M-25 public meeting scheduled in Tuscola County

For Immediate Release
May 21, 2012

Contact: Ryan Mitchell
517-373-1777

M-25 public meeting scheduled in Tuscola County

WHAT:                      An open house-style public meeting to provide information about M-25 road and bridge projects in Tuscola County, expected to begin  in 2013.

WHO:                         Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) staff
                                    Community representatives
                                    Interested residents

WHEN:                      Wednesday, June 13, 2012
                                    2 to 4 p.m.
                                    5 to 6 p.m.

WHERE:                   Wisner Township Hall
                                    7894 M-25 (Bay City-Forestville Road)
                                    Akron

                                    Special accommodations: 989-671-1535, ext. 306
                                                            
BACKGROUND:     This public meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to meet with MDOT staff and ask questions about plans for M-25 roadwork and bridge replacement projects over the Quanicassee River. Roadwork is expected to extend from the Tuscola/Bay county line to Bay Park Road and includes resurfacing, joint repairs, drainage and safety upgrades. Bridge work will be completed with traffic detoured.

MDOT is seeking public input to help recognize and address any concerns regarding this proposed work.
                                                             
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Don't Barrel Through Work Zones! – Drive Smart to Stay Alive.

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Sen. Green announces June 4 kick off of The Lone Wolverine Tour in Sandusky

For Immediate Release
May 24, 2012

Contact: Ryan Mitchell
517-373-1777

Sen. Green announces June 4 kick off of The Lone Wolverine Tour in Sandusky

LANSING, Mich. — For more than two-hundred years, the last known sighting of a wolverine in Michigan was commonly believed to be by fur traders around the turn of the 18th century. That all changed on February 24, 2004.

On that day, two coyote hunters, Ryan and Aaron Schenk, spotted a female wolverine in Huron County. For six years she graced the local area with her presence, living primarily in the Minden City State Game Area in Sanilac County until being found deceased in March 2010.

Forever preserved by Bay Port taxidermist Sandy Brown, the wolverine has been on permanent display at the Bay City State Recreation Area.

“I’m pleased to announce that we’re bringing her back to the Thumb for a final farewell,” announced Sen. Mike Green, R- Mayville, on Tuesday. “It has been in the works for more than a year, but finally she will arrive at Sandusky on June 4 as part of a new traveling exhibit.”

The exhibit will be unveiled at an opening ceremony on Monday, June 4th at 1 p.m. on the second floor of the Sanilac County Courthouse, 60 W. Sanilac Ave., Sandusky. The public will be able to view the display during the courthouse’s normal business hours until June 18, when she will be moved to Huron County for the second leg of her tour.

Local science teacher Jeff Ford will participate in the ceremony. He and freelance journalist Elizabeth Shaw recently released their book, The Lone Wolverine, which highlights his efforts to document, photograph and film the mysterious creature during her life in the Thumb.

"It's a fitting tribute to have the wolverine come back to where she called home for at least six years of her life,” said Ford. “The fact that she was able to live in relative secrecy all those years shows what an elusive mammal she was and is a testament to the extraordinarily bountiful and secure habitat the Minden Bog provided.”

Green explained that the idea for the traveling exhibit started with a phone call from Huron County Commissioner Clark Elftman in early 2011.

“Clark asked me if it would be possible for the display to travel to the area since that is where the wolverine was discovered and had lived,” explained Green. “I put in a request with the Department of Natural Resources Director Rodney Stokes to do just that and he graciously agreed.”

Sanilac County Drain Commissioner Greg Alexander got the ball rolling in Sandusky, putting Green’s office in touch with Ford and working with Administrator Kathy Dorman to obtain approval for the display from the county board.

“This is a great opportunity for kids and adults alike to get an up-close idea of the physical size and strength of this animal, which represents our state’s longstanding identity,” said Alexander. “It's something they just can't experience through textbooks.”

Dorman commented that the exhibit will arrive just in time for a regional conference of counties being hosted in Sandusky in June.

“We’ll proudly show her off to county leaders from around the state,” she said.

The project took several months to complete because the permanent display in Bay City was not suitable for protecting the wolverine mount from damage during travel. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) personnel have designed and constructed a custom mobile case and exhibit just for the tour. A digital presentation produced by Ford will also be playing adjacent to the exhibit and include actual video and photographs of the wolverine in the wild.

“We have enjoyed assembling the work of so many others to tell the story of the Thumb wolverine, and the science and history associated with this unusual species,” said Sandra Clark, director of the Michigan Historical Center. “We hope visitors will leave curious to learn more about the wolverine and proud of the people and natural resources that made this story possible.”

The display is a perfect field trip opportunity for youth groups, families, or schools still in session to develop children’s interest in Michigan’s natural resources and wildlife. Sportsmen may also enjoy getting a glimpse of a predator that once roamed the state.

“Many thanks to Commissioner Elftman, Sandra Clark and all the DNR staff as well as Jeff Ford, Greg Alexander, Kathy Dorman and the entire Sanilac Board who all made this a reality,” said Green. “It’s exciting, and I hope folks will all take time to see this rare Michigan icon from the Thumb.”

More information is available from Sen. Green’s office by calling (866) 305-2131.

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Editor’s note:  Attached photos are copyrighted by and courtesy of Jeff Ford and may not be utilized separate from this release without his express permission.

http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5144&District=31

Green welcomes retired Lt. Col. Lotter to state Capitol

For Immediate Release                                                                  
May 24, 2012          

Contact: Ryan Mitchell
517-373-1777
                                                                    

**PHOTO ADVISORY**

Green welcomes retired Lt. Col. Lotter to state Capitol

 

LANSING, Mich— Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, welcomes retired Lt. Col. Don Lotter, U.S. Army Reserves, to the Michigan Capitol Thursday. Col. Lotter, former post commander, American Legion Post 7 (2005-2011), took part in the ceremony at the Capitol in honor of Memorial Day.

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Editor’s note: For a print-quality version of this and other Green photos, click the image or visit SenatorMikeGreen.com and click the Photowire link.

Three state harbors to observe National Marina Day June 9

For Immediate Release
May 23, 2012

Contact: Ryan Mitchell
517-373-1777

 
Three state harbors to observe National Marina Day June 9
 
Three state harbors are planning special events on Saturday, June 9, as part of National Marina Day, which promotes the role marinas play as family-friendly gateways to boating and celebrates the marina personnel who act as stewards of the environment.
 
Copper Harbor State Harbor, at 14447 Highway M-26 in Copper Harbor (Keweenaw County), will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., when visitors can check out the amenities offered at the marina and tour the facilities. A guided hike scheduled for 1 p.m. will begin at the trailhead at the harbor and lead out to Hunter’s Point, a prime location to observe geological structures, birds, plants and animals. For details, call 906-289-4698.
 
Lexington State Harbor, at 7411 Huron Bay Blvd. in Lexington (Sanilac County), will observe National Marina Day with an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests can tour the harbor with its public park, playground and beach and enjoy refreshments. For details, call 810-359-5600.
 
Milliken State Park and Harbor, at 1900 Atwater St., in Detroit (Wayne County), will sponsor River Days Kids’ Fishing Fest from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The free event includes fishing along the Detroit River for all ages, as well as Fishing 101 instruction, prizes, food, face painting, arts and crafts, and a kids’ fun zone. Milliken State Park is the only Michigan state park that does not require a Recreation Passport for entry. For details, call 313-396-0217.
 
The Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking “YES” for the $10 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online at www.expresssos.com or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, non-motorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) at any state park or recreation area or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.
 
Learn more about this creative way of sustaining Michigan's outdoor recreation and natural resources at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport. For information on Passport Perks shopping discounts or how businesses and retailers can enroll in the program, visit www.michigan.gov/passportperks.

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DNR offers walleye fishing trip for women on Saginaw Bay

For Immediate Release
May 22, 2012

Contact: Ryan Mitchell
517-373-1777
 
DNR offers walleye fishing trip for women on Saginaw Bay

LANSING, Mich. —The Department of Natural Resources’ Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program will offer women an opportunity to experience Saginaw Bay walleye fishing on Saturday, June 2, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
 
All equipment will be provided for this half-day adventure with Captain Jeff Godi of the Michigan-X, Captain Tim Bristol of Fishheads Charters and Captain Dick Donavon of Adventure One. The boats – which each can take four participants – will depart from Linwood Beach Marina and Campground, located at 135 S. Linwood Beach Road in Linwood.
 
Each participant will need a valid fishing license and will be able to take up to five walleye. The cost is $125 per person and includes lunch and fish cleaning, which will be provided at the marina after fishing.
 
Becoming an Outdoors-Woman helps women learn about and enjoy hunting, fishing, backpacking, shooting sports, canoeing and many other outdoor recreation activities. BOW specializes in beginners, but also offers a variety of programs that support a mix of skill levels. BOW is a noncompetitive program, designed to let each individual learn and gain confidence at her own pace. The program emphasizes the enjoyment, fun and camaraderie of outdoor activities, while sharing in one another's success.

To learn more about the program and registration, visit the BOW website at www.michigan.gov/bow, email dnr-outdoors-woman@michigan.gov or call 517-241-2225.

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New federal veteran retraining initiative signed into law

For Immediate Release           
May 21, 2012
                                                                              
Contact: Ryan Mitchell
517-373-1777

New federal veteran retraining initiative signed into law

LANSING, Mich.—Last week, Congress took another step in reaffirming our nation’s commitment to our troops, past and present, through the creation of the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), announced state Sen. Mike Green.

The VRAP program is a part of the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act of 2011, recently passed by Congress and signed into law. The program offers up to 12 months of training assistance to unemployed veterans who are not eligible under other circumstances. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Labor are working together to roll out this new program on July 1, 2012.

“I applaud the United States Congress for taking a significant step toward providing all of our armed service veterans with support during this challenging economy,” said Green, R-Mayville. “VRAP will not only serve those who have served us by providing useful job training, it will focus that training on high-demand jobs in the private sector.”

VRAP offers up to 12 months of retraining assistance to veterans who meet the following minimum criteria:
•    Unemployed;
•    At least 35 but no more than 60 years old;
•    Have an other-than-dishonorable discharge;
•    Not eligible for any other VA education benefit programs (such as the Post‐9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, vocational rehabilitation and employment);
•    Not in receipt of VA compensation due to individual employability; and
•    Not enrolled in a federal or state job training program.
Veterans can apply for VRAP now for programs that begin on or after July 1, 2012. Participating veterans may receive up to 12 months of assistance equal to the full‐time Montgomery GI Bill with a current active duty rate of $1,473 per month. Assistance under this benefit program ends on March 31, 2014.

Programs must meet the following criteria to qualify for VRAP benefits:
•    Be offered by a community college or technical school;
•    Lead to an associate’s degree or certificate; and
•    Train the veteran for a high demand occupation.
In addition, unemployed veterans with a service‐connected disability may qualify for additional vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits.

“I am pleased that our elected leaders in Washington, D.C. can come together on behalf of our veterans by helping them achieve their employment goals,” Green said. “It’s the least we can do for folks who put their lives on the line for our freedom.”

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To obtain more information visit www.gibill.va.gov for more information about VRAP. Call
1-800-827-1000 to learn more information about the VOW to Hire Heroes act of 2011, or visit www.benefits.va.gov/vow.

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Personal property tax reform passes Senate

For Immediate Release                    
May 16, 2012    

Contact: Ryan Mitchell
517-373-1777

Personal property tax reform passes Senate

LANSING, Mich.– Legislation phasing out the personal property tax (PPT) on equipment and machinery owned by Michigan businesses has been approved by the state Senate.

“These bills begin the process of eliminating a tax that punishes job creators for investing in new equipment and expansion projects,” said Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville. “It’s a job-killer. Michigan is one of only two states in the Midwest that still rely on this tax. If we are to be competitive with the rest of the nation for jobs, the PPT has to go.”

The reform package, Senate Bills 1065-1072, provides immediate relief for the smallest businesses while also beginning the phase-out process for manufacturers.

The bills shield homeowners from property tax increases by providing 100% protection of voter-approved millages for bonded debt from a decline in revenue as the PPT comes to an end.  Local units of governments will also be eligible for reimbursement of other lost revenue.

Under the reforms, companies that own wind turbine infrastructure will still be required to pay the PPT.

“This legislation balances the need to create a pro-jobs and pro-growth atmosphere in our state with the importance of providing financial certainty to local governments,” explained Green. “I believe these reforms will fuel Michigan’s economic recovery, which will mean new and growing businesses, jobs for workers and eventual growth in local revenue.”

The eight-bill package would alter the personal property tax in the following ways:

• Effective Dec. 31, 2012 any commercial or industrial businesses that have personal property valued at $40,000 or less will not pay taxes and will not file a return. This would eliminate 75-80 percent of returns that currently need to be filed.

• Effective Dec. 31, 2015 all eligible industrial personal property bought after December 31, 2011 will not be taxable.

• Effective Dec. 31, 2015 any eligible personal property that is 10 years old will no longer be taxed. This will continue each year until all property is tax exempt.

SBs 1065-1072 now advance to the Michigan House of Representatives for further consideration.

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Sen. Green: Grain industry reform headed to Governor

For Immediate Release           
May 16, 2012
                                                                              
Contact: Ryan Green
517-373-1777

Sen. Green: Grain industry reform headed to Governor

LANSING, Mich.—Legislation reforming the Grain Dealers Act and the Farm Produce Insurance Fund Act is headed to the governor after being passed by both the House and Senate, announced Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, who sponsored the two-bill package.

“Agricultural industry practices have changed dramatically since these laws were first enacted and since last being updated,” Green said. “These bills modernize two public acts that are critical to the success of many farmers and agri-businesses in Michigan by ensuring that state law reflects current practices and provides substantial protection to farmers against losses beyond their control.”

Senate Bill 887 addresses the Grain Dealers Act, which established a licensing and inspection program for grain dealers who store agriculture commodities for producers. Covered commodities include corn, soybeans, dry beans, small grains and cereal grains.  

Under the measure, the cap on grain dealer license fees would be increased to a maximum of $1,000 to fund the inspection and licensing programs and to eliminate the need for dealers to purchase separate bailment bonds.

The companion bill, SB 888, updates the Farm Produce Insurance Fund Act of 1939, which set up a voluntary insurance fund for farmers who desire financial protection against losses incurred at these storage facilities. These losses may be due to grain dealer fraud, embezzlement or mismanagement. To account for increased values of crops, the bill utilizes the fee changes to strengthen producer security and to potentially increase the value of the indemnity fund by increasing the administrative fee allocation from $250,000 to $500,000.

“It’s a win-win change for producers and dealers alike,” said Green. “State government will better serve as an asset to the agriculture industry, while participating farmers – a cornerstone of our economy – will get substantially better value for the dollars they voluntarily invest in the insurance fund.”
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Agri-business, and Michigan Farm Bureau supported the legislation, as well as local grain dealers who requested the changes.

The bills now advance to Gov. Snyder for signature.

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Senate passes DEQ environmental leader regulatory reforms

For Immediate Release
May 16, 2012

Contact: Ryan Mitchell
517-373-1777

Senate passes DEQ environmental leader regulatory reforms

LANSING, Mich.—A Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regulatory reform package establishing the Clean Corporate Citizen (C3) program in state law passed the state Senate on Tuesday, said Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, one of the bill’s sponsors.

Senate Bills 939-942 allow the DEQ to designate corporations and businesses as “Environmental Leaders” if they meet certain criteria and participate in the voluntary C3 program. C3 is intended to encourage job providers to go above and beyond current state environmental requirements mandated by the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act.

“This program is a cooperative venture between state government and Michigan businesses,” said Green, sponsor of SB 942. “It signifies a real change in the culture of state government.  Instead of just enforcing more expensive and burdensome regulations, the DEQ will actually serve as an asset to corporate entities who desire to be good environmental stewards.”

Through the voluntary program, DEQ would bestow the leader designation upon enterprises that implement an environmental management system, adopt an environmental policy or pollution prevention plan, maintain a minimum three year history free of actions that have endangered public health, safety, or welfare, and submit annual reports on environmental compliance activities.

Companies who receive the designation will be subject to less frequent inspections and receive advance notification of inspections. Their employees will also receive free environmental training from the DEQ.  Additionally, environmental leaders will be eligible for increased length of permits, preference for bidding on state contracts, and protection against civil fines. The bills also provide for termination of the designation if the facility fails to maintain the standards.

SB 942 focuses specifically on the program as it applies to the Safe Drinking Water Act.

“Working with private enterprises to ensure Michigan residents can enjoy clean air, safe drinking water and an overall great quality of life is a paramount responsibility of state government,” “The bills in this package will help fulfill that responsibility, while reducing the regulatory burden on job creators, cutting the cost to taxpayers of operating the various permit programs, and freeing up DEQ resources to target bad environmental actors.”

The bills now advance to the Michigan House of Representatives for further consideration.

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US-23 and I-75 bridge work scheduled in Bay County

US-23 and I-75 bridge work scheduled in Bay County

COUNTY:                             Arenac

HIGHWAY:                          US-23 and I-75
                                                            
CLOSEST CITY:                 Sterling
                                    
STARTING DATE:             Monday, May 14, 2012                                  
                        
ESTIMATED
COMPLETION DATE:      Late August 2012

PROJECT: A $1.4 million bridge improvements project at three locations.Work includes resurfacing and bridge repairs on Sterling Road over I-75, the southbound I-75 ramp to the  
eastbound US-23 connector over I-75, and the eastbound US-23 connector over M-13.

TRAFFIC                                                      
RESTRICTIONS:               

Southbound I-75 ramp to the eastbound US-23 connector over I-75

Work begins Monday, May 14, with traffic detoured.

I-75 ramp traffic to US-23 will be rerouted to take Exit 190 to M-61, then M-13.

I-75 and US-23 will have single-lane and shoulder closures in effect.

Sterling Road over I-75

The Sterling Road bridge will not close until work on the southbound I-75 ramp to the eastbound US-23 connector over I-75 is completed.

A traffic detour will be in effect while the bridge is closed.

MDOT will release the schedule and the traffic detour in upcoming announcements.

US-23 connector over M-13

Work begins Monday, May 14.

Eastbound US-23 will have a single-lane and shoulder closure in effect.

CUSTOMER BENEFIT:     This work will increase safety by improving the overall condition of the bridges.

http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5092&District=31

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Don't Barrel Through Work Zones! – Drive Smart to Stay Alive.