Southwest Michigan Today: Thursday September 27, 2018

Sep 27, 2018

Portage City Flag - file photo
Credit WMUK

Workers from Indiana will finish construction on South Westnedge in Portage. A case of West Nile Virus is confirmed in Kalamazoo County. Michigan takes a step toward allowing people to register to vote online. 

The city of Portage says construction is resuming on South Westnedge Avenue from Romence Road to Mall Drive. The work had been suspended because of a labor dispute. The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association locked out members of the Operating Engineers Union Local 324. That has caused the shutdown of several road projects throughout the state. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that Portage is bringing in workers from Indiana to finish the work on Westnedge. The road is expected to be fully reopened to traffic early next week.

Kalamazoo County Health officials say a case of West Nile Virus has been confirmed. The county’s Health and Community Services Department did not include any details about the person such as age or gender in a news release. Most people infected with West Nile Virus don’t experience symptoms. About one if five people infected will have a minor illness that could include a fever, diarrhea and rash. About one in 150 people with West Nile become severely ill. So far three people in the state have died this year from West Nile Virus.

(MPRN) Michigan is a step closer to letting eligible voters register online. The state House passed legislation Wednesday. More than 30 other states already allow for online voter registration, and advocates say it will help modernize Michigan’s voting system. The bills passed with bipartisan support and now head to the state Senate – which sent similar legislation to the House earlier this year.

(MPRN) The state House is looking at new policies surrounding Michigan’s underwater pipelines. The most controversial one being Enbridge’s Line 5 – It sends crude oil and natural gas liquid under the Strais of Mackinac. Legislation passed during a House committee Wedensday. It would increase state reporting requirements and add more spill prevention plan requirements for owners of pipelines. Critics say the bills don’t do enough to protect the Great Lakes from spills. Supporters of the Legislation say it would get the state more involved in overseeing and protecting the Great Lakes. A statement from Enbridge says improvements have already been made to Line 5, and the company says current discussions with the state will the pipeline even safer.

(Interlochen Public Radio) Northern Michigan will be home to a new baseball team next year. A group of investors led by the West Michigan Whitecaps announced the purchase of Wuerfel Park Wednesday. It’s been the home of the Traverse City Beach Bums for the last 13 years. Next season Traverse City will have a team in the Northwoods League. The summer league for top college players includes the Kalamazoo Growlers and Battle Creek Bombers.

In men’s soccer, Western Michigan won its fifth straight, defeating Detroit Mercy Wednesday 2-1. The Broncos host the University of Pacific Sunday afternoon at the WMU Soccer Complex.