Tuesday State News Summary
Tue, 05 Dec 2017 05:18:29 EST

Weather forced the postponement of an EPA task force meeting on saving Buffalo Reef
in Houghton County. The public meeting scheduled for Tuesday at the Lake Linden-
Hubbel High School Auditorium in Lake Linden on saving the Buffalo Reef was been
postponed due to blizzard conditions forecast for the Keweenaw Peninsula. The
meeting will be rescheduled for early 2018. Also, an invitation-only for Wednesdayon
Buffalo Reef for EPA task force members and scientists is also being postponed until a
later date, which will be announced once confirmed.

A House committee to discuss cyberbullying legislation will take place this morning at
9:00am. State Rep. Peter Lucido, of Shelby Township, will be joined by key Macomb
County law enforcement officials to testify in support of two of Representative Lucido's
bills addressing the growing cyberbullying problem in Michigan.

A new project at Grand Valley State University will financially help academically
talented, low-income students seeking an education in science or engineering, while
providing them with mentoring and hands-on learning and research opportunities. The
project received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Scholarships
in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program.
Retaining and Inspiring students in Science and Engineering will create a set of
progressively increasing four-year scholarships for at least 50 Grand Valley students
who may not otherwise be able to afford a college education.

Eaton County Sheriff Office Deputies, local police and fire departments and volunteers
will be helping 30 children selected to Shop with a Hero at the Meijer in Charlotte. Each
child will be treated to dinner with Santa at the Eaton County Senior Center in Charlotte
tonight at 5:00 p.m., meet with their “hero” and then arrive at 6:00 p.m. to shop with gift
cards furnished by Meijer. At the end of the shopping trip each child’s family will be
presented with a certificate for a Christmas dinner basket made possible with donations
from local citizens and organizations.

Tonight's Pitch Night in Grand Rapids will help to seek new ideas to reduce
neighborhood violence. Citizens and groups that have new ideas to end violence in
Grand Rapids, but don't have the means to make it happen, can now qualify for
funding. The Safe Alliances for Everyone Taskforce is hosting a Pitch and Highlight
Night tonight at the Beacon Hill Community House Auditorium.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is now offering a new license plate to
help you celebrate and support Michigan's wildlife. The 2018 license plates are a
celebration of 100 years of work maintaining the state's elk population that began in
1918. Proceeds from the plates will benefit the Michigan Non-Game Fish and Wildlife
Fund, which protects wildlife habitat in the state.

AAA Michigan says gas prices statewide have fallen by about 8 cents per gallon in the
past week, with the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline currently
averaging about $2.44 per gallon statewide.
It's the third straight week prices at the pump have gone down, but AAA notes prices
still are about 23 cents more than at the same point last year.

The Allegan County Sheriff's Office was contacted by two individuals who had their
credit card information used for purchases at businesses in Plainwell and Otsego. The
same person is also suspected of doing the same thing at local retailers in the
Kalamazoo area. The suspect is a black male, mid-20’s, approximately 5’9” tall,
medium build, with short brown hair. He is believed to be driving a black Chevrolet
Impala with rear tinted windows. Anybody with information is asked to contact the
Allegan County Sheriff's Office.

According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Flint's water continues
to test well below the federal action level of 15 parts per billion, and is comparable to
similar water systems across the state and country. The Department notes that Mayor
Karen Weaver's service line replacement program is an important component to the
future long-term integrity of the Flint water system. Service lines have been replaced at
over 6,000 residences, to date.

There's an attempt to acquire nearly 1,000 acres of farm land in Shiawassee County to
build a huge steel making plant in the city of Durand. According to Crain's, New Steel
International has confirmed they are one of the companies that has been keeping the
project quiet for months, simply using the code name "Project Tim." New Steel
International has sought a $7 billion federal loan to build the plant. The company has
portrayed the project as having a renewable energy component.

Now that Democratic Representative Sander Levin has announced his retirement at the
end of his term, Flint Representative Dan Kildee will look to replace Levin on the taxwriting
Ways & Means Committee. Kildee has notified both the Democratic Steering
and Policy Committee, which makes committee assignments, and House Democratic
leaders. Levin has sat on the Ways and Means Committee for 30 years. Republican
Representative Mike Bishop of Rochester joined the committee earlier in the year.

First Lady Sue Snyder has announced the first round of Michigan colleges and
universities who were selected to receive up to $600,000 to implement innovative and
strategic sexual assault prevention programs on campus. Among the schools are
several in the upper Peninsula, as well as Central Michigan University, Mott Community
College, Western Michigan University and others.

A recall petition is being challenged in Kalkaska. The Traverse City
Record reports that local officials have approved recall language against Kalkaska
Village President Jeff Seiting, who had posted inflammatory anti-Muslim Facebook
remarks and refused to apologize. The recall effort states concerns over his social
media positions and also alleges that he approved a budget with a $500,000 deficit-- a
claim that Seiting denies.

Thousands of people in west Michigan are waking up to no power this morning.
Consumers Energy says more than 19-thousand customers in the state don't have
power because of high winds.

Two people are dead -- and four others hospitalized -- after what is believed to be a
drunk-driving crash in Monroe County.
It happened along Telegraph Road in LaSalle Township after the driver of a Dodge
Durango crossed the median Monday afternoon. It struck two other vehicles driving in
the opposite direction -- killing the driver and one passenger in a Dodge Caravan. The
victims have been identified as 27-year-old Toledo resident Jordan Welsh and 40-yearold
Jennifer Boran.
The driver of the Durango -- 22-year-old Toledo resident Keyanna Austin -- was said to
have been seen driving erratically just before the wreck. She's hospitalized in stable
condition. Police believe alcohol was involved .

Galesburg City Council has voted to fire Police Chief Jeff Heppler. WOOD TV reports
Heppler also services as part time police chief and part time village manager in nearby
Augusta which Galesburg Mayor Carl Newton says made it hard for people in
Galesburg to reach him. The search for a new chief will begin soon.

Funeral services on Monday for Theresa Lockhart, a Schoolcraft teacher whose
husband left a confession letter to killing her after an apparent suicide. Lockhart
disappeared last May. Police found her body in a shallow grave in the Allegan County
State Game Area last month.

After one LONG year -- 15 Mile in Fraser is set to re-open following damage caused by
a massive sinkhole last Christmas. A ribbon-cutting is planned for today.
The county says it's the last major step in the completion of the repair project.
Families from roughly two dozen homes were displaced for about three weeks after the
collapse and three houses were condemned.

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