South Shore update for November

Posted on: November 19th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

November holiday train service updates

This weekend kicks off the holiday season along the South Shore Line! Experience the magic of the season at some of the most anticipated events like the spectacular Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade (Nov. 23), the annual Chicago Tree Lighting Ceremony in Millennium Park (Nov. 22) and the traditional German Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza (open as of Nov. 15).

To ensure we provide the best experience possible to our riders this holiday season, we have made our November train and ticket office schedules available in advance, and will be offering additional eastbound trains. Please see details below for more information.

Holiday Train Schedule

·         Wednesday, Nov. 27: A weekday schedule will be in effect on the day before Thanksgiving.

·         Thursday, Nov. 28 (Thanksgiving Day): A weekend/holiday schedule will be in effect in observance of Thanksgiving Day.

·         Friday, Nov. 29 (Black Friday): A weekday schedule will be in effect on the Friday following Thanksgiving.

Extra eastbound service

·         Saturday, Nov. 23 (Magnificent Mile Lights Festival): Extra will depart Millennium Station at 8 p.m. (Van Buren St. at 8:03 p.m.), run non-stop to Hegewisch and make all local stops terminating at Carroll Ave., Michigan City.

·         Wednesday, Nov. 27: Extra will depart Millennium Station at 2 p.m. (Van Buren St. at 2:03 p.m.), run non-stop to Hegewisch and make all local stops terminating at Carroll Ave., Michigan City.

·         Saturday, Nov. 30: Extra will depart Millennium Station at 4:25 p.m. (Van Buren St. at 4:28 p.m.), run non-stop to Hegewisch and make all local stops terminating in Michigan City.

These extra trains will not serve Hudson Lake or South Bend.

Ticket Office Schedule  

If ticket office is closed please purchase from ticket vending machine (credit or debit only), our mobile app, or aboard train (cash only).

·         Nov. 23-24: South Bend ticket office will observe normal hours; Millennium Station ticket office open until 6:30p.

·         Nov. 25-27: All ticket offices will observe normal hours.

·         Nov. 28: All ticket offices will be closed except Millennium Station.

·         Nov. 29: Carroll Ave. ticket office will be open 5:35a-4:45p. All other ticket offices will observe normal hours.

·         Nov. 30: Millennium Station ticket office open until 6:30 p.m. Carroll Ave. ticket office open from 6:50a-1p. South Bend ticket office will observe normal hours.

·         Dec. 1: Millennium Station ticket office open until 6:30 p.m. South Bend ticket office will observe normal hours. Carroll Ave. ticket office closed.

NICTD administrative offices in Chesterton and Michigan City will be closed Nov. 28-29 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Construction Closure from the Berrien County Road Department

Posted on: November 19th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

Deans Hill Road will be closed to thru traffic, daily, this week from approximately 8am until 3pm. No thru traffic will be permitted through the work zone during this critical slope restoration work along Deans Hills Road, just north of the Pokagon Road intersection.

Michigan AG Nessel and Public Service Commission Urge Residents to Know the Signs of Fraud During Utility Scam Awareness Week

Posted on: November 19th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) yesterday urged residents to know the signs of fraud during Utility Scam Awareness Week which is this week. 
Many electric, water and natural gas customers throughout the country — including Michigan — are being targeted by impostor utility scams every day. Scammers typically use phone, in-person, and online tactics to target customers.
The MPSC, which regulates energy utilities and telecommunications, receives a significant number of complaints each year from customers who’ve been the victim of utility scams.
Utility companies never call customers and demand immediate payment to keep services from being shut off in a matter of hours. And utility companies do not use deceptive tactics to try to get inside your home. Real employees always wear company identification badges. Utility companies also will NOT:
-Require a prepaid debit card or gift card for payments.
-Collect payment at a customer’s home or business.
-Call, text or email and ask for social security, bank account or credit card information.
Utilities United Against Scams (www.UtilitiesUnited.org) – a consortium of more than 100 U.S. and Canadian electric, water and natural gas utilities, and their trade associations — sponsors this week-long awareness campaign and offers consumers a comprehensive Consumers Guide to Imposter Utility Scams.
If you’ve mistakenly provided bank account or credit card information to someone you suspect might have been an impostor, call your bank or credit card company immediately. If you have a complaint or believe you are the victim of a utility scam, report it online to the Michigan Public Service Commission or call 1-800-292-9555. You may also file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Team at mi.gov/agcomplaints.  

MDHHS announces new efforts to find children forever homes more quickly as Michigan celebrates Adoption Month

Posted on: November 19th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

As the state celebrates Adoption Month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is preparing to kick off two new projects to find adoptive homes more quickly for children in foster care who can’t safely return home.
One initiative, which begins in November, assigns 21 child welfare staff from MDHHS called permanency resource monitors to remove barriers to finalizing pending adoptions that have been on hold more than six months. Barriers such as concerns about the child’s behavior and incomplete documents can delay adoptions even when a family has been identified.
The second initiative is being planned for mid-2020. MDHHS is working with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program, which pays for recruiters to help find loving adoptive homes for children in foster care. Research has shown the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids model to be more effective at serving children who have been in foster care the longest – including teenagers, sibling groups and children with special needs.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared November to be Adoption Month in Michigan. Courts statewide, in partnership with MDHHS, hold special Adoption Month ceremonies this month at which children officially become permanent members of their new forever families. Included is a Nov. 26 event at the Michigan Supreme Court Hall of Justice in Lansing. A list of Adoption Day events and profiles of adoptive families can be found on the Michigan Adoption Resource exchange Adoption Day webpage. 
Anyone interested in adopting from foster care can contact the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange at 800-589-6273, or see biographies and photos of children available for adoption at www.mare.org.
There are about 13,100 children in the foster care system, but the goal for most is reunification with their families.
For more information about adoption in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/adoption.

AG Nessel Kicks Off Robocall Crackdown Effort with State and Federal Partners

Posted on: November 18th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments


A powerful force of state and federal partners joined Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel Friday in Lansing to kick off a sweeping crackdown on illegal robocalls targeting the state’s residents. Highlighting the fact that Michigan residents have been on the receiving end of 1.3 billion robocalls in 2019 to date, Nessel said it is time to take action. As part of the crackdown, Nessel unveiled 12 initiatives designed to get at the root of the issue and begin putting a halt to illegal robocall scammers in Michigan. The comprehensive, four-pronged approach includes educating Michigan residents on the issue, stricter enforcement of existing laws, legislative work to strengthen Michigan law, and developing a roadmap for other states to follow. The initiatives have drawn support from several organizations, including AARP of Michigan, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Better Business Bureaus of Southeastern and Western Michigan, the Elder Law and Disability Rights Section of the State Bar of Michigan, Michigan Association for Local Public Health (MALPH), the Telecommunications Association of Michigan (TAM), and USTelecom – The Broadband Association. In addition to the initiatives, Michigan has signed a formal agreement with the FCC to share enforcement information on robocalls. AARP of Michigan State Director Paula D. Cunningham added that while some robocalls are wanted, the majority aren’t – and they often target Michigan seniors. Michigan’s State Bar Elder Law and Disability Rights Section Chair Kelly Quardokus added it’s important we strengthen our laws to better protect our vulnerable senior population and all residents impacted by this issue. In addition to the initiatives and cooperation agreement with the FCC, Nessel also unveiled a one-stop online resource for Michigan residents to better understand the pervasive issue and spot ways to stop illegal robocalls. The website – mi.gov/robocalls – includes recordings of common illegal robocalls, a variety of educational handouts, and a list of up-to-date scams targeting Michigan residents and Americans across the nation. Nessel urged Michigan residents to report all illegal robocalls to her office by filing a complaint on the new one-stop online website for all information about illegal robocalls at mi.gov/robocalls, or by calling 877-765-8388. Michigan’s Robocall Crackdown Team will hold a series of presentations on illegal robocalls starting in 2020. A schedule will be issued at a later date.

Michigan Education Trust to Reopen Enrollment Dec. 1, Allowing Purchasers to Meet Tax Deduction Deadline

Posted on: November 18th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments


The Michigan Education Trust (MET) Board of Directors announced Friday that the state’s prepaid college tuition program will reopen enrollment on Dec. 1, allowing those who buy a contract by the end of the year to qualify for a deduction on their Michigan tax return. MET contract holders are eligible for a tax deduction on their Michigan tax returns for purchases or contributions made by Dec. 31 each year. As it does every year, MET closed enrollment on Sept. 30 in order to review and adjust pricing. During that time, it did not sell new contracts. The Section 529 prepaid tuition program also announced that its contract purchase prices will remain unchanged until May 1, 2020. On that date, prices will increase 3% for limited-benefits contracts and 5% for community college contracts. The cost of full-benefits contracts will stay the same.
That pricing structure will remain in effect through Sept. 30, 2020. That means, for example, that until May 1, purchasers of Pay-As-You-Go contracts will continue to pay $612 for a credit hour of tuition under a full-benefits contract, which guarantees full payment of tuition and mandatory fees at any Michigan public university; $493 per credit hour under a limited-benefits contract, which covers up to 105 percent of the weighted average tuition of Michigan’s public four-year universities; and $119 per credit hour for a community college contract. MET also sells contracts through lump-sum and monthly purchase plans that require minimum purchases of a semester’s worth of tuition. The MET board cited rising fees charged by colleges as the reason for the community college and limited-benefits contract price increases. MET, which is administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury, is a Section 529 prepaid college tuition plan that locks future tuition at any of the state’s public universities and colleges at today’s rates. MET benefits are used to pay tuition and mandatory fees.
More information about MET is available at SETwithMET.com or 800-MET-4-KID.

Michigan Air Fees Revised

Posted on: November 18th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

On November 14th, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation revising the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy’s (EGLE) Air Quality Fee program. EGLE’s Air Quality Division is integral in protecting human health and the environment as well as supporting improvements to air quality. The collection of these fees is vital and necessary to support the efforts of the Air Quality Division and the work they do. Development of the revised fee program involved extensive collaboration between the Air Quality Division and stakeholder groups, including industrial representatives. The revised program obtained broad, bipartisan support from both the Michigan Senate as well as the Michigan House of Representatives. This new fee structure has seen significant changes and will be enacted for the upcoming billing period. For information related to the new fee structure and to see how your company may be impacted, go to Michigan.gov/MAERS and click on “Fee Calculations.” Facility specific fee information will be shared in the coming weeks. Contact Dennis McGeen, 517-284-6757 or [email protected]Michigan Education Trust to Reopen Enrollment Dec. 1, Allowing Purchasers to Meet Tax Deduction Deadline

Michigan’s firearm deer season drives tradition, economic gains

Posted on: November 18th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

Michigan’s firearm deer season drives tradition, economic gains
Hunters across the state are ready for Michigan’s firearm deer season, which began Friday. Not only a time-honored tradition shared across many generations of Michiganders, this season also brings a significant boost in state revenue. Of all hunters in Michigan last year, over 600,000 of them – better than 90 percent – were deer hunters. This year, approximately half a million hunters are expected to take to the Michigan woods for the firearm deer season. A recent study released by Michigan United Conservation Clubs estimates that hunting and fishing in Michigan generate $11.2 billion a year, with the state’s nearly 700,000 hunters contributing $8.9 billion – about 80 percent – of those critical dollars.
According to TravelUSA research, leisure travel spending on hunting continues to bring important economic revenue to Michigan. Last year, travelers who participated in hunting as an activity contributed a direct spend of more than $73 million in the state. Those who participated in hunting or fishing had a direct spend of over $396 million. In 2018, Michigan saw 75,470 new customers for all hunting licenses combined, and Michigan continues to rank among the leading states for the number of paid hunting license holders. Firearm deer season was the biggest draw, with 483,341 of hunters participating in that season. Get more information about hunting opportunities in Michigan – including season, license and regulation details and tips on safety and accessibility – at Michigan.gov/Hunting.

People in Michigan troubled by the high cost of prescription medications are encouraged to help turn up the heat

Posted on: November 18th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

People in Michigan troubled by the high cost of prescription medications are encouraged to help turn up the heat on drug manufacturers. A-A-R-P Michigan is hosting a “Stop Rx Greed” rally on Monday along the Detroit River to spread awareness about the problem and call for solutions. Mark Hornbeck with A-A-R-P Michigan says folks from all over the state leave the country to purchase prescription medications at one-tenth of the cost. According to A-A-R-P, the annual cost of prescription drug treatment rose 57 percent between 2012 and 2017, while annual incomes in Michigan increased only 10 percent. Some local leaders and legislators will be on hand at the rally, including state Senator Ruth Johnson. The Holly Republican will speak about legislation she’s sponsoring (SB 525) that would establish a Canadian drug-importation program. State lawmakers also are considering measures that lower out-of-pocket costs for prescription medications and hold companies accountable for price gouging. Michiganders at the rally also will share their personal stories about how the rising price of drugs has impacted their lives. Hornbeck says for example, a Howell woman will talk about how her insulin skyrocketed from 21 dollars a month to 400 dollars in just two years’ time. It is estimated that one-in-three people in Michigan are not taking prescribed medications because they can’t afford it. Monday’s rally will be held from 11 to 12 at the Waterview Loft in Detroit. Register online at aarp.org/MI.

LaSata’s bill to simplify regulatory hurdles in aggregate industry signed by governor

Posted on: November 15th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments


Legislation that will reduce the burden of government regulation on small businesses in the state was signed into law on Thursday, said Sen. Kim LaSata, who sponsored Senate Bill 255.The new law streamlines an outdated regulation regarding mobile crushing equipment utilized in the aggregate industry. Companies that employ mobile crushing equipment to grind up large chunks of asphalt and concrete into reusable material are required by law to notify the government of the equipment’s movement. SB 255 provides operators of mobile crushing equipment with the ability to submit notifications electronically, simplifying the process and shortening the amount of time required to make a notification before the equipment is moved.

Arrests Made In Walmart Arson

Posted on: November 15th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office has actively been investigating the Arson, which occurred on October 31st, at the Walmart store, located at 2107 S. 11th St. Township of Niles. As a result of the diligence of the investigator’s, the Walmart personnel, other law enforcement agencies, and the citizens of Berrien County and northwest Indiana, the investigators were able to secure arrest warrants for two individuals. On November 13, Detectives from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement personnel from the Saint Joseph County Indiana Police Department were able to locate and apprehend 36 year old Paula Marie Kryski and 34 year old Stephen Edward Taghon in Saint Joseph County Indiana. 

2nd Annual Holiday Food & Wine Fete Tomorrow At Bistro On The Boulevard

Posted on: November 14th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

 
The 2nd Annual Holiday Food & Wine Fete, benefiting Meals on Wheels Southwest Michigan is tomorrow. Enjoy an evening sampling appetizers, 50 wines, and aperitifs benefiting Meals on Wheels of Southwest Michigan.Signature cocktails prepared by their in-house mixologist. All wines available at a discount from Lambrecht’s Liquor Store.Visit snsmeals.org to make additional donations and learn about Meals on Wheels.TICKETS AVAILABLE AT: www.bistroontheboulevard.eventbrite.com

DNR Weekly Fishing Report and Fishing Tips

Posted on: November 14th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

There are no specific reports for our listening area this week. Statewide however, snow, coupled with extremely cold temperatures, have pretty much slowed fishing activity. Those brave enough to face the elements will find walleye, perch, whitefish and steelhead fishing opportunities.If you decide to target steelhead on Michigan’s rivers while in a boat, there are two options you can turn to. Consider offering bait underneath a centerpin style reel. The line will come off smoothly, allowing for float-suspended baits to work long distances downstream, plus it offers drag-free drifts. If you’re not confident on a centerpin style or you’re a novice angler, try a level-wind reel. It allows you to drop the float behind the boat and wait for the strike. It will take care of the hard work while reeling in your catch by guiding the line on properly.All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license. 

Berrien County Road Department No Parking Permitted

Posted on: November 13th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

Berrien County Road Department No Parking Permitted On The Road Or Road Right-of-way (Shoulder Of The Road) When Snow Is Present
The Berrien County Road Department is reminding the public that there is no parking permitted on the road or road right-of-way (shoulder of the road) when snow is present.The act permits the Road Department (or other police/government agency) to facilitate, at the owners expense, immediate removal of the vehicle or property located in the right of way.The road department also stated that if you have any questions, to contact their offices at 269-925-1196, press 0. But first be sure to remove all vehicles parked along roadways, or you might experience these vehicles being moved at your expense. More information on this matter is on the Berrien County Road Department Facebook page.

DNR employees honored

Posted on: November 13th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

For their actions on two such occasions this year, several DNR Parks and Recreation employees were honored with the division’s Lifesaving Awards at Thursday’s Michigan Natural Resources Commission meeting including employees of Fort Custer.On May 14th at Fort Custer Recreation Area (Kalamazoo County), a man mushroom hunting in the park’s Jackson Hole Lake area began experiencing chest pains. The man flagged down seasonal employees Gabe Feller and Walker Truckey, who called the park office. Park ranger Mandy Hills and park manager Tony Trojanowski responded to the scene with the park’s defibrillator. The man’s chest pains worsened, and 911 was called. Feller and Truckey met emergency personnel at the park office and guided them to the scene. An electrocardiogram determined the man was having a heart attack, and he was taken to Borgess Hospital. The grateful man has since returned to the park to thank everyone involved.

2019 Deer Hunting regulations

Posted on: November 13th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

All hunters are encouraged to review the 2019 deer hunting regulations, found in the Hunting Digest or at Michigan.gov/Deer. Key changes this season include:-Deer baiting and feeding is banned in the entire Lower Peninsula and in the core chronic wasting disease surveillance area in the Upper Peninsula. -New regulations in the U.P. core CWD surveillance area.-New antler point restrictions.-Hunters can take deer to a DNR deer check station to earn a successful hunter patch. Visit Michigan.gov/DeerCheck for locations of check stations and drop boxes. (Click an individual location to see if it offers deer check, drop box or both.)

Michigan AG Nessel Pushes for DTE Residential Rate Decrease in Response to its Rate Increase Request

Posted on: November 13th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments


Working to ensure energy remains affordable for residents across the state, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel last week filed testimony in DTE Energy’s rate hike case before the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), arguing its nine percent increase is excessive and unnecessary.DTE filed its rate increase request with the MPSC in July. The request includes an annual increase in revenues of $351 million, which would result in more than a nine percent rate increase for residential, commercial and industrial customers.The testimony provided by the Attorney General argues DTE should reduce its request to $41 million and fairly distribute its costs so industrial customers are paying their fair share. Under the Attorney General’s proposed cost distribution, residential customers would see an approximate 1.4 percent reduction in their current rates. Her testimony also includes recommendations for improving and expanding assistance programs for DTE’s low-income consumers.

30 people died on Michigan Roadways

Posted on: November 13th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

30 people died on Michigan roadways since last week making a total of 836 this year. In addition, 99 more were seriously injured for a statewide total of 4,772 to date. Compared to last year at this time there are 16 fewer fatalities and 25 fewer serious injuries. Numbers are provided by the Michigan State Police. The mission is to move Toward Zero Deaths on Michigan roadways. For more information visit:
www.michigan.gov/zerodeaths

LARA’s New Resource Helps Veterans Become Licensed Professionals in Michigan

Posted on: November 11th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

On this Veterans Day, the Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has launched a comprehensive online tool to help explain the specific licensing resources provided to members of the armed forces. LARA is committed to helping those who serve our country enter a licensed profession.The department administers several acts — including the Michigan Occupational Code, Michigan Public Health Code and Skilled Trades Regulation Act — that provide specific licensing provisions for members of the armed forces and their families. The new interactive website — www.michigan.gov/veteranslicensing — contains informational pages on more than 80 unique professions and directs users to the department’s wide-range of resources on how to become licensed in each profession.Examples of the specific licensing resources available to Michigan veterans, active military, and their families include:The ability to utilize military experience towards licensureAn exemption for renewal fees and continuing education requirements while on active dutyTemporary licenses for active duty military personnel’s spousesGranting a waiver for the initial license or initial registration fee for veteransProviding a reimbursement from Federal Department of Veterans Affairs for required and paid for examination feesLARA has partnered with Michigan veterans, armed forces, and workforce organizations to enhance its educational outreach to members of the armed forces. The department is also working closely with its partners to identify possible statutory changes that would expand certain military experience provisions to additional professions and solve other barriers to licensure for military and veteran personnel.

Correction Plan called to address liquor license complaints

Posted on: November 11th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) has called on one of the principal authorized distribution agents (ADA), NWS Michigan LLC, doing business as Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC), to implement a corrective plan of action that will immediately address liquor licensee complaints regarding delivery issues, stock shortages, and lack of customer service that are negatively impacting their businesses. RNDC, one of the State’s three ADAs, is responsible for the warehousing and delivery of spirit products on behalf of MLCC to its licensees.At MLCC’s business meeting held earlier this week, stakeholders and licensees voiced their complaints. RNDC representatives cited chronic software issues at their new facility. MLCC called on the Attorney General’s Office (also in attendance) to analyze the situation and determine any potential solutions, which may include monetary penalties and/or violations for authorized distribution agents that would hold them accountable for failure to supply licensees with the products they ordered.Retailer licensees who are having difficulties receiving spirit orders timely or not at all from ADAs, can submit their complaint directly to MLCC at: https://tinyurl.com/mlcc-ada-order-complaints. Licensees who use this online complaint form are providing MLCC with important information needed to identify and correct issues with spirit orders through the ADA. Licensees are advised however, that they will not receive a response from MLCC but should know that their complaints are very important to the Commission. Also,MLCC will be posting updated delivery schedules from RNDC as they are received on the Online Spirits Ordering (OLO) page at: https://tinyurl.com/mlcc-rndc-schedule.Any downturn in retail spirit sales due to unstocked shelves also impacts the State’s bottom line as the sole wholesaler of spirits. Last year, distilled spirit sales in Michigan reached almost $1.5 billion; MLCC ex.

Expect 5-10 inches in our WHFB backyard over the next few days

Posted on: November 11th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

For Counties of LaPorte, St. Joseph IN, Berrien MI, Cass MI
URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service Northern Indiana WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 5 AM EST /4 AM CST/ MONDAY TO 5 PM EST /4 PM CST/ TUESDAY…
* WHAT…Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 5 to 10 inches are expected. Localized amounts up to one foot possible.
* WHERE…northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan.
* WHEN…From 5 AM EST /4 AM CST/ Monday to 5 PM EST /4 PM CST/ Tuesday.
* IMPACTS…Untreated roads will become snow covered and travel difficult. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning and evening commutes on Monday and Tuesday. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

20 people died on Michigan roadways since last week

Posted on: November 7th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

20 people died on Michigan roadways since last week making a total of 806 this year. In addition, 112 more were seriously injured for a statewide total of 4,673 to date. Compared to last year at this time there are 29 fewer fatalities and 10 fewer serious injuries. Numbers are provided by the Michigan State Police. The mission is to move Toward Zero Deaths on Michigan roadways. For more information, visit:  www.michigan.gov/zerodeaths

Donation Helps Allegan County Sheriff’s Office Purchase New K-9

Posted on: November 7th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

Yesterday, the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office was given a donation by both the Gun Lake Tribe and Gun Lake Casino for the purchase of their new K-9, Thor. Thor is the 3rd K-9 that the Office was able to add to their K-9 family.
Thor is a 1-year-old Sable German Shepherd that came from Lucas K-9 in Poland, with blood lines from the Czech Republic. Thor and his handler, Deputy Haas, recently completed a 5-week training at Mid Michigan Police K-9 in Eaton Rapids, MI. Thor is a dual purpose canine trained in narcotics detection, tracking, building searches, article searching and handler protection.

Treasury Provides Special Benefits to Military Members and Veterans

Posted on: November 7th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

As Veterans Day approaches on November 11, the Michigan Department of Treasury (Treasury) would like to extend its gratitude to current and former military members by reminding them of the special benefits they may be entitled to receive. 


Current and former military members may be eligible to receive:
Military Pay Tax Exemption. 
Children of Veterans Tuition Grant. 
Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption. 
Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) for Active Duty Military Personnel. 
Property Tax Relief during Active Military Service. 
Summer Property Tax Deferment. 
Federal Military Spouses Residency Relief Act. 
To learn more about tax relief and other benefits for current and past military members, go to  www.michigan.gov/taxes.

DNR Local Fishing Report

Posted on: November 7th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

On the St. Joseph River, there were still a few steelhead moving through the ladders, however steelhead movement declined with the recent drop in water temperatures which were in the middle 40’s. Once that temperature drops below 40 there will be even fewer fish in the ladders.
On the Kalamazoo River, higher water levels affected steelhead fishing as the fish were harder to land. A decent number of northern pike were being caught in the lower river. Try the shallow bayous and marsh areas.

Bears at Home this weekend on Sunday 11-10

Posted on: November 7th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

To accommodate passengers attending the Chicago Bears vs. Lions home game at noon on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, the South Shore Line plans to stop select trains at Metra’s 18th Street Station, which connects passengers directly to the Soldier Field entrance via a pedestrian walkway.

In addition to our regular service to nearby Museum Campus/11th Street, the following trains will also serve 18th Street Station on Nov. 10:

Westbound:

Train 502 will arrive at 18th St. at 9:07a; Tr 504 at 10:10a; and Tr 606 at 11:04a.

Eastbound:

Train 507 will depart 18th St. at 4:49p, and Tr 509 will depart at 6:28p.

SW Michigan Regional Chamber Shares United Way of Southwest Michigan’s Message To Assist the Victims of the Sunset Landing Fire

Posted on: November 6th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

SW Michigan Regional Chamber Shares United Way of Southwest Michigan’s Message To Assist the Victims of the Sunset Landing FireThe following message was sent out by United Way of Southwest Michigan’s Message To Assist the Victims of the Sunset Landing Fire
“Good morning,My name is Amanda Drew and I am the Director of Impact Strategies and the Coordinator of the Berrien County Emergency Response Consortium here at United Way of Southwest Michigan. I am writing this morning in regards to the fire that happened at Sunset Landing Apartments in Bridgman on October 3rd. If you are not aware, 67 clients in 55 units have been displaced from their apartment since the day of the fire. Many of them have been able to stay at friends or relatives. Unfortunately, we currently have 12 residents who either have no friends/family in the area that they cannot stay with or can no longer afford to pay for a hotel room, as this has been going on for 4 weeks.United Way of Southwest Michigan, with support from AEP, have been able to house those 12 residents in 10 hotel rooms for the past 2 weeks, after American Red Cross’ support expired. However, we need funds for another week of housing. Otherwise, we will have 12 residents with nowhere to go. We are looking for funding to help these individuals, who are members of the Bridgman community. The total amount for the week for all of those in need is $3,244.Any help we can receive will truly be appreciated. We can either invoice your business or you can send a check to United Way of Southwest Michigan with Bridgman Fire Victims in the memo line.Thank you,Amanda DrewUnited Way of Southwest Michigan2015 Lakeview Ave.St. Joseph, MI 49085 ”

Rep. Wendzel’s bipartisan criminal justice reform package passes House

Posted on: November 6th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

Rep. Wendzel’s bipartisan criminal justice reform package passes House
Rep. Wendzel’s bipartisan legislation to make Michigan a national leader in expungement policy sailed out of the Michigan House of Representatives with overwhelming support.Rep. Wendzel’s plan would:Expand the number of people who qualify for expungement;
Allow marijuana convictions and some traffic offenses to be expunged;
Shorten the eligibility period for expungement; and
Establish automatic expungement for certain offenses.Recent data from the University of Michigan has found three empirical findings as it relates to the expungement or set-asides of criminal records. First, of those legally eligible for expungement, just 6.5% obtain it within five years of becoming eligible. Second, those who do obtain expungement have extremely low subsequent crime rates. Third, those who obtain expungement experience a sharp increase in their wages by up to 25% within two years because of their ability to gain access to new and better career opportunities.More than thirty different organizations from across the state support the bill package including the Michigan, Grand Rapids and Detroit Chambers of Commerce, the ACLU, Americans for Prosperity, and the Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence.The bills now advance to the Senate for further consideration.

Michigan DNR letter pledges $8M to Asian carp barrier

Posted on: November 6th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

Michigan DNR letter pledges $8M to Asian carp barrier at Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Illinois
Yesterday the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger confirmed the commitment of $8 million in state funds for the preconstruction, engineering and design phase of a multifaceted barrier system to prevent invasive Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.In a Nov. 4th, letter to Lieutenant General Todd Semonite, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Eichinger explained that the funds were appropriated as non-federal match for design of a system of structural and non-structural control measures at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in the Chicago Area Waterway System near Joliet, Illinois. Brandon Road is a critical pinch point for keeping bighead, silver and black carp – the Asian carp species of greatest concern – out of the Great Lakes. Taking action at Brandon Road took on added urgency with the Nov. 1 announcement that 76 of 414 water samples from waters connected to Lake Michigan – and well beyond Brandon Road Lock and Dam – tested positive for environmental DNA (eDNA) for invasive carp. Forty-nine of the water samples from the South Fork of the South Branch of the Chicago River, also known as Bubbly Creek, were positive for silver carp eDNA, while 27 were positive for bighead carp eDNA.Although no live invasive carp were found in the recent sampling, the results showed far more invasive carp eDNA than had previously been discovered in these waters, prompting the Illinois Department of Natural Resources along with partner agencies to undertake additional surveillance for the presence of invasive carp. The Brandon Road project, currently awaiting congressional approval, would install additional technologies — including an electric barrier, underwater sound, an air bubble curtain and a flushing lock — in a newly engineered channel designed to prevent invasive carp movement while allowing shipping into and out of the Great Lakes.Supporting Illinois’ role as non-federal sponsor of the Brandon Road project, Eichinger’s letter expresses Michigan’s willingness to seek collaboration from other Great Lakes states and aid communications with these partners throughout the project.Protecting the Great Lakes is a top priority for Michigan. With more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes coastline, 11,000 inland lakes and 36,000 miles of rivers and streams, Michigan faces the greatest risk and has the most at stake if invasive carp infest the Great Lakes Basin.Invasive bighead, silver and black carp can significantly alter the Great Lakes ecosystem, affecting the $7 billion fishery, $16 billion boating industry as well as other tourism-based industries, property owners, recreationists and others dependent on the Great Lakes and its tributaries.

Election Results

Posted on: November 6th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

Marcus Muhammad was been re-elected mayor of Benton Harbor on Tuesday night beating challenger Ron Singleton 612 to 521. Elected as city commissioners in Benton Harbor for at-large seats were incumbents Mary Alice Adams and Edward Isom narrowly defeating Jennifer Nesbitt. Benton Harbor City Commission Ward 2 saw Jerry Edwards victorious while Sharon Henderson emerged as city commissioner in Ward 1 as she had no opponent. The St. Joseph City Commission race saw all 3 incumbents winning another term. Commissioners Laura Goos, Jeff Richards and Lynn Todman prevailed while voter turnout was just under 25%. Students in Kalamazoo County will see increased options for career and technical education after voters Tuesday voiced support for a 20 year property tax to fund an expansion of existing programs. The Kalamazoo Regional Education Service Agency’s request for funds to expand the career and technical education program was approved by voters in the nine school districts during the election on Tuesday.