(AREA) -- The Michigan Senate has voted to authorize $21 million in emergency spending to dredge Great Lakes harbors grappling with record-low water levels. The bill passed 31-5 Thursday and now heads to the House. The short-term fix would buy time while Governor Rick Snyder's administration and legislators search for permanent revenue to help water-starved harbors. The federal government has cut back on dredging and the lakes continue declining. Dredging involves removing sediments so water is deep enough for boats and barges. The bill specifies 49 dredging projects to be done. The legislation also would authorize the spending of $23 million from a trust fund to buy land and improve land for public recreation. In Huron County, almost an acre of land adjacent to the Judge James H. Lincoln Memorial Bathing Beach in Harbor Beach will be purchased at a cost of $200,000. Accessible playground equipment for Forester Park in Sanilac County will be purchased at a cost of $38,000 with $19,000 coming from the trust fund.
(AREA) -- Today is Agriculture Day in the State of Michigan. Legislators at the Capital in Lansing are honoring family farms and agri-businesses. The resolution declaring March 20, 2013 as Agriculture Day was introduced by 81st District State Representative Dan Lauwers of Brockway Township. Michigan is a national agriculture leader with more than 200 separate commercially produced commodities. The state is the leading producer in 17 of those commodities. Representative Lauwers says it's essential to recognize the importance of the agriculture industry by declaring a special day in honor of family farms and agri-businesses. The state's farmers contribute more than $91 billion in high-quality food, fiber, and floriculture annually to the state's economy, according to the 2012 Michigan State University Product Center Strategic Marketing Institute report. Representative Lauwers serves the 81st House District, covering most of St. Clair County.
Pictured: State Representative Dan Lauwers, middle, talks with Monte Bordner of the Michigan Cattlemen's Association, at left, and Nick Marinich of Brockway during Wednesday's Annual Ag Day event at the state Capitol in Lansing. Marinich is an organic farmer in St. Clair County. More than 30 organizations representing Michigan agricultural products manned booths at the Capitol to discuss the importance of the industry.
(PORT HURON) -- State Representative Paul Muxlow of Brown City, Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Community Colleges, has called for a joint committee meeting to discuss the fiscal year 2013-14 Community Colleges appropriations bill. The meeting will be held on Monday, March 11, at St. Clair County Community College's Michigan Technical Education Center in Port Huron at 1 p.m. Muxlow says the community colleges in our region are vital to our economic growth and success. The purpose of the meeting is to hear from local community colleges to hear how they view the proposed budget and the impacts it might have on their programs. St. Clair County Community College officials will be on hand to testify about their programs and future goals. The public is welcome to attend.
(HURON COUNTY) -- Authorities say a 66-year old Sebewaing man was transported to a Saginaw hospital after a shoot out with police Tuesday evening near the 100 block of Young Street in Sebewaing. The extent of the man's injuries are unknown, but are not believed to be life threatening. No law enforcement officers were injured. Troopers from the Caro Post, Sebewaing Police and deputies from the Huron County Sheriff's Department were sent to the scene after an initial call regarding a felonious assault in the area. The victim was able to leave the residence and ran to safety before calling 9-1-1. As officers were establishing a perimeter of the area, the suspect exited the residence and fired several times. Officers returned fire, striking the suspect. Bad Axe and Pigeon Police were also at the scene. The trooper involved in the shooting was placed on administrative leave while the incident remains under investigation. The Huron County Prosecutor's Office was contacted to review the complaints for requested criminal charges against the Sebewaing man.
(SANILAC COUNTY) -- The Sanilac County Finance and Administration Committee approved a request from the Sanilac County Sheriff's Department for an Applicant Live Scan fingerprint system Tuesday afternoon. The system will allow officers to avoid bringing prisoners into the secure area of the jail for fingerprinting. Board members also unanimously approved a five-year contract with Swanson enterprises for the jail commissary. In other business, the committee approved a request from Sanilac County Veteran's Affairs to purchase 4,000 flags and 256 grave markers. The measures are expected to become official when the full Board of Commissioners meets next Tuesday.
(PORT HURON) -- Port Huron Police Detective Lieutenant Duane Loxton says a fifth suspect has been charged in connection to the torture, criminal sexual conduct and unlawful imprisonment investigation that was reported January 28 in the city of Port Huron. 18-year old Zachaery Evenson of Port Huron was arraigned Friday on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, torture, and unlawful imprisonment. His bond was set at $100,000 and a preliminary exam will be held Tuesday, March 12 at 9:30 a.m. The other four defendants in the case include 18-year old Talon Ferguson, 21-year old Vito Hale, 19-year old Conrad Evenson, and 18-year old Bobby Joe Main, all of Port Huron. Ferguson is being held on a $100,000 bond. Bond was denied for the other defendants. Authorities say the two victims in the case suffered alleged assault over a lengthy period of time.
(AREA) -- Seasonal load, speed, and weight restrictions in the Thumb and Blue Water area have been set. Restrictions will be imposed on designated Huron County roadways starting Wednesday, March 6 at 7 a.m. Seasonal load, speed, and weight restrictions will be enforced in St. Clair County beginning Thursday, March 7 at 8 a.m., in Sanilac and Tuscola counties effective Monday, March 11 at 7 a.m. and Monday, March 11 at 6 a.m. in Lapeer County. Beginning 8 a.m., Monday, March 11, weight restrictions will be imposed on state trunkline highways in the lower peninsula. The weight restrictions will apply to state routes with M, I or US designations south of and including US-10 in Ludington east to M-47, south to M-46, and east to Port Sanilac. On routes designated as "all-season" there will be no reduction in legal axle weights. On routes designated as "seasonal," there will be a posted weight reduction of 25 percent for rigid pavements and 35 percent for flexible pavements. All extended permits will be valid for oversize loads in the weight-restricted area on the restricted routes. Single-trip permits will not be issued for any overweight loads or loads exceeding 14 feet in width, 11 axles and 150 feet in overall length on the restricted routes.
(WATERTOWN) -- The jury trial for the pair accused in the armed robbery of the Depot Party Store in Watertown last October will begin next Tuesday. 31-year old Howard Wiggins of Detroit and his girlfriend at the time of the heist, 30-year old Cassandra Kelly of Peck, appeared in Sanilac County Circuit Court for final pre-trial hearings Monday. The robbery took place during the evening hours October 26 with the suspects getting away with an undisclosed amount of cash and personal checks. Kelly has been charged with armed robbery for her role in the heist and remains free on a personal bond. Wiggins, who remains jailed on a $500,000 bond, was charged with armed robbery, felony firearms and felon in possession of firearms. He is also being held on a parole violation. The 3-day trial will start Tuesday, March 12 at 9:30 a.m.
(SANILAC COUNTY) -- There is still time to get your tickets for the Sandusky Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Banquet being held Saturday, March 9 at 7 p.m. at Woodland Hills Golf Club in Sandusky. Tickets are $30 per person and available at Jay Williams Salon, the Sandusky Tribune and I'd Rather Bee Scrapbooking & More in Sandusky. This year's "Citizen of the Year" is William Dixon, owner of the Sandusky Tribune/Deckerville Recorder. The "Volunteer of the Year" award will go to Sanilac County Drain Commissioner Greg Alexander for his work with the Sanilac County Hockey Association. The Sandusky WalMart will be named "Business of the Year" for donating over $15,000 to the community over the last year and the "Civic Samaritan of the Year" award will be given to the Sandusky Fire Department for the staff's tremendous dedication to the community. During the ceremony, there will be a 50/50 drawing and silent auction. For more information call 810-648-4445.
(LAPEER COUNTY) -- A 13-year old Hadley Township boy was found dead in a wooded ravine close to his home Saturday morning after being reported missing Friday evening. Lapeer County Sheriff's deputies says the teen left his residence in Metamora between 4:15 p.m. and 5:25 p.m. on foot. The residence is surrounded by woods, fields, and game area land owned by the state.There were circumstances that supported the boy was endangered and a firearm was unaccounted for from inside the house. The National Center of Missing and Exploited Children was notified. Deputies were assisted by Michigan State Police Troopers, the Michigan State Police Canine Team, and Oakland County Sheriff's Aviation Division during the extensive search into the late hours of Friday. FBI agents and the Lapeer County Sheriff's Mounted Division joined in the search Saturday. The teen's body was found shortly after 9 a.m. The case remains under investigation.