(HURON COUNTY) -- The Huron County Sheriff's Office and several local police agencies will be wearing black ribbons on their badges to remember those officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Sheriff Kelly Hanson says this year's recognition will take place May 11 through May 17. A brief ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 14 in Bad Axe along the sidewalk behind the Veteran's Monument. It's reported that 38 officers nationwide have lost their lives in the line of duty so far this year. Last year, 105 officers nationwide, three from Michigan, died in the line of duty. According to Sheriff Hanson, violent gunfire continues to be the number one cause of death among officers on duty. The Huron County Sheriff's Department suffered the loss of Deputy Kelly Vermeersch on June 11, 2000 in an automobile accident in Caseville Township and on June 2, 1932, Huron County Sheriff Joseph Murray lost his life when he drown off of the Port Crescent State Park during an illegal fishing investigation. The public is invited to attend the ceremony May 14 in Bad Axe, honoring the brave officers that were killed in the line of duty.
(SANDUSKY) -- The winner of the Sandusky Thumb Festival Button Design Contest has been announced. Sandusky High School student Katrina Tovar is the winner of a $100 cash prize, courtesy of AB Edwards Restoration. There were 13 entries in the contest. Katrina's design, featuring illustrations of several events held during the festival, will appear on advertising for the Thumb Festival. The buttons will be sold at the four corners of M-19 and M-46 in Sandusky on Friday, June 6. The Thumb Festival is happening June 27-29.
(AREA) -- Sanilac County Community Mental Health has recognized and honored their 2014 "Staff of the Year" and "Community Partners in Recovery" recipients. The Staff of the Year award was given to Aaron Martin. CMH Executive Director Jim Johnson says Aaron consistently comes to work with a smile and positive attitude. He goes out of his way to help everyone around him and volunteers on agency committees. The Community Partners in Recovery recipients were Deckerville Schools Elementary Principal Al Hosler and Sandusky Police Chief Brett Lester. Johnson noted that Mr. Hosler is dedicated to the recovery and success of his students from academic and mental health perspectives. Through his commitment to his students, Hosler attack stigma, breaks down barriers, and foster inclusion for children with mental health concerns. Chief Lester serves on CMH's Recipient Rights and Suicide Prevention Committee's. According to Johnson, Chief Lester has taken great strides to make the Sandusky community more accepting of people in recovery, as well as people who live with developmental disabilities.
Chief Brett Lester
(AREA) -- The 2014 Joshua Ross Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to Sandusky graduate Melissa Sleda, daughter of Doug and Bev Sleda. The scholarship was established in memory of Joshua Ross who was murdered April 17, 1998, just weeks before his graduation from Brown City High School. He was looking forward to furthering his education at Michigan State University when his life was cut short by domestic violence. The goal is to keep Josh's memory alive by awarding the scholarship to an individual that reflects his character, work ethic, and community involvement. Melissa's committment to excellence is evident in all areas of her high school experience. She has been actively involved in tennis, bowling, band, and National Honor Society at Sandusky Schools. She is also involved in 4-H and numerous service activities. Melissa will be attending Lawrence Technological University to study molecular and cell biology.
(AREA) -- All of the ballot proposals passed in the Huron and Tuscola County school districts Tuesday, May 6. Voters in the Ubly School District passed a 10-year, $1.3 million bond for technology upgrades with 221 yes to 180 no votes. Kinde North Huron Schools officials were asking voters to approve a 7-year, $750,000 bond for technology upgrades and technology related infrastructure improvements. The measure passed 151 to 87. The 10-year, $1.3 million bond for technology improvements, busses, and athletic facility improvements at Akron Fairgrove Schools passed 214 yes to 76 no. Both 18-mill non-homestead renewals passed in Millington and Vassar. Millington voters cast 388 yes and 174 no votes, while Vassar had 246 yes and 105 no votes.
(MARLETTE) -- Marlette Superintendent Al Broughton discussed preliminary budget reductions for 2014-2015 school year during Tuesday night's meeting. His recommendation called for a $523,000 reduction. Superintendent Broughton informed board members that he had met with Principal Wood and Principal Vislosky about ways to make cuts with minimal effects on the students. Also, the district will see extra money coming in for Best Practices Performance but Title 1 and Title II funds will be lower. The board approved the cuts, which include not replacing a retiring elementary teacher, laying off one elementary teacher and para-pro for a cost savings of $203,000. In the high school, $219,000 will be saved by not filing a vacant position, the retirement of one teacher, reducing a para-pro position to part-time, laying off one teacher, and replacing a retiring teacher. District-wide, the Special Education Director will not be replaced, transportation costs will be reduced, and there will be $25,000 in reductions in other school operations.
(AREA) -- The Give Where You Live 2014 online fundraising campaign raised $763,655 in 24-hours! The Sanilac and St. Clair County Community Foundations joined forces Tuesday to raise money for 78 non-profit agencies. For every dollar that was donated, those local organizations became eligible for local and national matching funds. Prizes were also awarded throughout the event. The Sandusky District Library and Sanilac County Child Abuse Prevention Council & Child Advocacy Center were Community Foundation $500 Golden Ticket winners and McKenzie Health System in Sandusky won the $1,000 Women's Initiative Prize for the most number of women donors between 8-9 a.m. The Lexington Arts Council received a $1,000 prize for most dollars raised and most number of donors for an arts and culture organization.
Sanilac County's Non-Profit Agencies that benefited from the community's generosity during Give Where You Live!
Beacon Youth Ministries-$6,800
Read To Me-Beta Tau-$3,401
Blue Water Center for Independent Living-$485
Bluewater Thumb Youth for Christ-$455
Camp Cavell Conservancy-$4,992
City of Sandusky Parks Splash Pad Project-$58,470
Deckerville Community Hospital-$7,664
Cros-Lex Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #4465-$1,935
Get on Track in Marlette-$2,073
Lexington Arts Council-$7,770
McKenzie Health System-$10,252
Right to Life of Sanilac County-$1,990
Sandusky District Library-$1,931
Sanilac Area Violence Elimination Council-$1,880
Sanilac County Child Abuse Prevention Council & Child Advocacy Center-$4,700
Sanilac County Historical Society-$1,165
Sanilac County Humane Society-$7,600
Sanilac Literacy Council-$1,237
(MELVIN) -- An observed drug transaction in the city of Yale leading to a traffic stop, resulted in the seizure of more than $326,000 worth of marijuana and other drugs last week. St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon says that during an investigation into the sale of marijuana in the Yale area last Friday morning, a Drug Task Force Officer witnessed a drug buy in the Emmett area. One of the vehicles involved was stopped in the city of Yale. Deputies interviewed the driver, a 40-year old Melvin man, and secured a search warrant at this home in the 400 block of Wellman Line. Sanilac County Sheriff's deputies assisted in the search and found a massive amount of marijuana inside the residence along with $2,200 worth of hash and mushrooms. The drugs, marijuana grow equipment, more than $40,000 in cash, two vehicles, a motorcycle and 28 guns were confiscated and the Melvin man was arrested. A second search warrant was served in the 5000 block of Gratiot Road in St. Clair Township where more marijuana was seized and a 25-year old man was arrested. Both men remain lodged in the St. Clair County jail on drug related charges.
(PIGEON) -- State Representative Terry Brown of Pigeon says that three health care facilities in the Thumb will receive the Governor's Award of Excellence from MPRO, Michigan's Health Care Quality Improvement Organization. The ceremony will take place Friday, May 9 in Bath Township. Hills and Dales General Hospital in Cass City and Scheurer Hospital in Pigeon will receive the award for outpatient clinical achievement in a critical access hospital setting. Lakeview Extended Care Facility in Harbor Beach will receive the award for achievements in reducing health care acquired conditions. The Governor's Award of Excellence Program is a partnership between MPRO and the Governor to provide recognition for improved quality and patient safety in Michigan health care facilities. The program honors participating health care providers that attain specific improvement criteria in several areas.
(LAPEER) -- Michigan State Police F/Lt. Tom Kish will now serve as commander of the Lapeer Post. Kish replaces F/Lt. Gary Parsons who is in a retirement status. The Lapeer Post covers both Lapeer and St. Clair counties. Prior to his transfer, Kish served as commander at the Lansing Post. Kish enlisted with the department in 1995, graduating as a member of the 113th Trooper Recruit School. His first assignment was as a trooper assigned to the Jackson Post. Later, he was promoted to sergeant and detective lieutenant with the Computer Crimes Unit supervising the statewide operation for high tech crime investigations. He is also a graduate of the 250th Session of the FBI National Academy.