Tag: Attorney Howell MI

Governor & Republican Leaders Remain At Budget Impasse

A local lawmaker says work on the state’s 2020 budget continues at the Capitol this week.

Republicans have begun advancing their proposed budget without a deal with Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, after the sides agreed to table talks on a road-funding plan. The new fiscal year begins October 1st. State Representative Ann Bollin of Brighton Township is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and said she is working on a budget that spends taxpayer money in a smart way, adding she wants the spending plan to reflect Livingston County priorities – specifically referencing better roads, better schools and better water.

Governor Whitmer wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield Tuesday saying they should pass spending measures before a GOP “getaway” on Mackinac Island starting Friday – adding over the summer, lawmakers took a two-month-long vacation instead of coming to the table to negotiate a budget. Whitmer said budgets should ideally be presented to her two weeks before the end of the fiscal year so she has time to review it and time is of the essence.

House Speaker Lee Chatfield spoke with reporters on the House floor prior to Tuesday’s session about budget negotiations. Chatfield says he has reached out to the Governor several times to continue talks over the 2020 state budget and is hopeful he’ll get a positive response. Chatfield says they’re willing to negotiate to and everyone should be sitting down at a table until an agreement is reached to avoid any potential government shutdown.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey has stated that Whitmer will know all the details Thursday when more committees vote but senators will wait until next Tuesday to take final action. Meanwhile, the state has notified thousands of employees they could soon get layoff notices unless the Governor and Republican leaders resolve the budget standoff. About 48,000 people have been notified of potential layoffs. The first round of layoffs would likely involve closing down state parks, Secretary of State branch offices and the Michigan Lottery. Public health and safety employees would be expected to show up for work, such as state police troopers, corrections officers and child welfare workers. (JM)

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Hearings Set On Murder Charges In Tainted Steroid Deaths

Two men facing second-degree murder charges related to a fatal meningitis outbreak will be back in Livingston County court in November.

A probable cause conference was held last week in 53rd District Court for Barry Cadden, the co-founder of New England Compounding Center and Glenn Chin, who worked there as a pharmacist. Dates were set for November and December for witnesses to testify as Judge Shauna Murphy decides whether there is enough evidence to bind the case over to Livingston County Circuit Court for trial.

Both Cadden and Chin are currently serving federal prison sentences for convictions in a separate case related to the 2012 national outbreak. At least 100 people have died and nearly 1,000 others became ill nationwide because of tainted steroids. The outbreak killed 23 people in Michigan. The attorney general’s office charged Cadden and Chin earlier this year in connection with 11 deaths in Livingston County, saying investigators connected the compounding pharmacy to Michigan clinics, including Michigan Pain Specialists in Genoa Township, which had dispensed the NECC contaminated steroids.

Michigan officials waited to file charges until after Cadden and Chin were prosecuted in Boston federal court. Cadden is currently serving a nine year prison sentence, while Chin was sentenced to eight years in prison in the same Massachusetts court. (JK)

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Dorr Road To Close Between Grand River & Herbst Thursday

A portion of Dorr Road in Genoa Township will be shut down this week.

The Livingston County Road Commission advises that Dorr Road between Grand River and Herbst will be closed Thursday from 8am to 6pm. Crews will be replacing a cross tube under Dorr Road, which involves excavating and paving.

The road will be completely closed to through traffic. Local traffic will still have access and signs advising of the closure are in place. (JM)

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Tour de Livingston Set To Ride Through Livingston County

With the coming of Autumn, the Howell Rotary Club is again inviting bicyclists of all skill levels to take a charity ride through scenic Livingston County.

The Tour de Livingston is celebrating 12 years of helping those in need when it kicks off from Mt. Brighton on Sunday, October 6th. Several routes of varying distances up to 100 miles will take riders through interesting points of attraction like the GM Proving Grounds, Hell, Michigan, and the Howell Farmer’s Market. New this year will be “Gravel Grinder” routes that will take riders on paved and unpaved gravel roads.

To date, the Tour has raised more than $330,000 for the United Way’s Basic Needs Fund which helps struggling families in the area.

Day of registration is $50, but is just $40 for early online sign up. Cyclists can also sign on to be a jersey rider and pledge to raise $250 for the event. All Riders whop pre-register will have an opportunity to win a Jamis all-purpose crossover bike or a Saris bike rack, courtesy of Hometown Bicycles, which is helping to sponsor the event. For more information, or to register, use the link below. (JK)

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Lyon Township Man Shot In Face With BB Gun

A man is expected to face charges for shooting another man with a BB gun last weekend.

Deputies with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Lyon Township substation responded to an address on Boyne Street inside of the Kensington Mobile Home Park on the report of a felonious assault. It happened on Saturday around 7:21pm when a caller reported that an altercation occurred between her boyfriend and a neighbor. During the altercation, police say the neighbor produced a BB gun and shot the victim in the face and in the chest. One of the BB’s lodged in the victim’s nose. The responsible neighbor, identified as a 27-year-old Orion Township man, then fled the scene prior to deputies arriving. The victim, a 30-year-old Lyon Township man, was treated at the scene by the Lyon Township Fire Department and paramedics from Huron Valley EMS. An area search was conducted for the suspect but with negative results.

Detectives are said to be continuing with the investigation. (JM)

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Wedding Barn Project Closer To Final Approval In Brighton Township

Plans for a wedding barn project in Brighton Township are moving forward although an agreement for a sewer assessment still needs to be worked out.

Property owner David LeClair is proposing a 3,750-square-foot wedding barn, storage barn, two wedding venue sites and a tree house on the site. At Monday night’s meeting, the board approved preliminary site plans and a final conditional zoning agreement for the Tandale Nature Barn. However, the approval is contingent on the amount of sewer REU’s for the project being worked out. A lengthy discussion was held on that, as LeClair is appealing the assignment of what was initially 16 REU’s but then reduced to 11 by the Utilities Committee but the board has the final say. It was noted there is nothing on the books for sewer REU standards that fits the particular property and project, although the township is in the process of drafting an ordinance regarding wedding barns and similar uses. Since there is not a clear use in current ordinance, staff initially made the designation as a bar/restaurant but the Committee came up with REU assignment based on square footage through a formula for country clubs and athletic clubs. The conditional zoning agreement allows for one large event per week and up to three smaller events, which would be held seasonally. There will be bathroom facilities but no bar or kitchen and LeClair likened it to church usage or that of a VFW hall. Manager Brian Vick stated the challenge is trying to determine the designation and closest use out of the choices and then use that formula. After that, he says it goes to the appeal process to the Utilities Committee, which made a determination but final decision lies with the board.

LeClair stated he just wants a fair and equitable assignment, and didn’t feel that was appropriate for a part time business with very limited facility usage. LeClair told the board he’s been working very hard on the project for many months and it took a while for him to come forward with a project he felt was right for the property. He says there were many unique characteristics and a lot of wetlands on property but they worked through traffic issues, met with all the neighbors and got them behind the project and went through the conditional rezoning process. LeClair said he is excited to finish everything but the sewer RUE assessment has been frustrating because there is nothing in township ordinance that fits the property.

Officials noted that this is a new venture for the township and more discussions are needed moving forward. Toward the end of the discussion though it appeared that the more correct range would likely be 4 to 6 REU’s. Supervisor Patrick Michel said everyone agrees the special event barn concept is a great idea but it’s also new territory and everyone is trying to figure it out together to make sure they go forward in a practical and pragmatic methodology. He commented they have to have a starting point and don’t just pull numbers out of the sky, saying he felt there is still more discussion to be had. Michel said the project maintains the residential density and many members visited the property and spoke with neighbors. He said he hopes that other similar projects follow but stressed they do need an ordinance that covers special event barns. Michel said they’re trying to proceed very cautiously but are also aware of LeClair’s desire to get everything up and built, adding there have also been questions about the usable space.

After lengthy discussion, the board voted 6-1 to table the matter pending further discussions between staff and LeClair. Trustee Mike Slaton was opposed. The matter is expected to be taken up again at the board’s October 7th work session. (JM)

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Transportation Partnership Looks To Break Down Barriers To Healthcare Access

A new service in Livingston County aims to improve the community’s overall health by providing focused transportation to wellness-related appointments.

Ascension Providence Hospital, Michigan Medicine and Saint Joseph Mercy Health System have committed to contributing $106,000 for the service for the next three years through the collaborative partnership with the Livingston Essential Transportation Service, or LETS. The goal is to get more people to their medical appointments, pharmacy visits, physical therapy, or anything that’s wellness-related, in order to improve the overall wellbeing of county residents.

Elisabeth Vanderpool, Director of Community Health at St. Joseph Mercy Health System, says by providing transportation to wellness-related destinations, the service will free up space for LETS’ usual operations and residents needing transportation to other kinds of places that could help improve the social determinants of health. Vanderpool says there is a waitlist for residents needing transportation through LETS, adding they know there are issues of access to healthcare, but that there are also issues affecting the social determinants of health, like a lack of access to healthy foods, or a need for transportation to handle necessary tasks like paying bills.

Livingston County’s Board of Commissioners on Monday approved a resolution to accept $318,000 in funding from the participating healthcare providers. That money will match an additional $130,000 in state and federal transportation grants, which will give LETS an estimated budget of $230,000 at a minimum to provide the service. LETS Director Greg Kellogg says says that will allow them to hire two additional full-time drivers for their two, brand new 10-passenger vans.

Kellogg tells WHMI the transportation service is part of the Health Department’s Community Health Improvement Plan, which had a component called the Health Integration Work Group that focused on improving the social determinants of health. The group included representatives from the three contributing health providers, the Health Department and LETS who worked on reducing barriers to healthcare access.

Kellogg says the ultimate goal once the three-year agreement is up is to renew it and maintain those contributions and, hopefully, make the service a permanent staple in the community. (DK)

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Brighton Harley-Davidson Closing, Moving To Farmington Location

After 17 years in business, Brighton Harley-Davidson has announced they will be closing their Livingston County store and “combining forces” with their sister store MotorCity Harley-Davidson in Farmington Hills.

The announcement, which came earlier this month via a Facebook post, says that, “After a lot of late nights considering our options we finally came to realize that we can better serve you and the riding community as a whole from our 75,000 sq ft superstore centrally located in Farmington Hills.”

Originally opened in the summer of 2002, the dealership on Whitmore Lake Road has been a convenient location for not only riders in Livingston County, but also those in Washtenaw County, since the Ann Arbor Harley Davidson dealership closed in 2010, when it combined into the Brighton location. Despite that, dealership officials tout the expanded inventory and increased efficiency they’ll be able to provide at the new location, which they say will have the most retail floor space of any Harley-Davidson dealership in the state of Michigan.

The Facebook post says the move will be in effect as of Sunday, September 29th. (JK)

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Howell Principal Recognized By National Society Of High School Scholars

A local high school principal has been recognized by The National Society of High School Scholars for his contribution to students’ academic career.

Howell High School principal Jason Schrock was selected as a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction by the NSHSS. Schrock was also named a finalist for the Claes Nobel Educator of the Year Award. He was nominated by a student for outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in the profession.

Each year student members of NSHSS are invited to nominate the educator who has made the most significant contribution to their academic career for the Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction award. The honor recognizes exemplary educators whose passion and devotion inspire their students to grow and develop as scholars, leaders, and citizens.

Schrock says being named a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction by the NSHSS is a “huge honor” and, what means the most to him, is knowing that the impact he has had on a student was great enough for them to complete the nomination process.

NSHSS President James W. Lewis says the Educators of Distinction program aims to acknowledge and encourage the vital work of teachers, counselors, and administrators who are shaping the intellect and character of young scholars.

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M-59 Traffic Signal To Go Operational Wednesday

For motorists who regularly drive between Howell and Hartland, a new stop will be part of their commute starting this week.

The Michigan Department of Transportation says that the signal at M-59 and Hacker Road in Oceola Township will become a fully-functioning traffic light on Wednesday. MDOT officials say that the light is currently in yellow flashing mode for M-59 traffic, but once it switches over, drivers will need to become accustomed to potentially having to stop at the intersection on a regular basis.

It was seven years ago that MDOT installed a yellow flashing light at the busy intersection as a warning for drivers to slow down and be aware of other drivers. That followed lobbying by members of the St. John’s Catholic Church which sits at that intersection. However, in the intervening years that area has seen increased traffic and will continue to as more development is approved.

Just last week, the Hartland Township Planning Commission had positive opinions about a proposed 55-unit planned development that would be located east of Hacker Road and north of M-59. (JK)

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