Tag: Lawyer

Pet Alligator Captured After Escaping From Milford Township Home

A pet alligator escaped from a Milford Township home last week and went on an adventure.

James Kozub has owned the four-foot long American alligator for 20 years and has lived in the township for the past eight years. Puff had been left on a tether in the front yard of Kozub’s home in the 2000 block of East Commerce but managed to break loose and escape Thursday afternoon. Puff wandered around and ended up in a neighbor’s yard down the street. A woman passing by noticed the alligator in the yard and notified the homeowners, who contacted police. The woman and a man at the neighbor’s home were able to capture Puff, who still had a small harness on with a broken wire attached to it. Kozub had been at a water park with his family and arrived about an hour later. He taped Puff’s mouth shut and carried him home before putting him in his swimming pool to cool off. It is not against any state laws or DNR regulations to own an alligator. Kozub says Puff has never been a problem and stressed he has always legally owned his pets – adding he notified township officials about Puff when he first moved to the area.

Milford Police Chief Tom Lindberg confirmed the incident for WHMI and Kozub was cited for failing to maintain a reasonable control leash law. (JM)

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Second “Reality Tour” Experience Set For This Weekend

Area families and youth can learn about the dangers of harmful substances and how to avoid them at a drug prevention event this weekend.

Wake Up Livingston (WUL), a group of community members with the common goal of eradicating opiate overdose, is once again holding The Reality Tour Parent/Child Drug Prevention Experience on Saturday at the Livingston County EMS building on Tooley Road in Howell.

The event has participants follow the fate of a fictitious teen addicted to drugs. The tour includes a student-led dramatic skit accompanied by a narrative that reminds the audience that the teen used to be just like them. In addition to the presentation and learning communication skills, attendees will also get a chance to ask questions of youth in recovery and commit to a drug-free life by placing their handprint on the Reality Tour banner.

Facilitator Kristal Reyes says WUL is hoping to reach families this summer to educate youth and adults alike about how to have difficult conversations about the dangers of harmful substances and making good decisions. She tells WHMI it’s never too early to begin talking to kids about the dangers of substance use, adding that its presence can “creep up” on children at a very early age. Youth interested in participating must be at least 10 years old and accompanied by an adult to attend. Organizers note space is limited and encourage interested community members to register soon, as advanced registration is necessary.

Additional event information and a link to register is posted below.

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VINA Dental Accepting Patient Applications

VINA Community Dental Center is accepting applications for new patients at their clinic in Brighton for appointments in September.

In order to qualify, patients must be a resident of Livingston County, have limited income and no dental insurance. Appointments for dental care or a hygienist visit are $25. The low-cost clinic is located at 400 E. Grand River, just east of DT Brighton in front of Brighton United Methodist Church.

VINA’s mission is to provide quality, affordable dental care to Livingston County residents with limited finances and little to no access to dental care while upholding the professional standards of dentistry in a compassionate way. The dental clinic was started in 2008 as a low-cost alternative for those unable to afford dental care and insurance.

In 2018, VINA served over 1,400 patients and provided dental services totaling over $370,000. They use volunteer dentists, assistants and hygienists to augment a small part-time staff. Appointment wait time, after application approval, is as short as two weeks and shorter for emergencies.

Applications and information regarding eligibility is available at their website. A link is posted below.

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January Trial Date Set In Brennan Case

A January trial date has been set for former 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan regarding charges brought against her by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.

Brennan appeared this morning for a pretrial hearing at the Judicial Center in Howell. Court records indicate a visiting judge set a trial date of January 13th for Brennan’s case, with no adjournments. The case has been assigned to Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Paul Cusick. Brennan is charged with perjury, misconduct in office, and destroying evidence in relation to her 2016 divorce case. She was bound over to Livingston County Circuit Court last month after a visiting judge found there was enough evidence to send the case to trial.

Genesee County District Court Judge David Guinn declared probable cause for perjury citing conflicting statements from Brennan during her divorce deposition and Judicial Tenure Commission hearing last October regarding the admission of resetting of a protected cell phone. This led into another charge of tampering with evidence, which Guinn also found probable cause for. With the misconduct in office charge, Judge Guinn cited Brennan’s decision to not immediately recuse herself from her own divorce case. Guinn said she delayed on signing the order, and that it is in the court’s belief that she used that time to plot and scheme what to do with the evidence on the phone.

Just two days after Guinn announced his decision on June 26th, the Michigan Supreme Court issued a unanimous memorandum opinion ordering Brennan be removed from the bench, thus suspending her from holding judicial office for six years. (DK)

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Public Input Sought On Redistricting Commission Application Language

Michigan’s top election official is seeking public input on proposed application language and eligibility guidelines for people wanting to sit on a new commission that will draw congressional and legislative lines in 2020 and 2021.

In November 2018, voters amended the state constitution to create a citizen-led commission responsible for drawing district lines for the Michigan Legislature and U.S. Congressional seats. Under the amendment, the Secretary of State is charged with administering the process for application and selection of the commissioners, as well as providing administrative support to the commission once formed. The independent commission will be composed of 13 Michigan registered voters: four who self-identify as Democrats, four who self-identify as Republicans and five who self-identify as unaffiliated with those political parties. To launch the citizen-led process, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is inviting Michigan citizens to offer input and feedback on the proposed application language and eligibility guidelines – calling it the first step in a historic effort to map Michigan’s future. She says the success of the new redistricting process will depend upon public engagement – whether average citizens know about the commission and are encouraged to apply and, once formed, whether citizens can meaningfully engage in creating and submitting maps to be considered. The voter-approved ballot initiative that created the independent commission spells out much of the process by which 13 members will be selected at random, and the eligibility rules but Benson clarified that people who have been precinct delegates for political parties since August 2014 are ineligible.

Secretary of State Communications Director Shawn Starkey tells WHMI they hope a lot of people will participate, noting the public comment period is not required by the Constitution. However given the first-ever nature of the commission, he says Secretary Benson wanted to encourage full citizen participation so they’re asking for comment on application language and the eligibility guidelines. He says they’ve basically provided the text for the application language and eligibility guidelines interpreting what’s called for in the Constitution so they’re looking for any feedback that citizens want to provide. Starkey says transparency is extremely important to Secretary Benson and for this process and they wanted to make sure it’s something that is completely open, transparent and available to the public.

The public comment period runs through Friday, August 9th. Citizens can view the proposed language and guidelines online at RedistrictingMichigan.org and a link is provided. Comments can be submitted by email at Redistricting@Michigan.gov. The application process will launch this fall with an application deadline of June 1, 2020. Commissioners will be selected in a multi-step random selection process by September 1st, 2020. The commission will host town halls, gather public input and select the final maps by November 2021. The maps will take effect for the 2022 elections. (JM)

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Hamburg Twp. Issues “No Wake” Request For Huron River, Chain Of Lakes

Hamburg Township officials have issued a no wake request along the Huron River and the chain of lakes in the municipality.

In light of the storm and the excessive rain received in the area over the weekend, the Hamburg Township Board of Trustees is asking that all boaters please observe a no wake request on the Huron River and all the lakes in Hamburg Township. Township Supervisor Pat Hohl says with the Huron River at flood stage, water is present in several crawl spaces and many docks and sea walls are under water. Wakes exacerbate wave action along the shore and, as shorelines are encroaching onto residents’ yards and over their docks, additional wave action presents a safety issue.

Township Information Specialist Brenda Richardson says according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA’s latest advanced hydrologic prediction service graphs regarding river stages and crest estimates, the Huron River was most recently observed to have reached a stage of 7-feet. Flood stage is considered to be 6.5-feet. The river is forecasted to remain at this stage until Friday and expected to fall off over the weekend. Richardson says they’ll monitor the forecast and lift the no wake request accordingly.

The Hamburg Township website has information regarding the Huron River and floodplains, and various related sources. A link is posted below. (DK)

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Storms Result In Sanitary Sewer Overflow In Brighton Lake

Severe storms resulted in a sanitary sewer overflow in the City of Brighton.

A severe storm with very high winds and several inches of rain caused a power failure at the City’s South Third Street sanitary sewer liftstation on Friday night. Officials say the power failure resulted in sanitary sewer overflowing from a manhole near Ore Creek on South Third Street. Approximately 10,000 to 15,000 gallons of the spill flowed into the creek and then into Brighton Lake. Initial sample results taken on Saturday showed elevated levels of E. Coli in Brighton Lake. The Livingston County Health Department notified residents to not use the lake for swimming until further notice. A second round of samples will be collected from Brighton Lake this morning and the City says results will be provided to the residents and the public.

Meanwhile, DTE Energy and Consumers Energy crews entered a third straight night of restoration work Sunday and stated that their around the clock efforts were continuing to restore power to the remaining customers affected by the violent, damaging storm system that over two days knocked out power to over 800,000 Michigan homes and businesses. The majority of outages were concentrated in Livingston and Washtenaw Counties. Officials say it’s the largest storm to hit the region in years. The two utilities say it could take until Wednesday to restore power for everyone. Facebook photo. (JM)

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Transportation Conflicts Are Number One Reason For Employee Turnover

A local employment agency is releasing a study revealing the root causes of turnover and the costs it puts on employers.

Michigan Works! Southeast is part of a statewide network of organizations that work to encourage local economic prosperity by developing a strong, talented workforce. They have recently completed a study that explored the most common reason for employee turnover. The two biggest reasons are transportation and child care. Michigan Works! Southeast Communications Manager Nicole Bell said the big “a-ha” moment in the study’s results, came in learning that the estimated median cost of turnover was $4,000 per worker to the employer. With that number being calculated at minimum wage, Bell noted that that is quite a large investment for employers.

The report states that 25% of employees leave a job due to conflicts with transportation, but only 9% of the region’s employers offer transportation support. Bell says in Livingston County there is a Business Resource Network comprised of 8 local employers who take key issues, like transportation, and work together to solve it. Locally, they have been using the Livingston Essential Transportation Network, or LETS, to bring workers from Flint into the greater Howell-area for employment opportunities. A digital launch and 1-hour interactive web reveal of the 20-page study is scheduled for Tuesday, July 30th, starting at 2pm. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/turnover-study-identifies-root-causes-of-employee-turnover-tickets-65456621517?aff=affiliate1 (MK)

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Trial Again Delayed For Man Charged With Assaulting Child

There’s been another delay in the trial of a New Hudson man charged with the severe beating of his girlfriend’s infant son.

24-year-old Seth Blumberg had originally been set to stand trial last November on charges of assault with intent to murder and 1st degree child abuse. That was then adjourned to April, with multiple delays finally leading to a determination earlier this month that a trial won’t take place until October 21st. Court records indicate the adjournment was to allow for additional investigation and discovery.

Police began investigating Blumberg after the child’s mother brought the infant to the hospital March 29th of 2018 when she noticed bruising on the child. An Oakland County Sheriff’s deputy testified Blumberg admitted trying to kill the infant, including trying to choke him, so he could spend more time with the child’s mother. She testified that she dated Blumberg for about a month before moving into a two-bedroom apartment with him and his step-brother and that there were numerous occasions when Blumberg was being too rough with the infant, including picking the child up by his head.

Blumberg remains jailed under a $500,000 cash bond. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison. At the time of his arrest, Blumberg was on probation from a 2016 guilty plea to charges of possessing child sexually abusive material and two counts of criminal sexual conduct involving someone ages 13-15. (JK)

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Thousands Remain without Power After Second Wave of Storms

According to DTE Energy, about 375,000 customers are without power as a result of the thunderstorms that rumbled through the region Friday and Saturday nights. The storms were marked by flashes of lightning, high winds and even in a few cases, hail. Many trees and limbs were the victims of the storm front. Some people in Livingston County – particularly in the hard-hit Brighton area – have been without power since Friday evening.

DTE says Saturday’s storm was the worst in southeast Michigan this year, and one of the largest since the March 2017 wind storm. Wind gusts Saturday exceeded 70 miles per hour in some areas, and downed 1,100 power lines.
DTE has requested assistance from 800 additional line workers from nearby states.

Thousands of customers in Livingston County were left without power Friday night after the first wave of thunderstorms hit and for a time, DTE crews had the number of customers without power to 80,000, but then the second wave hit Saturday night, and the number was up to nearly 400,000.

Crews are busy today (Sunday), restoring electricity to affected homes and businesses. Meanwhile Consumers Energy says the storms brought down more than 1,500 power lines. Jackson, Michigan-based Consumers said today that over 212,000 customers were affected by the storms. It’s estimate that roughly 121,000 Consumers Energy customers remained without power by this morning. The utility says the storms downed over 2,600 wires. Consumers estimates it won’t have all power restored until the end of Tuesday. (TT/AP)

Photo of felled tree over Dorr Road courtesy of Regina Locklear; photo of downed tree over Maltby Road courtesy of Bryan Bradford.

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