Category Archives: State & Region

Camilleri, Chang open Downriver Community Workspace set to offer face-to-face help with state issues

State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (center) talks with a resident during Wednesday’s opening celebration of the Downriver Community Workspace located inside of Gibraltar City Hall. (Photo courtesy of House Democrats)


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

Posted Nov. 15, 2019

The Downriver Community Workspace opened this week inside of Gibraltar City Hall.

The workspace allows residents in Downriver the ability to receive help with state issues in a face-to-face format.

It’s also the first community space opened by state lawmakers in Downriver in over a decade.

The workspace was spearheaded by State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown) and State Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit).

Camilleri and Chang say they hope the new workspace will serve to make state government more accessible to Downriver residents.

“As a state representative, the best part of my job is being out in the community with the people I have the honor of representing,” said Camilleri. “I want to ensure that all Downriver residents have a reliable place they can go to get assistance and discuss the most important issues facing their families. Opening a community workspace has been something we’ve been working on for a long time, and we’re really excited by the opportunities it will provide.”

Over 30 residents attended the open house for the new workspace on Wednesday. Coffee, pie and other refreshments from local businesses were served during the event.

Staff will be available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during normal business hours at the city hall.

Gibraltar City Hall is located at 29450 Munro Street.

Residents with questions, or those looking for more information about the new workspace, are encouraged to reach out to Camilleri by phone at (517) 373-0555 or by email at DarrinCamilleri@house.mi.gov, or Chang by phone at (517) 373-7346 or by email at senschang@senate.mi.gov.


 

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PFAS confirmed at former Chrysler facility along Huron River in Dexter

The Huron River in Huron Township. (Archive photo by Scott Bolthouse — The Huron Hub)


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

Posted Nov. 7, 2019

PFAS chemicals have been confirmed in potentially dangerous levels at former Chrysler Scio Introl Division located at 2880 Zeeb Road in Dexter, according to the State of Michigan.

The site is an active hazardous waste cleanup site that was already under scrutiny, according to the Huron River Watershed Council.

Additional testing conducted since last spring revealed high PFAS levels in the groundwater at the site.

One test indicated very high levels—1700 parts per trillion (ppt).

Groundwater from the plant flows to the south/southeast, toward the Huron River.

The former Chrysler manufacturer site near Huron River Drive and Zeeb Road in Scio Township is contaminated with PFAS chemicals.

PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s.

In March 2019, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services extended a warning first issued in August 2018 regarding unsafe PFAS levels in the Huron River.

Related: Michigan extends PFAS chemical warnings for Huron River

During that time, MDHHS said fish from the Huron River were not safe to eat due to high PFAS levels.

Officials at the time said touching the fish or water and swimming in the water bodies is not considered a health concern as PFAS do not move easily through the skin.

However, those on the Huron River were warned in September 2018 not to swallow foam that might be floating on the surface of the water.

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy says it will continue to investigate by reviewing the information and working with the facility’s consultants to determine the next steps.

A timeline of recent developments:

  • On March 12, 2019, the facility’s consultant collected groundwater samples.
  • On April 30, 2019, EGLE received the results of the March sampling event.  The highest PFOS+PFOA groundwater result was 1,700 ppt.
  • In the summer of 2019, additional plume delineation and source investigation were conducted.  EGLE received the initial draft report of this work on October 22, 2019, and is in the process of reviewing and verifying the data.

The former auto pant location is classified as a “Part 111” hazardous waste site, which gives the state greater enforcement authority compared to other contaminated locations.

This facility formerly conducted several manufacturing operations related to the automobile industry, including plating.

Officials say all public drinking water in the Huron River watershed has tested within EPA health advisory levels.

Private wells, however, have not been tested in most cases. Concerned residents on private wells should contact their county health departments.

For more information on PFAS in the Huron River watershed, visit hrwc.org/pfas.


 

Temperatures forecasted to plummet just in time for Michigan Winter Hazards Awareness Week


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

Posted Monday, Nov. 4, 2019

Enjoy the fall-like temperatures while they last.

By Thursday morning, everything changes.

Temperatures are forecasted to plummet, with highs in the 30s starting Thursday and lasting for well into mid-November.

Check out the full forecast by visiting this link

Just in time for the cold weather is Michigan Winter Hazards Awareness Week, which began on Nov. 3.

Each year, Michigan residents encounter winter hazards that include icy roads, cold weather injuries, and over-exertion from snow removal.

Severe winter weather requires Michigan drivers to take extra precautions to ensure traveling safely, such as weatherizing their vehicles in late fall, which includes checking the tire treads, windshield washing solution, a proper mix of anti-freeze and water in the cooling system, and having an automotive professional check the belts, hoses, tires, battery, and coolant.

Residents can prepare for severe winter weather by building an emergency preparedness kit, which includes extra blankets and clothes, enough nonperishable food items and water to last three days per person, a first aid kit, medications, pet supplies, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio, a portable radio, and a flashlight with extra batteries.

For a complete list of preparation tools to ensure you are ready for the upcoming winter months, visit weather.gov/wrn/winter_safety.


 

Time change: motorists should be prepared, says MDOT


(Photo/Pexels)


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

Posted Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019

At midnight, we fall back; time-wise, of course.

Sunday marks the end of daylight saving time, and the shift back to standard time.

That means we all have to adjust for the darker weather, especially in the evening.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is reminding motorists to watch out for pedestrians, joggers, and bicyclists on the evening drives.

Research from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute says that pedestrians are more at risk of serious injury from a motor vehicle crash in the weeks following a return to standard time.

The most dangerous time is the first hour of darkness.

“Drivers need to realize that, after the time change on Nov. 3, it may be more challenging to see people walking, running, or bicycling during late afternoons and early evenings as they will be much less noticeable,” said State Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba. “To ensure visibility, pedestrians, joggers, and bicyclists are encouraged to wear brighter colored clothing with reflective material. Drivers need to eliminate distractions and focus fully on the task of driving.”

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study says there were 6,283 pedestrian deaths and 857 bicyclist deaths due to traffic crashes in 2018.

What’s equally scary is that these incidents were 3.4 percent and 6.3 percent increases from the previous year.

NHTSA’s data shows that most of the pedestrian fatalities (76 percent) and bicyclist fatalities (50 percent) occurred during dark conditions between 6 p.m. and 8:59 p.m.

Last year in Michigan, there were 145 pedestrian fatalities and 21 bicyclist fatalities in traffic crashes, with 78 percent pedestrian fatalities and 57 percent bicyclist fatalities involved in traffic crashes that occurred during dark conditions.


Orange barrel alert: here is MDOT’s weekend freeway closure list

Posted by The Huron Hub on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 


Road work and lane closures continue this weekend across Metro Detroit.

Here is a list from MDOT of weekend lane closures.

Check Michigan.gov/drive for info on all projects.

All work is weather dependent and rainstorms may cause delays or cancellations.

I-75:

Oakland – SB 75, University Dr to South Blvd, 1 LANE OPEN, Fri 9pm-Sun 5am.

Oakland – SB 75 ramp to/from University Dr, ramp intermittently closed, Fri 9pm-Sun 5am.

Oakland – EB 75BL/US24BR/Sq Lake, M-1/Wdwrd to US-24/Tele, 1 LANE OPEN, Sat 7am-5pm.

Oakland – NB/SB 75, 8 Mile to 12 Mile, 1 LANE OPEN, Fri 10pm-Sun 9am.

Wayne – NB/SB 75 CLOSED at Gibraltar, intermittently, Sat 8am-9am.

Wayne – NB/SB 75 ramps to WB 94, ramps closed, Fri 11pm-Sat 11:59pm.

WAYNE – NB/SB 75 CLOSED, Springwells to Clark, Fri 11pm-Mon 5am.

I-94:

Macomb – WB 94, 696 to 8 Mile, 1 LANE OPEN NIGHTS, Sat 8p-Sun 8a, Sun 5p-Mon 5a.

Wayne – EB/WB 94, W. Grand Blvd to Conner, 1 LANE OPEN, Fri 9pm-Mon 5am, depends on weather.

Wayne – EB/WB 94, 275 to US-24, 1 LANE OPEN, Fri 9PM-Mon 5am.

I-96:

Wayne – WB 96/M-14 ramp to NB 275, ramp closed, Sat 8am-noon.

Wayne – EB/WB 96 ramps to WB 94, ramps closed, Fri 9pm-Mon 5am.

I-275:

Wayne – NB 275, 96 to 5 Mile, double lane closures, Sat 8am-5pm.

I-696:

Oakland – EB/WB 696 near Farmington Rd, 2 LANES OPEN, Sat 5am-Mon 5am.

M-1: (Woodward)

Oakland – SB M-1, south of 696, 2 lanes closed intermittently, Fri 9am-mid-November.

M-3:

Wayne – SB M-3, south of 75, 1 LANE OPEN, Sat 7am-Mon 2pm.

M-5:

Oakland – NB M-5 at 14 Mile, right lane closed, Fri 9am-Mon 3pm.

M-10:

Oakland – NB M10 ramp to NB US-24/Telegraph, RAMP CLOSED, Sat 11am-3pm.

M-14:

Wayne – EB/WB M-14 near Beck, 1 LANE OPEN, 2 lanes closed intermittently, Sat 12pm-4pm.

M-24:

Oakland – NB/SB M-24 ramp to SB 75, ramp closed intermittently, Fri 9pm-Sun 5am.

M-59:

Oakland – WB M59, M-1/Woodward to telegraph 1 lane open, Sat 7am-3pm.

US-24: (Telegraph)

Oakland – SB US-24, 12 Mile to Civic Center Dr, 2 lanes open, Sat-Sun 6am-7pm.

Oakland – SB US-24, Civic Center Dr to 8 Mile, 2 lanes open, 2 lanes closed, Fri 6am-Mon 7pm.


 

Camilleri, Manoogian look to create Election Day holidays

(Huron Hub file photo)


Posted by The Huron Hub on Friday, Nov, 1, 2019 

State Reps. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown) and Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham) introduced legislation this week that they say will increase access to voting.

Camilleri’s House Bill 5191 would designate regular election days in May, August, and November as state holidays.

Manoogian’s House Joint Resolution calls on Congress to declare Election Day a national holiday.

The package would also encourage employers to allow their employees to take at least a half-day of paid leave to ensure they have the opportunity to vote.

“Voting is at the very foundation of our democracy—it’s our best tool to hold our elected officials accountable and chart a new course for the future,” said Camilleri. “But even today, many people can’t exercise this fundamental right in a meaningful way because they can’t get the time off work. With this legislation, we have an opportunity to expand access to voting in Michigan by ensuring that residents can fulfill their civic duty without jeopardizing their job or financial security.”

According to a joint statement from the representatives, several states have already declared election days as civic holidays, while others require employers to allow employees to take paid leave time in order to vote.

Manoogian and Camilleri said they believe their package will make it easier for Michigan residents to reach the ballot box.

“Every citizen who wishes to vote should be able to. For Americans working multiple jobs to support themselves and their families, it can be impossible to find the time to vote,” said Manoogian. “This resolution urges Congress to make Election Day in November a holiday, giving citizens more flexibility to vote, ensuring that our government is truly representative of its people.”

“In the United States, voting is the most important civic duty entrusted to the people by the Constitution. It is what allows the elected representatives to respond to the will of the people, and holds elected officials accountable for their actions,” said state Rep. Robert Wittenberg (D-Huntington Woods), who co-sponsored the package. “By passing this resolution and making voting day a national holiday, the government is sending the message that the election process, and each vote, matters.”


 

Orange barrel alert: expect freeway closures, other lane closures on I-94 in Metro Detroit this weekend


Posted Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019

Fast facts:
– Bridge repair will require closing eastbound I-94 from US-12 to I-75 this weekend in Detroit.
– The closure begins at 9 p.m. Friday with all lanes expected to reopen by 5 a.m. Monday.
– The closure will be shortened from US-12 to I-96 on Sunday morning.

Weather permitting, Michigan Department of Transportation contract crews will be repairing bridges and resurfacing sections on I-94 in Detroit. This work will require closing eastbound I-94 from US-12 (Michigan Avenue) to I-75 starting at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25. By 5 a.m. Sunday, the closure limits will be shortened from US-12 to I-96. Eastbound I-94 will have all lanes reopened by 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 28.

During this closure, eastbound traffic will be detoured via eastbound US-12 to northbound Rosa Parks Boulevard, then northbound I-75 back to eastbound I-94. The closure is needed to safely allow crews to repair railroad overpasses and the Warren Avenue overpass above eastbound I-94.

Elsewhere in Detroit, both directions of I-94 will have one lane open on Saturday between Chene Street and Conner Road for ongoing work on the Concord Street and French Road overpasses. The two right lanes will be closed in both directions from 5 a.m. until noon. From 12:30 to 5 p.m., the two left lanes will be closed on eastbound and westbound I-94. The Gratiot Avenue entrance ramp to eastbound I-94 will be closed from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

In Macomb County, ongoing pavement repair will require the left and center lanes of eastbound I-94 to be closed from M-102 (Eight Mile Road) to 11 Mile Road. The double-lane closure is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Friday and end by 5 a.m. Monday. During this time, all entrance ramps to eastbound I-94 within the work zone will be closed.

West of the Detroit city limits, eastbound and westbound I-94 will be have one lane open between US-24 (Telegraph Road) and I-275 for ongoing bridge work. Currently, two lanes are open in each direction. The additional lane closure begins at 9 p.m. Friday and will end by 5 a.m. Monday. This work is weather dependent.

Source: MDOT