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(AREA) -- The Michigan State Police have announced that Captain Richard Arnold has been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and Commander of the State Services Bureau. Arnold replaces Lt. Col. Daniel Atkinson who has retired. In his new position, Arnold will serve as one of the department's four deputy directors and as a member of the department's Executive Council. As commander of the State Services Bureau, Arnold is responsible for managing the Biometrics and Identification Division, Forensic Science Division, Office of Highway Safety Planning, Training Division and Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards. Prior to his promotion, Arnold served as captain and commander of the Third District, which covers 14 counties including Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac, St. Clair and Tuscola counties. Arnold has served in positions at the Bridgeport, Bay City, Flint and Detroit posts. He has held the ranks of trooper, sergeant, lieutenant, first lieutenant, inspector and captain.

(MARLETTE) -- The Marlette School Board held a special meeting Thursday night to address issues with the state of the district's financial situation. Board members voted unanimously to place Superintendent and Financial Director Jeriann Patterson on paid, non-disciplinary leave based on advice from the district's attorneys and contractual obligations. Board president Jay Burton said that an interim superintendent will most likely be brought in while Patterson is on leave. The school board also moved to begin searching for a part-time financial director for the district. The results of the district's audit for the 2012-2013 fiscal year are expected to be released at the board's December meeting. The Marlette School Board meets again on Monday, November 11 for their regular meeting.

(SPEAKER TOWNSHIP) -- A 40-year old Melvin man has been cleared of any criminal charges stemming from a car-pedestrian crash that claimed the life of a 13-year old girl from Peck. Sanilac County Sheriff Garry Biniecki says the final report of the fatal car accident has been reviewed by the Sanilac County Prosecutor's Office. The incident took place September 6 on Galbraith Line Road east of M-19 in Speaker Township. The mini cooper being driven by Richard Pirie struck the victim, Emily Rosenthal, as she crossed the road. The investigation revealed that Pirie was unable to see the girl due to low light conditions. Authorities say Pirie was wearing a seat belt and alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court will decide whether hundreds of inmates can benefit from a U.S. Supreme Court decision that bars mandatory no-parole sentences for crimes committed under 18. The state Supreme Court will decide whether the ruling can be applied retroactively and possibly give roughly 360 inmates a shot at freedom. In 2012, the state appeals court said there should be no benefit to prisoners who long ago exhausted appeals. In an order released Thursday, the Supreme Court says it will hear arguments in three cases involving juvenile lifers from Berrien, Wayne and St. Clair counties. An Ann Arbor federal judge has said Michigan's juvenile lifers are entitled to parole hearings but nothing has happened. The attorney general's office is vowing to appeal.

Thursday, 07 November 2013 10:34

China Township woman helps through harp therapy

(CHINA TOWNSHIP) -- A St. Clair County woman is taking her recent certification as a therapeutic harp practitioner to help the sick and elderly. Karen Thueme of China Township earned about the therapeutic harp program online three years ago, signed on and taught herself to play the instrument. She says therapeutic harpists perform "any place where people are looking for comfort, relaxation, restoration." That includes schools, hospice centers, hospitals and funeral homes. Thueme completed her internship at the St. Clair MediLodge, where she volunteers. She hope to branch out to other areas from there.

(AREA) -- A Michigan House committee this week heard testimony on legislation proposed by a constituent of Representative Dan Lauwers to increase voter turnout and save taxpayer dollars by limiting millage increase elections to November or August. Mark Shrapnell of St. Clair came up with the idea for the legislation as part of a contest sponsored by Representative Lauwers to give constituents the chance to help direct public policy. Lauwers received more than 50 bill ideas from residents. Shrapnell traveled to Lansing to testify before the committee. Mark's idea is a common-sense measure to help ensure a better representation of the people at the ballot box while saving hard-earned taxpayer dollars, according to Representative Lauwers. House Bill 4887 specifies that after December 31, 2014, a local taxing unit would be required to hold a new or increased millage proposal during the November general election or August primary election. Under current law, a taxing unit can hold up to two millage elections during the year. Millage renewal elections would still be allowed at other times under the legislation.

PICTURED: Mark Shrapnell, at right, testifies before the House Elections and Ethics Committee on his idea to reform the millage election process. Rep. Dan Lauwers, at left, formally introduced the legislation. 

(AREA) -- The Michigan Department of Agriculture has awarded $23,500 in grants to the Huron Community Fair Association and to a program in Tuscola County. State Representative Terry Brown of Pigeon says a $20,000 grant for improvements and additions to the Huron County fairgrounds will be used for RV pedestal placement and related electrical work. Another grant for $3,500 was awarded to Tuscola County for its recycling platform as part of the Department of Agriculture's Clean Sweep program. Representative Brown serves the 84th House District, which covers Huron and Tuscola County.

(CARSONVILLE) -- Students at the Carsonville-Port Sanilac High School were evacuated from the building and sent to the elementary school Wednesday morning after something scribbled on a bathroom wall indicating that "somebody should blow the place up," was found by school officials. Sanilac County Sheriff Garry Biniecki says his department was notified shortly after 11 a.m. As a precautionary measure, the high school students were sent to the elementary school as officials investigated. Lt. Washkevich says an explosives specialized K-9 was brought in from the Michigan State Police Bridgeport Post to assist in sweeping the school. Officials say nothing suspicious was located. According to Sheriff Biniecki, the investigation continues. Students were allowed to pick up their vehicles from the high school parking lot Wednesday afternoon without any problems and school is scheduled to resume Thursday morning as usual. The Sheriff is asking anyone with information on this incident to contact his department at 810-648-2000. You may remain anonymous.

Wednesday, 06 November 2013 15:52

Five hurt in two-vehicle crash

(ALMER TOWNSHIP) -- Tuscola County Sheriff's deputies say five people were injured in a two-car crash Tuesday afternoon on M-24 near Biebel Road in Almer Township. An investigation showed that 91-year old Elizabeth Dewald of Akron was traveling east on M-24 around 2 p.m. when for an unknown reason, she crossed the centerline. Her vehicle struck a westbound vehicle driven by 80-year old Robert Blunt of Sebewaing. Blunt and his three passengers were injured and taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital. Dewald was flown by Flight Care for treatment. Her condition is unknown. Deputies were assisted by Caro Police and Fire, Akron Police and MSP Troopers from the Caro Post.

Wednesday, 06 November 2013 10:43

2014 Sanilac County budget proposal up nearly 7%

(SANILAC COUNTY) -- The Sanilac County Finance and Administration Committee received the 2014 budget proposal from County Administrator Kathy Dorman during their meeting Tuesday afternoon. The proposed budget for the 2014 General Fund is $13,760,886. That's an increase of 6.9 percent from the 2013 appropriated budget level. Dorman says that factors considered when developing the budget proposal for next year include a slight decline in property taxes, which is the county's largest source of income. She also cites increases in day to day operational costs, principal and interest payments for the new jail, and General Fund operating deficits for the last four fiscal years as reasons for the proposed budget increase. Dorman says that total expenditure requests for the 2014 fiscal year came to $14,133,531, but the budget committee was able to reduce the amount to $13,760,886 through the cooperation of department managers. The proposed budget is expected to be adopted following a public hearing set to be scheduled at next week's Board of Commissioners meeting.