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Ludington Police Department grows

The Ludington Police Department recently hired two new police officers and two new Beach Patrol members. Officer Mikki Narowitz of Muskegon is the new full-time officer. Ofc. Narowitz graduated and received law enforcement certification from Lake Superior State University. Officer Jerad Versluis is the new seasonal officer. Ofc. Versluis came from the Grand Rapids area and graduated from the Grand Rapids Community College Police Academy prior to joining L.P.D. Both officers are currently in the Field Training process.

Beach Patrol additions include Austin Morris and Kyle Gracia. Beach Patrol members are not sworn police officers and are tasked with being the eyes and ears of L.P.D. at Stearns Beach and Park. They monitor the beach and swim area, the breakwaters, picnic areas, concessions stands and the parking in the park and boat ramp areas.

Vanderwall pleased with 2018 School budget

The state's 2018 Fiscal Year public school budget passed the house this week. Representative Curt Vanderwall shared his excitement about the new budget. “I'm extremely excited that in the budget we just passed yesterday, two times funding came back and it's an increase over last year. We also for the year saw $25 extra for each high school student. Along with that, they've restructured the at-risk funding, which really helps our district. Looking earlier in the year, [we were facing] some pretty serious cuts there and now that's been restored. So, I'm really excited about what it's going to do to our districts”

stearns park

The budget also directs funding towards the Natural Resource Trust Fund to be spent towards three projects. The projects include development of a kayak and canoe launch on Portage Lake in Onekama Township, acquisition of May Buell Park, and development of the Stearns Beach Recreation Area Water Trailhead.

Langland Park to be dedicated

PortageLake4 650 2016

Photo Courtesy of Lighthouse Friends

Steve DeBrabander, head of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources section that manages the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, will join Onekama area residents in dedicating new facilities at Langland Park. The Trust Fund has enabled development of public lands for outdoor recreation benefiting all 83 Michigan Counties.  The Trust Fund grant to Onekama Township to improve facilities at Langland Park is one of several made in the region to support Explore the Shores, a program started in 2008 to enable people of all ages, needs and abilities to access and enjoy Manistee County’s water.  The program is being expanded to Benzie County. Langland Park is located at the end of Portage Point Drive off of M-22.  Everyone is welcome to attend the dedication on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at noon.

Dr. Urban steps down

The West Shore Community College Board of Trustees and Dr. Kenneth Urban announced during yesterdays trustee meeting that due to differences in leadership vision for the College, they have mutually agreed for Dr. Urban to leave the institution.

Urban

Dr. Urban’s resignation is effective immediately. According to Thom Hawley, The Board has not determined when or how they will move forward in the search for a new president.  Chairman Bruce Smith concluded yesterdays meeting by thanking the board for their work and calling for unity, “We have an opportunity to move forward and I would encourage all of us to put our heads together and work hard to get us to that place.” Vice President Scott Ward will take over as the interim president of West Shore Community College. Ward previously served as interim president during the 2014-15 academic year.

The meeting continued with budget negotiations. The educational support staff agreed to eliminate the Separation Recognition Program. This will result in a benefit of $77,000 immediately for the college. This agreement happened at this time due to the lack of raises that were expected for staff and administration of West Shore for the next 3 years.  As an alternative to the previous agreement with the Separation Recognition Program, Staff agreed to accept a 3 years of 1% raises and an increase in vision and dental benefits. A budget amendment was also presented to the board of trustees yesterday, transferring money back into the reserve from which they had previously withdrawn. Ward was commended on the work done to the budget, but he warned that though it looks good financially, it's not sustainable long term. The meeting concluded with the appointment of Mr. Ennis and Mr. Smith as representatives to the MCCA board of directors.

Wittlieff arraigned on Meth lab charge

On June 14, 2017 Peter Jedadiah Wittlieff, of Manistee was arraigned in Manistee on one count of Maintaining a Meth Lab and one count of Possession of Methamphetamine.  In September of 2016, members of the Manistee City Police Department responded to a medical emergency in the 100 block of 12th Street. On scene officers observed items used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. SSCENT detectives executed a search warrant at the home and several items used in the production of methamphetamine were located. Wittlieff was originally arrested on May 28, 2017. He posted a cash bond of $2,500.00 at that time. The most serious charge is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a $25,000.00 fine.

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