Category: Legal News

Speed Studies Sought Along Fowlerville Road

With increased traffic and residential and commercial development, members of the Handy Township board are seeking studies, and hopefully some changes, on a busy road.

The Handy Township Board met Monday night and authorized having Supervisor Ed Alverson send three traffic-related letters to the Livingston County Road Commission. The first is a section of Fowlerville Road from Mason Road to Damman, where the fire substation is located. Alverson tells WHMI that portion of road gets about 4,000 trips a day and speed appears to be excessive for new residents coming in. He says it’s a residential area with subdivisions plus the fire department and a nursery so it’s a really active place and difficult for people to pull out of their driveways when people are going 55 to 60mph. Alverson says they’re hoping the study will be taken seriously and maybe get the speed limit dropped to 45 mph.

The second study requested is for a section described by Alverson as a “pet peeve” because it doesn’t make any sense and involves a stretch of Fowlerville Road from I-96 to Van Buren Road – which sees roughly 4,000 trips a day per traffic counts and an area where 112 new homes will be going in. He says as you’re going south out of the Village on Fowlerville Road and get to where the Church of the Nazarene is located, the speed limit goes to 55 mph to Van Buren Road. Alverson says there are entrances along the way to the church, a car dealership, a coffee shop, a sandwich shop and a gym – with another car dealership on the opposite side. Then down the road at Van Buren is the Red Cedar Subdivision, which gets almost 4,000 trips a day off that road. Alverson says it’s very dangerous for people coming off Van Buren to turn left to go north so they’re hoping the Road Commission would reconsider the 55mph and look at lowering it, at least until get past Van Buren Road.

The final letter that will be sent is related to truck traffic coming from Fowlerville Farms Family Restaurant and seeks a review of the white line on the north side of the I-96 ramp.
Members noted it can be a dangerous area and tough for trucks to turn. Alverson says it’s a very successful restaurant and attracts a lot of truck traffic, which they have no problem with, and there is also CZ cartage trucking company. As traffic has increased, he says there are trucks pulling out of the restaurant wanting to go south on the expressway but when they go to make the left hand turn there is just sometimes not enough room to complete that turn. Alverson says they’re hoping the Road Commission could maybe work with the state to see if anything can be done there to make it better or at least move the white line back a few feet so trucks can make a successful left hand turn. (JM)

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Lighting Approved For North Road Rehabilitation Project

A new lighting design has been authorized for an upcoming construction project in the City of Fenton.

The North Road Rehabilitation project will include a roundabout at North and Torrey Roads – the first in the City. Part of the project will be financed through Transportation Improvement Program or TIP funds to improve North Road from Oak Park to US-23, which includes the intersection at North and Torrey Roads. However, the Tri-County Times reports that bids came in higher than anticipated for the project at around $92,000 so engineers are now reviewing line items to make cuts and try to reduce the cost. At a recent meeting, Council approved purchasing six new light poles for the area at a cost of $13,158, because the new design for the area will require additional lighting to light up the new intersection. Council opted for decorative black poles with LED lights in an effort to provide more character at the intersection, verses standard utility pole lighting.

As for a construction schedule, work is anticipated to start on the northeast side of Torrey Road to Oak Park after the 4th of July holiday period. It should be completed before school starts back up. The roundabout construction is expected to start after Labor Day and then be completed by mid-November. (JM)

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Michigan Offering Free Nicotine Patches, Gum & Lozenges

Livingston County smokers are being encouraged to put quitting on their to-do list this summer.

The Michigan Tobacco Quitline provides free telephone and online coaching and text messaging for those looking to quit smoking that might need some help. This summer, people wanting to quit smoking or tobacco can receive up to eight weeks of free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges by calling the Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669). Enrollment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Spokesman Bob Wheaton tells WHMI if someone is out there thinking about quitting but wondering how they can wither call the Quitline line or visit Michigan.gov/tobacco to help them through the process, which is important for the health of people in Michigan.

Wheaton says they want to provide that additional support and things that could be helpful to people as they go through their journey of quitting tobacco – in addition to the support they receive from the online or telephone coaching. He says smoking continues to be a problem and is still the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. Wheaton says they want to do whatever they can to help people who want to quit but are still struggling and help them through the process. Wheaton says more than 140,000 Michigan residents have successfully used the Quitline or the online coaching program to help them in their journey towards a tobacco-free life.

The free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges are available through September 30th. The offer is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tips From Former Smokers® campaign featuring real people who are living with the effects of smoking-related diseases and secondhand smoke exposure. (JM)

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Closed Bank Branch To Become Urgent Care

An urgent care facility is replacing the closed Bank of America building in Lyon Township this fall.

The township’s Planning Commission unanimously approved the site plan last week for the building on Pontiac Trail between 9 and 10 Mile roads. It will be Dr. Sarmed Sinawi’s seventh health care location. His brother, Sam Sinawi, told Hometownlife.com that patients want “good service and quality, compassionate care.” Sinawi believes that they expect to receive approximately 25-30 patients on average per day, including those with more serious ailments such as colds and flu, as well as less severe traumas such as cuts and scrapes.

The Bank of America closed the location about a year-and-a-half ago. Several changes have been planned, including a new septic system, four exam rooms, and a waiting room that has the capacity for 12 patients. Healthy Urgent Care is expected to open September 1st. (JK)

Picture courtesy of Google Street View

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Rapper Claims To Purchase Hell & Rename As “Gay Hell” In Trump Protest

A rapper and comedian took to Twitter Monday to announce that he had purchased Hell, Michigan and renamed it “Gay Hell”; however according to an administrator for the Hell Facebook page, Hell has only been rented and not sold.

Elijah Daniels, who has nearly 600,000 YouTube subscribers, previously served as Hell’s Mayor for the day and reportedly was interested in doing so again to spite the Trump Administration’s ban on embassies flying pride flags. Daniels on Monday tweeted: “ahead of pride month Trump’s administration put a ban on embassy’s flying pride flags. so as of today, I am now the owner of Hell, Michigan. I bought the whole town. And my first act as owner, I have renamed my town to Gay Hell, MI. The only flags allowed to fly are pride.”

Social media users who claim to live in Hell commented on Facebook that the story wasn’t true, to which an administrator for the page responded to say, “Elijah owns Hell for 72 hours”.

John Colone, who is considered Hell’s unofficial mayor, declined to comment during a phone conversation with WHMI. However, he is seen in a picture on Daniel’s Twitter page sitting with Daniel as the rapper signs a document. However, that is likely the Mayor of Hell for a day proclamation that Daniel also posted on Twitter from 2017. That has led to speculation that the claim of purchasing Hell and renaming it is more of a publicity stunt than fact.

Colone put up for sale in 2016 the five acres that make up his corner of Hell, including the Hell Wedding Chapel and Scream’s Ice Cream Shop. His original asking price was $1.3 million, which also included the rights to Hell-themed merchandise. He later dropped the price to $999,666, and then to $900,000. (JK)

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Family Suffers Burns, Smoke Inhalation During House Fire

A family suffered burns and smoke inhalation following a fire early Sunday morning in Highland Township.

The Highland Township Fire Department responded to a report of a possible structure fire in the 4000 block of Strathcona at around 1:15am. Fire Chief Ken Chapman says the fire was initially dispatched as a MABAS BOX Alarm, meaning the initial caller information was of such severity that predetermined resources identified for assistance to that area were dispatched immediately following Highland Township Fire units. Chapman tells WHMI upon arrival, the crew found a heavily involved basement fire with extension into the attic. He says initially crews were sent in to fight the fire but with the extension into the attic space, the fire vented through the roof and all crews were removed from the interior. Chapman says the fire was eventually stopped short of the attached garage and bonus room above the garage. He says residents were able to evacuate on their own, but did suffer burns and/or smoke inhalation and were transported to an area burn center. It was further advised that the initial entry team found the family dog during the fire attack, but were unsuccessful in resuscitating the animal.

Chapman says it is still undetermined if the property had working smoke detectors. Many local fire departments will assist those in need of detectors. Chapman noted the Highland Township Fire Department recently received a grant and has 300 smoke detectors that it will install and provide a free home safety inspection after. For more information, contact the Highland Township Fire Department at 248.887.9050 x6 Highland Township Fire Marshal’s office. (JM)

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DNR Offering Safety Reminders Amid High Water Levels

Michigan residents are being reminded of safety steps to take when boating, kayaking, canoeing and swimming amid high water levels across the state.

Recent rainy weather conditions mean that many lakes, rivers and streams in the state are experiencing higher than normal water levels. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is encouraging boaters, anglers and others to keep enjoying the water, but to also be aware of safety measures and local watercraft controls. Lt. Todd Szyska DNR law enforcement supervisor for southeast Michigan, says high water levels can cause flooding, deep water and strong currents, which can also increase the amount of debris floating on the water and under the surface.

He says residents need to be mindful of boating laws and area watercraft controls as they vary between regions, and what is considered harmless in one body of water could cause unsafe conditions in another. Szyska also encourages those participating to be aware of their surroundings, especially as overflowing water onto certain docks near a marina, or another structure with electrical power running to it, poses to the risk for electric shock drowning (ESD). ESD occurs when a person comes into contact with an electrical current in the water that can be caused by faulty wiring from boats, docks or other structures with electrical power running to it.

Szyska says an important measure residents can take to stay safe is knowing the area by utilizing maps or a boat’s charting features. He also encourages kayakers and canoers to wear life jackets and to be aware of fast-flowing water, which is a result of high water levels. He adds that higher levels can make it more challenging for individuals to go under low-hanging obstacles. For additional safety tips and information about watercraft controls and access sites, visit the link below. (DK)

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Barn A Complete Loss Following Saturday Blaze

A large barn was destroyed by fire over the weekend in Hartland Township.

A large barn at Wiggens and Lannen Road caught fire on Saturday afternoon. Deputy Chief Gregg Schkade with the Hartland Deerfield Fire Authority tells WHMI the barn was fully involved when crews arrived on scene and they requested a second alarm. He says additional manpower and water was requested due to the remote area. The Howell and Argentine Township Fire Departments assisted on scene while the Brighton Area Fire Authority covered the Hartland station. Schkade says the DART team was also scene and is owed a huge thank you. It took over five hours before the scene was cleared.

The barn has been deemed a complete loss and was said to have contained a fair amount of equipment and was used for storage. There were no injuries. Schkade says the cause is undetermined, adding they have no reason to deem it suspicious. (JM)

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Fenton Twp. Man Among 22 Arrested In Sex Sting

A court date is pending for a Fenton Township man who was among 22 people charged earlier this month in a child sex sting operation.

25-year-old Kurtis Statler was charged June 8th with one count of child sexually abusive activity, using a computer/internet to commit a crime, and accosting a child for immoral purposes. Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell said those arrested were believed to be targeting children for sexual purposes in Genesee County. However, attorneys for some of the defendants have claimed they were entrapped by the department.

While some like Statler live in the county, others are from Saginaw, Shiawassee, Oakland, Wayne, Lapeer and Tuscola counties. The investigation involved the newly formed Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team, or GHOST. Pickell said the arrests demonstrated that predators are, “increasingly becoming more adept at interacting with children through various social media platforms” He urged law enforcement, parents, and the community as a whole to work together to increase awareness of the dangers these predators present, and continue to develop tools to identify them and remove the threat they pose.

Statler’s bond was set at $10,000 on each charge. He was ordered to have no contact with anyone under the age of 18 except family members, and not to use a computer, the internet or a smartphone. (JK)

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Huron River Expected To Crest This Afternoon

The Huron River in Hamburg Township remains under a Flood Warning, with the river expected to crest about half a foot above flood stage later today.

The river, which has been steadily rising since Friday morning, is predicted to reach 7.1 feet this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. It should begin falling slowly through the week and go below flood stage by Saturday the 22nd.

Flood stage is 6.5 feet, which was reached and exceeded on Saturday. At that stage, water begins to flood the yards of homes, as well as submerge boat docks, along the Huron River and Ore Lake. At 7 feet, water begins to reach foundations and crawl spaces of many homes. The last time the river was at this height in May of last year, when it crested at 7.58 feet. The all-time record is 8.5 feet from 1968.

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