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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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    One of two local sitting judges have been dismissed from a federal lawsuit alleging retaliatory acts and conduct that violates First Amendment rights. A complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit by 53rd District Court Administrator Francine Zysk against 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan and Livingston County Chief Judge Miriam Cavanaugh. In a recent order, Judge Cavanaugh only was dismissed from the case with prejudice and without costs of attorney fees to any party. When a case is dismissed with prejudice, it is determined to be on its merits and is considered final. Cavanaugh released a statement on the dismissal; "I am pleased that an agreement has been reached dismissing me as a defendant in the Zysk Lawsuit. The agreement did not contain any financial payment. With my dismissal, I will be able to again focus exclusively on the administration of the Court as the Chief Judge and, more importantly, the business of the Court and the litigants we serve.” The lawsuit is seeking damages in excess of $75,000 for damage to Zysk’s reputation in the community and economic loss, as well as emotional distress. Zysk alleges retaliation for her “subpoenaed, truthful testimony” during Brennan’s divorce proceedings in regard to what were described as “infidelities and other scandalous behavior.” The complaint refers to Brennan as a “bully of epic proportions” and alleged that Cavanaugh had retaliated against Zysk on Brennan’s behalf. It further stated Cavanaugh indulged Brennan’s “juvenile” refusal to communicate with Zysk regarding court business, which created more work for everyone. Attorney Jim Fett represents Zysk and says all of the retaliation is tied to her telling the truth in two subpoenaed depositions during Brennan’s divorce proceedings. Brennan is alleged to have engaged in extra-marital affairs with at least two individuals including now retired Michigan State Police Detective Sean Furlong. Furlong was the chief prosecution witness during the highly publicized double murder trial of Jerome Kowalski in January of 2013, for which Brennan was the judge. The Judicial Tenure Commission has acknowledged it is conducting an investigation into the allegations, although Brennan remains on the bench. (JM/JK)

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    A common, but often overlooked, medical issue will be the focus of an educational event at a local hospital. St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital in Howell will be hosting a Hernia Night later this month. The event will provide information to members of the community seeking relief from hernia-related symptoms. The free forum will also feature robotically-trained St. Joe’s surgeons demonstrating the da Vinci™ Surgical System, while also discussing the latest minimally invasive treatment options, and answer any questions. Hernia Night is being held Thursday, May 31st from 5:30pm to 7:30pm in the Joe’s Java Café & Marketplace at St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital on Byron Rd. Attendees will also be able to have a free hernia screening following the presentation. For more information or to register call 810-494-6881. (EO/JK)

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    A psychological evaluation has been ordered for a former Brighton woman charged with fraud by way of an online fundraising page. 33-year-old Candace Ann Streng is charged with False Pretenses of $20,000 or More, a 15 year felony and Use of a Computer to Commit a Crime, a 10 year felony. The charges were the result of the Brighton Police Department’s investigation into allegations that Streng falsely claimed to have cancer and was collecting donations to help with her medical expenses. In court last week, a defense request for a referral to the state’s Center for Forensic Psychiatry was approved. A follow-up hearing was set for mid-July. Police began looking into allegations in January about a fraudulent GoFundMe account called “Candace Kicks Cancer”, which had been set up for Streng. Police say the evidence indicated the account was fraudulently used to accept donations based on Streng’s claim to have stage four breast cancer. GoFundMe records show 399 people donated money totaling $31,645 since April 15th, 2017. Several fundraisers were held for Streng over the past year with friends rallying by her side. GoFundMe immediately closed the account, banned Streng, and worked with the Brighton Police Department to refund all the donors. (JK)

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    The polo ponies will again be on display for the public at an event that is looking to build on its inaugural success. The 2nd Annual Hartland Polo Classic is set for Saturday, June 9th at the Detroit Polo Club’s location off of Bergin Road, near Old US-23 and M-59. Katie Chuba is the Executive Director of the Hartland Area Chamber of Commerce and says it will be a day of fun and action witha strolling catered dinner before the match begins, with a halftime “derby style” hat contest and traditional “stomping of the divots. Following the match, guests can mingle with the polo players and enjoy a DJ’d after-party. Emmalyn Wheaton is the Detroit Polo Club’s manager and says last year’s event did a great job of bringing the sport to a brand new audience. She says many people are surprised to learn they’ve actually been in Hartland for more than 15 years and that when they have an opportunity to actually experience it, they are pleasantly surprised to find a “very blue collar vibe” and end up falling in love with the sport. Tickets are $75 in advance and can be purchased online through the link below. Proceeds from the event benefit the Hartland Chamber’s scholarship fund and community givebacks. (JK)

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    A ceremony in Brighton this morning recognized a young veteran in hospice care and his veteran father, both of whom served in the same U.S. Army battalion 40 years apart. 38-year-old Anthony Lollio and his father, Marco Lollio, both served in the 7th Army Europe; Anthony during the Global War on Terrorism and Marco during the Vietnam War. Anthony, a husband and a father of three children, served in the Army for seven years, accruing numerous medals and designations. He left in 2004 just before the birth of his first daughter and later learned he had developed ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The progressive, neurodegenerative disease is terminal, and Anthony is now in a wheelchair, communicating through eye-contact and a speech-generating device on his computer. Roger McLean, Anthony’s hospice volunteer through the St. Joseph Mercy Home Care and Hospice Program, felt Anthony should be honored for his service, though Anthony would only agree to it if his father was recognized as well. Speaking through his computer, Anthony says while he and his dad were both just young men doing tough jobs, they were treated very differently when they returned home. He says he wasn’t going to be honored while his father stood in the background. State Senator Joe Hune led a dual pinning ceremony at Anthony’s Brighton home today, where he also recognized Marco Lollio, per Anthony’s request. Marco was also given a plaque commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, as Sen. Hune said, "This is a few generations late, but thank you. On behalf of a thankful nation, we appreciate your service." Throughout the emotional ceremony, Marco reiterated that it was truly his son who deserved the recognition. Anthony has received The Overseas Service Medal, National Defence Medal, The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, three Army Achievement Medals and two conduct medals. He also earned his Air Assault wings, Expert Infantryman, and Combat Lifesaver designation, as well as a sniper designation from the German Army. Anthony graduated from the Non-Commissioned Officer’s Academy in 2003 and was recommended for an Army Commendation Medal for stabilizing two critically injured National Guardsmen until they were evacuated by air. Marco volunteered in 1969 as a 67A10 Aviation Maintenance and entered training at Fort Knox in 1970. He was assigned to the 165th Aviation Group, 7th Army Europe. He trained as a photo lab technician, developing and interpreting intelligence and recon photos. Marco was designated as OV-1 Mohawk Crew Chief and deployed to Vietnam in 1971. He flew tree-top level recon missions behind enemy lines to gather intelligence on enemy positions and troop strengths. McLean says he's never quite experienced someone so inspirational as Anthony and his family, adding Anthony is one of the most admired people in St. Joe's hospice program because of his situation and attitude. McLean says Anthony previously told him he has been able to live this long because he is “surrounded by so much beauty”. (DK)

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    In what was termed a “unique” situation, the Brighton City Council has approved the release of over $14,000 in funds to “A Taste of Brighton”, an annual event designed to showcase all that downtown Brighton has to offer in the way of food, shops and family entertainment. Council at its meeting last Thursday voted to release $12,500 in sponsorship funds for this year’s event and $1,648 in leftover funds from last year. Normally, such items would not need to come to council for approval. However, City Manager Nate Geinzer tells WHMI that since A Taste of Brighton is now a separate entity as a non-profit organization, rather than a volunteer group under the city’s umbrella as in the past, he felt it required a council vote on the fund transfers from the city. There were five criteria A Taste of Brighton had to meet for the city to approve the transfer of funds. These included tax certification, confirmation of its 501(c)(3)status as a non-profit, a certificate of insurance, receipt of a voided check from its bank account, and the A Taste of Brighton Board being the filer for this year’s civic event. Geinzer says the organization met all of those stipulations. This year A Taste of Brighton will take place on July 13th and 14th. Local restaurants and other vendors will offer samples of their cuisine on Main Street, and downtown shops will feature specials on items in their stores. There also will be a special kids zone for children to take part in various organized activities, and live music will be on the menu in the late afternoon and evening. (TT)

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    The Howell City Council adopted a scaled back budget for the 208/2019 fiscal year. The budget was approved during Monday night’s meeting before a sparse audience and following a public hearing during which no one spoke. That was in stark contrast to the last two meetings filled with residents voicing concerns and hurling threats. The City has been facing budget pressures for years but is now at the point where revenues need to increase or services need to be reduced. Council indicated intent to pursue a Headlee Override election, after a surprising 4-3 vote against instituting a city-wide public safety special assessment at the last meeting. As a result, the budget had to be revised and Council adopted the 2018/2019 budget Monday without the anticipated revenue from the public safety assessment to the tune of approximately $861,000. Should the Headlee Override fail if put before voters, which was the initial thought of many members in pursuing the public safety assessment, deep cuts will have to be made and all options are said to be on the table. Council has agreed the current financial path the City is on is not sustainable, due to a broken state funding model and years of making different budget efficiencies. Mayor Nick Proctor said the budget continues to be under siege and encouraged discussion on where to cut services, noting the City is 100% behind its police department. Proctor noted the City will not be contracting with any other agency for law enforcement services, adding he is also not inclined to make draconian service reductions in their policing model that might place the safety of residents at risk - stressing Council is firmly behind the men and women of the department. On chartering a new path forward, Proctor said he believes they’re now confronted with a fractured Council that requires a bit of healing and trust building, which will take some time. Proctor stated it’s not a setback for Council - they have a problem and will fix it. He says it’s only a step back to collectively assess and chart a new way forward to solve the fiscal problems the state model imposes on Howell and all Michigan communities, adding they will regain their unity of purpose and he looks forward to their collective discussions during next month’s budget work session. Items eliminated, not deferred, from the budget include the reconstruction of South National Street, work on West Brooks Street and the resurfacing of Warbler Way and North Chestnut Streets. Also cut was lighting at Page Field and demolition of the Barnard Center. Councilman Dr. Bob Ellis commented that his priority issues when he ran for office were parking, roads and blight reduction. He feels the City has done a good job with parking but now he’s frustrated roads won’t get fixed and the Barnard Center won’t get demolished. Ellis says it’s an old building that can’t be repaired for more than it would cost to build a new building. He says it’s frustrating to have a blighted building owned by the City but they can’t take it down because they don’t have the money. A number of outside factors have been at play to impact the City’s budget including a reduction in state shared revenue, the impact of the 2008 recession and loss of 27.6% of taxable value, limitations of Proposal A and the Headlee Amendment. Council and staff have repeatedly stated the fiscal stress is not unique to the City and similar communities are looking at either enhanced revenue or reduced services. Mayor Pro-Tem Steve Manor commented there is no pot of gold hidden anywhere. He says needed infrastructure projects will only get older and conditions will worsen by delaying them, while the costs of doing the work will continue to increase exponentially. Council will begin consideration of when to schedule a Headlee Override, possible service reductions and the general budget process going forward during an upcoming work session. That is open to the public and will take place at June 18th at 5pm at the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce building. (JM)

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    A Fenton Area Public Schools student has been suspended after making an online threat over the weekend. The district was made aware of a threat that was posted online Saturday night through the social media app, Snapchat. The threat against Andrew G. Schmidt Middle School was investigated by the Fenton Police Department. Although it was proven not to be credible, the student involved has been suspended pending further investigation. Superintendent Dr. Adam Hartley says while their thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families in Santa Fe, Texas, where a mass school shooting took place last week, the incident is a good reminder that any threat towards the students or staff of Fenton Area Public Schools, verbal or written, will be dealt with swiftly and appropriately. He says just last month, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton made a presentation to the high school to discuss the seriousness of making threats. That can be viewed through a link on our website, WHMI.com. Hartley thanked the families that learned of the threat on social media and reported it right away, adding they’ve learned over the past few years that school safety is certainly a team effort. (JM/JK)

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    Several community groups have come together to host a pair of local candidate forums. The first will be held in advance of the August 7th primary and is set for Thursday, July 12th in the auditorium of the Hartland Educational Support Services Center on M-59 at 6:30 p.m. The second will be about a month before the General Election on Thursday, October 4th in the same location. They are being sponsored in part by Voter’s Voice, the League of Women Voters Brighton/Howell area unit and the Howell, Brighton and Hartland chambers of commerce. WHMI’s Jon King will serve as the moderator for both forums, while The Livingston Post is helping to collect potential questions from the public. You’ll find that link below. There are both Democratic and Republican primary races in the 8th Congressional District, on the GOP side in the 22nd District state Senate race and for the non-partisan 44th Circuit Court Judicial race. (JK)

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    Volunteers and project nominations are being sought for the Livingston County United Way’s 17th annual Day of Caring. The Day of Caring is described as the county’s largest one-day community service event. It will take place Wednesday, August 15th but organizers are putting out the call now for not only volunteers but projects of all types. Event Co-Chair Piet Lindhout tells WHMI many projects are done for organizations and agencies but they also send volunteers out to individual homeowner sites. He says projects vary from helping with simple cleaning and taking care of things a disabled homeowner can’t do or minor construction work such as rails or ramps. Other times, he says it could be weeding a garden and having conversation as some of the worksite hosts are lonely and love to have company for the day. Last year’s Day of Caring brought together 1375 volunteers to accomplish a total of 134 projects. Lindhout says they tend to have an annual problem where everybody waits till the last minute to let them know they’re in need of help or want to help. He says it always works out in the end but they encourage people to sign up as soon as possible. Volunteers have the option to register individually or in groups, for a half or full work day. Volunteers can designate preferences for the location, type of project and any special skills they might have. Worksite requests, volunteer applications and other information are available through the provided link. The deadline for worksite projects is July 6th and the deadline for volunteer registration is July 9th. (JM)

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    Preventing drug use by minors will be the main focus of a special award winning presentation this week in Brighton. Tall Cop Says Stop is a program created by 6-foot-9-inch police officer Jermaine Galloway who is regarded as an expert in evolving drug and alcohol trends. Believing that “You can’t stop what you don’t know,” Galloway has made it his mission to educate and train others to help fight against substance abuse across the country. This Thursday, program instructor and trainer Ryan “Buzz” Buzzini will be at the 2|42 Church in Brighton from 9am until 3pm to hold the event. Buzzini has served in law enforcement for 29 years, including 15 as a police officer. He is a qualified Drug Recognition Expert Instructor who is trained in the signs and symptoms of legal and illegal drug use. Buzzini has also served on the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and is a DEA Task Force member focusing on fraudulent prescription pill abuse. At the event he will share his expertise on the rise and widespread usage of designer drugs, opioids, herbal drugs, and marijuana. Buzzini will also educate on drug trafficking, street level usage, and the associated items used and involved within the drug user’s culture. This event is free and open to everyone, but registration is required. For more information, or to register, follow the link below. (JK)

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    Discussions are underway regarding the future of the water service provider for homes near Fonda, Island, and Briggs lakes. Since 1981, Brighton and Green Oak Township has had an established agreement with The Fonda, Island, and Briggs Lake Water Authority. FIB has been responsible for providing the water services to the surrounding homes of the three lakes since its inception. With the agreement set to expire on January 1st, 2020, Brighton Township’s Board of Trustees discussed the future of the agreement on Monday night. Township Manager Brian Vick told WHMI talks have been in place for the past few weeks within Brighton and Green Oak Township regarding how they want to handle the approaching deadline. The board agreed to set up a time to discuss the future of FIB with Green Oak Township as well. Vick told WHMI he will be working along with each township’s attorneys in setting up a meeting so they can be fully prepared in advance for the deadline in 2020. (DF)

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    A longtime Hartland Board of Education member is stepping down. Kevin Kaszyca has served on the board for 13 years and recently gave notice that his final day will be May 27th. Kaszyca indicated that he decided to step away for personal reasons. He served as president for many years and most recently as a trustee. Board President Thom Dumond says Kaszyca has always been an advocate for providing the best education possible to the students of Hartland. He says Kaszyca has been a valued and model board member, noting his business background and passion for doing the "right thing" has always been embraced by the district. The district is now hoping to attract a quality candidate to fill the seat until the next general election in November. Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest and any supporting documents no later than 3pm on June 8th to: Mr. Thom Dumond Board of Education President Hartland Consolidated School District 9525 Highland Road Howell, MI 48843 Interviews for potential candidates will be held during the regular board meeting on June 11th, with the expectation a candidate would be formally appointed at the following meeting. (JM)

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    A Livingston County judge, who is already under investigation for possible ethical and legal violations, has been ordered removed from a divorce case by a higher court. Last week, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a 2014 divorce case involving a couple who were splitting after 36 years of marriage. The case was overseen by 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan and involved a dispute over vested shares of stock from the husband’s employer. The appeals panel said that despite evidence to the contrary, Brennan wrongly refused to grant a motion from the wife that her former spouse had misrepresented the value of those stocks in their settlement agreement. They referred to her decision as an “abuse of discretion.” The opinion then indicated that the Michigan Supreme Court had “of its own volition” ordered that the case be removed from Brennan’s docket and assigned to a different judge. In its decision, the appeals court stated the record was “replete with instances in which (Brennan) treated defendant or her attorney…with apparent hostility.” As example they cite an exchange with the wife’s attorney, thinking Brennan was finished speaking and but was chastised for attempting to respond, and stated, “I thought you were finished,” whereupon Brennan said, “Oh, for heavens [sic] sake. If I take a breath that doesn’t mean I stopped.” In another instance, discussing payment amounts to equalize accounts, after stating to the attorney, “It’s not rocket science” she then threatened, “every time you start saying you didn’t know [in response to questions about what defendant had in her accounts] I’m gonna sanction you a $100 [sic].” At another point, when the wife was attempting to explain her financial situation, Brennan said, “Yeah, so do some explaining about why you only have 120 in the bank.” When she explained that her cost for cable and her landline telephone was $250 a month and her cellphone cost was $235 a month, Brennan replied, “that’s ridiculous.” The wife explained that she had pets to care for, including a blind and elderly dog, to which Brennan stated, “maybe you need to get rid of them.” The appeals court said that while the attorney, “did not demonstrate hostility or aggressiveness throughout the proceedings” Brennan “displayed a pattern towards him and defendant of at least apparent hostility,” adding that, “It seems especially egregious for the judge to have recommended that defendant “get rid of” her pets. While there might be certain situations in which rehoming pets might indeed be a necessity (for example, if someone is destitute and living in a homeless shelter), defendant was not in that type of situation. They concluded that, “the appearance of justice would be better served if the case is remanded to a different judge.” The decision is just the latest legal reprimand for Brennan, who remains under investigation by the Judicial Tenure Commission over allegations that she engaged in an extra-marital affair with a now-retired Michigan State Police detective who was also the chief prosecution witness during the 2013 double murder trial of Jerome Kowalski, for which Brennan was the judge, and which ended with Kowalski’s conviction. (JK)

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    Two local schools have been recognized by the state for promoting healthy lifestyles. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Governor Rick Snyder have recognized Challenger Elementary School in Howell and St. Mary Catholic School in Pinckney as Michigan School Wellness Award winners. Challenger and St. Mary’s are among the 46 schools across the state that were honored for their efforts towards fostering healthy eating habits, physical activity habits, and tobacco-free lifestyles. The Michigan School Wellness Program encourages schools to establish School Wellness Teams, complete the Healthy School Action Tools curriculum, and implement sustainable policy and environmental changes. Schools are honored with a bronze, silver or gold award, with Challenger and St. Mary’s both bringing home a silver. As part of the award, they were recognized during a special ceremony held at the State Capitol building earlier this month. (MK)

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    The public is invited to see the finished masterpiece on the exterior of a restaurant building in downtown Fenton recently completed by an artist and Fenton native. The exterior of El Topo's building displays the creativity and expression of Artist Kevin Burdick. He spray painted an original mural of concept art specifically designed for the blank east exterior wall of the building. The design was recently brought to life over the course of three days. The restaurant thanked Burdick and the Fenton Arts Council for turning the building into an awesome Fenton landmark with striking, magnificent art – adding the vibrant colors and details are outstanding. The restaurant said his precision is amazing and further thanked all of the visitors who took time to stop by, see things take shape and chat with Burdick. The Fenton Arts Council sponsored the project and conversation piece. The inspiration for the mural included colors from the Mexico flag—red, green, and white. The eagle is symbolic of Mexico City and also has a connection to sightings of eagles in Fenton. The fox is said to be representative of Burdick’s connection back to Fenton. the progress is detailed on the restaurant Facebook page. That link is provided. Facebook photo. (JM)

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    The City of Howell’s civic event policy was a focus of discussion during Monday night’s regular Council meeting and it all comes down to dollars and sense. Recent civic event applications have been approved for Michigan Challenge Balloon Festival, Howell Melonfest and the Pink Party among others. City Council has been discussing a policy revision to charge back for a percentage of event-related costs, in part due to budget realities. The topic has surfaced at various times over the years. Both Council members and residents have raised various issues with the amount sponsors pay for staff, police and DPW services to facilitate different events. After discussion Monday night, Council agreed that effective January 1st, 2019 the City will proceed with a 50% cost sharing policy for all civic events. For-profit and political groups already pay 100% of the costs incurred back to the City. Council members agreed the City cannot continue to subsidize 100% of costs for events, which require staff time and police presence in some cases. It was noted there are many worthwhile causes but the City can’t pick and choose considering budget stress and must really examine where funds are going because the money adds up. Mayor Nick Proctor commented the City does see an economic boost during big events and there are other intangible benefits such as bringing people into town. He felt the 50% was a good step and a fair, shared responsibility. Howell City Manager Shea Charles says the City spends approximately $82,000-$85,000 depending on the events in a given year so they’ll look to recover half of what their actual costs are. He says the good news is the majority of the events they deal with are kind-of longstanding so they have a good sense of what it will take and providing estimates for community sponsors should be relatively easy. Charles says staff will be working on policy language as well as an updated application so entities applying for special events clearly understand the City will be charging 50% of costs for running those events. The civic event policy will brought back to Council for a formal vote at the June 11th meeting.

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    Livingston County will host a warrant amnesty program Thursday. The 53rd District Court is holding the amnesty program for those who are delinquent on payments to the court. The program offers waivers of late fees to individuals upon payment of fines and costs in full, for a one-day period only, this Thursday from 8am to 4pm. It’s designed to enhance collections and minimize costs to the county. Provided that the individual does not have another valid warrant for his or her arrest, and the individual appears at the 53rd District Court Thursday and pays all fines and fees, the warrant will be cancelled. All misdemeanor and civil infraction cases in which a late fee and/or cost to compel appearance fees have been assessed are eligible. Court officials stress that there will be no negotiation on the amount of restitution owed. 53rd District Court records showed active warrants for more than 4,100 individuals. Complete details can be found on our website. (JK)

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    A local organization specializing in training workers for the skilled trades has been given the green light to add a large expansion to their facility. Operating Engineers Local 324 received site plan approval for a 17,500 square foot addition to their existing 13,400 square foot building Tuesday night from the Howell Township Planning Commission. The expansion will be used for additional classroom space. Operating Engineers trains workers for careers as heavy equipment operators and technicians, H-VAC technicians, facility engineering, and more. Along with the building, the site plan called for roughly 100 more parking spaces to accommodate trainees, and landscaping shielding and screening to protect residents. The lighting plan was also reviewed to show that that light will be diminished to appropriate levels by the time it reaches the property lines. Howell Township Planning Commission Chairman Andrew Sloan spoke of Operating Engineers being a valuable member of the community, saying that the work they do benefits not only Howell Township and Livingston County, but all of southeast Michigan. Sloan said that with building and construction picking up again after the recession, they are helping fill a need in the construction trades. The Planning Commission approved the site plan unanimously with minor conditions to be met as requested by township engineers and the fire marshal. (MK)

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    A worker was killed this morning while doing road construction in South Lyon. It happened around 10:30am on Pontiac Trail, where a repaving project has been taking place between 11 Mile and Silver Lake Road. Emergency crews attempted to resuscitate 20-year-old Emmanuel Gonzalez-Garcia of Detroit but were unsuccessful. South Lyon Police Lieutenant Chris Sovik tells WHMI officers responded on a report of a pedestrian lying unconscious that got hit by a vehicle and initially thought a construction worker might have got clipped by a vehicle going around the construction zone. However, once on scene, officers learned the worker had been run over by a semi-truck in the work zone that was backing up and delivering asphalt. Sovik says the semi-truck driver was backing up to the scene to load asphalt into a paving machine and did not see Gonzalez-Garcia, who was on the road doing testing to see if the temperature of the fresh asphalt was acceptable to continue driving on it. The victim’s family was notified this morning. Gonzalez-Garcia was employed by Ajax Paving, one of the contractors working on the project for the Road Commission for Oakland County. The company's CEO, James Jacobs, issued a statement saying it's investigating the incident and extending its sympathies to Gonzalez-Garcia's family. The driver of the truck is employed by Warren-based Piper Trucking. Sovik says its an unfortunate accident in which a young man lost his life and there are no winners in the situation. said the driver of the semi was very distraught, noting he has been driving a truck for around 40 years and nothing like this has ever happened to him. Nobody witnessed the incident, which remains under investigation by South Lyon Police, with assistance from the Oakland County Sheriff's Office accident investigation team and a Michigan State Police motor carrier enforcer. After findings are complete, Sovik says everything will be forwarded to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office for case review. Picture courtesy of WXYZ. (JK/JM)

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