Category Archives: Government

Over 20 local candidates participate in The Huron Hub’s ‘meet the candidates’ column


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

Posted Oct. 29, 2020

In mid-August, every person running for office on the Huron Township ballot was invited to use The Huron Hub as a platform to get their voice heard.

21 candidates wrote letters to the community — this is really a great turnout.

I would like to thank all of the candidates who took the time to write these letters, each are free of personal attacks and are focused on what they will bring to the community if they are elected or reelected.

With the election coming up fast, the residents in Huron Township would like to hear more about each candidate that is running for office or reelection.

Readers can access meet the candidate articles on a special tab on HuronHub.com at this link.

Letters were published in the order they were received. Because of the amount of candidates that participated, readers should scroll through the entire meet the candidates tab to view every letter.

To see what’s on the ballot, visit the Michigan Voter Information Center website here: https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/PublicBallot/Index


Whitmer signs bipartisan “Clean Slate” criminal justice reform bills


Posted by The Huron Hub 
Oct. 12, 2020

Governor Whitmer today signed bipartisan House Bills 4980-4985 and 5120 reforming Michigan’s criminal expungement laws making it easier for people who have committed certain felonies and misdemeanors to have their record expunged. Changes in the bills include allowing a person to set aside one or more marijuana offenses if the offense would not have been a crime if committed after December 6, 2018  when recreational marijuana use by adults became legal in the state,  due to the referendum that voters approved to legalize marijuana in 2018. During her 2018 campaign for governor, Governor Whitmer made expungement for marijuana convictions one of her key priorities, and today she is following through on that promise.

“This is a historic day in Michigan. These bipartisan bills are a game changer for people who are seeking opportunities for employment, housing, and more, and they will help ensure a clean slate for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders,” said Governor Whitmer. “This is also an opportunity to grow our workforce and expand access to job training and education for so many people. I am proud to sign these bills today alongside Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist and many of the bipartisan leaders who worked on them.”

Research conducted by the University of Michigan law school, which was recently published by the Harvard Law Review, found that people who receive expungements see a 23% increase in income within a year. This means more resources for families and communities, and a broader tax base, without any negative impact on public safety.   

The changes proposed by House Bills 4980-4985 and 5120 include the following:

  • Creates an automatic process for setting aside eligible misdemeanors after seven years and eligible non-assaultive felonies after 10 years.
  • Expands the number and revises the types of felonies and misdemeanors eligible to be set aside by application.
  • Revises the waiting periods before being eligible to apply.
  • Treat multiple felonies or misdemeanor offenses arising from the same transaction as a single felony or misdemeanor conviction, provided the offenses happened within 24 hours of one another and are not assaultive crimes, or involves possession or use of a dangerous weapon, or is a crime that carries penalty of 10 or more years in prison.
  • Expands expungement eligibility to various traffic offenses
  • Allow a person to petition to set aside one or more marijuana offenses if the offense would not have been a crime if committed after the use of recreational marijuana by adults became legal in the state.

“Thousands of Detroiters who want to work and be a part of Detroit’s comeback have been held back for too long because of mistakes they’ve made in their past,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Thanks to the Governor and our state legislators, more than 80,000 more Detroiters now will be eligible to have those past mistakes removed from their record and a chance at a new start. Detroit’s Project Clean Slate has helped hundreds of people get their records expunged already. It’s free, helps clients through the entire process and connects them to opportunities through Detroit At Work.”

Governor Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist have worked to enact criminal justice reforms since the day they took office, the governor says.

In April of 2019, Governor Whitmer created the bipartisan Michigan Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist and Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack, which  reviewed the state’s jail and court data to expand alternatives to jail, safely reduce jail admissions and length of stay, and improve the effectiveness of the front end of Michigan’s justice system. The task force has produced a report and made recommendations.

In May of 2019, Governor Whitmer signed into law, bipartisan bills reforming “Civil Asset Forfeiture,” limiting and in some cases ending the ability  of law enforcement agencies to seize a person’s property before that person has been judged and convicted. Additionally,  Governor Whitmer signed “Raise the Age” into law which was an 18-bill package that increased  the age of who is legally considered a juvenile or an adult in the criminal justice system from 17 to 18 years old With the passage of “Raise the Age,” Michigan joined 46 other states in ending the unjust practice of charging and punishing children as adults when they make mistakes.


 

Associated Press: 13 charged in plots against Michigan governor, police

Governor Gretchen Whitmer as a recent press conference. (Photo/State of Michigan)

Posted Oct. 8, 2020 - 3:00 PM EDT

DETROIT (Associated Press) — Agents foiled a stunning plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch Whitmer at her vacation home.

Six men were charged in federal court, while seven others accused of trying to target police and the state Capitol were charged in state court.

“All of us in Michigan can disagree about politics, but those disagreements should never, ever amount to violence. Violence has been prevented today,” Detroit U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider told reporters.

The six men charged in federal court plotted for months, consulting and training with members of a group that federal authorities described as a militia, and undertaking rehearsals in August and September, according to an FBI affidavit.

Four planned to meet Wednesday to “make a payment on explosives and exchange tactical gear,” the FBI said in the court filing.

The FBI quoted one of the accused as saying Whitmer “has no checks and balances at all. She has uncontrolled power right now. All good things must come to an end.”

The six men charged in federal court were arrested Wednesday night and face up to life in prison if convicted. They were due in court Thursday. Andrew Birge, the U.S. attorney in western Michigan, called them “violent extremists.”

Whitmer has been praised but also deeply criticized for the state’s response to the coronavirus. She put major restrictions on personal movement throughout the state and on the economy, although many of those limits have been lifted. The Michigan Supreme Court last week said a 1945 law used as the foundation for many of the governor’s orders is unconstitutional.

The government said the plot against Whitmer was stopped with the work of undercover agents and informants.

Through electronic communications, two of the alleged conspirators “agreed to unite others in their cause and take violent action against multiple state governments that they believe are violating the U.S. Constitution,” the FBI said.

The criminal complaint identified the six as Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta, all of Michigan, and Barry Croft of Delaware.

Fox said he needed 200 men to storm the Capitol building in Lansing and take hostages, including the governor, according to the FBI. He said he wanted to try Whitmer for “treason” and would execute the plan before the Nov. 3 election, the government said. The group later shifted to targeting the governor’s vacation home, the FBI said.

The government said the scheme appeared to have roots in a June gathering in Dublin, Ohio, attended by more than a dozen people from several states, including Croft and Fox.

“The group talked about creating a society that followed the U.S. Bill of Rights and where they could be self-sufficient,” the FBI affidavit said. “They discussed different ways of achieving this goal from peaceful endeavors to violent actions. … Several members talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor.”

Link to original Associated Press article 


 

Whitmer reopens movie theaters, strengthens mask requirements in schools


Posted by The Huron Hub

Press release desk

Sept. 25, 2020


Governor’s order increases limits on mass gatherings for regions in phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan

Governor Whitmer on Friday signed Executive Orders 2020-183, which amends the MI Safe Start order to reopen movie theaters and performance venues and 2020-185, which requires face coverings for students in grades K-5. 

“Michigan took some of the most aggressive action against COVID-19 in the country, and as a result, the health of our families and our economy are faring better than our neighbors in other states. As a result, we are now able to reopen movie theaters and performance venues with strict safety measures in place. I know these business owners have made incredible sacrifices during this crisis to protect our families and frontline workers, and my administration will continue working to help them get back on their feet,” said Governor Whitmer. “We are not out of the woods yet, and we will continue to monitor the effects of these incremental changes. Right now, the federal government and all 50 states have been under some form of state of emergency. We must stay the course and continue fighting this virus on behalf of our families, frontline workers, and our small businesses.” 

Beginning October 9, a number of previously closed businesses are slated to reopen statewide, including indoor theaters, cinemas, performance venues, arcades, bingo halls, bowling centers, indoor climbing facilities, trampoline parks, and more. 

Under Executive Order 2020-183, instead of being limited to 10 people, non-residential indoor gatherings and events now must limit attendance to 20 people per 1,000 square feet or 20 percent of fixed seating capacity, with a maximum of 500 people in Michigan’s largest venues. Non-residential indoor venues must require a face covering. Instead of being limited to 100 people, non-residential outdoor gatherings and events now must limit attendance to 30 people per 1,000 square feet or 30 percent of fixed seating capacity, with a maximum of 1,000 people. Regions 6 and 8 are subject to the same rules covered in the revised MI Safe Start order, except non-residential indoor venues may allow up to 25 people per 1,000 square feet or 25 percent of fixed seating capacity, with a maximum of 500 people in the regions’ largest venues. 

Executive Order 2020-185 requires all students in grades kindergarten and up in regions 1-5 and 7 to wear a face covering in classrooms. Prior orders had recommended, but not required, a face covering for grades kindergarten through five.  

“With the 2020-2021 flu season approaching, we are in a precarious moment in our fight against COVID-19,” said Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “This new mask requirement is so important to protect students and educators, and to keep our schools open. This year, it’s more important than ever that Michiganders across the state get their flu vaccine as soon as possible, mask up, and maintain at least six feet of physical distancing. Let’s all be smart and stay safe.” 

“We applaud the governor’s strong leadership during this time and appreciate the guidance she has provided,” said JD Loeks, President of Studio C, Parent Company of Celebration Cinema. “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our employees, patrons, and their families. We are eager to reopen our doors with strict safety measures in place and look forward to working closely with the governor and her team as we continue to fight this virus.” 

“One of the many unfortunate side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is that bereaved families across Michigan have not had the opportunity attend the rituals, services, and ceremonies that allow them to pay their respects and process their grief over the loss of a loved one,” said Phil Douma, Executive Director of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association.  “Increasing the number of people able to attend a funeral is the right thing to do, and grieving families across our state can now more properly mourn their losses and honor those they love.” 

The governor today also signed Executive Order 2020-184, which updates the governor’s previous order on workplace safeguards to reflect the changes in the MI Safe Start Order.


Meet the candidates: Joshua Monte running for seat on Huron Board of Education

Photo submitted by Joshua Monte


Meet the candidates column 
The Huron Hub
Posted Sept. 15, 2020

Editor’s note: As the 2020 election draws near, the residents in Huron Township would like to hear more about each candidate that is running for office or reelection.

Recently, every person running on the Huron Township ballot was invited to use The Huron Hub as a platform to get their voice heard. All letters in this column are submitted by the candidates themselves and are not edited by Huron Hub staff.

Readers can access all candidate letters on a special section of HuronHub.com HERE


The following letter was submitted by Joshua Monte: 

ABOUT ME:

My name is Joshua Monte, I grew up in Belleville and have been a resident of Huron Township for 18 years. I’ve been married to my wife, Jill, for 20 years and have two daughters, Lila and Lauren, who attend Renton Junior High School. I have been in law enforcement for over 25 years, and currently serve as a Captain with the City of Romulus.
My family chose to move to Huron Township for two reasons; the safety of the community and the quality of education the Huron School District provides.

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:

I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Michigan University (EMU) and a Master’s Degree in Technology Studies from EMU. I am also a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. I have experience in strategic planning, developing and maintaining a large budget, grant writing, and policy development. I’ve gained great insight and experience by participating in union contract negotiations as a union president, and recently from the employer side of the bargaining table.

WHY I’M PURSUING A SCHOOL BOARD SEAT:

I believe that children are the foundation of our community and it is the duty of our school system to provide a safe, quality education in order to facilitate their educational and emotional growth.
I was raised with deep roots in public education. My father was a public school teacher and principal for over 40 years, and served an additional few years as principal of St. Stephen Catholic School. My mother retired as a public school elementary school secretary after 30 years.
With my background in education and executive-level law enforcement, I can bring a unique perspective to the school board. Having worked with boards and commissions, I understand the role the school board plays with the school district and community. I will work collaboratively with other board members, parents, school staff, and administrators using a solution-oriented approach. As a new School Board member, I will actively engage in learning new concepts and best practices, while seeking out and engaging in
learning opportunities. Many of the skills I’ve developed in public service are appropriately transferable to the school board position.
Above all, I believe in collaboration, fiscal responsibility and transparency. As a parent of two children in the district, I also understand the importance of effectively communicating decisions based on accurate information. This best practice will alleviate questions, concerns, and fears in both parents and students.

WHY I’M THE RIGHT CANDIDATE:

The global pandemic has been a challenging time for educators, parents, and particularly students. As a Board member I will advocate for the students and the district on a local and state level. I will focus on student achievement and policies that ensure success for all students. I plan to use my professional leadership and collaborative skills to assist school leadership and board members in creating an exceptional educational experience for students, while making sound fiscal decisions. I look forward to serving our community in this capacity.


 

Meet the candidates: John Poe running for state representative for House District 23

Photo submitted by John Poe

Meet the candidates column 
The Huron Hub
Posted Sept. 14, 2020

Editor’s note: As the 2020 election draws near, the residents in Huron Township would like to hear more about each candidate that is running for office or reelection.

Recently, every person running on the Huron Township ballot was invited to use The Huron Hub as a platform to get their voice heard. All letters in this column are submitted by the candidates themselves and are not edited by Huron Hub staff.

Readers can access all candidate letters on a special section of HuronHub.com HERE


The following was submitted by John Poe:

A little bit about me. I am a husband, father, first responder, hunter, firearms instructor, animal conservationist, Christian, Constitutionalist, business owner Public School educated union man. 

John was born in 1968 in Middletown Ohio. He graduated High School in Monroe Ohio and currently lives in the wonderful community of New Boston with his wife of 30 years and his twin children who are 22 years old. 

The first stop in John’s career was that of an Auxiliary Police Officer after which he worked as a Park Police Officer. In 1993 John was hired in full time with the River Rouge Police Department. Throughout his career John has reached many milestones. Holding nearly every rank John rose from Patrolman to Corporal to Sergeant to Detective Sergeant to Lieutenant which is the rank he held when he finally retired. John was the originating officer in one of the first convictions of the Internet Predators Act. He has dedicated his adult life to public service and a run for State Representative is another example. 

Another passion of John’s is his love of reptiles. John lays claim to the fact that he is the founder of the Southeast Michigan reptile rescue. As an Internationally recognized expert on the handling of reptiles John has made several appearances on Animal Planet. This unique ability has prompted John to hold training classes for Local, State and Federal animal control officers. Some people purchase “dangerous” reptiles and release them once they become too much to handle. Currently Michigan has no laws preventing this. 

In one form or another John has volunteered his time to his community for the better part of four decades. John has served on the Library Commission for 10 years, Goodfellows and Autism Awareness Associations. He was a founding member of the River Rouge Civic League as well as a founding member of a Downriver No Child Without a Christmas Chapter. John continues to work for breast cancer awareness and will soon launch a cooperative to help fight child trafficking. 

 John’s life experiences have led him to the decision to run to represent the 23rd District in the Michigan House of Representatives. His core values and willingness to serve make him an attractive candidate for this position. For more information on John or his campaign please visit http://www.poefor23.com or look him up on Facebook @johnpoeformi. 


 

Whitmer signs bill adding $2.8 billion in supplemental funding to unemployment insurance


Posted by The Huron Hub

Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020


Governor Whitmer today signed Senate Bill 745, which appropriates $2.8 billion in supplemental funding from federal revenues awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover a temporary $300 per week enhanced federal payment for eligible Michiganders receiving unemployment benefits.

As part of the FEMA program, the additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits will continue until the federal emergency disaster relief funding made available for this program has been exhausted. At this time, it is unknown how many weeks may be covered by existing funds.

“This is good news for the thousands of Michiganders who are still without work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s still a short term band aid that falls short of what’s needed,” said Governor Whitmer. “We need the president, Mitch McConnell, and Congress to put partisanship aside and pass a bipartisan recovery package that will help us save lives and get people back on their feet. Michigan families, frontline workers, and small business owners are counting on the federal government to do the right thing and work together on their behalf.”

At this time, eligible claimants do not have to take any action to receive the additional benefit amount provided by the program.

SB 745 also includes $8 million in funding to facilitate the further development of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Illinois, which will provide a critical barrier to prevent invasive carp from entering Lake Michigan. In addition, the bill provides match funding for disaster flood cleanup in Midland and Gladwin counties, as well as funding to cover costs for flood response and mitigation efforts in the City of Detroit.


Department of Agriculture reminds agri-tourism operators to follow COVID-19 safety guidance for fall season

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(Photo/Pixabay)


Posted by The Huron Hub | Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020

As Michigan moves into autumn, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) today reminded the state’s U-pick, corn mazes and other agri-tourism operations opening up to implement and follow plans to protect themselves and their customers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Fall harvest in Michigan brings a bounty of delicious food and products highlighting Pure Michigan agriculture. U-pick and other agri-tourism farming operations are part of the foundation of our food supply chain,” said Gary McDowell, MDARD director. “These businesses need to continue adhering to specific guidance such as social distancing in the retail and field areas, using masks, and taking the necessary steps to protect public health as they open for the season.”

A couple of key items to note for agri-tourism operators, with the full list available online:

-Operators must have a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan and make it readily available to employees and customers; train employees; and supervise implementation.
-U-pick and agri-tourism operations must screen staff daily for symptoms and those with symptoms should not be permitted to work until they subside.
-The use of personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, face shields, and face coverings as appropriate for the activity being performed is required and must be provided.
-Limit in-person interaction with clients and patrons to the maximum extent possible, and bar any such interaction in which people cannot maintain six feet of distance from one another.
-Customers must take steps to maintain social distancing in sale and retail areas and in fields. Spacing out guests in U-pick areas is critical to the safety of all guests. A minimum of six feet between guests must always be maintained. This also means avoiding crowds waiting to enter sales or field areas and providing for six feet between each guest standing in any lines.
-Family units should stay together and six feet apart from others. Customers should only be accompanied with family members and should limit the numbers in their groups.

All provisions of Executive Orders 2020-160 and 2020-161 and best practices from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention can be found here.


Support local journalism: If you’ve valued The Huron Hub’s consistent local news coverage during this pandemic, please consider supporting us.


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‘Meet the Candidates’ section of The Huron Hub to return for 2020 election



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

Posted Aug. 12, 2020

The primary election has passed and it’s time we move our sights to the November general election.

During the 2016 election, The Huron Hub ran a successful “Meet the Candidates” column that allowed each candidate running for election or re-election in Huron Township the chance to make their case to the voters.

This column will be returning for the 2020 election.

This column allows quick reference for voters who want more info on the candidates.

Any person running in Huron is invited to use The Huron Hub as a platform to get their voice heard.

If you’re a candidate running for office in Huron Township, submit your proposal and headshot photo to the editor: ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com.

Candidates: the deadline to submit your letter will be Oct. 12 (we will not publish any letters submitted after that date).

Readers can access meet the candidate articles on a special tab on HuronHub.com at this link.

Candidates are invited to contact The Huron Hub’s editor if they have further questions.