Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 30, 2013

Michigan in Brief: 10/30/2013

Associated Press

— State gets $1.8M for homeless services

LANSING — Michigan is getting more than $1.8 million to provide services to chronically homeless individuals including those with substance abuse problems.

The 3-year grant for the state Department of Community Health announced Tuesday is from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Services will include outreach, assessment, assistance in finding suitable housing, and substance abuse and mental health services. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority plans to assist the Department of Community Health on the efforts.


Education standards spending resumes

LANSING — The Michigan Legislature has given the final go-ahead to resume spending money to implement more rigorous and uniform national education standards.

The Republican-led House approved a resolution Tuesday on a voice vote.

Since Oct. 1, the state was unable to spend money to put in place Common Core math and reading standards in K-12 schools because of a provision in the budget pausing the work. The state Education Department immediately resumed Common Core-related activities last week, because both the House and Senate had affirmatively acted despite passing different versions of a resolution.

Now both chambers have approved the same measure.


Patrols aim to head off holiday destruction

DETROIT — Detroit residents and city workers are on patrol as part of an annual anti-arson campaign for the pre-Halloween period that once saw an upsurge of fires.

A curfew took effect at 6 p.m. Tuesday for those 17 and under. The Angels’ Night observance runs Tuesday through Thursday.

Police and fire officials say they won’t release any figures on fire reports until after the three-day effort ends.

The program is a long-running response to what used to be known as Devil’s Night, the day before Halloween.

In 1984, the city had more than 800 fires during the period. Last year, 93 fires were reported.


15-year-old runaway found with man, 37

PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP — Police say they’ve found a 15-year-old suburban Detroit girl who reportedly ran away with a 37-year-old man who is a family friend.

State police say the girl from Wayne County’s Plymouth Township and the man disappeared after they were seen together Sunday.

Township police tell WDIV-TV that the two were found Tuesday in a field in neighboring Washtenaw County and had minor self-inflicted injuries.

Police say the girl and man left notes expressing their love for one another.

Police say the girl is receiving medical care and the man is being held to face possible charges.


Judge: No restrictions on wind energy project

ST. JOHNS — A judge has struck down local ordinances that would have put restrictions on a $120 million wind energy project in central Michigan.

The Lansing State Journal said Clinton County Circuit Judge Randy Tahvonen released a ruling Tuesday that strikes down ordinances passed by three townships.

Tahvonen says developer Forest Hill Energy is correct and that all provisions of the Bengal, Dallas and Essex township ordinances infringe on the county’s zoning powers.

Snyder signs drug user benefits law

LANSING — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a law denying unemployment benefits to job seekers who fail company drug tests.

The measure signed Tuesday is part of a package that gives the state more flexibility to reclaim fraudulent payments. Most bills bring Michigan in line with federal requirements, though the drug-testing law is separate.

Businesses don’t have to notify the state when job applicants fail a drug test or decline to take it. But if companies pass along the information, applicants not hired because of a failed drug test will lose their checks.

The drug-testing law is in effect for one year as a pilot program.

Roughly 112,000 Michigan residents are receiving unemployment insurance benefits. The maximum benefit is $362 a week.


Hayride driver had been drinking

MILFORD TOWNSHIP — Police said a driver involved in a tractor-pulled hayride accident in suburban Detroit that sent nine people to hospitals for treatment had been drinking.

Milford Township police Chief Tom Lindberg told WDIV-TV that a preliminary breath test showed that the driver of the tractor had a blood-alcohol content of 0.06 percent. In Michigan, the legal limit for a motor vehicle driver is 0.08 percent.

According to a police report, the Detroit Free Press said the 28-year-old driver told investigators that had drinks while on break.

No charges have been brought.

The accident happened Sunday evening at Camp Dearborn in Oakland County’s Milford Township, about 30 miles northwest of Detroit. The city of Dearborn owns the camp and says the accident happened on the last night of its fall hayride season.


Visitor Center event rescheduled

TRENTON — A groundbreaking for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge visitor center that was put on hold because of the partial federal government shutdown has been rescheduled.

The group Friends of the Detroit River announced Tuesday that groundbreaking for the 12,000-square-foot facility is planned for Nov. 8.

An event had been scheduled for earlier this month in Trenton, but it was postponed because of a lapse in federal appropriations. The facility is to be built at the Refuge Gateway, near the refuge’s Humbug Marsh area.

The gateway will include a 16-foot wildlife sculpture built with help from employees of DTE Energy Co.

The refuge includes more than 5,700 acres along 48 miles of the lower Detroit River and western Lake Erie.

The partial government shutdown ended Oct. 16.