Local News Archives

LMC: On-Campus Security Always A Priority

With violent incidents now seeming to happen on a regular basis at college campuses around the U.S. you may be wondering if local institutions have taken steps to be prepared. Lake Michigan College President Dr. Bob Harrison tells WSJM News they have. At LMC, they’re constantly sensitive to security issues and how to respond.. ...Read Full Story

MI Panel Votes To Close Pensions To New Teachers

A legislative committee has voted to close the pension system to newly hired school employees in Michigan and instead provide them solely a 401(k) in retirement. The Republican-controlled Senate could pass the legislation later Wednesday and send it to the House. The bills would apply to school workers hired on or after July 1, 2017. Republicans say the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System is “unsustainable” and won’t be able to finance pension benefits because of a $26.7 billion unfunded liability. Since mid-2010, new hires have qualified for a “hybrid” plan, with a blending of a traditional pension and a 401(k). Older teachers receive a pension. Democrats say they’re unified against the measure. Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich says people “want more economic security, not less.”. ...Read Full Story

State Announces New Rules For Receiving Food Assistance

Michigan officials say able-bodied adults without dependents in four counties must meet work requirements to continue receiving food assistance after January 1. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday it’s notifying about 14,000 people in Kent, Oakland, Ottawa and Washtenaw counties this week of the change. Recipients ages 18-49 without disabilities that prevent them from working must spend an average of 20 hours per week each month in unsubsidized employment, job training, or volunteering at a nonprofit. The federal government waived work requirements in 2002 because of high unemployment, but lower joblessness means Michigan no longer is eligible for the waiver. The agency said it expects the waiver to be phased out statewide by October 2018. The four counties are going first because of low unemployment rates.. ...Read Full Story

Legislation Limits Fundraising License Plates

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation to limit the number of state-sponsored license plates used to raise money for groups and
causes. Wednesday’s signing came after legislation was approved Tuesday by the Senate and House to cap the number at 20, not including university plates. Michigan has 15 university plates and 14 specialty fundraising plates, not including military plates. The legislation also revises the startup fee that groups must pay Michigan to develop a new fundraising plate. The bill was sponsored by former Representative Peter Pettalia, a Republican from Presque Isle who was killed in a motorcycle crash in September. In a statement, Snyder says the bill reflects Pettalia’s “common-sense approach to creating new laws and policies.”. ...Read Full Story