(AREA) -- The American Red Cross has launched its official Tornado App, putting lifesaving information right in the hands of people who live in, visit or have loved ones in tornado-prone areas. The free app, available in English or Spanish, gives iPhone, iPad and Android smart phone and tablet users instant access to local and real-time information, so they know what to do before, during and after a tornado. The app includes a high-pitched siren and "tornado warning" alert that signals people when a NOAA tornado warning has been issued in their area - even if the app is closed. An "all clear" alert lets users know when a tornado warning has expired or has been cancelled. Other features of the app include location-based NOAA tornado, severe thunderstorm and flood watch and warning alerts, enhanced weather maps, and one-touch "I'm safe" messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to family and friends that they are out of harm's way.
(MARYSVILLE) -- Seven developers are in the running to demolish, clean up and redevelop the Detroit Edison Marysville Power Plant site. The seven were among more than 20 proposals received by DTE Energy. Ron Chriss is DTE's regional manager for Macomb County and the Thumb. He says the unidentified developers must submit their offers by March 27. The company will then rank the top three and begin negotiations for the plant built in 1921. It operated until 2001. Randy Fernandez, assistant city manager and community development director for Marysville, says the city hopes to hear by late summer or early fall who will take over the land. He says the property has been rezoned to allow for more development possibilities.
(PORT HURON TOWNSHIP) -- A Michigan State Police Forensic Artist has drawn a sketch of the woman found Tuesday behind the Goodwill store in Port Huron Township. Authorities say surveillance video from the store showed the woman had been there since at least March 3rd. She was concealed by snow and blankets that covered her body. An autopsy performed determined the woman is white, approximately 80-years old, about 5-feet tall and about 100-110 pounds. She has gray shoulder length hair, dark eyes, had a mastectomy and there are two surgical scars on her stomach. She was wearing an Indian print type skirt and blouse that was white, black and red in color. At this time, the cause and manner of her death is undetermined. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Eric Stevens at 810-987-1726.
(SANILAC COUNTY) -- A Sanilac County jury returned a guilty verdict against 31-year old Howard Deon Wiggins of Peck Wednesday, March 13 in the Watertown Party Store armed robbery case. Jurors found Wiggins guilty of armed robbery and felony firearm. Judge Donald A. Teeple entered an additional felony conviction against Wiggins for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Armed robbery carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and the felony firearm conviction carries a mandatory and consecutive 2-year prison term. Wiggins is scheduled to be sentenced on April 22. The armed robbery took place on October 26, 2012. The clerk was robbed at gun point and a substantial amount of cash was taken. Wiggins' girlfriend at the time of the heist, Cassandra Kelly of Peck, has been charged for her role and will go to trial at a later date.
(AREA) -- The Republican-led Michigan House and Senate have approved a series of bills designed to aid the state's water-starved harbors. The bills passed Thursday would lower fees for some dredging projects and let emergency projects bypass a waiting period. Dredging is the removal of sediments so water is deep enough for boats and barges. The House passed a bill to let the Department of Environmental Quality issue emergency permits when property or residents' safety is at risk. Currently, permits can't be issued until after a 20-day objection period. Another bill would reduce some dredging permit fees from $1,500 to $50. A bill approved in the Senate would let marinas pay low interest rates for loans for emergency dredging projects. Each bill now goes to the other chamber for consideration.
(BROWN CITY) -- Brown City council members set a public hearing for Monday, March 25 at 7:20 p.m. regarding an amendment to the 2012-2013 budget and the 2013-2014 draft budget. The Tax and Finance Committee will meet to review the millage rate amendment and draft budget on Thursday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m. In other business Monday, the council formally adopted guidelines for poverty exemptions for property taxes.
(PORT HURON TOWNSHIP) -- The St. Clair County Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's help in identifying a body found Tuesday morning behind the Goodwill store on 26th Street in Port Huron Township. Sheriff Tim Donnellon says the woman's body was found by a worker. Detectives viewing surveillance video from the store have been able to determine the woman had been there since at least March 3rd and was concealed by snow and blankets that covered her body. An autopsy determined that the woman is white, approximately 80-years old, about 5-feet tall and about 100-110 pounds. She had gray shoulder length hair, dark eyes, had a mastectomy and there were two surgical scars on her stomach. She was wearing an Indian print type skirt and blouse that was white, black and red in color. At this time, the cause and manner of her death is undetermined. Anyone with information on the woman's identity are asked to contact Detective Eric Stevens at 810-987-1726.
(CROSWELL-LEXINGTON) -- The Croswell-Lexington School District is exploring year-round school, offering parents a choice between a traditional and year-round calendar. Informational parent meetings were held last week regarding the district's goal to offer up to two classrooms in Kindergarten through 4th Grade in a year-round format. The 5th and 6th Grades will be considered if there is enough interest among parents. Cros-Lex Superintendent Dr. Kevin Miller says data shows that many students forget a lot of what they've learned over the 11-week summer break.
Superintendent Miller says students on the year-round calendar will be in session with students on the traditional calendar for 150 of the 180 school days. Year-round students would have 4-days off for Labor Day weekend and return to school for 2-weeks and have a 2-week break in September. The year-round calendar also includes 1-week off for Thanksgiving, 3-weeks off for Christmas, and 3-weeks off in the spring.
Cros-Lex has applied to the Michigan Department of Education for a waiver to start the year-round school calendar on July 8 with classes Monday through Thursday. Nothing changes for those parents who want to keep their children on the traditional school calendar. It simply gives parents another option that may appeal to their families. For students on the year-round calendar, Cros-Lex will offer busing to daycare even during intersessions, which will be structured similar to a day camp program with educational games and field trips.
The summer weather has been taken into consideration. Superintendent Miller says the district has the option of holding classes in air conditioned classrooms.
More than 3,100 U.S. school systems and 40 countries operate on a year-round calendar and that number is growing each year. Parents interested in the program can attend an informational meeting on Tuesday, March 26 at 6 p.m. at the high school cafetorium. Year-round applications can be downloaded at www.croslex.org The program is also available via Schools-of-Choice to non-Cros-Lex students. The deadline for applications is May 1.
(SANILAC COUNTY) -- The Sanilac County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday afternoon and accepted the 2012 annual reports from Drain Commissioner Greg Alexander and Emergency Management Director Todd Hillman. The board approved a request from Sanilac County Veteran's Affairs to purchase 4,032 flags and 256 grave markers. In other business, commissioners unanimously approved a five-year contract with Swanson Services Corporation for the jail commissary. Swanson Services has contracts with jails in thirty-five counties in Michigan. The Board of Commissioners meet again on Tuesday, March 26th in the Deckerville Community Schools cafeteria at 7 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend.
(TUSCOLA COUNTY) -- State Senator Mike Green of Mayville issued a statement on the Senate floor Tuesday regarding the toy soldier cupcake controversy at Caro Schools, supporting the student. Last week, a 3rd grader took cupcakes topped with World War II style "little green army men" to his classmates for his 9th birthday. The cupcakes sparked a nationwide controversy when the school district required that the toy soldiers be removed before being served due to their depiction of a firearm. The school principal called the toppers "inappropriate" and "insensitive" in the wake of recent gun related tragedies. Senator Green called the actions of Caro Elementary School outrageous. He added that genuine acts of honor towards our men and women in uniform, past and present, should not be censored. Green invited the student's parents, Casey and Angela Fountain, to the state Capitol to share their cupcakes with senators and staff. Senator Green represents the 31st District, which includes Arenac, Bay, Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola counties.
Pictured: Senator Mike Green with Casey and Angela Fountain