2.92 per gallon, about the same as last week. AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel prices at […]
September 17

9/17/18 – Boy, 11, pulled from pool at party, dies

HOWARD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say an 11-year-old boy has died after being found at the bottom of a pool during a birthday party in southwestern Michigan. The Cass County sheriff’s office says the boy was in the pool with several other children Saturday night at a home in Howard Township when he didn’t resurface. He was spotted at the bottom and the sheriff’s office says children pulled him to the surface before parents started CPR. The boy was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The department didn’t immediately release his name. The death is being […]
September 17

9/17/18 – Motorist dead after crash involving police SUV in Michigan

BAINBRIDGE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a police SUV heading to the scene of a domestic violence report collided with a car in southwestern Michigan, killing the driver of the car and injuring two officers. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office says the crash involving the Pokagon Band Police Department SUV happened Sunday afternoon in Bainbridge Township. The sheriff’s office says that the car failed to yield at a stop sign before being struck. A 69-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The officer who was driving the SUV was taken to a hospital in St. Joseph and the […]
September 14

9/14/18 – Snyder leaving for eighth investment mission to China

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder is leaving Friday for an eight-day investment mission to China, his eighth trip as governor to Michigan’s third-largest export market. He plans to meet with high-level government officials and business leaders on topics such as manufacturing, mobility technology, agriculture and tourism. It will be the 29th foreign investment mission led by Snyder or Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. Snyder says the value of building relationships with other countries “cannot be overstated.” He says Michigan has seen more than 400 foreign direct investment projects since 2011, and Michigan this year ranks third in the U.S. […]
September 11

9/11/18 – Scouts and First Responders 9-11 Memorial Salute

Dozens of Boy Scouts, first responders and law enforcement personnel took part in the 9-11 memorial salute in downtown Grand Rapids. Scouts and others will be saluting the American flag from sunrise to sunset at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential museum.  They do this to honor those who have sacrificed and those who are currently serving to protect citizens. Ken Chudy is a retired assistant fire chief in Muskegon and one of the organizers. He says young people participating, is critical. “It’s like a history lesson in a sense.  And hopefully they’ll take something out of that, why they’re doing […]
September 11

9/11/18 – Remembering the 17th anniversary of 9/11

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans are commemorating 9/11 with somber tributes, volunteer projects and a new monument to victims, after a year when two attacks demonstrated the enduring threat of terrorism in the nation’s biggest city. Thousands of 9/11 victims’ relatives, survivors, rescuers and others are expected at Tuesday’s anniversary ceremony at the World Trade Center, while President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will head to the two other places where hijacked planes crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, in the deadliest terror attack on American soil. The president and first lady plan to join an observance at the […]