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(AREA) -- 81st District State Representative Dan Lauwers says that all state offices and departments currently remain open despite the federal government's unwillingness to reach a budget compromise in Washington, D.C. Representative Lauwers of Brockway Township says the state Legislature approved the state budget back in June, four months ahead of time, so there's currently nothing to worry about regarding state services and programs. During the last 3-years, the state budgeting process has resulted in paying down more than $21 billion in debt and saving almost $580 million in the state's rainy day fund. Representative Lauwers did say a protracted federal government shutdown could impact funding for state-administered programs such as Medicaid and Women, Infants and Children.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation updating the grade at which Michigan students must submit a certificate of immunization to schools. The new laws singed Tuesday require students to submit the certificate upon entering seventh grade instead of sixth grade. The governor's office says the change will better accommodate the age at which most students receive vaccinations and will allow school districts more time to alert parents about needing vaccinations. It also gives parents and health care providers more time to schedule immunizations. In 2010, vaccinations for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis as well as meningococcal vaccines were added to the existing Michigan school rules and required for students entering sixth grade if they were at least 11 years of age at the time they entered sixth grade.

(AREA) -- The House Regulatory Reform Committee has approved legislation introduced by State Representative Paul Muxlow of Brown City, instituting safeguards in the scrap metal industry to protect those who buy and sell metals for recycling. House Bill 4593 was revised during a summer work group, where stakeholders in the scrap metal industry weighed in on what is necessary to prevent theft. The bill specifically addresses transactions involving copper, air conditioning components and catalytic converters, which are the three items most often involved in scrap metal theft. A companion bill, HB 4595, specifies punishment for metal theft. The bills cleared the committee with strong bipartisan support. They now go to the full House for consideration.

(PECK) -- The Sanilac Intermediate School District in Peck was as named a $10,000 grant winner in this year's America's Farmers Grow Rural Education program. The program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, offers farmers the chance to nominate a local public school district to compete for a grant of up to $25,000 to enhance math and or science education. More than 1,150 nominated school districts submitted applications and 181 schools were awarded grants. A check presentation will take place Thursday, October 3 during a school assembly at the ISD beginning at 9 a.m. The Monsanto Fund will invest $2.3 million through America's Farmers Grow Rural Education grants this year.

Tuesday, 01 October 2013 15:53

UPDATE: House Explosion in Tuscola County

(WISNER TOWNSHIP) -- Tuscola County Undersheriff Glen Skrent reports that deputies and Akron Police were on the scene of a house explosion that happened Tuesday afternoon at a home located on the corner of Manke Drive and Owen Road in Wisner Township. The homeowner, 69-year old Doug Shippey, was seriously injured and flown by Life Net for treatment. His condition is unknown. Witnesses informed police that Shippey told them that he went to light his stove to cook and the explosion occurred. Neighbors heard him yelling for help and they pulled him from the collapsed home. Undersheriff Skrent says neighbors stated that they smelled propane as they pulled him to safety. Akron and Unionville Fire Departments assisted at the scene. 

Photo courtesy of Lisa Valentine (Witness)

(ST. CLAIR COUNTY) -- The St. Clair County Sheriff's Department is once again asking for help from the public in locating home invasion suspects. Sheriff Tim Donnellon says several home invasions have taken place over the past 10 days in the southern part of the county including Casco and St. Clair Townships. At this time, no information is known about the suspects. Sheriff Donnellon says most of the break-ins are occurring during the day time hours. Residents are reminded to make sure their homes are secure at all times. Anyone noticing something unusual in their neighborhood, such as an unfamiliar car in a neighbor's driveway, contact the St. Clair County Sheriff's Office at 810-985-8115. If you see a crime in progress, call 9-1-1.

Tuesday, 01 October 2013 12:00

Dredging work planned at Michigan harbors

(LEXINGTON) -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says dredging work is planned at harbors in Michigan along Lake Huron and Lake Superior. The Corps' Detroit District says Tuesday that a $334,000 contract with Sault Ste. Marie-based MCM Marine Inc. will dredge Lexington Harbor in Sanilac County along Lake Huron. Separately, the Detroit District says a roughly $283,000 contract with Muskegon-based Great Lakes Dock & Materials LLC will dredge Big Bay Harbor and Lac La Belle Harbor along Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula. Work on the projects are expected to begin in mid-October and be completed by mid- November.

(AREA) -- With the federal government shutown in effect lawmakers are at a stalemate. The House has sent legislation to the Senate three times to avert a government shutdown and each time the Senate has said it will not negoiate. According to a statement by Congresswoman Candice Miller, the President actually called House Speaker Boehner and told the speaker directly that he would not negotiate. "No one wants a government shutdown. In our great republic, when the two houses of Congress disagree on an issue, that legislation is sent to a conference committee where both sides compromise and come to an equitable agreement that can be passed in both houses. "The Senate and President Obama know that averting a government shutdown is impossible without compromise. But today President Obama actually called Speaker Boehner and told the Speaker directly that he would not negotiate. And the Senate voted twice today to reject compromises offered by the House that would avert a government shutdown." Congresswoman Miller added, "Tonight the House voted to fully fund the federal government and provide every American with a one year exemption from the individual mandate in ObamaCare that forces them to purchase government approved insurance they may not want, or can't afford, or face a tax penalty. This waiver is similar to the one year delay in the employer mandate that President Obama gave to big business earlier this year." The shutdown is expected to last for several days as each party is holding firm in their position and the Senate has so far been unwilling to hold a conference committee.

(AREA) -- The 2013 Sanilac County Project Connect Event will be held Wednesday, October 2 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Countryside Free Methodist Church in Sandusky. During the event, the Sanilac County human services agencies, local businesses, health providers, churches, and community members come together to help those who are struggling. Project Connect is held to raise awareness of the many programs in Sanilac County and helps link people with those resources. There will be workshops, boxed lunches, flu shots, haircuts, a food truck, hygiene and dental kits, and free transportation to and from the event for in county residents. For more information contact Jenny Muxlow at 810-648-2555.

(AREA) -- The government can't use newspaper ads to reach out to people who may have been treated by an Oakland County cancer doctor charged with fraud. Detroit federal Judge Paul Borman says the legal notices could poison the pool of potential jurors against Dr. Farid Fata. The judge says there are other ways of reaching patients. Fata is accused of misdiagnosing patients and ordering unnecessary treatments to enrich himself through Medicare and other insurance programs. The government says some patients were repeatedly exposed to powerful drugs despite having no cancer. Fata denies it. Fata owns Michigan Hematology Oncology, which has an office in Lapeer. Fata is returning to court Wednesday to try to get his $9 million bond reduced to $500,000. He's been in jail since August. The government opposes his release.

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