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Sen. Peters Disapointed With Lack Of Funding For Flint In New Government Spending Bill

With the looming threat of another government shutdown, the U.S. Senate passed a government spending bill earlier today, which will keep them financed through December.

However, Michigan Senator Gary Peters spoke on the Senate Floor, regarding his disappointment in the bill's absence of funding for the city of Flint's recovery.

Senator Peters made it clear that he strongly supported the continued funding of the government and believed there were many good policies in the CR, but found it unacceptable that the bipartisan Flint–aid package was left out.

Peters also mentioned that the senate should strive to help all those in need...and to pick and choose is unacceptable.

"If the U.S. Congress is going to help people in need, we need to help everyone regardless of where they live. Americans are Americans regardless of the state, which they reside. Therefore I could not support a government-spending bill that will once again force the citizens of Flint to wait on the help that they so desperately need,” said Senator Peters.

Senator Peters went on to thank his colleagues for their ongoing support in fighting to deliver federal support for Flint families, and was happy with a bipartisan amendment made to the Water Resources Development Act.

Over the coming weeks the Senator says he will be working throughout both Chambers of Congress to ensure that promises made to the people of Flint are kept.

High Deer Risks On Roadways

According to a report from Michigan State Police, about 80% of all car–deer accidents take place on two–lane roads between dusk and dawn.

MSP Alpena Post is reminding motorists to remain alert for deer entering the roadway, especially during the upcoming weeks when the rut gets into full swing and hunters are setting out to actively pursue deer.

A vast majority of these accidents in Northern Michigan take place during the upcoming weeks.

Troopers encourage drivers to be extra cautious and on the lookout for deer while driving during low light conditions, because this is when deer are usually on the move.

The most serious crashes occur when motorists swerve to avoid a deer and hit something else.

According to the report, if there is a deer in the roadway, do not slam on the breaks and turn your wheel erratically to try and miss the deer.

Troopers say that instead, apply the brakes in a firm and steady manner while holding onto the steering wheel to bring your car to a controlled stop.

TBTA Pleased With Trolley Service

The Thunder Bay Transportation Authority met Thursday night to discuss the latest reports on their downtown trolley service.

TBTA Board President Greg Sundin is pleased with the ridership numbers from the first year service.

In July the routes for the trolleys were adjusted based on community feedback, and Sundin said that adjusting the routes again is not out of the question. But TBTA wants to avoid altering them too often, and hopefully a permanent route will soon take shape.

Profit numbers were also discussed at the meeting, and according to the figures TBTA stands to lose nearly $60,000 this year from the service.

According to Sundin, TBTA was not expecting to make a profit this year, but hopes to eventually see some growth in that aspect.

Thanks to state and federal reimbursements the actual profit loss figure is closer to $30,000, but overall Sundin is looking to continue offering the service for the community.

"We know we still have bugs to work out with the busses themselves, hopefully those can be taken care of over the winter, we get it started next year, and we get the right publicity out before – we think it will help. We think overall it has been, and will continue to be a positive for the community."

Sundin went on to say that one possibility to increase ridership would be to add trolley stops at downtown events such as the Brown Trout Festival.

County Split On Insurance Provider Bids

Yesterday the Alpena County Board of Commissioners met to discuss issues ranging from recycling to the counties insurance provider.

Steve Wilson from Alpena Agency and Steve Lappan from Lappan Agency both addressed the board in hopes of being selected as the counties insurance provider.

Both agencies submitted sealed bids earlier this year that were opened by the commissioners at the meeting.

The bid from Alpena Agency came in at $90,985, and Lappan Agency bid $90,659.

District #1 Commissioner Jeff Kowalski made a motion to accept the bid from Lappan Agency, however the motion did not pass as the board split with four votes in favor of the bid and four votes against.

District #4 Commissioner Lyle VanWormer then motioned to accept the bid from Alpena Agency, but the board remained split.

For District #8 Commissioner Eric Lawson, the split vote shows that the board is committed to learning as much as they can about both offers before they make their decision.

"I think that what you saw today was all the commissioners, who were not on the Insurance Committee, really wanted more information. And the fact that we had as much discussion and questions for the various presenters of the bids shows that we're really looking for information."

Lawson went on to say that the commissioners and insurance committee have plenty of time to work out details and learn more about the proposals.

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