Southwest Michigan Today: Thursday August 30, 2018

Aug 30, 2018

A recall election is set in Bedford Township for November. A legal battle continues over an independent candidate running for Michigan Attorney General. M-STEP test results show a lack of progress.

(Battle Creek Enquirer) Bedford Township’s Supervisor will face a recall vote this fall. The Battle Creek Enquirer reports that the Calhoun County Clerk has said petitions to recall Adam Heikkila from office have been found to be valid. The petition says Heikkila has failed to keep regular hours at the township office, and told township employees to dismiss a pending ordinance violation case against him. The recall petition also says Heikkila was threatened with arrest of disorderly conduct toward a township employee, and that he has created a hostile environment for township employees and residents. Heikkila denies the allegations. He was elected Bedford Township Supervisor in 2016. The office is up for election again in 2020. 

(MPRN) The Michigan Secretary of State is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that an independent candidate must go on the November ballot – despite not having enough valid signatures to qualify. A federal court recently said that Christopher Graveline must appear on the November ballot if at least 5,000 of the signatures he submitted are valid. Graveline got more than that, but only about half of the signatures an independent would normally need to get on the ballot in the state Attorney General race. So he sued the state. The lower court said the current requirements have resulted in no independent candidates on ballots. Now the state is appealing the decision – and wants the judge’s order to put Graveline on the ballot on hold. The deadline for the state to certify the November ballot is about a week away.

(WCMU) The Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport Authority has been awarded a $60,000 grant to investigate chemical contaminants. The airport, which is on the site of the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base, is a known site of several chemical contaminants, including PFAS’s - which are linked to cancer among other maladies. The grant comes through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The investigation is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

(Detroit Free Press) More than half of Michigan’s elementary and middle school students flunked the state’s reading test during the last school year. The Detroit Free Press says only 44% passed that part of the M-STEP achievement test. That’s even worse than the 48% success rate the year before. The state released results of the latest M-STEP exams Wednesday. Next year, schools must begin “holding back” third graders who aren’t reading at or near grade level.

(Detroit News) The two major party candidates for U.S. Senate in Michigan say they'll hold two debates. The Detroit News says Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow and Republican challenger John James will meet October 14th in Grand Rapids. That forum will be aired on Grand Valley State University's public T-V station WGVU. The second debate at the Detroit Economic Club is set for the following day.