Southwest Michigan Today: Wednesday June 13, 2018

Jun 13, 2018

Should Michigan bring back the poet laureate? Medical Marijuana creates controversy in Ross Township. A lawsuit  accusses a Zeeland nursing home or racial discrimination. 

After nearly six-decades, some state lawmakers want to bring back the position of state poet laureate. The position was last filled in 1959 by Edgar A. Guest, but no one was appointed to the position after his death. Republican Representative Aaron Miller of Sturgis is sponsoring a bill to reestablish the position. He says constituents helped convince him of the poet laureate’s importance. The poet would be appointed by the Governor, would serve without compensation, and would have an office in the Library of Michigan. Michigan is one of only five states without a state appointed poet laureate. (WCMU

A nursing home in Zeeland says claims that it racially discriminated against its employees are false. The Holland Sentinel reports that six certified nursing assistants filed suit against Providence Healthcare this spring. Another CNA joined the lawsuit later on. The employees, who are African-American, say Providence honored requests from some patients to receive care only from white nursing staff and that it noted those requests in patients' files. In a statement filed in court on Monday, Providence denied those claims. The nursing home acknowledged that one plaintiff had reported that a patient had called her a racist name.

Medical marijuana has become a hot issue in Kalamazoo County's Ross Township. The Kalamazoo Gazette says opponents want township trustees to revoke ordinances allowing medical marijuana businesses they approved earlier this year. Critics at a township planning commission meeting Monday night said voters should have the last say on the issue. They say marijuana growing operations aren't compatible with rural residential areas. At least three medical marijuana businesses have applied for township permits. They also need state licenses.

A Jackson city official is resigning, three weeks after he was charged with beating his girlfriend. In his resignation letter Andrew Frounfelker says the issue has become a distraction. Police say Frounfelker allegedly beat his girlfriend so severely that she suffered five fractured bones in her face that required surgery. But a judge decided last week that there wasn't enough evidence for a trial. Jackson Mayor Derek Dobies says Frounfelker’s resignation is in the best interests of the city. (Michigan Radio

In baseball, Kalamazoo pitcher Jack Nelson picked up his Northwoods League leading fourth win of the season Tuesday night as the Growlers beat Wisconsin 6-2. Kalamazoo will host the Woodchucks again Wednesday night at Homer Stryker Field.

Battle Creek scored four runs in the sixth inning to break open a scoreless game. The Bombers went to a 6-2 win at Fon du Lac. Battle Creek will conclude its two game series with the Dock Spiders Wednesday night.