Southwest Michigan Today: Thursday October 4, 2018

Oct 4, 2018

Homeless encampment at Kalamazoo's Bronson Park - file photo
Credit Gordon Evans / WMUK-FM

The Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo says it’s cooperating after records are seized at church offices across the state. Ten people are arraigned on misdemeanor charges related to a protest in Bronson Park, but a Kalamazoo City Commissioner isn’t one of them. An EPA hearing on PFAS’s Friday in Kalamazoo doesn’t include time for public comment. 

(Detroit News) Michigan State Police have seized records from Catholic Diocese offices across the state, including Kalamazoo, as part of an investigation into possible past sexual. A statement from the Diocese of Kalamazoo says they stand ready to cooperate in any way that leads to greater protection, especially for children and vulnerable adults. The Detroit News reports that warrants were also executed Wednesday for records at Diocese offices in Grand Rapids, Detroit, Lansing, Saginaw, Marquette and Gaylord. Attorney General Bill Schuette announced in August that his office would investigate possible sexual abuse by Catholic Church leaders, and any efforts to cover up misconduct dating back to the 1950’s.

(Kalamazoo Gazette) Ten people have been arraigned on charges related to a homeless encampment in Bronson Park. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports the charges include crossing a police line and camping in the park. All face misdemeanor charges, their trials will be held October 23rd or November 5th. Kalamazoo City Commissioner Shannon Sykes Nehring was not among those arraigned yesterday. She was arrested with other protestors on September 19th as the city broke up the encampment in Bronson Park. Sykes Nehring said the same ordinances should apply to her, and she expected to be arraigned yesterday. Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting said his office doesn’t comment on cases unless charges are authorized.

(Michigan Radio) State House Democrats have sent a letter asking the state auditor to investigate the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s handling of the state’s PFAS problem. PFAS’s are a group of man-made chemicals linked to human health problems. Numerous PFAS contamination sites have been discovered across the state in recent years. The Republican chairman of the House Oversight committee believes it’s premature to bring in the auditor.

(MLive) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will hold a forum on PFAS pollution in Kalamazoo Friday. But the agenda doesn't include any time for public comments. And MLive says that's drawing fire from environmental groups. The two-hour forum at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center on Lake Street starts Friday afternoon at 1:00

(Battle Creek Enquirer) Battle Creek's city manager and attorney are getting raises. The Battle Creek Enquirer says city commissioners approved the pay increases Tuesday. City Manager Rebecca Fleury gets a 5% raise, bring her annual pay to nearly $137,000. She'll also get a $3,400 bonus. Battle Creek City Attorney Jill Steele's salary will rise to nearly $124,000 next year.