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Articles on this Page
- 11/16/18--08:51: _Parking Meter Idea ...
- 11/17/18--04:06: _LESA To Host Annual...
- 11/17/18--05:21: _150 Turkey Baskets ...
- 11/17/18--06:17: _School Board Consid...
- 11/17/18--09:33: _Partnership to Prov...
- 11/18/18--06:46: _Public Recycling Ar...
- 11/18/18--08:49: _Closed Brighton Res...
- 11/18/18--15:18: _Health Dept. Looks ...
- 11/17/18--14:26: _Jail Time Ordered f...
- 11/18/18--21:29: _Tyrone Twp. To Host...
- 11/19/18--03:27: _Brown Bag Lunch Ser...
- 11/19/18--05:05: _Free Thanksgiving D...
- 11/19/18--07:51: _12 Days of Gleaners...
- 11/19/18--08:05: _Fowlerville Fire De...
- 11/19/18--12:14: _Area Veterans Honor...
- 11/19/18--13:15: _South Lyon To Recei...
- 11/19/18--13:22: _Adoptions To Be Fin...
- 11/20/18--06:09: _"Deck the Windows" ...
- 11/20/18--08:10: _MDOT Offering Resou...
- 11/20/18--10:29: _Local Man Admits to...
- 11/17/18--04:06: LESA To Host Annual Craft ShowLESA To Host Annual Craft Show
A downtown Brighton merchant is taking exception to the consideration of possible new parking rules in the city which could result in parking meters. Mac Miller, with his wife, Mondi, own the Artisanâs Bench on Main Street, told the City Council Thursday night that the parking meters would be a negative factor and might deter people from shopping in downtown Brighton.
Miller said the city had tried parking meters back in the nineties and, realizing they werenât paying for themselves or providing a source of revenue, took them out. Miller told council that if the city reinstalled parking meters, it would be sending the wrong message and encouraging people to go to the malls, where parking is free.
Miller said that people have no problem finding a parking space during the daytime, and there should not be parking fees. But he said since there are so many restaurants downtown and people love to eat out these days, some kind of parking enforcement could be explored for the period from 6 p.m. to midnight, when parking is at a premium.
The city recently hired a company to do a 6-month parking study of all aspects of parking downtown, including a possible multi-story parking structure, and city Manager Nate Geinzer stressed that meters is just one of the many options that will be researched during the study. (TT)
An annual craft show will display studentsâ skills and help Christmas shoppers find some special gifts.
The Livingston Educational Service Agency is hosting its Annual Craft show Community members are encouraged to come out and support students as they make holiday decorations, gifts, and food. Items include everything from caramels, earrings, bibs, mittens, holiday goodies, clothes, bags and decorations and ornaments. LESA students will be at the craft show and in charge of some of the tables, which gives them a chance to practice money skills and social skills, while helping them feel accomplished in creating the items and presenting their work to other people. The craft show also serves as an opportunity for the public to see what the schoolâs students are capable of, in addition to introducing community members to LESA.
Dawn Schneider with LESA tells WHMI they want to invite the public to come out and see what great things students and their LESA family can create and inspire the holiday feeling. She says Alex Choly is a very talented young gentleman from Brighton who was at the show last year and makes scarves and other wearable items and âwhat a joy he wasâ. The craft show will run from 9am to 5pm on December 6th at the Pathway School located at1429 West Grand River in Howell. (JM)
An event next week aims to offer a âhand up, not a hand outâ to local veterans and their families in time for Thanksgiving.
On Monday, 150 turkey baskets will be given away to veterans and their families from 9am to 2pm at the Livingston County EMS building on Tooley Road in Howell Township as part of a âHarvest for Heroesâ event. It was started locally after it was discovered a large number of veterans in the county were going without thanksgiving meals and the baskets will be given out on a first come, first serve basis.
Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Chapter 9 Regional Coordinator Josh Parish says itâs a collaborative effort with Livingston County Veterans Services and the local Disabled American Veterans Chapter. Parish says the goal is to bring the community together to support veterans and thank them for their service - without making them potentially feel ashamed about coming to pick up a turkey basket. In addition to the turkey baskets, students at Voyager Elementary in Howell have written letters to veterans thanking them for service. Parish says a lot of veterans are very proud, along with their family members, so itâs hard for them to ask for any type of assistance. He says they wanted to get the community involved in the effort and thatâs one of the reasons he contacted the school.
In addition to the turkey baskets, prizes and giveaways will be taking place during the event and resource tables will be set up. Parish says resource tables will be on hand from Ann Arbor VA, as well as the federal and state government to answer questions. He says the tables will provide services around four core âpillarsâ or four core problems that veterans and family members face when a military man or woman transitions from active duty service over to the civilian side: education, employment, healthcare and quality of life. Parish says per the U.S. Department of Treasury, data shows that veterans are 50% more likely to have unclaimed funds through federal government because they move around so much. He noted a veteran could be eligible for healthcare and get signed up for that or different things such as disability compensation.
Registration for âHarvest for Heroesâ can be done through Eventbrite, which Parish says is preferred if they are interested in learning about future events. The link is provided. (JM)
The Brighton Area Schools will be conducting a survey of students to ascertain whether they are interested in a junior ROTC program at Brighton High School. JROTC is the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, and, as the name implies, it is designed to prepare students for a possible military career. The survey will also ask students to state what other courses they would like to see added to the curriculum.
Outgoing Board Trustee John Conely had previously asked the board to consider adding a JROTC program to the district curriculum, much as Howell High School has. Superintendent Greg Gray tells WHMI that a survey will be taken of students in the 7th through 12th grade to determine if there is enough interest on the part of students and parents to support such a program.
The minimum enrollment requirement is 100 students. Some 29 high schools in Michigan have a junior ROTC program. The JROTC program would not come cheap, with an estimated cost to the district of $150,000 per year. And if the minimum number of students is not maintained, the government would require the district to drop the course. If it gets final approval by the board, the program sponsored by the US Army would be the one adopted at BHS. Howell's JROTC program is affiliated with the U.S. Air Force.
Under Title 32 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the Dept. of the Army states that the objectives of the program are developing citizenship and patriotism, self-reliance and responsiveness to authority; improving the ability to communicate well, both orally and in writing; also developing physical fitness; respect for the role of the US Armed Forces; knowledge of team-building skills and basic military skills. Gray says that if there is sufficient interest, the program could begin with the start of school next September. (TT)
Plans are moving forward for an agreement that would provide Livingston Countyâs Emergency Medical Services with a paramedic education program.
EMS Director Jeff Boyd says paramedic recruitment and retention is a national issue in the EMS industry, but an issue that can be solved by establishing programs that keep local talent in the community. EMS has a need for a paramedic program, however there currently is not one available within the county, which has led to a proposed agreement with Huron Valley Ambulance/Emergent Health Partners to provide one virtually.
Boyd says the partnership will allow EMS to host a paramedic class once a week at the Public Safety Complex in Howell through the distance learning program led by Huron Valley Ambulance. Livingston County EMS will provide one state licensed instructor coordinator onsite for the class and in exchange, 50% of the tuition charged to class participants will be returned to EMS to cover the costs of the instructorâs time.
A resolution authorizing the agreement recently came before a county subcommittee and received approval for recommendation. The resolution must be approved by the countyâs Board of Commissioners at their November 19th meeting.
The State of Michigan requires a special accreditation for those teaching a paramedic program. Boyd says it would be too costly and inefficient for EMS to become accredited, especially when they can utilize Huron Valleyâs virtual pilot program. Boyd adds the class will serve as a natural transition from the high school EMT class for students seeking a lifelong career in EMS. The paramedic program is said to have one of the highest pass rates in the state. Students have already registered for the 13 month-long class, which begins the first week of January. (DK)
Public recycling is now possible in downtown Brighton thanks to a grant.
The City received a grant through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to install seven recycling containers to be used by the public. Visitors to the area will be able to place cans, bottles, and paper in the containers. The green cans were installed throughout downtown by the pavilion area, Imagination Station, along the Mill Pond and in the sculpture garden.
Asst. to the DPW Director/Deputy City Clerk Patty Thomas tells WHMI the City wants to encourage everyone downtown to recycle as much as possible and this will facilitate that. She says previously wasnât an option to recycle downtown so recyclables typically ended up in the regular trash. Thomas says there were typically temporary recycling cans available for use during various events but the new containers are permanent. Thomas says the new recycling containers are clearly marked for recyclable materials and feature graphics that indicate what can be recycled such as glass, plastic and paper.
There was a required 25% match for the grant so Thomas says the City was basically able to receive seven containers for the cost of one. The DEQ says the grants will result in greater recovery of recyclable material, get more residents involved and boost opportunities for recycling education. (JM)
A former downtown restaurant of long-standing which closed in February will re-open next year with a new name and an entirely new format and theme. The Brighton City Council Thursday night approved a downtown redevelopment liquor license for the former Yum Yum Tree, which will become a Mexican eatery called El Arbol.
The restaurant at West Main and St. Paul streets was a Brighton landmark for over three decades with its homey style, signature sandwiches, premium ice cream and miniature electric train which ran on a track above the customers. It was purchased recently by Corrigan Construction Co. under a Limited Liability corporation called 140 West Main LLC. Steve Pilon, who owns the Wooden Spoon, tells WHMI he will co-own the building with his daughter, Lauren, who will be the general manager.
The application by Corrigan indicates the company will spend over $200,000 to renovate the building and â between its investment and Pilonâs own money, around $320,000 is expected to be spent in renovating the building. Pilon plans on having several types of tacos, about 20 types of salsas made in-house, along with carne assada and carnitas, plus margaritas, high-end tequila, beer and wine.
The bistro will seat about 50 and will have a carry-out window on the St. Paul side. Pilon recently signed a lease for the property and plans to open it in time for St. Patrickâs Day activities next March. The liquor license application must go before the Michigan Liquor Control Commission for final approval. (TT)
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is offering grant funding to a number of counties, including Livingston County, for the purpose of monitoring ticks and mosquitos for potential human viruses.
The partnership between the MDHHS and the Livingston County Health Department (LCHD) would provide $8,125 to the county to participate in the Vector-Borne Disease Surveillance and Prevention Project. Vector-borne diseases are human illnesses causes by viruses, bacteria and parasites transmitted by agents that include ticks and mosquitos.
The grant funding is meant to cover the cost of activities related to the program. The funds can be used to support personnel, to purchase supplies and equipment, and to produce and/or distribute materials related to disease prevention and control. Officials with MDHHS say the intent of the project is to support a low-cost surveillance system to identify mosquitos that can transmit Zika and other viruses, and to identify ticks capable of transmitting Lyme disease or other pathogens.
The goal is to determine what the vector-borne disease risk is in each area. Information from the surveillance will be compared to national data to systematically map the distribution of potential tick and mosquito vectors by county. A certain species of mosquito was recently identified in Wayne County that raised questions of potential Zika vector survival in Michigan. The project is also looking for a species of ticks that may be associated with the increasing risk of Lyme disease. The hope is that intervention activities can be conducted in a timely manner if either species was discovered in the region.
A resolution for the LCHD to participate in the project will come before the countyâs Board of Commissioners Monday night for consideration and potential approval. (DK)
A woman who threatened acts of violence against a local family has been sentenced.
20-year-old Karen Lockwood of Richmond, Michigan was charged in two separate cases, each of which is connected to threats she made earlier this year against a family from the Hartland area. In September, Lockwood pleaded guilty as charged to both cases, which includes counts of false report or threat of terrorism, using a computer to commit a felony and communicating with another via computer/internet to commit a crime.
Court records indicate Lockwood was sentenced by Livingston County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hatty Thursday to one year in jail with a credit of 246 days served and three years of probation. She had sought sentencing under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which will expunge her record if she successfully completes probation.
Lockwood was charged this past March in connection with the February 12th and February 25th incidents. The Livingston County Sheriffâs Office responded to a social media threats complaint that involved Village Elementary School in Hartland Township. The initial report revealed a suspect was threatening a family from the Hartland area through Facebook messenger and by sending text messages to a family member's phone. Lockwood reportedly threatened âshooting up the school" where members of the family were students and burning the family's house down.
During the investigation, detectives learned that Lockwood had established numerous fictitious social media accounts, email accounts and internet based phone numbers to communicate the threats and conceal her identity. It was later determined Lockwood had no means to carry out the threats. (DK)
An annual holiday food drive next month will collect items for people and pets.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will make an appearance on Saturday, December 8th from 1-2pm at the Tyrone Township Hall to help out at the 8th annual Food and Pet Food Drive. Santa will arrive via City of Fenton fire truck, which will be available for kids to see and take pictures with. The event collects donations of non-perishable food items and pet items that will be given to those in need during the holiday season.
The items will benefit Gleaners Community Food Bank and the Livingston Area Pet Pantry. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available for meet and greets and family photos. Details are posted below. (JK)
Guests at an upcoming luncheon will have the opportunity to provide input and learn more about the need for public transit options in Livingston County.
The Brown Bag Lunch Series is a quarterly event held by the countyâs Department of Planning. The departmentâs final event for 2018 will feature a presentation and discussion about the Livingston County Transit Master Plan. The eventâs guest speakers will be from AECOM and MKSK; two consulting firms tasked with creating the Transit Master Plan, which will explore the need for various public transportation options within the county, connections to adjacent counties, and ways to improve walkability and bike-ability to support the transit system.
The existing conditions of the countyâs transit system have been evaluated over the last few months through data analysis, bus ride-alongs, engagement with stakeholders and a public survey. The Transit Master Plan is in its second phase of the process, which involves presenting initial findings and requesting feedback from the public on the draft goals and options for improvements to the transit system. This Brown Bag Lunch will provide an overview of the Transit Master Plan and its progress, and will give participants an opportunity to provide feedback through interactive exercises to help guide the overall recommendations in the plan.
The luncheon will be held December 5th at the John E. LaBelle Public Safety Complex, located on Tooley Road in Howell. Those attending are asked to bring their own lunch and RSVP is appreciated. You can RSVP by emailing Kathleen Kline-Hudson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Scott Barb at email@example.com .
Free Thanksgiving dinners for veterans are being made possible tomorrow.
The Livingston Lamplighters Barbershop Chorus will be giving complete Thanksgiving dinners to veterans who need a helping hand this season. It will also be available for veterans who already have Thanksgiving dinner arranged but might need it for Christmas. Dinner will consist of free frozen turkeys, potatoes, stuffing mix, veggies, rolls, pie and whip cream. The event will take place tomorrow at the AMVET Post 1775 American Spirit Center on East Grand River in Brighton from 10:30am - 5:30pm. Organizers say the event is first come, first serve and proof of service will be required.
Individuals can contact Lisa Hall at 517-258-2544 for more information. (JM)
WHMIâs 12 Days of Gleaners wraps up this Thursday with every dollar donated between now and Thanksgiving being matched by Ford Motor Company.
The Gleaners Community Food Bank in Livingston County estimates there are roughly 1,000 families in the area that need assistance putting a holiday meal on the table. With Gleanerâs organizational buying power, a full meal is possible from just a $20 donation. Bernita Cheeseman of Tyrone Township is a client who has visited and benefited from their Shared Harvest Pantry off Dorr Road in Genoa Township. She struggles to make ends meet living on a fixed income and was in a position of charging groceries to her credit cards at one point.
After hearing about Gleanerâs from a friend, Bernita made the decision to give it a shot and couldnât be happier for it. Cheeseman said she likes the Shared Harvest Pantry because itâs set up like a market, with everything you would want or need. She said being able to shop with dignity has been a blessing.
More details and donation options for the 12 Days of Gleaners can be found through the link below. (JK)
The Fowlerville Area Fire Authority has begun to move forward in seeking a solution for the departmentâs lack of space, after many years of talking about a new station.
Fire Chief John Wright says âspace is a really big problemâ, as bathrooms, lockers and showers are used as storage rooms at the main station on North Grand Street. Itâs not just an interior problem for the building constructed in the 80sâ; thereâs also a lack of room on the exterior, with garage doors too small for the fire trucks to pass through safely. The departmentâs substation on Sargent Road is also full.
The Fire Authority Board has started to consider their options, which include expanding the main station, building a new station and acquiring additional property elsewhere. The Board recently met with the departmentâs firefighters for a brainstorming session to gather input on what they would like to see in a new station. Wright says âthere was a lot of stuff thrown out thereâ, but many of the suggestions were focused on fixing the problem of a lack of space. Firefighters suggested a larger meeting room, larger kitchen, bigger dispatch room, bigger doors and storage areas. Wright says that gives the board an idea as to what they should be looking for and contractors an idea for design purposes.
According to Wright, the board has been trying to save some money each year in anticipation of funding the fix, but canât be sure how much theyâll need until theyâre further along in the process and have made some critical decisions.
Those who served the country had the chance to be served by first responders, local officials, and special guests at a veterans appreciation luncheon at Independence Village of Brighton Friday.
The event, organized by Veterans Honor Project Coordinator Sean Tracy, brought together veterans from various senior facilities including Brighton, White Lake, and Ypsilanti. The group included service members from World War II, the Korean conflict, and the Vietnam War. Tracy tells WHMI that one of his goal in organizing the luncheon was to ensure that those who served, especially those who are now advanced in age and have challenging health conditions, are still able to see and feel just how much they are appreciated. He says âOur veterans donât get a chance to get outside that often, and so I thought it would be pretty interesting to see what would happen if we were to connect veterans from our sister communities with veterans here. And itâs just to give the chance for the veterans to see new faces of veterans.â Tracy added that one of his greatest joys was being able to connect two Michigan servicemen living in different facilities who served in the same unit in World War II.
Lunch was served by members of the Brighton Police Department and the Brighton Area Fire Authority, with special remarks from Pam McGoneghy, president of the Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce, and âThe Great Foodini,â Renee Chodkowski. (MS)
One local community will be receiving state funds to assess the state of their roads.
The Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments, or SEMCOG, announced this week that they will be awarding $60,000 in state funds to communities within their 7 county region, including South Lyon. The funding will be used to help support road asset management planning. 30 miles of roads within South Lyon will be rated using the Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating, or PASER, system. The PASER system rates roads as being either poor, fair, or good.
Communications Specialist for SEMCOG, Trevor Layton, said itâs useful for getting out in front of future problems. The goal is to keep roads out of the poor rating. Layton said there are less expensive measures that can be implemented to preserve roads at the good or fair levels, but once they dip into poor, often times costly reconstruction is the only alternative. In these times when many communities are suffering from limited resources, projects like that can be extremely difficult to pull off.
Executive Director of SEMCOG, Kathleen Lomako, said that whether communities like South Lyon are collecting data for the first time or supplementing an existing road assessment program, SEMCOG is dedicated to supporting best practices. Layton said the funding should become available within the next year. (MK)
With the theme of âGiving Thanks for Families,â courts statewide will celebrate Adoption Month, including here in Livingston County.
Livingston County families will celebrate the Thanksgiving season by welcoming new members to their families on Adoption Day. âGiving Thanks for Familiesâ is a holiday tradition held on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving each year, highlighting the importance of adoption and the needs of children in foster care. Adoptions are being finalized tomorrow for several local children. Livingston County Chief Judge Miriam A. Cavanaugh along with Michigan Court of Appeals Chief Judge Christopher Murray will preside over the ceremonies at the Livingston County Judicial Center on Highlander Way in Howell. Michigan Adoption Day is co-sponsored by the Michigan Supreme Court, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Child Welfare Services division of the State Court Administrative Office, and Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE).
Adoption Day is said to be important to create the long lasting âforever familiesâ for the children of Livingston County who are in need of permanency and stability in their lives. Local officials say theyâre happy to be part of the event and provide the platform for these children to become part of their own forever family. (JM)
Public voting begins today in Downtown Howellâs annual holiday storefront decorating contest.
This marks the 5th year of the "Deck the Windows" contest that helps kickoff the holiday season downtown. Businesses decorate their storefront or front door, chimney, rooftops or the entire building in order to further beautify downtown and kick-off the holiday season. This year's theme is 'The Night Before Christmas' and two businesses will win the friendly competition by collecting the most votes for 'People's Choice' or being selected as the best storefront by Mayor Nick Proctor to win the 'Mayor's Choice' Award. The storefront decorating promotion is a public voting contest held in conjunction with Howellâs annual Fantasy of Lights parade.
Voting will take place through November 26th. Public voting can be done either by text-to-vote with the code on each window or online. The link to vote will go live Tuesday and only one vote per person is permitted. (JM)
The Michigan Department of Transportation has partnered with Michigan State Police to prepare motorists for winter driving.
MDOT and the MSP have produced a new video that will act as a resource for residents on how roads are maintained during winter months. Much of the focus revolves around improved technologies with plow trucks and the benefits that drivers can take advantage of when there is inclement weather. All of their plows are now equipped with green lights, and will flash back and forth between green and amber to improve visibility, especially during whiteout conditions. Jocelyn Hall, from MDOTâs Office of Communications, says the response to these lights has been overwhelming positive.
Most of the plows now also have a live camera. Residents can log on to the Mi Drive website and the map to see not only where the plows are throughout the state, but also what the road conditions look like in front of them. Hall believes this will be a valuable resource in the morning for commuters who want to see if their route to work is cleared and what they can expect on the drive. MDOT is also reminding drivers to respect Michiganâs Move Over Law, which requires motorists to move over for stationary vehicles with their lights on or to at least slow down and pass with caution if changing lanes is not possible.
The video can be found on their website, www.michigan.gov/MDOT, or on any of the departmentâs social media feeds. (MK)
A plea has been entered by a local man who was charged with various counts of child pornography after Michigan State Police searched his home.
35-year-old James Witgen of Fowlerville appeared for a hearing Monday in Livingston County Circuit Court, where he pleaded guilty as charged to three counts each of child sexually abusive activity and possession of child sexually abusive material, and six counts of using a computer to commit a crime.
In exchange for his plea, prosecutors agreed to reduce his habitual offender status and recommend a concurrent sentence as opposed to a consecutive one. Following Mondayâs hearing, Witgen was remanded to the Livingston County Jail to await sentencing, which is scheduled for January 3rd.
Witgen was arrested on October 15th by Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers from the Brighton Post, following an investigation conducted by the MSP Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The investigation stemmed from a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Further investigation led to a residence in Fowlerville, where a search of the home netted multiple internet capable devices and evidence. Court records show the charges against Witgen stem from an incident that occurred August 13th.
Witgen is also charged in Livingston County in a separate case in which he is facing one count of 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct stemming from an incident said to have occurred this past February. (DK)