Southwest Michigan Today: Wednesday August 29, 2018

Aug 29, 2018

Credit WMUK

A cut in electric rates for some Southwest Michigan customers at the same time gas rates go up. Labor issues for nurses at a northern Michigan hospital and Ferris State University faculty. A new superintendent for Parchment Schools. 

Some people in southwest Michigan will soon see lower electric bills. The Michigan Public Service Commission approved the cut by Indiana and Michigan Power Tuesday. The ruling came in as the state makes adjustments because of cuts in the federal corporate tax rate. The Commission says a typical residential customer will see a reduction of $1.82 a month beginning next month. The MPSC says so far utility tax adjustments have led to nearly $380-million in customer refunds statewide. Indiana and Michigan Power has about 128,000 customers in Kalamazoo, Saint Joseph, Van Buren, Allegan, Cass, and Berrien counties.

At the same time, Gas bills are going up for Consumers Energy customers. The Public Service Commission approved the increase Tuesday. It will cost a typical residential customer an extra 44 cents per month beginning in September. But the increase could have been much larger. The Commission says the higher bills amount to nearly $11-million dollars. That's only a fraction of the $179-million increase the utility originally wanted.

(WCMU) Professors and instructors at Ferris State University will go back on strike if a Mecosta County Judge finds the reasons for their strike are legitimate. A judge granted the University a temporary restraining order against the Ferris Faculty Association Monday but, according to the Association, the judge denied a similar order against teacher picketing. At issue are contract negotiations over salary raises. The University and Faculty Association are expected back at the negotiating table Wednesday.

(Interlochen Public Radio) Nurses have filed charges against one of northern Michigan’s largest hospitals. In a claim filed yesterday, the nurses’ union says Munson Medical Center officials are not operating in “good faith” during contract negotiations. They say Munson officials are refusing to negotiate things like salary and benefits … until all non-financial agreements are made. A representative for Munson says both parties agreed early on to work through non-financial proposals before they talked about money. The union also alleges nurses have been penalized for supporting the union. Around a thousand Munson nurses unionized a year ago and have been working on contract negotiations since then. The charges were filed with the National Labor Relations Board … who will review the case.

(Kalamazoo Gazette) The Parchment School District has a new superintendent. Jason Misner will replace current Superintendent Matthew Miller, who's retiring after 11 years. Misner has worked for the Parchment schools for 12 years as a teacher, athletic director, and middle school principal. Parchment School Board trustees announced Misner's hiring yesterday after a unanimous vote.

Western Michigan won its first home match of the volleyball season. The Broncos defeated Chicago State in three sets Tuesday night. Western has split its first four matches this season.