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Secretary of State Ruth Johnson recognizes Veterans Day

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Secretary of State Ruth Johnson reminds residents that, in honor of Veterans Day, all Secretary of State offices will be closed Friday, Nov. 11. Given the great number of veterans who live here, Johnson talked about the ways the Michgian has worked to support returning veterans, including creating a veteran designation on driver’s licenses and state ID’s to connect Michigan residents with the benefits they have earned, advocating to extend a federal write-in ballot to state and local races to ensure veterans votes get counted, and waiving road tests for veterans with sufficient heavy truck experience in the military applying for a Commercial Driver License. Veterans can also call 800-MICH-VET (642-4838) to receive assistance over the phone. Secretary Johnson said, “This Veterans Day, take a moment to thank a vet for his or her service.”

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Manistee expands affordable early childhood education

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More three- and four-year old children will benefit from a quality preschool experience due to a new program for families.  Seventeen partial tuition scholarships were awarded through the collaborative Manistee County Preschool Scholarship Program.

"The research and evidence about the positive benefits of a quality preschool experience are overwhelming," said Patti Borucki, Manistee's Great Start Collaborative Coordinator.  "Through this new scholarship program, we are providing a growth and learning experience for Manistee County children - an experience that research shows will dramatically improve their odds of success in future years."

Preschools become eligible to receive scholarships for their families by entering into an agreement involving state licensure and a three-star rating in the Great Start to Quality Star Rating System.  A committee reviews applications from interested families and scores them according to predetermined criteria including financial need and other factors. Launch Manistee Program Coordinator Mary Ann Behm said “This new preschool scholarship fund is accelerating the pace of Launch Manistee toward achieving our early childhood goal -- that by 2020, all three- and four-year old children in Manistee County will have access to a range of options for quality preschool experiences regardless of ability to pay,".

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Ludington chooses Ferguson-Holman, Vanderwall, and Huizinga

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Last night saw close elections in not only the national race, but our very own local races. Ludington decided on Kaye Ferguson Holman as mayor, beating Cheri Stibitz-Rozell  by only 8 votes.  Gary Castonia garnered a respectable 741 votes in his bid for mayor.

Les Johnson was able to retain his 3rd Ward City Council seat with a strong margin. Tom Rotta received 159 votes to Les Johnson's 406.

Brandy Henderson is the new councilor at larger.  She wins with 1899 votes to Dave Buskirk’s 1222.

Ludington's Curt VanderWall defeated Democrat Dan Scripps in the race for the 101st District State House of Representatives seat receiving 24,642 votes to Scripps 20,531 votes.

Bill Huizenga defended his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving Michigan's 2nd District, against Dennis Murphy. Bill Huizenga received 6,617 votes to Dennis Murphy’s 3,41. Jack Bergman took the 1st District U.S. House seat with 2,258 votes to Lon Johnson’s ,1,442.

The fire millage that would cover fire department costs for the Mason County Rural Fire Authority for the next year passed. The voting machine at Lakeview School malfunctioned.  This delayed final tabulations until 12:30 Wednesday morning.

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