Southwest Michigan Today For Tuesday February 13, 2018

Feb 13, 2018

A report recommends Saugatuck end its police services agreement with the city of Douglas. Michigan lawmakers from both parties criticize President Trump's proposed budget for cutting Great Lakes Restoration funding. A Berrien County Representative will run for state Senate this year. 

A new report is recommending that Saugatuck end its intergovernmental police services agreement with the city of Douglas. The Holland Sentinel says that the report prepared by Saugatuck mayor Ken Trester and two members of the city council, was presented during Monday night’s city council meeting. It calls for Saugatuck to instead enter into an agreement with the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department. It says that would save Saugatuck money. But officials with the Saugatuck-Douglas Police Department say such a change may not meet the area’s public safety needs.

State Representative Kim LaSata says she will run for state Senate in the 21st district, which includes Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph Counties. Republican Senator John Proos can’t run for re-election because of term limits. The St. Joseph Benton Harbor Herald-Palladium reports that LaSata will run for the Senate seat up for election this year. She currently represents part of Berrien County in the state House, including the cities of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor. One Democrat, former Hagar Township Clerk Ian Haight has also announced he is running for the 21st state Senate seat.

President Donald Trump’s budget once again proposes large cuts in Great Lakes restoration efforts. The Detroit Free Press reports that the budget proposal released Monday would nearly eliminate the $300-million for improving Great Lakes water quality. It’s similar to the budget proposal made last year. The money for Great Lakes programs was protected in last year’s appropriations process. The new proposal drew criticism from Michigan lawmakers. Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow called the proposed cut outrageous. Southwest Michigan Republican Congressman Fred Upton issued a statement, saying “Michigan deserved better than this,” and “The health of our Great Lakes must be a higher priority.”

A chunk of a meteorite that fell on Michigan last month will be auctioned in New York City. Christie's says it will be included in an auction of other space rocks this week. It ends Wednesday evening. A fireball seen in much of southern Michigan dropped meteor fragments near Hamburg, north of Ann Arbor, on January 16th. A meteorite hunter recovered three of them from a frozen lake. A special consultant to Christie's told the Detroit Free Press that each fragment could be worth at least 20-thousand dollars.

The founder of Art Van Furniture has died. The Detroit News reports that Art Van Elsander passed away Monday after battling lung cancer for several months. Van Elsander was also known for his philanthropic and civic efforts in Detroit. That included providing the money to save the city’s Thanksgiving Day parade in 1990. Art Van started with a single store in what is now the Detroit suburb of Eastpointe. It grew to 181 stores throughout the Midwest. Art Van Elsander was 87 years old.

Former Michigan Governor Jim Blanchard and his law firm DLA Piper have been picked to represent Michigan State University in federal investigations related to former sports doctor Larry Nasser. MLive reports that the firm will represent MSU in answering inquiries about sexual abuse. That includes a Department of Education compliance review and records requested by federal lawmakers. The university says it has a one year contract with DLA Piper. Blanchard is a partner at the firm.