(SANILAC COUNTY) -- The Sanilac County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday afternoon and authorized funding to hire additional part-time workers at the county recycling center. Administrator Kathy Dorman informed commissioners that three part-time workers have already been hired, but a total of six full-time or eight part-time workers is required to keep the center operating efficiently. The funding will pay for four additional part-time positions with a starting rate of $8.92 per hour. Dorman says she became aware of the need for additional workers at the facility after spending a day volunteering there.
In other business, commissioners moved on a 3-2 vote to decline county funding for water quality testing at all Sanilac County beaches. State funding for beach water testing was cut last year. While all five commissioners agreed that water quality testing is essential to the county's tourism industry, Commissioners Faber, Hoffman, and Hunt voted in favor of soliciting individual lakeshore communities to pay for beach water testing. It costs $1,376.61 per beach for a nine week test. Commissioners Ruby and Dean voted against cutting county funding, with Dean stating that he felt it would be appropriate to draw from the county's Environmental Trust Fund to pay for the testing. The county will now move to coordinate funding between local municipalities and the health department for beach water testing.
(AREA) -- The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Arbor Day Foundation have given 125 communities in the state the "Tree City USA" certification for their efforts in 2013. The DNR announced the awards Tuesday. The program promotes proper tree management in urban areas and awareness for the economic, health and aesthetic benefits of trees. In Sanilac County, Lexington was given "Tree City USA" certification, as well as Vassar in Tuscola County, Marysville, Port Huron and St. Clair in St. Clair County, and Lapeer and Imlay City in Lapeer County. To be eligible a community must have a board or department responsible for tree care, a tree ordinance, at least a $2 per capita budget for tree care, and hold an annual Arbor Day celebration with a proclamation.
(MARLETTE TOWNSHIP) -- The 12-year old boy who pleaded guilty last month to reckless discharge of a firearm, which resulted in the death of his 11-year old friend, has been sentenced to intensive probation. 11-year old Tyler Dunn was killed in the accidental shooting at a home on Howard Road in Marlette Township November 23, 2013. Police say there were no adults home at the time of the shooting. Court documents state that the 12-year old boy is to be placed on probation in the home of his mother. Judge Gregory Ross signed the sentencing paperwork Tuesday. Under the 29 terms of his probation, the boy will be sent to a detention facility for 30 days, with 10 to be served immediately, he must wear an electronic monitor, perform 30 hours of community service, participate in counseling, and pay court costs and restitution. The boy's father also pleaded guilty to charges related in the case. The plea was made Monday to firearm possession by a felon and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The Marlette Township man was scheduled to go to trial May 15.
(ST. CLAIR SHORES) -- A competency hearing has been rescheduled for a 60-year-old suburban Detroit mother charged in the slaying and dismemberment of her adult son whose body parts were dumped in trash bags along a roadside. A Macomb County judge gave Donna Scrivo's attorney 60 more days to have an independent competency examination conducted. A hearing had been scheduled for Tuesday. The St. Clair Shores woman is charged with first-degree murder and dismemberment of Ramsay Scrivo. Five bags containing his body parts were dumped in early February in St. Clair County's China and St. Clair Townships. An electric saw also was found in one of the bags. The 32-year-old Ramsay Scrivo was reported missing by his mother on January 26.
(MARLETTE TOWNSHIP) -- A Sanilac County man has pleaded guilty to charges related to the accidental fatal shooting of an 11-year-old boy who was an overnight guest at his home. The man made the plea Monday to firearm possession by a felon and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was scheduled for trial May 15. The man's 12-year-old son pleaded guilty last month to reckless discharge of a firearm and a written sentence is expected this week. Tyler Dunn died November 23 from a rifle shot in a residence on Howard Road in Marlette Township. Authorities say no adult was home. The court will decide if the boy is sentenced as an adult or a juvenile.
(ST. CLAIR COUNTY) -- Clay Township Police Chief Don Drake is waiting on results from the Michigan State Police Crime Lab and a report from the Medical Examiner's Office in the investigation of an infant found in a shallow grave. Drake says the baby was discovered in the 9300 block of Stone Road about 6:30 p.m. April 27 by a resident doing yard work for a neighbor. The next day, a woman told authorities that she was the infant's mother and gave specific details about what had happened. An investigation continues and no arrests have been made. Chief Drake says a rush has been put on the DNA results, which will take 4-12 weeks.
(AREA) -- The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association released their statewide analysis of nearly 11,000 state and local bridges. The report said that 1 in 4 were either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Locally, St. Clair County ranked 10th in the top ten counties with the highest number of bridges that are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. There are 320 total bridges and 70 are deemed deficient or obsolete. Lapeer County has 31 out of their 159 bridges in need of repair, 24 out of 171 of the bridges in Sanilac County are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, 22 out of 233 in Tuscola County and 16 out of 191 in Huron County. Executive Vice-President of MITA, Mike Nystrom says the report is a stark reminder of what drivers experience every day, adding that not fixing our deteriorating bridges and roads now, will cost Michigan taxpayers more in the long run.
(AREA) -- Farmers markets throughout that state are opening and many are providing access to fresh fruits and vegetables for low-income families by accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP benefits on bridge cards. Many markets are even encouraging SNAP recipients to participate by offering "Double Up Food Bucks," giving an additional dollar on every dollar spent up to a maximum of $20 per visit. In addition to accepting SNAP and offering "Double Up Food Bucks," some farmers markets are also accepting WIC assistance under the Project FRESH banner. WIC recipients should contact their local health department for details. The Sandusky Farmers' Market accepts WIC assistance and Market FRESH benefits. The Imlay City Farmers' Market accepts SNAP/Bridge Cards, Market FRESH benefits and "Double Up Food Bucks." In Huron County, visitors of the Port Austin Farmer' Market are welcome to use WIC Project FRESH benefits. To find a farmers market near you visit http://www.mifma.org/find-a-farmers-market
(AREA) -- Budget errors made by Governor Rick Snyder's Administration during the implementation of the state's Healthy Michigan Plan, are having serious consequences against mental health services for thousands of citizens. Healthy Michigan, a public health insurance plan the 46 Community Mental Health Boards across the state initially supported and helped pass, is currently overestimating its calculation of anticipated total savings, resulting in shortfalls that are causing reductions at the local level. As a result, thousands of people across Michigan are now receiving notices from their local CMH stating that funding is no longer available to continue their services. On April 1, more than $100 million of CMH general fund support was reduced and placed into state savings as a result of the Healthy Michigan Plan implementation. The proposed reduction for the fiscal year 2015 budget is more than $186 million, which is a 65 percent drop in state general fund support prior to Healthy Michigan going into effect. The Michigan Legislature recognized the overestimation in savings during this fiscal year, and restored much of it in its supplemental budget, passed in March. Sanilac County Community Mental Health saw their General Fund allocation cut by over 60 percent and was forced to end programming for many individuals whose services, regardless of Medicaid expansion, would continue to require the support of General Fund dollars. The service terminations take effect May 9 and will affect about 90 people or 10 percent of the service population in the county. Others that will be affected by the cuts will be individuals who have some form of private insurance that does not pay the full cost of our services, and those who have too many resources to qualify for Healthy Michigan Medicaid and do not have another form of insurance.
(PORT HURON) -- The calendar says May, but the Great Lakes still are showing signs of winter. More than a dozen freighters at times have been parked in lower Lake Huron because ice in Lake Superior and the St. Marys River is limiting travel. The U.S. Coast Guard says 40 percent of Lake Superior remains covered by ice. Glenn Nekvasil of the Lake Carriers' Association says "this is extreme." The big ships haul coal and iron ore. There are 14 freighters in Lake Huron north of Port Huron. Ten vessels are breaking ice, including eight from the Coast Guard. Ice-breaking was finished by April 20 last year.