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Tag Archive | "State of Michigan"

Wolverine Worldwide takes next step to address PFAS contamination

Consent Decree formalizes tentative agreement reached in December; public forum to be held at Rockford High School on February 10.

This photo taken in June 2018 shows foam on the Rogue River that contained PFAS. A health advisory was then put out telling people to avoid it and to not swallow it.

Wolverine Worldwide announced this week it has entered into a Consent Decree with the State of Michigan, Plainfield Charter Township, and Algoma Township, which formalizes the tentative agreement previously announced by the parties in December.

This Consent Decree includes several steps Wolverine is taking to ensure long-term water quality and continued environmental remediation in and around its hometown, including providing $69.5 million toward the extension of municipal water to more than 1,000 area properties.

 “We are pleased to reach a Consent Decree and move forward with our efforts on behalf of the community,” said Blake W. Krueger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Wolverine Worldwide. “We have said from the beginning we are committed to being part of comprehensive water quality solutions for our friends, families, and neighbors, and this agreement provides the right framework for that to occur.”

Wolverine’s Comprehensive Action Plan

Wolverine outlined a comprehensive action plan in December, which builds on its efforts already undertaken.  This plan is described fully in the Consent Decree, which is available at www.WeAreWolverine.com, and includes Wolverine providing $69.5 million over a multi-year period towards the extension of Plainfield Township’s municipal water system to more than 1,000 properties in Algoma and Plainfield Townships, including all hookup and connection fees that homeowners typically pay on their own.

In addition to funding an extension of municipal water, Wolverine’s plan includes continued maintenance of the filters it has installed for certain homeowners, and resampling certain residential wells for PFAS. Under the Consent Decree, Wolverine will also continue its environmental remediation efforts, including the cleanup and groundwater filtration system already underway at its former tannery site, a feasibility study at its House Street site, and investigations to further assess the presence of PFAS in groundwater.

Public comment period

Wolverine joined the other parties in proposing a period for the public to comment on the Consent Decree before it is submitted to U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff for approval. Comments can be submitted by e-mail to AG-WolverineCD@michigan.gov, or in person at a public forum to be held by the State from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, February 10, at Rockford High School.

Wolverine’s Next Steps

Over the coming months, Wolverine said they will continue to work on behalf of its friends, families, and neighbors in the community, while collaborating with regulators on next steps. During that work, additional information will be posted on the Company’s blog, www.WeAreWolverine.com.

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On November 1, 2018, there was great sadness and anguish on earth, while in heaven there was a joyous homecoming as Cindy George was greeted by family and friends as she received her angel wings and entered into her eternal glory at the foot stool of her heavenly Father. For those of us left behind, there is great sadness as we say farewell to our friend and sister, but we are conforted in the knowledge that she suffers no more and has been warmly received in heaven. Cindy was born on January 31, 1957 to Eugene (Red) and June George in Bedford, Indiana. She was born with flaming red hair, just like her Daddy whom she never knew as he passed away shortly after her 1st birthday. Cindy graduated from Cedar Springs High School where she was a star basketball player. She attended Grand Rapids Community College and Western Michigan University where she continued to exhibit her basketball prowess. Cindy had a lifelong love of softball as well, have played on the Metro Merchants softball team and was an avid golfer. In 2017, Cindy retired from the State of Michigan after a career spanning over 30 years with the Department of Corrections and Family Services. Her long-anticipated retirement plans were upended when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Cindy was a fighter and fought the good fight to the very end. Cindy was a blessing to all of us fortunate enough to call her our friend. She displayed rare courage and grace in her fight against her insidious disease and as a champion for LBGT rights. She defended those least able to defend themselves and was a special blessing to her niece with special needs, Alyssa Knapp. Cindy is sadly missed by her siblings, Mark (Robin) Lester, Pam (Doug) Middleton, Joe (Maria) Lester, Ruth (Jeff) Scott, and Kathryn (Chuck) Gladen; stepfather, Ron Baron; plus many nieces and nephews. She leaves behind special friends, Lorie Norden, Connie Berles, Dorothe Rhodes, Norma Colborn, Sally Grayvold, Lucretia Gomez, and all her friends at Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church. Cindy will be sorely missed by her best buddy, Toby, her Boston Terrier. She was preceded in death by her mother and father, June Baron and Eugene George; stepfather Jack Lester, and special niece Autumn Neyome. There will be a memorial for Cindy on Sunday, November 11th at 2 p.m at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 3950 Leonard St., Walker, MI. In lieu of flowers the family asks that you consider donating to the following charities in Cindy’s memory: Pancreatic Cancer Network at 1500 Rosecrans Ave., Ste. 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 or online at www.pancan.org; 5P-Society at P.O. Box 268, Lakewood, CA 90714 or online at www.fivepminus.org; Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church, P.O. Box 68852, Grand Rapids, MI 49516.

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Going Green At Red Hawk Elementary


Since 2010, Red Hawk Elementary has been yearly awarded the Green School Environmental Stewardship Award issued by the KISD. This is based on Michigan legislation that encourages schools to participate in environmentally-focused activities. In order to be certified as a Green School, staff and students at Red Hawk had to qualify in areas of recycling, energy saving, environmental learning, and ecological activities. A school is eligible to receive a Green School, Emerald School, or Evergreen School Designation if the school or students perform a required number of activities. In March of 2017, Red Hawk staff and students exceeded expectations by qualifying for the more prestigious Emerald School Award bestowed by the State of Michigan and the KISD.  We are proud to be Red Hawks!

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Pilot program could save court time, reduce jail overcrowding


The Kent County Board of Commissioners accepted $33,730 from the State of Michigan last week to fund a pilot program to determine if earlier involvement by court-appointed attorneys will help speed cases through the system, and enhance their services.

Funded by the Michigan Supreme Court State Court Administrative Office (SCAO), the grant funding will be used by the 63rd District Court to increase the use of court appointed attorneys for “indigent” (low income) misdemeanor defendants at their first court appearance or bond hearing. The Court hopes the program will reduce the number of court appearances necessary in misdemeanor cases.

“Currently, the Court provides court appointed counsel to indigent misdemeanor defendants only after the first pre-trial conference,” said Kevin McKay, 63rd District Court Administrator. “The opportunity to meet with a Public Defender before arraignments or bond hearings could help eliminate additional hearings, which would save staff time and taxpayer money.”

Currently, the Court is working with the Kent County Office of the Defender, the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office and the Kent County Office of the Sheriff, with a goal of starting the program by March 1, 2014. Some of the grant funds will be used to have an attorney available for an additional one-half day per week for weekly misdemeanor arraignments at the Court, as well as providing counsel for eligible indigent defendants being arraigned by video on any day of the week.

The pilot funding expires on September 30, 2014, at which time the Court will evaluate the program.

Evaluation will include tracking the time these misdemeanor cases take to move through the system before and after the pilot, and the number of pleas that are completed at first arraignment, as well as the point when defendants first meet with court-appointed counsel.

“We’re appreciative that the SCAO selected 63rd District Court to pilot this program,” McKay added.

“As one of the busiest two-judge district courts in the state, we are always looking for ways to be more efficient.”

If the pilot is successful, the Court will evaluate if the program can be continued within its operating budget and/or identify and apply for additional grant funding.

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