Southwest Michigan Today: Thursday June 27, 2019

Jun 27, 2019

File photo of the South Haven lighthouse
Credit WMUK

An agreement with the state would keep Benton Harbor High School open. Right to Life kicks off a petition drive to ban an abortion procedure. No swimming advisories are issued in Van Buren and Berrien Counties. 

(Detroit News) Governor Gretchen Whitmer has reached a tentative agreement with the Benton Harbor School District that will keep the high school open. Whitmer had proposed closing the high school as part of a restructuring plan to improve academic performance. She had warned that the dissolution of the Benton Harbor district was possible. The governor’s spokeswoman Tiffany Brown tells the Detroit News that the agreement requires improving academic outcomes. She says the district will need to meet what are called attainable benchmarks and goals. The agreement still has to be approved by the Benton Harbor School Board.

(MPRN) Right to Life of Michigan kicked off its canvassing efforts Wednesday. The group will start collecting signatures for ballot initiative. It would ban an abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation, or D&E. The procedure is most commonly used in the second trimester. The measure would make it a crime for doctors to perform the procedure, unless the life of the mother was at risk. If the group gets enough signatures, the Republican-led state Legislature would first have a chance to pass the measure into law without the governor’s signature. The group now has 180 days to get more than 300-thousand signatures.

High levels of E-coli bacteria have led public health officials to advise against swimming at beaches in Van Buren and Berrien Counties. MLive says a no swimming advisory was issued Wednesday for South Beach in South Haven. The advisory does not apply to North Beach. More testing is planned for Thursday, and results should be known by Friday. Meanwhile, the St. Joseph-Benton Harbor Herald-Palladium reports that no swimming advisories have issued for three beaches in Berrien County - Cherry, Warren Dunes and Weko Beach due to high levels of E-coli bacteria.

(WKAR) The State of Michigan is changing how it tests for lead in the water. Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a campaign to make the public aware of the stricter testing protocol Wednesday. The new changes to test drinking water lead will require residents to take samples from the first and fifth liter of tap water. Previously to test for lead in drinking water residents would only test the first liter. The new method means health officials will be able to “see” deeper into the pipes, but will likely mean higher lead levels. But Governor Gretchen Whitmer says it won’t change the actual quality of the drinking water. Last year, lawmakers voted to remove all lead service lines in the state over the next 20 years.

(Michigan Radio) Border officers seized some unusual contraband last month at the Blue Water Bridge. Officers seized a package of five jars containing linen fragments that once wrapped an Egyptian mummy. The importer may face charges for violating a federal law protecting ancient Egyptian artifacts.

In baseball, Kalamazoo scored three runs in the eighth inning to force extra innings at Kenosha Wednesday night. The Growlers went on to a 5-4 win in 11 innings. Kalamazoo will host Rockford Thursday night to begin a two game series at Homer Stryker Field.

Battle Creek also went extra innings with Rockford, but the Bombers lost to the Rivets 3-1 Wednesday night. Battle Creek will begin a two game series at Traverse City Thursday night.