Police target distracted drivers, motorists illegally passing school buses during special initiative

By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
Posted May 22, 2019 — 5:00 p.m EST

Huron Township police were involved in three special initiatives this week: bus stop enforcement, distracted driving patrols, and a check of businesses that sell liquor and tobacco to make sure they aren’t selling to minors.

On Wednesday, police conducted a proactive school bus detail.

The special proactive detail included several plain clothes officers on multiple buses, several unmarked police vehicles following multiple busses and fully marked patrol vehicles assigned to initiate traffic stops on offenders.

High School, middle school, and elementary bus routes were targeted and enforced.

One driver was cited for illegally passing a school bus.

Everette Robbins, director of public safety, gave some tips to parents that help make bus stops more safe:

  • Parents and kids should wait for the bus to come to a complete stop and for the red lights to be engaged before approaching the bus. Many drivers were observed to stop for the yellow lights, but not all. Many kids began to cross the street while the yellow yield lights were flashing, which could cause them to get struck by a vehicle.

  • Multiple bus stops on busy roads had elementary age children at the stop without an adult present. This was especially dangerous with wet road conditions and kids too close to the road.

  • Multiple parents were observed at the stop with their hands full. This included cell phones, coffee, etc. This could make it difficult for a parent to pull their child to safety in the event of an emergency.

In addition to the bus stop initiative, police also conducted a distracted driving detail on Wednesday.

The detail specifically targeted drivers that were texting and driving, creating a hazardous situation for other drivers.

Plain clothes officers teamed with marked patrol units to identify people driving while distracted.

During the detail, 48 citations were issued for drivers that were texting and driving or other hazardous driving.

One driver was cited for distracted driving for reading the newspaper while driving down the highway.

Two distracted drivers were arrested for driving with suspended licenses, and another distracted driver was arrested for having seven warrants for his arrest.

“It was disappointing to realize that even in the pouring rain, which led to poor visibility, drivers were still allowing themselves to be distracted while driving. Way too many people are losing their lives due to distracted driving. Hopefully this will be a wake-up call for all of us,” Robbins said.

On Tuesday, police conducted a proactive liquor and tobacco operation in Huron.

All establishments in the township that sell tobacco and/or liquor were tested for the sale of liquor and tobacco to a minor.

“We are pleased to say that every establishment passed the test. We commend our business owners for their continuing attention in this matter,” Robbins said.

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Camilleri: Bill will help students in obtaining federal aid for higher education

State Rep. Darrin Camilleri speaking on the House floor. Archival photo courtesy of Michigan House Democrats.

Published by The Huron Hub May 22, 2019 — 1:20 p.m. EST 

State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township) released the following statement Tuesday regarding House Bill 4614:

Legislation promotes public school students completing FAFSA form prior to graduation

LANSING — State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township) introduced House Bill 4614 to encourage public school students to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form before they graduate. The legislation would require students without extenuating circumstances to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid as a requirement to graduate to make accessing affordable post-high school education an option for students across the state.

“For thousands of young people across Michigan, the only factor holding them back from pursuing higher education is the rising cost of college,” Rep. Camilleri said. “While completing the FAFSA provides access to incredible financial support for post-high school education, too often students are not taking advantage of this opportunity. By including FAFSA completion as a prerequisite to graduation, we can open doors for students who would have never considered higher education due to financial constraints.”

Postsecondary students received more than $123 billion in scholarships and grants in 2014-15, with 37 percent of that funding coming from the federal government through FAFSA.


Renton Junior High choir, bands excel during performances and earn top ratings this year

The Renton Junior High School choir and 7th and 8th grade bands finished the school year receiving high ratings from judges at different festivals throughout the state. (Photos courtesy of Brenda Bressler)

By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub 
Posted May 22, 2019 — 10:30 a.m. EST

The Renton Junior High School choir and bands had a very successful string of performances this school year, earning them top ratings from judges, as well as spots at state level competitions.

On March 3, the Renton choir scored a 105 (excellent-blue medal) in the Michigan School Vocal Music Association District 12 festival.

The score qualified the choir for the state level competition, which happened to be a first in Renton history.

“This was the first time in Renton history that any choir has qualified. Congratulations to our group of amazing vocalists,” said Brenda Bressler, director of choir and bands at Renton Junior High.

“Once the choir set the bar, the band responded in true Renton style,” she added.

During the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association District 12 festival at Woodhaven High School on March 9, the Renton 7th and 8th grade bands earned a Division I (excellent-blue medal) rating, which qualified them for the state level competition.

Following the high rated performances at the festival, the bands kept rolling with the success.

On April 26, the 7th and 8th grade bands traveled to Churchill High School in Livonia for the MSBOA State Band Festival and earned solid Division II (excellent) ratings from judges.

The bands also had the opportunity during the festival to participate in a clinic with Dr. John Madden, former director of bands at Michigan State University.

“This is only the fourth time in school history that the Renton Bands have made it to the state level of competition,” Bressler said.

The choir again received high ratings May 3 after traveling to Holt High School for the Michigan School Vocal Music Association State Choral Festival.

“While MSVMA does not give official ratings to junior high groups at state festival, the judges’ comments indicated that they viewed the performance as a Division I (superior) performance,” Bressler said.

Related article: Renton Junior High music teacher honored as teacher of the month

Several band students were also praised by Bressler for representing Renton well during the Downriver Music Guild annual Middle School All Star Band performances at Flat Rock High School on April 13.

A group of Bressler’s students were also invited to participate May 14 in the Bowling Green State University Middle School Honors Band. The students spent the day on Bowling Green’s campus and worked with collegiate instructors before presenting a concert in the evening.

The community has the chance to catch the award winning choir and bands perform for one last time this school year.

“The Renton bands and choir invite the community to join us for our final concerts of the school year,” Bressler said.

The 7th and 8th grade bands will take the stage on June 4 and the choir and beginning band perform on June 5.

Both events start at 7 p.m. in the Huron High School auditorium and are free to the public.

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Here’s the agenda for Wednesday’s board meeting

Scott Bolthouse–The Huron Hub

Posted by The Huron Hub on May 22, 2019 — 9:00 a.m. EST 

Here is the agenda for Wednesday’s board meeting.

For more information about agenda items, visit the township’s civic portal by clicking here.  At that link, you can view an attachment file linked to each item.

Meetings are also broadcast live at this link: hurontownship.viebit.com/

The board meets Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Township Hall, 22950 Huron River Drive in New Boston.


Ford to cut 7,000 white-collar jobs during restructuring

(Photo/Ford Motor Co.)

  • In the U.S. about 2,300 jobs will be cut through buyouts and layoffs

  • About 1,500 have left voluntarily or with buyouts, while another 300 have already been laid off

  • About 500 workers will be let go starting this week, largely in and around the company’s headquarters in Dearborn, Mich. 

From the Associated Press newswire
Published May 20, 2019 — 1:00 p.m. EST

Ford revealed details of its long-awaited restructuring plan Monday as it prepared for a future of electric and autonomous vehicles by parting ways with 7,000 white-collar workers worldwide, about 10% of its global salaried workforce, the Associated Press is reporting.

The major revamp, which had been under way since last year, will save about $600 million per year by eliminating bureaucracy and increasing the number of workers reporting to each manager.

In the U.S. about 2,300 jobs will be cut through buyouts and layoffs. About 1,500 have left voluntarily or with buyouts, while another 300 have already been laid off. About 500 workers will be let go starting this week, largely in and around the company’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, just outside Detroit.

“To succeed in our competitive industry, and position Ford to win in a fast-charging future, we must reduce bureaucracy, empower managers, speed decision making and focus on the most valuable work, and cost cuts,” Hackett’s wrote.

It’s the second set of layoffs for Detroit-area automakers, even though the companies are making healthy profits. Sales in the U.S., where the automakers get most of their revenue, have fallen slightly but still are strong.

In November, General Motors announced it would shed up to 14,000 workers as it cut expenses to prepare for a shift to electric and autonomous vehicles. The layoffs included closure of five factories in the U.S. and Canada and cuts of another 8,000 white-collar workers worldwide. About 6,000 blue-collar positions were cut, but most of laid-off factory workers in the U.S. will be placed at other plants mainly that build trucks and SUVs.

Both companies have said the cuts are needed because the companies face huge capital expenditures to update their current vehicles and develop them for the future.

At GM, the cuts brought withering criticism from President Donald Trump and Congress, especially the closing of a small-car factory in Lordstown, Ohio. Trump campaigned on bringing factory jobs back to the industrial Midwest. GM has since announced a possible deal to sell the Lordstown plant to a startup electric vehicle maker, but it hasn’t been finalized.

Ford’s white-collar employees had been fearful since last July when the company said the restructuring would cost $7 billion in cash and hit pretax earnings by $11 billion over the next three to five years. Many have been upset that it took so long for the company to make decisions.

Factory workers have not been affected by the restructuring thus far, as the company has retooled car plants so they can build more popular trucks and SUVs.

The layoffs, while large, weren’t as bad as many had expected. Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas predicted 25,000 white-collar job cuts late last year, a number that Ford would not deny.

Hackett said in the memo that Ford is departing from past practices and letting laid-off employees stay a few days to wrap up their jobs and say good-bye to colleagues. In the past, laid-off workers would have had to pack up and leave immediately.

“Ford is a family company and saying goodbye to colleagues is difficult and emotional,” Hackett wrote.

Hackett told workers that under the restructuring, managers now will have seven people reporting to them on average, up from five before changes were initiated began. That reduces management bureaucracy by one-third from before the “Smart Redesign” began.

Before the restructuring, Ford had 14 organizational layers, but that will drop to nine or less by the end of the year, Hackett’s memo said.


Huron students honor veterans with ‘Art in the Park’ display at Michigan Memorial Park

Second grade students in Huron Township drew a rendition of the Liberty Bell during a past “Art in the Park” display. (Photos by Scott Bolthouse–The Huron Hub)

By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub | ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com
Posted May 20, 2019 — 10:30 a.m. EST

Over 1,000 pieces of patriotic-themed artwork will be on display at Michigan Memorial Park from May 25 through early June during their “Art in the Park” exhibit to honor U.S. military veterans.

Artwork featured in the display was created by students from Brown and Miller Elementary Schools in the Huron District.

The display will line the entrance to the park, which is located at 32163 W. Huron River Drive.

In this Huron Hub archive photo, a past art display to honor military veterans lines the entrance of Michigan Memorial Park. This is the fourth year the park is hosting the display for the public to view. (Scott Bolthouse — The Huron Hub)

“We hope that visitors to Michigan Memorial Park during Memorial Day weekend and beyond will take a few minutes to view the work of the budding artists. It’s a very meaningful recognition and we are proud to partner with our schools in this endeavor,” said Kelly Dwyer, president of Michigan Memorial Park.

“We also hope that people will visit our Family Service office at the entrance of the park to learn more about other activities including our ‘Free Little Library’ and our walking club.”

This is the fourth year in a row the park is hosting the art display for the public.

Each piece of artwork on display will be labeled with the artist’s name and grade.

From The Huron Hub’s archives: (Slideshow) Students create patriotic artwork for Michigan Memorial Park