Michigan House votes to ban cell phone use for drivers under 18


By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com

Posted Dec. 12, 2019 

The Michigan House passed legislation Wednesday that bans drivers under the age of 18 from using cell phones while driving.

The bill defines cell phone use as the act of initiating a call, answering a call or engaging in verbal communication through a phone and bans distracted driving.

The law would not apply to individuals who are reporting accidents or other emergencies.

The current law only applies to individuals with learner’s permits or restricted licenses.

State Rep. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham) spearheaded the bill.

“This is a matter of life and death,” said Manoogian. “Every year, distracted driving causes thousands of crashes in our state, resulting in preventable injuries and loss of life. As lawmakers, it is up to us to enact laws that keep Michiganders safe and this bill does just that. Our young drivers are the most vulnerable to accidents and we need to do everything we can to protect them.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer applauded the Michigan House of Representatives for passing the bill.

“As a mom, there’s nothing more important to me than the safety of my kids, and I know every parent in Michigan feels the same way,” Whitmer said. “That’s why Rep. Manoogian’s legislation is so important. We don’t just need better roads, we need safer roads. This bill will help us put an end to distracted driving, protect our kids, and ensure the safety of Michigan drivers. It’s my hope that the Michigan Senate will do the right thing and pass this bill so we can protect Michiganders everywhere.”

View House Bill 4181 here


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Southgate teen charged with making terroristic threat against Huron High School student


By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com

Posted Dec. 10, 2019 — 9:30 PM EST

A 15-year-old Southgate resident is charged with making a terroristic threat against a Huron student through a social media post which caused an early dismissal of Huron High School on Tuesday.

Police say the suspect referenced a school shooting in the threat, which was reported to school staff Tuesday morning by another student who attends the school.

The threat was specific to Huron High School and targeted a student that the suspect believed was at the school.

The suspect who made the threat is not a student at Huron High School.

No other schools within the Huron School District were affected, mentioned or appeared to be a target in the threat, police said.

“We are very fortunate that the student who observed this threat had the courage to come forward and quickly notify school officials. That is a true credit to the school administrators who have educated the students and brought awareness to the importance of reporting these types of threats,” said Everette Robbins, Huron director of public safety.

Once school administration and police were made aware of the threat, the decision to dismiss school early was made.

“A collective decision between our department and school administration was made to only release Huron High School students and not the rest of the district. There was absolutely no threat indicated towards the other schools and evacuating the other schools could have potentially placed unaffected students unnecessarily in harm’s way. We were able to keep our resources concentrated to where the threat was directed,” Robbins said.

As school was being released, the Detective Bureau executed a search warrant to a social media provider which resulted in obtaining information identifying the suspect as well as his current location.

At 1:30 p.m., the student was taken into custody in the city of Southgate.

In a statement, Donovan Rowe, superintendent of Huron Schools, said: “This morning, officials at Huron High School were made aware of a social media post mentioning threats of violence and a weapon. The post was sent late last night to an individual who does not attend school in the Huron School District, and school administrators were made aware of the post late this morning. After consulting with the HTPD officials and reviewing our school emergency operations plan, students at Huron High School were dismissed early at 12:20 as a precaution. Following the early dismissal, the Huron Township Police investigated the situation, including working with the social media outlet. During the course of that investigation, the HTPD was able to identify the I.P. address from which the post was made, and an individual has been taken into custody. Student safety is our primary concern, and we will continue to work closely with the HTPD to keep our schools safe. It is unfortunate that, like many other school districts, we found ourselves in a situation such as this. Nevertheless, I appreciate your patience and trust in our process as we continue to work to keep our students safe.”

While the high school was being dismissed, officers were sent to Brown and Miller Elementary Schools as well as Renton Junior High as a precaution.

The Huron Township Fire Department responded to the high school as a precaution in case medical care of any type was needed during the student release process.

“I am very appreciative of the way that Superintendent Rowe, Principal Huddock, Assistant Principal O’Brien and the entire high school staff handled this situation. They brought professionalism and calm to a potentially chaotic situation. As not only the Director of Public Safety, but more importantly a parent of students within the district, I am proud of the concern they show for the safety of our students,” Robbins said.

“I want the residents to know that every threat made within our school district will be handled quickly and taken seriously. We will charge anyone making threats to the fullest extent of the law. We will always choose to overreact rather than underreact. It is a great opportunity once again for parents to speak to their children about the consequences of posting any type of threat on social media,” he said.

Robbins said school is safe to attend on Wednesday.

“The suspect is in custody and is not a threat. As a precaution, we will have a police presence at all of the schools within the district tomorrow morning in an effort to make parents and students feel safe,” Robbins said.

The suspect is being held in the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Center awaiting possible felony charges from the Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

His identification is not being released at this time.


 

 

Huron High School dismissed early on Tuesday due to threatening social media post


By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com

Posted Dec. 10, 2019 — 12:30 PM EST

UPDATE: Southgate teen charged with making terroristic threat against Huron High School student

Huron High School in New Boston was dismissed early Tuesday due to a social media post alleged to be threatening in nature, according to Huron Township Police.

The police department posted on Facebook Tuesday afternoon explaining the decision to dismiss the high school early.

The social media post allegedly mentioned threats of violence and a weapon, according to police.

Evening events scheduled for Tuesday at the high school have also been cancelled or postponed.

School remains in session in Renton Junior High and in both elementary schools in the district.

Officials say extra police patrols will be present at the other schools.

A letter to parents in the district explaining the incident was emailed Tuesday afternoon from the superintendent’s office.

Check back with The Huron Hub for further developments regarding this story. 


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Chapp Oil hosting Christmas coloring contest for elementary school children


By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com

Posted Dec. 5, 2019

Chapp Oil is hosting a Christmas coloring contest for elementary school children.

There will be two categories – kindergarten through second grade, and third through fifth grade.

To enter, print the images below, or pick one up at the New Boston Chapps location or South Rockwood location.

Return the completed images to one of those locations by Dec 20 at 9 a.m.

Finalists will be drawn from each location and posted for voting.

Winners will be announced on Dec 23. Make sure to fill out all information the page to be eligible.


 

Project Breathe donates pet oxygen masks to Huron Township Fire Department

Pet oxygen masks, like the one seen here, were donated recently to the Huron Township Fire Department through Project Breathe, an effort organized by Invisible Fence, makers of pet containment products. (Photos courtesy of Invisible Fence)


By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com

Posted Dec. 4, 2019

Pets that live in the township are safer from the effects of a house fire thanks to a program that donates pet oxygen masks to fire departments across the country.

Project Breathe, an oxygen mask donation effort spearheaded by Invisible Fence, makers of pet containment products, held its second annual Project Breathe Giveaway on Facebook in honor of National Fire Safety Month in October.

The public was invited to nominate their local fire departments for pet oxygen mask donations.

Huron Township was one of the fire departments nominated by the public and chosen as a donation recipient.

“The Project Breathe Program goal is simple,” said Ed Hoyt, director of Invisible Fence. “We want to ensure that every fire department and rescue unit across the U.S. and Canada are equipped with life-saving pet oxygen masks.”

Experts say each year, it’s estimated that more than 40,000 pets die in fires, mostly due to smoke inhalation.

Organizers of the donation effort say in most cases, first responders lack the equipment to resuscitate and save pets, and programs like Project Breathe are addressing this issue.

Since the program’s launch in 2006, over 28,803 masks have been donated to first responders.

Fire departments can request pet oxygen mask kit donations here.


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Secretary of State replacing ‘unreliable kiosks’ with new self-service stations

In addition to Secretary of State branch offices, many of the new stations will be in grocery stores such as Kroger and Meijer, meeting customers where they already are doing business.


By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com

Posted Nov. 27, 2019

Say goodbye to the old, unreliable relics of the past usually located near the entrance of your local Secretary of State office.

Secretary Jocelyn Benson said she is replacing “unreliable, hard-to-use kiosks across the state with new, user-friendly self-service stations.”

Benson said she is also increasing the number of stations by more than 60 percent.

Following a one-month pilot phase completed this involving a dozen new self-service stations and thousands of customer transactions, the project will expand to replace all 93 existing kiosks by the end of January and add 57 more, for a total of 150, by the end of April.

Additional stations are also being discussed.

In addition to Secretary of State branch offices, many of the new stations will be in grocery stores such as Kroger and Meijer.

“We’ve already seen a significant increase in customers using the new machines,” Benson said. “During the pilot phase, the number of transactions increased significantly on three-quarters of the new machines compared to the same period the previous year. In some locations, the increase has been as much as 57 percent.”

Like the previous kiosks, self-service stations will offer renewals for automobiles, motorcycles and watercraft.

The stations can print auto and motorcycle tabs. Watercraft tabs will be mailed to customers.

The new stations will add numerous driver-related transactions once the Michigan Department of State completes the second portion of its computer system upgrade in March 2021.

The Department of State is partnering with vendor Intellectual Technology Inc. (ITI) on the new stations, which are being provided at no cost to the state, according to Benson.

Customers will pay a technology service fee of $3.95 for every vehicle renewed at a self-service station. Transactions normally take less than two minutes.

Many of the new machines will accept cash — previously not an option at the old kiosks. The new stations also accept American Express credit cards, in addition to the Discover, MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards the previous kiosks accepted.

Residents don’t need to have their renewal packet with them to renew their registration at a self-service station. Eligible vehicles can be renewed with only the plate number and the last four digits of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Many stations are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For an up-to-date listing of locations with the new self-service stations, visit Michigan.gov/SOSSelfService.