Local news produced by our reporters here at WMUK

Kalamazoo Defender | David Birkam

On July 1st, things began looking up for Kalamazoo County residents who can't afford an attorney. Now, defendants can turn to a central office of 22 attorneys dedicated exclusively to such cases, and soon two social workers will be on staff to link clients with community resources so they can live healthier lifestyles in hopes of reducing recidivism rates. The newly created Kalamazoo Defender will serve as the first ever public defender's office in the county.

Sehvilla mann / WMUK

A survey team from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is searching this week for a longtime invasive pest in streams that feed the Kalamazoo River. Sea lampreys are a primitive fish native to the Atlantic Ocean. They moved into the Great Lakes almost 200 years ago through artificial canals.

Andrew Robins / WMUK

Anyone who has a hummingbird feeder – or the right kind of flowers - in their yard has probably wondered at the tiny birds they attract. But two biologists in Kalamazoo County are doing much more. They’re helping keep track of hummingbirds by catching and banding them.

South Haven Pier at Lake Michigan - file photo by WMUK

South Haven is celebrating an anniversary. On May 10th, 1869 it was incorporated as a village. Tom Renner, a member of South Haven’s Sesquicentennial Planning Group says the first historical records of the area’s existence date back to 1787 “The Native Americans back then called this land, ‘Ni-No-Kong’ which meant beautiful sunsets.”

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

These are encouraging times for pets in Kalamazoo. The Humane Society says after years of cramped, makeshift quarters that it’ll break ground on a new building next month, while Kalamazoo County has almost finished its new Animal Services shelter.