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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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    A crash involving a van and a motorcycle in Handy Township left two people dead Sunday. The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office reports that a 2005 Ford cargo van driven by a 19-year-old Canton resident was traveling north on Owosso Road at about 2:25 Sunday afternoon when it was struck by a motorcycle as the van turned west onto W. Allen Road. The motorcycle, traveling southbound at the time, was being operated by a 28-year-old Laingsburg resident with a 31-year-old passenger from Fowlerville. They were both pronounced dead at the scene by Livingston EMS. The van’s driver suffered minor injuries, while the 17-year-old passenger in the van, was transported to St. Joseph Livingston Hospital with minor injuries. The intersection of Owosso Road and W. Allen Road was closed for approximately four-and-a-half hours during the investigation, which is being conducted by the Livingston County Sheriff Traffic Safety Division. Deputies were assisted at the scene by personnel from the Fowlerville Fire Department. (JK)

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    The Michigan Department of Transportation is seeking public comment on its draft transportation program, which includes projects for Livingston County. The transportation program document includes a list of specific projects planned for the next five years in each of MDOT's seven regions, as well as mobility initiatives and revenues. The draft includes rehabilitation projects for I-96 from Chilson to Dorr Road, M-59 from west of Lakena Road to the county line and on M-36 from Kelly Drive to the west village limits of Pinckney. Noise wall construction is also planned on northbound US-23 between 8 Mile and M-36. Public comment on the draft 2019-2023 plan will be accepted through August 21st via an online form on MDOT’s website. The plan is slated for final approval in October and may be viewed in its entirety on our website at WHMI.com.

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    A lawsuit alleging sexual harassment, a hostile work environment and retaliation has been filed against Fenton Township and its fire chief, who has been suspended with pay. The complaint was filed last Wednesday in Genesee County Circuit Court on behalf of Firefighter Kristy Polidan and Captain Kirk Stephens, who remain employed with the department. The complaint alleges Polidan has been subjected to sexual harassment since she was hired in January 2015. The complaint states Polidan was repeatedly accused of having oral sex with Fire Chief Ryan Volz and when she complained to him about it, he instead subjected her to pervasive retaliatory harassment by suggesting she go under his desk and give him oral sex. Volz is accused of further harassing Polidan and engaging in retaliatory behavior after she complained to a captain at another station, who subsequently suspended two firefighters for harassment. The complaint alleges Captain Stephens was subsequently subjected to retaliation for supporting Polidan in her complaint of sexual harassment to township officials. Attorney Julie Gafkay is representing Polidan and Stephens. She tells WHMI it’s hard enough to make a complaint of sexual harassment and for the chief to react the way he did per the complaint is unspeakable. Gafkay says women shouldn’t have to be worried about making complaints or be concerned that if they do, they’ll be harassed more and what happened to Polidan should never have happened. Prior to the lawsuit being filed, Volz and firefighter Paul Bjorklund were placed on paid administrative leave July 9th with Captain Steve Haiser appointed interim fire chief. Bjorklund is not named in the lawsuit. A board meeting was held last Wednesday to discuss possible disciplinary action pertaining to members of the fire department. Due to the pending litigation, discussion took place in closed session. Supervisor Bonnie Mathis abstained from discussion as Volz is her son-in-law. The board has scheduled another meeting for this Thursday, August 3rd at 5pm. (JM/JK)

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    A motorcyclist was killed Saturday in a crash in Unadilla Township, one of three people killed locally in motorcycle crashes over the weekend. Unadilla Township Police say a 64-year-old Milford man, identified as Richard Sanglier, was killed Saturday afternoon when his motorcycle collided with a pickup truck. The incident happened at about 4:30 p.m. as Sanglier rounded the curve at Gregory and Wasson roads in Gregory and struck a pickup truck. He then hit another pickup that was stopped at a yield sign waiting for the other vehicles to pass. Sanglier was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was injured in the crash. The Unadilla Township Fire Department, Stockbridge Area Emergency Services Authority and Livingston County Ambulance assisted at the scene, along with Survival Flight and an accident reconstruction team comprised of deputies from the Livingston County Sheriff's Office and a Green Oak Township Police officer. The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Alcohol, controlled substances and excessive speed are not believed to be contributing factors. Also under investigation is a motorcycle crash Sunday afternoon in Handy Township at Owosso and W. Allen roads that killed a 28-year-old Laingsburg resident riding a motorcycle and a 31-year-old passenger from Fowlerville. Authorities say they collided with a van as it turned onto W. Allen Road. (JK)

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    A new petition has been filed by a retired judge that seeks to impanel a citizen’s grand jury and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan - alleging political and social relationships between judges and members of the Livingston County Prosecutor's office. Retired Livingston County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Burress filed a new petition and brief today based on information from an amended complaint filed by the Judicial Tenure Commission against Brennan. Burress filed the petition with supporting exhibits that include photos of a re-election party at Brennan's home in November, 2014 that show former State Police Detective Sean Furlong was present as well as current Chief Judge Miriam Cavanaugh, who was then a senior trial attorney in the prosecutor’s office. Issues surrounding Brennan’s admitted relationship with Furlong are currently the subject of a Michigan State Police criminal investigation as well as the complaint by the Judicial Tenure Commission, which charged Brennan with a pattern of improper conduct. Furlong served as the chief prosecution witness in a 2013 double-murder trial that Brennan presided over and resulted in the conviction and life sentence of Jerome Kowalski. When questions were raised prior to the trial about the relationship, Brennan stated on the record that it was nothing more than a friendship and denied a motion to recuse herself from the case. The first petition to empanel a citizen’s grand jury and appoint Howell Attorney Tom Kizer as special prosecutor was granted by Circuit Court Judge David Reader, but overturned by Judge Cavanaugh. Kizer served as the attorney for Brennan’s ex-husband in their 2017 divorce and has been a long-time critic of Brennan. Both Burress and Kizer are appealing that decision. The petition states testimony during Brennan’s divorce proceedings put a new face on the extent of Brennan and Furlong’s social relationship, as well as significant social activities she engaged in before or while Kowalski’s case was pending. It’s alleged Brennan, Furlong, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Shawn Ryan and others shared a social relationship that extended back to as early as 2008. Brennan has said she did not believe that she had a duty to disclose the friendships, as they were well known within the legal community. The new petition alleges there are forces determined to prevent the empaneling of a citizens grand jury in Livingston County and describes a “very cozy” relationship at the time between employees of the prosecutor’s office, members of MSP, Brennan and Cavanaugh. The petition states if Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt was unaware of the rumors, “he was likely one of only a few in the legal community.” Burress says a proper investigation needs to be completed by a grand jury and he continues to vigorously contest Judge Cavanaugh’s order, which assigned an out-of-county judge to hear the request for a grand jury. Judge Brennan’s caseload has since been reassigned, leaving her off the bench while still being paid pending the outcome of the Judicial Tenure Commission complaint, which potentially could remove her from the bench. When asked about the petition, Cavanaugh had no comment. Vailliencourt told WHMI "As I have already previously said, I have recused my office from this matter in order to ensure that there is an independent review. The original petition was reassigned to a judge from a different county who has no connection to anyone who has anything to do with this, which is exactly as it should be to preserve the integrity and the impartiality of the judicial system. The court rules generally require related cases to be heard by the same judge to avoid conflicting rulings. Appeals are already pending in the Court of Appeals. The Attorney General has publicly stated they will be reviewing Brennan’s conduct to determine what, if any, criminal charges are appropriate. And the hearing on the complaint filed by the Judicial Tenure Commission is set to begin on October 1". Pictured top left Rolland Seizmore and bottom right Bridget Passeri, attorneys with Kizer Law Firm. Top right, Jennifer Eve. (JM)

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    Non-residential development in Livingston County is on the rise according to a recent report. SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, recently released a report outlining nonresidential development in Southeast Michigan for 2017. Livingston County compiled just under 1.5 million square feet of nonresidential development, both completed and under construction. That represents about 14% of the total for the seven-county region. Industrial development led the way locally, comprising 27% of total development in Livingston County, with medical construction close behind at 26.8% mainly due to the 320,000-square-foot University of Michigan Brighton Health Center, which began construction in 2016 and is set for completion in the next six weeks. That project also vaulted the City of Brighton into the lead for the Livingston County community with the most development at just over 600,000 square feet of total project floor space. The report notes that although there was a four percent decline in the number of completed projects from 2016 across the region, square footage increased 23%. (JK)

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    A Livingston County Jail inmate is believed to have sought someone out to commit a murder and may have had help from an area woman. 22-year-old James William Bonam of Brighton and 19-year-old Matthea Mae Spicer of Fenton were arraigned in 53rd District Court in Howell on Friday. Bonam is facing one count each of solicitation to commit murder and solicitation to commit larceny over $20,000. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison. The likelihood of that potential penalty is increased due to Bonam being charged as a fourth time habitual offender. Spicer is charged with one count of accessory after the fact to the solicitation of murder, which is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt says Bonam allegedly solicited a third party while incarcerated in the county jail for a separate case, in which he is facing charges of larceny and receiving and concealing stolen property. The accusations against Spicer suggest she rendered aid or assistance after the commission of the crime in order to help Bonam. Further details regarding the third party that was allegedly solicited or the targeted individual are currently unknown. Bonam is being held in the county jail on a $300,000 cash/surety bond, while a $50,000 cash/surety bond was set for Spicer, who posted bond Monday. The pair is due back in court August 8th for a probable cause conference, which will determine whether there is enough evidence to send the case to trial. (DK)

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    A hearing in Livingston County Circuit Court next month will revisit discussions on a settlement in regards to a lawsuit between Brighton Township and a group of residents. A class action lawsuit was filed against the township by a number of residents who are some of the original users of the municipality’s sewer system and claim they’ve been overcharged in assessment fees for years. A settlement between the parties was negotiated this past January, though township officials maintained the allegations asserted in the lawsuit have no substance. When the proposed settlement was first announced, Township Manager Brian Vick said it doesn’t mean either party is “particularly thrilled” with the outcome. Since the original negotiation, derailment of the settlement remained a possibility, as some individuals represented in the lawsuit have said they oppose the terms either partially or entirely. Vick says the case recently came before Circuit Court Judge Michael P. Hatty, at which time he afforded those that had objections or comments about the suit to be heard. Vick says Judge Hatty will take the comments from the residents and respective attorneys into consideration and then reconvene August 10th to discuss the matter. The proposed agreement calls for the township to pay $1.5(m) million from the general fund to a sewer settlement fund for a payout to those represented in the lawsuit. The remaining funds would be used to purchase REU’s, or Residential Equivalent Units, and the loan from the general fund will be forgiven. The township would then sell the REU’s and the profits would go back into the general fund. Bob Potocki, a long-time critic of the township’s handling of the sewer system and one of the individuals represented in the suit, previously said profits from the REU’s that are sold should not go back into the general fund, but returned to original system users. Potocki earlier this week claimed “the resulting tentative mediated agreement is rigged”, and says “the money is being moved around in a shell game”. (DK)

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    Motorists who utilize D-19 will hopefully be free from construction travel delays soon and should hang in there a little bit longer. The pavement rehabilitation and shoulder paving project encompasses a stretch of D-19 from roughly Schafer to Triangle Lake Roads in Marion Township. It’s a busy road and two-way traffic is being maintained during the project but under flag control. Livingston County Road Commission Managing Director Mike Craine tells WHMI the project is moving along. He says D-19 gets packed during rush hour and users have had to deal with some big delays. He says crews are gaining on the project but D-19 is only two lanes, which can make for a bit of a mess. The project is continuing. Craine says it should wrap up on time, potentially the end of this week. All work is weather dependent. (JM)

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    Livingston County Central Dispatch reports that the Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co. (pictured) will be conducting a controlled release of natural gas throughput the day, centering on the Howell area. The release, which will take place until about 4:30pm, will create loud noises that might sound like explosions. However, authorities say this should not be a cause for alarm by members of the public as it is a planned and controlled release. The release encompasses an area from D-19 to Grand River to Chilson to Beck Road. (JK)

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    The season finale of a music, food and brews festival series will take over Downtown Howell Wednesday night. “Rock the Block” brings music and local cuisine vendors together in the downtown area the first Wednesday of each month during June, July and August. Wednesday’s season finale will have two locations showcasing different music, food, brews and wine. The 100 block of North State Street will feature CrossBow, a high energy Celtic band from 6 to 8pm. Then from 7 to 9pm, festivities move over to the 100 block of South Center Street where One Foot in the Groove will perform – a classic rock, rhythm & blues band. Music is free to the public, and food will be available for purchase at each music site. New for the season finale will be the “Fun-Fundraising Dunk Tank” to support Howell Main Street Inc's year-round programming. The dunk tank will be located on the lawn of First Presbyterian Church and feature various city officials including Howell Mayor Nick Proctor and DDA Director Cathleen Edgerly. Tickets are $5 for 3 throws, or $25 to just dunk someone outright. Time slots are as follows: 6-6:30pm: Photographer Richard Lim, Main Street Board Member 6:30-7pm: Cathleen Edgerly, DDA Director 7-7:30pm: Howell Mayor Nick Proctor 7:30-8pm: Tim Schmitt, Howell Community Development Director 8-8:30pm: Kate Litwin and special guest Those interested should bring cash as credit cards not accepted. Those who can’t make it but still want to show support can make a donation online at downtownhowell.org or mail a check to Howell Main Street Inc. 118 W. Clinton St. Howell, MI 48843. (JM)

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    A large school supply collection event is planned in Howell to help local families in need. The Livingston Educational Service Agency is gearing up for its 17th annual Backpacks for Kids project, which provides families experiencing financial difficulties with supplies so students can be ready to start another school year. Families who are already shopping for school supplies are encouraged to pick up an extra set of pencils, paper or even a backpack to contribute toward this year’s campaign. Great Start Livingston Coordinator Robin Schutz tells WHMI this Friday, a “Stuff the Bus” event will take place at the Howell Wal-Mart this Friday. A LESA bus will be parked in front of the store for from 10am to 2pm to collect basic school supplies and backpacks. Additional supply collection events are planned ahead of the Backpacks for Kids distribution and Connect for Kids event on August 16th at the LESA Education Center off Grand River in Howell. Another Michigan State Police “Stuff the Goose” event is planned at the Brighton Target store on Thursday, August 9th. Supply donations can also be dropped off at the LESA Education Center on West Grand River Monday through Thursday, between 7:30am and 4pm. Various community businesses and organizations are also serving as collection sites. Details can be found through the provided LESA link, under the parent and community resources section. (JM)

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    A Howell Township man running for a seat on the Livingston County Board of Commissioners says that Livingston County needs to move swiftly to get on top of the PFAS contamination crisis. Democrat Alex Hansen issued a letter Monday calling on the Livingston County Board of Commissioners to begin an investigation into the extent of contamination in the county after it was reported that more than 11,300 sites statewide could be contaminated by perfluoroalkyls, more commonly known as PFAS. That number was part of a presentation by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality made to the Michigan Environmental Compliance Conference in Lansing last month on PFAS contamination. Once commonly used in firefighting foam, nonstick surfaces, stain guards and other commercial and industrial applications, PFAS is an emerging contaminant of concern, as it persists for long periods in the environment and can be harmful to human health. Hansen said last week’s order by the DEQ that two communities in the Kalamazoo area stop drinking municipal water due to PFAS contamination struck close to home as that’s where his parents and other family members live. He says that the list of potentially contaminated sites “exploded” with the latest information released from the DEQ and he called on the board to require the Livingston County Public Health Department to survey existing businesses, fire departments, and airports to determine which entities have used PFAS-containing chemicals and to examine the MDEQ data to find sites of possible contamination in the county. Hansen is running to represent County Commission District 5, which covers the city of Howell and Cohoctah and Howell townships. That district is currently represented by Republican Donald S. Parker, who also serves as Chair of the county board. Parker tells WHMI that he has asked both the County Administrator and the Director of the Livingston County Health Department to look into the issue. (JK)

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    A ruling will allow statements to be used at the trial of a New Hudson man charged with the severe beating of his girlfriend’s infant son. An evidentiary hearing was concluded Monday for 23-year-old Seth Blumberg, who is charged with assault with intent to murder and 1st degree child abuse. His attorney had been seeking to exclude his statements to police from being used at his trial, but court records show that motion was denied. That means they can be entered as evidence at his trial, set for November 26th. Police began investigating Blumberg after the child’s mother brought the infant to the hospital March 29th when she noticed bruising on the child had become more pronounced over the course of a week. An Oakland County Sheriff’s deputy testified Blumberg admitted trying to kill the infant, including trying to choke him, so he could spend more time with the child’s mother. The child’s mother said she dated Blumberg for about a month before moving into a two-bedroom apartment with him and his step-brother on March 1st. She testified there were numerous occasions when Blumberg was being too rough with the infant, including picking the child up by his head. Blumberg remains jailed under a $500,000 cash bond. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison. At the time of his arrest, Blumberg was on probation from a 2016 guilty plea to charges of possessing child sexually abusive material and two counts of criminal sexual conduct involving someone ages 13-15. (JK)

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    The Huron-Clinton Metroparks Foundation is teeing up a fundraiser with Red Wing alumni to support field trips for local students. The Metroparks Foundation is holding their 2nd Annual Charity Golf Classic on Friday, September 14th at Kensington Metropark Golf Course. Proceeds from the event will support the “Get Out and Learn” program, which provides schools around Livingston County and southeast Michigan the opportunity to visit a Metropark on a nature-connective field trip. The special featured host for this year’s outing is former Detroit Red Wings skater Darren McCarty. Each group will have a photo opportunity at the 8th hole with the 4-time Stanley Cup winner. Current and long-time Red Wings National Anthem singer Karen Newman will perform that very honor to kick off the event, and then emcee the awards dinner following. Registration is currently open online for individuals and foursomes at www.metroparks.com/charitygolfclassic.(MK)

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    An innovative therapy center is opening a new state-of-the-art facility in Brighton. The Oxford Recovery Center promotes healing through a variety of research based therapies that help improve a patient’s health and quality of life. Founder Dr. Tami Peterson said they at Oxford are most known for the hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which can heal sports injuries, traumatic brain injuries, concussions, and more. They also offer a unique neuro-physical therapy that can treat those who are suffering from the effects of brain injuries, a stroke, or cerebral palsy. The center also provides programs for music therapy, applied behavioral analysis, nutritional coaching, and weight loss and wellness. Their newest program, Autism Recovery Thru Synergy, or ARTS, uses a combination of current therapies and new methods to heal people with the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Peterson said they believe autism is recoverable and they have seen such positive results that schools believe some children were misdiagnosed, despite previously showing all signs and symptoms. Their method involves using hyperbaric oxygen therapy to calm down inflammation in the brain and then applying a unique mix of neurofeedback, applied behavioral analysis, creative arts, and movement. Thursday night, Peterson and associates are cutting the ribbon on Oxford’s new 26,000 square foot facility on Whitmore Lake Road in Green Oak Township, near Costco. An open is scheduled on Saturday from 1pm until 5. Staff, doctors, and parents of children who’ve been through the ARTS program will be on hand to talk to interested parties who can also tour the facility and participate in special classes throughout the afternoon. (MK)

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    Public auctions of more than 250 tax-foreclosed Michigan properties, including in Livingston County, are getting underway. The state Department of Treasury says the residential and commercial properties will be up for sale through Aug. 28. In addition to Livingston, properties are also located in Branch, Clinton, Iosco, Keweenaw, Luce, Mecosta and Shiawassee counties. They were foreclosed upon because of delinquent property tax payments. The Livingston County parcels will go on the block on Thursday, August 9th along with those from Clinton and Shiawassee counties. Among the local properties up for bid is the former Crest Motel on W. Grand River in Howell Township, a two-story house with in-ground pool in Oceola Township and a house on 8 acres in Green Oak Township. Prospective buyers can bid for parcels online, or in person at designated sites on auction dates. Officials say potential bidders are responsible for researching each property with the municipality where it's located. (JK)

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    An amended complaint has been filed in a lawsuit initiated by a group of Brighton Township residents against General Motors alleging groundwater contamination resulting from the Milford Proving Grounds. There are now more than 30 defendants in the lawsuit, which was initially filed by a group of Brighton Township residents represented by Attorney Alexander Memmen. The case will likely receive class action status. The lawsuit alleges contamination of the plaintiffs’ groundwater and that GM concealed its knowledge of the contamination migration, committing fraud. Compensation is being sought for property damage and personal injury caused by GM’s alleged pollution and for the cost of obtaining potable water. Residents claim the contamination has caused permanent environmental damage, affected their home values, caused damages to vegetation and landscaping, damaged and corroded personal property and caused negative health effects. The suit alleges that despite reports citing sodium chloride contamination for more than 30 years, GM actively concealed and ignored the level of pollutants leaching into neighboring groundwater and drinking water sources until 2014. Residents allege that GM has committed fraud, violated the Michigan Environmental Protection Act, was negligent, trespassed and have been a public and private nuisance. Memmen tells WHMI the contamination dates back to at least 1985 and GM has literally been pouring tons of salt onto its property. He says GM has salted roads at the testing facility 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year for decades but other things also contribute to the contamination. Memmen says the contamination has spread to nearby wells and the salt levels are way above the state and federal threshold considered safe for human consumption. He says the water is not only undrinkable but the salt causes other side effects that diminish property values. He says appliances are demolished by the salt content and it reduces the lifespan of dishwashers, washing machines and shower heads. Memmen says it also causes a massive hardship to go purchase bottled water every week for not only drinking but other tasks, such as washing produce. The lawsuit was originally filed in Livingston County Circuit Court in November of 2017 but has bounced around since. The amended complaint that was filed was premised exclusively under Michigan state law. The case is currently being heard in U.S. District Court in Detroit, but it could move back down to the local level based on a recent order for GM to show cause within ten days why the case should not be remanded back for lack of federal jurisdiction. The action to move the lawsuit was initiated by GM as the automaker believed issues concerning the proving grounds were related to the company’s 2009 bankruptcy and thus belonged in federal court. The case went to bankruptcy court in New York, where a judgement was issued in May for claims related to the “old” and “new” GM entities from pre- and post-bankruptcy, and dismissing five of 14 counts. GM has said it does not believe the suit has merit, saying “Salt deposits naturally occur in this area, and salt is also used on the many nearby public roads during winter.” The company further maintains that “acting as a good neighbor, salt usage at the Milford Proving Ground has been reduced by 60% over the last two decades. (JM)

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    It’s an emerging investing option that is growing, well…like a weed; Marijuana Stocks. With nine states and the District of Columbia already allowing personal use of marijuana and 20 others, including Michigan, allowing medicinal marijuana, it’s fair to say that there is an established legitimate marijuana industry in the United States despite federal law still prohibiting its use. Recent estimates say that U.S. retail sales of pot will reach $20 billion by 2022 and could go as high as $50 billion if more states approved its use. With that kind of money on the table, investors are increasingly asking if they should be taking advantage. Bob Laura is a Certified Financial Planner with Synergos Financial in Brighton. He says for those looking for a direct investment, popular companies are Canopy Growth Corp. (CGC) and Weed Inc. (BUDZ), while those who want to take advantage but not be directly invested might look at GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH), a British biopharmaceutical company known for its multiple sclerosis treatment product, which was the first natural cannabis plant derivative to gain market approval in any country. Despite all the hype, Laura says marijuana remains a minuscule sector of the economy overall and investors should always proceed with caution with something that is relatively new. As for Michigan’s proposal, if passed on Nov. 6, it would allow anyone 21 and older to possess and use specific quantities of marijuana as long as they’re not in public or driving under the influence. It would also impose a 10% tax on marijuana sales, which would make Michigan the state with the lowest overall tax rate on recreational marijuana in the nation. By comparison, Washington maintains a 37% tax on recreational sales. (JK)

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    A candidate for Congress is calling for campaign finance reform and greater government accountability. Elissa Slotkin is vying for the Democratic nomination for 8th District Congressional seat that will be decided August 7th. On Tuesday, the Holly native rolled out three ideas for campaign finance reformation alongside End Citizens United President Tiffany Muller. Slotkin is first calling for transparency in social media advertising. She wants the same standards online that apply to television, such as who is buying the ad and where they are from. Secondly she wants to strengthen the disclosure on outside spending. This applies to those who "dump thousands of dollars into issue organizations” and are granted greater anonymity over those who donate directly to a candidate. Her third pillar for reform comes in overturning the 2010 Citizens United decision that allows corporate and union spending to support or denounce individual candidates in elections. Muller applauded Slotkin for her commitment to work on campaign finance reform if elected. “Elissa is already showing leadership by rejecting corporate PAC money. The plan she announced today will bring more disclosure and accountability to Washington through meaningful reforms." The Democrat that Slotkin faces in next Tuesday's primary is Chris Smith of East Lansing. The Michigan State University criminal justice professor has also laid out a case for campaign finance reform, saying, "We must work to counteract the terrible effects of Citizens United and the power it gave to wealthy interests to influence elections." Slotkin is also calling for increased government accountability. If elected, she pledges to make her weekly schedule public, believing people have the right to know who their representatives are meeting and how they are spending and distributing their time. She also wants an expert and community-led district advisory board and will hold public town halls every three months. Slotkin said it’s been too long since Incumbent Republican Mike Bishop has engaged the public and that he isn’t fulfilling his basic responsibilities as a public servant. Bishop campaign spokesman Stu Sandler disputed the notion Slotkin doesn't take PAC money. "Shady Elissa Slotkin takes PAC money so this pledge isn't worth the paper it's written on. And Slotkin launders different kind of PAC money through other PACs. But I guess we shouldn't be surprised that Shady Slotkin would try and cast a judgement while receiving the vast majority of her campaign funding from liberal coastal elites in New York, California, Massachussetts and DC. Shady Elissa Slotkin is not being truthful about how her campaign is funded and how she owns no property in the district and will vote for the first time in Michigan on Tuesday." Slotkin says such responses are, "a ploy to deflect where his money is coming from, namely corporate PACs." (MK/JK)

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