Archives for July 2019

Great Lakes 2020 Presidential Agenda

Governor Whitmer and the Democratic governors of Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are calling for a Great Lakes 2020 Presidential Agenda.

They are encouraging all presidential candidates to adopt their strategic plan to combat critical factors threatening the water and public health. Whitmer says it’s also an economic issue, with 51-million jobs depending on “our immediate action.” Among the six platforms in the plan is increasing funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to 475-million dollars a year and addressing the “extensive water infrastructure crisis the Great Lakes region is facing.”

Stabenow For Impeaching Trump

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow is now publicly backing an impeachment inquiry by the U.S. House into President Trump.

Michigan’s senior senator is the fourth-highest ranking Senate Democrat, and Politico reports her support for the impeachment inquiry followed that of Senator Patty Murray of Washington. Stabenow said the President is not above the law, and the Mueller report “is extremely serious” and “worthy of an inquiry.” Even if the House moves forward on impeaching President Trump, chances are slim the Senate would vote to remove him from office.

Bonds Up for Vote

The Village of Calumet and the Dollar Bay Tamarack City School District have bonds being voted on next week.

The Village of Calumet’s bond proposal is for $500,000 and would be used primarily to replace their old snow removal equipment. The village is also looking to replace their public works garage, which received damage when the neighboring building burned down.
The school bond proposed by the Dollar Bay Tamarack City School District, would bring in $4.6 million and be used to update the current school building. Both bond proposals will be voted on next Tuesday, August 6th.

Gas Prices Dropping

The state’s average gas price is up by four-cents a gallon…

Triple-A Michigan notes the price has retreated after hitting two-88 on Friday. Starting the week at two-dollars-85-cents.The auto club says prices could start to ease this week if demand continues to soften. The highest prices in the state are in Ironwood at 2.94, while Traverse City has the lowest average at two-dollars-69-cents per gallon.

Sanders: Shut It Down

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is the latest Democratic presidential candidate to call on Michigan officials to decommission and shut down Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac.

The Vermont independent used the nine-year anniversary of Enbridge’s Line 6B spill that dumped over one-million gallons of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River in southwest Michigan to push for Line 5’s closure and passage of the Green New Deal. Enbridge wants to bury the pipeline in a tunnel in the bedrock under the Straits, and had a deal to do so with former Governor Rick Snyder’s administration. Washington Governor Jay Inslee was the first presidential candidate to say Line 5 needs to be closed.

Power Credits

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is urging the Michigan Public Service Commission to make changes to help people who lose power for extended periods.

Nessel wants utility companies with smart meters to automatically credit their customer’s bills for prolonged power outages, and says the credits should reflect how long the power was out. Currently, customers are only eligible for a 25-dollar credit under three different scenarios. Nessel’s letter to the MPSC comes after strong storms last week knocked out power for several days for thousands of DTE Energy and Consumers Energy customers.

Storms claim the life of a solider

Storms claim the life of a solider…

Severe storms in Virginia have claimed the life this week of a U.S. Army Reserve soldier from Michigan. The Department of the Army says 34-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Kevin Sullivan died during a training exercise at Fort Pickett when the storms knocked a tree onto him. Two other soldiers were hurt. Sullivan is survived by his parents and a sister, and he served in Iraq from 2007 to 2008 after joining the Army in 2003.

Double Digit Tornado Count

The tornado count for Wisconsin is growing again.

The National Weather Service yesterday said last weekend’s storm system produced 16 tornadoes. There are still no reports of any serious injuries or deaths. The new count comes as people are still cleaning-up from the storms. Wisconsin Public Service and WE Energies said yesterday that 16 thousand people were still without power.

Drones Regulated On Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island officials are now able to put regulations on the use of certain drones.

Governor Whitmer yesterday signed a new law sponsored by Republican state Senator Wayne Schmidt of Traverse City which he says will protect public safety and privacy. The state’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Task Force first proposed limiting drone use on Mackinac Island in 2017 as part of several recommendations.

One Fair Wage

The group behind the ballot drive to raise Michigan’s minimum wage last year is not getting behind the call to increase it to 20-dollars an hour.

One Fair Wage campaign manager Pete Vargas tells MIRS News they support a 12-dollar minimum wage in Michigan and a 15-dollar federal minimum, but adds it’s just part of what’s needed to lift people out of poverty. Small Business Association of Michigan president and former Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley says a 15-dollar minimum would put some companies out of business.