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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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    Two confirmed cases of Influenza A have been identified in Michigan residents who were exposed to swine at the Fowlerville Family Fair. The fair took place July 23rd through 28th and several pigs from the fair tested positive for swine flu on July 27th. Officials say further laboratory testing is underway to determine if the flu viruses found in the swine and the ill persons are the same strain. Additional fair attendees are also reporting influenza-like illness and are being tested. The Livingston County Health Department, in coordination with the Fowlerville Fair Board, has reached out to swine exhibitors, their families and attendees who visited the swine barn at the fair shortly after receiving the test results to notify them of possible exposure to infected pigs. The department also instructed healthcare providers in the area to watch for patients presenting with respiratory symptoms who report exposure to swine or who visited the fair. Officials are urging those who visited the swine barn at the Fowlerville Fair to monitor their health and follow up with their healthcare provider if they start feeling ill as it can take up to 10 days for symptoms to appear and some individuals can develop serious complications. The following is advised by the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services: Symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the seasonal flu and can include fever, cough, runny nose and sometimes body aches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Sometimes swine flu causes severe disease even in healthy people, such as pneumonia which may require hospitalization, and even death. Those at higher risk of developing complications if they get swine flu include children younger than five years of age, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women and people with certain chronic health disease, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems and neurological conditions. Currently, there is no vaccine for swine flu and the seasonal flu vaccine will not protect against swine flu; however, antiviral drugs, such as Tamiflu and Relenza, are effective in treating swine flu. Early treatment works best and may be especially important for people with a high-risk condition. Individuals with health questions can call the LCHD Nurse on Call line at 517-552-6882 and leave your name and phone number and someone will return your call as soon as possible. Healthcare providers with questions about testing options for swine flu can find information on the LCHD website or call 517-552-6882. A press release from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is attached below. (JM)

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    The Brighton City Council is paving the way for a future setting in which large numbers of people could live in a neighborhood that is within walking distance of downtown. And some people who already live in that neighborhood say they don’t like it. The neighborhood is North Second Street, which is currently a mixture of single-family homes, senior housing, a small number of light industries, and rental housing. Under the zoning change approved Thursday night, the area will go from R-1 single family housing, R-4 medium density housing, senior housing and light industrial to R-5 multiple family housing. Rod Arroyo, a partner with Giffels-Webster planning consultants of Detroit, tells WHMI the new zoning will result in two areas: one called Uptown North and the other called Uptown South. He says Uptown South will allow for larger developments than will Uptown North. At the public hearing on the rezoning, one North Second resident told council that the type of developments that could come in under the new zoning, such as 4-story apartment or condo buildings, is entirely out of proportion to what Brighton is and should be - which is a small town. Regarding the possibility of a huge new development consisting of high-end townhouses coming into the neighborhood, the audience was informed that no site plan has been submitted to the city at this time. However, a development company called DTN Development Group LLC has submitted conceptual drawings to the city for a $35million, 200-unit luxury townhouse development between Second St. and the Mill Pond. In addition, the Second Street Flats condominiums are being constructed this year at the site of several former duplexes which were torn down to make way for the project. On that note, Second St. is undergoing complete re-construction, with new sewer and water lines, in anticipation of expected new development. Council approved the new zoning on a 7-0 vote Thursday night, and Arroyo says it should become effective in 3-4 weeks. (TT)

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    Amid accusations of using misusing official resources for campaign purposes, Attorney General Bill Schuette is keeping up a brisk pace with just days left before Tuesday’s primary will determine which Republican will advance to the General Election in November. Schuette was in Brighton Friday, taking part in a “grassroots lunch” at his campaign’s Livingston County Field Office. It was one of four stops that took him from Saginaw through Flint and Brighton and ending the day in Owosso. It came as accusations from his main rival, Lt. Governor Brian Calley, heated up with Calley alleging Schuette was covering up his use of taxpayer resources with the revelation that he met with staff members in the AG’s Detroit office in July of 2015 to discuss the Republican National Convention the following year. Schuette told WHMI such attacks were purely political and he remained focused on winning the GOP nomination on Tuesday. "These are desperation antics and the fact remains that wherever I go people are talking about auto insurance rates, they like the fact I want to eliminate the Granholm income tax increase. The big issue in this campaign is that President Trump supports me, Bill Schuette, for governor because he knows I'll cut taxes in Michigan like he's cut taxes in America and my main opponent has abandoned President Trump and as a result most Republicans have abandoned him." Schuette’s spokeswoman says the meeting in Detroit was to plan remarks he would deliver in “his official capacity” as attorney general and that a woman who usually works as his political fundraiser was there strictly as a logistics volunteer. Schuette, who remains ahead in most polls, says he is not concerned that the issues raised by Calley and others will harm him politically should he win on Tuesday. Calley is endorsed by Governor Rick Snyder, who has said the accusations "suggesting state facilities were used for political purposes raise some troubling questions about the Attorney General and the need for further review." (JK)

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    A street closure starts Monday as part of a reconstruction project in the City of Brighton. North Second Street from Cedar Street to Cross Street will be closed to thru traffic beginning on Monday to continue utility upgrades to the water main and sanitary sewer, as well as perform pavement replacement. The full closure is being conducted to keep the project on schedule and to ensure the safety of motorists, pedestrians, and contractors. During the closure, access to the public parking area north of businesses located on Main Street will be available from Millpond Lane. Local traffic on North Second Street will still have access to businesses and residences. Motorists should follow posted detour routes. Construction updates will be provided on the City’s website and social media accounts as the project progresses. Meanwhile, the City’s contractor has provided an updated estimated schedule based on closing North Second Street. New sanitary sewer leads should be completed by the end of August, and excavation and gravel installation on the southbound side of North Second Street is to be completed by early September. New water main installation and service is projected to be completed by late September and excavation and gravel installation on the northbound side of North Second Street should be completed by late September. The City says construction is anticipated to conclude in late fall. However, some minor restoration of lawn areas not completed in the 2018 growing season will be completed in the early spring of 2019. (JM)

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    Sentencing has been handed down to a Detroit woman who fled from police after she was caught shoplifting at a local store. 23-year-old Lamika Samon James will serve 40 months to 15 years in the Michigan Department of Corrections. James was sentenced Thursday in Livingston County Circuit Court by Chief Judge Miriam Cavanaugh. James had previously pleaded guilty as charged to 3rd degree fleeing a police officer and organized retail crime as a fourth-time habitual offender. Charges of 1st degree retail fraud, driving on a suspended license and providing false identification to a police officer were dismissed in exchange for her plea. The charges stem from the March 22nd incident at the Kohl’s store off of Whitmore Lake Road in Brighton. Green Oak Township Police were called out to the store for a retail fraud in progress report in which a suspect was seen removing security devices from high end electronics and placing them in a bag. The suspect, later identified as James, reportedly refused to stop when confronted by store employees and fled the scene prior to officers’ arrival. Police were able to locate the vehicle and gave chase along Whitmore Lake Road, southbound US-23 and then east on M-14. James eventually lost control of the vehicle and crashed just west of I-275 near Sheldon Road. She was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Livonia and told officers she was a 16-year-old juvenile who resides in Detroit. James’ mother arrived at the hospital and stated the same. Police say investigation soon revealed that information was false as James is not a juvenile, but rather a 23-year-old parole absconder that has been wanted by the Michigan Department of Corrections since December 2017. (DK)

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    The victim killed in a fatal motorcycle crash on Wednesday in Howell Township has been identified. The accident on westbound I-96 at Highland Road involved a Hartland Township couple. 44-year-old Bryan Howes was operating a 1994 Honda Gold Wing, with 46-year-old Amy Howes as a passenger. The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office said Howes lost control in the rain merging onto westbound I-96 from Highland Road, and crossed three lanes of traffic before coming to rest in the median. Both were wearing helmets at the time of the crash. Amy Howes was pronounced dead at the scene while Bryan Howes was transported to the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor with life threatening injuries. He was last listed in stable condition. The Sheriff’s Office said alcohol and speed did not appear to be factors in the crash, which forced the closure of the freeway for approximately three hours. A GoFundMe page has since been set up to assist the family. Organizers say the family is always going above and beyond for others but with a funeral and hospital bills coming – in addition to raising two teenagers- Bryan will have a lot on his plate very soon. A link to the account is provided. Picture courtesy of GoFundMe page. (JM)

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    The Fowlerville Dental Center will hold “Free Dental Day” on Saturday, September 8th, from 8am to 1pm. Services being offered include cleanings, fillings, and extractions, and all treatment is said to be “first come, first served” for patients in need. According to the Dental Center’s Facebook page, some services, like the ability to extract wisdom teeth, are based on a variety of factors and may depend on an individual’s specific situation. The Fowlerville Dental Center is located on West Van Riper Road between Wendy’s and Walmart. Registration for Free Dental Day begins at 7am the day of. More information can be found by contacting the Dental Center at 517-223-3379 or visiting fowlervilledental.com. Facebook photo.

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    Final figures on Brighton’s 150th Anniversary celebration were presented at Thursday night’s City Council session. Brighton City Council Member and 150th Committee official Renee Pettengill told council that when all the bills were paid, it left a balance of nearly $8,900. Pettengill broke down the total figure, giving where the remaining funds will be distributed, for council and those audience members in attendance. Included are $4,000 for a 150th Memorial Bench to be placed in the amphitheater area, $4,000 being returned to the city in repayment for its advance donation, and $500 to the Brighton Area Historical Society for a permanent record of the anniversary, with the remaining funds going to the Principal Shopping District. The 150th anniversary featured a wide range of events, including a laser light show, a community block party, a community picnic, an old town village, carnival games, historical displays, cemetery tours, live performances and a vintage photo booth, and a floating birthday cake in the Mill Pond. Pettengill says that the over 900 Brightonopoly games left unsold will be donated to area organizations to be used as fundraisers. (TT)

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    With the August primary election approaching, Brighton Police say the public needs to stay within the confines of the law when it comes to political signs. Police Chief Rob Bradford tells WHMI that defacing or stealing a political sign is a criminal offense – a misdemeanor - and could result in a 93-day stay in jail. The Michigan Dept. of Transportation says each year hundreds of political signs line roadsides across the state. Improperly placed signs can create safety hazards and interfere with a driver's vision along roadways. According to the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, for candidate committees, the identifier must say “paid for by” and cite the committee’s name and address. It must be legible and separate from the text of the sign. The placement of political signs is governed by the local municipality in accordance with local ordinances and zoning rules. If a candidate’s sign has been stolen, he or she should contact the local police dept. and file a report, and the police agency will handle any necessary enforcement action. (TT)

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    Health officials are warning people not to eat fish from parts of a local river because of chemical contamination. The emergency "Do Not Eat" advisory issued Saturday applies to all fish from the Huron River from Milford in Oakland County to Base Line and Portage Lakes at the Livingston and Washtenaw county border. Fish from Kent Lake were tested for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and found to contain high levels. The ‘Do Not Eat’ advisory replaces previous mercury and PCB guidelines that recommended consumption limits for fish from the Huron River. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, touching the fish or water and swimming in these water bodies is not considered a health concern as PFAS, which includes PFOS, do not move easily through the skin. An occasional swallow of river or lake water is also not considered a health concern. PFAS, which are used in manufacturing, firefighting and thousands of household and consumer products, have been detected in waterways in about 30 states. The Michigan Legislature enacted $23 million in emergency spending to address PFAS contamination.

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    Livingston County voters are being encouraged to get educated and get out and vote. Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is reminding eligible voters to cast ballots in the state’s primary election. Johnson says voters will be choosing candidates for federal, state and local offices, including governor, congressional seats and state House and Senate offices. Johnson asks that voters take a few moments to cast a ballot on Election Day and make their voice heard. Johnson told WHMI its important registered voters get the information they need. She says don’t believe the literature circulating and advises voters do some research, which takes far more time than voting. Johnson noted that in off-year elections, only about 35% of people will vote so it’s important to take the time to do so. Since Tuesday’s election is a primary, voters are reminded that they can only cast votes within one party. Casting votes in a partisan primary for any mix of Republican, Democratic and Libertarian candidates invalidates the partisan section of the primary ballot. Non-partisan offices and proposals will appear after the partisan section of the ballot. Individuals are encouraged to visit the online Michigan Voter Information Center to check their voter registration status, view their sample ballot and find their polling place among other information. That link is provided. (JM)

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    Green Oak Township’s Planning Commission is working on revising its bylaws in an effort to increase clarity, comply with governing procedures, and avoid future litigation. The Planning Commission met Thursday and discussed potential changes and improvements to the bylaws. Township officials say planning commission meetings have not been functioning in compliance with Roberts Rules, which is the governing Parliamentary Procedure for the meetings. It was noted compliance has been lacking regarding the order in which certain meeting items are carried out and that commission members often engage in dialogue with residents during the public comment portion of the meeting. Officials say care and caution must be exercised to ensure accurate and lawful information is being communicated during these exchanges. Township Clerk Michael Sedlak says one of the revisions to the Planning Commission’s bylaws will make it clear that commission members won’t respond to questions during the meeting. Sedlak says there have been contentious items that have come before the commission in the past and answering residents’ questions before fully researching the issue has resulted in litigation. Sedlak says officials may change the order of meeting agendas to give the public more of an opportunity to speak. A new agenda item is also being introduced, which gives commission members a chance to respond to residents’ questions from previous meetings. Overall, Sedlak says the goal is to make township officials better at their job. (DK)

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    Three finalists are now vying to land the South Lyon city manager’s position. The South Lyon City Council held public interviews for five people in the running for the city’s top job last week. That list has now been whittled down to three: Redford Township Supervisor Tracey Kobylarz, Linden City Manager Paul Zelenak, and former Kalamazoo Director of Management Services Thomas Skrobola. In all, 43 people applied for the position to replace Lynne Ladner, who resigned in March for medical reasons. The search for her replacement began in April. The city manager's base salary will range from $95,000 to $105,000 annually, with the appointee responsible for preparing and administering the city's budget and managing finances among other duties. South Lyon Police Chief Lloyd Collins has been serving as interim city manager, in addition to his regular duties. Now that three finalists have been identified, the candidates will return for a second round of public interviews on Thursday, August 23rd. City Council could potentially make a decision that night. (JM)

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    Community members have the opportunity to weigh-in on a developing plan that aims to address transportation needs in Livingston County. Dr. Leo Hanifin, Chairperson for the Livingston County Transportation Coalition, says a comprehensive planning project is underway to develop the Livingston County Transit Master Plan. The Coalition is comprised of various organizations and individuals that feel there is a need to improve and expand transportation services locally, and is looking to carry out the collective vision by way of a master plan. While the scope of the plan is expected to be quite broad, it could include concepts like a scheduled bus service, a network of bike and walking trails, expanded dial-a-ride services, and express commuter and airport services. The plan will also study governance and funding options. The Transit Master Plan will be based on public input and data analysis by AECOM; a transportation-consulting corporation said to be familiar with Michigan. Hanifin says the goal is to complete the plan by the end of the year and that it’s time for citizens to voice their views on what can be improved upon. Hanifin says community members can share their thoughts in several ways: by talking with municipal and county planners, attending public meetings focused on plan options this fall, and/or by completing a survey that is now open online. A link to the survey can be found below.

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    A Genesee County man was seriously injured after a single-vehicle injury crash Sunday morning. Livingston County Sheriff's Office says deputies were dispatched around 5:11 a.m. Sunday to northbound U.S. 23, north of Center Road in Hartland Township on the report of a single-vehicle rollover injury crash. A preliminary investigation shows a 27-year-old Grand Blanc man was driving a 2004 Toyota Tundra northbound on U.S. 23 when his vehicle went off the left side of the roadway, into the median. The driver reportedly lost control as he tried to re-enter the roadway, crossing both lanes of northbound U.S. 23. The SUV overturned on the grass shoulder and rolled back onto northbound U.S. 23, where it came to rest. The driver, who suffered what were described as life-threatening injuries, was transported to Genesys Hospital by Livingston County EMS. Speed and alcohol use appear to be a factor. The driver was not wearing a seat belt. The northbound lanes of U.S. 23 were closed for approximately four hours for the crash, which remains under investigation by the Livingston County Sheriff Traffic Safety Division. Deputies were assisted by personnel from the Fenton Area Fire Department and Livingston County EMS. (JK)

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    A statewide initiative that includes the Livingston County Health Department will focus on encouraging breastfeeding this month. August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month in Michigan. Breastfeeding is a low-cost way that provides a foundation for good health in both babies and mothers. It prevents hunger, malnutrition, and ensures food security for the child. Health Department Public Information Officer Lindsay Gestro said the aim is to reduce stigma. Gestro called breastfeeding a natural process of life, and a great binding process for mother and child. The Michigan Breastfeeding Network has announced a statewide project to help provide quality care for moms and babies overtime. Supporters of this effort include the Livingston County Health Department, along with several hospitals, agencies, and physicians. The public is invited to take in a Breastfeeding Walk this Wednesday on the front lawn of the State Capitol. Festivities begin at 11:30am. Families and young children are welcome. (MK)

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    Residents on 3 private streets in Oceola Township will have to make a decision on how and if they want to fix their crumbling roads. The Oceola Township Board of Trustees discussed improvements on Pleasant Ridge, Gasser, and Eads within the Booth district at their regular meeting Thursday night. Supervisor Bill Bamber said he drove the roads himself as the day before,and that “They’re tough. I’ve seen a lot better roads; they could go to gravel in 4 to 5 years.” Residents, who pay roughly $90 each per year into a road fund, have accumulated approximately $88,000 in savings. The problem is that that will only cover one of the 3 roads. Bamber said Pleasant Ridge itself would run just north of $88,000. The estimate for Eads came in at $83,000. Another $50,000 would be needed for Gasser. The Board discussed options on what to do, being roughly $133,000 short for the project. Bamber suggested possibly doing Pleasant Ridge, as they made the original push to the Board. The Board wasn’t comfortable spending all the savings on just one street, when residents from all 3 were paying in. As of now, there seem to be 2 options for homeowners in the area. One, Bamber said, is to not do anything. The other is to create a special assessment district. To do so would require signatures from 51% of residents on the 3 streets and the ones that need them to get out.(MK)

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    Three finalists are now vying to land the South Lyon city manager’s position. The South Lyon City Council held public interviews for five people in the running for the city’s top job last week. That list has now been whittled down to three: Redford Township Supervisor Tracey Kobylarz, Linden City Manager Paul Zelenak, and former Kalamazoo Director of Management Services Thomas Skrobola. In all, 43 people applied for the position to replace Lynne Ladner, who resigned in March for medical reasons. The search for her replacement began in April. The city manager's base salary will range from $95,000 to $105,000 annually, with the appointee responsible for preparing and administering the city's budget and managing finances among other duties. South Lyon Police Chief Lloyd Collins has been serving as interim city manager, in addition to his regular duties. Now that three finalists have been identified, the candidates will return for a second round of public interviews on Thursday, August 23rd. City Council could potentially make a decision that night. (JM)

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    A new workzone camera has been installed to follow progress on the Wixom Road bridge replacement project. The camera provides the public with a real-time view of the project to replace the Wixom Road bridge over the Huron River on the Milford Township and Commerce Township border. The camera operates daily, shooting a photo every 30 minutes. Officials say the camera will also prove handy for boat and kayak fans, which will display if the waterway is open or not. Viewers can watch the progress of the bridge replacement through a link on the Road Commission for Oakland County’s website. Viewers can also see a time-lapse series that combines all photos taken in succession. The Road Commission plans to produce a compilation of all photos following the completion of the project. The $2.2 million bridge replacement project began July 29th. The project includes demolition of the existing bridge, construction of new single span bridge, guardrail installation and paving of the bridge approaches. Wixom Road is closed at the bridge for the duration of the project. That section of Wixom Road carries 9,750 vehicles daily. The Huron River will also close for brief periods of time throughout the project, though access will be maintained throughout most of the work, including on most weekends. The detour is Glengary Road to Benstein Road to Bass Lake Road to Sleeth Road, back to Wixom Road and vice versa. The cost of the project is 95% funded through the State of Michigan’s Local Bridge Program, with the remaining 5% covered by the Road Commission. (JM)

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    A developer is facing litigation with Genoa Township for allegedly failing to make improvements to an intersection as part of a housing project. The board met Monday night and agreed to proceed with litigation against Healy Homes regarding required improvements at the intersection of Lawson Drive and Grand River. The board voted to take legal action against Healy Homes, Jack Healy and the bond issuer for the project. There were some past delays due to the economy but board members called it a bad situation and said Jack Healy needs to fix what he agreed to in an approved PUD agreement as part of a condo project. Supervisor Bill Rogers tells WHMI Lawson Drive was to be widened as part of the access route to the condo project, which was part of the conditions when the development was approved. Rogers says the situation has been going on for years and safety issues have resulted from Healy not complying with what he agreed to, adding it takes a lot to get to the litigation point. He says they’ve had quite a few complaints from residents and a traffic light was installed at the intersection based on vehicles stacking up and trying to make left-hand turns. (JM)

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