SW Michigan Today: Tuesday, August 14

Aug 14, 2018

Sign at Tom Steyer's rally in Lansing on Monday
Credit Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Ross Township supervisor Gary Moore will keep his seat, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina will stay on Larry Nassar's appeals case at least for now, and more.

(MPRN) A billionaire took his fight to impeach President Donald Trump to Lansing Monday, but with a slightly different message. Tom Steyer says he'll spend $10 million on his Need to Vote campaign. He says the goal is to elect enough people to national office who are willing to impeach Trump so that the president can be removed from office. Steyer says he launched the new campaign from Lansing because it's part of a swing district in a swing state. Steyer says the campaign has 5.5 million supporters. But critics say it’s a distraction that could end up energizing Trump voters.

(Kalamazoo Gazette) Ross Township Supervisor Gary Moore will keep his seat, after drawing the winning lot that broke the tie in the election this afternoon. The Kalamazoo Gazette reported that both Moore and write-in challenger Robert Baker got 547 votes during the election last Tuesday. Under state law, candidates in a tied election must draw paper slips from a box to determine the winner. Kalamazoo County also had ties in two local elections in 2016.

Larry Nassar’s attempt to have a new judge consider his appeal in Ingham County has been denied. Nassar is the former Michigan State University sports doctor who sexually assaulted his patients for years. Nassar is working through the appeals process – and he wants to be resentenced. But first he wants a different judge to consider his request for a new sentence. Nassar says Judge Rosemarie Aquilina was not fair and impartial when she sentenced him to up to 175 years in prison. Andrea Bitely is a spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office, which prosecuted Nassar.

“This motion filed by Mr. Nassar is just an attempt to revictimize the young women that he harmed for so many years," she said.

In his order, Judge Richard Garcia said that Aquilina is the only judge that should properly consider any re-sentence of Nassar.

(MLive) A ballot proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan would let people carry more of the drug than many other states. MLive reports that if the measure passes, people over 21 can keep up to two and a half ounces of marijuana on their person. They can keep a total of 10 ounces at home while raising a dozen plants. Most states don’t allow people to carry more than an ounce of marijuana, though Maine has more liberal recreational marijuana laws that are similar to the ones proposed for Michigan.

Environmental officials will test more wells in the Richland area for chemicals known as PFASes. The Kalamazoo County health department says it will send letters to homes with private wells the state wants to sample. The announcement comes after the Department of Environmental Quality found PFASes in other wells in the Richland area. The state has been giving bottled water to people whose wells have tested above the recommended limit. Certain PFASes are associated with an increased risk of disease. The high levels of the compounds have turned up in a number of water sources in Michigan, including the City of Parchment's water system.

(MLive) A company that made products with PFASes wanted to know if Michigan workers were being exposed to the compounds when it sent an expert to a plant in Rockford about 20 years ago. Documents from a lawsuit reveal that the 3M Company studied samples taken at the former Wolverine World Wide tannery in 1999. Wolverine used 3M's Scotchgard, which contained a PFAS compound. The documents also show that the two companies corresponded about PFAS safety concerns. PFASes have turned up in drinking water in several parts of Michigan, including Parchment and Richland. They're linked with an increased risk for several diseases including cancer.

(Kalamazoo Gazette) A tied election for supervisor in Kalamazoo County's Ross Township will be settled by drawing lots. Supervisor Gary Moore and write-in challenger Robert Baker will hold the drawing at the county clerk's office at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Both men got 547 votes during the election last week. Under state law, candidates in a tied election must draw paper slips from a box to determine the winner. Kalamazoo County also had ties in two local elections in 2016.

(Detroit Free Press) You'll pay more for many things bought online or through the mail starting October 1st. The state says it will start requiring online retailers to collect Michigan's six-percent sales tax, even if they don't have a physical presence in the state. The State Treasury Department says that should generate more than $200 million in revenue next year. Governor Rick Snyder says he hopes most of that extra money will be used to fix roads and bridges. The state can collect taxes on online purchases because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year. It applies to retailers that do more than $100,000 a year in business with Michigan customers, or if they have 200 or more sales in the state annually.

(WCMU) The State Natural Resources Commission says Chronic Wasting Disease poses a significant threat to wildlife and hunting traditions in Michigan. So it's new deer hunting rules. They include restrictions on bait, limits on how many licenses hunters can get, and a mandatory antler point restriction in a five-county area. Department of Natural Resources spokesman Ed Golder says the nerve disease does not pose a threat to humans. Golder says there have been 60 confirmed cases of the disease in white-tailed deer around the state so far.

(WDET) Several beaches across the state have been closed because of high bacteria levels. They include the Ramona Park beach in Portage. The State Department of Environmental Quality says it’s developing new ways to battle E.coli contamination. Spokeswoman Shannon Briggs says it involves genetic testing to identify bacterial contamination more quickly. Briggs says the DEQ will hold special training sessions for local health departments at Michigan State University next week. She says the new system could be introduced next summer.

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