Northern Michigan is preparing for a huge tourism spike over the upcoming holiday weekend.
According to AAA (Triple-A) Michigan, some one-point-three million people are expected to travel this Fourth of July. That has left many hotels and campgrounds completely booked through Sunday.
Scott Harris and Bob Betts
The Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same sex marriage has caused immediate reaction around Michigan, both for and against.
Several same sex couples lined up first thing this morning at their local clerk’s office, ready to receive a license.
A grant for Saginaw’s Fire Department has been extended through September. The move is saving fifteen jobs.
The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER, grant was scheduled to end June 30th, but was given a temporary extension.
A panel of experts will convene next month to discuss ways to prevent sexual assaults on college campuses.
Backing the effort is half a million dollars in state funding — the first time Michigan has allocated funds to prevent college sexual assaults.
The state is looking to a newly released task force report to help reduce child sexual in Michigan.
The Erin’s Law task force was created in late 2013 with the purpose of finding effective ways to reduce sexual abuse against children.
Foresters in Michigan are in a race against an indigenous bug that is threatening older spruce and fir trees.
Officials said in the last few years the number of spruce budworms has increased in forests across northern lower Michigan and the UP.
Michigan has declared Saturday,June 27 the state’s first ever Post Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Day.
Officials say more than five-million Americans are affected by PTSI annually. The disorder can affect day-to-day life.
A Mount Pleasant area farmer’s market will be getting a permanent home thanks to a federal grant.
The Saginaw-Chippewa Indian tribe has been awarded a grant from the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program.
The Saginaw police are planning to use the summer months to reconnect with city youth and continue work on lowering the city’s crime rates.
To that end, police are beginning to tap into a 174 thousand dollar grant through Project Safe Neighborhood.
“What we plan on to use the grant for is to basically re-engage with youth, within the school system. To put school resource officers back into the schools on a part time basis, here in the city of Saginaw,” said Robert Ruth, the Chief of Police in Saginaw. Working with children; trying to re-engage with them.”
Ruth says the department also plans to use the money to increase enforcement in the streets by targeting gun and gang violence.
The funding comes from a $500 thousand grant aimed at reducing gun and gang violence in the city, given by the US Department of Justice Safe Neighborhoods project.
Clare County’s new veterans park is in its final preparation stage, and plans to open late this summer.
Freedom Park has been in the works for four years… at a cost of $400,000. Continue reading
Rumble strips on rural Michigan roadways are preventing crashes and saving lives, according to a study released this week.
The study found rumble strips reduced total collisions by 47 percent over a three year period.
“The overall result is that it reduces crashes very significantly at over 40 percent,” said Tapan Datta, a Wayne State University professor and chief investigator of the study. “And we also found fatality reduced by over 50 percent.”
Datta said the study estimates rumble strips saved $79 million over three years in collision-related costs.
The study was conducted over 5,000 miles of highway with centerline rumble strips
“It was one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of its kind, looking at what the effects of rumble strips are in terms of safety also cost effectiveness,” said Dan Weingarten with the Michigan Department of Transportation. “It came up with some results that we feel are very encouraging.”
Weingarten said the study may lead MDOT add even more rumble strips to rural highways in the future.
In an effort to give people convicted of “minor in possession” (MIP) another chance, a senate bill would reduce the punishment for first offenses.
The National Children’s Alliance is planning to offer more help for abused children in rural areas of the Michigan.
Child abuse prevention advocates are planning a 150-thousand dollar upgrade to the Mobile Child Advocacy Center that serves Clare and Gladwin counties.
Lake Superior State University is planning a 12 million dollar renovation of its aquatic research laboratory.
Ashley Moerke (mer-key) is a professor of Biology and co-director of the aquatic research lab at Lake Superior State University.
“What we’ve proposed is a 12 million dollar expansion of our existing aquatic research laboratory at Lake Superior State University. And this is a building that would be enhancing our capabilities in areas of freshwater research, public education and outreach, student training and in community involvement in our region.”
Moerke said the project would be funded with state funds and that it’s a priority in the governor’s budget.
She said state funding would cover 75 percent of project costs. The rest will come from fundraising and private donations.
The project aims to create new facilities for students to get hands-on experience.
It would also create a center for the general public, in an attempt to educate the community about issues facing the Great Lakes.
“We’re working on it being a true center. So we’re trying to bring in collaborators from other agencies, from other universities that will conduct research at our center for freshwater research and education, that may have offices in that center. So it will provide a community of experts of Great Lakes issues in this region.”
The project will begin as soon as funding is secured.
Several freighters remain stuck in Lake Superior’s Whitefish Bay due to unseasonable ice conditions.
The 2015 Great Lakes shipping season has officially begun, and companies look to make the most of it.
Officials said they expect this season to be better than last. Continue reading