(APPLEGATE) -- The Applegate Fire Department celebrated 100 years of operation this spring. The department has about 18 volunteers who cover 42 square miles with about 260 residents. It has survived by making ends meet. Equipment includes a repurposed ambulance that serves as a rescue unit, a tanker that was a garbage truck and a 1968 truck used for grass fires. Michigan Department of Natural Resources loaned that truck. The department has responded to about 11 calls so far this year, but Applegate Fire Chief Jeff Johnston says the calls do not account for all the time firefighters put in for things like training. Its biggest fundraisers are twice-a-year pancake breakfasts. It also gets money from the village and surrounding townships.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Senate is poised to consider if it's time to spend significantly more maintaining deteriorating roads. A Senate panel on Tuesday will hold a hearing on a House-approved plan to pump $450 million into Michigan's $2.6 billion budget for road projects. The key is whether senators will try to at least triple the marker laid down by the House. Generating that much money would likely require a significant increase in Michigan's 19-cents-a-gallon gasoline tax or perhaps a constitutional amendment asking voters to boost the 6 percent sales tax. The House legislation would raise Michigan's diesel tax to equal the gas tax and let them rise to cover construction costs if fuel prices increase. Most of the $450 million funding increase would be diverted from elsewhere in the state budget.
(IRA TOWNSHIP) -- The St. Clair County Drug Task Force raided a home in the 8000 block of Jordan Lane in Ira Township last Friday, seizing a large amount of marijuana and firearms. The raid was the result of an ongoing investigation into the sales of marijuana in the township. Officers went into the home around 7 p.m. and seized $4,550 in marijuana, hash oil, $1,200 in cash, 55 firearms, and a vehicle. A 38-year old man at the residence was arrested and lodged in the St. Clair County jail on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, felony firearms, and possession of hash oil.
(VASSAR) -- Dan Grimshaw of Vassar has announced his candidacy for the 84th District State Representative seat on the Republican ticket. The district covers Tuscola and Huron counties. Grimshaw has served as the Tuscola County Register of Deeds from 2008-2012 and on the Vassar School Board for 5-years. He is a member of the Tuscola Behavioral Health Board with over 20-years of experience. Grimshaw is also a member of his local Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, Gideons International, and church.
(AREA) -- Former county commissioner Norton Schramm of Sandusky has announced his candidacy for District 2 Commissioner. The district includes Bridgehampton, Custer, Moore, Washington and Watertown Townships, the City of Sandusky and Villages of Carsonville and Snover. Schramm was chairman of the Sanilac County Republican Party, but resigned when negative material was published about John Espinoza when Espinoza was running for state representative. Shortly after Espinoza was elected, Schramm became his legislative assistant, working out of the Lansing office and also as a liaison for the 83rd District. Schramm is a former educator who remains active with area youth serving as the Executive Director of the Greater Thumb Conference.
(DECKERVILLE) -- The Deckerville School Board hired Pam Spencer to fill the cook's helper position following the retirement of Vicky Loss at the end of this school year. Also Monday night, the board hired Chris Smigill as a part-time bus mechanic and approved the resignation of 4th grade teacher Angela Blank effective at the end of the school year. In other business, increases in lunch prices at the district were approved. Kindergarten through 4th grade students will be charged $2.00 up from $1.85, 5th through 12th grade lunches went up 15-cents to $2.25 and adult lunches are now $3.00 up from $2.85. The price of milk at Deckerville School increased 10-cents to 50-cents a carton.
(ST. CLAIR COUNTY) -- A 43-year old Port Huron woman now faces an open murder charge in the death of a 50-year old Port Huron man back in February. St. Clair County Circuit Court Judge Michael West granted the amended charge during a hearing Monday. Judy Higley-Zuehlke was originally charged with lying to police and tampering with evidence. The victim, John Robert Allen, was found in his home in the 900 block of St. Clair Street February 3. The death was ruled a homicide by multiple injuries. Higley-Zuehlke is jailed on charges of open murder, lying to a peace officer-violent crime investigation, tampering with evidence-criminal case, and concealing the death of an individual. The case has been remanded back to District Court for continuation of the preliminary exam.
(AREA) -- Slowly but surely, farmers in the Thumb are getting their 2014 crops planted. Rain and cooler temperatures this Spring has hampered field work. The latest numbers from the Great Lakes Regional office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service show planting well behind schedule. All the big-acreage field crops are behind schedule to some extent. Half of the state's oats and sugar beets are planted, and as of Mother's Day, only 20% of the state's corn crop is in the ground. Wheat and hay are a concern. The major snow totals weren't the problem, it was the ice that hurt those crops that normally make for a new growing season's first green fields. Farmers will be faced with the decision to accept the loss due to damage or replacing the field with a different crop.
(TUSCOLA COUNTY) -- Tuscola County Sheriff's deputies report that a barn on Dixon Road near Ringle Road was broken into over this past weekend. The suspect or suspects stole a Cub Cadet lawn tractor, a sprayer, and a welder. Deputies say another breaking and entering was reported in that area recently. Anyone with information on this case or anyone who may have seen suspicious activity in the area is asked to contact the Tuscola County Sheriff's Department at 989-673-8161.
(DECKERVILLE) -- Republican Justin Faber has announced his bid for re-election to the Sanilac County Board of Commissioners, District 2. Faber was elected to the seat in 2012. He currently serves as the board Vice-Chairman and holds positions on the Human Development Commission, Policy Committee, Planning Commission, Real Estate Committee, Building and Grounds, and the Veterans Millage Governing Council Board. Faber is a military veteran and serves his community with support of the Lions Club, Thumb Veterans Organization, Knights of Columbus, Special Olympics, and Saint Ignatius Historical Society. District 2 covers Bridgehampton, Custer, Moore, Washington, and Watertown Townships, the City of Sandusky, Carsonville, and Snover.