Tag: Livingston County Attorney

Candidates Face Off In Forum For 8th District GOP Nomination

Five Republican candidates vying for the nomination and opportunity to battle for 8th District Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin’s seat took part in their first campaign forum in Livingston County.

Roughly 500 people packed Crystal Gardens in Genoa Township, last night, to hear the candidates’ views on several state and national issues. The event began with the moderator asking the crowd to chant “fake news”, which they did, and then pointing to the media table in back and saying she hoped “they’re brave enough to tell the truth about tonight.”

Running for the nomination is East Lansing Attorney Kristina Lyke. A life-long resident of the district and graduate of Pinckney High School, opened up saying she is a high-energy, self-made person, who is running to support President Donald Trump. She spoke of the importance of the 2nd Amendment, keeping the economic engine running, and fighting for veterans, police, fire, and first responders.

Also running is former Fox 47 News anchor and Trump appointee at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, Paul Junge. Junge said it was important to make Slotkin a one-term member of Congress. He said as he’s campaigned in Livingston, Ingham, and Oakland counties, the anger and disgust at the representation voters are receiving in Washington D.C. is very strong. Junge said Slotkin told voters she was not about impeachment, and then went to Washington and instigated it, and voted to remove Trump. He said the 8th District deserves better.

Howell’s Mike Detmer is running and said that we are at war for the heart, soul, and traditions of the state and country. He said he is at the point of his life where he refuses to bow down to leftists and socialists, and that he right now we are seeing a lot of divisiveness, name calling and deadlock. Detmer sees people trying to destroy what our men and women in uniform have fought for, and that he will go to D.C. to not just stop those people, but defeat them.

Alan Hoover is a 20 year veteran of the Marine Corps, and preached conservative and Christian values. He sees the Democrats as trying to put voters into a position of silence by using tactics to make conservatives feel like they are closet racists or seek to do harm to the planet. Hoover said they throw acronyms out like LGBTQ, and say babies don’t have souls, but he has acronyms, too, like USMC, and believes in life at conception.

Michigan Board of Education member Nikki Snyder said she is running to represent the people of the 8th District, and that it is time for new leadership and bold ideas. A nurse of 18 years, Snyder said she was fired up and will stand strong as a Christian conservative and as one of the most passionate pro-life conservatives.

The forum was put on and moderated by the Livingston County Republican Party, along with Protect our Republic.

Candidates were asked about a socialist takeover and Medicare for All plans that could cause millions to lose their private health insurance coverage. Lyke said it’s ridiculous and would cost us trillions. Junge said that would be a disaster and pointed out that Medicare does not compensate hospitals and medical centers. Detmer called Medicare for All not just a disaster, but absolutely ignorant. He said health care is in his wheelhouse and needs to be taken out of the hands of the federal government. Snyder said she would fiercely oppose it and that choice and competition is the real solution. She said there’s a difference when the government is telling you how to spend your dollars and what you should be doing with them.

The next question dealt with “sanctuary cities,” in which Ingham County is one, and would the candidates support Trump in stopping them. Junge said he worked to enforce immigration laws, and that while it is a difficult fight, he salutes the president and would oppose all sanctuary city programs. Detmer called for no federal funding to be sent to any municipality, city, or state that wants that program. Hoover said sanctuary cities are part of the deep state trying to take us down from within. He said they use them to get cartels in the streets and support human trafficking. Snyder said she would support Trump’s efforts, and that she’s got a hammer to help Trump build his wall. Lyke also agreed to stop the program, saying we have to protect our individuals here and fix our immigration system to a merit-based system.

On the topic of national defense, moderators asked about the Department of Defense establishing a 6th branch (a Space Force), and what country do the candidates think is the biggest threat to our national security. Detmer wants to maintain America’s status as the top military force, and sees China, Iran and Russia as the biggest threats. Hoover said a space force would protect our communications like cell phones from going down to attacks, and cited Iran, Russia, China, and North Korea as threats. Snyder said China, Russia, the Middle East, and communism are our greatest threats and our military must remain strong. Lyke cited Russia and China as threats; Russia for going back to Cold War techniques, China for going after our IPs. Junge stressed the importance of re-electing Trump, saying a Democrat being in charge of our military would be a disaster.

They were asked about the many Democrats, including Slotkin, who criticized Trump for the killing of Iranian General Quassem Soleimani, believing his death would lead to greater repercussions. Hoover said that Slotkin was trying to take away Trump’s war powers and that she is clearly working against him. Snyder said that whatever it takes to wipe terrorism off the earth, we should do, and that she would not try to take power from Trump like Slotkin is. Lyke called the Democrats nuts and said that taking the war powers away from the president is unconstitutional, and suggested that Slotkin needs to go to law school someday. Junge said that Slotkin was in the CIA and had a chance to get Soleimani, she said “the juice was not worth the squeeze.” Detmer said Trump’s been under attack by the Democrats since day 1, and that they are trying to hog tie him in protecting the country.

Candidates were asked about veterans and what they would do to help them transition to civilian life when coming home. Snyder called for programs and resources that give access to jobs, health care, and mental health care. Lyke said she already works pro bono with vets, helping them get into programs, and that we need to give them all the help we can. Junge called for job training, mental health care, and dental health care. Detmer said this is a big issue and they need to help local organizations apply for grant money. Hoover said helping vets would be his number 1 priority. He said many have experience to work civilian jobs, but civilian employers have a hard time seeing it.

All were in support of the 2nd Amendment and against a federal firearm registry. Lyke said she’d protect the 2nd until she died. Junge said a registry would give those who want to confiscate guns a target. Detmer said this is near and dear to his heart, and that the 2nd Amendment is what protects the rest of the Constitution from complete collapse. Hoover was against both, as was Snyder who said she would not be coming for anyone’s guns.

When asked if candidates would support “red flag” laws for gun owners in Congress, they were again united in their opinions. Junge said they violate the 2nd Amendment and due process. Detmer said if a red flag proposal found its way to his office, it would go in the shredder. Hoover asked that once the government can go into your house and tell you you can’t own a gun because of gossip, how long until it trickles down to voting? Snyder proposed bringing gun education back into schools so that people wouldn’t feel so uncomfortable around them. She said kids need to know what to do around them. Lyke said she is completely against them, and that there are many liberal judges who will take away a gun based off hearsay.

Moderators asked candidates what their best attributes were for running against Slotkin, who’s campaign spent $7-million on the 2018 election. Mods said Slotkin admitted her voting record was more liberal than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s, and she has never voted with Trump. Detmer said his character is to stand up to anybody. He called Slotkin’s 3 tours of duty deceiving, and that she needs to be called out on stolen valor. Hoover said he wants to draw as much money out of the Democrats here to help Republicans elsewhere win; and they’ll need every penny to beat him. Snyder said she wasn’t surprised to hear how much money was spent in 2018, and that Republicans do a better, more efficient job. Lyke said she was a fighter, litigator, and small business owner. Living here her whole life, she said Slotkin came in like Mary Poppins, and doesn’t know the values of the people who live here. Junge said he’s been designated as a Young Gun by the National Republican Congressional Committee. He claimed to be the only candidate that will have the financial resources to answer her attacks. Detmer later took issue with this, saying whoever won the nomination would get the party’s support. Hoover said he’s recently been recognized by Combat Vets for Congress and will have their support.

Candidates were asked their stance on abortion, and again, there was unanimity in opposition. All expressed pro-life sentiments. Hoover said life begins at conception, and that just because a baby hasn’t taken a breath, it should still be protected. Snyder said she ended up leaving a job once for being bullied for not participating in an abortion. She said she would refuse public funding to medical facilities that do not allow labor delivery nurses to refuse to participate in those procedures. Lyke agreed that life begins at conception, would pass a bill making abortion illegal, and provide more funding and options for adoption. Junge pointed to Virginia where doctors can have conversations with mothers on the topic after birth as what can happen when Democrats take control. He said he would support life, and not fund Planned Parenthood. Detmer said he was Christian and absolutely pro-life.

With the Democratic primaries underway, candidates were asked which nominees might scare them and why. Snyder said Bernie Sanders because of what he stands for and how he wants to gut the Constitution. Lyke said Sanders for the damage he will do to health care and taxes, but also Pete Buttigieg for quoting scriptures but enacting policies that are not in line with Christian principles. Junge said any would be a terrible president, but Sanders is determined to be the most “crazy idiotic.” Detmer said he isn’t afraid of that field, but is afraid of what’s going on with society to bring them to the surface. He said Millennials have been taught that socialism is a good thing, and that while it fails everywhere its tried, they believe they would be different. He warned that its after Trump’s second term that we should really be careful.

Finally, the candidates were asked their top 3 priorities should they be elected. Lyke said to keep the Constitution, lower taxes and keep the economy thriving, and work on better mental health care. Junge said he wants to secure the borders, focus on continued economic success, and work on health care issues. Detmer said he wants to protect the gains made during the current administration, focus on improved health care, and protect both the borders and 2nd Amendment. Hoover wants to continue Trump’s agenda, put Americans before illegals, and keep our military strong. Snyder said she wants to protect the Constitution, support business and the economy, and focus on health care, with particular respects to pro-life measures, support for vets, and no Medicare for All.

Voters will select the Republican nominee on August 4th. (MK)


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Testimony Set To Conclude In Hearing For Men Charged In Tainted Steroid Deaths

Testimony continued Thursday in the preliminary hearing for two men charged in the death of nearly a dozen Livingston County residents.

Barry Cadden and Glenn Chin were charged with Second Degree Murder last year by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office for their roles in running the New England Compounding Center. Cadden was a part-owner and Chin was a supervising pharmacist at the facility in which authorities say lax conditions were allowed to infect steroids produced there that led to the 2012 outbreak that killed more than 100 people nationwide and sickened nearly a thousand others.

On the stand Thursday was Mary Brandt, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who related her efforts to find the source of the tainted drugs. Brandt said that testing of samples taken from victims matched up with the exact fungus discovered at the NECC lab in Massachusetts.

Emails from Cadden were also entered into evidence by prosecutors. They were recovered from his computer after the FDA raided NECC’s offices in late 2012. In one email Cadden told instructed Chin to “hire more monkeys” to label drugs being shipped out. Previous testimony indicated that orders were coming in so fast to the company that workers had trouble keeping up the testing protocols and that untested drugs were being labeled as tested and then shipped out.

Today is expected to be the final day of testimony in the case, after which both sides will submit briefs to 53rd District Court Judge Shauna Murphy for her to make a determination whether the case should be sent to circuit court for trial. (JK)


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Lutz County Park Could Become Official “Urban Night Sky Place”

Local recreation leaders are seeking an official “Urban Night Sky Place” designation for a Livingston County park.

An Urban Night Sky Place (UNSP), as determined by the International Dark Sky Association, is a municipal park, open space, observing site, or other similar property near or surrounded by large urban environs whose planning and design actively promote an authentic nighttime experience in the midst of significant artificial light.

Livingston County’s Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee has been researching the viability of applying to have Lutz County Park recognized as an official UNSP.

Lutz County Park is located in Deerfield Township just north of the intersection of Lutz and Cohoctah Roads, and adjacent to the Oak Grove State Game Area. The land was bequeathed to the county in 2005 by Owen Lutz and opened to public recreation use in 2008. Among its amenities are a trail system that provides opportunities for users to experience high-quality natural areas, scenic views, and wildlife.

The Parks and Open Space Committee feels an opportunity does exist to have the park recognized as a UNSP and recently submitted a request to apply for the recognition. A county subcommittee recommended approval of the request, sending it forward to the full Livingston County Board of Commissioners for final consideration. (DK)

Photos courtesy of Gary Brewer on livgov.com.


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Witnesses Say Steroid Lab Was Dirty & Lacking Proper Controls

Testimony continues today in the preliminary hearing for two men charged in the deaths of 11 Livingston County residents.

In court Wednesday, witnesses from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration testified about contaminated steroids discovered at Michigan Pain Specialists in Genoa Township that were traced back to the New England Compounding Center, a Massachusetts drug compounding company which was partly owned by Barry Cadden, and where Glenn Chin worked as a pharmacist. They were both charged last year by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office with second degree murder in the deaths.

The witnesses told of unsanitary conditions discovered at the NECC facility, including leaking water and dirty, sticky mats at the entrance to the lab’s clean room with grass on them. Grass, it was explained, is very conducive to the growth of fungus. It was also noted that an unprotected pass-through opening existed from the clean room.

53rd District Court Judge Shauna Murphy is conducting the hearing, which will determine if there is enough evidence to send the case to trial. (JK)


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Services Set Sunday To Honor Beloved Former Educator

Local services are set this weekend for a longtime area educator who recently passed away.

Bill Cain served with Hartland Consolidated Schools for more than 30 years, before retiring as Director of Student Services in 2018. He died February 7th from heart complications at his home in Montana, where he moved after retiring. Cain was also a 1980 graduate of Hartland High School where he was on the wrestling team. He took that passion to North Idaho College, where he wrestled for the Cardinals and was a member of the 1982 National Championship team. He later transferred to the University of Montana, where he wrestled while earning a Bachelor of Arts degree.

During his time in Hartland Schools, Cain was beloved by both students and parents, most notably when he kept his promise to sleep on the roof of Village Elementary School in 2009 (bottom pic) when he was Principal there. Cain made the promise after challenging students to raise $15,000 for the school’s PTO. He was also known for his colorful selection of ties, and there’s an online effort underway using the hashtag #TiesforBill for everyone to wear a tie on Friday in Cain’s memory.

While funeral services were already held in Montana for Cain, a local memorial is set this Sunday, February 23rd at 3pm at the Venture Church on East Highland Road in Hartland Township. Cain is survived by his wife Tami and daughters Siara and Autumn. (JK)


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Putnam Officials Make Earnest Commitment To New Senior Center

Putnam Township officials have made a commitment to seniors and begun the process of building them a new senior center.

Several dozen senior citizens attended Wednesday night’s meeting of the Putnam Township Board of Trustees to show support for a new center. All who spoke during the public comment period praised the staff and the experiences they have at the current center, but also pointed out the buildings shortcomings. A lack of space for the growing senior population both inside, but especially outside with parking, were common themes.

This was echoed by Trustee Bob Press who said that this was basically his pet project. Press said, “I’ve been working with the center for a long time, and I’ve seen it grow. And the main thing is the parking. We’ve had parties out there where seniors have come, there’s no parking in the parking lot, and they drive home. We’re denying seniors to come to the senior center because of the parking.”

Putnam Township Treasurer Pat Carney reviewed proposals for architectural fees from 3 firms with the Board and audience. Lindhout Associates won the bid with a proposal of 7% of the project cost, equaling just over $75,000. Other bids were for 8% of cost with the third being based off an hourly rate. When discussing how they would pay for a new center projected to come in around $1.082-million, Carney said he felt confident they could borrow $500,000 from their $1.5-million general fund equity to get started. From there, they could compare a conventional loan versus bonding. The township’s auditor, coincidentally was in the audience, and agreed that it shouldn’t be a problem.

Supervisor Dennis Brennan said they would not consider a millage for this project. The Board of Trustees unanimously passed a motion to pay Lindhout not more than $75,000 for the architectural fees to the applause of all those in attendance. (MK)


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Local Lawmaker’s Bill Would Change Road Funding Formula

A local lawmaker has introduced legislation he says would boost local road funding without increasing taxes or state debt. However, state transportation officials are expressing their doubts.

State Representative Mike Mueller introduced House Bill 5489 would increase funding for county and city road commissions and decrease funding for the state’s highway fund without increasing taxes or state debt. Mueller said flipping them would give local communities more revenue for roads and also allow for more accountability. Then if the roads are bad, Mueller says people can approach their municipal governments. The Linden Republican added it would actually increase revenue by almost 58% for cities and village to get some of the local roads fixed. Mueller commented further that none of the $3.5 (B) billion generated goes to any of the local roads that many people travel every day –adding not everyone uses the freeway. He added that the roads in larger cities like Detroit and Flint are also in very poor condition once off the freeway. Mueller further stated critics might argue it’s a “robbing Peter to pay Paul” situation, but Peter has been living pretty good since 1951 and it’s time Paul gets a little bit of the money all taxpayers are paying.

On the opposite end of the idea are transportation officials at the state level. Jeff Cranson, Director Communications for the Michigan Department of Transportation, told WHMI that the roads controlled by MDOT, which include state trunklines along with I, U.S. and M routes, carry 53% of the state’s total traffic and more than 70% of all commercial traffic, which he says drives the economy. Cranson says efforts should be focused on a long-term sustainable solution to fund all Michigan roads, both state and local. He added that, “We need to grow the pie before talking about how the pie is divided.”

HB 5489 would specifically amend section 10 of 1951 Public Act 51, which is the formula used for disbursements of transportation funds. The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation. (JM)


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House Approves Plan To Remove Veteran License Plate Fees

A local legislator’s plan to eliminate veteran license plate fees has been approved by the Michigan House of Representatives.

The House on Wednesday approved State Representative Hank Vaupel’s measure to eliminate the service fee for a Vietnam War specialty license plate. His plan is part of a bipartisan, multi-bill package removing the $5 service fee for various veteran and military license plates.

Vaupel, of Fowlerville, served during the Vietnam War as a captain in the Army. He says imposing a service fee for special military license plates is not the appropriate way to greet service members who have sacrificed so much to protect the nation and preserve the people’s freedoms. Vaupel adds that while a fee waiver for veteran and military license plates is a minimal token of gratitude, it goes a long way in showing military heroes that their state respects the contributions they have made while serving in the Armed Forces.

As required by state law, the Secretary of State provides for the issuance and creation of each license plate issued in Michigan. There are differentiating fee requirements for each license place issued, with veteran and military license plates having a $5 service fee. House Bill 4684, along with the rest of the bill package, now moves to the Senate for further consideration.


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29 Couples Getting Married In Hell On Leap Day

29 couples will take a leap of faith on Leap Day in Hell next weekend.

29 couples will tie the knot on Leap Day during free weddings being offered in the tiny Putnam Township hamlet of Hell. The ceremony is scheduled to start at 2:29pm promptly next Saturday – no matter what the Michigan weather so attendees should dress appropriately. The Reverend Yvonne Williams has been officiating weddings for eleven years now but has been dubbed the official minister of Hell for the last three. Weddings take place year round and she says it’s a nice little venue, inexpensive, cheeky and the marriage licenses read “I Got Married in Hell”. As for the ceremony, Williams says the 29 couples will all gather in a big circle around the wedding chapel, repeat vows and exchange rings. She says many couples plan to bring along family, witnesses and other guests. Williams tells WHMI it’s all part of the novelty because “a marriage that begins in Hell has nowhere to go but up”. As a bonus since it’s a Leap Year, she says the lucky couples only have to remember their anniversaries every four years. Williams added she’s just excited to hold the event and can’t wait to witness all of the love- which is what the event is all about and they’re all just one happy, hysterical hell.

All 29 free spots are currently filled but there were still some chapel rentals available. Those interested are asked to text Williams at 810-623-1125. (JM)


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Longtime Cop Pens Book On The Humorous Side Of Policing

A long time law enforcement officer with ties to Livingston County has written a book focusing on the lighter side of the profession.

William Lenaghan spent 50 years in Public Safety over a myriad of jobs across the state from Canton to Mackinaw Island, including time as the Operations Manager for Livingston County 911 and with the cold case unit for the local Sheriff’s Department. He now resides in the Brighton area. Lenaghan has recently penned a book, “BAKER 1 in SERVICE: A Lighter Side of Law Enforcement,” inspired by the comical outtakes he experienced in the profession from the late 1960s through the early 21st century. Lenaghan shares funny stories from breaking up family fights with frying pans involved to dealing with broken carriages in a procession containing a vice president on Mackinaw Island.

While the book focuses on the more human side of police officers, it also takes a look at how the profession has changed, and how society sees law enforcement officers. Lenaghan shares stories of community-oriented policing, and when applied properly, how it can help police be seen as strong advocates for the community, versus a pariah not to be trusted.

The book, “BAKER 1 in Service: A Lighter Side of Law Enforcement” can be found online on Amazon and at BarnesAndNoble.com. To hear more stories and policing ideas and theories from Lenaghan, tune in to WHMI’s Viewpoint, Sunday morning at 8:30, when he will be the special guest. (MK)


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