$300 on the way? Payments to be retroactive.
Arizona got the approval. So did Colorado, Iowa, Utah and a few others.
Some, like Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Oregon have been undecided. South Dakota outright declined with their Gov saying they didn’t need it.
And many, including Michigan, have not yet responded.
Today, the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) submitted an application to the United States Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for funding that would provide an additional $300 per week payment to Michiganders receiving unemployment benefits.
“Right now, there are an unprecedented number of Michiganders who have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will provide some much needed support for families that are struggling to put food on the table or pay their bills, but it’s a short term band aid that falls short of what’s needed,” said Governor Whitmer. “A robust Congressional recovery package that meets the scale of this crisis is what’s needed to help individuals who have lost work as a result of the pandemic get through this unprecedented time.”
The UIA estimates that under the program, about 910,000 Michiganders would receive at least $300 per week in supplemental benefits. The program allows for existing Unemployment Trust Fund payments delivered by Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency to count as 25% matching funds required for participation. Eligible claimants will be paid benefits retroactive to August 1. It is unclear at this time how long funding for the program will last.
“We look forward to receiving a response from FEMA in order to implement and distribute these additional funds to Michiganders as quickly as possible,” said UIA Director Steve Gray. “Michigan workers are advised to continue their bi-weekly certifications as they normally would and do not need to contact the UIA or make changes to their MiWAM account to receive these additional funds.”
Consumers Energy announces siren tests to take place near Rogers, Hardy and Croton Dams on Wednesday
CROTON, Mich., Aug. 17, 2020 – Consumers Energy announced the emergency public warning siren systems near its Rogers, Hardy and Croton hydroelectric generating plants on the Muskegon River will be tested on Wednesday, August 19, at about 9:30 a.m.
The tests will include a voice message, a 30-second siren and a second voice message. The public does not need to take any action during the tests. The siren systems are tested each August and December.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requires hydroelectric facilities to be able to quickly notify residents and visitors of any developing emergency at the plants.
In an emergency, the sirens would be used only if the threat of a dam failure is imminent at one of the facilities. At that time, anyone on or near the river should evacuate at once to high ground. Additional information would be provided on local radio and television stations.
Did you receive an invitation or two (or four) to any weddings earlier this year? Maybe a few ‘Save the Date” cards last fall?
If so, more than likely any sizable receptions or large group gatherings were postponed or even cancelled.
The weddings themselves however continued to remain on the docket for most.
An unusual year to be sure and, one hopes, a year that will be an anomaly so we can go back to indulging in banquets, buffets, speeches, enthusiastic DJ’s,, the occasional open bar that can make folks believe they can dance, varied interactions with relatives we rarely see at any other time, and, of course, cake.
In the meantime,despite all the changes brought to our lives with any number of plans being scrapped or modified, people continue to fall in love and continue to sign up and commit to the relationship by obtaining a license to marry.
These couples recently made their way to the Newaygo County Clerks office in White Cloud.
Amanda Gordon, Casnovia and Jacob Stover, Rockford
Krystal Jacques, Lorain,Ohio and Christer Majors, Muskegon
Johanna Herrington, Rockford and Eric Klein, Sparta
Jessica Alvarado, White Cloud and Kyle Sutton, White Cloud
Amy Gunnels, White Cloud and Brent Krueger, White Cloud
Karla Whela Tjapkes, Newaygo and Scott Shippy, Newaygo
Elizabeth Lawson, Grant and Ryan Crandall, Grant
Randy Pekel, Fremont and Courtney Dupras, Fremont
Amanda Haner, White Cloud and Mickey Rodriguez, Conroe, Texas
“It is such a happiness when good people get together -- and they always do.”- Jane Austen, Emma
Newaygo County area churches are receiving an average of over $1,000 in free energy saving devices such as LED lights, smart thermostats and water-saving faucet aerators.
Churches begin saving money immediately on their utility bills once these are installed. In addition to these free items, the churches obtain an energy assessment of their building, guidance on steps to take for further energy savings, and assistance with qualifying rebates.
“Light the Way” is a program specifically for houses of worship, and is a partnership between Consumers Energy and Michigan Interfaith Power & Light (Michigan IPL). 3R Environmental Education, a local environmental non-profit organization, is contacting all local churches on behalf of Michigan IPL to bring this state-wide program to Newaygo County.
“We are helping local houses of worship spend less on energy and more on their mission,” states Sally Wagoner, 3R Board Member and Light the Way Outreach Specialist. “This is one of the few actual free programs I know of – no strings attached. Churches get free energy upgrades, a thorough energy assessment of their building, and they begin saving on their energy and utility bills from the get go!”
Michigan utility companies are required to spend a percentage of their profits on energy efficiency products and services for their customers. Churches who have signed up for the program have received an average of $1,000 in free energy upgrades, and can expect to save about $650 on annual energy expenses. That amounts to $1,000 these congregations didn't have to spend on building maintenance, and $650 more each year that can go into programming for kids, supporting local food pantries, and other vital ministries.
3R is providing an easy way for churches and houses of worship to sign up for Light the Way. The only requirements for churches are they must own their own building and have Consumers Energy for gas or electric.
“Over 800 houses of worship across the state have already participated in Light the Way. We will be happy to help any of the congregations in and around Newaygo County sign up for this free program,” added Ms. Wagoner. “We are honored to be working with Michigan Interfaith Power and Light, a statewide nonprofit organization, to bring this great program to our area. Michigan IPL’s mission ‘to inspire and equip people of faith to exercise stewardship of and love for all Creation’ aligns with that of 3R: to promote the environmental beauty and sustainability Newaygo County.”
As this program is on a first come - first served basis, congregation members and leaders are urged to contact 3R as soon as possible.
For information on how your house of worship can sign up for Light the Way, contact Sally Wagoner: sallyw@3R-education.org, 231.924.5822. You can also learn more about the Light the Way program at https://www.miipl.org/light_the_way.
DHD#10 Reports public exposure site at Lake County restaurant
District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) reports that an individual went to Na-Tah-Ka Restaurant in Irons, Lake County, on the evening of Friday, August 7. The individual tested positive for COVID-19 on August 8.
If you were at Na-Tah-Ka in Irons on the evening of August 7, you should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the possible exposure date – through August 21. Anyone that is self-monitoring as a result should keep away from family, close contacts, and roommates as much as possible. COVID-19 symptoms include fever or chills, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle aches, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and recent loss of taste or smell. Anyone experiencing one or more of these symptoms should immediately quarantine themselves and contact a medical provider.
While DHD#10 will release information about public exposure sites when it is determined through investigation that it’s not possible to identify all close contacts, everyone needs to remember that approximately 40% of COVID-19 cases appear to be asymptomatic. Asymptomatic cases are especially difficult because they are not sick and therefore not staying home. Additionally, contagious individuals can spread virus prior to experiencing symptoms.
“We continue to urge everyone to take the required masking and social distancing mandate seriously to prevent further spread of COVID-19,” said Kevin Hughes, Health Officer for DHD#10. “This virus impacts people differently – some may have mild symptoms or none at all, while others can have severe symptoms and may become hospitalized. Wearing a mask and social distancing will help to protect others from you if you have the virus and do not know it.”
Daytime (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) lane closures for road work will be in effect this Tuesday, August 11, through Friday, August 14 on M-37 between M-82 west and M-20 east.
And as a reminder to proceed with caution in and around road construction this was posted on social media by NC Road Commission Director Derek Wawsczyk on Friday:
Yesterday morning a road commission patch truck was involved in an accident where it was hit in the rear by another vehicle, this caused parts of the truck to strike our employee as he was performing maintenance on the roadway. This is a grim reminder of just how dangerous our men and women's job is everyday. It is also a reminder that we all must give the road our full attention at all times. Our thoughts and prayers are with our employee and their family as they recover from surgery.
Except for the Lansing Region?
LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-164 which requires face coverings to be worn in all child-care centers and camps. Michigan has seen COVID-19 outbreaks at these locations, adding to the mounting evidence that children can contract and spread the virus.
“Child-care workers have been on the front lines of this crisis and have worked tirelessly to provide a safe place for our children and families during this time. COVID-19 is still a very real threat to Michiganders of all ages, and we must continue to stay vigilant and use every tool at our disposal to protect ourselves and each other,” said Governor Whitmer.
The order requires the wearing of face coverings that cover the nose and mouth for:
(a) All staff and all children ages 2 and up when on a school bus or other transportation provided by the child care organization or camp;
(b) All staff and all children ages 4 and up when in indoor hallways and common areas. Face coverings should be encouraged for children ages 2 and up
c) All staff and all children ages 12 and up when in classrooms, homes, cabins, or similar indoor settings. Face coverings should be encouraged for children ages 2 and up.
(d) All visitors to the child-care organization or camp.
Face coverings at child-care organizations and camps are not required:
(a) For children under the age of 2;
(b) For any child who cannot medically tolerate a face covering, has trouble breathing, or is unable to remove the face covering without assistance;
(c) While eating, sleeping, swimming, or performing high-intensity activities (not including singing or cheering);
(d) When a child or staff member is outdoors and able to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their household; or (e) For child-care centers located in the Lansing region of the Michigan Safe Start Plan, though face coverings are highly recommended.
Hardy Dam Road, closed since July 20, has reopened bringing transportational relief to residents and travelers alike.
Still Time for Businesses and Nonprofits to Apply for Grants through Michigan Small Business Restart Program
In addition, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today signed into law an amendment to the program that now allows those small businesses that received grants through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program, authorized by the Michigan Strategic Fund in March, to be eligible for the Michigan Small Business Restart Program grants. The combined total of both grants cannot be in excess of $20,000. Previously, businesses that had received grants through the Small Business Relief Program were ineligible to apply for Restart grants.
“The Michigan Small Business Restart Program is providing a significant opportunity to address immediate needs of small businesses and nonprofits negatively impacted by COVID-19, and we encourage any small business or nonprofit in Michigan that hasn’t already applied for a grant to do so before the August 5 deadline,” said MEDC CEO Mark A. Burton. “Through this program and other MSF programs and services, as well as local and federal economic development support, we are working to ensure that small businesses throughout the state can recover from the short and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.”
Approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund on July 7, the Michigan Small Business Restart Program allocates $100 million of federal CARES Act funding to provide support to Michigan’s small businesses and nonprofits that are reopening and have experienced a loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The funding will be distributed across 15 local or nonprofit economic development organizations (EDOs) covering all 83 counties in the state for grants up to $20,000 to support certain small businesses and nonprofits that have realized a significant financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 virus.
The Michigan Small Business Restart Program application period will be live through Wednesday, August 5 at michiganbusiness.org/restart and all applications received during that three week period will receive consideration; grants will be awarded after the close of the application period based on criteria that are defined by the EDOs. Funds can be used as working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses or other similar expenses.
The MEDC anticipates that more than 5,000 businesses across the state will benefit from this program.
To qualify for grant support, businesses must meet the following criteria, based on statutory requirements for the program:
Per statutory requirements, a monthly report will be provided to the legislature that includes a listing of grants awarded in the previous month and the name of the recipient of each grant provided under the program. All reporting forms will also be available on michiganbusiness.org/restart.
The Michigan Small Business Restart Program is modeled after the Michigan Small Business Relief Program, approved on March 19 by the Michigan Strategic Fund to support small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
The Michigan Small Business Relief Program consisted of a total of $20 million aimed at supporting businesses in need of immediate relief. The program included $10 million that was distributed to 15 local EDOs to provide grants up to $10,000 to certain small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Additionally, the program authorized $10 million for small business loans of not less than $50,000 and not more than $100,000 to eligible borrowers impacted by COVID-19 that were not able to seek alternative, suitable financing.
Under the Michigan Small Business Relief grant program, local EDOs selected more than 2,700 businesses across the state covering all 83 counties that received grant support expected to retain approximately 11,000 jobs. To date, more than 130 small business loans totaling more than $8 million have been approved through MSF delegated approval.
To date, the MEDC has launched 19 COVID-19 relief and recovery programs supporting more than 3,400 businesses in the state and helping to retain more than 14,700 jobs across all 83 counties. To learn more about MEDC’s COVID-19 response programs and the impact they are having on economic recovery efforts, visit michiganbusiness.org/covid19response. Other resources for economic reopening efforts as well as businesses across Michigan struggling with economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 virus can be found online at michiganbusiness.org/covid19.
Northern bars to close as of Friday
Citing a resurgence in cases connected to social gatherings throughout the state Governor Whitmer signed orders expanding the closing of bars for indoor service and limiting gatherings indoors to 10 people in regions 6 and 8 that include the UP and most northern counties.
“COVID-19’s resurgence is closely associated with super-spreading events at large social gatherings, often attended by young people,” said the press release from the Governor’s office. ”An outbreak at a Lansing bar has resulted in 187 infections; more than 50 cases have been linked to a single house party in Saline; and a sandbar party at Torch Lake over the July 4 weekend led to at least 43 confirmed cases.
The restrictions in the two northern regions now match those in the rest of the state with one exception.
Outdoor gatherings limited to 100 people in most of the state will continue to be 250 for our northern neighbors.
MSP to Host Virtual Recruiting Webinar this Saturday
LANSING, MICH. The Michigan State Police (MSP) will host a virtual recruiting webinar on Saturday, Aug. 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for persons who are interested in learning more about a career as a Michigan State Trooper.
The webinar will provide an overview of the minimum qualifications and essential job functions of a trooper, information about taking the entry level law enforcement exam, the MSP hiring process, trooper recruit school and the field training officer program.
Applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED, be at least 21 years of age by recruit school graduation and be of good moral character with no felony convictions. Additionally, applicants must be a U.S. citizen, and a Michigan resident at the time of appointment to the academy.
To register, go to
Once registered, attendees will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to join the webinar.
For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/MSPjobs or contact Tpr. Kellie Shaffer at Shafferk@michigan.gov or Mr. Kenneth Rochell at email@example.com.
Popular annual event removes tons of trash
The 9th Annual Muskegon River Clean-up, sponsored by Muskegon River Clean-up Company, LLC, has been cancelled, due to COVID 19 outbreak and the Governor’s Executive Orders. This event was scheduled for August 1, 2020, starting at Bridgeton Township Launch Site and culminating at the Maple Island Launch Site. At the Maple Island site, registered participants, that had collected trash from the river, are given tickets for lunch and prizes. Prizes usually consist of approximately 10 kayaks and miscellaneous other items. This event usually draws between 300 and 500 people.
Over the past 8 years we have removed 24,583 beverage containers, 60 to 70 tires, a few tons of green treated lumber, over 600 flip flops, and countless phones, sunglasses and lighters from the river. Some of the stranger items removed were 2 sewing machines, a bowling ball, a large electric motor, a 9.8hp outboard and a metal bed. Last year alone, we removed 4326 beverage containers, 1 chair, 1 milk can, 114 flip flops, 25 pairs of goggles and glasses, 18 lighters, 1 cell phone, 12 tires, 1 garbage can, miscellaneous animal bones, scrap iron and treated wood, along with general trash. We recycle what items we can and that money is used to help fund the following year’s event. The most discouraging thing is that we have cleaned this area for 8 years now and still continue to get a dump truck full of trash each year.
We would like to thank the Bridgeton Township Board, West Michigan Wildlife Association and Muskegon Watershed Assembly for their support over the years. For those that would like to make a donation to help us with this event, we have a Muskegon River Cleanup Account at Choice One Bank.
The Muskegon River Clean-Up has been rescheduled for August 7, 2021 next year. Won’t you plan to join us for an enjoyable day on the Muskegon River and help us keep it clean? Even though the event has been cancelled this year, we would challenge everyone who floats the Muskegon River or any river, to pick up any trash they find and dispose of it properly.
If you have any questions or wish to make a donation, please contact Jerry at 231-578-5465.
Newaygo County School Districts Offer Virtual Delivery Model
Opening date for local school districts in Newaygo County will be August 31, 2020. Our staff have been working hard developing plans for returning to school with delivery models that include face-to-face instruction, as well as 100% virtual instruction. Regardless of what plan is ultimately implemented, please be assured that your family and your students will remain an important part of your local school district and we are working to have a plan to meet each family’s preference.
We know that regardless of the plan, some families will not yet be comfortable with sending their students back into a school building. Therefore, we would like to announce that all public schools in Newaygo County will also have a 100% virtual (online) delivery model designed by educators, in addition to face-to-face instruction. Students enrolled in the virtual (online) delivery model will still be an important part of their local school district.
Very soon, families will receive a survey about their preferred delivery model, which will help us plan for fall 2020. More information on the curriculum, staff, and teachers will be shared in the near future.
We know this is a difficult time, as families are preparing their children the upcoming school year. We appreciate your patience and support.
Ed Canning, Superintendent of White Cloud Public Schools
Ken Haggart, Superintendent of Fremont Public Schools
Dr. Peg Mathis, Superintendent of Newaygo Public Schools
Dr. Lori Tubbergen Clark, Superintendent of Newaygo County RESA
Vaughn White, Superintendent of Hesperia Community Schools
Brett Zuver, Superintendent of Grant Public Schools
Enbridge CFO testified that the company is not obligated to cover losses
From our friends at DNR:
On Wednesday, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger sent a letter to Enbridge Inc., following up on his request that the corporation enter into a written agreement with the State of Michigan to provide financial assurances to cover all damages and losses caused to property or individuals due to operation of the Line 5 dual pipelines through the Straits of Mackinac.
In response to Eichinger’s original request, which he sent on Friday, July 17, Enbridge Inc. stated that it was already committed to providing the requested financial assurance. The company also submitted a letter to the State of Michigan on July 20, 2020 and pledged to take “full responsibility for the clean-up of any incident in Michigan or anywhere along our pipeline system.” Eichinger raised several concerns about this pledge in his letter to Enbridge Inc. and again asked the company to sign a written agreement.
“If Enbridge Inc. is really committed to providing financial assurance to the people of Michigan, they’ll enter into a written agreement to that effect,” said Eichinger. “We will continue working around the clock to get these pipelines that transport crude oil out of the Great Lakes as soon as possible. While we continue this work, Enbridge Inc. must provide full financial assurance to the people of Michigan that the company will meet its obligations in the event there is a spill or some other disastrous damage to the Great Lakes.”
“I’m shocked at Enbridge Inc.’s refusal so far to sign a written agreement promising to cover the costs of an oil spill in the Great Lakes if this unthinkable event were to happen,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “When I was a kid, my parents taught me: ‘You break it, you pay for it.’ It seems that’s the bare minimum Enbridge Inc. owes every Michigander so long as the company continues to pump crude oil through the Straits of Mackinac.”
One of the concerns Eichinger raised was that Enbridge Inc.’s Chief Financial Officer for U.S. operations, Mr. Chris Johnston, testified in Minnesota that as a Canadian parent company, Enbridge Inc. is not contractually obligated to cover the indemnity and other financial assurance commitments of its subsidiaries. Minnesota Administrative Law Judge Ann O’Reilly accepted Mr. Johnston’s testimony, and recommended that Minnesota obtain a guarantee and indemnity/hold harmless agreement from Enbridge Inc., the parent company, to cover the financial liabilities of the Line 3 Applicant. Enbridge Inc. provided a guarantee/indemnity for the State of Minnesota. Eichinger requested an indemnity agreement in his letter to Enbridge Inc.
In his July 17 letter to Enbridge Inc., Eichinger requested an agreement that includes the following:
On June 25, 2020, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge James S. Jamo granted Attorney General Dana Nessel’s motion for a temporary restraining order requiring Enbridge Energy to cease all transport operations of its Line 5 twin pipelines.
Michigan's Dragon Trail Official First Ride
By Alexis Mercer
Organizers, project partners and media met at Brower Park in Stanwood on Monday, July 20, 2020 to hold the first official trail ride and hike on the much anticipated Dragon Trail.
The project is more than 8 years in the making, according to Martin Hall with the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance. The first sections of the trail have opened up, marking what is the start of a 3.5 million dollar project with 47 total planned miles when all is said and done.
Jeff Abel, Superintendent of Mecosta County Parks, Eric O'Neil, Mecosta County Parks Commissioner, Martin Hall and Jodi Overman, from The Nonprofit Spot all spoke to the crowd gathered for the event.
As of Monday nearly 6 miles of the trail have been opened to the public. This includes the 1 mile loop at Brower Park in Mecosta County and close to 5 miles at Hardy Dam in Newaygo County. The landscape varies but the entire trail is on Consumers Energy property, which is dense forest with many overlooks onto the Muskegon River.
Newaygo and Mecosta counties have been working in close alliance to make this dream a reality: a destination trail for bikers, hikers and runners. Just over 1 million has already been raised for the project, according to Overman, but still another 2.5 million needs to be raised to see the project to its completion.
Information about the trail can be found at thedragon.us, including a spot for anyone to donate to the cause.
White Cloud, MI: The Consumers Energy Foundation awarded a grant in the amount of $200,000 to help build Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam (Dragon Trail), a 47-mile non-motorized, multi-use trail forming a loop around the Hardy Pond Reservoir.
“Consumers Energy would like to thank Newaygo County, Mecosta County and the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance for their work to build an impressive asset in our community,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “We are proud to have had a hand in nurturing the project from initial concept to this grand opening, including to help determine an environmentally-friendly route for the trail through our property as well as with significant funding support from the Consumers Energy Foundation. We are confident the Dragon Trail will provide a boost to the local economy, and welcome all to enjoy the trail and surrounding natural beauty along the Muskegon River, our woods and reservoirs.”
The Dragon Trail has been in the works for a decade, and after receiving final approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and support by valuable partners such as Consumers Energy Foundation, ground was broken on the trail in fall 2019. Since then, approximately six miles of the trail has been completed and opened to the public for biking and hiking.
The newly opened segments of the Dragon Tail include portions of segments four, nine, and ten, in both Mecosta and Newaygo counties. Visitors will traverse fiberglass truss bridges, boardwalk, and natural surface trail over beautiful terrain. Impressive scenic overlooks with views of Hardy Pond punctuate the trail that is open. More information about the status of open and upcoming segments can be found at thedragon.us.
“The support of partners such as the Consumers Energy Foundation is key to making the trail a reality,” said fundraiser Jodi Overman. “With an overall goal of $3.7 million, it will take commitments from corporate entities, private foundations, and passionate individual donors to get us there, and we’re grateful that Consumers Energy has been a leader with this project from the beginning.”
To learn how you can help build or maintain the Dragon, or make a gift, visit thedragon.us.
Eichinger asks parent company to assume obligation in case of disaster
LANSING, Mich. – Today, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger sent a letter to Enbridge Inc., requesting that the corporation enter into a written agreement with the State of Michigan to provide financial assurances to cover all damages and losses caused to property or individuals due to operation of the Line 5 dual pipelines through the Straits of Mackinac. Eichinger requested that Enbridge Inc. enter into a written agreement with the State of Michigan to provide sufficient financial assurances to cover any loss, including a catastrophic release from the dual pipelines.
“As recent events have reminded us, we must get these pipelines that transport crude oil out of the Great Lakes as soon as possible,” said Eichinger. “In the meantime, Enbridge must provide full financial assurance to the people of Michigan that the company will meet its obligations in the event there is a spill or some other disastrous damage to the Great Lakes.”
The 1953 Easement allowing placement of the Line 5 dual pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac requires Enbridge Energy Company Inc., the corporate successor to Lakehead Pipe Line Company, to compensate the State of Michigan for all damages and losses caused by the operation of the pipelines, and to provide insurance, bond or surety liability coverage.
Under former Gov. Rick Snyder, Enbridge signed an agreement to fulfill that requirement, but only signed as a subsidiary of Enbridge Inc. The subsidiary does not have sufficient resources to cover the costs of a spill. Additionally, in an expert report titled An Analysis of The Enbridge Financial Assurances Offered to the State of Michigan On Matters Related To The Operation of the Enbridge Line 5 Pipeline At the Straits of Mackinac (Oct. 29, 2019), American Risk Management Resources Network (ARMRN) concluded that Enbridge Inc. is not subject to the indemnity language under the 1953 Easement. To address this deficiency, in his letter to Enbridge, Eichinger requested an agreement that includes the following:
On Tuesday, June 30, Joseph Fox, Newaygo County COA Director, was invited to a presentation and press conference at VanEerden Foodservices in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The special guest was Sonny Perdue, United States Secretary of Agriculture. The host was Dan VanEerden, VanEerden Foodservices CEO.
The focus of the program was on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farmers to Families Food Boxes that are currently being distributed to families and individuals experiencing food scarcity across the United States because of the C-19 situation. This program was developed to move food directly from farmers to tables of people in need. Here is a summary of the program from the USDA website:
As part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Secretary Perdue announced on April 17, USDA is exercising authority under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to purchase and distribute agricultural products to those in need. Through this program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is partnering with national, regional and local suppliers, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products. The program will supply boxes packaged with fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat products and a combination box of fresh produce, dairy or meat products. Suppliers will package these products into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.
The first round of purchases totaling up to $1.2 billion occurred from May 15 through June 30, 2020. The second round will aim to purchase up to $1.47 billion July 1 through August 31, 2020. AMS may elect to extend the period of performance of the contracts, via option periods, dependent upon program success and available remaining funds, up to $3 billion.
VanEerden Foodservices became a vital link in the distribution chain of these commodities. Locally, the Newaygo County Commission on Aging (COA) has distributed over 800 of these food boxes to meals-on-wheels participants and other families in need. It is expected that the program will continue into September and possibly longer. For further information about the Produce Boxes, Meals-on-Wheels, and other older adult services in Newaygo County, please call the COA (231-689-2100).
3-Week Hardy Dam Road Closure to Begin July 20
NEWAYGO, Mich. – Consumers Energy announced Hardy Dam Road will be closed both directions for approximately three weeks beginning July 20.
The temporary closure is needed to allow crews to safely perform soil studies at Hardy Dam for a future auxiliary spillway project there.
Detour signs will direct motorists south to Croton Drive as the shortest alternative route.
“We have planned our work to minimize the detour time for our valued neighbors and visitors,” said Neil Dziedzic, executive director of hydro operations for Consumers Energy. “We are proud of our ongoing commitment to enhance the integrity and safety of our river hydro facilities, and we certainly appreciate the patience of those impacted by the detour.”
All recreational access sites on both sides of Hardy Dam – Hardy Dam Marina and launch, Operators Village Park, and the canoe portage -- will remain open during the road closure.
Michigan State Police Seeking to Hire Troopers
PAW PAW, MICH. The Michigan State Police (MSP) recognizes the importance and is committed to hiring individuals who are uniquely different while working together as one. We are seeking to hire people who believe in holding themselves accountable to forge authentic relationships, who want to make a difference in their communities, and want to provide the highest quality public service to all citizens throughout Michigan.
The minimum requirements for employment are as follows:
For more information on how to begin the process for a rewarding career, contact Tpr. Kellie Shaffer at Shafferk@michigan.gov.