Representatives Respond to DeVos Confirmation

Local Representatives respond to DeVos confirmation. Rep Huizenga congratulated Devos, saying, “Betsy will work tirelessly and fight to ensure that every child in America, no matter their zip code, has access to a quality education.”

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said, “Secretary DeVos will be an excellent Secretary of Education, fixing our schools and at the same time providing children and families choices to find the school that fits their needs.”

Debbie Stabenow feels differently, saying, “I’ve heard from an overwhelming number of Michigan families who have shared their strong concerns about her long record of pushing policies that have seriously undermined public education in Michigan and failed our children. That is why I joined with half of my Senate colleagues, including two Republicans, to oppose her nomination.”

Senator Gary Peters also said,  “I voted no on Devos because our students need an experienced champion to lead our public schools. I will keep fighting for Michigan students and families, who deserve strong neighborhood public schools.”

The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts has new director


The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts announces its new Executive Director, Xavier Verna. Verna previously served as Director of Education for the Sphinx Organization in Detroit, a national arts organizations focused on youth and professional development through diversity in the arts. Verna received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater & Dance. He has worked in various schools in cities such as Ann Arbor, Toledo, and Alexandria, VA, as a private teacher and as a band and drumline director. Anyone interested in meeting The Ramsdell's new Director is invited to an open house at the Ramsdell in Hardy Hall on February 23rd between 5:30 and 7:30 pm.

Disability network Seeks new Director

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The current Executive Director of Disability Network West Michigan, Tamera Collier has accepted a new opportunity downstate.  Collier spearheaded the development of Disability Network services like the employment navigation program and the youth transition program. Tracy Knight will be acting as the interim director. Knight has served on the board of directors for more than two years and most recently, joined the team as the employment navigation guide. The search has begun for the new executive director, who will implement the organization’s strategy set by the board of directors, ensure that programs and services align with the mission of the organization and be a strong advocate for people living with disabilities.

Sargent Sands permit renewed

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The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has come to a determination on the Sergeants Sand mining permit. It has been renewed through 2021. Although the mining permit has been renewed, during the review process the DEQ determined that Sargent Sands will need an additional permit. In order to continue the mining operation, they will need to apply for an Inland Lakes and Streams permit due to lake expansion project. The DEQ’s Water Resource Division will be responsible for reviewing the Sargent Sands water permit.

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