Category Archives: State & Region

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

By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub

Posted Dec. 12, 2019 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View House Bill 4181 here



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

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

By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub

Posted Nov. 27, 2019

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

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

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

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

Additional stations are also being discussed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Egg-laying hens in Michigan required to be cage-free by 2024


By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub

Posted Nov. 22, 2019

A bill signed into law by the Michigan Legislature requires all egg-laying hens in the state to be raised cage-free by December 2024.

The bi-partisan bill, which passed unanimously in both chambers of the legislature, makes it illegal for Michigan egg farmers to sell eggs from hens kept in cages.

“Signing this bill is the right thing to do. This will ensure that our standards are amongst the strongest in the nation when it comes to protecting animal welfare, while ensuring that egg producers are able to continue to thrive,” said Lt. Gov. Garland Gilchrist, who signed the bill on Nov. 21.

Michigan will be the fifth and largest egg producing state in the nation to adopt a cage free requirement, joining California, Washington, Oregon and Rhode Island.

“The package of bills not only address the provisions around egg-laying hens in the state, but it also provides the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development with key disease emergency response tools which are critical for protecting public and animal health,” said Gary McDowell, MDARD director. “I appreciate everyone who came to the table to develop policy that moves the state forward, supports Michigan’s farming community and helps protect public health.”   

Officials with the Humane Society believe the law will improve the lives of countless animals in the state.

“We’re grateful for the tremendous work of the lieutenant governor’s office in advancing the treatment of egg-laying hens,” said Molly Tamulevich, Michigan State director of the Humane Society of the United States. “Switching to cage-free production methods will dramatically improve the lives of millions of animals per year.”

Michigan’s poultry industry says farmers across the state support the decision.

“Michigan’s family egg farmers applaud the Whitmer Administration for positioning Michigan as a national leader in cage free egg production. While consumers are demanding more cage-free eggs, it is Michigan’s law which will inspire greater integrity and transparency across the U.S. food system, and allow hard working farm families to continue for future generations,” said Allison Brink, executive director at Michigan Allied Poultry Industries.



Here is MDOT’s weekend construction schedule

Posted by The Huron Hub on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 

Here is MDOT’s weekend construction schedule for the Metro Detroit area for Nov. 22-25.

All work is weather dependent, and rain, snow or cold temps may cause delays or cancellations.


Oakland – NB I-75, 14 Mile to Maple, 1 lane open, Sat 7am-7pm .

Wayne – NB 75, Dearborn St to Clark St, 1 LANE OPEN, 3 lanes closed, Fri 7pm-Sat 1am.

and NB 75, Dearborn to Clark, 2 lanes open, 2 closed, Sat 1am-Mon 5am.

Wayne – SB 75, Vernor Hwy to Springwells, 1 LANE OPEN, 3 closed, Sat 7pm-Sun 7 am.

Wayne – EB/WB Ambassador Bridge ramp to SB 75, ramp closed, Sun 1am-7am.

Wayne – All ramps to/from 75, Dearborn to Clark, will be closed intermittently, Fri 7pm-Mon 5am.

Wayne – SB 75, Eureka to Pennsylvania, CLOSED INTERMITTENTLY, Sat 8am-9am.

Wayne – SB US-24 ramp to SB 75, ramp closed intermittently Sat 8am-9am.


Macomb – EB/WB 94, 8 Mile to 11 Mile/696, 1 LANE OPEN, Fri 7pm-Mon 5am.

Wayne – EB/WB 94, Grand River Ave to Rosa Parks Blvd, left lane closed, Sat-Sun 7am-7pm.


Macomb – EB 696, Schoenherr to M-3, 2 LEFT OPEN, 2 RIGHT MOVING LANE CLOSURES, Sat 9am-3pm.

M-1: (Woodward)

Oakland – NB/SB M-1 near 8 ½ Mile, 1 lane closed, Fri 9am-Mon 1pm.


Oakland – EB/WB M-59, Crooks to MLK, moving 2 lane closure, Sat-Sun, 7am-6pm.

M-85: (Fort St)

Wayne – WB/SB M-85, 2nd St to 3rd St, right lane closed intermittently, Mon-Fri 7am-3pm.

Wayne – WB/SB M-85, Military St to Livernois, 1 LANE OPEN, Mon 7am-6pm.


5 restaurants open inside Detroit Metro Airport’s North Terminal as part of $21M dining redevelopment plan

Five new restaurants opened inside of Detroit Metro Airport’s North Terminal recently representing the second part of a $21 million multi-phased dining redevelopment project. (Photos courtesy of Wayne County Airport Authority)

By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub

Posted Nov. 19, 2019

Five new restaurants opened inside of Detroit Metro Airport’s North Terminal recently.

The opening of the restaurants are the second phase of a $21 million dining redevelopment plan that includes 15 food and beverage businesses — some of which are Metro Detroit staples.

Related: Detroit Metro Airport’s North Terminal welcomes three new restaurants

The restaurants that opened recently include Starbucks, McDonald’s, Detroit-based National Coney Island, Common Grace Coffee Co., a local café specializing in the roasting of fine specialty coffees, MOD Pizza, a pizza chain that offers hand-cooked pizzas in just minutes.

“Detroit Metropolitan Airport is known for its many dining options,” said Wayne County Airport Authority CEO Chad Newton. “We are pleased to offer new concepts and even more choices for those traveling through our North Terminal. DTW is consistently being recognized for its terminal facilities, and our concessions are a key reason why. I’m confident our customers will enjoy the fresh appeal of our newest locations.”

The restaurants are operated by four concessionaires, including HMSHost, DTW North Partners, LLC, NAC-MAC Concessions, LLC and McDonald’s USA.

“National Coney Island is thrilled to be an ongoing partner with WCAA, and to open a new location in the North Terminal at Metro Airport,” said National Coney Island CEO Tom Giftos. “We are a Detroit-based brand that has always taken a tremendous amount of pride in our name and our presence here in Southeast Michigan. To be a part of the airport, which is a gateway to our city, is very special. As air travel continues to evolve in the coming years, we hope to bring a renewed spirit to the terminal and be an integral component of the world-class concessions program at Detroit Metro.”

The Airport Authority says to ensure a variety of food options are available for customers at all times, the transformation is divided into four phases.

The third phase of the redevelopment, which includes Pei Wei, Brioche Dorée, Chick-Fil-A and Anita’s Kitchen, is expected to be completed this winter.


Gov. Whitmer visits New Boston restaurant for a sit-down with local officials, community leaders

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer discusses state and federal issues with local officials, community members, and residents on Nov. 13 at Tony’s Coney Island and Grill in New Boston. (Image courtesy of Tony’s Coney Island and Grill)

By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub

Posted Nov. 18, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer visited New Boston last week for a sit-down conversation with local officials and community members.

The meeting was held at Tony’s Coney Island and Grill on Nov. 13 and was not announced to local media ahead of time.

During the meeting, Whitmer was joined by State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown) and the two discussed a recent proposal by Whitmer to expand overtime eligibility for Michigan workers.

“As the law stands right now, far too many Michigan workers are not guaranteed overtime pay when they put in extra hours at work,” said Camilleri. “The governor is taking bold steps to ensure Michiganders are fairly compensated for a hard day’s work. This has the potential to help thousands of families achieve the financial security they need to support themselves, and I look forward to doing all I can support this initiative with my work in the Legislature,” Camilleri said.

Recent changes in federal law are set to extend overtime pay rights to workers making up to $35,500, but even then less than one in six Michiganders will benefit, a statement from Camilleri said.

If enacted, Whitmer’s proposal would raise that threshold to $61,000.

Also participating in the discussion were state Reps. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham), Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth) and representatives from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, as well as two residents who would be affected by the proposed change.

State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown) and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer meeting with local community members to discuss expanding overtime eligibility. (Photo courtesy Darrin Camilleri)


Northbound I-275 closed at Michigan Avenue in Canton due to three vehicle crash

Posted by The Huron Hub on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 — 12:30 P.M. EST

Updated 3:40 P.M. — MDOT says that the scene of the crash has been cleared.

A crash on northbound I-275 that happened near Ford Road has closed the freeway in Canton Township.

The freeway is closed from Michigan Avenue through Ann Arbor Road.

The crash happened around 10:50 a.m. Monday.

Three vehicles were involved in the crash, according to Michigan State Police.

One driver had to be extracted from their vehicle by firefighters, but MSP says there are no serious injuries.

All northbound lanes are closed while police investigate the crash, according to MDOT.

It’s unclear how long the freeway will be closed.