Southwest Michigan Today: Wednesday May 9, 2018

May 9, 2018

An MSU trustee wants a "new day" for the university. Michigan State Schools Superintendent Brian Whiston is remembered for bringing people together. An interim superintendent has been named after Whiston passed away Monday. WMU softball players collect some post-season honors, and begin play in the MAC tournament Wednesday. 

A member of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees has issued a document he calls “New Day MSU,” a proposal for drastic voluntary remediation with regard to the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal. Brian Mosallam wants an immediate, independent internal review of the Nassar case, saying that would demonstrate to survivors that remediation is better late than never. Mosallam also says that faculty and students should each have one member on the board for votes related to the presidential search, tuition, and room and board costs. That follows complaints about how the board chose John Engler as interim president. (WKAR

Michigan State Superintendent Brian Whiston is being remembered as a leader who brought together people of diverse values and visions. Whiston died Monday after a months-long battle with cancer. He became the state’s top education leader in 2015. Under his leadership, the state launched its current performance turnaround plan known as “Top 10 in 10.” Whiston was 56 years old. The board plans to conduct a national search for his successor. (WKAR)

Sheila Alles has been named interim state schools superintendent. She is currently chief deputy superintendent. (Michigan Radio

The City of Kalamazoo will get a $1-million state grant to replace lead water pipes. The Kalamazoo Gazette says city commissioners accepted the grant from the Department of Environmental Quality Monday night. The city's lead pipe replacement program started in 1992. But it stepped up removal of old pipes in the wake of the lead contamination crisis in Flint. Kalamazoo is also using money from its Foundation for Excellence for the program. The city says it plans to spend three million dollars getting rid of lead water pipes this year.

Voters in Kalkaska have removed their village president from office. Jeff Sieting came under fire last year for a series of anti-Muslim posts on social media. On Facebook, Sieting compared Islam to – quote – “a flesh-eating bacteria” … and called for nuclear weapons to be used on Muslim cities. Yesterday, Sieting was defeated in a recall election by Harley Wales. Wales is a political newcomer who works at Kalkaska Memorial Health Center. The unofficial election tally is 326 votes for Wales 215 for Sieting. (Interlochen Public Radio)

The Sault Saint Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians has declared a moratorium on bottled water from Nestle. The tribe’s board of directors announced the ban on Monday to protest Michigan’s approval of Nestle’s expanded water withdrawal permit. The tribe’s chair says the board of directors is considering expanding the moratorium to include all Nestle products. In a written statement a spokesperson for Nestle said quote “We are disappointed that the Sault Tribe Board of Directors declared this moratorium.” (WCMU

Two Western Michigan University freshmen have been named first team Mid-American Conference softball for the regular season. Samantha Coffell and Sydney Stefanick were named all-MAC first team. Junior Jordan Kurth was named to the second team. The Broncos open the Mid-American Conference softball tournament against Kent State Wednesday in Akron Ohio.

In baseball, Western Michigan lost its final home game of the season Tuesday, 18-13 to Valparaiso. The Broncos and Crusaders will play again Wednesday at Valparaiso.