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Police ask for public assistance in identifying robbery suspect

The Mason County Sheriff’s Office is seeking assistance in identifying a person of interest in several breaking and entering around Mason County during Monday night  and early morning Tuesday.

The individual is described as a white male with several tattoos on his arms. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Shayne Eskew at the Mason County Sheriff’s Office (231)843-3475 or Silent Observer at 1-888-786-7274.  

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Ludington City Council reviews summer and prepares for autumn

The Ludington City council met last night. The council approved of details regarding the upcoming events of Oktoberfest, and Turkey trot. A bike race to raise money for trail building and grooming was discussed. Questions were raised regarding which trail would be used and what the level of difficulty is for the bike trail. Applause followed a presentation by the young business professionals of america of LHS regarding their success from this year's Movies in the Park. Young Business professionals highlighted the ways in which enhancements to Rotary Park improved the Movies in the Park events. Two ordinances were brought to the council for renewal regarding the use of ORVs and golf carts on roadways after no incidents occurred throughout the last year. Councilman Dick Rathsack raised concerns regarding the safety of pedestrians with additional vehicles on the roads. Standard business items were bookended with comments from Tom Rotta at the beginning and end regarding both his concerns with past environmental safety violations as well as comments about the recent investigations into his website. The meeting concluded with Councilman Michael Krauch addressing the investigation by saying, “You are welcome to criticize my job performance, call me names, or compliment me, you are not welcome to incite others, you are not welcome to threaten me on a website and it is shameful that the editor of that website also happens to be running for city council.”

 

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Comments flicker The Torch

The first Amendment gives Americans the right of free speech;  but you can’t yell “Fire” in a theatre.  In an unprecedented conference yesterday, at the Ludington Police Department, Chief Mark Barnett revealed results from an investigation of the local website known as The Torch.  Editor and founder Tom Rotta was accused of allowing threatening posts regarding city manager John Shay and alderman Mike Krauch. Both Shay and Krauch felt threatened by the postings on the website, concerned that even if the person making the comments did not act, that another might be incited to violence against them or their families.  Complaints to the Ludington Police Department led to the investigation.  The screen names of two posters were revealed as Ed Thompson and John Chippi.  Councilor Krauch accepted an apology on the phone from Mr. Chippi. Chippi also went onto the torch to apologize again, saying “Please watch your words, the written word does not come with a face gesture or tip of intent like a spoken word does. Again I am sorry.” Thompson refused to be at the meeting or be on conference call, but later responded to Chippi’s apology, saying, “the fact of the matter is, sometimes anyone on a talk forum can get a little carried away with simple frustration and grief about our local officials in the way they run things around here nowadays. In my case, I would also like to apologize for similar posts I made, due to bad past experiences with Shay on numerous occasions the last 10 years+.” The prosecuting attorney has declined to file any charges.   Rotta was asked by Chief Barnett if he would make modifications to his website and policies after this matter.  He said his website is protected by first amendment speech and called the investigation a “witch hunt”.   City Manager Shay blurted out "You're a liar" and “You’re Despicable” to Rotta.  The meeting concluded with discussions of what constitutes a physical threat and accusations of mental instability against Rotta. Observers say that the Ludington Police Chief maintained order by concluding the meeting before it escalated any further.

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