(AREA) -- Law enforcement officials in 40 Michigan counties are stepping up enforcement of seat belt regulations. The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning says the annual "Click It or Ticket" safety belt enforcement zones and extra enforcement begin Monday. Officials last week kicked off the effort with an advertising campaign. A ticket for violators is $65. The effort through the Memorial Day weekend effort involves local police, sheriff's offices and state police. Federal funds support the campaign. The goal is to increase seat belt use to reduce traffic deaths and injuries. Last year, the state's seat belt use rate was 93 percent, down from a high of 97.9 percent in 2009. Officials say that they want to help get seat belt use up to the 98 percent level. Locally, the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department will be participating in the "Click It or Ticket" campaign.
(AREA) -- Five Michigan lawmakers are sponsoring measures designed to pressure Canada not to let a power company bury radioactive waste less than a mile from Lake Huron. State Senator Phil Pavlov of St. Clair Township says the package will be introduced Tuesday. It asks U.S. officials to seek intervention from the International Joint Commission, which advises both nations on issues affecting the Great Lakes and other shared waterways. Another measure asks the Great Lakes Commission to get involved. The commission represents the states and Canadian provinces within the Great Lakes watershed. Ontario Power Generation wants to store low-level nuclear waste in rock chamber deep underground. The company says it would be safe, but opponents fear radioactivity could eventually reach Lake Huron. A Canadian government panel has announced plans for more hearings.
Senator Pavlov will be joined by Senator Mike Green of Mayville and State Representative Paul Muxlowof Brown City to unveil the plan Monday, May 19 at Uri's Landing in Port Sanilac at 2 p.m. The public is welcome.
(BRIDGEHAMPTON TOWNSHIP) -- Sanilac County Sheriff Deputies are continuing to investigate a one car crash that left a 20-year-old Carsonville woman seriously injured. Police say the accident was found by a passerby around 7 a.m. Saturday morning on Custer Road near Maple Grove Road in Sanilac County's Bridgehampton Township. The passerby called 911 to report that he found a woman sitting in the ditch with obvious injuries. Sheriff Deputies arrived and searched for other possible occupants of the vehicle and determined that the woman in the ditch was the driver and alone in the vehicle at the time of the crash. Police say the vehicle was traveling east on Custer Road when the driver lost control and went into the south ditch striking a culvert and concrete driveway. The impact broke the sub-frame off the car and sent it over the driveway coming to rest facing the opposite direction. The driver was taken by ambulance to Deckerville Community Hospital where she was treated for hypothermia and broken bones then flown by flight care to a Saginaw Hospital for further treatment. Police believe the driver's seat belt, the car's airbags and the two men who found that accident were major factors in saving the girl's life. Police also believe alcohol was a factor in the crash. The driver's name has not been released pending possible charges.
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) - More than five months of ice breaking on the northern Great Lakes has been completed by the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard says Friday that operation Taconite ended Thursday and encompassed all of Lakes Superior and Michigan, the northern half of Lake Huron, the St. Marys River and the Straits of Mackinac between Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas. Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie ran the 160-day operation which included more than 5,000 hours of ice breaking for convoys. Nearly 950 commercial ships were assisted. The Coast Guard says the past winter season is believed to have produced the thickest and most expansive ice cover on the Great Lakes in the past 35 years.
(MARLETTE) -- The City of Marlette will be smoke testing the sanitary sewer system Monday through Wednesday, May 19-21 during business hours from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The test uses white smoke that is forced through the sewer lines using air pressure, which helps locate any breaks in the lines and also helps locate unlawful sewer connections. Marlette city residents are reminded that if they notice smoke entering their home or the smell of burning papers, open doors and windows and the smoke should clear. It is also recommended to put water in floor drains or plug them to help prevent smoke from entering through them. Residents with questions are asked to call city hall at 989-635-7448.
(CARSONVILLE-PORT SANILAC) -- The Carsonville-Port Sanilac School Board Monday approved hiring an Elementary and High School part-time Dean of Students starting with the 2014-2015 school year. The positions will be filled by district staff at a stipend not to exceed $3,500 for each position. In other business, it was noted that McKenzie Health System will be administering sports physicals at the high school on Wednesday, May 28 for next school year. The cost is $15. Students are reminded to sign up at the high school office and pick up a physical card from Mrs. Hooper.
(ST. CLAIR COUNTY) -- Michigan State Police Troopers from the Lapeer Post are seeking tips from the public regarding three suspects involved in an armed robbery that took place Tuesday, May 6 in St. Clair County's Berlin Township. The men range in age from 18 to 25. The incident took place in the 13000 block of Kimball Road at around 1 p.m. May 6. Troopers say the men assaulted the homeowner of the residence and robbed her. The suspects had a gun and were seen driving an older Jeep Wrangler, white in color with a black soft top. Anyone with information is asked to call the Lapeer Post at 810-664-2905.
(AREA) -- State Representative Terry Brown of Pigeon reminds residents that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the Rural Energy for America Program. The program supports renewable energy projects such as wind turbines and solar arrays. Brown encourages farmers and entrepreneurs in the Thumb to consider applying for the program. To qualify for fiscal year 2014 funding, applicants must submit their proposals to the USDA Rural Development State Office no later than 4:30 p.m. on July 7 for renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant applications,combination grant and guaranteed loan applications and July 31 for renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan only applications. More information is available at the USDA website.
(AREA) -- Low-flying helicopters are expected to be seen throughout the southeastern portion of the state starting next week as part of a power line inspection effort. The May 22 to May 30 flyovers are for ITCTransmission and Michigan Electric Transmission Co. They're looking for damage, wear or other potential problems. The semi-annual aerial inspections of high-voltage transmission towers and lines are part of regular procedures. Flights take place weather-permitting in all or parts of Ingham, Jackson, Hillsdale, Lenawee, Washtenaw, Livingston, Oakland, Macomb, St. Clair, Wayne and Monroe counties. The flights began this week in western Michigan and will cover nearly all of the Lower Peninsula, concluding in northern Michigan around June 20.
(AREA) -- The House Judiciary Committee this week approved legislation to help keep dangerous motorists off Michigan roadways by ensuring immediate jail time for repeat offenders and better communication between law enforcement agencies. House Bills 5383-5385, introduced by State Representative Dan Lauwers of Brockway Township, place a conditional bond on drivers who are arrested for operating under the influence of drugs, puts the bond into the Law Enforcement Information Network, and requires drugged motorists to be given a permit license similar to a drunken driving offense. According to Representative Lauwers, the state law is in need of updating in order to address the increased incidences of driving while using a controlled substance. Drugged drivers should face the same consequences as drivers who are under the influence of alcohol. The legislation does not allow for or address the use of a roadside saliva test. The legislation now goes to the House for consideration.