Southwest Michigan Today: Thursday July 5, 2018

Jul 5, 2018

The reigning World Hot Air Balloon champion wins the Battle Creek Field of Flight. Legislation would ban anchor dropping in the Straits of Mackinac. Eastern Michgian University argues against reinstating four sports programs. 

(Battle Creek Enquirer) A Fort Worth, Texas pilot has claimed this year’s Battle Creek Field of Flight. The Battle Creek Enquirer says Rhett Heartsill finished with 12,868 out of a possible 14,000 points. Shawn Raya of Oxford claimed second, and the winner’s father Joe Heartsill of San Angelo, Texas took third. Rhett Heartsill won the Battle Creek Field of Flight in 2010, and is the reigning World Hot Air Balloon champion. He will defend that title in Austria next month.

(MPRN) A new bill by state lawmakers would prohibit any anchor dropping in the Straits of Mackinac. In May, Governor Rick Snyder approved an emergency rule that temporarily made the Straits of Mackinac a no-anchor zone. One bill introduced would make that rule permanent. But lawmakers also introduced bills they say will help make sure the pipelines in the Great Lakes are safe. Legislation would create reporting requirements for pipeline owners and provide penalties if oil or gas is spilled. But water activists say this isn’t enough to protect the Great Lakes. Sean McBrearty with Clean Water Action says they want nothing short of full decommission of Enbridge Line 5.

(MPRN) Current and former legislators are being taken to court to get information about how they drew the state’s district lines in 2011. The League of Women Voters of Michigan and some Democratic voters filed a lawsuit against the Secretary of State. They say the state’s lines were drawn in such a partisan way that Democratic voices are not being heard at the ballot box. A judge said a group of current and former Republican lawmakers, their staff and legislative entities have relevant information about how the lines were drawn. The judge ordered them to turn information over to the League. They haven’t done that yet.

(Detroit Free Press) Eastern Michigan University says a federal judge should not force them to reinstate four sports teams. The university announced in March that it was eliminating softball, men’s swimming and diving, wresting and women’s tennis. The Detroit Free Press reports that Eastern argues in a court filing that there aren’t enough players left to field teams for the four sports that have been eliminated. EMU says many of the players from those teams have used up their eligibility or have said they plan to leave the school. Two formers players whose programs were ended filed the lawsuit in federal court. The lawsuit claims that eliminating the sports violates the federal Title IX law.

In baseball, Battle Creek started the second half of the Northwoods League season with a 7-0 win at Madison. Four Bombers pitchers held the Mallards to four hits. Battle Creek will wrap up its two game series tonight at Madison.

Kalamazoo lost to Lakeshore 4-3. The Chinooks scored in the top of the ninth to break a 3-3 tie with the Growlers. The two teams will conclude their two game series tonight at Homer Stryker Field.