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.”
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.
Given the recent friction between law enforcement and citizens, Governor Rick Snyder says action needs to be taken to forge better relationships.
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. https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1873063
Families of first responders in Michigan can expect to get expanded benefits soon. Governor Rick Snyder signed the Survivors Benefit Bill today (Tues)
We’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.
Some state lawmakers are calling for new laws to punish people who attack lawyers, judges, and other court personnel during judicial proceedings.
Under the proposal, drivers would only be allowed to talk on hands-free phones. It’s part of an effort to eliminate as many distractions as possible for people behind the wheel.
Anyone would be able to call 9-1-1 to report a drug overdose – without worrying about getting prosecuted for drug possession. That’s under a bill on its way to the governor’s desk.
Michigan drivers are among the top ten most likely drivers in the United States to have a deer collision that requires an insurance claim to be filed, according to a new report from State Farm.
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.
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.
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.
The $2.25 million grant will be distributed over three years by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
They hope to preserve these trees for use against the growing impact of global warming.