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.

Help for student loans offered

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Michigan students will be offered loan delinquency counseling and financial education services by Inceptia, a division of National Student Loan program. Inceptia is a non-profit that works to help students with financial counselling and access to higher education. They will be partnering with the state of Michigan to provide a one-year loan delinquency pilot program to help people currently behind on repayment of loans. Those behind on student loans will work with a counselor to develop a repayment plan and be provided with financial education. To qualify, you must have federal student loans from a public or private non-profit Michigan higher education institution, currently be delinquent on their student loans, and agree to provide their credit score twice during the pilot period. The pilot runs from January 1, 2017, through January 1, 2018. To learn more about the program, borrowers can go to:

Neighbor to neighbor looks to 4th ward for next project

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Habitat for Humanity of Mason County is looking for the next Neighborhood Revitalization project area. Ludington's 4th ward has been selected as a focus for this years project. There will be a meeting to discuss requirements for homes to qualify for the Neighborhood revitalization project, and how the community can get involved. The community meeting will also allow Fourth Ward residents  to identify  what they would like to see in their neighborhood and what homes should be selected.The meeting will be Wednesday February 15th from 6- 7:30 at the Pere Marquette Early Childhood Center.

Vanderwall calls for transparency

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Representative Vanderwall introduced the Legislative Open Records Act Wednesday. This bipartisan legislation calls to make the governor and lieutenant governor subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and creates similar disclosure requirement for state representatives and senators. Representative Vanderwall explained his inspiration for the bill, “I’ve been under this since I‘ve started being a county commissioner. I didn’t understand  when I came here that we aren’t that open to folks. I really do believe this is a great opportunity to open up to our communities and let our constituents know that we are really doing a job for them and we are not afraid of what we do.”  The bill package does make accommodations for some records, such as letters to and from people in the district, human resources files, and ongoing legislative investigations or lawsuits.

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