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WHMI 93.5 FM Radio Station for Livingston County Michigan with News, Traffic, and Weather Service for Howell and Brighton

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    The therapy dog program in the Brighton Area Schools has been an unqualified success. At its meeting Monday night the Brighton Area Schools’ Board of Education accepted the latest gift for the program: $4,250 from the Sunrise Rotary Club. At a meeting earlier this month the board accepted donations from Corrigan Oil and Cavanaugh Lawn Service for the program. And on the board agenda for the next meeting, on Oct. 10th, is approval of a donation of $1,500 from Dave and Jean Chesney for the therapy dog program. Chesney is the current vice president of the school board and will soon be retiring, as he is not running for another term in the November election. Although only three schools currently have therapy dogs: Hawkins, which has Scout; Maltby, which has Duncan; and Brighton High School, with Caesar; two more are scheduled to arrive around the holidays. They include Shadow, bound for Hornung; and Ford, earmarked for Scranton. Karen Storey, who founded and is in charge of the therapy dog program, says he is named Ford because that’s the last name of the family which donated the money for him. Other therapy dogs which are spoken for and currently in training include Oliver, a yellow lab bound for Hilton, and Buckley, reserved for Spencer. Still needing a therapy dog is the Miller Intergenerational Center, where the therapy dog will be shared by the Tot Spot program and the Brighton Senior Center, which occupies part of the building. By this time next fall, it’s anticipated that all Brighton Area Schools will have a therapy dog, and a unique feature is that all will be owned by the Brighton Area Schools - a “first” for a therapy dog program at any school district in Michigan. Another possible first: Storey says that as far as is known, Brighton will soon be the only school district in the nation to have a therapy dog in all of its schools. And it has cost the school district nothing, since all the dogs are being paid for via donations from local businesses and families. All of the dogs have been, or are being, trained at Maple Lane Kennels located in the Goodrich area, with which the Brighton Schools have had excellent success. Storey says Brighton parents have been tremendously supportive of the therapy dog program, saying she’s had, in her words, “a ton of support from parents and teachers.” There are still costs to be incurred after the dogs are purchased and trained, with the purchase price about $8,000 per dog, and Storey says anyone who wishes to donate to the program may send their donation to: Karen Storey, Maltby Intermediate School, 4740 Bauer Road, Brighton, MI 48116, or e-mail her at storeyk@brightonk12.com. (TT) First photo: Oliver, the brother of Ford, Shadow and Buckley, who will go to Hilton Elementary in late spring after his training is completed.

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    Once again, the Brighton Area Schools received a glowing report in its annual audit. Jeffrey Straus of the firm Maner Costerisan of Lansing told the Board of Education at its meeting Monday night that watching the district work its way out of deficit the last several years was an amazing sight to behold. Straus called the idea of adopting a Shared Services program – by which Brighton teachers teaches non-core curriculum classes to schools that don’t have the resources to offer such courses – a stroke of genius as a revenue generator. The district once again received an unqualified report – which means that its accounting methods were within accepted state and federal accounting standards. More importantly, the report showed that the district went from an $8.5 million deficit several years ago to a positive fund balance of $5 million at the end of the 17-18 fiscal year on June 30th. (TT)

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    Organizers of Fowlerville’s second annual Witches Night Out say the event will make for a screaming good time, while also raising awareness about Melanoma and support for local patients. This year’s spooktacular ghoulfriend’s night out takes place this Saturday, October 6th, from 3 to 11pm at the Fowlerville Fairgrounds. The evening includes activities like the Witches Ball, Witches Bazaar, Costume & Cackle Contest, Food Truck Rally, Psychic Fair, and live entertainment. The charity event will bring awareness to Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and raise money for patients at the U of M Comprehensive Cancer Center Melanoma Patient Fund. The nonprofit Witches Night Out Michigan donated over $8,000 to charity through last year’s events. Witches Night Out Fowlerville will take place rain or shine, and will encompass the entire fairgrounds being held inside and outside. Event organizers say costumes are not required but are highly encouraged. Group admission tickets have already sold out for the event, but there are still general admission tickets available. Details are available at the link below.

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    The Brighton City Police Department is hosting another Coffee with a Cop event this week. “Coffee with a Cop” will run from 9 to 11am this Wednesday at the Starbucks on Grand River. Individuals and neighbors with questions for the Brighton Police Department or others who just want to get to know local officers are encouraged to attend the event for conversation. Officials say there is no agenda or speeches, just a chance to ask questions, voice concerns and get to know officers in your neighborhoods. Police Chief Rob Bradford has said residents are invited to come and talk about anything that’s on their mind, but particularly if they have any questions about the city police department, traffic rules and regulations, enforcement of the law, or other issues. He noted it’s also an opportunity for the public to get to know the dedicated, trained officers who patrol their community and keep the peace. The Brighton City Police Department has held several Coffee With A Cop events, all of which termed a success, although attendance varied. (JM)

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    A Super PAC dedicated to protecting and strengthening the Republican Majority in the House of Representatives says it's pulling funding from 8th District Congressman Mike Bishop, who is locked in an election race that analysts feel could go either way. The Congressional Leadership Fund is linked to House Speaker Paul Ryan and had set aside at least $2.2 million of television air time in Michigan to help defend Bishop. The incumbent Rochester Republican is facing two challengers, Democrat Elissa Slotkin and Libertarian Brian Ellison. Slotkin, a Holly native, is a former CIA analyst who worked on national security in the Bush and Obama administrations. She has raised more money than Bishop in every reporting period in the 2018 cycle. CLF spokeswoman Courtney Alexander told the Detroit News "CLF will continue to run strong field operations in districts and will continue to conduct polling and evaluate races across the country, as they do everything they can to protect the Republican majority. The Bishop campaign did not appear to be concerned by the CLF pulling out funding. Bishop Consultant Stu Sandler says "There is more than $5 million in other spending from NRCC, America First and other conservative groups. Our internal polling has Mike Bishop winning.” Slotkin's spokesperson Laura Epstein told WHMI "CLF is taking note of the same things we’re seeing: Elissa is building support across the political spectrum, due to her bipartisan service record and commitment to working on the issues that people care about most, like bringing down the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs.” Last January, CLF expanded its national field program to 27 offices in “key” congressional districts across the country, including a field office in Michigan’s 8th District to help defend Bishop’s seat. The latest shift by CLF in moving support away from Michigan's 8th District was said to be part of a shuffling of money to the broadcast markets in other states. (JM)

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    A public meeting tomorrow night aims to educate voters in the Village of Milford about two ballot proposals ahead of the November election. Two proposed Charter amendments will appear on the November 6th election ballot. The first would increase the pay of elected Village Council members, which has remained at $7.50 per meeting since the adoption of the current Village Charter by voters in 1958. The change cannot be done via a vote by Council, only voters. The other proposal, and the one that will be the focus of Tuesday’s public information session, is a revised road millage for additional projects in the Village. It would alter the 20-year-road millage adopted by voters in 2012. It would actually lower the millage rate to 2.9 mills but extend the length of the revised millage out to 2032 to generate funding for additional road projects. If approved, the revised road millage would generate a little over $4 (m) million in additional revenue. Wuerth says the initial millage was a 20-year road millage collection. It was set at 3.5 mills for the first ten years and intended for upgrades of roads, maintenance and repairs. He says the second ten years is scheduled for 1-mill, which is really intended for nothing more than maintenance and doesn’t generate enough revenue to get beyond routine maintenance of the road network. Since that time, Wuerth says a number of projects have been completed but there were a number that weren’t necessarily included in the first group of projects to take place. There has been some renewed interest in a number of those projects, one of which is the paving of Peters Road, which is currently a dirt road in the Village. Wuerth says the Capital Improvements Committee and village council have been working with staff and consultants to see what adjustments could be made to generate additional revenue to not only pave Peters Road but also look at some of the other projects that aren’t going to be incorporated into the existing millage. Wuerth says the Peters Road project is estimated around $1.5 (m) million, leaving around $2.5 (m) for other road projects that wouldn’t be able to be competed under the existing millage. In addition to the current millage, the Village has been able to leverage local dollars to obtain federal funds for improvements as well as general fund contributions. Wuerth says overall, roads are generally rated fair or pardon the pun, middle of the road. Since 2012, he says they have been able to complete projects on significant roadways and upgrade those, which has been a mix of projects in neighborhoods and the main corridor, but they still have others that haven’t received as much attention yet. He says as is practice, staff and consultants would continue to go out and evaluate the road network every spring and then make recommendations on what projects they feel are going to be an efficient use of the resources and improve the overall road network the best. The Village is hosting two public information meetings to discuss the revised road millage. The first is tomorrow night and the other will take place on Monday, October 29th. Both sessions start at 7pm at the Milford Civic Center on Atlantic Street. Wuerth says there will be presentations from staff and consulting engineers, and then an opportunity for questions and answers. For those who can’t attend, Wuerth says after the events they plan to add the presentations to the website, where voters will currently find detailed information on the ballot proposals and road projects completed to date. (JM)

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    A groundbreaking ceremony is set next week for the permanent home of Bountiful Harvest. The 501 ©(3) nonprofit organization provides food and personal hygiene products to families and individuals in Livingston County. Begun in 2011, Bountiful Harvest has been housed in the Brighton Community Center for several months since the organization was told by a local church that it could no longer use its basement, which was needed for other things. The new building will be located behind the First Presbyterian Church at 300 E. Grand River in Brighton. According to spokesman Terry Simpson the 3,300-square-foot building will allow Bountiful Harvest to expand its services and increase its hours. In 2016 the organization served 4,311 families, nearly 12,000 individuals, over 3,000 children and almost 2,500 seniors, and distributed nearly 250,000 pounds of food. $380,000 of the $590,000 needed to complete the building has been covered through financial donations and in-kind services being donated by local businesses and organizations including First Presbyterian Church, which donated the land and Brighton Rotary, which made a $55,000 donation with $20,000 in matching funds still available. Despite the funding gap, construction will commence to finalize the exterior work by mid-December, prior to winter conditions. It is expected that the interior portion will be completed and functional by April 1, 2019. The groundbreaking ceremony for the new home for Bountiful Harvest will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 9th at 3 p.m. The public is welcome to attend and refreshments will be served. (JK)

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    A local organization is once again holding a western-themed fundraiser to lasso in help for domestic violence victims. The LACASA Center provides education and awareness programs in addition to supporting those affected by child abuse and interpersonal violence. On Saturday, October 13th, from 5:30pm until 10 at night, their popular western-themed Denim & Diamonds fundraiser is returning to the Cross W Ranch in Howell. Emcees for the event will include Mike Marino & Jon King from WHMI's Mike & Jon in the Morning and local celebrity chef Renee Chodkowski, better known as The Great Foodini. Barbecue and craft brews will be available from Block Brewing. The event also features line dancing for cowboys and girls of all skill levels, and live entertainment from Kari Holmes and her band. A cattle-penning demonstration will prepare attendees for a pair of outdoor games where they can test their skill at lassoing for prizes. Western-themed casino games like blackjack and craps will be onsite, as well as the Diamond Mine raffle. For a $100 raffle ticket, attendees can dig through a sand pit for a chance to find a gemstone, a cubic zirconia, or a $6,000 diamond from Cooper and Binkley. A live auction will feature bidding for a week stay at a vacation home in Sedona, Arizona, near Coconino National Forest. Attendees can also partake in cider and donuts, a cigar and spirits bar, and enjoy a roaring bonfire before the night ends with a fireworks display. Tickets are $100. They can be purchased at Cooper and Binkley Jewelers, Howell Western Wear, LACASA Center, and LACASA Collection. They may also be purchased online through the link below. (MK)

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    The long-awaited hearing on charges of misconduct will begin today against 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan. The complaint filed by the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission alleges Brennan has committed perjury, failed to disqualify herself from cases in which she had a clear conflict of interest and routinely used employees under her supervision to perform personal tasks for her during working hours, including spending county time working on her campaign. Brennan was removed from her caseload in June by Livingston County Chief Judge Miriam Cavanaugh, but is still being paid. The hearing, which is being held in front of a retired judge serving as a Special Master in the case, will start this morning at 9:30 in 16th District Court in Livonia. That court was chosen as a neutral site to hear the case, which is expected to take up to six days. Once it is completed, the Special Master will render an opinion to the Judicial Tenure Commission, which will then decide whether to forward on a recommendation to the Michigan Supreme Court for discipline that could potentially include removing Brennan from the bench. The main issue in the complaint is Brennan’s relationship with former State Police Detective Sean Furlong, who served as the chief prosecution witness in the 2013 double murder trial of Jerome Kowalski, who was convicted and sentenced to life by Brennan. They insist the relationship began after the trial, but documents from Brennan’s 2017 divorce indicate it began long beforehand. Brennan is also the subject of several lawsuits, one filed by Livingston County for her alleged use of employees for personals tasks and the other by a former court administrator who claims Brennan retaliated against her for testifying in Brennan’s divorce proceedings. (JK)

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    This weekend the Howell Rotary Club is inviting bicyclists of all skill levels to take ride through scenic Livingston County for charity. The Tour de Livingston celebrates 11 years of helping those in need when it kicks off from Mt. Brighton this Sunday. Over $300,000 has been raised for the Livingston County United Way’s Basic Needs Fund through this event during its first 10 years. 7 different routes of varying distances up to 100 miles will take riders through interesting points of attraction like the GM Proving Grounds, Hell, Michigan, and the Howell Farmer’s Market. Returning this year is a family friendly route through Island State Park that is ideal for cyclists with young children or people who are more comfortable in a park setting. Riders for that will begin at Mt. Brighton with the rest of the participants before heading over to Island Lake, and are invited back following the ride for a hot lunch. Participants riding through any of the state park courses do need a park pass that will be available for purchase on the day of the event. Registration is $50 but sign up before Friday to get $10 off. Cyclists can also sign on to be a jersey rider and pledge to raise $250 for the event. Those who are successful gain complimentary entry, a free long sleeve t-shirt, and a special 11th anniversary Tour jersey designed by Howell High School students. For more information, or to register, go online to www.tourdelivingston.org. (JK)

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    The community is invited out to spend some time getting to know officers from a local police department over a cup of coffee. The Howell Police Department is hosting another Coffee with a Cop event where residents can meet with officers without any fear of speeches, agendas or presentations. It’s part of greater community policing and outreach efforts for the department. The events are viewed as an opportunity to have a conversation about whatever is on one’s mind with the officers that patrol Howell’s neighborhoods. Coffee with a Cop will take place from 9am to 11am Wednesday, which is National Coffee With a Cop Day, at the Biggby Coffee location on North Michigan Avenue, just south of M-59. (JK)

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    Preventative maintenance work for city streets will extend into the fall throughout the City of Howell. The Howell City Council met on Monday night and approved some additional crack sealing work for road surfaces that will be done before the winter hits. The method of treatment applies sealant into the cracks formed on the road surface, which prevents water intrusion and the resulting compromising of the roadway due to freeze-thaw cycles. Officials say crack sealing of road surfaces at the proper time can prolong the life of pavement five years or longer than roads that are not treated. City Manager Shea Charles tells WHMI they were able to complete a lot of the work this spring and went up to what was budgeted. However he says the contractor held their price from the spring into this fall, and that was part of a bid cooperative between the City of Howell, the Village of Milford and the City of Wixom. Charles says since they had multiple communities bidding on it, they were able to get some really great pricing – well below what the City had seen previously. He says the contractor has agreed to maintain that price through the fall so they’ll be out conditioning up the rest of roads. A memo noted that the contractor performed satisfactorily and no resident complaints were received by Howell DPS. The City is required to operate a Pavement Asset Management Plan as part of Act 51 funding. The City currently rates roads using a PASER method and inputs that data into a program. The system uses a rating scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being poor and 10 being excellent, to help determine the proper treatment of maintenance for prolonging life of the road. That data is then sent to SEMCOG and the State of Michigan for review and approval. (JM)

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    As the ongoing issue of PFAS contamination in the Huron River continues to draw many questions with few answers, a meeting later this week will seek to change that. The community-focused discussion on the emerging threat of PFAS to the Huron River is being presented by the Huron River Watershed Council, the Village of Milford, Milford Township and the City of Wixom. It will be held Thursday, October 4th in the Milford Civic Center on Atlantic Street. Watershed Council staff will provide some introductory remarks followed by a time for audience questions and answers. Officials say the discussion will conclude with information on what individuals can do to help protect and restore the watershed. PFAS are a contamination threat that encompasses a class of chemical compounds used for decades in manufacturing and linked to cancer. But their presence in the Huron River has prompted several public warnings to avoid eating fish in the river and ingesting any foam from its waters. On September 20th, representatives of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality confirmed that a single industrial wastewater customer in Wixom, identified as Adept Plating and Plastics, now operating as Tribar Manufacturing, is the only identified “enforceable” source of the contamination, with its wastewater levels of PFOS, a member of the PFAS family, more than 450 times what the state allows in surface waters and 78 times the lifetime health advisory for human consumption. The company, which is based in Howell, now has until October 19th to inform the City of Wixom how the contamination occurred and a detailed work plan on how it will be prevented. However, a group of Democratic lawmakers from the Ann Arbor area, including State Representative Yousef Rabhi and State Senator Rebekah Warren, called on the MDEQ last week (see document below) to shut off Tribar’s discharges until the issue is completely resolved. Meanwhile, Matt Bolang, Livingston County’s Director of Environmental Health, will make another report on the PFAS issue to the Livingston County Board of Commissioners at their meeting tonight, which starts at 7:30pm. (JK)

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    The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office is seeking applicants for a Citizens Academy. The Citizen’s Police Academy is an informational overview designed to provide citizens a better understanding of the duties of a Deputy and the services offered by the Sheriff’s Office. The academy will be an ongoing program limited to the first 20 eligible participants, ages 18 and up. Classes are held once a week for 12 weeks, on Thursday from 6-8pm beginning Thursday, November 1, 2018. The November 8 class will take place on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at the Fowlerville Proving Grounds. This class will include a four-hour emergency vehicle operation exercise. The Citizens Police Academy will conclude with a graduation ceremony on Thursday, February 7, 2019. There will be a break during the holidays. Classes will consist of scenario based applications, a Jail tour, Special Units, Crime Scene investigations, Accident investigations, and more. For additional information please contact Deputy Ray Marino via email at rmarino@livgov.com or call the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office at 517-546-2440 extension 4351. An application is attached. (JM)

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    Livingston County manufactures and high schools will join forces Thursday during Manufacturing Day, a nationwide effort to expand knowledge of manufacturing career opportunities. For the first time, 12 Livingston County manufacturing companies will open their doors to more than 300 students from Brighton, Fowlerville, Hartland, Howell, Pinckney, Whitmore Lake, FlexTech, Innovation Academy, and Kensington Woods high schools. Spearheading the effort is Ann Arbor SPARK and the Economic Development Council of Livingston County along with several Livingston-area education and manufacturing organizations. Phil Santer, senior vice president of Ann Arbor SPARK, said that with the “wealth” of local manufacturing companies hiring, it will be the, “perfect opportunity for high school students to explore what a skilled trades career offers.” Planned activities include guided tours of facilities and Mott Community College to learn more about the post-secondary opportunities for students who may pursue a career in the manufacturing industry. Student groups will tour three participating employers where they will have an opportunity to learn more about the company. (JK)

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    A local man is dead after being struck by a vehicle while crossing a road in Genoa Township Monday. Deputies with the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the intersection of Grand River and Meadowview for a crash involving a motor vehicle and a pedestrian. It happened around 4:30pm. The preliminary investigation has revealed that a 39-year-old Williamston resident was operating a 2004 Toyota Corolla westbound on Grand River near Meadowview when he struck an 83-year-old Howell resident who was crossing Grand River. The Howell resident was pronounced deceased at the scene while the Williamston resident was not injured. The Sheriff’s Office says alcohol and speed do not appear to be factors in the crash. Deputies were assisted at the scene by Hamburg Township Police, the Brighton Area Fire Department and Livingston County Ambulance. The crash remains under investigation by the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Safety Bureau. Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s Office responded to another non-fatal crash that impacted traffic in the Oceola Township area. That accident happened around 2:30pm and the eastbound lanes of M-59 were blocked at Latson Road. There was no functioning traffic signal at the intersection and a deputy directed traffic until everything was finally cleared around 7pm. (JM)

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    Testimony began Monday in the case regarding the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission’s complaint against 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan. The hearing, held in 16th District Court in Livonia and presided over by Special Master William J. Giovan, addressed allegations against Brennan listed in the JTC’s complaint. The main issue in the complaint is Brennan’s relationship with former State Police Detective Sean Furlong, who served as the chief prosecution witness in the 2013 double murder trial of Jerome Kowalski, who was convicted and sentenced to life by Brennan. They insist the relationship began after the trial, but documents from Brennan’s 2017 divorce indicate it began long beforehand. JTC Executive Director Lynn Helland says there are three main themes in the allegations listed in the complaint, those being false statements, abuse of power and conflict of interest. Brennan was Helland’s first and only testimony of the day and he pursued the conflict of interest allegations during a few separate lines of questioning. Helland asked Brennan about the phone calls and texts that were exchanged between her and Furlong during the Kowalski trial. When discussing the phone records and asked about the frequency of the exchanges, Brennan said she couldn’t rely on her memory, noting that she’s over 60 years old. She said she didn’t believe she had texted with Furlong during the trial, but Helland pointed to phone records that indicate the pair texted 13 times and spoke on the phone on three occasions. Brennan said that “surprised” her. It was learned Monday the JTC plans to add complaints of destroying evidence to the charges of misconduct. Brennan is accused of attempting to delete “electronic evidence” off of her cellphone prior to her divorce proceedings. Helland questioned whether Brennan had asked staff members if they knew how to delete stuff from her phone. During testimony that occurred six weeks after the alleged incident, Brennan says she asked staff members that “jokingly”. Throughout Monday’s hearing, Brennan frequently cited lack of memory when answering Helland’s questions. Brennan says she doesn’t even remember the conversations with her staff in which she supposedly asked them how to delete information from her phone. Helland cited testimony from Brennan’s divorce proceedings in which Brennan admits she asked her court recorder to skip court to research how to delete information. Helland’s questions also focused on allegations that Brennan asked her staff to perform personal tasks for her during working hours, which she disputes, adding that if they did so, she had no knowledge of it. Brennan was asked why she didn’t immediately recuse herself from her own divorce proceedings as well. She says she was a “basket case” the day she found out her husband was filing for divorce and that he had hired an attorney who she claims has attacked her in “every which way”, suggesting her state of mind at the time was a factor. The hearing resumes in 16th District Court Tuesday. (DK)

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    A fatal crash over the weekend in Highland Township is under investigation. Deputies with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Highland Township substation and the Highland Township Fire Department responded to the crash near the intersection of Hickory Ridge Road and Clyde Road about 1:45pm Saturday. Deputies ascertained that there were serious injuries involved and requested the OCSO Crash Reconstruction Unit to assist them. The Office says a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado was travelling northbound on Hickory Ridge Road approaching the intersection of Clyde Road. A second vehicle, identified as a 2017 Ford Fusion, accelerated away from a stop sign westbound on Clyde Road and into the path of the Chevy Silverado, which struck the driver’s side of the Ford Fusion. There was no stop sign posted for the Chevrolet Silverado. A front seat passenger in the Ford Fusion, a 74-year-old Dearborn man, was transported to Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc where he was pronounced deceased. The driver of the Ford Fusion was also transported to the Medical Center via Star EMS and later transferred to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak via Life Flight of Michigan. She was identified as a 78-year-old Dearborn woman and remains in critical condition. The driver of the Chevrolet Silverado, a 46-year-old Highland Township woman who was the lone occupant, was transported a hospital by a family member. She was treated and released for minor injuries. The Sheriff’s Office says the occupants of both vehicles were wearing seatbelts and neither alcohol nor drugs appear to be a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation. (JM)

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    A familiar face within the Livingston Essential Transportation Service or LETS is moving up to the director position. The Livingston County Board of Commissioners met Monday night and finalized a recommendation to hire Greg Kellogg, the current deputy director. He’ll succeed longtime Director Doug Britz, who is retiring. Britz told the board Kellogg is a great employee, very astute and detail oriented. He is said to effectively manage staff, administer grants and assists in budgetary, financial and operational planning. Kellogg told WHMI he feels great and has been training for four years under Britz’s mentorship. He plans to continue what Britz has started, managing the department and finances responsibly. Kellogg says LETS is mostly grant funded and it takes a lot of work to secure those grants and then manage and report on them. He said he’s looking forward to working with the board to implement the results of a transportation study coming out in December. Kellogg said there are a lot of exciting things going on at LETS right now and he will continue to put emphasis on the county’s most vulnerable citizens, the transit dependent. At the same time, he plans to meet some of the new demand from some riders of choice, who he described as new groups of kids and other groups that have really started to take up transit. Kellogg is expected to officially take over in the new role effective October 13th. Facebook photo. (JM)

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    An evidentiary hearing continued today for 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan, with testimony focused on her treatment of former employees and demeaning behavior. Brennan is facing various misconduct and abuse of power allegations. Brennan testified for a second day but this time about how she treated court employees and lawyers. The ethics case could lead to her removal from office. She's accused of failing to disclose a relationship with former Michigan State Police Detective Sean Furlong during a murder trial. She's also accused of using staff to perform personal duties for her on county time. Lynn Helland, executive director of Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission, questioned Brennan. Kristi Cox took a pay cut to stop working as Brennan's court reporter. The judge had referred to her as "brain-damaged." When asked about the remark in court today, Brennan said Cox returned from a vacation and was "acting strangely." She doesn't believe she treated Cox terribly. Additional testimony was heard today from Livingston County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Shawn Ryan in regard to Furlong, her former boyfriend, and different social interactions Brennan had with him and other law enforcement. Others included Livingston County Circuit Court Judge David Reader and his secretary Jeannine Pratt, who testified mostly in regard to Brennan’s divorce case. Another court employee, Robbin Pott, testified about a discussion Brennan allegedly had about how to remove emails, text messages and how to destroy a cell phone. She further stated that she heard the judge yell or shout almost every day. The hearing is set to continue tomorrow in 16th District Court in Livonia. (JM)

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