Category Archives: State & Region

Camilleri announces 2020 re-election campaign during kickoff event in Brownstown

(Photos courtesy of Darrin Camilleri)


Posted by The Huron Hub on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020

State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown) was joined by over 250 supporters Sunday at Champions Sports Grill in Brownstown where he kicked off his third and final bid for state representative in the 23rd House District.

“It’s been over four years since we began this improbable journey to elected office,” said Camilleri. “To be joined by over 250 supporters in my hometown was nothing short of humbling. I’ve never been more ready to continue representing our Downriver community, and I’m so excited to keep up this fight for all of us.”

Camilleri, a former teacher who backs public education, labor, and the environment, was joined by Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist as well as other elected officials from across the region and supporters of all ages and backgrounds.

The 23rd House District includes the communities of Brownstown Township, Gibraltar, Grosse Ile Township, Huron Township, Trenton, and Woodhaven. 


 

Busch Beer says the more snow we get, the cheaper their beer is

During Busch Snow Day, every inch of snow in select cities in the Midwest and Great Lakes equals $1 off of Busch. (Image courtesy Busch Beer)


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

Posted Jan. 16, 2020

Snow haters, this might change your mind.

Busch Beer announced that residents of certain snowy states can get a special rebate on their beer depending on the amount of snow that falls there.

“During Busch Snow Day, every inch of snow in select cities in the Midwest and Great Lakes equals $1 off of Busch,” a statement from the company said. “The more snow falls, so does the price of Busch.”

In Michigan, Busch Beer drinkers looking for that rebate should keep an eye on Grand Rapids’ snow totals.

Rebates can be entered at any time until March 21, and you’ll receive money back shortly after that date, according to the company.

The most in rebates a Busch drinker can get is $30, and you must save your receipts to prove purchase.

Of course, you must be 21 to participate in the promotion.

Rebates can be entered at this link.

For a full list of the Busch Snow Day rules, visit this link.

Related: National Weather Service forecasting 4-7 inches of snow by Saturday morning


 

Michigan attorney general files lawsuit against firms over PFAS contamination

Toxic PFAS foam, seen here, can be bright white and tends to pile up like shaving cream on a river or lakeshore. The substance is usually lightweight and can be sticky. (Photo credit: Michigan.gov)


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

Posted Jan. 15, 2020

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Washtenaw County Circuit Court against 17 defendants—including 3M and DuPont—for damages and injury to the State of Michigan caused by contamination from toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances known as PFAS.

The lawsuit, according to the attorney general’s office, is the first legal action taken by the state against PFAS manufacturers.

The state’s lawsuit alleges the 17 defendants deliberately concealed the dangers of PFAS and withheld scientific evidence, and intentionally, knowingly and recklessly sold, distributed, released, transported, supplied, arranged for disposal or treatment, and handled and used PFAS and PFAS-containing materials in Michigan in a way that they knew would contaminate natural resources and expose Michigan residents to harm.

The defendants are:

  • Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. – a/k/a 3M;
  • DuPont, including its historic corporate self/identity/entity, as well as its post-merger-and-spinoff self – DuPont de Nemours Inc., a/k/a “New DuPont”;
  • The Chemours Co., a spinoff of DuPont, and its subsidiary (The Chemours Co. FC LLX);
  • Corteva Inc., another DuPont spinoff which was part of Defendant Dow DuPont;
  • Dyneon LLC;
  • Archroma entities;
  • Arkema entities;
  • AGC Chemicals Americas Inc.;
  • Daikin Industries entities;
  • Solvay Specialty Polymers, USA LLC; and
  • Asahi Kasei Plastics North America Inc.

“We bring this action today on behalf of the people of Michigan,” said Nessel.  “It is our responsibility to protect our residents and our state’s natural resources and property by preventing and abating hazards to public health, safety, welfare and the environment – and by placing the responsibility for this massive undertaking with those responsible for creating the problem.”

The complaint alleges the defendants knew or should have known that:

  • PFAS persist in the environment and do not degrade;
  • PFAS would accumulate and build up in animals and humans exposed to PFAS;
  • PFAS are potential or confirmed carcinogens; and
  • continued manufacture and use of PFAS would inevitably result in continued and increased levels of PFAS getting into the environment and into people’s bodies.

The state also alleges the defendants knew PFAS are toxic and pose substantial health and environmental risks but hid this information from the state and its residents.

Specifically, the state says companies neglected to tell people what was in the products, suppressed the scientific evidence that the chemicals were hazardous, discharged the chemicals into the environment and distributed the chemicals all over the world, including into Michigan, knowing that PFAS would contaminate natural resources and threaten public health.

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.

Exposure to PFAS is correlated with several harmful and serious health effects including decreased fertility, pregnancy induced hypertension and/or preeclampsia, liver damage, thyroid disease, problems with cholesterol levels, immune system problems, and increased likelihood of cancer, especially kidney and testicular cancers.

“Without widespread action to investigate, remediate and restore the resources in Michigan impacted by PFAS contamination, the presence and migration of PFAS in our state’s natural resources and property will continue unchecked and indefinitely, threatening natural resources, property and our residents,” Nessel said.  “We are committed to ensuring that the companies responsible for unleashing PFAS on our state will stand up to their legal obligations and responsibilities.  Their reprehensible conduct demands Gov. Whitmer and I take every legal and regulatory action necessary to protect the people and natural resources of our state.”

A copy of the lawsuit is available here


 

Advocates push for using ‘crash’ instead of ‘accident’ when referring to roadway incidents

(HURON HUB FILE PHOTO)


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

Posted Jan. 13, 2020

Is it a traffic “accident” or “crash?”

That question, according to officials, is no longer up for debate.

Safety advocates say the language we use to refer to roadway incidents is outdated.

Recently, a push by officials across the country is asking transportation partners, law enforcement, emergency response, and the media to make an effort to describe traffic situations as crashes, incidents or collisions instead of accidents.

Locally, the Michigan Department of Transportation says it is working to change the language used when discussing traffic crashes.

“We realize it may seem like a small matter but using the word ‘accident’ reinforces the erroneous view that traffic crashes are something that occur outside of a person’s control,” said Jeffrey D. Cranson, MDOT director of communications.

MDOT says that even though the word “accident” is a deeply ingrained habit for many, it is important to make the change to a non-biased term.

“Using the words ‘crash’ or ‘collision’ does not attribute blame but also does not remove responsibility from those involved,” Cranson said.

Almost all crashes stem from driver behavior like drinking, distracted driving and other risky activity, according to safety officials.

Additionally, about six percent are caused by vehicle malfunctions, weather, and other factors.

Preliminary estimates by the nonprofit National Safety Council show deadly crashes rose by nearly 8 percent in 2015 over the previous year, killing about 38,000 people.


 

Officials urge preparedness ahead of storm


January 10, 2020 — 3:30 PM EST

With a severe winter storm expected to bring a mix of rain, snow and freezing rain to the Lower Peninsula this weekend the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is encouraging Michiganders to be prepared for possible flooding, power outages and dangerous travel.

“Keeping Michiganders safe during severe weather is one of my top priorities,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “My office, along with state departments, will be closely monitoring weather conditions and proactively coordinating with emergency management to support local response efforts as appropriate.  We are also encouraging residents to be safe and take precautions during these extreme weather conditions that are predicted this weekend.”

The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting 2 to 4 inches of rain across the Lower Peninsula beginning Friday with a slow transition to a wintry mix, including freezing rain and sleet, before changing to snow by late Saturday. Flooding is possible along and south of I-94, while the area south of the U.S. 10 corridor and north of I-94 is most at risk for ice accumulations.

Related: Flood watch issued through Saturday night; 2 to 4 inches of rain forecasted

“Both flooding and freezing rain have the ability to be life-threatening,” said Capt. Emmitt McGowan, deputy state director of Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “Michigan residents should take steps to prepare now. Keeping supplies like a flashlight, a portable radio and a working cell phone with a backup power source on-hand can help keep you and your family safe during an emergency.”

Precipitation forecast (rain and melted snow/ice) for the 3-day period from 7 a.m. EST Friday, Jan. 10, to Monday, Jan. 13. Image credit: National Weather Service

During a power outage

  • Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines. Report electrical hazards to police and the utility company.
  • Use battery powered lanterns, if possible, rather than candles to light homes without electrical power.
  • Avoid actions that can result in dangerous levels of carbon monoxide:
    • Do not use a grill indoors.
    • Do not use an unvented gas or kerosene heater.
    • Do not use a generator inside a home or garage. Keep these devices outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
    • Do not use an oven or stove to heat your home.
  • Use extreme caution when driving, especially if traffic signals are out.

Safe winter driving tips:

  • Check the weather before leaving for a destination. If the weather forecast looks dangerous, reschedule or postpone the driving trip, if possible.
  • DO NOT crowd snowplows. Give snowplow drivers plenty of room to clear snow from the roads.
  • Keep tires at the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure and routinely check tire pressure during cold weather.
  • Make sure the windshield solvent reservoir is full and check the condition of all wiper blades and replace when necessary.
  • Wash your vehicle for better visibility to other drivers. Remove ice and snow from all lights, windows and license plate before driving.

To stay safe during a winter storm:

  • Stay indoors if possible. If you must go outside, wear protective gear, such as hats, mittens, gloves, scarf and a warm coat.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite, which include loss of feeling or pale appearance of fingers, toes or face.
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia, which include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, drowsiness and exhaustion.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who are at risk and may need additional assistance.
  • Watch pets closely and keep them indoors when possible. Animals can suffer from hypothermia, frostbite and other cold weather injuries.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a full tank of gas and an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle. Put warm clothing, such as gloves, blankets and hats, in your kit in case you become stranded.

Preparing for a flood

  • Create an emergency preparedness kit with a 72-hour supply of water, including three gallons per person. Include extra water if you have pets.
  • Put important documents and valuables in a water-proof container on the top floor of your home.
  • Create an inventory of your household items and take photos of the interior and exterior of your home.
  • Double-check sump pumps to ensure they are working properly. If possible, have a battery backup system.
  • Make sure your neighborhood storm drains are clear of debris. Clogged storm drains contribute to flooded roadways.

Driving in a flood

  • Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road. The depth of water is not always obvious. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Do not drive around a barricade. Barricades are there for your protection. Turn around and go the other way.
  • Do not try to take short cuts, they may be blocked. Stick to designated routes.
  • Be especially cautious driving at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.

Michigan weather is unpredictable any time of year, but especially during the winter months. If you are stranded in a winter storm, do not leave your vehicle. Stay with the vehicle and wait for help.

Motorists are encouraged to check travel conditions and weather reports before driving at www.michigan.gov/roadconditions. Major road closures can be found at www.michigan.gov/drive.  The MSP/EMHSD asks that you tune into local news and/or view these websites rather than calling your local MSP post or 911 for travel conditions.

For more information on how to prepare before, during and after an emergency or disaster, visit www.michigan.gov/miready or follow MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS.

Source: Michigan State Police 


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Federal Railroad Administration launches website to report blocked railroad crossings

A train blocks the railroad crossing on Pennsylvania Road in Huron Township. (Huron Hub file photo)

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

Posted Jan. 9, 2020

Motorists stuck at railroad crossings can now report the blocked crossing to the federal government in real time.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration announced Dec. 20 that it launched a dedicated website for the public and law enforcement to report blocked crossings.

Communities like Huron Township, and many others across the region, have long dealt with the issue of blocked crossings.

Now, the FRA is seeking public input which they say will help them better understand the scope of the problem and engage with affected communities to identify potential solutions.

The blocked crossing webpage can be accessed at fra.dot.gov/blockedcrossings.

The website requests specific information from users reporting blocked crossings, including date, time, location and duration of the blockage.

The agency expects it takes an average of 3 minutes for users to complete the report.

The FRA says that reporting should only be done in a manner that is consistent with the safe operation of a vehicle.

“Railroads, states and local jurisdictions are best positioned to address blocked highway-rail grade crossings and I’ve asked them to work together to minimize unwanted impacts,” FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory said. “FRA expects that collecting this data will help us identify where chronic problems exist and better assess the underlying causes and overall impacts of blocked crossings — locally, regionally and nationwide.”

Blocked crossings — which are a daily occurrence in Huron and in other areas of Downriver — pose obvious safety risks to communities.

“Our ability to address this issue is only as effective as the data we collect,” Batory said. “Therefore, we are hoping to engage citizens and all levels of government to help spread the word about this important tool.”

FRA says they will use the information collected to gain a more complete picture of where, when, and for how long such obstructions occur at the nation’s approximately 130,000 public grade crossings, and what impacts result from this.

FRA says it will share the information with stakeholders, using it to help facilitate local solutions to blocked crossing issues.

Updated

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BIGGBY COFFEE offering up free cup of joe to all law enforcement officers today


Posted by The Huron Hub on Jan. 9, 2020

On Jan. 9, BIGGBY® COFFEE is brewing up something special for National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Across the nation, law enforcement officers, retired and active, will get a free 16oz beverage of their choice on us.

BIGGBY® COFFEE believes everyone deserves to build a life they love. Through community service, friendly coffee shops, and encouraging fundraising in their coffee shops, BIGGBY® COFFEE knows that building lives we love would not be possible without the sacrifices of our men and women in law enforcement.

That’s why this National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, BIGGBY® COFFEE is brewing up a special “thank you” for all law enforcement. As a way to say thank you for serving us, BIGGBY® COFFEE is serving all active and retired law enforcement one free 16oz beverage on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, Thursday, January 9, at all participating BIGGBY® COFFEE across the nation. All you need to do is show a valid ID, and your drink is on us.

While it may be a small token of thanks, we hope that our nation’s active and retired law enforcement officers feel a little bit of love from BIGGYB® COFFEE as we strive to brew love into each cup we hand out.

Raise your lattes with BIGGBY® COFFEE on Jan. 9 as we say thank you to the unsung heroes of all of our communities.

Source: Biggby Coffee