(ST. CLAIR COUNTY) -- St. Clair County residents turned in over 100 pounds of unwanted or expired prescription pills during the latest Drug Take Back, held Saturday. Sheriff Tim Donnellon says the 102 pounds collected, topped the record 101 pounds collected in September 2012. In September, 244 tons of pills were collected at more than 5200 locations, nationwide. With the latest take back locally, the St. Clair County Sheriff's Office has collected more than 341 pounds of prescription pills over six events sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
(BAD AXE) -- The Bad Axe school board has some tough decisions to make in the coming weeks as the district deals with reducing a budget deficit. Superintendent Donald Schelke is recommending the layoff of seven or more teachers to offset rising costs and reduced state aid. In another cost-savings move, the board approved a "separation agreement" Monday. Eligible teachers will have the opportunity to take a $20,000 buyout from the district.
In other business, a special board meeting was scheduled for May 8 to discuss a Sinking Fund Resolution. Voters would be asked to approve the creation of a property tax and the funds would be used for district improvements.
Board members were presented the rankings from the U.S. News & World Report Ranking of high schools and Bad Axe received a silver medal as they ranked 68th in the state. The ranking put the district in the top 8% of high schools in the state. Nationally, Bad Axe High School is ranked in the top 10%.
(CROSWELL) -- The City of Croswell will have a new look this fall once work from a $253,000 Community Block Grant is finished. The funding awarded through the Michigan Strategic Fund includes the installation of 40 decorative LED streetlights, wireless internet and parklets. Parklets are small movable spaces with seating and greenery that usually sit in parking spaces along a street. There will also be new recycled material benches placed throughout the downtown, trash receptacles made by local artisans, and the installation of rain barrels for storm water control. State Representative Paul Muxlow of Brown City says Croswell is a gem of a city, and it's exciting to know that the funding will help make the downtown area a vibrant place to visit and spend time in for years to come. Croswell must provide $105,875 in matching funds. Other work planned includes new sewer and water lines, sidewalks and street paving. Further funding will come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and bonds.
(AREA) -- Field representatives with the U.S. Census Bureau will be contacting households in parts of southeast Michigan for the American Housing Survey. The Census says surveys are expected to be taken in May in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, St. Clair, Livingston and Lapeer counties. Advance letters already have been mailed to select addresses. Census representatives will follow up with those households by telephone or in person. The American Housing Survey lists information on the size and composition of housing inventory. Questions on the survey include the number of rooms, heating and cooling equipment, and the cost of the housing. Each survey takes about 45 minutes to complete.
(AREA) -- Congresswoman Candice Miller has joined in the fight against a proposal to study whether fees should be assessed on passengers and pedestrians at land border crossings. Miller says the President's Department of Homeland Security Fiscal Year 2014 budget request would harm border communities that depend on cross border travel and commerce from Canada. There is a high potential for the new fee to impose a negative impact on the state, especially southeast Michigan because of both the Blue Water Bridge and the Ambassador Bridge, as well as the Detroit-Windsor tunnel--all major crossings our nation shares with Canada. According to Congresswoman Miller, our Canadian friends spend about $57 million annually in St. Clair County alone, which represents nearly 25% of all money spent by Canadian visitors in the entire state each year, adding to the economy and creating jobs. Miller says that type of friendship should be encouraged, not discouraged. President Obama's administration suggests a study be conducted to asses a new fee on vehicles and pedestrians who cross the border. Miller and many of her colleagues believe such a fee would discourage economic activity and hurt local communities.
(PORT HURON) -- Hunter Hospitality House, Inc. is offering a second location in Port Huron that offers free lodging for families of hospitalized patients. The second home, opening later this year, is located at 2509 Vanderburgh Place, across the street from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. The original Hunter Hospitality House is located at 1010 LIncoln Avenue in Port Huron and was founded in 2011 by Jeff and Tracy Willard in memory of their late son, Hunter Eldon Willard. The mission of Hunter Hospitality House is to provide a welcoming, relaxing home, steps away from the hospital for those in need of restoration while their loved ones are patients in Port Huron. Donations of funds, household items, and volunteer services are greatly appreciated. Hunter Hospitality is also seeking groups interested in adopting rooms, which involves decorating and maintaining the space for 1-year. For more information visit their website at www.hunterhospitalityhouse.com, call 810-824-3679 or send an email to hunterhospitalityhouse-at-gmail.com
(LEXINGTON) -- State Representative Paul Muxlow of Brown City will host a town hall meeting on Monday, May 6 to discuss transportation and funding issues. The meeting will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Lexington Community Center, located at 6964 Huron Street in Lexington. Guest speakers include Michigan Department of Transportation Director of Governmental Affairs Kelly Bartlett and Jim Shea, owner of PK Contracting. Representatives from the Sanilac and St. Clair County Road Commissions will also be available to answer questions. Representative Muxlow says the meeting will give residents the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions on how Michigan should fund its roads and bridges. The town hall meeting is free and open to the public. Muxlow serves the 83rd House District covering Sanilac County and a portion of St. Clair County.
(YALE) -- The second bank robbery in the Blue Water area in the past ten days occurred shortly before noon Saturday at the Capac State Bank branch on North Main street in Yale. St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon says a man wearing sunglasses and a dark t-shirt walked into the bank, implied that he had a weapon, and demanded money. Once the money was received, the suspect ran south from the bank. Yale city police officers and St. Clair County Sheriff's deputies responded to the bank and surrounding area, but were not able to locate the man. The bank bandit is believed to be the same man who robbed Tri County Bank in Brown City on April 18, as well as banks in Kalamazoo and Edmore. Detectives continue to investigate the latest robbery. The suspect is described as a white man, about 40-years old, around 5 feet-10 inches tall with a medium build. Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to contact the St. Clair County Sheriff's office at 810-987-1733. No one was injured in Saturday's holdup.
(AREA) -- An advisory panel is recommending the U.S. and Canada consider using artificial structures to raise water levels in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The International Joint Commission announced its proposal Friday, following a 5-year study by scientists and engineers. The commission advises both nations on issues involving the Great Lakes and other shared waterways. Lakes Michigan and Huron hit their lowest level ever recorded in January after lagging well below normal since the late 1990s. The commission acknowledges their shared level was lowered by dredging in the St. Clair River at the south end of Lake Huron in the last century. But scientists say drought and evaporation are the biggest causes. The commission report suggests looking at placing structures in the river that could boost levels 5 to 10 inches.
(DECKERVILLE) -- The Sanilac County Drug Task Force will sponsor the 22nd Annual D.A.R.E. Junior High Invitational Track Meet on Thursday, May 2 at 4 p.m. at the Deckerville High School track. Students from each Sanilac County School will compete in both boys' and girls' divisions. The public is invited to attend free of charge. The D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program started in 1990 and has been presented to over 16,800 Sanilac County 5th and 6th grades students. From September 1990 through June 2013, the Drug Task Force millage will have provided $971,000 in primary funding support for the program, which reinforces and supports a "drug free" message toward young people in a positive way.