Livingston County Area News Archive

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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Attempted Murder Charge Added Against Brighton Twp. Man

35-year old Bradley James Crainer was arrested last September after police say he placed a potentially poisonous substance in a family member’s food. He then allegedly took steps to burn down his residence. The Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office has now added one count of attempted murder and three counts of child abuse against Crainer.

Family Of Handy Twp. Woman Question Timing Of Suspect's Arrest

47-year-old Dowan Knighten was arrested February 11th at a Detroit home with the body of 29-year-old Kayla Pierce. The Handy Township resident was reported missing by her mother on November 24th. However, her family claims that Detroit Police had located Kayla’s car at Knighten’s residence on December 3rd, but did not conduct a search of his home.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Commissioners Reverse State Of Emergency; Offer Hybrid Plan

As COVID case counts and infection rates are surging in Livingston County, the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously against declaring a state of emergency after unveiling a plan to allow virtual participation at county meetings going forward.

Brighton Man Charged With Multiple Sexual Assault Counts

31-year-old Joseph Henry Santana was arraigned February 28th on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct after a female victim alleged she was restrained by Santana after repeatedly telling him she did not want to have sex with him.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Local COVID Cases Rise "At An Alarming Rate"

The Livingston County Health Department’s latest COVID-19 report indicated that the surge in cases is accompanied by a test positivity rate that has almost doubled over the past month along with related hospitalizations.

Chief Schroeder Laid To Rest In Unadilla Township

Retired Unadilla Township Fire Chief Mark Schroeder was laid to rest at the Plainfield Cemetery where a graveside service was performed with an Honor Guard featuring Howell and Brighton firefighters, along with the Ringing of the Bell, and Taps.

Senate Republicans Still Seeking COVID Nursing Home Probe

Despite having no evidence that Michigan has been hiding data, the GOP-controlled Michigan Senate approved a bill to make $250,000 available to county prosecutors to investigate the state’s policy regarding COVID-19 patients and nursing homes.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Friday, March 26, 2021

Detroit Man Enters Plea In Christmas Eve Larceny, Police Chase

29-year-old Bryan James Busher was charged following the Christmas Eve 2019 incident at the Genoa Township Walmart. Authorities say Busher and another man had pushed out a shopping cart full of items without paying, and when confronted by an employee, Busher implied he had a gun.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Ingham County Man Sentenced In Chase That Ended In Fowlerville

23-year old Dustin Sweet pleaded guilty earlier this month to four counts stemming from an incident that took place on May 5th 2020. Sweet had been chased by authorities from Lansing after being spotted by a Michigan State Trooper who recognized him as a suspect who fled from a previous traffic stop.

Volunteers Needed For Drive-Thru Service Event

Volunteers are being sought to assist with coordinating the flow of vehicles at “Community Connect on the Go - 2021” set for Saturday, April 17th from 1 pm – 4 pm at the 2|42 Community Church in Genoa Township.

Search Continues For Armed Man

The search Wednesday for an armed subject in the Northfield Township area prompted a temporary lockdown of Whitmore Lake Elementary and Whitmore Lake Middle School. Police did not name the man but described him as suicidal.

Theis Bills Among Proposed GOP Election Changes

Two of the bills in the 39-bill package were sponsored by State Sen. Lana Theis of Brighton Township. One of them, Senate Bill 285, would require voters to present their state-issued photo identification when applying for an absentee ballot. Democrats said the measure would suppress voting.

Brighton Board Approves Laptop Purchase

The 110 computers, which are priced at $638 apiece, will be used by teachers and other staff. The purchase is part of the $59.4 million bond issue passed by voters in November of 2019.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Beloved Fire Chief To Be Laid To Rest This Weekend

A memorial service for retired Unadilla Township Fire Chief Mark Schroeder will be held on Sunday. Chief Schroeder, who passed away March 15th, spent 37 years in the fire service, all of it in Unadilla Township.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Monday, March 22, 2021

Severe Weather Awareness Week Underway

Warning Coordination Meteorologist Rich Pollman with the National Weather Service Detroit/Pontiac Office says it’s important for people to know what to do when severe weather strikes this season.

Local GOP Chair Calls On Genoa Clerk To Resign

Meghan Reckling, Chair of the Livingston County Republican, called on Genoa Township Clerk Polly Skolarus to resign as Livingston County residents “should have complete faith and confidence in how their elections are run.” Skolarus was charged March 9th with a misdemeanor election violation pertaining to ballot containers.

Michigan COVID Cases Up As State Expands Vaccine Eligibility

While residents age 50 and older will be eligible for vaccines starting today, the state’s COVID-19 cases have been increasing. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive, said the state’s case rate spiked 77% over the past four weeks to 172.9 cases per million people.

MDNR To Resume Prescribed Burns

A prescribed burn is the carefully considered use of fire to improve wildlife habitat, get rid of invasive plant species that can crowd out native plants or help reduce debris on the ground that could fuel large wildfires.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Brighton-Area Priest Under Investigation By Michigan AG

In an email to parishioners Friday, it was announced that Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing had placed the Reverend Shaun Lowery, Pastor of St. Mary Magdalen Church in Brighton Township, on ministerial leave. The Diocese of Lansing says they are fully cooperating with the Attorney General’s investigation. 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Friday, March 19, 2021

Despite COVID Rise, Whitmer Defers Tightening Restrictions

Amid a climbing coronavirus case rate that ranks fourth nationally over the past week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said, for now, she does not plan to tighten COVID-19 restrictions — noting ongoing vaccinations while also citing concerns about virus variants that more easily spread.

Health Department Offering Free Drive-Thru COVID Testing

Starting today, contactless saliva testing will be offered every Friday and Monday from 8am to 6pm in the parking lot at the back of the 2/42 Community Center, located off of Grand River Avenue, west of S. Hacker Road, in Genoa Township.

State Police SUV Hit By Suspected Drunk Driver

State Police say the trooper from the Brighton Post was conducting a traffic stop on eastbound M-14 near Barton Drive in Ann Arbor at about 9:45 Wednesday night when his SUV was hit, tearing off the front wheel. The trooper had just exited the vehicle moments before.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Election Charge Filed Against Genoa Township Clerk

Livingston County Elections Coordinator Joe Bridgman says that the specific statute in this instance is MCL 168.24j, which does deal with the use of ballot containers, but not those specific to Absentee Ballots. It was enacted in 2000 and remains in effect.

Bond Denied For Wixom Man Charged In Capitol Riot

29-year-old Michael Foy asked a federal judge to release him on bond. Following a hearing Monday in which Foy pleaded not guilty to eight felony charges, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan denied the request. He remains in custody in Washington, D.C.

Slotkin: No Contradiction In Border Security & Humane Treatment

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified Wednesday before the House Homeland Security Committee, of which 8th District Democrat Elissa Slotkin is a member. Slotkin told Mayorkas she is concerned legislation as presently written won’t achieve true reform.

Food Assistance Benefits Extended Amid Pandemic

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced that the state previously approved the additional food assistance beginning in March 2020, which is now being extended for March 2021 following federal approval.

Library Presentation To Highlight Pack Horse Librarian Recipes

A Bite of History: Pack Horse Librarian Recipes will feature Librarian and food aficionado Neal Parr. He'll demonstrate and dive into authentic Appalachian recipes gathered from scrapbooks that the Pack Horse Librarians provided to the people of the Appalachian Mountains.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

MHSAA Calls Theis Transgender Bill "Unnecessary"

The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) says legislation that State Senator Lana Theis contends will protect female athletes, is not only unnecessary but could prove to be an impediment to girls in sports.

Genoa Board Denies Pay Raise To Clerk

Genoa Twp. Polly Skolarus will be arraigned on May 7th on a single charge of Election Law - Failure to Perform Duty. The charge was authorized by the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office following an investigation by Michigan State Police.

Howell Man Charged In School Bus Hit & Run

39-year-old Sean Purcell was charged with one count of failure to stop after a collision and one count of operating while intoxicated after the February 19th incident involving a Livingston Educational Service Agency school bus.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Longtime Unadilla Fire Chief Passes Away

Former Unadilla Township Fire Chief Mark Schroeder recently died after a two-year illness. The 57-year-old Schroeder was Unadilla’s Fire Chief from 2001 until he retired in February of 2020.

Slotkin Talks Stimulus In Town Hall

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin shared thoughts on the $1.9-trillion American Rescue Plan and how it can benefit Livingston County residents and business owners.

AG Won't Investigate Whitmer's Nursing Home Policies

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel responded to a letter from eight Republican state senators, including Lana Theis of Brighton Township, regarding the governor’s COVID-19 processes and policies for nursing homes.

Monday, March 15, 2021

School Officials "Plead" With Community To Take COVID Seriously

A rising case count of confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 is forcing one local school to return to all-remote learning this week, while superintendents are reminding their communities that mitigation strategies like mask-wearing and social distancing are still important if they want to keep schools fully open, including athletics.

Contracts Awarded For BAS Bond Projects

The projects in phase II of the bond issue pertain to the new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) building to be constructed as an addition to the high school, mechanical and technology improvements.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Rep. Bezotte Sets Online Office Hours

State Representative will be joined by the chair of the House Oversight Committee duing his next office hours event, to be held March 19th from 4pm to 5pm over Zoom.

Mentor Livingston To Host Raffle Fundraiser

The organization typically hosts a big bowling event but that’s not possible due to the pandemic so an upcoming raffle will help support kids receiving mentoring services throughout Livingston County.

Friday, March 12, 2021

United Way Honors Local Volunteers During Ceremony

Held online this year due to pandemic restrictions, the event was hosted by outgoing Board President Brian Jonckheere, while Livingston County United Way Director Anne Rennie presented the 2020 Volunteer of the year awards.

Citing "Prosecutorial Misconduct", Judge Vacates Rape Verdict

Livingston County Judge Michael Hatty ordered a new trial for 22-year-old Zachary Lally of Green Oak Township, who was charged with a 2018 rape. Hatty ruled that an assistant prosecutor had not only made false statements during closing arguments but also “improperly influenced” a detective’s testimony.

New Medicare Scam Making The Rounds

Brighton City Police Chief Rob Bradford cautions residents that scammers posing as Medicare employees are telling residents they are eligible for free equipment and testing in an attempt to get their Medicare number.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

State Civil Rights Team Visits Hartland High School

Allegations by a student of color that she was racially harassed on an ongoing basis and that staff members "did nothing” prompted today's visit by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights Community Engagement Team.

Theis Bill Targets Transgender Athletes

The bill by Republican State Senator Lana Theis would require Michigan schools to only permit students of the same assigned biological sex to compete against one another in school-sanctioned gender-specific athletics. Opponents maintain it is unconstitutional and discriminates against transgender high school athletes.

Whitmer Marks COVID Anniversary As Funding Impasse Continues

Governor Gretchen Whitmer hosted a press conference to commemorate the anniversary, saying they’ll continue following science and data as they make decisions on further engagements. However, that approach has led to an impasse with the GOP-led Legislature.

BHS Choir Invited To Carnegie Hall

The Brighton High School Choir received the prestigious invitation, but BHS Choir Director Phil Johnson said a decision has not been made to accept the invitation since the COVID-19 pandemic is still afflicting thousands of families in places like New York.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Student's Death Prompts Youth Mental Health Fundraiser

18-year-old Shaun Happy, a senior at Chelsea High School, was killed Saturday night on westbound I-94 near Sargent Road in Leoni Township. His mother Shannon posted online that her son suffered from “anxiety and depression for the past year and a half."

Bollin-Led Election Reform Measures Pass House

Republican State Representative Ann Bollin of Brighton Township, who chairs the House Elections and Ethics Committee, says the bills are aimed at cleaning up the state's voting rolls, while Democrats argue it addresses "a problem that does not exist" and will limit voter access.

County Continues Vaccinations While Supply Remains Low

The county is receiving a base allocation of 1,400 doses per shipment, but Livingston County Board Chair Wes Nakagiri alleges data suggests Livingston County is still being shorted vaccines within the Social Vulnerability Index.

Gun Charge Levied Against Man Who Threatened Slotkin & Stabenow

62-year-old Daniel Thompson was charged last month with making phone threats against 8th District Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin and U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow. On Friday he was arraigned on a charge of brandishing a weapon and ordered to turn over his weapons as a condition of bond.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Hartland School Board, Community Members Address Racist Incidents

HCS Superintendent Chuck Hughes addressed the Tatayana Vanderlaan incident, saying that some students involved will be put on an educational plan because of behaviors they’ve displayed, with some going into the disciplinary process. He also said they need to realize "that something went wrong and how can we make sure that we address that as a community, as a school district."

Community Connect "Reimagined" As Drive-Thru Event

Community Connect on the Go - 2021 will held on Saturday, April 17th from 1pm – 4 pm at the 2|42 Community Church located in Genoa Township. The event, which organizers say will be held rain or shine, is focused on providing Livingston County residents with basic needs.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Builder Enters Plea Deal In Fraud Case

32-year-old Robert McTavish Jr. of Northville was charged last year with one count of fraudulent use of a building contract fund. In court on Friday, he entered a conditional no contest plea to the charge. He will be sentenced on April 1st, and could face up to three years in prison.

COVID Variant Detected In Livingston County

The Livingston County Health Department reports that it has identified the first case of the COVID-19 variant B117. While public exposures are not normally a concern, they have issued an alert in this instance because the B117 variant is more easily transmitted and could lead to more cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Diversity Council Responds To Hartland High School Incident

Representatives from the Livingston County Diversity Council and Livingston County school districts took the first step Friday towards responding to alleged racial threats revealed last week at Hartland High School and viewed as part of a larger pattern.

Salem Twp. Man Killed In Lyon Township Crash

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office reports that a 24-year-old resident of Salem Township was killed when he lost control of his car on Nine Mile Road near Currie Road at about 5:45 Sunday afternoon.

United Way Spirit Breakfast Goes Virtual

While the Livingston County United Way “Spirit of the Community” Breakfast will be online this year, Livingston County Drain Commissioner Brian Jonckheere, who is also the United Way Board President, will return as host.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

BAS To Have Limited Schools Of Choice For Fall Term

For the first semester of the 2021-22 term, Brighton will offer unlimited Schools of Choice in pre-kindergarten through 1st grade, and 5th through 11th grades. However, the district will offer limited Schools of Choice programs in 2nd through 4th grades and the 12th grade, as space permits.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Drivers Advised To Use Caution On Gravel Roads

The Road Commission for Oakland County says weather over the past few weeks, ranging from snow, rain, frigid temperatures and the current warmer conditions, is causing some very rough conditions on gravel roads.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Family Fun Day Event Celebrates Early Childhood

The Livingston Early Literacy Collaborative's “Family Fun Day: Celebrate Early Childhood” is designed to show families how fun and easy it is to teach simple early literacy skills that can be done at home or on-the-go.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Five Brighton-Area Women Chosen For Roll Of Honor

In conjunction with Women’s History Month during March, the Brighton Area Women’s History Roll of Honor Advisory Council announced their 2021 Honorees: Kathleen M. Barden; Therese K. Cremonte, P.E.M; Ellen Lafferty; Colleen Tokai Monroe; and Rhonda R. Trask.

Work Progressing At New Oceola Community Center

The Center will feature an indoor walking track, fitness rooms with treadmills and exercise equipment, locker rooms with showers, and three full sized courts that can be used for basketball, volleyball or pickleball. It will also serve as the new home of the Howell Senior Center.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Theis Calls Former Director's Separation Agreement "Unacceptable"

State Senator Lana Theis posted the comment on social media Monday night following the revelation that Robert Gordon, the former director of the Michigan Department of Public Health and Human Services, will receive more than $155,000 as part of a separation agreement. Deputy Director Sarah Esty also reached a similar deal, sparking further criticism.

17th Annual Livingston Reads Gets Underway

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson is this year's Livingston Reads book supported through special online events at all 6 county libraries through April.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Ex-Judge Agrees To Disbarment

The state's Attorney Discipline Board has issued an Order of Disbarment effective March 18th against disgraced ex-Livingston County District Court Judge Theresa Brennan.