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(AREA) -- Right to Life of Sanilac County will hold its annual High School Oratory Contest on Monday, February 18 at the MSU Extension Office in Sandusky. The event involves researching, writing and presenting a speech on abortion, euthanasia, infanticide, stem cell research or human cloning. The contest is open to any 9-12 grade student. Students must be enrolled in a Sanilac County school or be home-schooled in Sanilac County to be eligible to enter. Contestants must send in an application form by February 15. Students will be competing for cash prizes. First place is awarded $300 and a spot in the state contest sponsored by the Right to Life of Michigan in May. The winner will also be invited to give their winning speech at the Focus on Life benefit dinner April 11 in Peck. For information or an application form contact Amy Roggenbuck at 810-376-8454 or send an e-mail to RTLsanilacgmail.com

(AREA) -- State Representative Paul Muxlow of Brown City has been named Chair of the House Community Colleges Appropriations Subcommittee, one of six panels he will serve on as a member of the House Appropriations Committee. Muxlow is a former school teacher and counselor. He was an instructor at Henry Ford Community College for 7-years and served as student services coordinator at a vocational/technical center. Muxlow said he knows that community colleges will serve a more important role in Michigan's educational future and is pleased he will have a hand in funding community colleges. The lawmaker will also serve as vice-chair of two appropriations subcommittees, the panels on Joint Capital Outlay and Transportation. In addition, he will serve as a member of the Department of Community Health and Department of Human Services subcommittees.

(SANDUSKY) -- McKenzie Health System recently received a generous donation from Emerson Industrial Automation/ASCO Numatics. Kevin Lance, Director of Operations at Numatics Incorporated, presented Steve Barnett, President and CEO of McKenzie Health System, with a $10,000 donation. The company, with a location based in Sandusky, has been an active supporter and generous donor to the hospital for many years. Mr. Barnett expressed gratitude on behalf of McKenzie. "This type of support is essential in aiding the rural health system in improvements and changes necessary to meet the needs and expectations of the community. McKenzie Health System is honored by Emerson Industrial Automation/ASCO Numatics' continuing commitment to the healthcare needs of our community and the surrounding area."

PICTURED: Steve Barnett, President and CEO of McKenzie Health System, receives a $10,000 donation from Kevin Lance, Director of Operations at Numatics Incorporated.

(LAPEER COUNTY) -- State Representative Kevin Daley of Lum has been named Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee for the 2013-14 legislative term. This is Daley's second term as chair of this committee. He is also a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Representative Daley, who's family operates a 5th generation dairy farm in Arcadia Township, says his committee will focus this year on fixing agricultural issues related to roads and bridges, easing the regulatory burden on farmers, and continuing to encourage more processing throughout the state. He will also serve on the education and local government committees. Daley represents the 82nd House District, which covers all of Lapeer County.

(AREA) -- State Representative Terry Brown of Pigeon has been appointed to serve on the House Appropriations Committee for the 2013-14 legislative term. He will be a member of the School Aid Subcommittee and serve as the Democratic Vice-Chairman of the subcommittees on Agriculture and Rural Development and the Department of Natural Resources. According to Representative Brown, his constituents expect the government  to spend their tax dollars wisely and he will work to ensure they get the most bang for their buck. The lawmaker brings decades of experience as an educator to the School Aid Subcommittee. Brown serves the 84th District covering Huron and Tuscola counties.

(AREA) -- Teachers are encouraged to reserve a date and time for students to attend the 18th Annual School Tours at the Thumb Octagon Barn & Agricultural Museum in Gagetown. The educational field trip-for Preschool through 8th grade students-allows the children to participate in up to 24 stations that depict rural Michigan in the early 1900's. The guided tours will be held during the school day on Wednesday, May 8th, Thursday, May 9th, and Friday, May 10th. Tours take about 4 1/2 hours, but shorter tours can be scheduled to meet the needs of the students and their schedules. Each student and chaperone brings their own lunch. Tours begin at 8:30 a.m. with the last beginning at 1 p.m. The cost is a donation of $2 per student and chaperone. The tours are held rain or shine. This year's theme is "Soybeans and Related Products." In 2012, about 1,000 students from six counties attended the educational guided tours. To schedule a field trip, visit www.thumboctagonbarn.org or call 989-892-3105.

(MARLETTE) -- Marlette Regional Hospital is pleased to announce the expansion of internal medicine services available in Marlette. Sundar Ramanathan, M.D. has expanded his services to include an internal medicine clinic at Specialty HealthCare Services of MRH.

Internal medicine physicians are often referred to as "doctors for adults", as they only provide comprehensive acute and chronic care (primary care) to adolescents, adults and the elderly. As a board certified internist, Dr. Ramanathan will provide primary medical services to patients, and he will focus efforts on the prevention and treatment of adult diseases. Dr. Ramanathan has great knowledge in wellness-disease prevention and the promotion of health, mental health, as well as effective treatment of common problems of the eyes, ears, skin and nervous system.

A familiar face at MRH, Dr. Ramanathan has served as a board certified nephrologist-serving patients with kidney disease-for approximately four and one-half years in Marlette through Specialty HealthCare Services. Within the last year, he also became a member of the MRH hospitalist program, providing care to patients that are in-patient at the facility.

Dr. Ramanthan is currently accepting new patients and will hold clinic days by appointment in Suites 7 and 8 in the MRH Medical Office Building. To schedule an appointment, please call 810-720-0162 or contact Specialty HealthCare Services of MRH at 989-635-4344.

PICTURED: Sundar Ramanathan, M.D.

(BROWN CITY) -- Marlette Regional Hospital and its health care offices offered reduced rate sports physicals to area athletes for a cost of $10 in anticipation of the 2012-2013 school year. The sports physicals were offered to students at Brown City Schools and the Chatfield School in Lapeer. Marlette Regional Hospital not only offered the affordable price, but donated half of the proceeds back to each school's athletic program. A total of 181 student athletes participated. Kimberly Verellen, physician assistant, recently presented a check for $495 to Brown City Athletic Director Tony Burton and $410 to Chatfield School Athletic Director Keith Verellen. 

PICTURED: Kimberly Verellen, MS, PA-C presenting a check to Brown City Athletic Director Tony Burton

Also pictured: Kimberly Verellen, MS, PA-C presenting a check to Keith Verellen, Athletic Director for The Chatfield School.

(LANSING) -- State Senator Mike Green's office is the new home to an impressive art collection from the students of St. Paul Lutheran School in Millington.

"These great works of art produced by Mrs. Amy Baldwin's talented students at St. Paul's will impress visitors to my Capitol office," said Green, R-Mayville. "I'm grateful for their hard work and proud to show off their talent to state leaders, district constituents and my fellow legislators."

The art consists of works from students in 1st through 8th grades at the school and will be displayed in the senator's office during the month of January. Green invites anyone who would like to view the pieces to stop by and take a look.

Any school or teacher in the 31st Senate District interested in submitting student art for display may contact Green's office toll free at (886) 305-2131 or by visiting his website at www.statesenatormikegreen.com

(AREA) -- The Michigan Rural Council has announced the four pilot communities that will participate in the newly launched Small Business Technology Taskforce Program. Locally, St. Clair County and Sanilac and Lexington Townships were selected. The program will facilitate local efforts to increase broadband adoption by small businesses and microbusinesses in rural communities in hopes of serving as a model for linking rural small businesses to the resources and technology opportunities that can help them continue to grow. The four pilot communities were selected through a competitive process assessing cross-sector local support, sustainable volunteer resources and the need for broadband adoption among small businesses. In the coming months, the communities will receive direct technical assistance, including a multimedia toolkit and on-site training, to develop a taskforce to bring one-on-one technology assistance to entrepreneurs and business owners. 

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