Southwest Michigan Today: Friday July 13, 2018

Jul 13, 2018

The Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine
Credit WMU University Relations

PFAS are found in wells near Richland. A Republican candidate drops out of the Primary for the 63rd state House district. The Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine Reaches another accreditation milestone.  A former Benton Harbor police officer faces charges of hitting a man with his police car. A state board issues the first licenses to medical marijuana related businesses. 

Environmental officials say they’ve found toxic chemicals known as PFAS in some residential drinking water wells in the Richland area. The Department of Environmental Quality says it found PFAS above a recommended limit set by federal regulators in drinking wells near the former Production Plated Plastics site near North 34th Street. The DEQ says it will now expand its testing for PFAS in the area. State and local agencies will hold an informational meeting on the results next Wednesday at 5:30 in the evening at the Living Hope Community Church in Richland Township.

(Kalamazoo Gazette)

The Western Michigan University medical school, which broke ground in 2012 and welcomed its first class in 2014 has reached an accreditation milestone. Western says the Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine has been granted initial accreditation status from the Higher Learning Commission. In a statement, the university says the new status shows that WMed has “matured beyond being a new school.” The initial accreditation lasts for 10 years but that status will be reviewed after four years.

(Kalamazoo Gazette) One of the three candidates in the Republican primary for the 63rd State House district has dropped out of the race. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that Richland Township trustee Paul Foust is suspending his campaign for the seat held by Republican incumbent Dave Maturen, who’s seeking another term. In a statement, Foust described himself and another Republican candidate, Matt Hall as pro-Trump Republicans competing for the same endorsements in the race. Foust’s name will still appear on the ballot.

(St. Joseph Benton Harbor Herald-Palladium) A former Benton Harbor police officer faces a felony charge for allegedly hitting a man with his police car. The St. Joseph Benton Harbor Herald-Palladium reports that Steven Johnson was fired from the Benton Harbor police. In May, when he was still on the force, Johnson reported to a call about a stolen lawn mower. A suspect in the theft ran away from police, and Johnson is accused of hitting the fleeing man with his police car. The Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office says the charge is backed up by video from Johnson’s squad car. A hearing in the case is scheduled for later this month.

(MPRN) The ACLU of Michigan wants a federal judge to let its discrimination lawsuit against the state move forward. The ACLU says a policy that lets faith-based child placement agencies under contract with the state withhold services for religious reasons is unconstitutional. Multiple same sex couples say they were turned away when they tried to adopt from these organizations that receive state money. The state says the adoption organizations are not state agencies and the money from the state is not used specifically for faith-based purposes.

(WKAR) Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Licensing Board issued the state’s first seven operating licenses Thursday at its meeting in downtown Lansing. Four of the licenses are for a grower in Chesaning, northwest of Flint. One is for a secure transporter in Lansing, one is for a processor in Ann Arbor and one is for an Ann Arbor provisioning center, or dispensary. They can’t physically receive their licenses until they pay regulatory assessment fees, which are $48,000 for most facilities. And provisioning centers still can’t sell their product until it’s been examined at a licensed testing facility. The board’s next meeting is August 9th.

In baseball, Kalamazoo lost to Fond du Lac Thursday night 4-1. The Growlers will host the Dock Spiders again Friday night at Homer Stryker Field.

Battle Creek beat Kenosha Thursday night 7-2. The Bombers will host the Kingfish again Friday night at C.O. Brown Stadium