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WHMI 93.5 FM Radio Station for Livingston County Michigan with News, Traffic, and Weather Service for Howell and Brighton

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    The City of Brighton has received over $400,000 in largely unanticipated revenues, and the question now before the City Council is where to spend it — or whether to sock it away for a rainy day. That’s just one of the items being discussed these days at a series of City Council budget workshops. Two such meetings were held this week and at least one more is scheduled for next week — on Tuesday, April 17th. According to City Manager Nate Geinzer, The unexpected revenue includes $195,000 in personal property tax reimbursements from the state, $180,000 from a greater number than anticipated building permits, and $33,400 more I state revenue sharing. Geinzer tells WHMI that — although there are many pressing needs, particularly to replace worn out city equipment, he is placing the revenue in the reserved fund category rather than opting to spend it now. The tentative general fund city budget for 18-19 is $8.75 million, up about a quarter-of-a-million dollars from the 17-18 budget. The city of Brighton is heavily dependent on the property tax; in fact, 72% of its revenue comes from that source. However, property taxes are down substantially from what they were before the recession hit in 2008. The average property tax bill that year was $1,550, but by 2013 they had dropped to $1,085, a nearly $500 drop per property. To make up for the lost revenue, the city has had to make substantial cuts as well as come up with other ways to create revenue. Although property taxes are starting to rise again they are nowhere at the level they were at in 2007, just before the recession hit. For fiscal 2018-19, the city is projected to receive $6.3 million from local property taxes, including penalties and interest — a 4% increase. Taxable values in the city are up 3.85% on real property and 3.14% on personal property, an increase of $243,000 over the prior year. The proposed 2018-19 city budget can be viewed online by going to brightoncity.org and scrolling down under the category “Reference Desk”. The budget is expected to be adopted after the first or second meeting in May. (TT)

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    A Friday ceremony celebrated local 911 dispatchers for their hard work and professionalism in handling some very traumatic, stressful situations in which others would likely freeze up. Livingston County 911 Director Chad Chewning says they recognize and celebrate the excellent services emergency dispatchers provide to citizens and responders, saying they work hard and go above and beyond every day but also, love what they do. Livingston County 911 Central Dispatch handled over 178,000 calls for service in 2017. Various lifesaving awards and critical incident awards were handed out to employees for different types of calls and read aloud by Senator Joe Hune and local State Representatives Lana Theis and Hank Vaupel. Some of those dispatchers were recognized for during the ceremony included shooting incidents involving deadly force, accidents with entrapment, suicidal subjects, multiple vehicle crashes, cardiac arrests, drownings and various others in which they assist with patient care before emergency responders arrive on scene. One critical incident award was presented to a team of dispatchers for their work helping and assisting during a very stressful 24 hour period. That involved six confirmed structure fires, including one possible structure fire at Central Dispatch, 126 tree hazards/tree fires, 195 wire hazards and fires, 84 outdoor fires, four gas leaks and one dive team activation. In all, dispatchers handled 1,637 emergency and non-emergency calls in that 24-hour period and everyone stepped up to the plate and worked together to keep everyone safe. The 2017 Employee of the Year Award went to Dan Stevens, who was visibly surprised and was just promoted this month to operations supervisor. He was still trying to process the award but told WHMI it’s a great honor to be recognized by his peers because it’s the dispatchers who make that decision by a vote. Stevens says you come in every day, work as a team no matter what the situation is, do everything to the best of your ability, ensure the safety of responders and make sure your team is ok. No matter what the shift, anything could come up and he stressed teamwork is always essential in everything they do, saying community members should know dispatchers do everything they can for them. Operations Supervisor Lori Bourbeau was honored for 15 years of service. She told WHMI they have a wonderful group of people who work very hard and have done a lot of great things, which is sometimes unseen so the awards are nice. Bourbeau noted there have been a lot of critical incidents over the year that they’ve handled well but the job is much more than just dispatching and taking calls as you’re constantly moving and have to be on the ball, adding she’s really proud of the group of people they have. Bourbeau says they also have a lot to look forward to because they’re building and growing. She says as the population grows, so is staff so they’re working to get people in and trained while preparing to move into a bigger building. Livingston County 911 Deputy Director Joni Harvey said it’s an honor to work beside the very talented and dedicated professionals who work to keep the citizens and responders of Livingston County safe, adding they are an amazing group of individuals with a true passion for helping others. Pictured from top to bottom are a surprised Stevens, Bourbeau, and Meghan Kautman, who received the Award of Excellence and the Appreciation Award. More information about National Telecommunicators Week and the hard work of local dispatchers is attached. (JM)

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    The City of Brighton has received over $400,000 in largely unanticipated revenues, and the question now before the City Council is where to spend it — or whether to sock it away for a rainy day. That’s just one of the items being discussed these days at a series of City Council budget workshops. Two such meetings were held this past week and at least one more is scheduled - on Tuesday, April 17th. According to City Manager Nate Geinzer, The unexpected revenue includes $195,000 in personal property tax reimbursements from the state, $180,000 from a greater number of building permits than anticipated, and $33,400 more in state revenue sharing. Geinzer tells WHMI that — although there are many pressing needs, particularly to replace worn out city equipment - he is placing the revenue in the reserved fund category rather than opting to spend it now. The tentative general fund budget for 18-19 is $8.75 million, up about a quarter-of-a-million dollars from the 17-18 fiscal year. The city of Brighton is heavily dependent on the property tax; in fact, 72% of its revenue comes from that source. However, property taxes are down substantially from what they were before the recession hit in 2008. The average property tax bill that year was $1,550, but by 2013 they had dropped to $1,085, a nearly $500 drop per property on average. To make up for the lost revenue, the city has had to make substantial cuts as well as come up with other ways to create revenue. Although property taxes are starting to rise again they are nowhere near the level they were at in 2007, just before the recession hit. For fiscal 2018-19, the city is projected to receive $6.3 million from local property taxes, including penalties and interest — a 4% increase. Taxable values in the city are up 3.85% on real property and 3.14% on personal property, an increase of $243,000 over the prior year. The proposed 2018-19 city budget can be viewed online by going to brightoncity.org and scrolling down under the category “Reference Desk”. The budget is expected to be formally adopted at the first or second meeting in May. (TT)

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    An issue of concern during South Lyon’s City Council meeting last week was the possibility of leaves being disposed of and composted at Volunteer Park starting in the Fall. During the Call to the Public, the man responsible for farming the land on Volunteer Park addressed council members regarding rumors he heard of the property possibly using the land for composting leaves. Acting City Manager and Police Chief Loyd Collins confirmed the possibility stating the talks have been underway since before he took over as acting City Manager. The individual who has been farming the undeveloped extended part of Volunteer Park for the past few years claimed an interest in continuing to farm the land. However, he does not want to see that property used for composting leaves as he feels it will ruin the area. The current process for handling the disposal of leaves involves South Lyon’s Department of Public Works collecting leaves from residents and disposing them at a site paid for by the city. Several council members also voiced their concerns and said they would not like to see the section of Volunteer Park used for composting leaves. Mayor Daniel Pelchat told WHMI that this issue seemed to strike a nerve among council members. With the issue being on next week’s agenda, Pelchat also stated he thinks it will take a long time for council to come up with a solution. He told WHMI that if the city is not ready to use the land by Fall, council may let the current farmer of the land continue to use the property. (DF)

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    A local teacher has announced her candidacy for the Livingston County Board of Commissioners. Jennifer Garcia of Hartland Township is running for the Democratic nomination to the District 2 seat on the board. That seat is currently held by Republican William Green, who is also being challenged by Republican James Bruney. Garcia, who teaches in Ann Arbor public schools, filed her nominating papers last month for the seat covering Oceola and Deerfield Townships, plus the southwest corner of Hartland Township. As commissioner, Garcia said she would work to make sure the county budget matches the priorities of the community, and she said she would cooperate with constituents to make that happen. Among her priorities are better roads, safer walking and bike paths, and crosswalks. She says that in the areas of her district that are populated with public resources and businesses, young families are looking for more walkable communities and safer access without the reliance of a car, but that, “it’s dangerous to walk or bicycle to schools, recreational areas, and stores.” Garcia said other aspects of the district’s health and safety need to be addressed with compassion, specifically the area’s opioid abuse problem. She believes the county should join a lawsuit against several large drug manufacturers to recover the cost of dealing with opioid addiction. Garcia says she would also advocate for the support of existing treatment courts in Livingston County, and that as a health educator she understands the concerns of mental health and drug abuse are deeply layered and in need of desperate attention. Garcia is a member of the Ann Arbor Education Association and says she would fight to make sure the county pays fair wages to its employees. (JK)

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    A Whitmore Lake man is facing serious felony charges for allegedly assaulting a woman. 19-year-old Zachary Armond Campbell is being held in the Washtenaw County Jail on an $80,000 cash bond. The Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office authorized charges of assault with intent to murder and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder. The first charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. The second charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The charges stem from an incident around 8:30pm last Wednesday, April 11th. Northfield Township Police received a call regarding an assault at 152 Barker Road, where the business Peaberry Bean & Beats is located. Police say the victim was a 22-year-old woman from Ann Arbor and worked as a barista for Peaberry. Police say the victim told the officer she had been assaulted by strangulation 30 minutes prior and had been unconscious until she reported the incident. Police say officers were able to identify the suspect and took him into custody within ten minutes. The investigation is ongoing. (JM)

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    The man who represents Livingston County in Congress says Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is definitely much too broad and has ventured into areas it was never empaneled to look into, but nonetheless should be allowed to continue until it is completed. The comments from 8th District Republican Congressman Mike Bishop come as former FBI Director James Comey makes the media rounds promoting his new book about his tenure at the agency and subsequent firing by President Donald Trump last year, prompting speculation about the future of Mueller’s investigation. Speaking Sunday on WHMI’s Viewpoint, Bishop said while the President has the Constitutional authority to have Mueller dismissed, it isn’t something he would advise be done, although that doesn’t mean he approves of the way the investigation is being handled. "If you've got a special prosecutor who was duly charged and given the proper role, that he has in my opinion, he's got a job to do and he's got to finish it. But it's the role itself that concerns me and how broad it is, to me its un-American and it's just not the way to conduct an investigation." Bishop said that as a former prosecutor himself, he feels Mueller has gone way beyond his original scope of seeking evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election. “If I handled myself this way where I had a blanket cart-blanche to go out and find people who may have committed crimes, there would be some issue with my role and the Constitution…the whole concept of special prosecutor needs to be rethought.” You can hear his full comments on the issue through the link below. (JK)

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    The memory of a local teen who died in 2014 after a tragic accident will be the focus of a fundraiser later this month in Brighton. Sarah Grundy of Pinckney was 18 when she suffered 3rd-degree burns over much of her body in a bonfire accident in March of 2013. She spent the next seven-and-a-half-months at the University of Michigan Trauma/ Burn Intensive Care Unit and Rehabilitation Center, before finally being released, but then succumbed to her injuries and passed away unexpectedly in January 2014. In her honor, Stout Irish Pub in Brighton will hold a fundraiser Saturday, April 28th from 1 to 5pm to benefit the Great Lakes Burn Camp. The camp, located in Jackson, is a place where burn-injured children from the ages of six-to-17 can meet, play, heal, laugh, and grow together. GLBC also promotes healing, self-esteem, confidence and general well being of burn injured children. All of the proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the camp. Tickets are $20, and include a spaghetti dinner, entertainment, 50/50 raffle and silent auction. You'll find details through the link below. (JK)

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    A Milford-based non-profit has been named a finalist in a community voting contest and public support is being sought. Five Points of Hope is a cancer care charity that gives hope to cancer patients in Michigan who are facing financial difficulties as a result of their diagnosis. The non-profit has been selected to compete in the “Thumbs Up For Charity” contest through Community Financial Credit Union. The winner with the most online votes will receive a $10,000 donation, which would give the charity a needed boost in-between fundraisers to help individuals. Publicity Coordinator Teresa Silver tells WHMI Five Points of Hope awards monetary grants to cancer patients who are nominated by social workers and have a need. The grants help patients pay bills such as insurance deductibles, prescriptions, medical equipment and utility bills. Silver says the non-profit prides itself on being all volunteer based, meaning there are no overhead staffing costs so money from fundraisers goes directly to helping cancer patients. Bills are also paid directly to vendors to avoid misuse of funds. Individuals can vote online daily for the contest through Friday. The winner will be announced April 25th. More information and a link to the voting site are provided. (JM)

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    Several Livingston County teams distinguished themselves at this weekend’s FIRST Robotics State Championships. A total of five Livingston County-based teams qualified for the championships held Thursday through Saturday at Saginaw Valley State University; Brighton High school’s TechnoDogs, Hartland High School Electro Eagles, Howell High School’s S.C.O.T.S. Bots, Charyl Stockwell Preparatory Academy’s Gems and Fowlerville’s FAST team, which was participating as a rookie squad. Both the TechnoDogs and Gems made it to the division finals, each in an alliance that pitted them against each other. Brighton ended up winning after taking the match to a tiebreaker. Unfortunately, they ended up losing in the state championship to an alliance consisting of teams from Allendale, Waterford and Calumet. Meanwhile, Howell’s S.C.O.T.S. Bots claimed the FIRST Robotics Regional Chairman's Award after advancing to the quarterfinals. Based on their performance during the competition and for earning the Chairman's Award, the Howell team has advanced to the FIRST Robotics World Championship, set for April 26th through the 29th in Detroit. They’ll be joined by the Brighton, Hartland and CSPA teams, which also qualified. Additionally, Howell, Hartland and CSPA also accepted a certificate of recognition from Gov. Rick Snyder honoring each district for participating in the full progression of K-12 FIRST Robotics. The FIRST Championship’s theme this year is called “Power Up,” and mimicking 1980s-style arcade games, requires the robots to pick up cubes and deliver them to one of three scales or a power-up station during the timed matches, which each last two-and-a-half minutes. (JK)

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    The Northfield Township Board is reaching out to the community amid concerns about a police lieutenant charged with falsifying state documents for inspections intended to detect stolen vehicles and parts. Seven current and former police officers were charged by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office including Northfield Township Police Lt. Tim Greene, his brother, Detroit Public Schools Public Safety Officer John Greene and their father, former Van Buren Township Officer Robert Greene. The three did inspections under the authority of the Hamburg Township Police Department and face various counts of uttering and publishing. No Hamburg officers were involved nor was that department in any way implicated in the investigation. In June 2017, the Northfield Township Board placed Lt. Greene on unpaid administrative leave while the state and township conducted an investigation regarding his conduct. The felony complaint against Greene and the others was filed March 20th. The board says it understands news of the charges raised concerns from the community and stressed the primary goal is to act in the best interest of residents. Officials say they need to take into consideration all information available, including from attorneys, to make the right decisions to protect residents and the township. At this time, the Board has requested more information regarding the criminal case involving the 42-year-old Greene. As additional information becomes available, the board will have different options and says it will keep the community informed as the process moves forward. (JM)

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    Local job seekers have an opportunity to connect with potential employers at a job fair this week. Area employers will be recruiting candidates for hundreds of job openings at the 14th annual Livingston Regional Job Fair Thursday from 3-7pm at Crystal Gardens Banquet Center in Genoa Township. Bill Sleight, Director of Michigan Works! Southeast, says there will be representatives from a wide variety of companies at the event, seeking candidates for hundreds of positions ranging in experience level and field. Sleight says the job fair is a unique opportunity as it allows potential employees and employers to connect face-to-face; something that’s become less frequent in the era of technology. Sleight says the online job search and application process is much more impersonal, while an in-person conversation provides an element that is important in selecting a candidate. Sleight says his biggest piece of advice is that job seekers come prepared. That means doing research on certain companies before attending the fair, dressing professionally and bringing a resume. In addition to meeting directly with employers, attendees will have the opportunity to attend live workshops that will help them improve their resume. A bank of computers will also be available so that job seekers can search and apply for jobs online. The Livingston Regional Job Fair is presented by the Job Fair Planning Committee, which consists of representatives from more than 15 local organizations including state and local workforce agencies, local chambers of commerce, post-secondary education, and local nonprofit agencies. Registration for the event is requested. More information can be found at the link below. (DK)

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    A local man has admitted to charges connected to an incident in which he crashed his car, and then falsely told police another vehicle had hit him. 25-year-old Thomas Blackledge of Green Oak Township recently pleaded guilty as charged to resisting/obstructing or assaulting a police officer, operating while intoxicated and assault and battery. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a count of indecent exposure if Blackledge successfully completes probation. Prosecutors also agreed to reduce the resisting/obstructing charge from a felony to a misdemeanor. Blackledge will be sentenced in Livingston County Circuit Court May 17th. Blackledge was charged as a result of the November 12th incident, which began when Green Oak Police responded to the scene of a car crash at Leman Road and M-36 around 4:45am. Officers found that the vehicle Blackledge was driving had gone off the roadway into a ditch, sustaining significant front end damage. Police Chief Jason Pless says Blackledge told officers another vehicle had crossed the centerline and hit him, but there was no evidence that was true. After failing sobriety tests at the crash scene, Blackledge was taken to the St. Joseph Mercy Brighton Medical Center for a blood draw. Once there, however, Pless says he became belligerent and refused to have his blood drawn, resisting an officer and a nurse, and kicking a security officer attempting to assist. Pless says Blackledge also kept exposing himself and screaming obscenities. (DK)

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    One of the Democratic challengers to 8th District Republican Congressman Mike Bishop both out-raised the incumbent for a third straight quarter, but also has more cash in the bank than he does. According to the latest campaign finance filings with the Federal Election Commission, Elissa Slotkin raised $800,000 during the first three months of 2018 compared to approximately $457,000 for Bishop, who is seeking his third two-year term in office. Overall, Slotkin has raised $1.71 million as compared with $1.56 million for Bishop. Her campaign points out that more than 98% of their contributions are from individual donors, with nearly 75% of those under $100. Only about 1% of Bishop’s donations last quarter came from small-dollar donations. In addition, more than $1 million of Bishop’s donations were raised from political action committees, compared to about $153,000 for Slotkin. Bishop campaign spokesman Stu Sandler reacted to the report by saying the Congressman, “had a great quarter and is in strong cash on hand position” adding that, “The vast majority of money of Slotkin's money came from out-of-district and out-of-state liberals…” while insisting Slotkin is taking corporate PAC money funneled through other PACs, pointing to a $2,272 donation last month from a Kansas City-based consulting firm. Slotkin Campaign Manager Mela Louise Norman responded to that saying “attracting more than four thousand donors to her campaign, is pretty clear evidence that (Slotkin) has built a broad range of support" and that "Michiganders are pretty sick of these petty partisan attacks, and understand that Elissa is a woman of integrity, who has spent her career in national service with the U.S. intelligence community, including serving three tours in Iraq." According to the latest report, Slotkin had $1.342 million cash on hand at the end of the quarter on March 31st, compared with$1.304 million for Bishop. Also filing a report is Slotkin's Democratic challenger in the Aug. 7 primary, Michigan State University professor Chris Smith, who raised just under $20,000 in the first three months of the year, bringing his total to $77,185. (JK)

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    Two roads in Brighton Township rated in poor condition will soon see repairs. Asphalt rehabilitation will occur on 2.5 miles of Culver Road, from Spencer to Pleasant Valley Road, as well as the stretch of Pleasant Valley Road between Kensington and Hyne Road. Brighton Township’s Board of Trustees on Monday approved a funding agreement with the Livingston County Road Commission. The agreement calls for the township to pay $650,000 for the Culver Road project, while the township will evenly split the $220,000 project cost with the Road Commission for the Pleasant Valley Road repairs. The township’s Board of Trustees selected the chosen roads based on their pavement PASER rating. The PASER scale rates the road’s asphalt surface from one to 10, with one being in “failed” condition to 10 being considered as “excellent”. Road rehabilitation tends to have varying degrees in terms of the extent of the work, like complete reconstruction to create a brand new road as opposed to a temporary solution. Vick says the township is taking the interim approach to these projects, which will include milling off certain portions and laying new asphalt. He estimates that to be a seven to 10 year fix. Township Manager Brian Vick says there are plans for a third project, in which the township will work with the Road Commission to repair a culvert on the north end of Pleasant Valley Road. Vick says funding has been placed in the township’s budget in hopes of undertaking the work this year, however they are still waiting on some paperwork for the Road Commission. Vick says the goal is to have that in place next month so the Board of Trustees can take action to move the project forward. (DK)

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    The race for one of two open Howell Township trustee seats now has a second Democrat in the running. Judith Minton, a family life educator and former U of M and MSU fundraiser, has announced her candidacy for the position, saying her, “…years of experience as a group facilitator and strong communicator can be put to good use in service to the Howell Township community.” Minton says that over 10 years ago, the Howell Township Board made a commitment to grow the community through the expansion of sewer hook ups, issuing bond totaling $25 million, with over $17 million still outstanding. She feels it is time to be more proactive and promote development in Howell Township and is concerned the current Board does not represent all members of the community, especially those who live in subdivisions and are interested in expanding township services through what she called, “prudent investment of excess operating budget and leveraging partnerships such as the proposed Howell Recreation Center” adding that it is one thing to keep taxes low but another to do it at the expense of needed services. Minton, who is married to former Howell Township trustee Mike Tipton, is a Spring Arbor University graduate and recently retired director of philanthropy. Also running for trustee positions are fellow Democrat Sally Newstead, Republicans Dar Howard and Jeffrey Smith and Libertarians Christine and Jim Schell. (JK)

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    A change in design has been approved for a new hotel coming to Genoa Township. Several months ago, Genoa Township approved a design for a new Hampton Inn that will be located right off I-96 by the intersection of Grand Oaks Drive and Latson Road. During Monday night’s township meeting, the board approved a request petitioned by the architects of the project; Bowers and Associates, to change the previously approved outside appearance of the building. The change in appearance is sparked by Hampton Inn’s goal in creating a more modern look in all of their hotels. The new design will now include far less bricks than previously approved which designers hope will bring a more aesthetically pleasing look to the area. Genoa Township’s Planning Commission approved the updated appearance last week and The Township Board of Trustees did the same on Monday night. Trustee Jim Mortensen said the hotel is a very welcomed addition to the township and he is excited to see the area continue to develop. (DF)

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    The Livingston County Board of Commissioners could extend its trial run of broadcasting bi-monthly meetings. The General Government & Health Human Services Committee met Monday night and approved a resolution authorizing an agreement with SoundQue Multimedia to provide video recording services of board meetings. It was earlier agreed to record meetings for a period of six months to establish proof of concept for the services but more time is said to be needed to collect data and help forecast future use, as the county is weighing cost versus benefit and demand. Only board meetings are recorded currently, not committee meetings, and are made available on the county website. Under the proposed agreement, the video recordings would continue through the end of the year. Commissioner Gary Childs chairs the committee but also serves on a special committee that was formed to explore the concept of broadcasting the meetings. Childs says not too many people watch the whole meeting but rather the two or three items they’re interested in or looking for. He tells WHMI they want to keep everyone informed and encourage transparency, saying people are watching the meetings and he wants to continue the service. The resolution still needs to go before the full board for a vote. (JM)

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    A plea has been entered by one of two suspects charged with threatening to shoot up a Whitmore Lake school building. 18-year-old Eric Gordon Deaton and 17-year-old Michael Gage Perks, both of Whitmore Lake, were charged in Washtenaw County Trial Court on charges of false report or threat of terrorism, a felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. On Monday, Deaton entered a guilty plea, admitting that he had made a statement about shooting up a school that could be interpreted as a threat. Northfield Township Police received information March 13th from Superintendent Tom DeKeyser regarding a threat to “shoot up a school building” within the district, which was forced to close the following day as officers investigated. Deaton and Perks, along with two other teens, were identified as suspects. Police say they recovered a firearm at Perks’ home. At his arraignment, Perks said he was a student at FlexTech High School in Brighton. Police previously said all of the suspects are current or past students of Whitmore Lake schools. Charges were denied against a third subject, a 17-year-old male, while a 16-year-old juvenile was released pending further investigation. Deaton, who was released on bond, will be sentenced June 4th under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which will give him a clean record if he successfully completes probation. Perks, who is also out on bond, is set for a pre-trial hearing May 14th. (JK)

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    One of two men charged with stealing snow plows from a local business has been sentenced, while the other has entered a plea. 26-year-old Joshua Couden of Wixom (right) and 28-year-old Albert Cook III of Webberville (left), each faced various charges connected to the November incident in which they allegedly stole eight Western Snow Plows from Beauchamp’s Landscaping in Hartland Township. Couden, who admitted to receiving and concealing stolen property and a stolen vehicle, was recently sentenced by Livingston County Circuit Court Judge Michael P. Hatty to five months in jail, three years of probation and must pay $700 in restitution. Cook on Friday pleaded guilty as charged to receiving and concealing a stolen vehicle and felon in possession of firearms as a 2nd time habitual offender. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors agreed to a jail cap of 12 months and to dismiss three other charges. Cook will be required to make restitution on all counts and is set to be sentenced May 17th. Authorities say Couden and Cook took the snow plows from a parking area adjacent to Beauchamp’s in the early morning hours of November 20th. Beauchamp’s reached out to the community and received a number of tips regarding a truck pulling a trailer full of plows the morning of the theft. Social media and Craigslist ads displaying identical plows for sale were also discovered by Beauchamp’s employees. The information led to an address in Webberville where the snow plows were discovered, along with vehicles, construction equipment, trailers and other miscellaneous items totaling over $250,000. (DK)

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