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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 course is being offered for free to local parents and students in an effort to teach young drivers the dangers of distracted driving first-hand. The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office is providing the course in conjunction with FT Techno of America on Saturday, April 27th. The course allows teens to operate a vehicle under the direct supervision of sheriff and police personnel in several distracted driving scenarios, which include texting while driving and the use of fatal vision drunk driving goggles. Two sessions are being offered, with each lasting four hours. The teens will be provided with a short classroom discussion and video presentation before the supervised driving scenarios on the FT Techno test track in Fowlerville. Space is limited to 20 students and a parent per class. Attendees must possess a valid driver’s license and be enrolled in high school. To sign up, contact the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office at 517-546-2440, Monday through Friday between 8am and 4pm. (JK)

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    Marion Township has joined the list of municipalities in Livingston County that are opting out of recreational marijuana businesses. At a Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, an ordinance was introduced that would prohibit recreational marijuana establishments within the township. A resolution adopting the ordinance was unanimously approved without much discussion by board members. Clerk Tammy Beal did speak to WHMI about her decision to support the resolution stating, “I just think it’s going to cause more issues…everyone else is prohibiting it. I just don’t think it’s a good idea. We want to wait until the federal government gets their ducks in a row; see what’s going on with that because that’s still prohibited.” After voters approved a proposal legalizing recreational marijuana in November, communities were given the option of prohibiting recreational marijuana facilities in their area. If municipalities do not opt out, they are automatically opted in. The majority of communities within Livingston County have opted out, including Brighton, Genoa, Green Oak, Hartland, Iosco, Oceola, Putnam, Unadilla, and Tyrone Townships, the Village of Pinckney, and the cities of Brighton and Howell. The State of Michigan cannot accept applications for recreational marijuana facilities until 12 months from the effective date of the initiated law, giving LARA, or the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, until mid-November of this year to develop regulations before those facilities can begin applying to legally open. A number of local officials have said they want to wait until a regulatory framework is in place before considering a recreational marijuana business, and opted out as a precautionary measure. If the state does not have guidelines in place by December 6th, local governments will have complete control over how the facilities are regulated in their municipality. (DK)

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    An event next month will honor a local teen’s memory while raising money for a special camp that promotes healing, self-esteem and confidence for kids who are most in need of that. The 4th annual fundraiser for the Great Lakes Burn Camp will take place at Stout Irish Pub on Saturday, April 27th from 1 to 5pm. It’s being held in honor of Sarah Grundy, a Pinckney teenager who was severely injured in a bonfire accident in 2013 and suffered 3rd degree burns to 86% of her body. After more than seven months recovering at the U of M Medical Center, Grundy walked out and had hoped to continue her recovery, but unfortunately passed away in January of 2014. She had hoped to become a counselor at the camp but passed away before getting the chance. It allows burn-injured kids 6-17 to heal while meeting others in the same situation so they can play, laugh and grow together. Jen Ling is one of the event organizers. She tells WHMI fundraisers such as this make it possible for kids to attend the camp at no charge, which also includes transportation. Ling says the fundraisers are essential for the camp to keep doing what it’s doing so they’re looking for community support in the form of attendance or donations. Tickets cost $20 and include a spaghetti dinner, entertainment, 50/50 raffle and auction. In honor of Grundy, all proceeds from the fundraiser go to the Great Lakes Burn Camp. The event committee is currently seeking donated items of any value to be included in a silent auction or as raffle prizes. That could include retail items, gift certificates for local stores and restaurants or sports memorabilia. Those who have items they wish to donate can contact Catherine O’Brien at 517.861.9640. Monetary donations are also accepted. Details are in the attached press release. (JM)

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    Work had been slated to begin today on West Grand River in Brighton today to install a new, larger water main and expand the sanitary sewer line for the new Single Barrel Social, on the site of the closed, former Border Cantina on West Grand River in Brighton. However, city officials say they were notified by the contractor that they have delayed the start date of this work and all lanes of Grand River will be open to traffic. Officials say they will let everyone know when they learn of the new start date. Brighton DPW Director Marcel Goch said the original plan was for occasional traffic shifts for a couple of days, with the work taking up to two weeks, depending on the weather. The water and sewer line installation, when it does finally occur, will mean that one northwest-bound lane of Grand River will be closed from Cross Street to Liberty next to Ore Creek, with the other lane in that direction shifting to what normally would be the left-turn lane. The work will be performed not by the city but by a private contractor for Northern Diamond Management LLC, the developer of the project. Extensive remodeling of the building and construction of a 1,000-square-foot addition are already underway, and plans are to open the bar, restaurant and dance club sometime this summer, possibly as early as the end of June. The restaurant portion of the business will serve Southwest-style fare, with liquor, beer, craft cocktails and a bourbon bar. There will be a raised dance floor on one side and a restaurant and bar on the other. The project cost has been estimated at $3 million. (TT)

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    The Brighton Area Women’s History Roll of Honor Advisory Council will celebrate their 2018 Honorees with an event this weekend. The honorees will be celebrated during a ceremony this Saturday at 2pm in the Reading Room at the Brighton District Library. Among those being recognized during Women’s History Month in March are three pioneers for women’s voting rights. Nina Jones Cord Stowe was the first woman elected to the Brighton School Board in 1913 and a leading advocate for women’s suffrage. She became a rural teacher in 1926 and taught at the Foster School on Gregory Road in Iosco Township until 1929. Charlotte L. Haight Mellus and Haidee F. Judson Brady were the first two women to vote in the Village of Brighton’s council elections in 1919 following passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Mellus became a certified nurse and helped her husband establish his medical practice in Brighton before helping to operate a summer camp for girls at Silver Lake. Brady was a 1917 graduate from Michigan Agricultural College, the forerunner of Michigan State University, where she became a member of the first women’s MAC tennis team. Her contributions were recognized with a varsity letter from MSU in 2002. She also taught in the Brighton School District. Also being recognized is Reneé R. Nix, who established Brighton’s Jumpin’ All-Stars Jump Rope Team in 2007, which earned first place at the International Jump Rope Competition in 2012. A substitute teacher for K-12 students since 2001, Nix has been active leading the Lindbom and Hornung Elementary Jump Rope Clubs, encouraging her students to share skills with Hartland Community Education, and hosting over 35 international exchange students in her home. Sarah Richardson-Burns was a 1994 BHS graduate who co-founded an Ann Arbor based biomedical device company whose products are still utilized today on electrodes used for a variety of purposes including deep brain and spinal cord stimulation. After being diagnosed with colon cancer in 2013, she founded Align Botanica to develop products combining ancient healing knowledge and medical evidence-based information. These products were in the testing phase when Sarah passed, and her sisters continue to develop products using mindfulness and nature’s medicines. Mary Zizka St. Pierre, a 1968 BHS graduate who was one of the first female radio DJ’s working in Detroit as Midnight Mary until leaving radio in 1989 to earn her nursing degree. She became a trauma nurse and taught Advanced Cardiac Life Support for 20 years and now serves as a member of the Livingston County Nurse Reserve Corps helping to teach CPR classes and immunization clinics. Zizka St. Pierre has been an avid local volunteer, serving as a member of the Livingston Sunrise Rotary Club and co-chairing the annual “Midnight in the Tropics” fundraiser. She also volunteers yearly with the United Way’s Community Connect and delivers Christmas packages for Livingston County Catholic Charities. Natalie Klein was named the Athletic Championship Honoree for her selection as the 2018 Miss Bowling by the Michigan High School Interscholastic Bowling Coaches Association. During state match play, she finished seventh and eighth her first two years, second her junior year, and third her senior year, leading all girls and boys in the 2018 state final six-game qualifier block. Klein averaged 209 in KLAA competitions, over 20 pins higher than second place. The Roll of Honor has been recognizing women from the Brighton Area since 2003 as a part of their efforts to bring awareness to women’s contributions to society. The honorees will be celebrated during a March 23rd ceremony at the Brighton District Library. You’ll find full biographies of all the nominees posted below. (JK)

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    Howell Township officials are still working to determine whether they’ll permit and regulate recreational marijuana businesses in the community or prohibit them entirely. The issue was brought up at the township’s Board of Trustees meeting Monday, but officials were unsure what action to take, if any. A public hearing seeking input from residents was held at a Planning Commission meeting on February 26th. At the board’s meeting, Planning Commission Chairman Andrew Sloan stated that the majority of citizens that attended the public hearing weren’t even from Howell Township. A motion was then presented to make a recommendation to the board that the township opts out of the businesses, but that failed in a three-to-four vote. The planning commission decided to table the decision of whether to opt out to further explore ordinances that have been established by other communities. Sloan says since that time, he’s considered how the township would be affected if the facilities were permitted. Because banks are federally insured, they cannot allow recreational marijuana businesses to have checking accounts because recreational marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. Sloan says it concerns him that the businesses would have to make bill payments in cash as that could put a burden on the township’s treasurer. Sloan also stated that additional patrols may be needed from the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office if the businesses are allowed, which the municipality would be responsible for covering the cost of. Board members did discuss whether they should move forward with an ordinance prohibiting such establishments while they wait for further progress from the state in developing regulatory framework. But some members felt the planning commission should consider the issue further before taking official action. Board members essentially suggested that the commission look at all aspects of the sale of recreational marijuana, like possible benefits, permitting the businesses in certain districts or banning the facilities altogether. The board did not take action as the planning commission is set to meet on Tuesday, March 26th, at which time further discussion could take place. Officials are hoping the commission will come up with recommendations for an ordinance or even a draft of one that the board could adopt. (DK)

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    A subcommittee of the Livingston County Board of Commissioners has approved a contract between the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and Tyrone Township for law enforcement services. The Public Safety & Infrastructure and Development Committee met Monday night and approved a resolution for a contract extension/renewal for law enforcement services from April 1st through the end of 2022. Sheriff Mike Murphy says the township pays for an additional eight hours of service every day, seven days a week, which ensures a deputy will be in the municipality during those specific times – although he declined to state the exact times for obvious reasons. Murphy told WHMI he’s glad the board recognizes the value of the contract but more importantly is glad that Tyrone sees the value in having dedicated patrols for the township. Murphy says the Office also recently renewed with Putnam Township about six months ago. He says the contracts speak well for the Office and both townships are satisfied with services and feel like they’re getting what they’re paying for. Putnam pays for the additional services through its general fund while Tyrone has a special assessment district for the township. The Tyrone contract will cost $103,378 for the remainder of 2019. In 2020, it will cost $145,620. In 2021, $150,730 and in 2022, $155,986. The resolution now heads to the county Finance Committee Wednesday and then the full Board of Commissioners for approval next week. (JM)

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    Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin will fulfill one of her campaign promises later this week. The Holly Democrat plans to hold her first town hall, open to the public, on Thursday at 6 pm at Oakland University in Rochester. The town hall, which is hosted by the university’s Center for Civic Engagement, will focus on prescription drug prices and health care, although attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions on whatever topic they choose. Notecards will be made available to those who are present at the gathering, which they can use to write down their questions. Those will then be handed to Slotkin. It’s also expected that the event will be broadcast live through the congresswoman's Facebook page. One of Slotkin’s key campaign promises was to host at least one town hall every three months while in office. (JK)

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    An event this weekend will provide essential funds for a local dental clinic that supports the county’s uninsured residents. VINA Community Dental Center’s annual Spring Gala is coming back this Saturday, March 23rd at Lakelands Golf & Country Club in Hamburg Township. The Spring Gala, along with VINA’s annual golf outing and fall tailgate serves as an important fundraiser for helping with the dental needs of Livingston County residents. Director of Marketing and Development for VINA, Jim Gilmore, says they’ve recently seen a shift in the client base. He said they use to be around 75% limited income adults, and 25% senior citizens, but over the four past years those numbers have come closer to 50-50. He speculates that part of that is because of improved employment options for the limited income adults, and the other part being senior citizens living off of fixed income. Gilmore estimates that there may be as many as 21,500 residents who qualify for their services. To qualify, patients must be a Livingston County resident, have a limited income of 225% of the federal poverty level (roughly $27,300 for an individual or $56,500 for a family of four), and must not have dental insurance. To meet the needs of the growing base they have increased their capacity and have 4th-year University of Michigan dental students coming in a couple days each week. Gilmore says their waiting list for an appointment is shorter than usual and all visits cost only $25. Saturday's Spring Gala event will run from 6:30 until 10pm and feature food, an open bar, live music, a jewelry raffle, a lottery raffle, a wine pull, a silent auction and more. Cost to attend is $125 per person. Tickets are available online by visiting their website through the link below. (MK)

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    A new water treatment plant is finally operational in Lyon Township. Officials turned on the newly constructed Woodwind water plant Monday, sending 5,750,000 gallons of iron-free filtered water into over 100 miles of watermain. The township’s water system improvement project consists of two treatment plants; the Woodwind Treatment Plant, which is located on Ten Mile Road, and a second wellfield at South Hill. Work on the new plant began in August of 2017 and after months of construction and working closely with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the plant is now fully operational. For years, residents had complained about the discoloration of water due to high levels of iron. The new filtration system with iron-removal will address the issue and the township reported that water tested on Monday showed 99% iron-free. Supervisor John Dolan, Treasurer Patricia Carcone and Clerk Michele Cash turned on the new system at 10:35am. Dolan called it “history in the making”. Also present were DPW Director Bob Martin, Artesian of Pioneer water contractor Ed Kidston and Highland Water Treatment Contractor Anthony Dowson. Clerk Cash said the ability to bring great water to residents is a tremendous achievement. She says the township board has worked closely to make it a reality and they have already started construction on the new South Hill plant as well. Facebook photos. (JM)

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    According to a national study, Livingston County remains one of the healthiest counties in the state, while Michigan as a whole has issues that still need to be addressed. The 2019 County Health Rankings are compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. They show that for the 4th straight year Livingston County ranked 3rd out of Michigan’s 83 counties, behind only Leelanau and Ottawa. The rankings are compiled from data collected across the county which is then weighed, standardized, and organized into two categories; health outcomes and health factors. Health outcomes looks at length and quality of life. The health factors category measures health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment. Areas where Livingston County residents excelled include life expectancy, which is 80.8 years on average, and low percentages of residents experiencing poor physical or mental health. Livingston County residents also have higher-than-average percentages of those with health insurance, those receiving flu vaccinations and women who get annual mammograms. The report also highlighted areas still in need of improvement, including child poverty, which stood at 6%. While still lower than the state and national averages, the long-term trend is increasing. Also in need of improvement was the high rate of adult smokers and adults who are obese. The report also looked at child poverty statewide, noting that 48% of kids were living in a household that spends more than half of its income on housing, making it difficult for families to afford other essentials that contribute to good health, such as healthy food, medicine, or transportation to work or school. Robert Gordon, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director, said, "When it comes to health outcomes, it’s not always genetic code that most influences how healthy we are. Sometimes it boils down to zip code.” County by county, severe housing cost burden ranges from 9 to 20% of households. In Livingston County, it stood at 10%. You can get a look at the complete report through the link below. (JK)

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    Two Livingston County men are facing charges for possessing child sexually abusive materials. 23-year-old Clifford Fouts and 32-year-old Stephen Deshon were both arraigned on charges Friday following an investigation by Michigan State Police from the Brighton Post. Fouts is charged with one count of child sexually abusive activity, three counts of possession of child sexually abusive material and four counts of using a computer to commit a crime. He was ordered held on a $100,000 bond. Deshon faces one count of possession of child sexually abusive material and one count of using a computer to commit a crime. His bond was set at $50,000. State Police say they began an investigation of the two men after receiving tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They raided a home in Livingston County and found multiple internet-capable devices and evidence that contained the sexually abusive material. Both suspects then turned themselves into troopers at the Brighton Post. If convicted, they each face up to 20 years in prison. Both men are due back in 53rd District Court for a Probable Cause Conference on March 26th. (JK)