TAWAS CITY, Mich. (AP) - The state says hunters now have permission to bait deer in Iosco County. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced this week that the Natural Resources Commission recently authorized the change. In April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture determined that Iosco County was free of bovine tuberculosis in cattle. Because of that finding, the NRC decided to remove the northeastern Lower Peninsula county from the list of places where baiting is prohibited. Experts say baiting promotes the spread of diseases by causing deer to eat close together. Bovine tuberculosis is a contagious bacterial disease that spreads between cattle and wild deer. The state says baiting remains illegal in Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda counties.
DETROIT (AP) - Officials say updates by Michigan to an environmental emergency communication system could improve response to problems in waterways including those along the U.S.-Canadian border. Environmental accident information is sent through Michigan's Pollution Emergency Alerting System. Emergency calls for years have been handled by a call center staffed by private contractors. In the coming months, a team of trained Michigan Department of Environmental Quality staffers is to begin handling those calls internally. An automatic "smart messaging" system then will forward information to emergency and government officials. The system is expected to have an effect in part along the St. Clair River and southern Lake Huron. That area contains several intake pipes that provide drinking water in the U.S. and Canada.
(SANDUSKY) -- The Sanilac County Child Abuse Prevention Council invites expectant parents in Sanilac County to the 23rd annual Community Baby Shower on Wednesday, November 6 at the Countryside Free Methodist Church in Sandusky from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. This year's theme is "Give Your Baby a Smart Start." There will be several educational workshops, lunch, and lots of gifts and prizes. All expecting mothers and new parents of children born after August 1 this year are welcome to attend. Participants will have an opportunity to access local services and learn about assistance and support that is available for new parents in Sanilac County. Registration is required. Forms are available at the Austin Street Health Clinic, Sanilac ISD in Peck, the Sanilac County Health Department, the MSU Extension Office in Sandusky, the Department of Human Services and other community locations.
(AREA) -- The fall harvest season is well under way, with combines across the Lower Peninsula getting the state's dry beans out of the field and into storage. Small grains like wheat and barley are already in the bin for the year with soybean and corn harvests happening in the coming weeks. Growers in the Thumb and Saginaw Valley are in the midst of harvesting dry beans. This year's crop developed on pace with a 5-year average. Planting started in early June and 60 percent of the crop was in good to excellent condition by late July. Growers expect yields of 1,900 pounds per acre, up 110 pounds from last year and outpacing the national average of 1,795 pounds per acre. Michigan wheat producers averaged 75 bushels per acre this year, down slightly from last year's 76-bushels-per-acre yield. Overall wheat production was 45 million bushels, up almost 10 percent compared to 2012. The state's average oat yield this year was 62 bushels per acre, up two bushels from last year and barley growers benefited from cooler weather in 2013, with yields averaging 52 bushels per acre, up four bushels from 2012.
(TUSCOLA COUNTY) -- One person was killed after a home on Rick Road in Tuscola County's Columbia Township exploded and caught fire early Sunday morning. Tuscola County Undersheriff Glen Skrent says the explosion was reported just before 1 a.m. Fire departments from Unionville, Akron and Gagetown responded. The State Fire Marshal was called to investigate. Preliminary reports point to a gas leak that caused the explosion. An autopsy is scheduled to take place Tuesday to confirm the victim's identity and cause of death.
(HURON COUNTY) -- A 48-year old Kinde area man was killed after the tractor he was driving rolled on top of him. Huron County Sheriff Kelly Hanson says the incident took place Friday morning on Verona Road just south of Dobson Road in Bloomfield Township. Deputies say the victim, Gene Kubacki, somehow lost control of his 856 International Harvester tractor, which was pulling a gravity box wagon. A teenage operator of another tractor told authorities that the victim was behind him and gaining when he noticed the man lose control of the tractor. Kubacki was freed from beneath the tractor by Kinde and Port Hope fire personnel and a nearby farmer with a front-end loader. He was transported to Huron Medical Center in Bad Axe and later flown by helicopter to a Saginaw area hospital where he passed away from his injuries. An investigation continues.
(AREA) -- Amid the gridlock that has most of the U.S. government seized up and ground to a halt, there has come a glimmer of hope at least for the nation's agricultural community. On October 12, the U.S. House of Representatives at moved to appoint members to a conference committee tasked with sifting through the House and Senate versions of the 2013 Farm Bill. District 4 Representative Dave Camp and District 9 Representative Sandy Levin will represent Michigan from the House side. "Obviously this has been a long time coming, and especially in the midst of everything happening—and not happening—in Washington, it’s encouraging to see the House take this step today," said Ryan Findlay, national legislative counsel for Michigan Farm Bureau . "With the antiquated 2008 Farm Bill now having expired twice, it’s not exactly a stretch to say it’s time Congress got this show on the road."
(MARLETTE TOWNSHIP) -- Sanilac County Sheriff's deputies were sent to a single-vehicle crash Saturday morning on M-53 near Reynolds Road in Marlette Township. Deputies say that 77-year old Arlean May of Marlette was traveling south along M-53 around 11:40 a.m. when she ran off the roadway, entered the west ditch and struck a tree. The crash caused extensive damage to the vehicle. May was transported by Marlette EMS to Marlette Regional Hospital for treatment of severe injuries. She was later transferred to Covenant Cooper Hospital in Saginaw where she is listed in serious/critical condition. Deputies say alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash. Michigan State Police Troopers from the Caro Post, Marlette Police and Marlette Fire assisted at the scene.
(HARBOR BEACH) -- Police say a drunken man driving a van with only three wheels crashed into a gas station in Harbor Beach and then tried to buy beer before police arrived. Harbor Beach Police Chief Todd Bucholtz says the driver was a 48-year-old man from Port Hope. He says the van barely missed propane tanks at the gas station Thursday night. The police chief says he doesn't know why the van was driven with only three wheels. He says he's forwarding his investigation to Huron County prosecutors.
(LAPEER COUNTY) -- The Lapeer County Sheriff's Office reports that a 57-year old woman from Lapeer is dead after being struck by a pickup truck late Friday night. The woman and her companion, a 41-year old Lapeer resident, were walking south alongside Saginaw Street in Lapeer County's Mayfield Township around 11:45 p.m. A Sonoma pickup truck traveling south on Saginaw Street struck the women. The driver of the pick-up, a 17-year old Attica resident, did not stop at the scene, but instead returned an hour later with their parents. The 57-year old woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The 41-year old pedestrian was transported to McLaren-Lapeer Region Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The investigation is ongoing to determine if alcohol was a contributing factor. Names are being withheld pending notification.