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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 local dental clinic that helps low income and uninsured families is once again pitting Spartan and Wolverine fans against each other in a fundraiser before the big game. The 10th annual VINA Dental Tailgate is scheduled for Wednesday, October 17th at Crystal Gardens in Genoa Township, three days before the teams meet in East Lansing. The clinic, located on Grand River in Brighton has been providing dental care services to Livingston County residents in-need at a low cost for over a decade. And while it has been a group effort by dental community in donating their time and services, the clinic still needs money to operate. Enter the Tailgate, which is their yearly benefit where Michigan and Michigan State fans battle for bragging rights on who can donate more, before the teams battle for bragging rights on the field. This year’s emcee is Livingston County Sheriff, and Spartan fan, Mike Murphy who challenged Wolverine fans to step up as MSU leads the tailgate series 5-4. At the event there will be food, a cash bar, a silent auction, games, and more. A $45 donation gets you in the door. Tickets can be purchased at VINA Dental or online through the link below. (JK)

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    A Brighton Township roadway will undergo construction next week that will close it to most vehicles. The Livingston County Road Commission says that starting at 8am on Monday, October 15th, Van Amberg Road between Spencer Road and Pleasant Valley Road will be closed for approximately 11 days. The work is being done to replace a drain crossing under Van Amberg Road. Workers will excavate a full-width trench to place a new box culvert and then backfill the area. The road will be completely closed to through traffic, although local traffic will have access. Signs advising of the closure are in place, but no detour route has been established. Motorists are being advised to seek an alternate route to get around the work, which is scheduled to wrap up by Friday, October 26th at 6pm. (JK)

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    A local high school student is being investigated after making a verbal threat earlier this week. Linden Superintendent Russ Ciesielski sent a letter home to parents outlining the incident that took place at Linden High School on Monday at the end of the day. The Tri-County Times says Ciesielski told parents that, “In communication with Argentine Township Police, the verbal threat was deemed non-imminent thus no lockdown of the building was conducted. Further information is continuing to be gathered. The student was detained, the proper authorities were contacted, and the student was released to parents. The situation continues to be investigated by local law enforcement.” Argentine Township Police Chief Daniel Allen told the paper that police are investigating and more information will be available after the case is presented to the prosecutor’s office for review. Ciesielski encouraged parents to “have an open dialogue” with their student regarding the “seriousness of making threats whether real, or perceived” adding that they take all threats seriously, and “will continue to work diligently to provide the safest learning environment possible.” (JK)

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    DTE Energy is working to improve power reliability in the City of Wixom after numerous complaints. There have been ongoing power reliability issues in areas of Wixom. Feedback from residents and businesses resulted in DTE Energy issuing a letter outlining steps to improve infrastructure. It states the company is aware of concerns expressed about power quality in parts of the community, adding the level of service received has been unacceptable and does not come close to meeting the high standards DTE holds for itself. DTE has implemented several corrective measures in the area north of Maple Road, south of Proud Lake Campground, east of Charms and west of Benstein. Measures include tree trimming where line interference has occurred or is expected to cause ongoing issues, as well as replacing and upgrading overhead equipment and installing multiple animal guards. DTE says it is also leveraging new drone technology to survey overhead equipment with a special video camera to determine if additional trimming and equipment upgrades are necessary. The City of Wixom advises that certain residents recently had their power transferred to the circuit near the Wixom Pole Yard by DTE while maintenance and improvement work was done on the original circuit. DTE now plans to restore service for those residents to the original circuit on Friday. The City says the return to the original circuit will result in a temporary power outage and residents should consider taking steps to protect their appliances and other equipment as appropriate. The City further advises that a team of DTE employees will conduct a postcard “door knock” today and employees will be happy to answer questions from residents they interact with in person. The postcard to be provided will have a special number for residents to use to contact an informed team of DTE engineers, working on problems affecting service in the area. The “door knock” will cover the area west of Wixom Road and north of W. Maple Road, to the City limit plus residences north of W. Maple Road between Wixom and Beck Roads. The City of Wixom has been updating the public via it’s Facebook page. That link is provided and the letter from DTE is attached. (JM)

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    Some local communities are being recognized for optimal fluoridation in their public water supplies. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Oral Health Unit is recognizing 50 Michigan public water systems for being awarded the Water Fluoridation Quality Award from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The three local communities named are Dexter, Milford and Linden. The award recognizes those communities that maintained a consistent level of optimally fluoridated water throughout 2017. A total of 1,499 water systems in 30 states received the award. Fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in the water to a level that is optimal for preventing tooth decay. According to the CDC, drinking fluoridated water keeps teeth strong and reduces cavities by about 25% in children and adults. Community water fluoridation has been recognized by CDC as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th Century. It is estimated that every dollar invested in fluoridation saves at least $38 in costs for dental treatment. However, some researchers and activists claim that it has little to no health benefits and may actually pose a public health risk. (JM)

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    Legislators, attorneys and supporters spoke at a local event about the need for family court reform to address what is said to be a nationwide child custody crisis. The Americans for Equal Shared Parenting Capitols for Kids tour made a stop at the Howell Opera House Wednesday night to discuss the shared parenting philosophy and related legislation. Mark Ludwig, who served as the event’s guest speaker, is on the Board of Directors for the Americans for Equal Shared Parenting. Ludwig says there is a widespread problem when it comes to child custody following the divorce or separation of parents. According to Ludwig, the crux of the problem is Title IV-D, which regulates the child support enforcement program. Ludwig says the program began with good intentions, having been created at a time when men typically worked and women stayed at home, and offers financial incentives to states that enforce payment of child support. But as society evolved to include more women in the workforce, there became less of a disparity in incomes and therefore not as much of a need for child support. Ludwig says that’s when a shift began to occur in how custody was awarded. Ludwig claims, “Judges aren’t giving 50/50. The reason being if they give 50/50, unless there’s a wide disparity income, there’s not a big need for child support. But if they can give one parent every other weekend, and do it to middle-class families, now there’s a big need for child support. And that’s what’s created the problem all across the country. It started out mainly affecting men, but we’re seeing a wide swing going across the country where it doesn’t matter whether it’s the man or woman. It’s whoever is earning more money; they’re going to end up getting every other weekend.” Representative Jim Runestad of White Lake shared information at the seminar about the Michigan Shared Parenting Bill he sponsors. He feels legislative reform is needed to avoid the frequency of cases in which one parent is awarded primary custody, while the other parent is “treated as a visitor”. Runestad says what the bill does is set the starting point for two, loving, caring, fit parents at a substantially equal amount of time. Runestad says, “If there’s any evidence of domestic violence, of any unfitness, of substance abuse, mental disorder…any of those undoes the presumption.” Runestad says bill opponents and the divorce industry have said the legislation “mandates and handcuffs” those affected; a sentiment he does not agree with. Patty Malowney, who is running for State Representative in the 77th District, attended the seminar having heard from numerous residents their struggles in trying to obtain equal parenting time. Malowney went through her own divorce, but says she and her ex were both able to amicably work things out on their own. The problem, she says, is that it was difficult to do that without Friend of the Court intervening. Friend of the Court provides services related to child support, custody and parenting time. For privacy reasons, Malowney declined to say which county her divorce case was first set in, but says her attorney advised her to take her case to a different county because it would be “nearly impossible to opt out of Friend of the Court because of people’s financial interest in your custody dispute.” Malowney says all she wanted was to have a normal divorce without someone telling her what to do with child support and parent time. Tim Laskowski attended the seminar and says he became involved with this issue after going through his own “high conflict” divorce in which he was given 133 nights a year with his children. Laskowski says he disagreed with that, but couldn’t afford taking the case to trial. He says when he and his ex first started meeting with their attorneys, he offered to split custody, parenting time and everything in the house 50/50, and was willing to pay whatever child support the court ordered. Laskowski says, “She was against it. Said no. I only want you to have the kids every weekend.” Laskowski says that wasn’t going to happen, fought for more time and now has 168 nights a year, with equal time during the school year, and then one week on, one week off in the summer. He says he has continued to fight for equal time, but to no avail. Howell is one of 25 cities being visited by the Capitols for Kids tour. Leaders say the events “will help effectuate legislative change and ensure children have equal access to both fit and loving parents, regardless of the marital or relationship status of the parents.” (DK)

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    Residents interested in learning more about the Michigan State Police will have an opportunity to do so starting next month. The Michigan State Police Brighton Post is preparing to host another Citizens’ Academy, which will start November 7th and end December 12th. The academy will meet on Wednesdays from 7 to 9pm and is open to anyone 21 years of age and older who is able to pass a preliminary background check. It gives citizens the opportunity to get to know personnel at the Brighton Post, become familiar with the mission and operation of the MSP, understand the procedures troopers follow and increase awareness of the role law enforcement plays in the community. A graduation ceremony will be held on Wednesday, December 19th. Individuals who are interested in attending the Citizens’ Academy should contact Trooper Scott Hammond of the Brighton Post at 810-227-1051 or email him at hammonds1@michigan.gov. (JK)

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    A group of veterans from the 8th Congressional District, including Livingston County, have come out in support of Democrat Elissa Slotkin in her race to unseat Republican Congressman Mike Bishop. “Veterans for Slotkin” is a group of 25 veterans from Livingston, Ingham, and North Oakland counties endorsing Slotkin. Among them is Matt McKenna, a Brighton-area Army veteran who served as an Infantry Army Captain in Iraq. McKenna says his decision to support Slotkin is not one that was made lightly, having voted for Republican candidates in the past, including Bishop. "I don't feel that I have changed that much as a voter, but I feel the Republican Party has shifted farther and farther to the right away from my values. When I looked to Mike Bishop's voting record, I see someone who votes in the best interest of the Republican Party but not necessarily with an independent voice that is separate from the platform by which he got elected." McKenna, a doctor serving as a resident at McLaren Hospital in Flint, says Slotkin is “understanding, caring, clear, intelligent and knowledgeable” about veterans issues in a way that former 8th District Congressman Mike Rogers used to be, although it should be noted that Rogers has endorsed Bishop for re-election. McKenna says he has confidence Slotkin, who served three tours of duty in Iraq with the CIA and the in the Defense Department in the Bush and Obama administrations, will chart an independent course and not be beholden to the Democratic Party, but instead to constituents. In response to the announcement, Stu Sandler, a consultant for the Bishop campaign, told WHMI, "Veterans support Mike Bishop because he has a record of supporting our service members. While Mike Bishop was standing up for our military members, Elissa Slotkin was sending billions of dollars to the world's largest State sponsor of terrorism in the misguided Iran Deal. That money was unsurprisingly used to foment terrorism in the Middle East. Elissa Slotkin also spearheaded the failed strategic policies in the Middle East that led to the rise of ISIS. During her failed confirmation hearing Senator John McCain called Elissa Slotkin "totally unqualified" and questioned her honesty." He added that Bishop had introduced H.R 6734, the Full Military Honors Act of 2018, which will allow enlisted Medal of Honor recipients and Prisoners of War (POWs), who are eligible for burial at Arlington National Cemetery to receive a full military honors burial. "He also supported legislation to expand educational benefits for veterans and their spouse and dependents by increasing funding and removing the 15 year deadline to use the benefit. This bill was signed into law last year." (JK)

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    A weekend event targeting families and car buffs will support the programs and services of the Salvation Army of Livingston County. The Great Pumpkin Classic Car Show will be held at the Livingston County Spencer J. Hardy Airport this Saturday. The event features hundreds of classic cars as well as other vintage vehicles and motorcycles. The show is a competition with trophies awarded and is open to all makes, models and years of vehicles. Registration can be done prior or on the day or the event. All proceeds directly benefit the Salvation Army of Livingston County and help the local corps provide a wide range of programs and services year round to those in need. Major Prezza Morrison tells WHMI there will be close to 500 cars at the location and funds raised will support the Salvation Army and all of the work it does in the community. She says it’s a great event to check out classic cars, bring the family and walk around – adding they’re hoping for nice weather and so far the forecast is cooperating. Since not everyone is a car buff, the Salvation Army will also have a shuttle service running between three different locations for those who might not want to hang out all day at the car show. The car show runs from 10am to 3pm Saturday and Morrison says a Salvation Army shuttle van will run continuously between the car show, the Tanger Outlet Mall and the nearby Antique Outlet so people can park in any of those locations and be transported to another. More information is available online through the link. Photo: Salvation Army Livingston County. (JM)

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    A South Lyon High School student who was allegedly devising a plan to obtain a firearm and shoot up the school was arrested this week An Oakland County Sheriff’s Deputy who is assigned as South Lyon High School’s School Resource Officer received an anonymous tip around 8:30am Wednesday that a student was in the process of devising a plan to obtain a firearm and shoot up the school. A report states the deputy interviewed the suspect, who refused to cooperate with the investigation. Further information provided to deputies identified a student who the suspect had attempted to obtain a firearm from. The Sheriff’s Office says that student was cooperative with deputies and refused to supply the suspect with a firearm. The South Lyon High School Principal was notified of the incident and deputies arrested the suspect, a 17-year-old male who resides in South Lyon. He was lodged at the Oakland County Jail pending the issuance of criminal charges. (JM)

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    Water service connections are scheduled to begin next week as part of the Second Street Reconstruction project in the City of Brighton. The project includes replacement of sanitary sewer lines and water mains, concrete curb and gutter replacement, resurfacing of North Second Street from Cross Street to Millpond Lane and new five foot sidewalks on each side of North Second Street. The City advises the contractor is currently flushing and chlorinating the newly installed water mains. With the water service connections, the City says there should be very minimal service interruptions. All affected homeowners and businesses will be notified when the water will need to be disconnected. Meanwhile, the road base preparation is continuing and sidewalk base preparation has begun. Both will continue through next week. Projects updates can be found on the City of Brighton’s website. The link is provided. (JM)

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    39-year-old Sean Thompson was originally charged with one count each of unarmed robbery and 3rd degree retail fraud; however he pleaded guilty last week to two added counts of larceny from a building and assault and battery as a second time habitual offender. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the two original charges and to no up-front jail time at his November 1st sentencing. Thompson was charged as a result of the April 7th incident, which occurred at the Rural King on Highland Road. Store employees told responding Livingston County Sheriff’s deputies they observed a man attempting to conceal an unknown item in his coat. The employees pursued the man, later identified as Thompson, into the parking lot and attempted to restrain him for suspected retail fraud; however he managed to escape and fled in his vehicle. The employees sustained minor injuries but did not seek medical attention at the time of the incident. Thompson was later located by the Sheriff's Office with the assistance of the White Lake Township Police Department.

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    An event held by a nonpartisan voters group provided information on the three statewide proposals that will appear on the ballot in next month’s election. The League of Women Voters (LWV) Brighton/Howell unit led the “What’s On Your Ballot?” session at the Howell Carnegie Library Tuesday. Susan P. Smith, President of the Lansing-area LWV, first discussed the basics for each of the 2018 state ballot proposals. Those proposals are Proposal 1: the Marijuana Legalization Initiative, which would legalize the personal use of marijuana; Proposal 2: the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission Initiative, and Proposal 3: the Promote the Vote Initiative. In addition to providing the basics on each proposal, individuals from organizations supporting Proposals 2 and 3 went into depth about what their respective organizations believe to be the pros of each initiative. Anne Levy from Voters Not Politicians further explained Proposal 2, which would transfer the responsibility of re-drawing legislative districts from the legislature to a non-partisan citizen’s commission. While Michigan is said to have Republican-controlled districts, Levy cited Maryland as an example of a state with districts controlled by Democrats, pointing out that this issue affects both sides of the political aisle. She says officials have rigged the system through gerrymandering and "packing", which is packing certain voters into one district. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is among the groups that oppose Proposal 2. The Chamber says it would place an inordinate amount of power in the hands of a partisan Secretary of State, rewrite Michigan’s constitution and change the foundation of the state governing structure. Eli Savit on behalf of Promote the Vote then provided information on Proposal 3, which would amend the constitution to implement a variety of voting related reforms, including straight party voting, requiring audits for election results and no-reason absentee voting. He says the guiding principal is democracy is stronger when more people are able to participate in it and that the proposal would remove some perceived barriers in the voting process. Savit says in 2016, there were 92 million eligible voters in the United States who decided not to participate in the presidential election. Opposing organization Protect My Vote says Proposal 3 misleads voters about its true purpose, though it’s unclear what they believe its true purpose is. While supporting groups attended Tuesday’s meeting for Proposal 2 and 3, there were no advocates in attendance to speak about the Marijuana Legalization Initiative. (DK)

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    Stretch your imagination and picture Mark Twain and Will Rogers being time travelers and coming to the 21st Century. They meet and become engaged in a conversation about American society and American politics in the bygone era, and compare it to politics in the present day. Not surprisingly, they conclude that little has changed since those earlier times. That’s the premise of the production “Politics As Usual” which is showing beginning this Saturday (Oct. 13th). The main characters are Pat Tucker, reprising his role as Samuel Clemens - better known as Mark Twain - and Mark Meyer as Will Rogers. The producer is Susan Tucker-Judd and the director is JoAnn Radelt. The moderator is WHMI’s Tom Tolen. The show was previously presented by the Livingston Players two years ago, and it was decided to update it in time for the 2018 mid-term general election on November 6th. The other difference from the previous production is that it will be in a new location this year – the Lion’s Club building on West Main St. at the railroad tracks in Brighton. The CoBACH Center, where the production was staged previously, is temporarily closed for maintenance. Pat Tucker, as Mark Twain, tells WHMI this year's fall election and passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote are why the Livingston Players decided to present an updated version of the show. “Politics As Usual” will be presented this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Lion’s Club building, with a matinee on Sunday, Oct. 14th, at 3 p.m. The following week the show will take place on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 19th and 20th, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, the 21st, at 3 p.m. Tickets are priced at $10 apiece, and can be obtained by going to the link below. Tickets will also be available at the door at the same price. (TT)

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    Several community groups have again come together to host a candidate forum next week in Hartland. The forum is being held in advance of the November 6th election and will take place on Thursday, October 18th at 6:30pm in the auditorium of the Hartland Educational Support Services Center on M-59. It is being sponsored in part by Voter’s Voice, the League of Women Voters Brighton/Howell area unit and the Howell, Brighton and Hartland chambers of commerce along with The Livingston Post and WHMI. Among the races to be featured is that for the 8th Congressional District, with Republican incumbent Mike Bishop and his challengers; Democrat Elissa Slotkin and Libertarian Brian Ellison. Also featured will be candidates for the 42nd District State House seat, Democrat Mona Shand and Republican Ann Bollin; the 47th State House seat, where Republican Incumbent Hank Vaupel is being challenged by Democrat Colleen Turk and 22nd State Senate candidates, Republican Lana Theis and Democrat Adam Dreher. The evening will conclude with the two candidates running for the newly created 44th Circuit Court seat; Dennis Brewer and Suzanne Geddis. (JK)

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    Community leaders, residents, government representatives and the business community will gather at Hartland Township Hall on Monday, October 15th, at 4pm for a multi-media presentation on the state of the township. Township Supervisor Bill Fountain will highlight the ongoing, collaborative relationship of the four Partners in Progress, which are the Hartland Area Chamber of Commerce, Hartland Consolidated Schools, Cromaine Library and Hartland Township. He will also briefly outline the township’s recent accomplishments. Fountain says the township is business-friendly, family-friendly and ‘Friendly by Nature’. He adds they are proud of the projects that have been accomplished for residents over the past twelve months, under the guidance of a “smart growth” mindset, while also working hard toward being a green community. The State of the Township address is held annually to update the community on what has been achieved over the last year, but also preview what’s to come. Last year’s event celebrated the municipality’s 180th birthday with a full house. The winner of the ‘Hartland: Friendly by Nature Volunteer of the Year’ will also be announced at the gathering. The 2017 Volunteer of the Year was Kurt Stromlund, president of the Hartland Lions Club and coach of the Hartland Eagles Intermediate Baseball team. Photo: Hartland Partners in Progress

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    The Salvation Army of Livingston County is looking to bring hope and joy to families in need this Thanksgiving and Christmas. The non-profit provides help with food, gifts and toys and is hosting four different opportunities to sign up for assistance. Those will take place next Tuesday and Wednesday, and Saturday. A final sign-up event will be held on Saturday, November 17th but that would be too late to receive Thanksgiving assistance so Major Prezza Morrison tells WHMI they encourage those in need to get signed up sooner than later. She says the later date is in case someone was gone or something comes up. She says sometimes you don’t know you’re in need until it gets closer to Christmas and financial realities set in. She says at least people know they have something to fall back on and some way to help them. Morrison says last year, the Salvation Army was able to help 532 households and gave out 5,700 gifts to 1,300 children last year – which was a big help for people. She says people might think there is always someone worse off but if it can help make a better Christmas for those struggling or if the assistance would help them buy food or pay rent, Morrison says sign up because they want to help and that’s what the Salvation Army is here for and there are plenty of toys. The sign-up events will take place at the Salvation Army’s 3600 E. Grand River location. Dates, times and details on what of documentation to bring can be found through the link. (JM)

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    Community members may notice some new residents hanging around the Village of Fowlerville and Handy Township, with area businesses taking part in a friendly competition. Fowlerville Police Chief John Tyler says the idea for “Scarecrows Across the ‘Ville” came up during a recent strategic planning meeting, as committee members were trying to brainstorm ways to bring more fall activities to the downtown area and share the spirit of the season. Tyler says flyers were handed out to businesses in the village and Handy Township, encouraging each to create and display their own scarecrow for a chance to win prizes. Tyler says the idea “took off”, with 65 entries pouring in within the first week. He tells WHMI the participating businesses have gotten very creative, noting that some scarecrows even resemble the business owners. Village Council Members will visit each of the businesses next week to judge their scarecrows, and then choose the top three who will be awarded gift certificates and goodie bags. The winners will be announced October 30th. Tyler says he and the committee have enjoyed watching the communities unite throughout the friendly competition; so much so that the committee is planning on holding a similar competition during Christmas in the ‘Ville and judging on “Best Christmas Spirit”. (DK)

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    A local candidate for state house held an educational forum with four experts on immigration. Colleen Turk is the democratic candidate for the Michigan House of Representative’s 47th District seat. She is running against Republican incumbent Hank Vaupel. Thursday evening, Turk held an educational forum titled “Immigration: Policy and Experience” for roughly 30 attendees at the Howell Carnegie Library. Turk shared with the crowd her opinion on the importance of having these types of conversations. She asked, “How many opportunities do we in the Howell area have to talk to people who have recently immigrated to the U.S.? How often do we go to Dearborn and talk to our neighbors there? Probably not as often as we should. So I’d like, as a Michigander, to find ways to break down those boundaries so we’re not so polarized and so isolated.” A panel of immigration experts took curated questions on the topic, before the floor was opened up to any in the public wishing to ask their own or give a statement. The panel included former Director of the Detroit Office of Immigrant Affairs, Fayrouz Saad; Seydi Sarr, founder and Executive Director of ABISA; and immigration attorneys Russell Abrutyn and Reginal Pacis. The foursome shared their own stories and backgrounds before answering questions on immigration policy. They discussed topics like the obstacles immigrants face gaining permanent residency in the U.S., if having a child or getting married can grant lawful status (not necessarily), and how to make sure that people who mean to do harm aren’t allowed over the border. Turk said that this forum is the type of gathering she’d like to host as Representative, as she feels it’s important for leaders to be continuously educating citizens, even if the topic is controversial. She said this is the kind of thing she hopes to do as State Representative, but even if not elected will still probably do them. She has previously hosted similar events through Citizens for Unity, including a non-partisan diversity and tolerance gathering following last year’s riots in Charlottesville, Virginia.(MK)

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    The Livingston County Planning Department is asking residents for input on the new Master Plan. A public hearing has been scheduled for citizens to give official comment on the proposed Master Plan, which will serve as a guide for land use development throughout the county. The Planning Department has been working on this new plan, which will be online and interactive, since early 2017. The county is currently working off of the Master Plan from 2003. One central focus of the new plan is a highlighting of “Best Practices.” This approach allows municipalities within the Livingston County to learn what others are doing successfully and how those tactics can be applied back home. The public hearing will take place before the County Planning Commission’s regular meeting, this coming Wednesday, at 6:30pm. It will take place at the Livingston County Administration Building on East Grand River, in downtown Howell. A copy of the plan can be found at the County Planning Department, or online at https://www.livgov.com/plan/Pages/2015-16-County-Master-Plan.aspx. (MK)

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