Wednesday State News Summary
Wed, 07 Mar 2018 05:44:02 EST

The City of Grand Rapids has selected three candidates to interview for the City Clerk
position. Bryon Township Clerk Joel Hondrop, Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard
and Chicago Heights, Ill., City Clerk Lori Wilcox will interview for the position vacated
by retired City Clerk Darlene O’Neal. The interviews will take place at 9 a.m. Thursday,
March 8 at Grand Rapids City Hall and are open to the public.

Cybersecurity plans and vulnerabilities would be exempt from open-records requests
under legislation approved by Michigan's Legislature. Legislators voted 104-4 in favor
of the bill which heads to the governor's desk. The bill paves the way for the blockage
of cybersecurity information shared with Michigan State Police and other public bodies.

A new state law signed by the governor will increase 911 fees to provide an upgrade to
Michigan's emergency response system. The law will include a monthly surcharge of 6
cents, going up to 25 cents. Supporters of the law believe the 911 system is in
desperate need of upgrading, claiming the technolgoy used is nearly 60 years old.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is hosting a project meeting to review
plans for this year's reconstruction of US-131 between 10 Mile and 14 Mile roads.
MDOT officials will provide project details, scheduling and traffic information. The public
is invited to stop by anytime during the two-hour period to learn more about the project
and provide comments.

Grand Rapids Fire Chief John Lehman has presented the department's three-year
strategic plan to the City Commission this morning following a series of workshops and
surveys with community stakeholders and department employees. The Fire
Department's strategic plan for Fiscal Years 2019-21 focuses on the department's four
pillars that support response. Those pillars are training, prevention, wellness and
support services.

Business and industry joining environmentalists, cities state and tribes to lobby
Congress for money to clean the Great Lakes and bolster water utilities. They include
upgrades with drinking water and sewage systems, and protection against invasive
species and farm runoff.Full funding for the Great Lakes Resoration Initiative sees $300
million annually, but would only get $10 million under the President's proposed budget.
Congressman Dan Kildee of Flint spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of
Representatives, strongly opposing President Trump's budget cuts that nearly eliminate
the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Kildee said - quote - “The Great Lakes generate
billions of dollars in economic activity and provide drinking water to 40 million people.
We have to do everything we can to protect them from harm. Last year, Republicans
and Democrats joined together in Congress to oppose these irresponsible cuts and we
need to stand together once again this year to reject this dangerous proposal.”

The Michigan Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers released its 2018
Report Card for Michigan's Infrastructure. Michigan received an overall grade of D+,
but received a D- for its roads because 39 percent of the 120,000 miles of paved roads
are rated in poor condition, 43 percent rated in fair condition and only 18 percent rated
in good condition.

A Congressional House panel says Russian Internet trolls had a hand in the
controversy over Enbridge Line 5. The House Committee on Science Space and
Technology says a Russian troll farm made postings encouraging others to sign
petitions against U-S pipelines, including Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac. Groups
wanting to shut down Line 5 say their opposition is real and accuse Republicans of
trying to deflect attention away from possible collusion between Russia and President
Trump's election.

Officials in Kalamazoo will remove a park fountain that includes a statue of a European
settler with a weapon being held over a Native American. The Kalamazoo City
Commission voted 5-1 to remove the the Fountain of the Pioneers in Bronson Park,
which has been standing for almost 80 years. Proponents say it teaches history while
opponents claim the structure is racist.

A hospital room arraignment for the man accused in a double murder that locked down
Central Michigan last week. James Davis Jr. continually figeted with his mustache,
crunched ice from a cup and gave conflicting answers as he was arraigned from a chair
in his hospital room on charges of the murder. Davis is accused of gunning down
James and Diva Davis as they helped him pack in his CMU dorm room for spring
Break. He's been placed on $1.2 million bond.

Dana Nessel, former assistant Wayne County Prosecutor and noted civil rights
attorney, has received the endorsement of the Michigan Education Association, the
state's largest school employee union. The MEA represents about 140,000 teachers,
education support professionals and higher-education employees throughout the state.
In addition to the MEA, Nessel, who's running for state attorney general, has been
endorsed by over ten state organizations, along with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym
Worthy and dozens of state and local elected officials

A 19-year-old Rockford man is missing in the Bahamas. WOOD TV reports Jonathan
Brussow was reported missing east of Nassau when he was knocked into the water by
a wave. His father is reportedly with search teams in the Bahamas. The U.S. Coast
Guard says it was brought in to help with the search by air Monday afternoon and
Tuesday morning.

A meeting in Holland last night to discuss the restructuring of the Holland Public
Schools since the district is shrinking. WOOD TV reports about 80 parents attended
the meeting in which Superintendent Brian Davis says the district is in a perpetual state
of deficit spending. Proposed changes include having kindergarten through fifth grades
at elementary schools, sixth through eighth grades at a middle school, and ninth
through 12 grades at the high school.

Two recent threats in the Northview Public Schools have been ruled not credible, but
that didn't stop dozens of students from walking out of the high school yesterday over
word of a potential threat. WOOD TV reports Superintendent Dr. Scott Korpak says a
rumor about a non-existent threat caused the walkout. The sheriff's department has
investigated two separate threats over the past two weeks. In one, a student
threatened to shoot another student and in another, a student threatened to burn down
a school. But in both cases, the sheriff's department didn't believe the students planned
to do harm.

Democrat Abdul El-Sayed has submitted his nominating petitions to the state, a step
that could lead to clarity over whether he's eligible to run for governor. The former
Detroit health chief became the first Democratic candidate to file Tuesday before April's
deadline. Questions have been raised because El-Sayed, who spent much of his
childhood in Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan, later lived and
voted in New York before returning to Michigan in 2015.

It keeps on rolling over--
That's the Mega Millions jackpot, with no tickets matching all the winning numbers in
last night's drawing. The winning numbers-- 01-04-26-35-39, Mega Ball: 22. The next
drawing takes place Friday night with an estimated jackpot of $290-million dollars up for
Meanwhile, tonight's Powerball jackpot is worth an estimated $348 million dollars.

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