LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has submitted a strategic land-management plan to Gov. Rick Snyder that could be reviewed soon by the Legislature. The plan's objectives include protecting natural resources, supporting local economies and land-based industries such as timber and mining, and providing quality outdoor recreation that the public can access. Donna Stine, policy coordinator for the DNR, says it's the first time the department has looked at land it owns in such a strategic way. Last year, Snyder signed a bill that severely constrained Michigan's ability to acquire more land for public use until a comprehensive plan for managing the property was adopted by May 1, 2015. It set a limit on the state's holdings of about 4.6 million acres.
(LAPEER COUNTY) -- Lapeer County Central Dispatch last week, received a grant in the amount of $1,000 from energy company Enbridge. Enbridge Inc. owns and operates crude oil and natural gas pipelines throughout the midwest and Canada including Lapeer County. Every year Enbridge provides a training conference and dinner for area's that are home to parts of their pipeline. The funds will be put towards continued 9-1-1 dispatcher training and the purchase of training materials for the Public Awareness & 9-1-1 For Kids program.
PICTURED: Director Martin and Dispatcher Anderson receive the check from Shelly Lliff, the Enbridge Public Awareness Coordinator.
FRANKENMUTH, Mich. (AP) - Officials in Frankenmuth say a levee designed to protect areas of the city along the Cass River from flooding may need a $1.5 million upgrade. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says the city needs to modify the levee because it no longer meets standards. Frankenmuth's levee was built in 1965 under a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project. In 2005, however, FEMA funded a project to update Saginaw County's flood maps. City Manager Charlie Graham says the city is contracting with an engineering firm to start modifying the levee. FEMA says it's working with Frankenmuth and officials in other communities to schedule levee projects around the region.
(ST. CLAIR COUNTY) -- The 30-year old Port Huron Township woman involved in a fatal crash that killed two Avoca area men July 20 was out on bond for a separate case that took place last March. Lisa Bergman was arraigned Friday in St. Clair County District Court on two counts of operating while intoxicated causing death and two counts of operating on a suspended license causing death. Her bond was set at $50,000 cash or surety. 19-year old Russell Ward and 20-year old Koby Raymo were killed in the crash after Bergman allegedly crossed the centerline on Lapeer Road early July 20, striking their pickup head-on. Also Friday, Bergman was arraigned on charges of possession of a controlled substance, and operating while intoxicated stemming from a May 2012 incident. Her bond on that case was set at $20,000. Preliminary exams have been scheduled for August 6. The case that Bergman was free on a $2,000 bond at the time of the fatal crash, happened in March of 2012. Her trial on charges of possession of a controlled substance, operating under the influence, failing to stop at the scene of a property accident and habitual offender was set to begin August 1. Officials say the delay in the case was from getting drug test results back from the lab.
(OLIVER TOWNSHIP) -- A two vehicle crash Saturday evening in Huron County's Oliver Township claimed the lives of four people. Sheriff Kelly Hanson says the crash took place at the intersection of Stein and Maxwell Roads around 7 p.m. Deputies say a GMC pickup driven by 22-year old Andrew Braun of Ubly and a Chevrolet Crew Cab pickup collided at the intersection. The Chevrolet truck had six occupants, three of which were ejected following impact. Killed in the crash were 40-year old Joshua Heck, 38-year old Jessica Heck, and 13-year old Taylor Heck, all of Pigeon, and 13-year old Bendon Smith of Caseville. 20-year old Jacob Langley, 15-year old Jarrod Heck and Bruan were transported to Scheurer Hospital in Pigeon for treatment and later transferred to Saginaw and Flint hospitals. Autopsies are scheduled as the incident remains under investigation. The Oliver Township Fire Department, Elkton Police, Pigeon Police and Michigan State Police Troopers assisted Sheriff's deputies at the scene until 1:30 a.m. Sunday.
(GREENWOOD TOWNSHIP) -- A 37-year old Kimball Township man was killed when the Polaris Ranger ATV he was driving, overturned after striking a culvert. St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon says the victim and his passenger, a 31-year old Kimball Township woman, were traveling in the 6000 block of Bricker Road when the ATV left the roadway and struck the culvert. The man was ejected and pronounced dead at the scene. The woman suffered only minor injuries. Sheriff's deputies say the crash remains under investigation. Alcohol may have been a factor.
(SANDUSKY) -- Sanilac County Sheriff's deputies are investigating the theft of a tractor from TNT Equipment in Sandusky sometime between 6 p.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Friday morning. The 2000 New Holland TC45D was stolen from the front east lot. Anyone with information is asked to call Sanilac Central Dispatch at 810-648-2000 or the Detective Bureau at 810-648-8360.
(SANILAC COUNTY) -- The Sanilac County Sheriff's Inmate Work Crew Program recently received a generous donation to assist them in giving back to the community. Work Crew Supervisor, Deputy Doug Shagena says the Flynn Township Board donated a brand new Stihl FS90R Weed Whip, which they purchased from Tri-County Equipment. The weed whip will be used by the work crew for various landscaping and yard work throughout the county. Sheriff Biniecki stated, "We appreciate the Flynn Township Board and its residents for the donation. Their contribution allows the Work Crew to use functioning equipment and in turn we can get more accomplished."
Pictured left to right: Flynn Township Board members, John Trowbridge, Dick McPhail, Deputy Doug Shagena, Flynn Township Board members Bruce Potter, Bone Conely and Supervisor Gene Burgess.
(BRIDGEHAMPTON TOWNSHIP) -- A milk hauler truck rolled over in a ditch along Goetze Road north of Forester Road in Sanilac County's Bridgehampton Township Thursday morning shortly before 7:30 a.m. Sheriff's deputies responded to the scene and found a J.W. Hunt milk hauler on its side. The driver, 34-year old Gregory Wagester of Carsonville, was able to get out the truck before police arrived. Wagester informed deputies that he was traveling south on Goetze when a small white vehicle heading north came over into his lane. Wagester said that he turned to the right to avoid a head on collision. The truck, loaded with milk, went off the roadway and turned over onto its side in the ditch. According to Wagester, the white vehicle did not stop to help and left the scene. Wagester was transported to Deckerville Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. He was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. The milk in the truck was transferred to another hauler.
(LAPEER COUNTY) -- MDOT crews will close the right lane on northbound M-24 under I-69 on Monday, July 29 to replace signs. Crews will move on to the southbound lane on Tuesday in the same area. The work is weather dependent. Motorists are also reminded that construction projects continue throughout Lapeer County. Road Commission crews are working on shoulders and striping on Clark and Millville Roads. The intersection of Millville and Oregon remains closed through the beginning of August. Crushing and prep work continues on Imlay City Road from Morris/Myers to Maple Grove Road. That area will reopen to traffic by August 12 and work is expected to be complete by August 16.