Local news produced by our reporters here at WMUK

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Kalamazoo County says its new budget speaks of good financial health. Commissioners approved the $90 million plan on Tuesday. It includes a 1.75 percent raise for nonunion staff. It also puts $2 million toward funding legacy benefits costs. And among other things the budget will pay for the jail to fill vacancies on its nursing staff.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

Kalamazoo could join other counties around the state that oppose a bill making it easier to challenge tax foreclosures. Senate Bill 386 would expand the reasons that a property owner could contest a foreclosure in court. The bill passed the Senate handily and is now in committee in the House. 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

When Frank Thompson served on the Kalamazoo County Board, he wasn’t known for staying on-topic. If the business before the commission failed to interest him he’d get up and ring a bell on the wall. But some knew Thompson - who died this month at age 91 - for a different role: as a longtime officer with the Kalamazoo city police.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Gubernatorial hopeful Abdul El-Sayed says an oil pipeline that moves crude though the Straits of Mackinac poses a major threat to the Great Lakes. In Kalamazoo on Tuesday the candidate said that if he were elected governor, he’d use executive power to turn the pipe off while its safety is debated.

A wasp hovers over a tulip on a warm spring day in Washington Park on Thursday, May 2, 2013, in Albany, N.Y.
AP Photo/Mike Groll

This time of year, it’s not unusual for bees to ruin your picnic. Except the bugs landing on your potato salad likely aren’t bees at all. Many people have trouble telling the difference between bees and other stinging, flying insects.