Livingston County Area News Archive

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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

COVID Outbreak At Howell High School Tied To Off-Site Event

Every Monday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services updates school-related outbreaks. This week, nine new schools were added to the list, including Howell High School. 14 positive cases between both staff and students were listed.

Monday, August 30, 2021

LOC Federal Credit Union Enters Merger

LOC Federal Credit Union, which is headquartered in Farmington and has Livingston County branch locations, announced that it is merging with MemberFocus Community Credit Union headquartered in Dearborn.

Community Honors WWII Vet With Birthday Parade

Sunday evening, a motorcade consisting of over 50 vehicles went from Hawkins Elementary School at Lee and Rickett roads to the home of Clem Sperkoski - a highly decorated combat veteran who in a few days will celebrate his 99th birthday.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Cleanup Underway Of Brighton Mill Pond Fuel Spill

The incident occurred early Tuesday morning when approximately 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel spilled at Corrigan Oil’s facility on Second Street. While about a thousand gallons were contained on-site, it’s believed that approximately 200 gallons made it into the 2nd Street storm drain and from there into the Mill Pond.

Gathering Next Week Will Mark Overdose Awareness Day

International Overdose Awareness Day is set for this coming Tuesday, August 31st, with a special event planned at the Brighton Mill Pond from 6 to 9pm sponsored by the Amber Reineck House, which seeks to “acquire and staff a fully functional long-term recovery home for women in Livingston County.”

Friday, August 27, 2021

Bollin Calls For Removal Of UIA Director

Republican State Rep. Ann Bollin of Brighton Township on Thursday joined House Speaker Jason Wentworth in calling for the removal Estlund Olson, who was appointed as Unemployment Insurance Agency director 10 months ago by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Saturday Will Be Ozone Action Day

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy says that Saturday, August 28th is likely to have elevated levels of ozone across Southeast Michigan, including in Livingston County.

Local Doctor Appointed To Certificate Of Need Commission

Dr. Eric C. Ferguson, the president and CEO of Huron Valley Radiology, was appointed Thursday to the commission, which acts as a regulatory mechanism for establishing or expanding health care facilities and services in a given area.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

State's First EEE Case Confirmed In Livingston County Horse

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland confirmed that a two-year-old Standardbred filly from Livingston County tested positive for the viral disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes to both animals and people.

Masks Ordered For Hartland Elementary School

After several students tested positive for COVID-19 at Hartland’s Round Elementary school, Superintendent Chuck Hughes said that all students and staff at the school must wear a cloth mask over their nose and mouth while indoors. The mandate will run through Labor Day.

Vina Tailgate Tickets Now Available

The annual fundraiser that pits the generosity of the Wolverine and Spartan fan bases against each other returns to its regular in-person status, October 27.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Local Man Surprised With New Car From Gym Members

Members at Freedom Fitness and Martial Arts recently pooled money to purchase a vehicle for 26-year-old Caleb Ketchum, who is said to have overcome a number of life obstacles and has been working very hard lately.

Hartland Man To Be Sentenced In Whitmer Kidnap Plot

Ty Garbin of Hartland Township cooperated within weeks of being arrested, prompting prosecutors to recommend a nine-year prison term, a long stretch, but one they say would be even longer if he had not assisted investigators.

Funeral Services Set For Longtime County EMS Employee

Funeral services will take place this weekend for EMS Operations Supervisor Kim McEvoy. Visitation will be held Saturday from 10:30 to 11am, with a memorial mass to follow at 11am at St. Edith Catholic Church on Newburgh Road in Livonia.

BAS Board Rejects Mask Mandate

Just before midnight, the Brighton Area Schools Board of Education voted 4-3 to continue the protocol that makes masks optional rather than mandated in the district.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Trinity Health Applauds FDA Approval Of Pfizer Vaccine

Trinity Health, which operates St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital and St. Joseph Mercy Brighton Health Center, said "For those of us in the medical community, today's announcement sends a loud and clear message: The vaccine is safe and it works."

Monday, August 23, 2021

Bollin & Bezotte Wants Answers From UIA

State Representatives Ann Bollin and Bob Bezotte want the Unemployment Insurance Agency to answer why they waited 6 months to inform residents that their qualifications for benefits might not have been in compliance with federal law.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Bollin Says House-Passed Bills Protect Election Integrity

Republican State Representative Ann Bollin of Brighton Township has helped to advance legislation that seeks to enhance voting security measures, but that has also drawn criticism from Democrats who say it is a solution in search of a problem.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Expert Says County's Low Vaccination Rate Aids Variant Surge

Dr. Varsha Moudgal is the Chief Medical Officer for St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital and an infectious diseases expert. She says that the vaccination rate in Livingston County is only just above 50%, which has left the county vulnerable to the spread of the delta variant.

Mast Road Bridge Reopened

The Mast Road Bridge over the Huron River on the border of the City of Dexter and Webster Township has reopened following a lengthy preservation project.

Local Afghan Veteran Says Collapse Has Been "Gut-Wrenching"

Adam Smiddy of Howell, who served in the U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012, says the fears about what type of treatment the Afghani people, especially women, will face under the Taliban are absolutely justified, noting that the “Taliban are who they are."

Lansing Man Enters Plea To Livingston Bank Robbery

37-year-old Brian Dewayne Ali Jr. had been set to stand trial later this month in federal court for the bank robberies in Macomb, Oakland and Livingston counties between December of 2015 and April of 2016. However, Ali entered into a deal with prosecutors on Thursday.

Rabies Detected Locally In Bat

According to a release from the Livingston County Health Department, a rabid bat was collected from the backyard of a home in Green Oak Township.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Man Shot By Police Found Competent To Stand Trial

20-year-old Tristan Stavedahl was shot April 16th on Milett Road, north of North Burkhart Road by a Detective Trooper with the Livingston and Washtenaw Narcotics Enforcement Team (LAWNET) who was in the area searching for a car theft suspect.

Commissioners Reject State COVID Funding For 2022

A motion to accept more than $1.5 million in funding from the state to support the Livingston County Health Department's 2022 COVID-19 response failed on a 4-4 tie vote this morning by the Livingston County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee.

Update Delivered On Flooding In Hamburg Township

Supervisor Pat Hohl said they are keeping extensive record and will deliver an in-depth report at the end of October but cautioned the board that they’ll need to start looking at some things to address the Huron River and flooding.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Hartland Man Enters Plea In Beating Of Father

26-year-old Clay Garner had been charged with assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, aggravated domestic violence, and assaulting, resisting, or obstructing a police officer for the February 18th incident.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Melon Festival Rolls On Despite Controversy

In spite of the rancor in the weeks leading up to the Howell Melon Festival, community leaders were anxious to put that behind them and make sure that an event with a more than six-decade history would go on as planned.

Howell Man Sentenced For School Bus Crash

39-year-old Sean Purcell was charged after the February 19th incident in which he crashed his pickup truck into an empty Livingston Educational Service Agency school bus at the intersection of Challis Road and Conrad Road.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Huron River Flood Waters Inundate Homes Along Ore Lake

The National Weather Service Detroit/Pontiac Office reports that after cresting at 8.05 feet on Monday, the river’s level was at 7.99 feet as of 4:15 Tuesday morning, still nearly 1.5 feet above flood stage, which is 6.5 feet.

Arbitrator Rejects Brighton Teachers' Union Grievances

Arbitrators have issued two rulings denying grievances filed by the Brighton Education Association pertaining to COVID pandemic procedures in the Brighton Area Schools during the 2020-21 school year. The BEA represents about 325 Brighton teachers at the bargaining table.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Grand Rapids Man Enters Plea In Livingston County Police Chase

18-year-old Kquazay Vinson of Grand Rapids pleaded guilty as charged to three counts of resisting and obstructing police for the incident that began on January 13th of 2020, when he and a co-defendant broke into the Target store in Fenton and led police on a chase into Livingston County on US-23.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Village Of Pinckney Awarded Grant Funds For Street Work

Village President Rebecca Foster told WHMI they’re excited about the grant as it will cover part of the cost to chip-seal some village streets in need of maintenance and will allow them to move forward on a reconstruction project on North Howell Street, which is part of the core downtown.

The Hunt Is On To Find Michigan's Biggest Trees

The 15th Biennial Michigan Big Tree Hunt contest offers an opportunity for all age groups to track the vital historical living landmarks and bring people, nature, and trees together in a fun way to gather information about the state’s biggest trees.

Great Lakes Water Levels Below Record Highs

Even with a return to wetter conditions in late June and July, officials with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers expect Great Lakes water levels to remain below 2019 and 2020 levels - when many record highs were set across the lakes.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Public Hearing Held For Padnos Wetlands Permit

The public comment period is open for resident opinion on a permit that would allow Padnos Iron and Steel in Howell to fill in .85 acres of wetlands in exchange for buying wetlands bank credits.

Inmate Sentenced For Local Crime Found Dead In Prison

39-year-old Natasha Marie Roark was discovered by an officer at the Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility near Ypsilanti at about 12:45 Wednesday afternoon in the shower area of her housing unit. The apparent cause of death was suicide by hanging.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Storms Leave Thousands Without Power & Roadways Flooded

Approximately 20,000 DTE customers in the Livingston County area remain without power following heavy storms that moved across the area Wednesday afternoon. In addition, steady rainfall created several areas of flooding across the area, making many roadways impassable.

Masks "Strongly Recommended" At Howell City Hall

Despite what appeared to be Council support for a mask mandate at Howell City Hall, signage will be updated instead to follow current guidance from the CDC stating that masks are “strongly recommended” for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

Additional Charges Filed Against Members Of The Base

Last October, Justen Watkins was one of two men charged in connection to a December 2019 incident in Dexter in which a family was terrorized at their home after the men allegedly used intimidation tactics on the premises and posted messages to other members of the base targeting the home.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Drag Queen Bingo Director: Event "Grew Into A Monster"

Following Tuesday's announcement that the planned Drag Queen Bingo show was cancelled, Show Director Bradley Haas stated they appreciate the love and support of some community members but it was very unfortunate the event had become overly politicized, both by the far right and the far left.

Appeals Panel To Hear Arguments In Long-Delayed Kowalski Retrial

A September 14th hearing will be held in Lansing by the Michigan Court of Appeals on whether Dr. Richard Ofshe will be allowed to testify at the retrial of Jerome Kowalski, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2013 for the murders of his brother and sister-in-law in their Oceola Township home.

LESA To Distribute Backpacks & Supplies Thursday

Various community partners and businesses have been collecting donations throughout the summer and the goal is to again distribute 1,000 backpacks and supplies at no cost to students in preschool through 12th grade.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

FNBH & Bank of Ann Arbor Resume Merger

First National Bank in Howell had originally agreed to merge with Bank of Ann Arbor in February of 2020. But after the pandemic hit a month later, the plan was suspended. However, that ended Monday morning with an official announcement that the merger will again proceed.

Overdose Awareness Day Event To Help End Stigma

The Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Prevention Workgroup of the Human Service Collaborative Body has several ways residents can get involved to support people experiencing addiction and recovery.

Nominations Sought For Hartland Volunteer Of The Year

Nominations are being accepted through August 30th. The Hartland Living Volunteer of the Year committee will then select the top nominees to be made available for an online public vote that will take place between September 6th and the 20th.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Saturday, August 7, 2021

US-23 Ramp Closures Start Monday For Bridge Work

The Michigan Department of Transportation will close and detour the US-23 ramps at Silver Lake, North, and Torrey Roads to complete bridge repairs. Overnight closures on Silver Lake Road and North Road are also planned to accommodate US-23 bridge demolition.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Vet Fest Set Saturday At Fowlerville Fairgrounds

Livingston County veterans and their families can enjoy a day of camaraderie while learning about a wide variety of veteran-specific resources at a large event this weekend, including details on proposed legislation to benefit Vietnam War-era veterans.

Slotkin & Granholm Tour Holly Electronics Company

8th District Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, Thursday, hosted U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm for a tour of Magna Electronics. The visit was timed to coincide with the Biden Administration's announcement Thursday of getting 50% of all new vehicles to be electric by 2030.

Farm Fundraiser Artfully Helps Feed Families In Need

Organizers say that more than $32,000 was raised to help put healthy protein on the tables of Livingston County families. The sold-out community fundraiser, attended by 150 people, was held amid 45 acres of sunflowers at the Earl Farm.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Motion Seeks To Dismiss Chapel Lawsuit Against Genoa Twp.

Missouri-based Catholic Healthcare International (CHI) filed the lawsuit in June after the township rejected a plan to construct a 6,000-square-foot chapel on a 40-acre parcel, located on the west side of Chilson Road and south of Crooked Lake Road.

Masks Again Urged In High COVID Transmission Counties

With COVID transmission in Livingston County increasing over 94% in the last week, while the positivity rate nears 6%, health officials say people need to start wearing masks in indoor public settings, regardless of their vaccination status. Photo - AP/Ted Warren

MDHHS Issues Updated COVID-19 School Guidance

It's recommended that schools maintain at least three feet of physical distance between students within classrooms - combined with indoor mask wearing by students, teachers and staff, regardless of vaccination status.

Public Hearing Set On Wetland Permit For Industrial Shredder

While a public hearing has been scheduled on a state permit application for an industrial scrap metal shredder in Howell, a local group says residents need to know that the proposal will still allow the shredder to operate in the open air despite a previous agreement that the company would be "enclosing" it.

Carpet Depot Fundraiser Set Up

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family of Carpet Depot in Hamburg Township, which suffered a major fire, early Saturday.

LESA To Host "Stuff The Bus" Event This Friday

It’s part of the Livingston Educational Service Agency’s 20th annual Backpacks for Kids project that provides basic supplies and backpacks at no cost to students throughout the county whose families might be experiencing financial difficulties.

Free COVID-19 Vaccines Offered At Sunday Expo Event

The Livingston County Health Department will be offering free walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations at the Family Emergency Readiness Expo this Sunday from 11am to 3pm at Crystal Gardens Banquet Center in Genoa Township.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Howell Melon Festival Will Go On; Beer Tent Canceled

The Howell Area Parks & Recreation Authority said by eliminating the tent Saturday night, they’ll need to make other changes to festival – stressing it is about more than beer and politics but about supporting local businesses and local farmers.

Local Health Department Recommends Return To Masks

The Department recommends that all individuals wear masks in indoor public settings - regardless of vaccination status - after the COVID-19 transmission level in Livingston County was upgraded to substantial.

August 3rd Primary Election Results

City Council primaries for both Brighton and Howell were held while voters in Deerfield and Tyrone Townships helped pass school millages for Linden and Fenton.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Ruling Paves Way For Green Oak Man's New Trial On Rape Charges

On Monday the Michigan Court of Appeals denied a request by prosecutors to overturn a ruling granting a new trial for 22-year-old Zachary Lally, who was convicted in March of 2020 by a Livingston County jury on five felony counts, including first and second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Voters Casting Ballots Today In Council Primaries

In Howell, there are a total of eight candidates running for three open seats. The six top vote-getters will move on to the November general election. Meanwhile, in Brighton, nine candidates are seeking four open seats on City Council. The eight candidates with the most votes will move on to November.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Farmer: Melonfest Cancellation Will Devastate Bottom Line

Renay Gedeon of Gedeon Farms in Brighton says she wanted to cry when she heard the news that unless the Howell Area Parks & Recreation Authority agrees to close down the beer tent early on Saturday, August 14th, the city council will reject the civic events application and essentially cancel Melonfest.

Howell Company's QAnon Message Sparks Concerns

The acronym WWG1WGA, posted on the side of Diamond Chrome Plating’s facility on S. Michigan Avenue, stands for “Where We Go 1, We Go All” and is used prominently by supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Fire Destroys Carpet Depot In Hamburg

A fire was called in at 3:25 Saturday morning at the Carpet Depot warehouse and showroom at 5300 M-36, west of Chilson Road. Hamburg Township Fire Chief Nick Miller tells WHMI that upon arrival, firefighters found flames through the roof and windows of the structure.

Deerfield Crash Sends Two To Hospital

The Livingston County Sheriff's Office says that deputies were dispatched at 1:38 Saturday afternoon to a two-vehicle injury crash at the intersection of N. Latson Road and Faussett Road.

Renovations At Sheriff's Office Approved

Creative Construction Concepts out of Brighton has been selected to complete the project which will bring needed improvements for staff and customers of the Sheriff's Office.

Unemployment Overpayment Waivers Being Granted

Claimants who were asked to requalify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for eligibility reasons that were disqualified will not have to pay back potentially overpaid benefits from the federal government.