9/22/17 – Making Sure You and Your Family Are Safe During Heat Wave

With temperatures expected in the 90’s over the next few days, our friends at Spectrum Health have several tips to help us know the signs and symptoms of heat related illnesses.

Here’s what athletes (and even non-athletes) need to know about heat illness during the most sweltering of days.

By Phillip Adler, PhD, AT, Spectrum Health

As the mercury rises throughout the summer, heat illness is a concern, particularly among the young, elderly and those who exert themselves on the athletic field or elsewhere.

So if you’re getting out and about this summer, whether it’s working in your backyard garden, running along the beach, or playing sports at the park, make sure you know the signs of the different types of heat-related illness and what to do about them.

5 main types of heat-related illness:

1. Heat cramps

What it is: This is cramping you may feel in your muscles due to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, muscle fatigue, or any combination of these factors. Symptoms may include heavy sweating, thirst, fatigue, and pains in the arms, abdomen or legs. That Charley horse is more than pain, it’s a sign that something’s off in your body. Pay attention.

What to do: Drink plenty of cool water and sports drinks with electrolytes. Rest in a cool location out of the sun.

2. Heat syncope

What it is: Heat syncope often occurs in people who have not acclimatized to the heat, someone who has been sitting or standing for a long time, immediately after stopping activity, or after getting up quickly from resting or being seated. Symptoms include fainting for a short period of time, dizziness and feeling light-headed. It is attributed to rapidly opening blood vessels in the extremities, pooling of blood, poor return of blood to the heart, dehydration, reduced heart output, and blood flow changes in the brain. 

What to do: Sit or lie down in a cool place and slowly drink water, sports drinks or clear juices.

3. Exercise or heat exhaustion

What it is: Exhaustion occurs most frequently in hot and humid temperatures, and is often hard to distinguish from a heat stroke when it is in its worst stages. Symptoms include heavy sweating, the inability to continue exercise due to energy depletion, cold and clammy skin, a rapid pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, decreased urine output, weakness, pallor (the person may look pale), persistent muscle cramps across the entire body, fainting, hyperventilation, and body temperatures that range from 97-103 degrees. This is the stage of heat illness right before heat stroke.

What to do: Heat exhaustion must be recognized and treated quickly. Offer first aid and medical care. Any excess clothing (including shoes or hats) as well as water- or sweat-soaked clothing should be removed. If the person is alert and not vomiting, have them drink cold sports drinks or cold water if sports drinks (with sodium) are not available. Move the person to a cooler location, place ice packs on the body, especially targeting the armpit, groin and neck. Use cold towels on the hands, feet and head. Blow cool air on the person. Consider immersion in cold water. If the person’s temperature rises past 102 degrees, or dizziness persists after lying the person down with their legs elevated, seek emergency medical attention.

4. Heat Stroke

What it is: Heat stroke is life threatening. It occurs when the body’s temperature regulatory system is overwhelmed. This generally occurs from extreme outdoor conditions that do not allow the body to cool itself. Symptoms include dry and hot skin, nausea, irrational behavior, rapid and shallow breathing, rapid and weak pulse, disorientation, drowsiness and a temperature above 104 degrees.

What to do: Call 911 or seek emergency medical care. In the meantime, move the person to a cool location, remove excess clothing including shoes and hats, place ice packs on the body, especially targeting the armpit, groin and neck. Immerse the individual in cold water if possible. Use cold towels on the hands, feet and head. Blow cool air on the person. Health care workers often use intravenous (IV) fluids to rapidly hydrate the person suffering from heat stroke. Blood tests and urinalysis will often be performed to make sure that the body is returning to normal. After a heat stroke it is possible to see complications with internal body temperature regulation. Sometimes recovery after a heat stroke may take up to one year before the central nervous system, liver and kidney functions are considered normal.

5. Exertional hyponatremia

What it is: Exercise-associated hyponatremia is a rarely occurring condition that occurs when a person ingests too much water or low sodium beverages relative to the amount of sweat that is released from the body. This creates a low-sodium level in the body. The result can cause possible fatal neurological and physiologic dysfunctions. Symptoms include disorientation, altered mental status, headache, vomiting, lethargy, swelling of hands and feet, pulmonary edema, cerebral edema and seizures.

What to do: Call 911 or seek emergency medical care. This condition may be treated through fluid reduction in the body and beverages that contain sufficient sodium. 

 

9/22/17 – Survivors still pulled from rubble in Mexico

(AP) Rescue operations stretched into a fourth day in Mexico City following this weeks 7.1 earthquake.  Police say several people were pulled from the rubble of two buildings in Mexico’s capital Thursday.  Still, with the hours passing, fewer of the living were found, and the official death toll rose to 273 in Mexico City and several nearby states, with 137 in the capital.

9/22/17 – New York governor to visit Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is heading to the Caribbean for the second time in a week to get a firsthand look at the damage left behind by a hurricane.

The Democrat announced Thursday that he’ll travel to Puerto Rico with New York state emergency response officials to help recovery efforts on the island ravaged by Hurricane Maria.

Cuomo’s office says Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello asked his New York counterpart for emergency goods and services to help the recovery.

Cuomo’s trip comes a week after he traveled to the U.S. Virgin Islands at the invitation of the territory’s governor to see the damage caused by Hurricane Irma. Cuomo vowed to send New York aid to the devastated islands.

9/22/17 – Man pleads guilty to fire that killed 13 horses

LOWELL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A man accused of setting a fire that killed 13 horses has pleaded guilty in western Michigan.

Prosecutors say Payton Mellema will spend three years at a mental-health facility under a plea deal reached Thursday in Kent County court. He lived near the Barn for Equine Learning in Lowell Township, where 13 horses died in April.

The horses were used as therapy for children and young adults with a variety of special needs.

Mellema pleaded guilty to arson and animal cruelty charges. He’ll return to court on Oct. 31.

9/22/17 – Michigan official faces key hearing in Flint water case

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A former Michigan health official says he started asking questions about bacteria in Flint’s water supply a year before the state publicly acknowledged an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

Tim Becker is the first witness Thursday at a hearing that will determine whether Nick Lyon goes to trial on two charges, including involuntary manslaughter.

Lyon is head of the Department of Health and Human Services. He’s accused of failing to alert the public in a timely manner about a Legionnaires’ outbreak in the Flint area in 2014-15.

Some experts have blamed the outbreak on Flint’s failure to treat its water to reduce corrosion.

Becker was the department’s deputy director. He says he started inquiring about legionella bacteria in January 2015. The outbreak was publicly announced a year later.

9/22/17 – Leaders: $271B needed for creaky Great Lakes water systems

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — State leaders say the Great Lakes region needs to drastically improve public water systems.

The Great Lakes Commission this week called for upgrading wastewater treatment plants, storm water pipes and drinking water filtration systems. The commission, which represents the region’s eight states, says a conservative cost estimate is $271 billion.

Chairman John Linc Stine says recent drinking water crises in Flint, Michigan, and Toledo, Ohio, illustrate the hazards of aging and underfunded water infrastructure.

Billions of gallons of sewage and untreated storm water are released into the Great Lakes each year because outdated systems can’t handle it.

The commission endorsed a plan for tackling the problem during its annual meeting in Duluth, Minnesota.

It also recommended a closer look at emerging pollutants such as chemicals, drugs and tiny plastic particles.

 

 

 

9/22/17 – US government will appeal order blocking Iraqi deportations

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government says it will appeal an order that suspended the deportation of 1,400 people to Iraq.

It’s unclear why the Justice Department waited nearly two months after the injunction was signed by a Detroit federal judge. The appeal notice was filed Thursday.

In July, Judge Mark Goldsmith blocked the deportation of Iraqi nationals to give them time to challenge their removal in immigration court. Many who fear they’ll be tortured or killed if sent to Iraq.

The government says the Iraqis have committed crimes in the U.S. and must be kicked out now that Iraq will accept them. Roughly 21 percent of the 1,400 are in custody at federal detention centers. Some are on hunger strikes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

9/22/17 – Republicans gathering for biennial Mackinac conference

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Republicans are gathering for a three-day summit ahead of 2018 elections in which they hope to keep control of the governor’s office and unseat Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

The Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference begins Friday and runs until Sunday on Mackinac Island. The gathering held every two years is a chance for state candidates to mingle with nearly 2,000 registered party activists and donors. It’s also an opportunity for Republicans to hear from leaders from outside Michigan.

Speakers this year include U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel and U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California. Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin also will speak, in addition to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who cannot run again under term limits.

 

 

 

 

9/21/17 – Mexico Quake

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A delicate effort to reach a girl buried in the rubble of her school stretched into a daylong vigil for Mexico, much of it broadcast across the nation as rescue workers still struggled in rain and darkness early Thursday trying to pick away unstable debris and reach her.

The sight of her wiggling fingers early Wednesday became a symbol for the hope driving thousands of professionals and volunteers to work frantically at dozens of wrecked buildings looking for survivors of the magnitude 7.1 quake that killed at least 245 people in central Mexico.

The death rose after Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said the number of confirmed dead in the capital had risen from 100 to 115. An earlier federal government statement had put the overall toll at 230.

On rubber mats spread across a Mexico City recreation center, the Montero family cuddles under donated wool blankets, their first new possessions after abandoning their apartment following the deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake.

Across the capital thousands of Mexicans are now believed homeless after the tremor leveled entire buildings and left others teetering on the edge of collapse. Men, women and children are now filling up gyms and event halls at more than two dozen designated shelters. Many are uncertain where they will go next, but grateful to have a safe refuge.

“I am sure nothing is going to fall here,” 7-year-old Oscar Montero says.

 

 

 

 

9/21/17 – Hurricane Maria , Category 3

-Hurricane Maria has regained its major hurricane status and is now a Category 3 storm with winds near 115.  Maria should move near the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas tonight and Friday.  President Trump has declared a major disaster in the U.S. Virgin Islands after Hurricane Maria hit and that will make federal funding available to people on the island of St.Croix.                         Puerto Ricans are vowing to slowly rebuild after Maria takes out power to the island, causes landslides, flooding and downed trees.

 

9/21/17 – State Trooper dies in motorcycle accident

-Michigan State Police say a trooper died from his injuries after crashing his motorcycle into the back of a truck.  The accident took place just north of Grand Rapids at the intersection of Wolverine Blvd. and Belding Road just before 8 a.m. on Wednesday.  O’Neill was a 3-year veteran and was on patrol when the crash took place.  He was due to be married in 2 weeks.                                                                           Several police units held a procession when O’Neil’s body left the hospital.  No word yet on funeral arrangements.

 

 

9/21/17 – MSU cut ribbon on G.R. Research Center

-Michigan State university cut the ribbon on their new Grand Rapids Research Center.  The $88 million building will be used by researchers to work on cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.   Wednesday’s ribbon cutting drew numerous community leaders and elected officials as well as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.                      The new 6-story research building was built on Michigan Street at the site of the former Grand Rapids Press building.  25 research teams, currently housed at the VanAndel Institute, are expected to move into the new building later this fall.

 

 

 

 

9/20/17 – ArtPrize 9

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — An international art competition in western Michigan is kicking off its ninth year.

ArtPrize Nine starts Wednesday in Grand Rapids and runs through Oct. 8. In all, $500,000 in cash prizes will be awarded — including $200,000 for the public favorite and $200,000 for a winner picked by an expert jury. The voting structure has been updated this year.

The first round narrows entries down to 20 chosen by the public and 20 by the jury. The second round’s rules will change, removing the distinction between the public and jury choices. Twenty from each group will compete with each other in one pool rather than two.

The work of more than 1,300 artists will be displayed at more than 170 venues. The winners will be announced Oct. 6.

 

9/20/17 – Hurricane Maria

(AP) – Hurricane Maria made landfall Wednesday morning in Puerto Rico.  The Category 4 Hurricane made landfall early this morning with winds of 155 mph.  The storm threatens to take out power for not only days but most likely weeks.  Storm surge and flooding will be a problem .                                       The island of Guadeloupe saw at least 2 people die as a result of  Hurricane Maria.  The extent of damage from other islands hit by the storm have yet to be assessed.   Forecasters are watching models to see if this storm system will impact part of the United States next week.

 

9/20/17 – Mexico – earthquake

(AP)- The head of Mexico’s National Civil Defense Agency says at least 217 people died in Tuesday’s earthquake that was centered outside Mexico City.  Volunteers spent the night working with authorities looking for children and adults who were in a collapsed school after the 7.1 earthquake toppled the building.  At least 25 students and teachers were killed.              Searchers are asking for quite on the streets to see if they can hear cries for help from those that may still be trapped.             Pope Francis has led tens of thousands of people in prayer for the victims of the earthquake and prayed for the families of the victims and for rescue crews.

 

9/20/17 – Nuclear weapons treaty

(AP) -The first treaty to ban nuclear weapons is ready for countries to sign at the United Nations. It’s backed by over 100 countries, but nuclear-armed nations want no part of it.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened a signing ceremony Wednesday. He called the pact “an important step towards the universally-held goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.”

More than 120 countries approved the treaty in July over strong opposition from nuclear-armed countries and their allies. They boycotted negotiations.

Supporters of the pact say it’s time to push harder toward eliminating atomic weapons than nations have done through the nearly 50-year-old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

But nuclear powers say a ban won’t work. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday it can only weaken the nonproliferation treaty.

 

9/19/17 – President Trump is making his debut address to the U.N. General Assembly

NEW YORK (AP) — Elected on the slogan “America First,” President Donald Trump is making his debut address to the U.N. General Assembly.

He’s expected to argue Tuesday that nations should act in their own self-interest, yet rally together when faced with a common threat such as North Korea. He plans to address other crisis points, too, such as Iran’s nuclear agenda, the instability in Venezuela and the fight against terrorism in Syria and elsewhere.

Pres. Trump is expected to argue that U.N. member states should unite to face global dangers.

 

9/19/17 – Michigan governor OKs bill to fix ballots after clerk errors

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation allowing communities to fix ballots where candidates missed the state filing deadline because of incorrect information from local clerks.

Snyder on Monday signed the bill to extend the filing deadline for city office elections in 2017, ensuring mayoral and city council candidates will be on the ballot. The bill had been passed by the legislature after issues with candidates in at least four communities.

Errors were found in Sault Ste. Marie, Tecumseh, Bessemer and Lake Angelus.

Under the legislation, clerks who give out erroneous dates would be required to undergo training and their municipalities are subject to fines.

9/19/17 –  Great Lakes states renew push for new lock at critical point

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Officials are making a renewed push for a long stalled proposal for adding a new lock to the Soo Locks complex, a critical chokepoint that connects Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes.

A Homeland Security study says an unplanned six-month closure of the biggest Soo lock due to an accident or terrorist attack would shut down much of the U.S. steel industry. The study says the economic shockwaves could cost 11 million jobs.

A Treasury Department report projects a net economic benefit of up to $1.7 billion from a new Soo Lock.

Congress first authorized a new lock in 1986 but never funded it. A bipartisan group of lawmakers is trying again.

They won backing Monday from the Great Lakes Commission, which is holding its annual meeting in Duluth.

 

9/19/17 – Let campus experts analyze Enbridge Line 5

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An advisory group is recommending that Michigan universities analyze the worst-case scenario of an oil pipeline failure in the Straits of Mackinac.

The effort would be led by Michigan Tech University, which would collaborate with experts at other universities. The recommendation was made Monday by the state Pipeline Safety Advisory Board, which includes high-ranking members of Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration.

A contractor was fired by the state in June because of a conflict of interest with Enbridge Energy, owner of Line 5.

Line 5 carries nearly 23 million gallons (87 million liters) of light crude oil and liquefied natural gas daily. It runs across Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula before entering the Straits of Mackinac, where it divides into two lines, then continues to refineries in Sarnia, Ontario.

 

 

 

9/19/19 –  Charges in ‘nightmare’ crash that killed mom, hurt twin sons

COURTLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A man has been charged after fleeing a high-speed crash that killed a woman and critically injured her 5-year-old twin boys in the Grand Rapids area.

Douglas Crystal was arraigned Monday on four charges, including reckless driving that caused a death.

The Kent County sheriff’s department says 33-year-old Meranda Baguss of Sand Lake was killed Friday night when Crystal’s pickup smashed into her vehicle at a rural intersection in Courtland Township. Her sons are in critical condition.

The 36-year-old Crystal was in jail on a $500,000 bond. It wasn’t known if he has a lawyer who could comment. Judge Sara Smolenski says the fatal crash is “everyone’s worst nightmare.”

Crystal fled on foot after the crash. Deputies used police dogs and even a state helicopter to search for him.

 

9/19/17 – MI Civil Rights Commission holds off

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Civil Rights Commission is holding off for now on deciding whether to declare that discrimination against LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations is already unlawful under state law.

The commission met Monday to consider the request after two months of public feedback. The interpretive statement, if issued, would say discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is a form of sex discrimination outlawed under Michigan’s 1976 civil rights law.

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights says the commission voted to table to request from LGBT rights group Equality Michigan.

An assistant attorney general told the commission the legislature, not the commission, should address changes in state law. The commission is asking Attorney General Bill Schuette for a formal opinion on its authority.

 

 

 

9/18/17 – More than 80 arrests during 3rd night of protests

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say police made more than 80 arrests after violence erupted during the third day of protests over the acquittal of a police officer charged with killing a suspect.

Hundreds have gathered every day since Friday, when a judge cleared ex-officer Jason Stockley in the 2011 shooting death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Mayor Lyda Krewson told reporters early Monday that “the days have been calm and the nights have been destructive” for three straight days. Krewson says that is “unacceptable” and that “destruction cannot be tolerated.”

During the protests Sunday night, several windows were broken at a Marriott hotel and at other nearby businesses. Concrete planters were knocked over and trash cans tossed into the street.

 

9/18/17 – Trump to UN General Assembly

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump is plunging into a foreign policy-focused week that will be anchored by his first address to the United Nations General Assembly.

But before Tuesday’s highly anticipated speech, the president will first tackle the issue of overhauling the U.N.

Trump planned Monday to address a U.S.-sponsored event on reforming the 193-member world body.

Pres. Trump wants the U.N. to cut spending and make other operational changes.

The president also meets separately Monday with the leaders of Israel and France, and hosts Latin American leaders for dinner.

 

9/18/17 – 3 major threats brewing in Atlantic

Hurricane Maria, Hurricane Jose, and Tropical Depression Lee are impacting part of the Atlantic Ocean.

Hurricane Maria is swirling toward the eastern Caribbean, and will become much stronger over the next 48 hours and is following the path that will take it near many of the islands wrecked by Hurricane Irma.

Hurricane Jose, continues to churn northward over the Atlantic off the U.S. East Coast, causing dangerous surf and rip currents and will bring heavy rain Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tropical Depression Lee is not much of a threat at this point with winds of 35 mph and is expected to weaken.

 

9/18/17 – Gas Prices

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says gas prices statewide have fallen by about 15 cents per gallon in the past week as the effects of hurricanes on fuel supplies ease.

The Dearborn-based auto club says early Monday the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline was about $2.54 per gallon. That’s about 44 cents more than at the same point last year.

Gas prices had earlier climbed during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and as Hurricane Irma hit.

Michigan’s lowest average price was about $2.49 per gallon in the Saginaw, Bay City and Midland areas. The highest was about $2.66 per gallon in the Marquette area.

The Detroit-area’s average fell about 12 cents to $2.53 per gallon.

AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel prices at 2,800 gas stations across the state.

 

9/15/17 – Flags lowered

ARMADA, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s governor is asking that flags around the state be lowered to half-staff Friday in honor of a Marine from southeastern Michigan who died during training.

Gov. Rick Snyder’s office says flags will be lowered at all state buildings and within the state Capitol complex in Lansing on the day of the funeral for Marine Pfc. Michael Giannattasio.

Military officials say the 22-year-old from the Macomb County village of Armada was found unresponsive Aug. 30 at California’s Camp Pendleton. The (San Diego) Union-Tribune reports Giannattasio’s death remains under investigation.

Tiffany-Young and Hauss Funeral Home says Giannattasio graduated from La Salette Academy in Olivet, Illinois, in 2014 and attended Macomb Community College before enlisting in the Marines. His funeral Mass will be Friday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ray Township.

 

 

9/15/17 – Terrorist incident in London

(AP) – Police say the fire on a London subway train was caused by the detonation of an improvised explosive device.  Police say it was a terrorist incident and is being handled by the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism unit.  Police say at least 22 people were injured.

A commuter train was just leaving the Persons Green Station in SE London during morning rush hour, when the explosion took place.

There is no word on a suspect.

 

 

 

9/15/17 – Power being restored in Florida

(AP) – Millions in Florida remain without power but the lights are continuing to come on across the states.  In the immediate aftermath of the storm, roughly 65% of all homes and businesses in the state were in the dark and that has now dropped to 22%.  The state’s largest utility said it will take until Sept. 22 to restore power to the battered areas in SE Florida.

Caregivers at Florida senior centers are fighting the lack of air conditioning with Popsicles and cool compresses following the deaths of 8 patients at one nursing home in the post-hurricane heat.  Dozens of the state’s nursing homes and assisted living centers still lack electricity.  Several facilities have been forced to evacuate.  A Florida nursing home where 8 people died will no longer receive state Medicaid funds.  Workers at the Hollywood Hills facility say Hurricane Irma caused the air conditioning to fail and they struggled to keep residents cool.  The Governor said at no time did the facility communicate any imminent threats to its patients.

 

 

 

 

9/15/17 – North Korea launches another missile

(AP)-  North Korea launched another ballistic missile over Japan, hours after the nation threatened to “sink” Japan.  The Pentagon says that it did not pose a threat to the U.S. or Guam, but the missile did fly farther than the first launch over Japan and prompted a warning siren before falling in the Pacific Ocean.    The  action is a clear message of defiance days after the U.N. Security Council adopted further sanctions.  The frequency, power and confidence displayed by its launches seems to confirm North Korea is closer than ever to having an arsenal that can viably target U.S. troops in Asia and the U.S. homeland.

President Trump has repeatedly stressed cooperation with China to find a solution to North Korea.

 

 

 

 

9/14/17 – Pres. Trump heads to Florida

(AP) – President Trump is being joined by Vice-President Mike Pence and is scheduled to visit SE Florida today.  They will stop in Naples and Fort Meyers to meet with those affected by the hurricane and learn more about relief efforts.  They plan to meet with first responders, the Coast Guard, and others.

Meanwhile, the deaths of 8 patients at a sweltering nursing home in Hollywood, Florida raises concerns about the safety of the state’s other 4 million senior citizens.  Power outages have meant no air conditioning.

Fire rescue teams have evacuated 122 people from 2 assisted living facilities near Orlando after firefighters were ordered to assess conditions of all elderly communities in the area.

9/13/17 – Residents returning home to Florida

-Florida residents are drifting back to survey the destruction left behind by Hurricane Irma.  Flooded streets remain, homes are damaged and many of them are totaled.

Meanwhile airlines are resuming some flights and curfews are being lifted.

Crews were working to repair the lone highway connecting the Keys.  FEMA says preliminary estimates suggested that 25% of the homes in the Keys were destroyed and 65% sustained major damage.

9/13/17 – Another death blamed on gas from a generator

LOWER MATECUMBE KEY, Fla. (AP) — One person has died and three others are being treated at a hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning from an electric generator in Daytona Beach, Florida, the latest such death as people across the state wait for power to be restored after Hurricane Irma.

Daytona Beach Fire Department officials said on Twitter that a generator was running inside the home early Wednesday. Further details weren’t immediately available.

Officials across Florida are warning people to keep generators outside their homes.

In nearby Orange County, deputies found three people dead and four others were taken to a hospital for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning Tuesday afternoon. Carbon monoxide from a generator is also suspected in the death of a man in Miami. And authorities say another dozen people were treated for carbon monoxide on Tuesday in Polk and Brevard counties.

9/13/17 – French president vows help for Irma’s damage in Caribbean

MARIGOT, St. Martin (AP) — France’s president is promising to rebuild stronger Caribbean territories after Hurricane Irma destroyed much of St. Martin and St. Barts.

In a visit to the affected islands, French President Emmanuel Macron acknowledged anger over the government’s response to the disaster.

He brought in much-needed food, water and medical supplies Tuesday and said officials were working to evacuate those who wanted to leave and set up much-needed services for those who choose to stay.

He said France was bringing in air-conditioned tents so children can start classes again soon, and he said a center would be established by Monday to begin processing requests for financial help.

Macron pledged to rebuild St. Martin as a “model” for withstanding future storms.

9/13/17 – Michigan Guard pulls back troops planned for Irma response

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan National Guard is pulling back troops being sent to Florida after being told they weren’t needed for Hurricane Irma recovery efforts.

Some Michigan troops had already departed for Florida when a Guard official says the decision was made Tuesday to turn them around.

Lt. Col. Dawn Dancer says Florida officials decided they didn’t need additional Guard troops from around the country. The Michigan Guard had planned to send about 1,000 members to Florida.

Dancer says Michigan Guard leaders are monitoring Irma-related troubles in other states and will be ready to send troops elsewhere if needed.

9/13/17 – Methane collection begins at landfill in western Michigan

KENTWOOD, Mich. (AP) — Work has begun to expand methane collection, containment and monitoring after the potentially explosive gas was found seeping from a closed landfill in western Michigan.

The Grand Rapids Press reports that work started last month to collect the gas leaking from decomposing waste underneath the soil at Kentwood Landfill near Grand Rapids.

Crews worked to drill a 94-foot-deep (28.6-meter-deep) hole into the soil, sediment and mostly decomposed garbage Sept. 5. The holes are designed to draw methane from deep and shallow underground areas of the old landfill.

The system is designed to protect the nearby library, civic buildings and neighborhoods from the explosive gas.

Methane occurs naturally in landfills, is nontoxic and dissipates quickly when exposed to air. But the gas can be flammable, especially when trapped in closed-in spaces.

9/13/17 – Michigan AG Schuette announces run for governor

MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has launched his gubernatorial campaign, entering as the Republican front-runner by promising to be a “jobs governor” who will cut income taxes and high auto premiums and not accept that Michigan’s best economic days are in the past.

Schuette made the announcement Tuesday night at his annual barbeque in Midland. He is calling for lowering the state income tax and high auto insurance rates, and says Michigan cannot afford to return to Democratic leadership.

Schuette will be considered the front-runner in the Republican primary. Dr. Jim Hines and state Sen. Patrick Colbeck are the main Republicans running so far, though Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is weighing a bid.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder can’t run again under term limits.

9/12/17 – Recovery from Irma

(AP) – The airport at Fort Lauderdale, Florida has re-opened but there are still many flights that have been canceled.

The Miami International Airport said they will resume operations on a limited basis today.  It will be awhile before things get back to normal.

Florida residents have begun clean up efforts in their state.  Those people who evacuated their homes due to Hurricane Irma are being urged not to return too soon.  Evacuees can expect heavy traffic and a scarce supply of gasoline.  The mass return raises new logistical worries of snarled traffic in damaged areas where power outages could last for weeks.

6 deaths in Florida have been blamed on the storm, 3 in Georgia and 1 in South Carolina.  At last 35 people were killed in the Caribbean.

Some of the theme parks in Orlando are planning to reopen.  Universal Orlando says their parks will reopen at 9 a.m. Tuesday.  Disney World plans to reopen today.  They reported trees knocked down at Animal Kingdom and at the Polynesian Resort and flooding at the Grand Floridian and at Epcot.

The Michigan Army National Guard is sending more than 1,000 soldiers to the South to help people affected by Hurricane Irma.  They will help provide security, humanitarian assistance and aircraft maintenance.

 

 

9/12/17 – Feedback sought on plan to keep Asian carp from Great Lakes

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — Federal officials are hosting three public meetings this week to get feedback on a plan to prevent Asian carp from slipping into the Great Lakes and threatening native fish species.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a proposal in August to block the invasive fish at a lock-and-dam complex in Joliet, Illinois, a choke point between the carp-infested Illinois River and Lake Michigan.

The $275 million dollar plan includes measures such as installing underwater sound equipment and electric barriers.

The first hearing was held Monday in Chicago. The second is scheduled for Thursday at Muskegon Community College in Muskegon, Michigan, and the third will be Sept. 18 at Joliet Junior College in Joliet.

9/12/17 – Michigan board to get guidance on ability to close pot shops

BATH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s medical marijuana board will receive guidance on its authority to close dispensaries until the state begins issuing licenses under a new regulatory system.

Some board members expressed a desire to shut the shops at a meeting last month, sparking concerns from patients and others. The board will reconvene Tuesday near Lansing to hear from the state’s Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, which has been consulting with the state attorney general’s office.

Starting in mid-December, medical marijuana businesses will be able to apply for licenses to operate. But some board members say existing dispensaries, many of which have been open for years, are illegal under a Michigan Supreme Court ruling and should be closed until licensing begins.

9/12/17 – House bills extend 0.08 drunken driving limit for 5 years

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Legislation up for a vote in Michigan’s Legislature would continue the state’s 0.08 blood-alcohol limit for drunken driving until 2023.

The limit is set to return to 0.10 in 2018, putting federal funding at risk unless lawmakers act.

Legislators first moved to the 0.08 blood-alcohol level in 2003 but have twice put a sunset provision in the law so the issue is revisited.

The House is scheduled to vote on the bills Tuesday. The legislation would then move to the Senate for future consideration.

9/12/17 – Cook Nuclear Plant

BRIDGMAN, Mich. (AP) — A nuclear reactor in southwestern Michigan is being shut down for refueling and maintenance.

The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph reports Cook Nuclear Plant’s Unit 1 reactor will be shut down Wednesday. Power to Unit 1 was reduced to 50 percent on Sunday for equipment testing prior to the outage. The plant’s Unit 2 remains at 100 percent power.

The newspaper says the outage will be extended so plant workers can do inspections and replacements of bolts that support internal components of the reactor vessel.

About 1,000 contracted workers will supplement the regular 1,200-person plant staff. Work is expected to be completed by year’s end. Indiana Michigan Power runs the plant, which is located along Lake Michigan in Berrien County’s Lake Township, near Bridgman.

9/11/17 – Remembering 9-11

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is preparing to preside over his first 9/11 commemoration in office. First lady Melania Trump will join her husband for the solemn occasion. The Trumps plan to observe a moment of silence at the White House on Monday, then travel to the Pentagon for a ceremony. Nearly 3,000 people were killed in 2001 when hijackers seized commercial airplanes and crashed them into New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Nine-Eleven survivors, victims’ relatives, rescuers and others are expected to gather at those sites today to mark the 16th anniversary of the terror attacks that changed the nation. The remembrance comes as the U.S. contends with the destruction caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

 

9/11/17 – Traffic Study Trying to Save Lives

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Rapid advances in life sciences will be discussed during a gathering at the University of Michigan. The theme of Friday’s Saltiel Life Sciences Symposium is “Game Changers: Technologies that are rewriting the future of the life sciences.” Speakers include researchers and professors working on editing genes, identifying and controlling cells and viewing living systems at ever-finer resolutions and smaller scales. The event is free and open to the public.

 

 

9/11/17 – Michigan Sends Relief Help to Florida

Thousands of Michigan personnel are headed to Florida or are already in position to help following the devastating Hurricane Irma.  Although the storm has not even passed through Florida, various agencies in Michigan have already sent help in the former of personnel with storm damage expertise.  Consumers Energy’s Roger Morgenstern tells us they have crews station in Northern Florida to help Florida Power and Light with restoration efforts.

“They know the type of expertise we’re bringing with us in terms of equipment and personnel.  So they’ll have work ready for us as soon as the hurricane passes.”

Lt. Governor Brian Calley says other Michigan personnel are on their way.  They include:

  • A swift water rescue task force of 45 firefighters and non-fire personnel trained in water rescues and searches deployed today from Holly, MI for Florida to help with rescue and relief efforts.
  • The Michigan National Guard is deploying 1,000 guardsmen starting as early as Monday to assist with relief efforts in Florida using both air and ground crew personnel.
  • Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) staff members deployed to Kansas and New Jersey to help with emergency coordination between states.
  • National Guardsman also assisted with relief efforts in Houston following Hurricane Harvey.

That doesn’t include the various non-profit groups who plan to send assessment teams and repair crews to Florida after the waters have gone down.

9/8/17 – What You Can Do If Your Personal Information Was Compromised

An estimated 143 million Americans may have had their personal information compromised due to a breach at Equifax.  The company is one of the three largest credit bureaus used to determine credit worthiness.  Equifax has set up this website to address the problem: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com

    • Once you are at the website click on the link “Potential Impact”
    • On this web page you’ll see a large red button that says, “Check Potential Impact” – click on that link and follow the directions.

If you do find that your information may have been compromised, contact Equifax.  They are offering a free year of credit monitoring but do remember you are free to choose another monitoring service.

 

 

8-28-17 – Relief Agencies Helping Assist in Disaster Response

LOCAL DISASTER RELIEF

 

Christian Reformed Church/Reformed Church – World Renew

www.worldrenew.net

 

International Aid

www.internationalaid.org

 

Keys for Kids

www.keysforkids.org

 

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

http://pda.pcusa.org/

 

West Michigan Catholic Churches

www.dioceseofgrandrapids.org

 

 

NATIONAL DISASTER RELIEF

 

Samaritans Purse

www.samaritanspurse.org

 

Salvation Army

www.helpsalvationarmy.org

 

September 22

Citizen Way “Bulletproof” (Official Music Video)

Near record high temps this weekend and most of next week! Fall may officially be here, but we got summer plans!
September 22

Radio Waves – September 2017

WCSG Creates a Lasting Memory   When Melissa Chambers heard the 91.3 WCSG announcers asking for listener stories about specific songs that spoke into their lives, […]