Southwest Michigan Today: Tuesday June 5, 2018

Jun 5, 2018

Gull Lake Schools close due to concerns over safety. Former MSU President Lou Anna Simon to testify before a U.S. Senate committee. The Grolwers and Bombers both drop home games. 

Gull Lake Schools are closed Tuesday due to concerns over safety. A message from Superintendent Chris Rundle on the district’s website says the decision to close is in response to inappropriate verbal comments made by students at the middle school over the last week. Rundle says graffiti has also been found at the middle school which made references to guns. He says district officials are investigating to find out who is responsible for the graffiti. Rundle says Gull Lake plans to open school again tomorrow with an increased police presence until the end of the school year.

Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon appears Tuesday before a U.S. Senate panel. It will be her first public comments since she stepped down in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal. Simon will testify under subpoena. She faces questions on how Nassar was allowed to remain on MSU’s medical staff and prey on hundreds of sports medicine patients over a 20-year period. Nassar survivors, who testified before the Senate committee last month say their complaints were ignored by the university.

Residents in the Mattawan School District have a chance to hear about a big bond request later this week. The Kalamazoo Gazette says the district will hold an informational meeting on the issue Thursday evening at 6:30. It's in the old Later Elementary cafeteria. Mattawan School officials hope voters will approve a $19-million bond issue in August. That's on top of a renewal of the district's regular operating millage. The extra money would be used to tear down two vacant buildings and improve others. Mattawan voters approved nearly $79-million in bonds in 2014 to build two new elementary schools. That followed two rejections in 2011.

A new report argues that Line 5, the twin oil pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac, threatens Michigan’s environment and economy, and does little else. The Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Traverse City, issued a report that found while Michigan absorbs all of the risk involved in moving the nearly 24 million gallons of oil and petroleum daily through Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac, while Canada gains financially. Last week, Gov. Rick Snyder told news outlets while visiting Mackinac Island that Line 5 should be decommissioned, but was unclear as to how or when. (WGVU

Get ready for traffic delays on South Westnedge Avenue in Portage. City officials say a $3-million improvement project started Monday between Mall Drive and Romence Road. The work includes repaving as well as new curbs and sewer and water lines. Portage officials say traffic will be maintained in each direction. But they also say delays are likely because of lane restrictions, and they say drivers may want to use alternate routes. The city got $700,000 from the State Transportation Department for the project, which should be finished in early September.

In baseball, Kalamazoo lost to Madison Monday night 7-4. The Growlers and the Mallards will play again Tuesday morning at Homer Stryker Field.

Battle Creek lost to Lakeshore Monday night 5-3. The Bombers have lost three straight and will host the Chinooks again Tuesday night at C.O. Brown Stadium.