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National Teen Driver Safety Week

A car crash occurs every 5 seconds, and when teens find themselves in a crash, 80 percent of the time the cause is texting while driving.

Students working towards getting their license at the Alpena Driving School are frequently taught how to be safe on the road.

But for National Teen Driver Safety Week, the lessons they learn are especially important.

Instructor Lisa Tim places a strong emphases on the dangers of texting and driving, and even creates scenarios to show what can happen when taking your eyes off the road for only a matter of seconds. She also provides the students with various resources to make sure their phone stays out of their hand while driving.

"There is a lot of software available for them now that they can download for free," said Tim. "The phone recognizes when the car is moving, and so it will automatically read them their text instead of having them look at their text. And they'll let them know who the text is from and if they want to respond to it."

According to Distraction.gov, at least 25 percent of teens respond to a text message while driving, but with apps like Text Shield, Guardian Angel, and Drive Safely, parents can feel relief when their teens are out on the roads.

Grief at Thunder Bay Junior High School

Today staff and students were mourning the loss of a student at Thunder Bay Junior High.

Over the weekend 12–year–old Megan Zuchowski passed away unexpectedly in an accident. Staff and counselors were available to talk with students at the school during a day of grief.

"When we receive news such as that it immediately sets the wheels in motion in terms of first, and foremost, how we're going to support the family of this young lady," said Thunder Bay Junior High Principal Steve Genschaw. "And how our school personal can best support them with all their needs from food to clothing to anything that is needed. And the second part is we convened an emergency meeting sunday evening which numerous staff participated in and determining how we were going to best respond to the student body when they return on Monday."

The visitation will take place at Bannon Funeral Home Wednesday starting at 1 p.m. until the time of the funeral at 7 p.m.

Hillman Millage

Hillman Community Schools are asking for a renewal of a millage in the upcoming election.
 
The 18 mill renewal has an additional .5 mill for Headlee rollback should it apply.
 
This will help to maintain the funding that was previously approved by voters.
 
The millage will only be levied on apartment buildings, rental homes, vacation homes and vacant land.
 
Business Manager Jill Olsen says, "We just didn't want people confused because we do have the rollback added to it but it is a renewal we can't assess more than 18 mills and this is not on your homestead so it does not affect your taxes in any way for your personal home."
 
The funding has to be levied in order for the school district to receive full funding for students.
 
Voting for the millage can be done on November 4th at the polls.

New Water Charges

 
After the city increased water rates so they can improve infrastructure, many residents are upset with their new rates.
 
The chamber of Commerce has started to collect data statements from their members so they can present their findings to the city.
 
So far they are finding most of their complaints are coming from people who use very little water but have had the largest increases in their bill.
 
This is due to a new service charge based on the size of meter a person has.
 
However a larger meter doesn't always mean a person is using more water and that is what the chamber wants to show the city.
 
Executive Director of the Chamber, Jackie Krawczak says, "Our goal is not to blame them for anything this is something new that they tried it's just to show them the reality of what happened and to just make sure that with anything that it's fair and people aren't subsidizing others for their utilities."
 
After putting together a report the chamber will discuss if they would like to attend a city council meeting and present their research and possibly encourage them to rethink the service charge.

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