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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 town hall meeting Wednesday in Howell will solicit feedback about Livingston County’s judicial system and, in particular, embattled 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan. However, whatever testimony is gathered won’t go on the record in an ongoing complaint against Brennan filed by the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission. State Senator Joe Hune of Fowlerville and State Representatives Lana Theis of Brighton Township and Hank Vaupel of Handy Township have organized a town hall for 4pm on Wednesday in the top floor of the Historic Livingston County Courthouse in downtown Howell. The three Republican legislators say they especially want to hear from those who are willing to share their story about “how Judge Brennan has damaged their lives.” In a release announcing the meeting, Hune said all of the statements and testimonies collected during the town hall event will be submitted to the Judicial Tenure Commission and the State Court Administrative Office for consideration during Brennan’s complaint hearing process. But Lynn Helland, the JTC’s Executive Director, tells WHMI that his agency was not contacted prior to the meeting being set up, nor will they have a representative in attendance. In addition, he says nothing from the gathering will be directly admissible at Judge Brennan’s hearing, although he did say that, “there’s always the chance that something from the meeting will lead to evidence that would be admissible.” An official with the State Court Administrative Office also indicated that any testimony from Wednesday’s meeting would not be admissible. The Tenure Commission filed a complaint against Brennan outlining allegations of professional and personal misconduct, mainly surrounding her relationship with a former State Police detective who was the lead witness in a 2013 murder trial. A hearing on the complaint is scheduled in October. Brennan is also the subject of a Michigan State Police criminal investigation. In addition, Representative Theis remains in the process of drafting an impeachment resolution, which she anticipates being finalized in “the next few weeks”. (JK)

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    A former Howell superintendent is among the finalists vying for that role in Huron Valley Schools. The Huron Valley Schools Board of Education is being assisted by the Michigan Leadership Institute in the search process and narrowed the field down to six finalists. 19 candidates were eliminated after a closed session meeting and the six finalists were announced. They include Ionia Public Schools Superintendent Ronald Wilson, who previously held the position in Howell. He was fired in November of 2014 after the Howell board determined he had obtained mileage reimbursements he was not entitled to and then lied about afterward. Wilson sued the district for wrongful termination but eventually settled the dispute for $350,000. Other candidates in the running are Matthew Cortez, superintendent of Essexville-Hampton Public Schools; Gary Weisserman, formerly the head of schools for Milken Community Schools in Los Angeles; Associate Superintendent for Educational Services for Wayne County RESA Dr. Paul Salah; Livonia Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Steven Archibald; and Scott Lindberg, interim assistant superintendent of operations and human resources for Huron Valley Schools, the only internal candidate. Second round interviews will take place September 19th and 20th. Whoever is selected will succeed current Superintendent Nancy Coratti. (JM)

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    A town hall meeting Wednesday in Howell will solicit feedback about Livingston County’s judicial system and, in particular, embattled 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan. However, whatever testimony is gathered won’t go on the record in an ongoing complaint against Brennan filed by the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission. State Senator Joe Hune of Fowlerville and State Representatives Lana Theis of Brighton Township and Hank Vaupel of Handy Township have organized a town hall for 4pm on Wednesday in the top floor of the Historic Livingston County Courthouse in downtown Howell. The three Republican legislators say they especially want to hear from those who are willing to share their story about “how Judge Brennan has damaged their lives.” In a release announcing the meeting, Hune said all of the statements and testimonies collected during the town hall event will be submitted to the Judicial Tenure Commission and the State Court Administrative Office for consideration during Brennan’s complaint hearing process. But Lynn Helland, the JTC’s Executive Director, tells WHMI that his agency was not contacted prior to the meeting being set up, nor will they have a representative in attendance. In addition, he says nothing from the gathering will be directly admissible at Judge Brennan’s hearing, although he did say that, “there’s always the chance that something from the meeting will lead to evidence that would be admissible.” An official with the State Court Administrative Office also indicated that any testimony from Wednesday’s meeting would not be admissible. The Tenure Commission filed a complaint against Brennan outlining allegations of professional and personal misconduct, mainly surrounding her relationship with a former State Police detective who was the lead witness in a 2013 murder trial. A hearing on the complaint is scheduled in October. Brennan is also the subject of a Michigan State Police criminal investigation. In addition, Representative Theis remains in the process of drafting an impeachment resolution, which she anticipates being finalized in “the next few weeks”. (JK)

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    The City of Howell is hosting another informational session related to the upcoming Headlee Override vote in the November election – although in a much more relaxed atmosphere than the first. The City of Howell is asking for a 4.5-mill millage increase for a five year period, via a Headlee Override. City officials say public services and quality infrastructure are key aspects of quality of life for a vibrant community and the request is to help fund services and needed pavement improvements. As part of public education outreach, “Budget & Brews will take place at Cleary’s Pub at 7pm this Wednesday. City Manager Shea Charles says they are taking a little bit of a different approach with this session. He tells WHMI they’re going off site to a more informal setting to try to get residents and voters engaged when it comes to asking questions regarding the Headlee Override proposal. Charles says the idea is to get out of city hall and into a different environment where people might feel more comfortable asking questions. He says staff will be on hand and kind of break out into specialty areas to help answer questions related to roads, public safety and police, money or general city questions. Charles says they’ll see what kind of feedback is received and go forward from there. There will be a cash bar and food for purchase at the event. Charles stressed absolutely no city dollars are being used and the venue is being donated. Wednesday’s Budget & Brews event is the second of four public informational sessions. The next will take place October 2nd at the Livingston Educational service Agency in Howell, which is a little bit larger venue. Information about the proposal is available through the link. (JM)

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    Bipartisan legislation to honor deserving veterans has been introduced by 8th District Congressman Mike Bishop. On Monday, the Rochester Hills Republican, along with fellow Republican Sam Johnson of Texas and Minnesota Democrat Tim Walz, announced the introduction of the bipartisan Full Military Honors Act of 2018 that would allow enlisted Medal of Honor recipients and Prisoners of War who are eligible for burial at Arlington National Cemetery to receive a full military honors burial, which includes an escort platoon, a military band, and a horse drawn casket if available. Currently, full military honors are reserved solely for commissioned officers, warrant officers, and senior non-commissioned officers. Congressman Johnson, a 29-year U.S. Air Force veteran, was a POW for seven years in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison after being shot down over North Vietnam in 1966. He said rank should not be a barrier for appropriate honors to those who, “honorably demonstrated the utmost patriotism.” Congressman Walz, a 24-year veteran of the Army National Guard, is the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and is the highest ranking enlisted soldier ever to serve in Congress. He urged passage of the legislation, “To help ensure we honor the sacrifices these heroes and their families have made for our country.” Congressman Bishop said he was “shocked” to learn earlier this year that a former Korean War POW from Michigan, Army Pvt. 1st Class Robert Fletcher, was denied a full honors burial at Arlington National Cemetery based solely on his enlisted rank. Bishop said his legislation, “will ensure those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty are provided the full military honors they have earned for their end of life ceremonies.” The Full Military Honors Act of 2018 has been endorsed by a variety of veteran organizations including the American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Military Officers Association of America, National League of POW/ MIA Families, Special Operations Association, Special Forces Association, and American Fallen Warriors Memorial Foundation. It has been referred to the House Committee on Armed Services for consideration. (JK)

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    A local senator says he’s disappointed the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission would neither attend nor listen to testimony at a special town hall planned in Howell Wednesday. Last week, Senator Joe Hune of Fowlerville along with State Representatives Lana Theis of Brighton Township and Hank Vaupel of Handy Township announced a town hall meeting intended to gather feedback and statements from Livingston County residents regarding harm done by the conduct of 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan. However, in a story that aired on WHMI this morning, it was clarified that whatever testimony is gathered won’t go on the record in an ongoing complaint against Brennan filed by the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission. The JTC’s Executive Director Lynn Helland told WHMI that his agency was not contacted prior to the meeting being set up, nor will they have a representative in attendance. An official with the State Court Administrative Office also indicated that any testimony from Wednesday’s meeting would not be admissible. Hune issued a statement this afternoon saying he was both surprised and disappointed in the JTC’s decision to skip their town hall and he respectfully calls on the JTC to reconsider. He says the town hall will serve to gather testimony from people who have been impacted by Brennan’s malfeasance. Hune says to date, the public has had no voice in the debacle and they hope to provide them one through the forum. He says regardless of the JTC’s decision to not attend, they we will be turning testimony from citizens over to the JTC and the Supreme Court Administrator’s Office. He added they also anticipate statements gathered at the town hall will be used in an impeachment process in the Legislature. The town hall will be held at the historic Livingston County Courthouse on Grand River in downtown Howell tomorrow. It starts at 4pm in the top floor courtroom. Those attending should bring copies of relevant information. Those who testify are asked to bring written copies of their testimony. Hune’s office will also accept written testimony for those not wishing to testify in person. For additional information, contact the Office of Senator Joe Hune at (855)-JOE-HUNE or at SenJHune@senate.michigan.gov. (JM)

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    A building in Downtown Howell was struck by a vehicle this morning. Police closed down Michigan Avenue between Clinton Street and Grand River after a pickup truck crashed into a vacant building at 120 North Michigan Avenue around 9am. Deputy Howell Police Chief Scott Mannor says the elderly driver, who was not injured, told them the accelerator on his Ford F-150 got stuck. They say drugs and alcohol were not factors. Howell Fire Chief Andy Pless told WHMI the street closure was made as there was concern about the structural integrity of the building, the site of the former Safe Start Driving Academy. "It's already moved several inches from the initial impact and there's concern that its going to collapse into the roadway." Crews have stabilized it. The driver of the pickup had reportedly been stopped just minutes before by the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and cited for not wearing a seat belt. Officials advise that Michigan Avenue will remain closed between Clinton and Grand River overnight to all traffic. Motorists are advised to avoid the area and seek alternate routes. Top photo courtesy of Le Perkins. (JK)

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    A local water authority is assuring those on the system that water is safe from nationally emerging contaminants and recent test results prove it. Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, referred to as PFAS and PFOS, are part of a group of chemicals used globally during the past century in manufacturing, firefighting and thousands of common household and other consumer products. However in recent years, experts have become increasingly concerned by the potential effects on human health but the full extent is still not known. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has been conducting testing of various water systems, while local communities and others have elected to perform testing on their own. The Fonda, Island and Briggs Lake Joint Water Authority is a private system in Brighton Township served by two groundwater wells. It had testing done by the MDEQ’s contractor and results showed that no PFAS or PFOS were found in the water. The test results can be found on the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team website and a link is provided. Officials say the Fonda, Island and Briggs Lake Joint Water Authority is committed to providing customers with quality drinking water and as a supplier, they are working closely with MDEQ to maintain the quality. (JM)

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    A local resident vying for a legislative seat plans to host a gathering that will focus on the issue of immigration. Colleen Turk, the Democratic challenger seeking to unseat Republican incumbent Hank Vaupel for Michigan’s 47th State House seat, will host an educational forum titled “Immigration: Policy & Experience” on Thursday, October 11th at 6:30pm at the Howell Carnegie District Library. The Marion Township resident says the forum will give attendees a chance to learn how immigration works by hearing directly from people who work in immigration and from people whose families recently immigrated to the U.S. “Immigration affects our economy and it impacts human lives, but lately it’s very difficult to know the facts,” Turk said. “Instead of half-truths and tweets, we should connect with people face-to-face to judge the truth for ourselves. Lately an undercurrent in our society exists that runs against the melting pot idea of America. It’s causing division in our state and in our country that doesn’t help anyone, especially when much of it is based on myths.” Turk says the forum will be similar to other events she has hosted through Citizens for Unity - a community group she created to heal division by facilitating discussions and leading community action. The forum will include a panel of immigration experts, including Fayrouz Saad, former Director of Detroit’s Office of Immigration Affairs. Other panelists include Seydi Sarr, founder and Executive Director of ABISA; Russell Abrutyn, Immigration Attorney at Abrutyn Law; and immigration attorney Reginald Pacis. The panelists will answer common questions about immigration -- paths to citizenship, how marriage affects citizenship, and how immigrants to the US feel about American culture compared to the culture in their native countries, for example. Turk will facilitate the event with pre-selected questions and open the floor for discussion as time allows. Discussion will continue at a nearby pub afterward for those interested in more conversation on the topic. “This forum is an example of the kind of gatherings I’d like to host as District 47’s next State Representative. Our elected officials have a duty to educate constituents on issues that impact them and their neighbors, even if the topic is controversial or complicated,” Turk added. “Real leaders should confront division and try to bring our communities together through knowledge and truth.” Tickets are free but reservations are required. You’ll find those details below. The 47th district includes the city of Howell, the village of Fowlerville, and the townships of Conway, Cohoctah, Deerfield, Tyrone, Handy, Howell, Oceola, Hartland, Iosco, Marion, and Unadilla. (JK)

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    A distinct honor has been given to the Livingston County Health Department, marking it as one of the best in the country. Four years after beginning the process, the county health department has achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board. Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the department, Lindsay Gestro shared what that means. Gestro said the goal of the program is to improve and protect the health of the public by transforming and advancing the quality and performance of health departments across the U.S. In preparation for accreditation, the Livingston County Health Department prepared over 800 documents and community collaborations for consideration. Members of the Accreditation Board visited this past April for an extensive site-visit review. They evaluated the health department in 12 competency areas including developing public health policies and plans, promoting strategies to improve access to health care, and informing and educating the public on health issues. Gestro thanked the community, saying that without them it would have been a struggle to gather the data needed for the Board. She stated than when people see the accreditation seal, they will know they are working with a department that meets or exceeds national standards. Accreditation is not something that is easily given out. Since it was first awarded in 2011, 236 departments nationwide have achieved it. The Livingston County Health Department is the only 7th in Michigan to receive its recognition. (MK)

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    The Democrat seeking to unseat Republican Congressman Mike Bishop has received a series of endorsements from national security leaders. Elissa Slotkin of Holly announced endorsements from four individuals she served with under the Bush and Obama Administrations. Topping the list is former Republican Senator from Nebraska Chuck Hagel, who served as Secretary of Defense in the Obama Administration. Hagel said Slotkin, who spent three tours in Iraq as a CIA analyst, had served in the Middle East, “in some of the worst zones we have seen and some of the most difficult assignments over the last 30 years.” Hagel said she would take that experience and use that in Congress to be a “very significant voice on behalf of national security for this country.” Also endorsing Slotkin was President Bush’s former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadly, who called her, “one of the finest public servants with whom I have had the privilege to serve.” Slotkin served on the National Security Council staff under Hadley and regularly briefed the President. Slotkin was also endorsed by Lieutenant General Doug Lute, Former Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan and Ambassador John Negroponte, Former Director of National Intelligence. Slotkin said she was proud to receive the endorsements of her former bosses from the Bush and Obama administrations, adding that, “It was an honor to serve with them, working on some of the most pressing national security issues our country faces." In response to the announcement, Stu Sandler with the Bishop campaign emailed WHMI the following statement. “Elissa Slotkin failed to get confirmed by a Senate with a Democratic majority because Senators thought she was unqualified and questioned her honesty. Senator McCain called Elissa Slotkin totally unqualified. Slotkin’s failures in Iraq and inability to prepare for the rise of ISIS were criticized by Senators and part of the reason she was not confirmed.” (JK)

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    Milford police, Oakland County Sheriff’s Deputies, and a retired policeman came together earlier this month to apprehend a suspected heroin dealer with a felony warrant out for his arrest. At 12:30am on September 2nd, a Milford police officer stopped a vehicle at near Huron River Parkway under suspicion of the driver being intoxicated. Two people were in the vehicle. One was the driver, a 31 year old Livonia woman with a 0.18 blood alcohol level who was arrested. The other was an adult male passenger who was not wearing a seatbelt and was acting suspiciously. Carrying no identification, when the officer asked him his name, the man got of the vehicle and ran towards the back yard of a nearby home according to the Milford Times. Milford officers, along with Oakland County Sherriff’s Deputies and two canine units set up a perimeter. A retired Farmington Hills officer who lives in the area volunteered to help. The canine units were able to track the suspect’s scent. The retired officer, seeing him come out of the woods, told police he pointed a gun at the man and ordered him onto the ground, where police could successfully make the arrest. After lying about his name and date of birth, the 36-year-old suspect eventually told the truth. Police learned the man hails from Rockford, Illinois and was listed as potentially armed and dangerous. Aside from being cited for resisting arrest here, he also had warrants for failing to appear on heroin manufacturing and delivering charges, and a felony probation violation for assault or unlawful restraint. He will be extradited to Kane County, Illinois. (MK)

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    Plans are in motion to bring a new day care and training facility for pets to the Howell area, although some concerns needs to be addressed first. Paula Vanderkarr approached Genoa Township’s Planning Commission during their public hearing on Monday night seeking approval for a special use permit. Vanderkarr is looking to turn the former Knights of Columbus banquet hall off of Grand River into a new day care and training facility for cats and dogs called Dog Town-Kitty City. Vanderkarr hopes to provide Genoa Township with a facility where pets can be cared for and trained to live long and healthy lives. The facility would host pets overnight and can accommodate up to 63 cats and dogs. After approaching the planning commission, Vanderkarr’s request for a special use permit was tabled for next month’s meeting. Commission members and members of the public voiced concerns over the waste and noise that would be emanating from the facility. Vanderkarr reassured the planning commission and the public that neither concerns would become issues. She said her and her employees would be sure to pick up all waste as soon as it happens. A company has already been hired to conduct a sound study on the building to assure noise will not be an issue to the surrounding area. Vanderkarr told WHMI her goal is to be a good neighbor to the surrounding residents of her hopeful new business. Vanderkarr said she hopes to get city approval next month so she can reach her goal of opening Dog Town-Kitty City by the start of 2019. Picture courtesy of Google Street View. (DF/JK)

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    After serving just over a year in the role, the director of Livingston County Veterans’ Services has been fired. Brighton High School graduate Adam Smiddy is a former 9-year Special Forces Communications Sergeant in the U.S. Army. He was hired as director of the Livingston County Veterans’ Services department in July 2017. The director works under the direction of the Veterans’ Services Committee, which voted to terminate his employment at the August 27th meeting. Requests for comment from Smiddy about his departure have been unsuccessful. However, Livingston County Administrator Ken Hinton told WHMI that, “The Director of Veterans Services serves at the direction of the Veteran Affairs Committee. They voted 4-1 to terminate Mr. Smiddy at their meeting of August 27th. The Department of Veterans Affairs Act provides that the veterans affairs committee, not the county board of commissioners, will be responsible for making a selection for the replacement. The position is currently posted.” WHMI has reached out to members of the committee and is still awaiting a response. (JM/JK)

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    Roughly 300 firefighters and members of the public came out to Brighton to honor the fallen and suffering on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Brighton Area Fire Authority Chief Mike O’Brian called it one of the better turnouts in recent members as roughly 300 firefighters and members of the public filled the parking lot and grass grounds at Station 31 for the event, Tuesday evening. O’Brian led the ceremony, sharing the emotions he and others working in public service felt that fateful morning. He said if you were working as a firefighter, paramedic, police officer, or dispatcher on the day of 9/11, it is so chock full of emotions. The Chief said he felt anger and frustration at all the ugly things that happened that day, but that it also reminds us of all the good that happened, too. He surmised that at some point he and most of his colleagues “probably signed a slip of paper saying they would leave Michigan and go help in New York City. O’Brian said he remembers there being incredible acts of kindness shown from the community. District 8 Representative Mike Bishop spoke to the crowd on how while this tragedy could have torn the country apart, what it did was the exact opposite. Bishop said, “The worst day in American history can also very arguably be considered the very best day in American history, as all these events played out right before our eyes on television sets across the nation.” Captain Greg Mobray was the final speaker and gave an impassioned speech that began with respecting the sacrifices emergency workers made on 9/11. He then transitioned to a cautionary tale on the hazardous health effects many firefighters who helped on the scene at Ground Zero still battle. Toxic exposures and carcinogens released into the air at the scene have been linked to 70 kinds of cancer that is still claiming lives. Mobray shared that while 343 firefighters died during the attacks, 180 more have passed from “9/11 illness” since. He said there is a somber reality that that number could pass 343 before the 20th anniversary. As part of the tribute, a wreath was placed in front of the twisted steel girder from one of the two towers that rests in front of the station. The station bell was also rung 15 times in 3 measured passes of 5 times each. This Tolling of the Bell is a time-honored sign of respect for firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice. The ceremony ended with a moment of silence for all who lost their lives as a result of the attacks. (MK)

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    If a local fireworks committee can’t find volunteers fast, a popular 4th of July tradition may fall to the wayside. The Whitmore Lake 4th of July Fireworks Committee is meeting this Friday evening with a difficult decision on their hands. When Northfield Township decided years ago that they were no longer able to budget fireworks for the annual event over the lake, volunteers stepped up. Over time, however, the volunteer committee’s numbers have dwindled down to that of a skeleton crew with not enough hands to do all the work required. In an email to WHMI, the committee said that it was surprising that they were able to pull off this year’s show. At Friday’s meeting, the Fireworks Committee will either elect officers, or vote to dissolve and liquidate assets if their numbers aren’t strong enough. They are asking that anyone that can help in any fashion step up to help save the fireworks. Volunteers are responsible for jobs like securing and loading the fireworks barge, setting up parking, and selling 50/50 tickets. The meeting begins at 6:30pm, Friday September 14th, on the second floor or the Northfield Township Public Safety Building. (MK)

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    The family of the late John McCain says it is 'disappointed' with a recent television ad being used against two Democrats, including Elissa Slotkin, who is trying to unseat 8th District Republican Mike Bishop. According to Politico, Rick Davis, a family friend and former top adviser to the late Arizona senator, said McCain's family was disappointed that his past comments are being "weaponized" in the ads airing just weeks after his death. On Wednesday, the National Republican Congressional Committee released two TV ads featuring clips of McCain criticizing Democratic candidates in the past. One was used against Arizona Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick. The other showed McCain criticizing Slotkin, a former official in the Bush and Obama administrations, while she testified before a Senate committee in 2014. The ad featured McCain telling her she "either (didn’t) know the truth, or you are not telling the truth." A source close to McCain's family told Politico that the House Republican campaign committee did not reach out to McCain's family to seek approval to use his comments. McCain died in late August following a battle with brain cancer. A spokesman for the NRCC declined to comment on the ads, saying the content spoke for itself. WHMI asked Stu Sandler, a consultant for the re-election campaign of Mike Bishop, to comment on the criticism about the ad being used against Slotkin, but has yet to receive a response. However, Sandler has several times in the past, and as most recently as Wednesday, referred to the McCain comments in attacking Slotkin, including sending out a YouTube clip of the late Senator’s remarks. The Slotkin campaign has previously commented on the use of McCain's remarks, calling them "a page out of a tired playbook, and show that despite nearly twenty years in politics, Rep. Bishop doesn't actually have a strong record to run on." (JK)

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    Howell city staff and officials conducted their second of four public information meetings in anticipation of the upcoming Headlee Override request. Howell officials are asking voters on November 6th to override the Headlee Amendment which will restore its authorized millage to the 20 mill limit allowed by city charter. This would equate to an extra 4.5003 mills in city taxes to residents. A homeowner with a house that has the median taxable value of $70,000 would see an increase of $315.02 per year, or roughly $0.80 a day in city taxes. While the first public information meeting was held at City Hall, Wednesday night’s was done in much more informal manner. Labeled as “Budget & Brews,” Howell officials set up stations at Cleary’s Pub downtown where residents could take part in discussions with city experts. Like the first meeting however, few residents showed up. Mayor Nick Proctor said he disappointed in the turnout, while City Manager Shea Charles and Community Development Director Timothy Schmitt were optimistic about better attendance as they approach Election Day. Charles said it was still worth it to listen and have a discourse with those who taking advantage of the event. He said he is starting to see people gain an understanding on “why now” and “why only 5 years?” Charles said they recognize that this impacts residents differently from one to another, and that they want to be able to provide answers and information to all. In answering “why now,” Charles said that the time is right to fix the roads while the majority of work needing to be done is simply the pavement. Putting it off could cause more expensive damage further down the road. 20% of the override would also be used to offset their operational deficit and keep services as they are now, without needing to reduce them. As for the 5 year length, Charles said that City Council chose that time frame so that residents could see what was done with their money, and make a decision on whether or not to allow another 5 years. He suggested that unless something changes at the state level, this is how it will have to be, as he considers the way the state funds cities as “fundamentally broken.” Charles pointed out that Howell is not alone in needing this request from residents, and that it is happening in cities and communities all over the state. Joel and Janelle Beutler were among the few in attendance. While they say they support the override, Joel said he sees it as more of a Band-Aid and not a long term solution. He said that until Michigan’s state legislature addresses funding and Proposal A, then residents will be continuously put in this position. Charles invited anyone with questions to come see him, call him at (517) 546-3502, or send him an email at scharles@cityofhowell.org. The next meeting set up for the public will take place on Tuesday, October 2nd, from 7-9pm at the L.E.S.A. Building in Howell. The final meeting is scheduled for October 24th, at location yet to be determined. (MK)

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    Friday morning will see three South Lyon Police officers taking part in the Law Enforcement Torch Run. The department will be kicking off the Oakland County leg of the event at 9am Friday. At different times, Lt. Christopher Sovik, Sgt. Doug Baaki, and Officer Audra Baker will run north on Pontiac Trail from 10 Mile Road before handing the torch to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office at Pontiac Trail and Silver Lake Roads. The department says the officers will stay to the right side of the road and will be escorted by a marked patrol vehicle with overhead lights activated. They ask that motorists use caution in the area. Law Enforcement Torch Run Week is an opportunity for law enforcement, corrections personnel and community members to run shoulder to shoulder, raising money and awareness for Special Olympics Michigan athletes. (JM)

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    Top marks in the state have been bestowed upon Livingston County for their work on the budget. Livingston County has announced that they have received the Government Finance Officers Association’s, or GFOA’s, Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. This award is for their 2018 Operating Budget Document and reflects their commitment to meeting the highest principles of government budgeting. The 2018 Document was recognized for its excellence in pursing strategic goals and strategies, unit goals and objectives, performance measures, and long range financial plans. Bringing the Budget Document together was a collaborative work between every county department, elected office, and the courts. More than 1,600 participants take part in the GFOA’s budget award program. The program aims to help governments improve the quality of budgeting while providing examples of budgets that have worked for other entities. A copy of Livingston County’s 2018 Operating Budget Document can be found online through the link below. (MK)

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