Category Archives: Other News

Detroit Metro Airport named best in North America for customer experience amid COVID-19 pandemic


Posted by The Huron Hub – Monday, March 1, 2021

Detroit Metro Airport has been named best airport in North America for customer experience amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Detroit Metro Airport has earned Airports Council International’s 2020 Airport Service Quality Award for Best Airport by Size and Region (25 to 40 million passengers per year in North America).

This customer service award is one of the highest honors in the aviation industry, an airport spokesperson said.

DTW shares this recognition with Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

The annual ASQ Awards recognize and reward the best airports in the world according to ACI’s surveys, which are based on live research gathered from travelers at the airport.

The surveys are conducted at nearly 400 airports worldwide. The ASQ program delivers an in-depth assessment of the quality of the customer service experience, including airport cleanliness, wayfinding and the courtesy and helpfulness of airport staff.

“It is a great honor for Detroit Metropolitan Airport to be named one of the best airports in the world for the second time in three years,” said Wayne County Airport Authority CEO Chad Newton. “To earn the ASQ Award during a global pandemic—a time that has proven challenging for everyone—is an even bigger accomplishment. Our airport team will continue to maintain a safe environment while we work to restore confidence in air travel.”

According to the survey results, DTW showed growth in several key performance areas over the last year. The most significant improvements noticed by DTW customers in 2020 include the cleanliness of restrooms and terminals, wait times, passport inspection, and the feeling of being safe and secure. Additionally, the surveyed travelers noted the efficiency and courtesy of airport staff.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport has always been committed to delivering an excellent customer experience with an emphasis on safety. This goal took on a new meaning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the Airport Authority implemented measures to protect customers, visitors, and staff from the virus ranging from installing acrylic barriers, face covering dispensers and hand sanitizing stations to displaying signage promoting healthy habits. The janitorial staff increased the frequency of cleaning in high touch point areas as well.

“I congratulate Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport on their success in the Airport Service Quality Awards which represent the highest possible recognition for airport operators around the world and recognize excellence in customer experience,” said Airports Council International Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira. “Customers have spoken and recognized the successful efforts of the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport team in providing a superior customer experience under very trying circumstances during the pandemic.”

Detroit Metropolitan Airport has been a proud participant of the Airport Service Quality benchmarking process since 2006.

Prior to 2020, DTW received other ACI honors, such as being named one of the best airports by size and category (25-40 million passengers) in North America for customer service in 2018.

Airports Council International is the trade association of the world’s airports.

It was founded in 1981 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and partners in world aviation. A full list of the 2020 ASQ Award recipients can be found at https://aci.aero/customer-experience-asq/asq-awards-and-recognition/asq-awards/current-winner-2020/.


 

Huron-Clinton Metroparks provides deer management program update

Huron Hub file photo


Posted by The Huron Hub – Monday, March 1, 2021

Huron-Clinton Metroparks provided an update on the park’s early 2021 plans for managing deer health and the herd population across the system.

Recently, a scheduled cull at Kensington Metropark was canceled due to timing constraints, and a cull on Thursday, Feb. 25, at Oakwoods/Willow Metroparks (the two parks are connected) was completed.

The plan at Kensington had been paused while law enforcement authorities investigated credible threats of violence, ultimately leading to recent misdemeanor charges against an Oakland County man for malicious use of telecommunications services.

No Place for Violent Threats, But Respectful Dialogue Encouraged

Metroparks Director Amy McMillan noted that the park system is committed to both transparency and respectful dialogue, but violent threats cross a key line.

“We respect that some have strong feelings about this wildlife management decision and always encourage feedback and two-way dialogue, but we can’t stand by when threats of violence endanger park staff, visitors or community. An in-depth investigation was why we could not share a more specific and transparent update until now. We thank the Royal Oak Police Department and Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office for their diligent work on this matter.”

Sharing Specific Deer Management Updates and a Commitment to Science

Winter 2021 Deer Management Details:
A February 2021 cull did not and will not take place at Kensington Metropark due to timing constraints of the investigation into threats of violence. Though Kensington’s deer population has grown beyond the recommended carrying capacity of the 4,500-acre natural area, the Metroparks will not request a permit extension beyond the current Feb. 28 end date due to deer gestation cycles.

The deer management program was completed as planned at the adjoined Oakwoods/ Willow Metroparks with a final winter 2021 cull that took place Feb. 25 between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight.

“The Metroparks team understands and appreciates the wide range of passionate viewpoints this issue evokes,” Director McMillan added. “We also wanted to help clear up inaccurate information that’s been circulating and let people know we weighed all options and available data carefully as we take our responsibility to the parks and our stewardship of them extremely seriously. The science will always guide and drive our decisions on the most effective, most humane way to protect the long-term health and welfare of the deer population as well as the ecosystem which sustains them.”

Additional Study Ordered to Ensure Latest, Best Practices

McMillan also directed the Metroparks Natural Resources Division to conduct a comprehensive review of best practices and alternative methods across the state and country. This additional study will be completed by the end of 2021 and made publicly available. Similar reviews will also take place about every three years to ensure the latest, updated science is always considered.

“We want to regularly assess and continually ensure the Metroparks is doing everything possible to humanely address overpopulation and ensure a healthy, thriving deer population that also sustains our diverse flora and fauna that play a role in sustaining the entire ecosystem,” McMillan said.

History and Rationale for Deer Management Program

Tyler Mitchell, Chief of Natural Resources for the Metroparks, explained that the deer management program at the Metroparks began in 1999 in response to an observed decline in the overall health of the deer herd and the loss of more than 70 species of native plants.

Third-party wildlife biology experts completed health studies on the park deer populations and concluded that, “data indicates herd stress due to lack of nutrition.” Maintaining a healthy balance between herbivores and native plants means achieving the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR)-recommended deer population density of 15-20 deer per square mile.

Regular aerial surveys are used across the Metroparks system to help determine herd sizes and if any deer culls may be needed in a specific year at a specific park. This information led to the determination that the current estimated herd of 210 in the 5.1 square land miles of the adjoined Oakwoods and Willow Metroparks and the current herd of at least 120 across Kensington’s 5.1 square land miles needed to be reduced. Metroparks intended to reduce the herd at Oakwoods and Willow by 58 deer and harvested a total of 51 deer. Metroparks intended to reduce the herd at Kensington by 43 deer and the cull did not take place. Deer tend to proliferate at these parks due to multiple factors, including a lack of natural predators, surrounding agricultural settings and reduced hunting activity in the immediate area.

Mitchell noted that all harvested deer will be processed for meat and donated to local food banks to help feed hungry families across Southeast Michigan.

For additional information, please visit http://www.metroparks.com/get-involved/about-natural-resources/.


 

New Boston resident hits Michigan Lottery jackpot, wins nearly $400,000

Image courtesy of Michigan Lottery


By Scott Bolthouse | THE HURON HUB
Posted Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021

A New Boston resident won nearly $400,000 after playing a Michigan lottery game.

Diane Newman of New Boston matched the five white balls drawn Dec. 21 to win the big prize.

She bought her winning ticket at the Circle K gas station, located at 1330 Monroe St. in Carleton.

“I used to buy Lottery tickets for my husband and I, but since he retired, he’s been buying them,” said Newman. “We like to play a little bit of everything together.

“We checked our ticket the morning after the drawing and we couldn’t believe we had won! We are still shocked, but it’s a big relief for us.

Newman visited Lottery headquarters to claim her big prize.

She chose to receive a one-time lump sum payment of about $390,000, rather than annual payments of $25,000 for 20 years or life, whichever is greater.

With her winnings, she plans to share with family and take a vacation.

“Winning means I can slow down with work and enjoy life with my husband,” said Newman.


Romulus Athletic Center welcomes visitors back at 25% capacity

(Photo courtesy Romulus Athletic Center)


Posted by The Huron Hub – Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021

The Romulus Athletic Center has moved into Phase Two of its reopening plan, adhering to health and safety guidelines set by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the Wayne County Health Department and the CDC.

“After careful consideration and closely following the safety recommendations of health experts, we are pleased to announce the Romulus Athletic Center has moved forward with its reopening plan,” said Romulus Athletic Center Manager Andy Mackay. “We know the athletic center plays a role in supporting the health and wellness of residents, so safely reopening and offering the services our members rely on has been a priority since the start of the pandemic.”

As of February 15, the following athletic center offerings are now open to members:

The lazy river, lap pool and hot tub, which have reopened at 25% capacity to members only from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 12 – 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Masks will be required at all times while on the pool deck and in the hot tub and lazy river, except for when swimming.

The basketball courts, which have reopened at 25% capacity to members only for small groups or practice play. Courts can also be reserved per party to further maximize safe social distancing and avoid in-person interaction.

The men’s and women’s locker rooms have reopened and will undergo routine cleanings, including after each individual use of the family locker room, a light cleaning every 15 minutes, a deep cleaning every two hours and a nightly power wash.

At this time, select workout equipment will remain off the gym floor and dance classes will remain in the gym and banquet areas. Day passes are not permitted but the athletic center is accepting new memberships.

“I want to thank the Romulus Athletic Center team for their hard work in preparing for the safe second phase of reopening, as well as residents for their patience throughout the process,” said Romulus Mayor LeRoy Burcroff. “Like many cities, Romulus has been greatly impacted by COVID-19, but together we have stayed resilient and Romulus Strong. I’m eager to see our community work together as we continue to push through the pandemic and maintain our momentum in the years to come.”

To learn more about the Romulus Athletic Center or to become a member, please visit https://romulusathleticcenter.com/ or call 734-942-2223.


Metroparks seek public input on proposed grant projects at three parks

Photo courtesy Metroparks.com

Posted by The Huron Hub | Monday, Feb. 15, 2020

Metroparks intend to leverage grant funding to improve accessibility and recreation opportunities.

The Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority is seeking public input on three projects being submitted to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Recreation Grants program. The Metroparks are home to 13 parks in southeast Michigan and staff is looking to improve their impact on the community by leveraging grantfunding that will complement the Metroparks’ annual budget. The Metroparks are committed to removing barriers, creating and improving access, and increasing recreation opportunities for all, and if awarded, these grant funds will allow the parks to improve accessibility to water and trail recreation.

Public support and input help guide the final design of park improvements and result in stronger applications, so the Metroparks want to hear from the community.

One proposed project will be located at Delhi Metropark, located five miles outside of Ann Arbor. This park is home to 52acres of mature oak trees and open, grassy lawns along the Huron River. The proposed project would make improvements for accessibility along the Huron River by renovating the site to add a new floating dock system and an expanded sandy launch/take-out area using universal design principals, including: Expansion of sandy take-out area, new accessible floating kayak launch/take-out with solar edge lights, two accessible picnic tables and a bench with easy accessto the adjacent trails, dog waste station, relocation of water spigot for accessible use, improved concrete walkway to Huron River, native tree and other native vegetative buffer plantings.

The second proposed project would be located at Lake Erie Metropark. This 1,607-acre park is in the southeastern corner of Wayne County, at the junction of the Detroit River and Lake Erie. Lake Erie Metropark is part of the Downriver Linked Greenways North South Trail (part of the Iron Belle Trail) and the Detroit Heritage River Water Trail. The proposed project for Lake Erie Metropark would improve the Cherry Island NatureTrail and associated amenities for accessibility using universal design principles, including:

• Accessible concrete parking area with 3 van spaces• New 8’ wide aggregate trail from parking lot to new trailhead

• 6’ wide accessible aggregate path at Lake Erie viewing area• 2 accessible picnic tables, 2 bike hoops, and viewing scopes

• Removal and replacement of a land bridge trail with 10’ wide, 630’ long boardwalk

• New split rail fence for trail safety• Relocation of benches to accessible areas• Accessibility improvements to existing boardwalk

• Elevation and modification to existing trail for accessible slopes and cross-slopes• 5 native trees near parking lot

The third project is proposed for Stony Creek Metropark. This park extends across Oakland and Macomb counties with 4,435acres used for year-round recreation and education. The project at Stony Creek Metropark would improve accessibility of the Reflection Nature Trail and associated amenities using universal design principles, including:

• Replacement of three bridges• Replacement of the existing dock with shoreline viewing platform

• Accessible push button doors at the Nature Center main entrance

• Relocation of benches to accessible areas

• Various landscaping features including new native plantings and accessible prairie development

• Modification to existing trail for accessible slopes and cross-slopes

The public can review the projects, including conceptual plans,through the Metroparks website at http://www.metroparks.com/DNRgrants. Metroparks staff are offering multiple opportunities to provide feedback. Three virtual public meetings are scheduled, where each of the projects will be discussed along with opportunities for feedback. The zoom meetings are scheduled for:

• Thursday, February 18 from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

• Thursday, February 18 from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

• Saturday, February 20 from 11 a.m. – Noon

Additionally, feedback can be given through an online survey if you are unable to attend one of the virtual events. Lastly, there will be a virtual public hearing on Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 9.a.m. prior to the Board of Commissioners meeting.

Project descriptions, renderings, Zoom meeting links, as well as links to the online surveys for each project can also be found online at http://www.metroparks.com/DNRgrants.


MDOT project will rebuild, repair 24 miles of I-275 from Will Carleton Road to 6 Mile Road


By Scott Bolthouse | THE HURON HUB
Posted Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021

MDOT announced today plans to repair and rebuild 24 miles of I-275 in Wayne County in six phases over three years.

MDOT will host a virtual meeting on Monday, Feb. 22 that details plans regarding a massive I-275 construction project that will span from Will Carleton Road to Six Mile Road.

The project includes ten miles of concrete pavement repairs, 14 miles of rebuilding concrete pavement, asphalt resurfacing of four interchanges, and rebuilding concrete pavement of parts or all of six interchanges.

MDOT said the project also includes improving 65 bridges and a retaining wall, drainage improvements, sign replacements, traffic signal modernizations, intelligent transportation system (ITS) improvements, sidewalk improvements that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and tree replacements.

Additionally, a segment of the Metro Trail will be rebuilt to replace an adjacent retaining wall.

Public input is being sought to help MDOT “recognize and address any concerns that may result from the project,” a statement said.

You can submit public comments by March 9 using MDOT’s online comment form or by e-mailing MDOT Public Involvement Specialist and Hearings Officer Monica Monsma at MonsmaM@Michigan.gov.

The virtual meeting on Feb. 22 will be from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Click here to join the Microsoft Teams Virtual Public Meeting

To join by phone without using Internet, call 248-509-0316, conference ID: 950 606 39#.

Copies of the meeting will be available from MDOT.


 

New Michigan scholarship offers tuition-free opportunity for residents age 25+ to earn associate degree, skills certificate

Posted by The Huron Hub| Feb. 2, 2021

Michigan announced today the launch of a $30 million ‘Michigan Reconnect’ program, the largest effort in state history to ensure that more than 4.1 million Michiganders who are 25 or older and do not have a college degree will have an opportunity to earn a tuition-free associate degree or skills certificate. 

Michigan Reconnect will pay the cost of tuition for eligible adults who want to pursue an associate degree or skills certificate at their in-district community college. The program also offers skills scholarships to help cover the cost of tuition through more than 70 private training schools with 120 programs that offer certificates in high-demand careers in industries such as manufacturing, construction, information technology, healthcare or business management. 

Starting today, Michiganders can submit applications at Michigan.gov/Reconnect. The application takes less than five minutes to complete and can be done on a mobile
Reconnect scholarships are accepted by all Michigan community colleges and are even available to eligible adults who are already enrolled in their local community college. The program pays the remaining balance of tuition and mandatory fees after other state and federal financial aid have been applied. For those who choose to attend an out-of-district community college, Reconnect will pay the in-district portion of tuition.

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) is administering Reconnect in partnership with the Michigan Department of Treasury.

“Reconnect offers a path for so many Michiganders hoping to begin – or complete – their education and career journey,” said LEO Acting Director Susan Corbin. “This program, like so many others we’re focused on, will help expand opportunity for all Michiganders and make Michigan a better place to live, work and play.”

To be eligible for Michigan Reconnect, you must:
-Be at least 25 years old when you apply
-Have lived in Michigan for a year or more
Have a high school diploma
-Have not yet completed a college degree (associate or bachelor’s)

Funding for Michigan Reconnect was introduced in Gov. Whitmer’s FY 2020-21 budget proposal. A bipartisan group of legislators – led by state Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, state Sen. Jim Ananich, D-Flint, state Rep. Ben Frederick, R-Owosso, state Rep. Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing, and former state Rep. Sheryl Kennedy, D-Davison – approved $30 million in state funding.

Michigan employers’ ability to find highly skilled and capable employees is more difficult than ever and is cited as a top concern in the most recent Michigan Future Business Index Report. Michigan Reconnect will help address the dual challenges of the state’s widening talent gap and aging workforce.

As of 2019, only 41% of Michigan’s working-age residents had an associate degree or higher, placing Michigan at 31st in the nation. The average age of Michigan’s 365,232 residents currently enrolled at a community college is 25.7 years old, and more than 36% are 25 or older, according to the Michigan Community College Association.

Several organizations from all sectors of the state’s economy have pledged to work as Reconnect Champions to promote awareness of the program, including the Michigan Manufacturers Association.

Individuals looking to take advantage of Reconnect who are unsure what they’d like to study are encouraged to consider some of Michigan’s high-demand careers. A list of those careers and wages by occupation and region is available on the Michigan Reconnect website.

Shabaka Bailey, 25, of Lansing, spoke at today’s virtual news conference and described Michigan Reconnect as an “almost too good to be true” opportunity.

Bailey learned about the program through a career coach at the Capital Area Michigan Works agency in Lansing. He is currently looking for work after receiving lay-offs last summer from a lumber yard and a local restaurant that closed due to the coronavirus.

“It’s hard right now with the pandemic,” said Bailey, who is the father of a 5-year-old son, Josiah, and 1-year-old daughter, Journi.

“I had thought about going to Lansing Community College to get my associate degree,” he said. “But I couldn’t afford to pay the cost of tuition and still support my kids at the same time. Michigan Reconnect is a great opportunity for me to pursue my dream now.

“I plan to enroll at LCC and begin their aviation program,” Bailey added. “I want to become an aviation technician and work on plane engines. I think that’s a good career for me that will allow me to make something of myself.”

A virtual news conference tour through March will also introduce Michigan Reconnect benefits to audiences across the state. The events will feature state legislators and local leaders representing community colleges and business and workforce development organizations, as well as testimonials from prospective Michigan Reconnect applicants from every region of the state.

While more than 8 in 10 parents of a Michigan high school student expect their child to earn a college degree, 70% said that high costs are a barrier, according to a survey commissioned by the Michigan Association of State Universities.

Michigan Reconnect is an ideal solution for those families and students who initially decided they couldn’t afford to pay tuition to attend community college or feared taking on student loan debt.

The program builds on the success of the Futures for Frontliners initiative Gov. Whitmer launched last September and to which more than 120,000 Michiganders submitted applications by the Dec. 31 deadline.

The nation’s first program of its kind, Futures for Frontliners offered tuition-free college or high school completion to Michiganders who provided essential front-line services during COVID-19 Stay Home, Stay Safe orders between April and June 2020.

Approximately 20,000 Michiganders who applied but didn’t qualify for Futures for Frontliners and are 25 years or older will automatically be eligible for tuition-free college assistance with Michigan Reconnect.

Eligible residents can learn more and apply for Michigan Reconnect at michigan.gov/Reconnect.


Indoor dining can reopen in Michigan on Monday

Posted by The Huron Hub | Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

After being closed down for indoor service for nearly three months, restaurants can once again open their doors to customers for indoor dining starting today.

Restaurants will have to abide by strict rules to help stop the spread of COVID.

Those rules include ensuring tables are six feet apart, and to operate at 25 percent capacity, and a limit of 100 people allowed inside.

Only six people will be allowed at each table under the new rules.

Restaurants will also have to close by 10 p.m.

Will you visit restaurants now that they are open for in-person dining?

Let us know in the comments section of this article.


Job openings currently available at Huron-Clinton Metroparks


Posted Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021
Article submitted by Huron-Clinton Metroparks

Looking to make a career change, or maybe just a new environment? The Huron-Clinton Metroparks might be just the place you’re looking for.  The Metroparks currently have full-time, and part-time positions open in a variety of fields.  Join a team environment where you can be valued for who you are and help serve southeast Michigan in a unique working environment you won’t find anywhere else. Every day is different and exciting, and all team members get the opportunity to help make visitors smile.

Current open positions include part-time positions in the Metroparks Administrative Office and at specific Metroparks:

  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Assistant will support the efforts of the Chief of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, including organizing trainings, participating in special projects, general clerical and record taking, and research.
  • Document Scanning Technician will properly handle archive materials, prepare materials for scanning, scan materials, and maintain records of project.
  • Purchasing Specialist will support purchasing policies and procedures including organizing bids and requests for proposals, providing payments and invoices for good or services, working across the park system and preparing reports.
  • Golf Course Maintenance Worker will maintain the park golf course by mowing, weed whipping, grooming flower beds and trimming trees.

In addition, there is one full-time position available at your Metroparks.

  • At Lower Huron Metropark, we have an open position for an Equipment Maintenance Worker, who would be responsible for complete maintenance, repair and overhaul of automotive and heavy equipment.

All positions come with competitive salaries and benefit packages.

As Metroparks Director Amy McMillan notes: “the men and women who serve the Metroparks provide an invaluable service to not only our park visitors, but to our communities and region. It’s critical we cast a wide net looking for the best and brightest to fill these open spots on our team, ensuring we’re representative of our diverse Southeast Michigan communities and that we’re providing the safest, most inclusive, welcoming outdoor recreation experience for all who visit.”

The Huron-Clinton Metroparks understands that their internal landscape currently lacks diversity. They are looking to cast a wider net and draw a diverse pool of highly qualified applicants for full-time and part-time positions that are currently open.

“While we are proud of the diversity of backgrounds, experiences and skills of our entire Metroparks family, we are also aware that we are not as representative of our service region as we should be. To address this and ensure we are providing the most welcoming outdoor recreation experience and opportunities across our 13 parks, we have launched a comprehensive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative.” Says Artina Sadler, the Chief of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Metroparks. “Our goal is to be the best stewards of not only our parks system, but the public trust. A critical part of earning and keeping that trust is becoming a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization. This important work must first begin internally and will be reflected in the care we take with each of our valued patrons.”

Interested candidates can explore open positions and apply at www.metroparks.com/hiring.


 

MDOT is naming snowplows, and everyone can help

A Wayne County snow plow clears the downtown New Boston area during a recent snow. (Photo by Scott Bolthouse—The Huron Hub)

Posted by The Huron Hub — Jan. 18, 2020

Michigan Department of Transportation snowplows will have a special and personal touch on the department’s interactive Mi Drive map.

Inspired in part by TrafficScotland.org, MDOT has started giving snowplows unique and creative names on the Mi Drive map.

Current names include Plowasaurus Rex, Sir Salts-A-Lot, and Snowboni, and were chosen from hundreds of public offerings.

Yes, Plowy McPlowface is on the list.

Among the submissions were three special names: Tiger, Chill Bill, and Frosty, all from Roxane Gilbert’s 5th Grade students at Fair Plain East Elementary in Benton Harbor. Tiger, the school’s mascot, is now the name of one of the plows along M-63 near the school.

“We are excited that these snowplows will reflect our students’ creativity,” Fair Plain East Principal Brian Litten said. “Going forward, this partnership with MDOT will open the doors for our students to recognize career opportunities.”

To see each snowplow’s name, visit Mi Drive at http://www.Michigan.gov/Drive and activate the MDOT snowplow tracker map layer. By hovering over an icon, the plow name will appear. Clicking on the icon will show the name and a description of what the truck is doing, as well a driver’s seat view of current road conditions through the snowplow cameras.

Starting with several snowplows in MDOT’s Southwest Region, MDOT is hopeful to name each of the more than 250 MDOT plows statewide in the near future.

“This idea really was driven by people who reached out to us and wanted to know how they could name our plows like those in other places,” Nick Schirripa, MDOT spokesman, said. “There was so much positive energy and excitement generated so quickly for this idea, it was contagious. We couldn’t help but give the idea some legs and get some fantastic ideas for names.”

To see each snowplow’s name, visit Mi Drive at http://www.Michigan.gov/Drive and activate the MDOT snowplow tracker map layer. By hovering over an icon, the plow name will appear. Clicking on the icon will show the name and a description of what the truck is doing, as well a driver’s seat view of current road conditions through the snowplow cameras.

“We hoped this could be both fun and instructive and we’re thrilled with the participation from students and others in the community,” said MDOT Director Paul C. Ajegba. “I love many of the suggestions, and I can’t wait to see more.”

School and community groups are encouraged to submit ideas as an organization, in essence adopting a snowplow as their own and creating opportunities to learn more about snowplowing operations, winter driving, and other transportation-related safety topics.

More names are needed, and everyone is welcomed to participate. Go to http://www.Michigan.gov/NameMISnowplow and submit your ideas. There are a few guidelines. To be considered, suggestions must be G-rated and family friendly, and submissions that include famous, character, or brand names cannot be used. Staff from each of MDOT’s seven regions will be able to select their own plow names from the list.