Southwest Michigan Today: Tuesday March 13, 2018

Mar 13, 2018

A state of disaster due to flooding includes Kalamazoo, Allegan, Barry and St. Joseph Counties. The state launches a pilot program to combine mental and physical health services. Traverse City Schools Superintendent gets a contract extension even though an investigation has been launched into possible gender-based discrimination. 

Governor Rick Snyder has declared a state of disaster in 17 counties due to flooding last month. The list includes Kalamazoo, Allegan, Barry and St. Joseph Counties. Snyder issued the declaration after damage assessments were completed. The Kalamazoo Gazette says flooding in Kalamazoo County caused two and a half million dollars in damage. The governor’s declaration makes state resources available to assist local officials with recovery efforts.

The state health department has announced locations for a new pilot program to merge state mental and physical health services. Officials with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services say funding and services are currently separate for physical and mental health. They hope to cut down on administrative costs by combining them. The pilot programs will be located in Genesee, Muskegon, and Saginaw Counties. (WCMU

Northern Michigan’s largest school district has renewed its superintendent’s contract for the next three years. That comes after school administrators alleged Traverse City Schools Superintendent Paul Soma bullies and intimidates female principals. Board members say if there is behavior of bullying or intimidation moving forward Soma risks termination. An investigation into alleged gender-based discrimination by Soma started Monday. (Interlochen Public Radio

Lake Superior State University has a new president. The school’s Board of Trustees has chosen Rodney Hanley to be the school’s tenth leader. Since 2014 … Hanley has served as provost at Fisk University, a historically black university in Tennessee. The Board of Trustees says Hanley’s top task will be boosting enrollment at Lake Superior State. About 3000 students attend the public university in Sault Sainte Marie.