Restrict outdoor burning Tuesday due to wind, dry conditions
Warm temperatures and strong wind combined with dry grass, leaves and pine needles on the ground have prompted the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to ask residents to restrict outdoor burning Tuesday, May 1.
Conditions are dry across the entire Lower Peninsula and in the southern half of the Upper Peninsula from Iron County to Mackinac County.
“We are currently seeing a significant increase in wildfire activity,” said Paul Rogers, fire prevention specialist for the DNR. “We are asking residents to restrict outdoor burning due to dry conditions.” The DNR also has canceled plans for prescribed burns Tuesday.
Temperatures Tuesday are expected to hit 80 degrees in parts of the Lower Peninsula, with winds gusting up to 30 mph in some parts of the state.
Anyone who plans to burn in the northern Lower Peninsula or Upper Peninsula must go online to michigan.gov/burnpermit to see if a burn permit is needed in specific counties and/or townships. People in the southern Lower Peninsula should check with their local municipalities for burning regulations.
Campfires are still allowed, but if you build one, make sure to have a water source and shovel available to extinguish it.
You also can check with the National Weather Service for weather-related burn advisories.
White Cloud Varsity Softball sees field improvements
On Tuesday April 24th the White Cloud Varsity Softball team opened league play against Holton. Although the score for either game didn’t come out in the favor of the Lady Indians, spectators were able to monitor game advances due to the new scoreboard. Through the efforts of volunteers, donations of time and money, we were able to see the first use of our new scoreboard on Tuesday.
The scoreboard endeavor started out over 2 years ago with the passing of Beth Wawsczyk. Beth was a Softball coach, avid supporter and fan, like most fans she always wanted to know the score. It was decided on by Beth’s family to have the money that was donated in her memory be put toward a scoreboard at the White Cloud field. All the final touches were put in place the day before; fans, players and coaches were able to enjoy knowing the status of the game in Beth’s honor.
Beth’s family would like to thank the many people who donated money towards the project in her memory. Without the monetary donations, materials and gifts of time, all of this would not have been possible. We would like to thank a few companies and individuals that stepped up to see the project through:
Board votes to move Road Patrol Millage to the ballot box
The Board of Commissioners meetings are generally not well attended and for the most part take place in front of department heads, other elected officials, folks who have reports to deliver and perhaps 1 or 2 citizens along with an erstwhile reporter.
Wednesday drew a larger than usual crowd for two reasons.
A resolution acknowledging the retirement of Earle Hable filled many seats with his family and co-workers. In addition, several others were in attendance on this day and many who were there took the opportunity to address the board during public comment regarding the vote that was to be taken on whether or not to place a millage for Road Patrol on the August ballot.
But first, Earle.
Mr. Hable was being recognized on his retirement as Newaygo County Drain Maintenance Supervisor a position he has held for nearly two decades.
“Earle helped develop more environmentally conscious programs through collaborative work with the Road Commission, Parks, ISD, and other neighboring Drain Commissions that will protect the waters of the state,” read Board Chair Patrick Gardner while presenting a plaque given in appreciation.
Then came the first public comment portion of the meeting related to items on the agenda.
Del Hirdes of Newaygo spoke to the resolution for the Public Safety Millage.
“ I just want to let you know I believe a vote against placing the millage on the ballot is not a vote against the Sheriff’s Department, but it is a vote that asks ‘Are we doing things the best way and are there no other options other than placing this millage on the ballot?”
“We want a strong Sheriff’s Department but we also want to make sure our funds are being put to use in a proper manner.”
Newaygo Mayor Ed Fedell also spoke.
“I have extremely high regard for all law enforcement officers.
“When I look at this proposal I'm not in a position to decide whether these funds are needed that's your job. And I trust you are doing due diligence.
“When I look at a half mill and compare it to the previous one it is a 50% increase.”
Mayor Fedell cautioned that the monies would keep escalating and expressed concern about adding another tax burden on citizens.He stated that cities in the county with their own full time police force would not bebenefitting while paying the extra in taxes.
Mayor Fedell also expressed concern about how much of the funding would be used for road patrol as opposed to equipment, training and other expenses.He suggested they consider two proposals, one strictly for road patrol and one for any other specific expenses.
He also suggested that should the board go through with the proposal they consider exempting cities with full time police departments.
Lora Kalkofen speaking as a citizen while citing her experience as White Cloud City Manager expressed support for moving the resolution forward and spoke to the ongoing and necessary collaboration with the county for coverage in White Cloud.
“Because of my job I’ve had a lot of people asking me about this millage,” said WC Chief Dan Evans. “In my opinion there is a large silent majority that are absolutely in favor of this.”
Chief Evans shared the challenges of being a small town police force without the resources necessary to deliver 24 hour services.
“We rely on the Sheriff's Department to respond in the city when someone at 4am calls 911.”
Grant Chief Brad Wade also expressed his support for the resolution citing a similar need for support of the Sheriff’s Department to assist with their part time police force.
When it came time to discuss the resolution Sheriff Bob Mendham spoke to commissioners before the vote.
“I don’t believe I would be doing my job if I were not here before you today asking for more help”.
The Sheriff spoke to a concern on how limitations on coverage are impacting the NCSD ability to provide the needed level of service. He related a couple of incidents that put law enforcement personnel in harm’s way because of a lack of available manpower and times when calls came in while both units were occupied with other episodes.
“I understand that additional burden on the taxpayers. I am one of those taxpayers. I understand it’s a burden. But to live in the greatest country in the world and a have the lifestyle that we have costs money and unfortunately we need to decide what is more important and I believe the safety of the public is the most important.”
He assured that should commissioners decide against moving the resolution forward the NCSD would continue to provide the best level of service possible however acknowledging the limits a manpower shortage places on the ability to deliver services.
Commissioner Chris Ortwein spoke to ongoing county subsidizing of the NCSD and the budget issues they have experienced for over a decade.
He objected to the burden was always being placed on property owners .
“I just think there’s other ways we can look at that. Have you vetted your department about efficiencies? I know you need more personnel. I agree with that . I have a real problem with adding another half mill.
“There’s got to be some other ways to do this.”
“I believe we have looked at ourselves internally, we’ve eliminated positions, unfortunately the job we’re in and the service we provide is not a money maker,” replied the Sheriff. “The problem we’re struggling with is the Sheriff’s Department requires a lot of money. However I don’t know any way to make money to do this job.”
“I appreciate all your efforts and I hope we can make this work somehow,”said Commissioner Ortwein.
“We beat this up pretty good at finance committee and voted to move it to the full board to allow members to express their concerns,” said Commissioner and Finance Chair Phil Deur. “We aren’t levying a tax, here. This is giving the constituents the chance to decide for themselves.”
Commissioner Deur spoke to lack of State Police presence other than patrol since the closure of the Newaygo post.
“We’re seeing more criminal activity in our southwest part of the county and I’d rather we be proactive. As long as our staffing is where it was 20 years ago or even below 20 years ago we’re going to become reactive not proactive.”
Commissioner Jim Maike spoke to his support of the resolution and the increased need for safety these days relating some recent incidents in other parts of the country and stated “There are very few things I think we should send to the people and this is one. Let’s let the voters decide.”
Chuck Trapp who represents many of the northern counties noted that it takes 40 minutes to drive from White Cloud to the northern county line indicating the need for coverage in the areas that are not near cities.
“I feel the people I represent need to be able to voice their opinion.”
Vern Willett stated “I was elected by 7000 people to come up here and make a decision and I will make the decision the way I should according to the will of my people.”
“I am proud of this board,” said Board Chair Patrick Gardner.” They have studied the issue and spoken to their constituents. If we vote this down we will not have given those constituents an opportunity to decide for themselves. If you’re for it, campaign for it, if you’re against it campaign against.”
Commissioner Ortwein suggested moving it to the general election in November instead of the August date because of increased voter turnout. This did not receive further support.
The roll call vote went as follows:
Ortwein- No Deur-Yes- Willett- No Trapp -Yes Maike Yes Kolk -Yes Gardner- Yes.
The resolution was passed and the Road Patrol Millage will be placed on the August 7 ballot.
In the final public comment portion the board heard from Newygo City manager Jon Schneider who shared information regarding a recent meeting held to explore ways for the county and city of Newaygo to collaborate more and shared some of the positive outcomes of the meeting and from former Sheriff Mike Mercer who praised the board for making the decision to move the Road Patrol resolution forward.
MDEQ taps top MSU hydrogeologist for state PFAS response
Lansing-The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) today announced that Professor David Hyndman, chair of Michigan State University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has agreed to assist MDEQ scientists in the state-wide effort to identify PFAS contamination in Michigan and target response activities to prevent unacceptable exposures to Michigan residents.
“Our top priority is to protect the people of Michigan from PFAS contamination in groundwater,” said MDEQ Director Heidi Grether. “Michigan’s glacial geology creates unique challenges in understanding how this contamination can impact drinking water sources and Dr. Hyndman’s expertise will be invaluable in our drive to lead the most thorough and effective response to PFAS in the country.”
Hyndman is an expert in groundwater hydrogeology and has focused his research on how changes in land use can impact water quality. His work has led to the development of several methods to track contamination in groundwater.
Hyndman’s work will support the state’s $23 million effort to locate PFAS contamination, identify sources and oversee remediation activities aimed at protecting the state’s water resources and mitigating risks to the public.
PFAS compounds, such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), are a group of emerging and potentially harmful contaminants used in thousands of applications globally including firefighting foam, food packaging and cleaning products. These compounds are also used by industries such as tanneries, metal platers and clothing manufacturers. In January 2018, the MDEQ took swift action to set a new legally-enforceable standard of 70 parts per trillion for PFOS and PFOA. Michigan is one of only a handful of states to establish enforceable limits for any PFAS compounds.
The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) – the first multi-agency strike force of its kind in the nation. MPART is comprised of state and local agencies that have been investigating sites for potential contamination and taking actions to protect public health.
Members include key leaders of the Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality; Health and Human Services; Military and Veterans Affairs; Natural Resources and Agriculture and Rural Development. MPART is also coordinating with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Guard Bureau, U.S. Department of Defense, and the appropriate local health departments and other government agencies.
In Michigan, PFAS contamination has been found in 28 locations in 15 different communities including northern Kent County where Wolverine Worldwide operated a tannery and several military facilities, like the former Wurtsmith Air Force base, within the state.
For more information, visit: Michigan.gov/PFASresponse.
By Ken DeLaat
The Newaygo County Board of Commissioner Finance Committee decided this past Wednesday at their regular meeting to move forward a request from the Sheriff’s Department for the Newaygo County Board of Commissioners to place a .5 mill Public Safety Millage on the August 7, 2018 ballot. The action places the resolution on the agenda for next week's full board meeting.
The issue sparked a lengthy debate among committee members who weighed the request with a budget impact memo written by Administrator Chris Wren citing the possible financial impact of the action.
Commissioner Chris Ortwein was vocal in his opposition stating that while he supports law enforcement and other emergency services he feels the community is already overtaxed and is personally resistant to placing more tax burden on the citizens.
Commissioner Brian Kolk pointed out that the current millage to fund the Sheriff’s
Department is 30 years old and while it guarantees staffing at the 1987 level the demand for services has increased dramatically since then.
Commissioner Jim Maike expressed some concerns but stated he felt the matter should be sent to the whole board to allow the matter to be discussed further.
Other commissioners offered input as well.
The roll call vote saw 'yes' votes from Finance Chair Phil Deur, Commissioners Chuck Trapp, Maike and Kolk with Commissioner Ortwein casting the lone vote against.
The resolution will be taken up at the next Board of Commissioners meeting on Wednesday April 25th at 9:30 am. Commissioner Deur encouraged board members to meet with their constituents to gauge their opinions on the matter.
BOC Meetings are held at the Commission Meeting Room located in the County Administration building in White Cloud.
Yes fellow Michiganders, bi-peninsular denizens of the true deep state known as winter it is firmly believed that this seasonal swamp of sustained snow and sleet has been successfully drained.
Mind you, I speak with caution. One would be prudent not to appear overconfident lest the Old Man meandering off into what looks to be an incredible sunset tonight (what with the ever elusive sun slated to show up and all) should decide to turn around one more time just out of spite.
But it’s a Friday and though there’s a nip in the air the sun is out and we are heading for a day when the temperatures will soar into the snow-melting sixties and stay that way for the coming days.
And said days are within the realm of what is known as ‘The Weekend”.
Folks will be busting to get out of the house and with good reason. Chances are layers will be less required than what has been the April norm and after all we are officially one total month into Spring. The one month anniversary of what has been possibly one of the most weather weary Aprils in my fading memory.
Here’s a few tips.
On Saturday the annual River Country Chamber Home-Health & Garden Show will be happening at Newaygo Middle School from 9am - 2pm.
This is a great way to take a leap into Spring with a multitude of local goods and services showcasing their wares and ways, a lot of giveaways, fun activities and a chance to mingle with neighbors friends and community members emerging from the lengthy hibernation.
This weather can make one a bit hungry so on hand for some lip smacking eats will be the folks from Old Iron Bar & Grill and Two Hot Tamales.
See our article at
Camp Newaygo is holding Spring Volunteer Day Saturday from 8:30am- 4:30pm.
There will be a variety of projects and tasks for everyone-regardless of age or ability level. Coffee will be out at 8:30am and lunch will be provided by Ridge Specialties for all volunteers but you need to let them know you are coming so they can prepare enough lunch for everyone. RSVP at 231-652-1184 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to work at Michigan Adventures this summer?
Saturday, April 21 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm, managers will be onsite at the MA Training Center for interviews 4750 Whitehall Rd. They are hiring 16 year olds starting at $10 per hour, while associates 18 years of age and older will start at a minimum of $11.00 per hour. Perks include bonus potential, free admission and great food prices at the Cornerstone Café during your lunch. For more information, call (231) 766-3377.
No I don’t mean heading out for the coast or deciding to shoot down to Chicago and see if you can find a scalper with tickets to Hamilton.
We’re talking a little regional meandering. It’s to be a gorgeous weekend and while perhaps swimming and tubing are not in the cards for right now, the all too rare glory days of Spring are upon us so let’s do a little revelling. Explore our towns and see what each has to offer, engage in a little local commerce at their stores, stop somewhere for ice cream, eat lunch or dinner at a heretofore undiscovered or overlooked eatery or a much favored spot (Check out our Nibbler section for tips).
Just get out. It’s been far too long folks and this looks to be a pretty short season so fire up Near Northians. Time to get into shape for some serious summer jollification.
The Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency in Fremont, Michigan is seeking applications for an Assistant Prevention Coordinator. Candidates must have an Associate’s degree, three years of experience in substance abuse prevention and have strong organization and leadership skills. This is a part-time position of 15-20 hours per week. For more information, refer to the job postings section on the NC RESA website, www.ncresa.org. Applications/resumes must be submitted to Dr. Lori Tubbergen Clark, Superintendent, 4747 W. 48th Street, Fremont, MI 49412. Deadline for making application is Friday, April 27, 2018. For more information, please call the HR Department at 231-924-8853. NC RESA is an EOE.
State parks tone down the noise for Vets, pets.
For four straight years, the DNR and the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency have come together to highlight quieter camping options in a handful of Michigan state parks.
Fireworks-Free Fourth of July is geared toward veterans and other visitors, including pet owners, looking for a quieter camping experience. This year, 11 locations located farther away from traditional community firework displays are participating July 2-6.
Camping reservations can be made up to six months in advance, which means it's not too early to be thinking about those holiday dates. To check availability and make a reservation, visit www.midnrreservations.com.
Want to learn more? Visit michigan.gov/FireworksFreeFourth.
To learn more about services for Michigan veterans, visit michiganveterans.com.
Straits vessel damage investigation activity continues with expected launch of underwater vehicles to inspect ATC, Enbridge lines
LANSING – The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE) are notifying residents near the Straits of Mackinac to increased activity related to damage to American Transmission Co. (ATC) electrical transmission lines and Enbridge Energy’s Line 5.
Crews are expected soon to launch remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to evaluate infrastructure conditions, according to the Unified Command (UC). The UC wasestablished to address a mineral oil release from the ATC cables and consists of the U.S. Coast Guard, MDEQ, ATC, and a tribal representative.
At the same time, additional crews near Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, at the direction of the UC, are continuing to vacuum any remaining mineral oils from ATC’s electrical cables that connect the Lower and Upper Peninsulas through the Straits. Two of the six lines were damaged earlier this month and resulted in the release of nearly 600 gallons of mineral oil. The Coast Guard, which is the lead agency in the UC, has identified vessel activity as one of the potential causes for the mineral oil release.
According to the UC, the next step in the response to the ATC cable damage is the launch of a working class ROV, weather permitting. A barge has been prepared to assist workers in this inspection. After an assessment is completed, a plan will be developed and executed to determine the best method to mitigate future environmental impacts.
During the same time frame, Enbridge will deploy an ROV for a visual assessment of Line 5, which is adjacent to the ATC cables. Line 5 is believed to have sustained small dents to its twin, 20-inch lines, possibly from the same vessel activity that potentially damaged ATC’s cables.
The UC says there has been no major environmental impact on the Straits or wildlife from the ATC leakage.
Enbridge has run tests to assess damage to Line 5. Company officials state they have found no evidence of fluid loss and have confidence in the pipeline’s structural integrity.
Gov. Rick Snyder has called on Enbridge to accelerate the identification of anchor strike mitigation measures and the evaluation of alternatives to replace pipelines, both of which are required under the state’s November agreement with Enbridge. The studies are scheduled to be completed in June. Snyder also said the state will expedite a review of other actions to protect the Straits as well as working with federal partners to expedite the permitting process to allow for protective measures to be installed in the Straits.
For more information, contact the Point Le Barbe Response at the Joint Information Center at PointLeBarbeResponseJIC@gmail.com or (906) 748-0737.
From Newaygo County Emergency Services Director Abby Watkins
A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for Newaygo County from late Friday night through Sunday morning. A Winter Storm Watch means there is potential for significant snow, sleet, or ice accumulations that may impact travel. Continue to monitor the latest forecasts.
What to expect
Newaygo Home-Health & Garden Show arrives Saturday April 21
Not exactly the kind of Spring we were anticipating, huh?
I mean by now I wanted my hands in the dirt not gripping the snow shovel that has twice now needed to be resurrected from its summer storage spot and put to use. Granted a little cabin fever paranoia might have something to do with it but it almost feels like the thing is laughing at me when I’m forced to make a return visit after having dispatched it to the back of the shed.
Yes it has not been pretty and the sheer length of this elongated period of time Mark Mathis referred to in a previous N3 column as our 5th season has led to the gnashing of teeth throughout our climes.and
We all need a little evidence that the long awaited Spring (and I’m referring to the real one that involves warmth and flowers and green stuff and all) is imminent, right?
Well, how about the Annual River Country Chamber Home-Health & Garden Show coming to Newaygo Middle School Saturday April 21 from 9am - 2pm. This free event has become a must-go for local folks who want to witness the wealth of goods and services our community offers.
The show always brings a few surprises as vendors find intriguing ways to stand out among the crowd (loved the bikes at Smart Energy last year) and an ample amount of giveaways are there for the taking.
“We have a great mix of vendors this year,” said event Chair Scott Swinehart. “We are proud that we continue to have vendors that have been involved since the event's inception 8 years ago and excited to grow with new vendors each year.”
The event features door prizes and a couple of tasty options for eats as Two Hot Tamales and Old Iron Bar & Grill will be on hand because browsing tends to make one hungry.
As they have for the past couple of years the H-H&G Show is bringing in the services of Shred-It from 10am-1pm, an outstanding opportunity to rid yourself of those papers you’ve been hanging onto far too long.
A special guest is also making an appearance as Destiny the Bald Eagle who made local social media news when he stopped in for a checkup at Newaygo Family Dental will be making a visit at 11 am.
And have you heard about the Hub Center? They’re the local radio control car aficionados who have been holding races and promoting the activity throughout the area. They will have their set up there and if you are 10 or older you can give them a spin at no charge.
Spring is a time of renewal and the Home-Health & Garden Show brings together a number of options to explore. Whether looking at healthier lifestyle changes, getting some ideas for the house and yard or maybe needing some advice to secure a better financial future, the show will offer plenty of alternatives to consider.
It’s fun, it’s informative and it’s a chance to run into friends and neighbors ready to shake off the last vestiges of winter and plunge into spring.
“The Home -Health and Garden show has continued to be wonderfully supported by our sponsors, vendors and community members,” added Swinehart. “This year we will be doing a check presentation at 1pm to the Newaygo Entrepreneurial and Technology Club for all of their help with event design, tech assistance, set up and interviews. This club has been a great benefit to the event. The students do a fantastic job and we look forward to continuing this relationship.”
Main Event sponsors: Avalon Building Concepts, The Fremont Area Community Foundation, Kohley’s Superior Water and Propane, Mellema Nursery and Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial.
Grand Hall Sponsors: Midwest Steel Carports, Murray Lumber & Supply Inc. and Patriot Realty.
Healthy Living Sponsors: Community Home Health Care Services , Family Health Care and Randy Poll-Greenridge Realty.
Tote Bag Sponsors: Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors - Newaygo Office , Great Lakes Signature Properties , Miracle Ear and RE/MAX River Valley
The late fall official announcement confirming what had been in the making for years spoke to an April 2019 opening for Fremont’s new Meijer store with shovels to begin hitting the dirt this spring.
And while spring may have eluded us thus far ,it certainly hasn’t stopped the shovels.
And I mean really, really big shovels.
If you haven’t had the occasion to cruise up Green west of Fremont and just past Walmart the heavy equipment, concrete piping, mounds of dirt and usual accoutrements on hand during the early stages of a major operation are all making appearances these days.
Doubtless there will be some sort of official groundbreaking soon, but for those who might be wondering if anything is moving on Meijer….
Meijer has 7 new stores opening this year across their 6 state region and 20 more undergoing remodeling including the store in Big Rapids.
Warbler’s 50 year stay on the endangered list may be ending
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources today applauded the decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to potentially remove the Kirtland’s warbler from the federal list of threatened and endangered species. The proposed delisting now enters a 90-day public comment period. A final decision is expected within a year.
“This is a great day for conservation and for Michigan,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh. “This decision recognizes over 50 years of dedication and commitment to Kirtland’s warbler conservation by many agencies, organizations, industries, and individuals in our state and beyond. Together we have been able to benefit local economies while at the same time providing necessary nesting grounds for this species. The decision by our federal partners marks a significant wildlife success story.”
Forty years ago, the Kirtland's warbler was on the brink of extinction. Today, the yellow-breasted songbird, which lives in northern Michigan's jack pine forests, has made a comeback. The bird rebounded from a population low of about 350 in 1987 to more than 4,000 today. The Kirtland’s warbler population continues to grow and has for the past 16 years exceeded population recovery goals. Once thought confined to northern Michigan, the bird species has since been found in Wisconsin and Canada.
“Kirtland’s warblers were one of America’s rarest birds, but today they represent the power of partnership to recover imperiled wildlife,” said Tom Melius, Midwest Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Kirtland's warbler was among the first animals to gain federal protection in 1967 under the Endangered Species Preservation Act, a precursor to the Endangered Species Act. The species started to rebound once agencies and their partners began to implement long-term efforts to conserve young jack pine. Large areas of jack pine of a certain age class are essential for Kirtland’s warbler nesting. Also essential to a thriving Kirtland’s warbler population is control of brown-headed cowbirds. The brown-headed cowbird is a nest parasite that knocks eggs out of Kirtland's warbler nests and replaces them with its own.
The Kirtland’s Warbler Breeding Range Conservation Plan was developed in 2015 by the Michigan DNR, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service. The plan is now the guiding management strategy for the species. Additionally, funding and other commitments to habitat management and cowbird control are in place to ensure continuation of conservation actions in the absence of Endangered Species Act protections.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will receive comments on the proposed delisting through July 11, 2018.
To submit comments electronically visit www.regulations.gov (available starting Thursday, April 12) and enter FWS–R3–ES–2018–0005 in the search box. To submit a hard copy, submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R3–ES–2018–0005, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.
More information about the Kirtland’s warbler and the proposal to remove Endangered Species Act protections is available at: https://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/birds/Kirtland/index.html.
Newaygo Police Chief Georgia Andres was elected to the post of District 9 Representative for the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP) during their meeting on this past Monday in Clare. Chief John Beam of the Evart Police Department was chosen as her alternate.
Founded in 1924 and guided by their mission to enhance professional development of police executives and elevate public safety awareness, the MACP is governed by an 18 member Board of Directors, including a President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, and Immediate Past President along with 14 district representatives representing all geographical areas of our state.
Chief Andres will be representing the state’s Northern District including Clare, Isabella, Lake, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, Roscommon and Wexford Counties.
A swearing in ceremony will be held during the summer conference at Shanty Creek in June.
“I am looking forward to being the voice of the rural communities that make up district 9,” said Chief Andres after the announcement. “This is a great opportunity to make some positive changes for our grant funding opportunities and for our rural communities in policing strategies.”
EV Stations debut at Newaygo B & B
"You have to match the convenience of the gasoline car in order for people to buy an electric car."- Elon Musk , CEO at Tesla
When Nola Teye the InnKeeper at Newaygo Bed and Breakfast (a.k.aLa Belle de la Riviere) cut the ribbon Tuesday morning it ushered in a new era with the unveiling of Newaygo County’s first EV Station.
“We want to be ahead of the game and future-driven for our guests.”
Yes indeed, there is now an electric vehicle charging place located in the rear driveway of the elegant structure that graces the downtown landscape. A stopover where overnight guests or folks just passing through can put a little voltage in their vehicles.
“With the growing movement to restrict the use of traditional combustion engines and cut down on vehicle emissions the trend is moving to electric cars by 2023,” said Ms. Teye. “Our hope is to stay ahead of the trends for our guest convenience.”
Tesla a company who specializes in the vehicles installed the stations at no cost to the Inn according to Ms. Teye.
Before the new arrivals hit downtown Newaygo the closest stop north of us was at Jones Ice Cream Parlor in Baldwin (try the Black Cherry, it's to die for) and the Sparta Community Center was nearest in the southerly direction.
And if you explore the maps where these can be found you’ll find it changes by the minute as new sites are being added across the country.
This is a bold and innovative move by Newaygo B and B and will add to the wealth of hospitality our area provides to its visitors.
And now a word about the ribbon cutting…..
Newaygo folks turn out.
Whenever there’s a new business opening its doors or in this case an existing business presenting a new twist in their delivery of services this town turns out big time.
These Chamber organized events draw a huge number of members who arrive to support their colleagues but it goes beyond those folks as city officials, law enforcement, the local business community and other folks who are invested in the growth of our area congregate for a little photo op and to support the business being featured.
I’ve been part of these through blowing snow, beat down humidity, rampant rain and now the latest in a series of meteorologically disappointing April days and the one thing you can count on if it's held in Newaygo?
Fremont Library to host awards event Monday
Victim Rights can be involve anything from advocacy to restitution to inclusion in judicial proceedings. The Newaygo County Prosecutor’s Office is where Samantha Sheppard serves in the role of Victim Rights Provider and for the third year their office has organized the Newaygo County Victim Rights Week Art Competition.
We caught up with Ms. Sheppard for a few questions.
NNN:-Why the contest?
SS- Every year, the Office for Victims of Crime dedicates an entire week solely to raise awareness about crime victims’ rights and the services that are available to victims of crime. To raise awareness, communities across the United States are asked to participate in an event or an activity that expresses the current year’s theme. This year’s theme is Expand the Circle: Reach All Victims. The NCVRW Art Competition has been a very rewarding experience, seeing how the high school students in Newaygo County interpret the different themes from year to year on crime victims’ rights, and also interacting with them and raising awareness on this important subject.
NNN-When is the winner announced?
SS-The NCVRW Art Competition Award Ceremony will be held on April 16th, 2018 at 7:00 PM at the Fremont Area District Library. The Top 5 winners will be invited along with their family and friends, and the event is open to the public. The more, the merrier!
NNN-Describe the selection process?
SS-The police officers from each department in Newaygo County (Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department, Michigan State Police, Fremont Police Department, White Cloud Police Department, Newaygo Police Department, Grant Police Department, Central Michigan Enforcement Team, and Hesperia Police Department) voted on each piece, and determined the Top 5. From there, our office voted and determined the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.
NNN-Tell us a bit about the Victim Rights Office.
SS-Until the mid-1980’s when the Office for Victims of Crime was established under the Department of Justice umbrella victim rights initiatives were scattered among jurisdictions across the country with little consistency.
Victims did not have to be notified of court proceedings or of the arrest or release of the defendant, they had no right to attend the trial or other proceedings, and they had no right to make a statement to the court at sentencing or at other hearings. Moreover, victim assistance programs were virtually non-existent.
Since then, there have been tremendous strides in the creation of legal rights and assistance programs for victims of crime.
Victim Rights initiatives focus on helping victims in the immediate aftermath of crime and continuing to support them as they rebuild their lives.
NNN- How do you see this project helping with Victim Rights?
SS-I am hoping this project continues to bring awareness on crime victims’ rights to the high school students and their families in Newaygo County.
NNN-What do you like about the competition?
SS- I love to see the different pieces of art, and the individual interpretations of the current year’s theme and what it means to the student. It is very heartwarming to have these students from our county put so much effort into their entries for such an important cause.
For more information about Victim Rights you can click on the following link.
Local Rash of School Threats May Bring Big Consequences
Police in Newaygo County have spent many hours investigating several school threats in the area, in many cases, leaving students facing very serious charges.
Local law enforcement takes all threats, including threats to commit harm at schools, seriously. “The threat of terrorism, such as bombing a school or committing a school shooting, is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Similarly, a false report is also punishable by up to 20 years,” said Newaygo County Prosecutor Worth Stay.
It does not matter whether these threats are made verbally or in writing, including those made on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat applications. “We need students and parents to understand that these threats are not pranks. They are serious crimes that school officials will immediately turn over to law enforcement,” said NC RESA Superintendent Lori Tubbergen Clark.
Several charges have already been brought against juvenile and adult offenders regarding threats made against schools. All threats are fully investigated to determine whether they are credible, consuming the limited resources of Newaygo County law enforcement.
While the threats have so far been found to be not credible, even false reports or what a person might call a "joke" will be investigated and could lead to criminal charges.
Prosecutors and school leaders want the students and adults who are making threats to get the message that there are consequences for their actions.
State assisting with multi-agency response to utility line leak in Straits of Mackinac
Local, state and federal agencies are actively monitoring and participating in the Unified Command incident response to the dielectric oil release in the Straits of Mackinac caused by a break in two underwater power lines that extend from the Upper Peninsula to lower Michigan.
Dielectric fluid is part of the mineral oil family and functions as an electrical insulation and as a coolant.
The lines are owned by the American Transmission Company (ATC) located in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. The company has six transmission lines that run parallel to each other under the straits. All six of the lines have been de-energized.
The leaking cables are now considered inoperable and decommissioned. The company is currently investigating the cause of the leak. Starting tomorrow morning, ATC will begin pumping air in from the Mackinaw City side at low pressure (10 psi) and simultaneously pumping fluid out at the same pressure on the St. Ignace end using a vacuum truck, all through 1" valves, so this will go slowly. The fluid will be pumped into a frac tank. The plan is to pump for 12 hours and then assess recovery. Response agencies will collect a sample from within the pipe during the pumping and send it for analysis.
At this time residents should not notice any adverse effects from the de-energized lines. ATC has taken action to control the leak and there is no immediate public health threat.
This continues to be a multi-agency response effort of local, state, tribal and federal partners in coordination with ATC. The U.S. Coast Guard is the lead responding agency in coordination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Natural Resources, Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division and Michigan Public Service Commission. State agencies remain actively involved in response efforts.
A local Joint Information Center (JIC) is also being assembled. ATC (the responsible party) has issued a press release. The ATC media hotline is 877-506-6117.
The Enbridge Line 5 Pipeline is not reported to be affected and is unrelated to this response.
“NC RESA will be accepting sealed bids for Custodial Services at designated facilities. A mandatory pre-bid walk through will be held on Thursday, April 12, 2018. We will meet at the Educational Service Center (ESC) at 2:00 p.m. Sealed bids will be due on May 1, 2018 at the ESC building located at 4747 West 48th Street, Fremont, MI 49412 at 2:00 p.m. at which time bids will be opened and read aloud. Mailed bids must be received prior to the bid date stated above. FAXED OR EMAILED BIDS CANNOT BE ACCEPTED. NC RESA reserves the right to accept or reject any and all bids in whole or in part. Bid documents can be obtained by emailing Ryan Ergang email@example.com or picked up at the ESC building.”