(SANILAC COUNTY) -- There was light voter turn-out as most of the elections in Sanilac County communities were uncontested. In Sandusky, newcomer Brad Harris defeated incumbent Marguerite McNiven to win a seat on the City Council. Councilmen Roger Williamson and Larry Mitchell received 183 and 176 votes respectively, while Harris garnered 152 votes and McNiven received 86. Mayor Thomas Lukshaitis, Clerk Laurie Thompson, and Treasurer Barbara Mitchell did not have competition. In Croswell, Councilmen Rob Butler and Mike McMillan and former councilwoman Cindy Fockler were unopposed. In Brown City, incumbents Patricia Jacobson, Julie Miller, and William Walters were returned to office without opposition.
Residents in the Croswell-Lexington School District had to approve two ballot issues in order to annex to the St. Clair County Community College District. The annexation proposal failed with a tie of 1,102 votes. In order to become part of the district, voters also had to approve a 1.89 millage levy which was defeated by a count of 1,208 no and 906 yes votes. If both issues had passed, district residents would have saved about $100 per credit hour at SC4. Voters in the village of Deckerville renewed a 2-mill police protection millage with 49 yes to 12 no. By a narrow margin, residents in the Peck School district approved a 1.5-mill proposition to establish a sinking fund for building improvements. There were 147 yes votes and 130 no votes. The millage is expected to raise $101,000 in 2014.
(LAPEER) -- There was light voter turnout in Lapeer County Tuesday. In the Lapeer City Commission race, incumbent Debbie Marquardt ran as a write-in. She was defeated by Elaine Gates who garnered 321 votes. Marquardt received 117 and second write-in candidate Jamie Fricke received 39 votes respectively. Lapeer Mayor Bill Sprague ran unopposed and received 440 votes.
Lapeer voters approved three city charter amendments Tuesday. Proposal 1 sought to take the special assessment process out of the city charter and place it into an ordinance. The proposal passed with 296 yes to 218 no votes. Proposal 2, which ensures recalls of elected officials be conducted in the manner prescribed by state law, passed 386 to 135. Proposal 3 outlined that the deadline for nominating petitions of elected officials be adopted as prescribed under state law. It passed with 385 yes to 127 no.
Voters in the Lapeer Community Schools district approved an 18-mill non-homestead property tax renewal with 2,481 yes to 1,427 no votes. The millage will raise an estimated $6.1 million for the district in 2014.
Lapeer County voters who live in portions of Elba, Hadley, Deerfield, Marathon and Oregon Townships turned down the Mott Community College Bond renewal request with 313 no votes and 153 yes.
(HURON COUNTY) -- Voters headed to the polls in Huron County Tuesday and re-elected incumbent Bad Axe City Mayor Jim Hicks. He defeated challengers William Cleland, Nicholas Rochefort and Sami Makhoul. The three seats on the Bad Axe City Council were won by incumbent David Rapson, Marc Bridson and Steve Perez. They defeated Dennis Meinke.
In Caseville, Mayor Patricia Des Jardins ran unopposed for another 2-year term. She received 124 votes from the 159 voters Tuesday. Five candidates ran for three seats on the council. The winners were Debra Estep, Jerald Ignash and Todd Talaski. They defeated challengers Ryan Johnson and Alan Mason. Voters in Caseville also turned down a 2-mill proposal over 5-years to maintain and improve city streets and sidewalks with 86 no to 70 yes. The millage would have raised an estimated $68,000.
(TUSCOLA COUNTY) -- Tuscola County voters in Akron, Caro, and Vassar cast their ballots Tuesday. In the village of Akron, incumbent President Juanita Hollister won the partial term ending November 18, 2014 over her challenger Robert Sode by two votes. Winning the trustee position in Akron was Carol Dworzecki over her challenger Alvin Vollmar. The partial term will also end November 18, 2014.
In the race for three seats on the Caro City Council, incumbents Joseph Green, Michael Henry and Richard Lipan defeated their challenger Herbert Sheardy.
In Vassar, eight people were seeking three seats on the city council. Incumbents Joe Hembling and Nancy Wade were defeated by newcomers Dan Atkins, Roger Bacon, Sr., and Danny Surgent. Also defeated were Gary Kasper, Pamela Stillwell-Binder,and Nelson Vinson.
(ST. CLAIR COUNTY) -- Almost all of the proposals that appeared on the ballot in St. Clair County passed Tuesday. In the Armada School District, the .8394-mill building and site sinking fund tax levy proposal passed with 553 yes and 397 no votes. The 18-mill non-homestead operating millage renewal also passed with 610 yes to 338 no votes. Richmond Schools asked voters to approve the borrowing of $12.9 million in general obligation bonds for improvements and technology upgrades. The measure passed with 1,485 yes to 1,397 no votes. The 5-year, 3.5-mill tax increase for police protection in Marine City was defeated by voters with 447 no to 172 yes votes. In Yale, the 5-year 2-mill increase for police protection passed with 159 yes to 93 no votes. Voters in Yale narrowly passed the general operating millage request with 129 yes to 121 no votes. Port Huron voters passed the 2-mill tax renewal to support street maintenance and repair with 2,152 yes to 1,076 no votes.
In the mayoral race in Port Huron, incumbent Pauline Repp defeated her challenger Brian Moeller with 1,770 to 1,506 votes respectively. The three seats on the Port Huron City Council will be filled by incumbents Domingo Ruiz, Alan Lewandowski and Anita Ashford who defeated their challengers Alphonso Amos, Rachel Cole, and Garth Gurnsey.
There will be a new Mayor in Marysville as newcomer Dan Damman defeated challenger Gary Orr by 430 votes. The three candidates who won seats on the Marysville City Council were Wayne Pyden, Harry Dunn and David Barber with 1,839, 1,669, and 1,590 votes. They defeated challenger Joseph Johns who received 1,437 votes respectively.
(SANILAC COUNTY) -- Authorities say the 21-year old Snover man who threatened suicide and was allegedly involved in the theft of guns from a home last Saturday has been arraigned. Everett Tyler Hartwick was arraigned Tuesday on charges of felony 2nd degree home invasion, felony larceny of firearms, felony assault on a police officer, felony firearm, and misdemeanor possession of a firearm under the influence. The altercation involving a long gun took place on Freiburger Road in Argyle Township Saturday afternoon. Hartwick was taken into custody after ignoring police orders to drop his weapon. He remains jailed on a $100,000 bond pending a November 12 preliminary exam.
(FAIRHAVEN TOWNSHIP) -- Authorities say two duck hunters reported that they were targeted by another hunter on the Saginaw Bay. The Huron County Sheriff's Department is investigating whether Sunday morning's shooting in Fairhaven Township was intentional. 41-year-old Daniel Shaw of Fowlerville and his 47-year-old airboat passenger Jackie Watters of Howell said they were shot at by a duck hunter. The airboat was damaged and Watters' boot area was hit by some birdshot. Authorities found a 62-year-old man and his 29-year-old son, both from the Fenton area, nearby. They told investigators the shot most likely came from them but they had been targeting a duck. Names of the Fenton area hunters are being withheld pending possible charges.
(VASSAR) -- The search for a missing 14-year old Vassar boy is over after he was found safe Monday morning. Police and volunteers began their search Sunday night after Jacob Langley was reported missing. He was last seen around 5 p.m. at his home in Vassar. Langley was found around 11 a.m. near the railroad tracks on Jay Road, just west of town. The teen is the son of Vassar Police Chief Ben Guile.
(AREA) -- Thumb area farmers are busy in the fields harvesting sugar beets. Motorists are noticing the heavier volume of semi trucks on the roadways along with their muddy tracks. According to Ray VanDriessche, Director of Government and Community Relations for Michigan Sugar, field conditions are better than ever. Sugar beet harvest sticks to a prescribed schedule set by the Michigan Sugar Company. Member growers are assigned specific time frames to deliver their sugar beets to the Thumb's four production plants in Sebewaing, Caro, Croswell and Bay City. Growers get the beets to the company's fifteen outlying piling grounds, saving transportation costs and helping Michigan Sugar moderate their flow to the four plants. Reports say the harvest is approximately 80 percent complete and should wrap up within the coming week. The total production capacity is approaching 4 million tons. Recently, Governor Rick Snyder visited Michigan Sugar's headquarters in Bay City, putting the spotlight on one of the arms the state's diverse agriculture industry.
(SANDUSKY) -- The Sandusky City Council met briefly Monday night and approved changes to the city's code of ordinance concerning cemeteries. The changes to the ordinance clarify what is allowed to be planted near gravesites. From this date forward no trees, shrubs, bushes, vines, or flora will be allowed to be planted near gravesites. Only annuals weighing less than ten pounds will be allowed. Any trees or shrubs that had been previously planted, however, will be allowed to stay. Also, Potter's Field--the cemetery's free burial ground for those unable to afford plots--will now only allow Sandusky residents and due to the limited number of plots, only cremations will be allowed. In other business, City Manager Dave Faber announced that crack sealing on Sandusky's streets is about 60-percent finished and that about four miles of crack sealing has already been put on the city's streets. The Sandusky City Council meets again Monday, November 18 at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers.
DETROIT (AP) - Amtrak says it's adding 18 trains in Michigan during the Thanksgiving holiday period. Amtrak says it will run every available rail car during what it says is the busiest travel time of the year. In anticipation of its busiest travel week of the year, Amtrak is adding 18 additional trains to operate to and from Michigan during the Thanksgiving holiday season. Amtrak says the extra trains will run on the Wolverine line and will run between Chicago and the university campus communities of Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo.
(CARO) -- Changes in the law are giving trial courts new tools to address the problem of motorists who drive under the influence of alcohol and or controlled substances. The Trial Courts in Tuscola, Huron and Sanilac counties are taking advantage of those changes. A $255,000 grant from the State Court Administrative Office is helping in the development of the Thumb Regional DWI Court. Four pilot programs in the state are receiving funding in an attempt to bring DWI Courts to rural areas on a regional, multi-county basis.
The Thumb Regional DWI Court will be a cooperative program of the circuit and district courts in Tuscola, Huron, and Sanilac counties, with Tuscola County serving as the coordinating court. The program targets individuals who plead guilty to driving while impaired or under the influence of alcohol and or a controlled substance. Individuals admitted into the program will be required to attend counseling sessions, get tested multiple times a week, and appear before the judge running the program every two weeks for a review hearing.
Chief Judge Pro Tempore Amy Grace Gierhart says that pairing a restricted license with the close supervision of the court is a great approach to providing offenders the treatment they need while rehabilitating them into productive members of society Organizers hope to start the program in December.
(AREA) -- The SC4 Foundation has established the Sanilac County Community Foundation Scholarship, which will award up to full tuition annually to students who graduate from a Sanilac County high school. The scholarship was made possible by a $100,000 matching grant by the Sanilac County Community Foundation. To be eligible for the scholarship, entering freshmen and sophomores must have graduated from a high school in Sanilac County with a 2.5 grade point average or better and submit an essay. The scholarship award will be based on both merit and need. The award may vary up to a maximum of full tuition and fees. For more information on the scholarship or to apply visit www.sc4.edu/money
(SANILAC COUNTY) -- Sanilac County Sheriff's deputies responded to call around 3:30 p.m. Saturday after a woman said her ex-boyfriend was armed with a shotgun and said he was going to kill himself. Deputies investigating in the Argyle Township area learned that the suspect, a 21-year-old Snover man, had broken into a home and a shotgun and handgun were missing. Police also learned that the suspect had sent photographs of the shotgun to his ex-girlfriend and said he would not be found. While searching on Freiburger Road, deputies spotted the suspect walking with what appeared to be a shotgun in his hand. Using the patrol car's loudspeaker, police ordered the suspect to drop the weapon. The suspect ignored police and walked to the front yard of a house. The homeowner knew the suspect and ran out of the house and grabbed the shotgun. The suspect then reached into his pocket and took something out. Police were unable to determine if it was the stolen handgun and continued to order the suspect to drop what was in his hand. The suspect then walked toward some outbuildings on the property. Police were able to taser the suspect and take him into custody a short time later. The suspect was transported to McKenzie Health System for treatment. He remains jailed without bond and is expected to be arraigned on multiple charges.