(FREMONT TOWNSHIP) -- A 66-year old Fremont Township man was killed after the tractor he was riding flipped over, pinning him underneath. Sanilac County Sheriff Garry Biniecki says the incident happened around 6 p.m. Thursday in the 6100 block of Cribbins Road. Deputies say the victim, Mark Hollowaty was doing some landscaping work behind his residence when the mishap occurred. The Croswell Fire Department and Croswell EMS assisted at the scene.
(AREA) -- Ninety recruits graduated from the 124th Michigan State Police Trooper Recruit School Friday afternoon in Lansing. The guest speaker was Governor Rick Snyder. The recruit school was the second of two funded this budget year under Governor Rick Snyder's public safety plan. As of last year, the Michigan State Police was at its lowest staffing level since the late 1960's. The Caro post will see four new troopers including Nicole Beyer-Rex of Bridgeport, Stephen Krieger of Milford, Olivia Sivy of Brighton, and Mark Swales of Mt. Morris. Trooper Jared Grigg of Frankenmuth was assigned to the Lapeer Post.
(AREA) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Prospective Plantings Report shows that corn growers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2013, up slightly from last year and 5.5 percent higher than in 2011. The report has a major impact on agricultural markets as it is widely used by commodity traders to find data on crops like corn, wheat, soybeans and cotton. Jim Zook, Executive Director of the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan, said the corn prospective plant estimates for this season are encouraging for growers, but that successful seasons always come down to if the weather cooperates or not. Zook said the report should cool the amount of heat the corn industry has been receiving from ethanol opponents who have been spreading misinformation about ethanol and how corn deficits have caused a rise in food and fuel costs. It also helps livestock producers, providing some relief to their increased feed costs.
(AREA) -- The DNR reminds anglers that a new fishing license season begins Monday, April 1. All 2012 fishing licenses expire on March 31, 2013. Anglers have a choice of a variety of licenses and prices are unchanged from 2012. Fishing license options include a 24-hour license, which is good for all species, a 72-hour license, also good for all species, a restricted license--good for the entire season for all species except trout, salmon, lake sturgeon, lake herring, amphibians, reptiles or crustaceans and an all-species license, which is good for the entire season for all species.
(DECKERVILLE) -- The Deckerville School Board reviewed performance evaluations for Elementary Principal Allen Hosler and High School Principal Matthew Connelly during Monday night's meeting. Both Hosler and Connelly received overall ratings of "effective." Both administrators had their contracts extended through June 30, 2016. Mr. Hosler will receive a 2% raise for the next 2-years. Mr. Connelly will see a 2% raise in his salary for the 2013-2014 school year.
In other business, the board approved the purchase of a 2013 Blue Bird bus from Holland Bus Company for $69,900. A Best Practice Incentive Resolution was passed by the board. Deckerville Schools is set to receive $52 per student for complying with seven of the eight Best Practice criteria developed by the Michigan Department of Education.
The Best Practice Criteria includes:
--Hold policy on medical benefit plans (if directly employed by district)
--Obtain competitive bids for the provision of 2012-13 non-instructional services
--Accept applications for enrollment of non-resident pupils under Section 105 or 105c
--Monitor individual pupil academic growth in each subject area at least twice during the school fiscal year using competency based online assessments
--Support opportunities for pupils to receive postsecondary credit while attending secondary school
--Offer online instructional programs or blended learning opportunities to all eligible pupils
--Provide a link on district's home page to the url for the MiSchoolData portal or provide data elements on website consistent with the MiSchoolData tables
--Provide physical education consistent with the 2003 state board policy on quality physical education, or provide health education consistent with the 2004 state board policy on comprehensive health education
(BAD AXE) -- The city of Bad Axe is hosting a meeting regarding this season's M-53 reconstruction project, to inform residents and business owners about construction details and detour routes. MDOT and contractor representatives will be on hand at the meeting to answer questions. Area residents and business owners are welcome to attend Monday, April 1 at 6:30 p.m. at Bad Axe City Hall. MDOT will invest $2.7 million to reconstruct M-53 from Outer Drive to M-142 in Bad Axe. M-53 will be closed with traffic detoured through the end of August. Single-lane closures will be in effect from August through October.
(PORT HURON TOWNSHIP) -- Authorities have identified the woman whose body was found next to a dumpster at the Goodwill store in Port Huron Township earlier this month. St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon says the woman is 89-year old Mary Gertrude Grenia of Salem, Oregon. Her body was found March 12 by a Goodwill employee who was cleaning the area around the dumpster. According to the St. Clair County Medical Examiner's Office, the identification was made through x-ray comparison. Sheriff Donnellon says an investigation led to items believed to have belonged to the deceased woman. That information, coupled with a tip from a citizen, led to a request for medical information from Salem. The victim's daughter, 49-year old Kelly Rhodes of Salem, Oregon, is currently in custody in St. Clair County, Illinois. She was located and arrested at a relative's home in Belleville, Illinois. Rhodes faces a disposing of a body improperly charge, which is a 1-year misdemeanor, in Michigan. She is expected to be transported to the state and arraigned on the charge next week. Further charges are pending as the case remains under investigation.
(SANILAC COUNTY) -- The Sanilac County Board of Commissioners held their regular meeting Tuesday evening in the Deckerville High School Cafeteria, giving constituents in District 1, the opportunity to attend a meeting closer to home. Each commissioner will host a meeting in their District. Commissioners tabled a request to fill a full-time Circuit Court Administrator position. The motion included a transfer of $9,000 from contingency to cover the increase in salary and benefit line items. Commissioners Dan Dean and James Ruby voted against tabling the issue, while Commissioners John Hoffman, Justin Faber and Chairman Donald Hunt felt the position should be looked into further by the budget committee.
In other business, the issue of switching the county's health insurance carrier from Blue Cross Blue Shield to Health Plus was put before the board. Commissioners unanimously approved the change effective May 1 through April 30, 2014, contingent on approval by each of the county's collective bargaining groups. Should one of the collective bargaining groups not sign the letter of understanding, the change would be made to Priority Health.
Commissioners also approved the purchase of office furniture for the Sheriff's Office in the amount of $48,554 Tuesday. $25,000 will be paid through a reduction in the commissary transfer out to patrol car fund and the remaining balance will be funded through the commissary fund.
(AREA) -- Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation providing $21 million in emergency funds to dredge Michigan harbors in danger of becoming impassable to boats because of low Great Lakes water levels. The governor signed the bill Wednesday in Lansing. It appropriates money for 58 dredging projects. He also signed measures to quicken the process of obtaining dredging permits and reduce fees. About half the money is coming from the state waterways fund, which pays for marine infrastructure improvements. The rest is provided by the general fund, the state's main checkbook. The spending bill also includes money for park improvements, trail development and dozens of other projects paid for with royalties from oil and gas development on state-owned land.
(PORT HURON) -- Officials say an Amtrak locomotive on a train bound for Chicago has derailed in Michigan. The train had just left a station in Port Huron on Wednesday morning when the engine tipped off the rails. No injuries were reported on the train, which had 14 passengers. Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says the locomotive was to be disconnected from the rest of the train before passengers make their trip. The cause of the derailment is under investigation.