Category Archives: Public Safety

The Michigan State Police is getting two million dollars from the federal government

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The state police is getting two million dollars from the feds. Some of that money will go toward paying overtime for testing rape kits. Some of it will help fight a growing methamphetamine problem. And some of it will go toward a new patrol boat for the Port of Sault Ste. Marie.

Nancy Bennett is with the state police.

“This allows us to do things that might be outside of our budget. And it really – they use them as incentives for getting projects started. If you have grant funding and things work really well then the agency is much more likely to incorporate that into their regular operating business.”

One of the grants will be used to fight methamphetamine production and use in the state.

Matt Opsommer is with the Michigan State Police. He said the grant is especially important in southwest Michigan.

“While heroin is, and rightly so, getting a lot of attention nationally as well as here in Michigan – heroin and opioids. We’re also seeing a comeback of sorts of methamphetamine.”

Michigan is in the process of implementing its vision for bringing traffic deaths in the state down to zero

IMG_0037It’s called Toward Zero Deaths, and it is intended to reduce roadway fatalities.

The initiative aims at changing driver behavior. Experts say driver behavior factors into nearly 90 percent of all crashes.

Gregg Brunner is the Associate Region Engineer for MDOT’s Bay region.

“And within Michigan there’s approximately 900 fatalities each year on our roadways. So what we’re doing is trying to go out and educate drivers, and move that 900 number within Michigan down to zero.”

Brunner says the strategy used will involve the four E’s, engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency response.

He says the campaign has been going on for a few years now, and has been implemented across several states.

Statewide conference looks to address contaminants on Great Lakes beaches.

Environmental groups and experts from around the state are gathering in Marquette this week to talk about Michigan’s beaches. The Great Lakes Beach Association Conference will highlight efforts to detect E. Coli faster, and survey beaches quicker.

Shannon Briggs is a toxicologist with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

She says keeping Michigan beaches clean and safe is a priority. “Michigan has great beaches, all across our state, and most of these beaches are in places that are tucked away in smaller communities. We want to keep those beaches open and  clean because those beaches are attracting other visitors and tourism.”

Click here to link to conference webinar information.

Rally calls for shutdown of Line 5 pipeline

IMG_0610Roughly 100 attended a rally held by The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Monday in in Saint Ignace to bring awareness to the dangers of the Enbridge pipeline under the straits.

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Officers and state dispute whether protest turned into a riot at Kinross Correctional

Kinross_admin_building_503865_7We’re learning more details about an incident that occurred earlier this month at the Kinross Correctional Facility in the eastern Upper Peninsula. The union that represents prison guards there says the state has played down the incident… which the union describes as a full blown riot. But the Department of Corrections disagrees.

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State launches ’21 to Buy, not Supply’ campaign

State officials are launching a new campaign called 21 to buy not supply to remind young adults not to supply minors with alcohol.

Officials say most young adults know supplying minors with alcohol has serious consequences.

Diane Dovico is the executive director of the Royal Oak Community Coalition. She said she’s working to ensure people are educated on the laws.

“Our first strategy was to reach our college students throughout Michigan, because that’s where there is a huge collection of minors, and the upper classmen who have turned 21 on campus.”

Dovico said the campaign has made posters and other giveaways to raise awareness. She said penalties for supplying alcohol to minors include up to 90 days in jail and a 1,000 dollar fine.

State answers concerns about Pine River


The state is addressing recent concerns from Gratiot county residents about the Pine river

Residents living along Pine River say it appears the river has shrunk. They say green algae stretches out from the banks to the middle of the river, and vegetation growth has narrowed the river.

Aaron Parker is a Aquatic Biologists with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. He said the plants may be unattractive, but they’re also harmless.

“We collected some algae samples and plant samples, and identified the plants, and tested the algae for toxicity. All of them came back with no toxins.”

Parker said, algae and increased vegetation is normal for water bodies like the Pine river. He said the river should appear more normal once we see an increase in rain.

Michigan is working on passing a bill that would grant immunity to anyone reporting an overdose

DSC05701Officials say a similar bill was passed last year that granted immunity to prescription drug overdose reports in minors. The new bill would expand immunity to all ages, and all substances.

Al Pscholka is a State Representative and Chairman of the house Appropriations Committee. He developed the bill and its predecessor.

“You know we should never be afraid to save a life so that’s what really started this whole conversation about expanding the Good Samaritan Act, and allowing for people to escape prosecution if it’s a medical emergency and you’re in the commission of saving someone’s life.”

Pscholka says in the state of Michigan, opioid drug overdoses kill more people than car accidents.

He says the original legislation has saved lives, and he hopes the passing of this bill will save more.