Category Archives: Local

This week is Carbon Monoxide Safety and Awareness Week in Michigan

P1000474The awareness week is scheduled in the fall because we are approaching the winter months when water heaters, furnaces, and other fuel burning entities are more frequently used.

Jennifer Eisner is the Public Information Officer with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“Carbon monoxide is very hard to detect, the warning signs would include flu like symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness and confusion. So if you start to have sudden, severe flu like symptoms there is the potential that it’s carbon monoxide poisoning so it’s very important that you leave the area immediately and seek medical attention.”

Eisner says infants, the elderly, and people with heart or lung disease are at greater risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and typically show symptoms earlier.

She says if you notice symptoms it’s important to leave the area and immediately seek medical attention.

Flint city council expected to vote on trash collection service Monday

Rizzo Environmental Services, a trash collection agency that was vying for a contract to pick up trash in Flint, is under investigation with the FBI for what federal investigators call a pay-for-play scheme in a nearby county.

Rizzo Environmental Services is under investigation for allegedly paying bribes to a Clinton Township official. Dean Reynolds was arrested Thursday and charged in federal court.

FBI officials said between 50-70 thousand dollars was paid to Reynolds to secure a lucrative contract to tune of 18 million dollars.

In the meantime, Flint’s mayor and city council are working to reach an agreement on who should collect trash in the city;  Rizzo, who the mayor wants or competitor Republic Waste Services, which most of the city council has voted for.

Scott Kincaid is the Ninth Ward City Council Member for the city of Flint.

“The tentative agreement is a one year contract starting November 12, 2016 through November 12, 2017, with the option for an extension of the contract from November 12 2017 through November 12, 2018 with Republic Waste Services at the bid price that Rizzo quoted in their three year bid proposal.”

Kincaid says  Rizzo’s legal woes did not influence the city council’s decision to oppose them. He says council member never believed that Rizzo was a “responsible bidder” to begin with.  

The Flint City council has reached a tentative agreement, awarding the trash contract to Republic. The agreement is expected to be voted on Monday.

EPA decides to cap Kalamazoo landfill

LANDFILL 1After years of debate, the EPA has decided to cap and consolidate hazardous waste at Kalamazoo’s Allied Paper Landfill. Several residents wanted all of the waste removed from the Superfund site.

Others suggested hiring the bioremediation company BioPath Solutions – which uses microbes to neutralize toxic chemicals. Michael Berkhoff is the EPA’s remedial project manager for Allied. He says BioPath Solutions could not prove to the EPA that their product works on PCBs.

The EPA’s record of decision released Friday calls for consolidating about half the contaminated soil into a capped mound in the middle of the site. This would allow room for industrial or commercial business – which the City of Kalamazoo advocated for last year.

Once the work starts, the agency expects the 63 million dollar project will take three years to complete.

There has been another sighting of a bull Elk in Mid Michigan

file2211281264306The elk was spotted earlier in the month in Isabella and Clare counties. The most recent report of an ambling elk came from Gratiot County.

Officials speculate all the sightings are the same animal, but without a photo, there is no way to be sure.

Brian Mastenbrook is the Wildlife Field Operations Manager with the DNR.

“These are wild elk, from up in Otsego and Cheboygan and it’s pretty rare for them to wander this far, they’ve done it before they’ve been to the north side of Bay City, they’ve been down around Houghton Lake, but it’s like every two or three or five years ya know one or sometimes two take off and make these long travels.”

Mastenbrook says elk are typically not a hazard to humans or other animals. He says he expects the animal to eventually make its way back up north.

CMU Professor uses old photographs to create an imagined history of gay and lesbian relationships

On display at the 10th annual GETXOPHOTO festival in Getxo, Spain

On display at the 10th annual GETXOPHOTO festival in Getxo, Spain

A Central Michigan University Professor has traveled the world exhibiting her art.

Her exhibit Through the Lens of Desire was displayed in New York City and just finished displaying in Getxo, Spain.

Continue reading

CMU hosts an event aimed at educating students on social justice issues

file2371256841486It’s called Issue Day, and it holds conversations about issues like Black Lives Matter, sex trafficking, and the environment.

This year’s event will bring in speakers and organizations to talk about things like safer sex, hunger, volunteering, and more.

Lauren Lynn is the events student coordinator at the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center at CMU.

“Someone was sitting here and was like how can we provide students with education that will preempt them to then do service and then allow to have that reflection. So someone came up with the idea, they had people come in and speak and for the last 16 years we’ve been doing it that same way.”

Lynn says the goal is to inspire students to become more active citizens and help within their community.

Issue Day is scheduled to run Saturday October 15th from 9am to 1pm in the UC rotunda at CMU.

The city of Mount Pleasant is proclaiming Columbus Day, also as Indigenous Peoples Day

file0001762182018Some communities across the state refer to Columbus Day also as Indigenous Peoples Day. One of the communities is Mount Pleasant.

The city says it’s a move to recognize the history of indigenous people and the culture they bring to the community.

Nancy Ridley is the Mt Pleasant City Manager.

“Certainly the history that they bring to our community and the culture that is a part of our community as a result of it, it brings great diversity to our community.”

Ridley says Indigenous People’s Day doesn’t replace Columbus Day, it is in addition to it.

She says the Mt Pleasant Mayor will read the proclamation recognizing the day at a city council meeting this evening. Members of the Saginaw Chippewa indian tribe.will be on hand to accept the recognition and perform a ceremonial dance

Criminal justice reform is one focus for the upcoming election

One national non-profit organization is using this election season to address the link between the criminal justice system and poverty.

Bread for the World is encouraging people to make criminal justice reform a top priority for their presidential candidate in the upcoming election.

Eric Mitchell is the Director of Government Relations for Bread for the World. He says, the criminal justice system contributes to hunger in America in many ways.

“Many women who were formerly incarcerated have less access to food, less access to safety net programs like food stamps, housing vouchers, have a loss of household income, added debt, and most importantly it’s harder for them to find and maintain solid jobs to provide for themselves and their families.”

Mitchell said they want candidates not only talk about criminal justice reform but to take action.

Pinconning awarded 500,000 grant to fund wastewater plant repairs

The city of Pinconning has received a grant of 500 thousand dollars to repair their wastewater treatment plant.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation awarded the city with a ceremonial check last Friday. City officials said they will begin calculating the full cost of the project in November.

William Jasura is the city manager for Pinconning. He said the the water waste plant needs a lot of repairs.

“The wastewater treatment plant was built 20 years ago under a 40 year bond. We just had a lot of equipment wear out.”

Jasura said they will be replacing screw pumps, and ultraviolet disinfection system, digester cover and plug valves, and many more pieces of equipment. He says it means a lot to the city and the grant will help increase productivity and efficiency.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. awarded eight other grants, totaling seven million dollars in grants to repair water infrastructure across the state.

Enbridge responds to delay for Line 5 supports

Mackinac-01Enbridge Energy is reacting today to a state decision that delays company plans to install new supports on its Line 5 pipeline.

In June, Enbridge Energy, which owns Line 5, reported four spots that required additional support because of erosion.

The Department of Environmental Quality approved supports for those four spots, but delayed action on 18 others that Enbridge requested.

Environmental groups said they’re hopeful this means the government is getting serious about a line shutdown.

But Michael Barnes, a spokesperson for Enbridge, said that’s not how he sees it.

“We think that we’re all working towards the same thing and that’s to protect the straits and keep energy flowing into Michigan.”

Officials with the DEQ said they will delay a decision on the 18 additional supports until two studies on the risks of the pipeline and alternative ways for transporting the oil are completed. Results of those studies are expected early next year.

Artisan of Michigan: Piccolo

file4161237376360We’ve been thinking about the kind of people you might like to meet – we have a lot of authors, musicians, lawmakers, academics – all people you want to hear. But, what about those people who make things? Artisans.

This week, we’re bringing you a series of reports where we talk to people who make things, repair things, and build things that we use. We’re calling the series “Artisans of Michigan.” Our first stop on the trip is in downtown Northville at the Cobbler’s Corner.