Southwest Michigan Today: Friday September 14, 2018

Sep 14, 2018

Portage City Hall - file photo
Credit WMUK

A labor dispute means a delay in completing a project on South Westnedge in Portage. A new law aims for clearer guidelines in granting parole. WMU graduate Marin Mazzie, who went on to Broadway stardom dies at 57. 

A big construction project on South Westnedge Avenue will go on a bit longer than expected. Portage city officials say that's because of a labor dispute. It involves the International Union of Operating Engineers and MITA, the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association. One of MITA's members is the company handling the work on Westnedge. Portage City Manager Larry Schaffer says it's looking for ways to get the work started again as soon as possible. The city had hoped to have the project done by the end of next week.

(MPRN) A new state law that went into effect on Wednesday aims to take the bias out of decisions on whether or not a prisoner should be paroled. Governor Snyder signed the bill into law on Wednesday that will put clearer guidelines into place on whether or not to allow someone in prison to return to society. According to the Governor’s office, the bill includes “a limited list of 11 substantial and compelling reasons” the State Parole Board may deny parole in cases where a person would be likely to be released.

(Michigan Radio) The push to build a new large lock at the Upper Peninsula’s Soo Locks has taken a big step forward. The U.S. House approved legislation yesterday. It included nearly a billion dollars to build the new lock. Great Lakes freighters use the locks to enter and exit Lake Superior. The bill now moves to the Senate.

(Playbill) Broadway star and Western Michigan University graduate Marin Mazzie has died. Playbill reports that Mazzie passed away Thursday after a three year battle with ovarian cancer. Mazzie studied theater and music at WMU. During her stage career, Mazzie was nominated three times for a Tony Award. Marin Mazzie was 57 years old.

(WDET) A foreign parasite taking hold of Michigan’s honey bee population has keepers and scientists ramping up ways to track its movements. The Varroa mite entered the U-S during the 1980’s on the backs of Asian bees. Native U-S bee populations are not immune to the deadly effects of the blood-sucking parasite. The Michigan State University Extension Service is asking beekeepers to participate in a program to identify Varroa outbreaks.

(WCMU) Critics say an exclusive resort community in northern Michigan is still discriminating against people who aren't Christian. Bay View recently changed its bylaws because of a federal lawsuit and said the practice would end. But the attorney representing those who sued say the resort in Emmet County never intended to let non-Christians buy homes there. Sarah Prescott points to an e-mail sent by Bay View’s president after the bylaws changed that said its membership committee would have to - in his words - “step up as gatekeeper of Bay View’s Christian Culture”. Bay View later withdrew the e-mail. It says new membership policies will comply with the law.