Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 11, 2013

Michigan in Brief: 10/11/2013

Associated Press

---- — 600 non-citizens put on notice: Don’t vote

LANSING — Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said she’s letting about 600 non-U.S. citizens know they need to withdraw from the voter rolls.

Johnson said in a statement Thursday that the noncitizens registered to vote, in some cases not realizing what they were doing. Department of state offices used to routinely ask all people getting driver’s licenses if they wanted to register to vote.

Johnson says the list of noncitizen voters comes from Michigan’s driver file and federal records.

Officials say they’ll send letters this week asking the individuals to contact state election officials to be removed from the rolls.

The department last year said it verified about 1,000 noncitizen registered voters and extrapolated as many as four times more.

Spokeswoman Gisgie Gendreau says the 600 represents those who could be verified as voters but the federal government hasn’t helped Michigan work through the qualified voter file.

City appeals decision on medical pot ban

WYOMING — The Michigan Supreme Court has heard arguments about a Grand Rapid suburb’s efforts to ban medical marijuana, even though it’s legal under state law.

The court held a hearing Thursday on a challenge to the law that the city of Wyoming adopted in 2010 ordinance.

The law bars activities that conflict with federal law. Those activities would include growing or possessing marijuana.

Wyoming is appealing a decision that struck down the ordinance.

The American Civil Liberties Union represents Wyoming resident John Ter Beek, who’s registered to use medical marijuana.

Amtrak continues track improvements

JACKSON — Amtrak is getting ready to start the final of three Michigan train track improvement phases for the 2013 construction season.

Work is scheduled to begin Monday between Jackson and Kalamazoo. It’s expected to cause some delays and modified weekday schedules. Work will largely take place Mondays through Thursdays, with tracks open for all trains on regular schedules on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The overall 30-mile project this year is to upgrade tracks and bring more reliable service.


The Michigan Department of Transportation is leading a three-state effort to improve the 300-mile corridor from Pontiac and Detroit across Michigan, through northwest Indiana and to Chicago. Train speeds will increase to up to 110 miles per hour in more places.