Southwest Michigan Today: Monday April 29, 2019

Apr 29, 2019

Kalamazoo City Hall - file photo
Credit Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Federal judge Damon Keith is remembered as a civil rights icon. State lawmakers want to start a task force on lead problems in Michigan. Kalamazoo plans to enforce a new ordinance this week regulating lawns. 

(WDET) Detroit native, civil rights icon and senior federal judge Damon Keith has died. As first a U.S. District judge for Eastern Michigan and then as a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth District Keith ruled on some of the most significant civil rights issues of the past half-century. Keith is also credited with launching the careers of numerous legal figures and public officials. Wayne State University named its Center for Civil Rights in his honor. Damon Keith was 96 years old.

(MPRN) A lawmaker in Michigan wants to start a task force aimed at helping curb the state’s lead problem. The task force would not just be focused on lead in the water. Democratic Senator Adam Hollier says too many kids in Michigan are affected by lead. Hollier says the task force’s ultimate goal is to look for the most promising programs and recommendations and then fund those projects.

The city of Kalamazoo says a new ordinance regulating property owners’ lawns will be enforced beginning this week. It requires that grass be maintained below eight inches, and that noxious weeds such as poison ivy, poison oak and ragweed be eradicated. The city says enforcement will begin on Wednesday, May first. A 127-dollar fine will be assessed for properties found to be in violation of the ordinance. If grass is not mowed within 10 days, the city will mow the yard and the property owner will be billed for the cost. Fines will increase with subsequent offenses.

(Michigan Radio) A fired Detroit police officer now faces two civil lawsuits. Officer Gary Steele was dismissed in February after he posted a mocking, seemingly racist Snapchat video of a young African American woman. Now that woman is suing Steele and his former partner over the incident. Steele also faces a lawsuit for allegedly breaking a woman’s arm while arresting her in 2018.

In baseball, Western Michigan lost at Central Michigan Sunday 11-8. The Chippweas won all three games from the Broncos during the weekend series in Mount Pleasant. Western will host Valparaiso Wednesday afternoon.