Southwest Michigan Today For Wednesday February 7, 2018

Feb 7, 2018

West Michigan's economy got off to a good start for 2018. Benton Harbor Schools Superintendent is placed on paid leave pending an investigation. WMU men's basketball edges Miami. 

The latest report on West Michigan’s economy finds a good start for 2018. Grand Valley State University Economist Brian Long’s monthly report for the National Institute for Supply Management finds economic indicators were positive last month, and improved slightly from December. Long says the survey based on data collected from purchasing managers during the last two weeks of January produced “better than expected” results.

Kalamazoo County has decided not move forward with a company’s proposal to search for oil and natural gas at Scotts Mill County Park, but opponents of the plan are worried it will get further consideration. Wolverine Oil and Gas wanted to survey the park. But that sparked concern among residents and county officials. The Kalamazoo Gazette says County Commissioners Kevin Wordelmann and Tracy Hall suggested during Tuesday night’s board meeting that the county pass a resolution to ban drilling outright. County Commission Chairwoman Stephanie Moore said in a YouTube video that drilling was not approved for the park. She says the parks commission was gathering information to vet Wolverine Oil and Gas’ proposal.

The Benton Harbor School Board has placed the district’s Superintendent Shelly Walker on paid leave pending an investigation. The St. Joseph Benton Harbor Herald Palladium reports that the board unanimously passed a resolution saying that issues have been raised regarding student safety and board policies. Walker did not attend Tuesday night’s board meeting. A law firm has been directed to conduct the investigation.

Democrat Dan Seibert says he’ll run in the 66th State House District this year. It covers all of Van Buren County as well as the City of Parchment and two townships in Kalamazoo County. The Kalamazoo Gazette says Seibert announced his campaign this week. He’s a systems engineer at Perigo in Allegan. First-term Republican Beth Griffin of Mattawan hasn’t said if she’ll seek another term in November.

In men’s basketball, Western Michigan held Miami scoreless for the final two minutes and held on for a 68-64 win Tuesday night. Reggie Jones led the Broncos with 20 points while Josh Davis scored 17. Western will host Ohio Saturday afternoon.