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Southwest Michigan Today: Tuesday August 6, 2019

Kalamazoo City Hall - file photo. Photo by Sehvilla Mann, WMUK
Sehvilla Mann

A state grant will help Kalamazoo provide water service in communities with PFAS contaminated wells. Michigan’s marijuana regulatory agency looks to help Kalamazoo and other communities through its “social equity” program. Vice President Mike Pence postpones a visit to Detroit. 

(WCMU) State officials are seeking members for a citizen advisory workgroup to advise the state on chemical contamination. PFASes, or perfluoroalkyl substances, are a family of chemicals that have been found across the state and are linked to health problems including cancer. The Citizen Advisory Workgroup would work as a liaison between communities impacted by contamination and the state. According to the charter, the workgroup will take up to two citizens from each PFAs-impacted community. A PFAs impacted community is defined as a city, township, or village with at least one PFAs site.

(Kalamazoo Gazette) $1.6-million from the state will help the city of Kalamazoo expand its water system to two townships where wells have been contaminated by PFASes. The Kalamazoo Gazette says the city commission voted last night to accept the grant from the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy to connect to customers Cooper and Richland Townships. The city of Kalamazoo began providing water service to the city of Parchment last year after high levels of PFASes were discovered there.

(Michigan Radio) Michigan's Marijuana Regulatory Agency held its first outreach meeting in Detroit Monday. It's one of 19 communities the state has identified as disproportionately impacted by previous marijuana laws. Others include Kalamazoo, Albion, Benton Harbor and Niles. Those same communities are often locked out of legal marijuana markets, in part because of steep licensing fees. The agency's "social equity program" is offering discounts to people in those communities who want to get into the industry.

(MPRN) Gun violence in the United States is a public health problem – and it needs to be treated that way. That’s according to Dr. Rebecca Cunningham, the Director of the Injury Prevention Center at the University of Michigan. Cunningham said gun violence prevention should be explored in the same way drownings and car crashes are prevented. That means focusing on risk and prevention factors, and applying injury prevention science and tactics. Cunningham says solving major health crises requires evidence-based solutions. She says federal funding is needed to help scientists get there.

(Detroit News) Vice President Mike Pence has postponed a scheduled appearance in Detroit after the shootings in Texas and Ohio. The vice president was scheduled to address the Detroit Economic Club Wednesday. The Detroit News reports that the White House decided to postpone the speech in the wake of the shootings, but it’s not known when Pence may speak to the club.

Kalamazoo Township will close its offices at noon Tuesday to honor a long time township official. Donald Thall served as a trustee and clerk for the township for 53 years. He was first elected to the board in 1953. A post on the Kalamazoo Township Facebook page says Thall passed away at his home on Saturday, he was 87 years old. A funeral service will be held Tuesday afternoon at Langeland Funeral Home on 9th Street in Oshtemo Township.

Kalamazoo residents have until August 23rd to comment on the city's plan to use federal housing money. The city must submit the plan to get more than $2.5-million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It can be used for affordable housing, programs to help the homeless, neighborhood improvements, and other projects.

(WKAR) More than 100 police, prosecutors and others from around the Midwest are at Michigan State University for a two-day conference on how they can improve sexual assault investigations. Presenters include psychologists, attorneys and assault survivors. Topics at the conference include a trauma-informed approach for law enforcement, and collaborating with attorneys representing survivors.

In baseball, Kalamazoo snapped a six game losing streak with a 6-2 win at Wisconsin Monday night. The Northwoods League is off Tuesday, The Growlers will finish their series with the Woodchucks Wednesday in their final road game of the regular season.

Battle Creek lost at Madison 4-3 Monday night. The Bombers and the Mallards were only able to complete five innings due to rain and lightning. The two teams will conclude their two game series Wednesday night.