Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 18, 2013

Michigan in Brief: 12/18/2013

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — EPA asked to study Lake Superior mining

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A coalition of 59 groups from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan has asked the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a broad review of the cumulative effects of expanded mining in the Lake Superior basin.

The environmental, business, faith and tribal groups wrote Monday to the EPA’s regional administrator in Chicago, Susan Hedman, to ask the federal agency to study the long-term effects of mining activities. Among them are copper mines proposed or planned for northeastern Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, as well as a proposed iron mine in northern Wisconsin.

Paula Maccabee, attorney for the Minnesota group Water Legacy, said they want the EPA to study how multiple new mining projects might combine to adversely impact Lake Superior. One of their main concerns is mercury pollution, she said.

EPA regional spokeswoman Phillippa Cannon said the agency is reviewing the letter.

The groups filed their request less than two weeks after state and federal regulators released a nearly 2,200-page environmental review of the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota, which the EPA helped draft.

Detroit launches 3rd mass arrest operation

DETROIT — Police in Detroit continued a blitz on crime with the third mass arrest operation in city neighborhoods in a month.

At least 37 arrests were made Tuesday afternoon as about 300 Detroit police, county deputies, federal agents and others swarmed a west side neighborhood as part of “Operation Mistletoe.”

The raids targeted drugs houses, drug dealers and felons wanted for parole and probation violations, weapons charges, robberies, home invasions and assaults.

Dozens of arrests also were made on Nov. 15 and Dec. 3 when officers conducted raids at two east side apartment complexes.

The area targeted Tuesday was tops in the city for the number of recent shootings with 27. Twenty of those shooting victims had some tie to the city’s drug trade, police said.

Forty-four new drug complaints also were made to a police department’s tip line on people living within the area.

“We’re going to keep coming back,” Police Chief James Craig said about the attention the department is placing on the neighborhood. “This should be a message to the (criminals) who want to do business in the city of Detroit. We don’t want you here.”

As in the other two raids, residents applauded the police raid.

“I’m glad for the children that the police did this. There’s a school nearby,” Kyra Champion told The Detroit News.

Officers also passed out donated food packages and toys to homes in the area.

“It’s our way of saying, we’re sorry this wasn’t done a long time ago,” Craig said. “This should have been done years ago.”

Detroit has one of the highest violent crime rates in the country, but as of last month the city was on pace to fall below the 386 criminal homicides committed in 2012. Total violent crime also is down this year compared to 2012.