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Tag Archive | "MacGregor"

Drowned diver at dam a false alarm


Dozens of first responders help in search

Algoma Township rescue dive team officers search the waters of the Rogue River for a diver suspected of drowning after failing to surface for more than an hour. A visitor to the dam called 911 after suspecting the diver had run into trouble. Photo by B. Altena.

Algoma Township rescue dive team officers search the waters of the Rogue River for a diver suspected of drowning after failing to surface for more than an hour. A visitor to the dam called 911 after suspecting the diver had run into trouble. Photo by B. Altena.

By Beth Altena

 

Rockford Police and fire, Algoma Fire and Rescue with their inflatable rescue boat, the Kent County Sheriff Dive team, the Kent County Sheriff motorized emergency rescue boat and Rockford Ambulance were all on the scene Tuesday, July 9 for a possible drowning at the Rockford dam.

According to Rockford Police Chief Dave Jones, a visitor to the dam called 911 after observing that a scuba diver had been under the water without coming up for over an hour. They had seen the diver drop a snorkel on to the dam and then go back underwater.

With over a dozen first responders and more than half a dozen rescue vehicles on the scene, the Algoma Township dive team, attached to shore by ropes, searched the water without success. Kent County Sheriff Deputy and rescue diver Don Hamilton prepared his scuba gear and rescue equipment with the assistance of other officers.

Hamilton had begun a search of the water under the dam when the diver returned to the surface near where he had placed his snorkel over an hour before. Chief Jones said that he believed the man was not following safety practices for diving. Hamilton called the man’s behavior “very unsafe.”
A group of residents had gathered at the dam watching rescue efforts. The diver, upon coming out of the water, seemed unaware of the efforts made on his behalf. He stayed in the water for awhile, telling rescue officers he needed some time to “get his land legs back.”

Hamilton said the individual broke many safety rules of scuba diving and that he had personally seen the man in the water at 2 p.m. when Hamilton was driving downtown.

Hamilton said divers are required to dive within 100 feet of a flag so boaters are aware of their presence. “If you drag a flag above you, it makes it really easy for us to find you if we suspect a problem,” he explained. Hamilton said rescuers and observers at the dam noticed no air bubbles indicating a diver’s breathing. “That’s what really made me believe this was a very bad situation,” he stated. However, after talking with the diver, he explained that the diver had been coming up for air, but under the dam spillway where he couldn’t be seen. He also was diving under the spillway while he was in the water so air bubbles were not visible. He noted that it is also very unsafe to dive alone and not an accepted practice.

Hamilton said the diver was not issued a ticket but received a severe talking to by authorities. He said the man seemed to think he had done nothing wrong. “This goes to the bill State Representative Pete MacGregor is trying to get passed where departments can recoup the cost of rescues when people are being stupid,” he said.

“Stupid is the best way to describe it, like kayaking in the river when there are record high levels of water.” Hamilton said he made several rescues during this spring’s flood, where people believed they were good enough kayakers to take on the flooded Grand River.

“You just never know what’s in the river in that kind of a situation,” Hamilton said. He also noted the Tuesday rescue is not the first where the outcome was lucky. In March 13, 1991 a boy fell into the Rogue River at the dam and was underwater for 37 minutes. The water was cold enough that it slowed his body function and when he was revived he suffered no permanent damage. “I just ran into that guy fishing in the river the other day,” Hamilton said.

 

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MacGregor gets Crime Fighter award


For leading crime prevention strategies

 

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Michigan, a statewide, non-profit, crime prevention organization led by more than 500 of Michigan’s police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors and crime survivors, honored State Representative Peter MacGregor (R-Rockford) with Fight Crime’s prestigious 2011 “Crime Fighter Award” during a presentation at the State Capitol late last month.

Kathy Pelleran, state director of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Michigan said, “We are pleased to convey the 2011 “Crime Fighter Award” to Representative MacGregor for his outstanding leadership for children, youth and families.”

Pelleran added, “In his role as the vice chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of Community Health Budget, Rep. MacGregor led the effort to ensure funding for voluntary home visiting, parent-education programs aimed to improve family functioning. Evidence-based home visiting programs are critical to help prevent children from being abused, neglected, and becoming delinquent. Law enforcement leaders know that such quality home visiting programs are one of the best tools to fight crime.”

In Michigan, in 2010, there were more than 32,000 substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect. Nationally, the best estimate of the real number of children abused or neglected each year is closer to three times the official figure, so the true number of Michigan children abused, neglected or even killed is likely to be much higher.

Kent County operates several home visiting programs that regularly work with first time parents to assess the health of the baby and mother, share information about parenting and the child’s health and development, and offer referrals to other community services.

First Steps offers the Welcome Home Baby program to all first-time parents and parents 25 and younger. There is no cost to families who choose to participate in the program. Another home visiting model, the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) provides intensive home-based services to first-time, low-income pregnant women for their babies prenatally through age 2. In addition to fostering healthier pregnancies, NFP also encourages self-sufficiency through planning for future pregnancies, continuing education, and securing employment.

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MacGregor takes polar plunge in red flannels


State Representative Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, wore his red flannel long johns last Thursday, February 23, when he participated in the first legislative polar plunge at the state Capitol in Lansing to benefit Special Olympics.

The event raised awareness and funds for Special Olympics of Michigan, raising more than $20,000 in its inaugural year.

Event organizers felt the 37-degree air temperature wasn’t cold enough and added ice to the water just before legislators took the plunge. We hope his red flannels helped keep him warm!

 

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MacGregor votes to remove his own retirement benefits


Bill to end legislator retirement health care heads to Gov. Snyder

State Rep. Peter MacGregor today voted in favor of a bill to eliminate retirement health care benefits for most Michigan legislators.
House Bill 4087 ends a retirement health-care program that covered former legislators after age 55. The bill eliminates benefits for most current members of the Legislature, including Rep. MacGregor, and all future lawmakers.
Any lawmaker not already vested in the program by Jan. 1, 2013 will be affected by the bill. They will receive no retirement health-care benefits from the state.
“We’ve asked Michigan residents to share in the sacrifice as we work to get our state back on track and we lawmakers needed to do our part as well,” said MacGregor, R-Rockford. “I’m proud to have voted to eliminate my own retirement health-care benefits. These benefits end upon leaving most jobs and serving in the Legislature should be no different.”
Additionally, the House has increased transparency this year by posting all legislative salaries and benefits online to view at www.house.mi.gov/asp.

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MacGregor joins House colleagues in 9/11 ceremony


Lawmaker attends with local first responder as guest

Cannon Twp. Fire Chief Jim Morris (left) and Rep. MacGregor (right) at 9/11 ceremony.

The Michigan House of Representatives hosted a ceremony last Thursday, September 8, honoring first responders and Michigan natives lost in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. State Rep. Peter MacGregor attended the event with Cannon Township Fire Chief Jim Morris.
“It was a privilege to have Chief Morris on the House floor with me today as we honored first responders and remembered the tragedy that struck our nation on Sept. 11, 2001,” said MacGregor, R-Rockford. “On the 10th anniversary of this attack on our nation, we must continue to remember those who gave their lives to protect us and who risk their lives for our safety and security every day.”
Following the presentation of the colors by a Michigan State Police Honor Guard, World Trade Center survivor Patrick Anderson gave the keynote address. Representatives of districts that lost residents in the attacks read the names of those victims.
The Michigan House plans to hold an annual event to honor first responders and the victims of 9/11.

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State rep meets with residents


73rd District Rep. Peter MacGregor shakes hands with City Councilor Pamela Conley. Looking on is Cedar Springs Board of Education President Joe Marckini and Carolyn Davis.

Newly elected State Representative Peter MacGregor met with area residents at Cedar Springs City Hall, on Friday, March 4.

According to Cedar Springs City Manager Christine Burns, there were a variety of comments on what Governor Snyder is doing with his new budget, including questions on school funding. MacGregor stood and talked and answered questions well past the time City Hall closed.

“I was very pleased with how it went,” commented Burns.

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MacGregor sworn in, receives committee assignments


State Rep. Peter MacGregor was sworn into office. Pictured here with the representative are sons Patrick and Matthew, wife Christine, and son John.

State Rep. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, was sworn into office at the Capitol Wednesday, January 12, at noon, officially taking his place as a member of the 96th state legislature, representing Michigan’s 73rd House District.
MacGregor, a former small business owner and local public official, was elected to the House seat in November. This will be his first term in the State House.
“I was very proud to take the oath of office today on behalf of the people of the 73rd district. The re-invention of Michigan isn’t going to be a quick fix but I look forward to being part of the solution and getting our state back on track,” MacGregor said.
Committee assignments were also distributed. MacGregor will sit on the Appropriations Committee, serving as chair of the State Police and Military and Veterans Affairs subcommittees and vice chair of the Community Health subcommittee. The representative has also been assigned to the DELEG (Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth) subcommittee.
“I’m honored to be asked to serve on appropriations. In these challenging economic times, it isn’t going to be an easy role but I look forward to right-sizing government and being part of the solution.  I am humbled to be asked, as a freshmen, to chair two subcommittees and to vice-chair Community Health, the largest department budget. I also look forward to serving on Labor and Economic Growth,” MacGregor said.
Joining MacGregor at today’s swearing in was his wife Christine and their sons, Patrick, John and Matthew.

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