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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 Livingston County Marine Corps League Honor Guard was recognized for their voluntary service at a ceremony in Howell. 8th District Congressman Mike Bishop presented members of the Honor Guard with challenge coins at the American Legion Hall Devereaux Post 141 Friday. The medallions are collected by service members, prompting greetings and fellowship with one another. In return, the group presented Bishop with a memento depicting the eagle, globe and anchor that has long stood as the Marine Corps’ emblem. Livingston County’s Honor Guard has traveled to Holt, Southfield and Chelsea to provide Military Honors to fallen soldiers, regardless of the veteran’s branch of service. The group is comprised of Silver Star and Purple Heart recipients, Vietnam Combat and Korean Era recipients, and Auxiliary members. Bishop spoke highly of Livingston County’s Honor Guard, not only in terms of their expansive reach, but also in regards to their commitment in honoring service members. Bishop says it’s important to recognize the Honor Guard as they carry out their duties voluntarily, out of love for country and brotherhood. Bishop says in addition to providing Military Honors for fellow soldiers, the Honor Guard brings memories of the soldier’s service and sacrifice to their loved ones. Event organizer and Honor Guard member Dave Mester says their group is a family of brotherhood that will never forget their fellow soldiers. Bishop feels the busyness of life can sometimes cause people to forget the significance and importance of Memorial Day. Bishop says he often likes to share the quote, “freedom isn’t free”, to remind others of service members’ sacrifice. (DK)

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    A local fire department is hosting a free summer Kids Safety Day Camp and registration is underway. The camp is being put on by the Putnam Township Fire Department, in conjunction with the Hamburg Township Fire Department, Livingston County EMS, the Pinckney Police Department, and the American Red Cross. It will run August 14th through 16th, from 9am to 3:30pm. Kid Sake Early Learning Center will be on-site to provide day care before and after from 7am to 5pm. Kids ages 8-14 are invited to attend but need to register by May 31st as space is limited. The camp is free to attend. It will feature various activities and games, fire safety, first aid, stranger danger, a bike safety course, police child ID kits and disaster preparedness among others. Those interested can register through the link provided. (JM)

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    Police are investigating an accident at around 7:30 this morning when a motorcycle rider lost control of his cycle and hit the concrete median on US-23 near M-36 in Whitmore Lake. Green Oak Township Fire Chief Kevin Gentry says EMS first responders arrived at the scene and found the motorcycle rider unconscious. They transported him to the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor for treatment of multiple injuries. The identity of the cyclist, who sustained life-threatening injuries, is not being released at this time. The southbound lanes of US-23 were shut down in that area for a couple of hours due to the accident. Gentry says fog was extremely heavy in the area at the time of the crash, which severely reduced visibility. The Green Oak Township Police Dept. is investigating the accident. (TT)

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    A Livingston County man is recovering after jumping from his vehicle on westbound I-96 near the Okemos Road exit in Ingham County Thursday evening. Deputies with the Ingham County Sheriff's Office responded to Alaiedon Township about 8:15pm after receiving reports from motorists about a man jumping from his vehicle as it drove about 80 mph. Police said the vehicle came to rest in the median and did not cause any other crashes. The driver, identified only as a 38-year-old Howell-area resident, was traveling alone. He was located in the median and transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. (JK)

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    Organizers of an annual campaign are hoping generous residents will spend some time this summer to help make school in the fall easier for families in need. The Livingston Educational Service Agency has kicked off its annual Backpacks for Kids campaign. This is the 17th year Livingston ESA has run the program which aims to provide Livingston County students whose families are experiencing financial difficulties school supplies at no cost. Great Start Livingston Coordinator Robin Shutz said they need backpacks, but also supplies for students through the entirety of the Kindergarten to 12th grade spectrum. Last year, individuals, local businesses, and community groups came together to pack over 1,000 backpacks for Livingston County students. The big distribution event, this year, will be held on August 16th, in conjunction with Livingston ESA’s Connect for Kids event. A list of collection sites can be found online at www.LivingstonESA.org (link below), inside the Parent & Community Resources tab. Items and monetary donations can also be dropped at the Agency between the hours of 8am and 4pm all summer. The Livingston ESA office is located at 1425 West Grand River in Howell. (MK)

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    Livingston County’s jobless rate improved from March to April. Livingston County’s April unemployment rate stood at 2.9%, ranking third among all of Michigan’s 83 counties. Oakland County had the same rate, ranking fourth. Livingston County’s jobless rate in March was 3.5%. Total employment levels rose in nearly all areas over the month, while workforce levels declined in most regions. The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget says regional jobless rate reductions in April were typical but payroll job growth in the state was less the typical. The state noted the slower pace of job gains was most likely due to poor weather conditions in April throughout Michigan, which limited hiring in some seasonal industry sectors. (JM)

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    Local boaters are being reminded that thunderstorms and severe weather can quickly spell trouble for those on the water. The National Weather Service says thunderstorms can be a mariner’s worst nightmare, hence boaters are advised to use extra caution when thunderstorm conditions exist but also have a plan of escape. Storms can develop quickly, creating dangerous wind and wave conditions but also lightning and torrential downpours. Warning Coordination Meteorologist Rich Pollman with the NWS White Lake Office says summer is a great time to be on the lake and enjoy Michigan weather, as well as all outdoor recreation activities, but thunderstorms do pose a hazard to boaters. Pollman tells WHMI lightning does tend to strike the tallest object and if you’re out on the lake, you are the tallest object. He says it’s important to stay ahead of the storm and as soon as you hear the first clap of thunder, that’s your last warning sign. Pollman says lightning can arch out of a thunderstorm five to ten miles away from the rain area, so that’s why when you hear thunder you’re within the target range of the storm - it doesn’t have to be raining. Pollman says thunder is one of nature’s last warning signs, telling you to get to safe harbor, the shoreline and indoors to a permanent structure. He advises those out on the water always pay attention to the forecast and radar, noting there are plenty of cell phone apps available for inland lakes. Boaters should also keep in mind that thunderstorms are usually brief so waiting it out is better than riding it out. If a boat happens to have a cabin, then those aboard should stay inside and avoid touching metal or electrical devices. For those that don’t, stay as low as possible in the boat. The National Weather Service says ultimately, boating safety begins ashore with planning and training so if there is the threat of thunderstorms or severe weather, it’s best to avoid venturing out. (JM)

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    Four area libraries will benefit from federal funding through a grant program. Low-income students will learn from an array of education programs as part of more than $415,000 in federal grants awarded to 73 Michigan libraries. The four local awardees are the Howell Carnegie District Library, Cromaine District Library in Hartland, the Fenton Jack R. Winegarden Library and the Salem-South Lyon District Library. The Collaborative Library Services Grant Program offers Michigan public, academic and school libraries the opportunity to develop innovative programs or services that have the potential to develop into sustainable regional or statewide programs that can benefit a broad range of libraries. Programs with strong partnerships between libraries, and/or local community groups have greater community support, so partnerships are a requirement for the grant. The Public Library Services Grants provide up to $2,000 in funding for summer program materials related to literacy, children and teens or technology. The grants are funded through the Library Services and Technology Act by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. (JM)

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    The D.I. Dabbers - a team composed of 4th and 5th graders at Hornung Elementary School and Maltby Intermediate School in Brighton didn’t finish among the winners of the Destination Imagination Global Finals; however, they still chalked it up as a rewarding experience. Jennifer Bond, the Brighton DI coach, says her charges were thrilled to meet students from all over the world and get to know them. The Brighton team got a later start than the others because they didn’t sign up for the Destination Imagination tournament until February, whereas most teams begin in the fall. Under the circumstances, Bond feels they did exceptionally well. The D.I. Dabbers competed in the Inside Impact challenge with 77 teams in their challenge, which involved creating a service learning project to impact the lives of others. The D.I. Dabbers’ service project was providing the homeless population in Ann Arbor with care package bags, which they did in February. The team earned the opportunity to compete at the Global Finals after placing first at the state tournament in April. The team members are Katelyn Bond, Frankie Foltyn, McKenzie Foltyn, Colter Kashian, Pierce Pettengill, Bella Pipesh, and Drew Smith. The team competed in central challenge and an instant challenge and placed 37th out of 77 teams in their challenge, placing them in the middle of the pack. The top teams in their challenge and level came from Missouri, Texas, Illinois, Canada, and China. However, Michigan did have several teams in the top ten in different challenges – there were six challenges in all - and even 3 teams that placed in the top 3. They included Ravenna Middle Level Engineering Challenge 3rd place, Holt-Dimondale Service Learning Challenge, also 3rd place, and Farmington Middle Level Technical Challenge, 2nd place.(TT)

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    With spring in full bloom, Fenton residents are being asked to come out and plant some color around the city. The 5th Annual Fenton Community Planting Day is scheduled for this Saturday, June 2nd. Volunteers can show up at Fenton City Hall at 9am and help city officials and the Beautification Team dress up many of the facilities and grounds around the municipality. Beautification Team Chair Dawn Overmyer said they’ll provide the flowers, but volunteers should bring their own small hand shovels and gloves. There will be opportunities to dress up the mulch around city hall, plant annuals, perennials, and replant some pot flowers. The Beautification Teams plans on sprucing things up not just around City Hall, but also at the police and fire departments, O’Donnell Park, Freedom Park, the library, and the museum. (MK)

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    Today marks the third time in the past week that the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments has declared an Ozone Action Day. By comparison, there were just four Ozone Action days in all of 2017. This is the 25th year of the voluntary program that helps keep Southeast Michigan’s air clean. SEMCOG says that the Ozone Action day advisory that was in place Monday has been extended into today. According to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality meteorologists, today's weather will be similar to Monday's weather, with high temperatures and little wind, which is conducive to ozone formation. Breathing high concentrations of ozone can cause a variety of health problems, particularly for the elderly, children, and people with asthma or other lung diseases. SEMCOG reminds residents that there are some simple things they can do to help keep the air clean today including delaying mowing your lawn until evening as the exhaust from lawn mowers and other gas-powered lawn and garden equipment helps form ozone. In addition, avoiding refueling your vehicle during daylight hours is also encouraged. Fumes released at the gas pump contribute to ozone formation. Additional information on Ozone Action Days is available through the link below. (JK)

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    A recent sale of land owned by Howell Public Schools will benefit students in the Construction Trades Program. In May of 2013, the board approved a rezoning of an eastern portion of land at Parker Middle School in an effort to obtain at least two buildable sites for the Construction Trades Program. The Howell Education Foundation, through a partnership with the district, agreed to purchase the two lots for the sole purpose of constructing two home sites. The two lots are located along Wright Road, adjacent to the middle school. The total sale price was $44,500 and the Board of Education unanimously approved the sale at its May 14th meeting. An appraisal establishing fair market value was performed, with one lot totaling $21,000 and the other at $23,500. The Foundation will still need to do some additional work to make sure the sites are buildable. Superintendent Erin MacGregor tells WHMI the recent board action was technically a final sale; there are some contingencies centered around whether or not the Foundation can actually build on the lots. He says they’ll be going through that and should something come back, then the board would have to revisit the sale. Aside from the due diligence work, the intent would be to secure both lots for students through the Howell Education Foundation – one for next year and the other the following year. MacGregor noted it is kind of unique because although the district is selling the lots, it will ultimately end up benefiting students. MacGregor noted it’s been a really great program and partnership with the Foundation, which provides the land for students to build a home. There are typically between 60-90 students involved in the Construction Trades Program. They’ll build a home starting in the fall, finish in the spring and then sell the home, utilizing the proceeds to provide the next home and piece of property. (JM)

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    Volunteers are again being sought to help this Saturday, June 2nd at the 7th annual Imagination Station Spring Kickoff in downtown Brighton. Volunteers will meet at 9am to help apply a new layer of mulch to the playground surface. According to playground Volunteer Coordinator Renee Pettingill, volunteers will also be needed to trim shrubs and perform other cleanup chores. Tools, gloves and supplies will be provided with jobs for every skill level. Each volunteer will also receive a Goodie Bag stuffed with incentives from local merchants. Pettingill adds that volunteers will be meeting every second and fourth Saturday at the Imagination Station through October 27th. Individuals or groups interested in helping out should show up this Saturday, or email brightonimaginationstation@gmail.com with any questions. (JK)

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    A summer event series highlighting local cuisine and the music scene returns to downtown Howell next month. “Rock the Block” brings music, food and brews together the first Wednesday of each month in June, July and August in downtown Howell. Now in its 4th year, Howell Main Street COO Cathleen Edgerly says the format of the event is being slightly modified this year to accommodate the increasing number of attendees. Rock the Block will now be held at two street locations for each of its three events. The summer series begins June 6th with power-pop and rock band, The Stickarounds, performing on State Street from 6 to 8pm. Country band Taylor Tucky will then take the stage on Center Street from 7 to 9pm. Local restaurants, vendors and breweries will be at each location, with an upgraded availability of options and portion sizes. Also new this year is wristbands will not be sold as vendors will be selling directly to consumers. Edgerly tells WHMI the community has embraced Rock the Block, making the festival one of the most anticipated events of the summer. Edgerly believes the events’ combination of good music, food, friends and weather is what makes Rock the Block so successful. In addition to offering a family-friendly night of fun, Edgerly says the festival has also highlighted the downtown area and helped to support local businesses. More event information can be found at the link below. (DK)

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    A Livingston County business has been recognized for its historical contribution to the metalworking industry. Weld Mold Company of Brighton received a Historical Landmark Designation from ASM International, a professional organization for materials scientists and metallurgists. The company was recognized for its development of the flood welding process, which, “facilitated the repair of steel alloy forging dies, thereby extending their lifetime and productivity." The first flood weld was recorded in 1952, seven years after the company’s founding. The ASM Historical Landmarks Designation was established in 1969 to identify permanently the many sites and events that have played a prominent part in the discovery, development, and growth of metals and metalworking. Other landmarks to receive the award include the Statue of Liberty and The Eiffel Tower. A ceremony was held at the company’s Rickett Road location earlier this month to officially receive the plaque from ASM. In addition, Brighton Township Clerk Ann Bollin requested that the Brighton Area Historical Society recognize the achievement. From Left to Right - Darryl Hammock, Tyler Hammock, and Dr. Fred Schmidt, President of ASM International. Picture courtesy of Ann Bollin. (JK)

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    A Livingston County resident has been reappointed to a statewide organization looking to provide better sexual assault prevention at the state’s colleges and universities. Gov. Rick Snyder and First Lady Sue Snyder today announced appointments and reappointments to the campus sexual assault workgroup. Among them is Danielle Hagaman-Clark of Brighton, who serves as the violence against women project director at the Prosecuting Attorney’s Association of Michigan. Hagaman-Clark was the lead attorney for the Sexual Assault Team of the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office in Detroit, where she prosecuted cases involving sexual assault, conducted investigative subpoenas, made charging decisions and handled preliminary examinations, trials and sentencings for many high-profile cases. The workgroup is developing a framework of best practices for preventing campus sexual assault and a model for regional centers that would investigate reports of sexual misconduct. The group is overseen by the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board and is also developing a framework of prevention best practices colleges and universities can implement on campus. Recommendations are due to the Governor and First Lady by August 3rd. (JK)

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    Several homes had to be evacuated Monday after a fire at a Fowlerville grain elevator. The fire was reported just after 1pm in a storage building at Fowlerville Farm Services in the 500 block of south Grand Avenue. Because pesticides were on site, nearby residents were ordered to leave their homes as a precaution. They were allowed to return about an hour after it was determined there was no danger. Fowlerville Fire Chief John Wright said they were able to get the flames under control by about 3:15. The building was destroyed in the fire, which reportedly began in a cart. There were no injuries and a cause has yet to be determined. The Fowlerville Fire Department was assisted at the scene by the Howell Fire Department, the Leroy Fire Department and the Williamston Fire Department. Picture courtesy of Fowlerville Firefighters Facebook page. This story was updated to reflect that the fire was at Fowlerville Farm Services and not Fowlerville Feed & Grain as we had originally reported. We regret the error. (JK)

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    The American Red Cross is asking for donors to step up and help prevent a summer blood shortage. The Red Cross reports that while approximately 38% of the population is eligible to give blood, less than 10% actually do. Beginning around Memorial Day each year they tend to see a steep drop-off in donations. While busy summer schedules, vacations, and school breaks can occupy donor’s times, the Red Cross wants to remind people that accidents and emergencies don’t take a summer break. All blood types are needed, but the one in greatest demand from hospitals is Type O. The Red Cross offers this advice to help make the experience of giving blood better for both new and current donors: Eat a healthy meal, including iron-rich foods leading up to the donation, and drink an extra 16 ounces of liquid both before and after. Wear comfortable clothing with sleeves that can be raised above the elbow. When donating, bring a blood donor card, picture ID, or 2 other forms of identification to the donation site. You can also complete a RapidPass on the day of donation, prior to arriving, to help save time. Appointments to give blood can be scheduled by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting www.redcrossblood.org, or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS. Upcoming Donation Opportunities: Howell 5/30/2018: 11:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m., Livingston County American Red Cross, 1372 W. Grand River Avenue Brighton 5/31/2018: 1 p.m. - 6:45 p.m., American Spirit Centre, 10590 E. Grand River 6/1/2018: 10 a.m. - 3:45 p.m., Charyl Stockwell Preparatory Academy, 1032 Karl Greimel Drive Howell 6/4/2018: 1 p.m. - 6:45 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 1230 Bower Street 6/7/2018: 1 p.m. - 6:45 p.m., St. John Catholic Church, 2099 North Hacker Road 6/8/2018: 12 p.m. - 5:45 p.m., Chilson Hills Church, 4440 Brighton Road Pinckney 6/11/2018: 12 p.m. - 5:45 p.m., Hamburg Twp Fire Department, 3666 East M-36 (MK)

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    Oakland County deputies have arrested two individuals involved in a Memorial Day home invasion in Lyon Township. Officers from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Lyon Township Substation responded to a report of a home invasion in progress around 2:15pm, Monday afternoon. One subject was reported armed with a hand gun. The home is located on the 22,000 block of Napier Road. Deputies arrived and determined that the armed person, a 52-year-old male from Lyon Township, has been involved in an ongoing dispute with multiple others who rent the residence. They discovered there is also an ongoing civil matter between the landlord and tenants, who are two 44-year-old females. Before officers arrived, a verbal argument escalated the situation. Deputies arrested the male for Felonious Assault with a Firearm. A 43-year-old female at the scene was also for being in violation of a personal protection order. The two were taken to Oakland County Jail and lodged, pending the issuance of criminal charges. (MK)

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    The Brighton Board of Education Monday night was expected to decide whether to go to the voters in November with a major bond issue, but ended up tabling the item. Most Brighton Area Schools' board members feel a bond issue is necessary to take care of items that were left out of the $88.5 million bond issue passed by voters six years ago. The reason the items were removed was the fear of sticker shock on the part of voters. Superintendent Greg Grey says the reason a board decision on whether to proceed with a bond issue was postponed Monday night was because two members were absent: President Andy Burchfield and Trustee Alicia Reid. Gray says the board will have to make a decision on whether to go to the voters with a bond issue by the next meeting if members want to get the proposal on the November general election ballot. Otherwise, it would have to wait until next year. If the board votes on June 11th in favor of putting the issue on the ballot, and it passes, the revenue would go for such items as new boilers, parking lot repaving, and other infrastructure items. Gray says that unfortunately, by law, bond issue revenues can’t be used for maintenance. As a result, the board would have to either go for a sinking fund proposal or a bond issue. And he says that since only the amount the millage of a sinking fund would raise each year would be available, it would not be enough for large infrastructure projects in any single year. Conversely, all of the money from a bond issue would be immediately available, allowing for big ticket items such as replacing old, maintenance-prone boilers at several schools. The board hasn’t settled on a price tag, and the bond issue could end up being somewhere between 45 and 65 million dollars. One project that would involve actual construction would be a $5 million STEAM Center at the high school. Roof replacement and repaving several school parking lots would also be accomplished with passage. Gray stresses that the bond issue would not increase the school millage, and the bond would have a 22-or-23-year payoff instead of the usual 30 years. (TT)

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