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Wednesday, 24 July 2013 09:58

Drugs seized from Port Huron home

(PORT HURON) -- Seven individuals were arrested following a drug raid Monday night in the 1300 block of 7th Street in Port Huron. Drug Task Force Officers seized cocaine valued at $400, heroin, pills, marijuana, and almost $950 in cash from the home. Two Port Huron women ages 27 and 29, three Detroit area men ages 21, 23, and 27, a 17-year old Capac boy and a 26-year old Alpena man were arrested. Each face drug-related charges and remain jailed in St. Clair County.

(TUSCOLA COUNTY) -- Janna Fritz of Tuscola County has been named Michigan Farm Bureau's Volunteer for the Month of July for her outstanding service organizing the annual Dinner on the Farm event, which provided members with the opportunity to meet with Congresswoman Candice Miller. Dinner on the Farm brings together Farm Bureau members from Huron, Lapeer, Macomb, Sanilac, St. Clair and Tuscola counties for a personal legislative update from the congresswoman. This year's event saw record-breaking  numbers of more than 400 members and guests in attendance June 24, due in large part to the organizational efforts of Fritz and others behind the scenes. Janna serves as the key communications liaison between the county Farm Bureaus and the congresswoman's office. She also manages fundraising activities to minimize the county Farm Bureau's out-of-pocket expenses. Janna has represented Tuscola County Farm Bureau as a voting delegate at the State Annual Meeting and represented Tuscola County's legislative interests by attending the Lansing Legislative Seminar. Fritz works as a seed representative for Specialty Seed and her husband Joel runs a full-time cash crop operation outside of Pigeon. They have two sons, Wesley and Zachary. 

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A subcommittee in the Republican-controlled U.S. House is proposing the steepest cut in spending on a far-reaching Great Lakes environmental cleanup program since it was established in 2009. The panel approved a bill Tuesday that would spend just $60 million on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, nearly 80 percent less than the $285 million in this year's budget. The program is designed to make progress on some of the region's most longstanding ecological problems, such as invasive species, harbors polluted with toxic sediments, harmful algae blooms and loss of wildlife habitat. Leaders of groups that support the initiative say the cut would devastate a program that has enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress. The bill also proposes an 80 percent cut in a loan fund for local sewer system upgrades.

(KIMBALL TOWNSHIP) -- Authorities say charges are being sought against the 30-year old driver of a vehicle involved in a head-on crash that killed two Avoca area men early Saturday morning in Kimball Township. St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon says the Port Huron Township woman was driving a Ford F-350 pickup east on Lapeer Road just before 2 a.m. when she crossed the centerline and struck a GMC Sonoma pickup head-on. 19-year old Russell Ward and 20-year old Koby Raymo were pronounced dead at the scene. The Port Huron Township woman was taken to Port Huron Hospital for treatment. Charges being sought include operating while intoxicated/operating under the influence of drugs causing death and driving while license suspended causing death. An arrest has not been made at this time.

(PORT HURON) -- Port Huron Police say a 48-year old Marysville man was killed in a motorcycle crash Monday evening in the 2200 block of Military Street. Witnesses say several motorcycles were traveling north on Military Street at a high rate of speed just prior to the fatal crash at 6:30 p.m. The victim, Ronald Steven Tobola, struck the back of a vehicle that was turning into a private driveway. Police say Tobola was ejected from the bike and struck a street sign. He was not wearing a helmet and died a short time later. The crash remains under investigation.

(ALGONAC) -- A long-distance swimmer says he'll go it alone when swimming 22 miles across Lake St. Clair while hauling dinghies filled with 2,000 pounds of bricks. Jim Dreyer had planned for a support boat. He says in a statement Tuesday that logistical issues made the new plan simpler and it will "raise the bar a little higher." Dreyer has made direct crossings of each of the five Great Lakes. He plans to begin his swim Aug. 5 from the Clinton River Boat Club near Algonac, and the event is to raise money and awareness for Habitat for Humanity. The swim is expected to take 30 hours and end Aug. 6 at Detroit's Belle Isle. Dreyer has partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Michigan to help support building projects.

(CAPAC) -- A former Capac councilman was sentenced to up to 30-years in prison Monday after being convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year old girl in his home last August. 44-year old Gregory VanNeste was found guilty of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, and two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct in June. St. Clair County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Kelly handed down the sentence on Monday with 324 days credit served.

(BAD AXE) -- The Bad Axe School Board approved the recall of Physical Education/Health teacher Ronald Johnston during their meeting Monday night. Johnston was laid off by the board in June as a result of cost savings actions taken to reduce a budget deficit. The recall happened after three teachers took the buyout offered by the district. The board also hired George Smith for the music position. Smith will teach band and choir. Interim Superintendent Greg Newland asked to refer the Student Services position back to the Personnel/Finance Committee for further discussion due to the recent resignations and retirements.

In other business, the board discussed the upcoming Sinking Fund Millage Election that will be held August 6. Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. at the Bad Axe Middle School auxiliary gymnasium. If passed, the fund will be used for district improvements.

(AREA) -- State Representative Terry Brown of Pigeon introduced a bill last week that would allow employees or volunteers of a charitable organization to conduct fundraising activities while standing or walking within a street. The bill authorizes municipal governments to pass a resolution to permit charitable fundraising on roads within that municipality. The situation was brought to Brown's attention when the Sebewaing Village Council refused to allow the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars to conduct their annual poppy sale. A Michigan Department of Transportation representative informed a member of the council that the sale, which the council has authorized before, is a violation of state law, meaning that organizations such as the Knights of Columbus and Lion's Club are affected as well. Representative Brown says his legislation would allow local officials and the charities themselves to decide what's appropriate for fundraising.

(AREA) -- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has designated four Sanilac County practices as patient-centered medical homes, placing them among a select number of primary care practices in the state that are improving health care quality and lowering costs. Designated practices include Lakeshore Internal Medical of McKenzie Health System, McKenzie Family HealthCare, McKenzie Health System in Croswell and the Physician Health Care Network of Lexington. Patient-Centered Medical Homes practices offer patients services that may not be offered at nondesignated practices, such as 24-hour access to the care team. PCMH practices coordinate specialists and other care, such as nutrition counseling, home care or links to community services. They also teach patients how to manage conditions such as asthma and diabetes. Recently, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan announced savings estimated at $155 million over the first 3-years of the program. Now in its 5th year, the number of physicians earning PCMH designations has tripled since the program launched in 2009.