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Critical Blood Shortage Remains

While thousands of people from across the country responded to the emergency request for blood and platelet donations in early July, a critical blood shortage remains.

The Red Cross urges eligible donors to give now, to help ensure blood is available throughout the rest of the summer to meet patient needs.

At times, blood and platelets are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which impacts the ability to rebuild the blood supply.

The red cross has less than a five day blood supply on hand, which is what they strive to have available at all times incase of an emergency.

External Communications Manager of the Great Lakes Blood Services Region Todd Kulman, said they're grateful for those who have already stepped up this summer to give, and want to remind those who are eligible that hospital patients are still counting on them to roll up a sleeve.

There are upcoming blood donation opportunities in Montmorency and Alpena counties , on August 2nd from 12:00 to 5:45 at the VFW Post in Atlanta, and during the day on August 10th and 11th at Alpena First United Methodist Church and MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena.

DNR Looks To Enroll Farms In Hunting Access Program

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is interested in enrolling new farms into the Hunting Access Program.

The program is now leasing land in the Northern Lower Peninsula to provide new hunting opportunities.

This program offers private land owners the opportunity to make the most of their property and support local hunting traditions.

The Hunting Access Program pays up to $15 per acre for high quality habitats.

Landowners can select from a variety of hunting options, including all species, youth and apprentice only, deer only, turkey only or small game only.

In order to be eligible, a parcel must be at least 40 acres in size and 20% of it must be wildlife habitat and capable of providing good opportunities for hunting.

Landowners don't have to live on the property or enroll the entire farm.

"I see the people who may be most interested in this are maybe snowbirds that have a lot of acreage and they don't utilize their property during hunting season, so they can earn a few dollars and really not have to do anything. It's a good management tool that farmers can throw in their tool box, if they have had to exclude acres because of wildlife risk mitigation. So, they can allow people to hunt on acres that were excluded where they can't put cattle and graze anymore and maybe recoup some dollars that way. Anybody who has property and they want to make it available and just improve hunting in Northern Michigan," Enhanced Wildlife Risk Mitigation Specialist Emily Sewell.

The number of hunters in the state of Michigan is decreasing, so the overall goal of this program is to improve hunting opportunities.

An informational meeting about the hunting access program is taking place August 17th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Alpena County Library.

If interested in participating in the program, call the Alpena Conservation District at 989–356–3596 extension 3.

County Exceeds Expectations In Energy Saving Efforts

During the Alpena County Board meeting on July 25, commissioners received an update on their Energy Savings Performance Contracting Project with Ameresco.

Ameresco Senior Account Executive Dane Mills presented a project overview during the meeting, emphasizing the county is doing an excellent job of maintaining the equipment and controls upgraded in this project.

They've improved lighting, HVAC expansions, water conservation and mechanical improvements in county properties, like the courthouse, annex building and the Plaza Pool.

Operational savings are totaling to an annual amount of $102,912.

Lighting and water measurements exceeded savings guaranteed, while mechanical measurements achieved the goal.

Mills said from an environmental standpoint, the savings the county has made, equals to removing 125 cars from the road and avoiding consumption of nearly 1,400 barrels of oil.

Tank Murder Trial Day 3 Recap

Day three of the Christopher Tank murder trial was yesterday at the Alpena County Courthouse.

The final witnesses were called to the stand, and the final pieces of evidence were presented today, as the third and final day of the questioning wrapped up.

Christopher Tank is charged with four counts, including first-degree premeditated murder, in the shooting death of Robert Arch last May.

One of the witnesses today was a 10–year–old boy, who claims he witnessed Arch being shot in front of his Sable Street home.

The boy claims to have seen a green car with two men pull up in front of the home, and shortly after an argument taking place, and then four or five shots being fired.

'Did you see an individual with the gun in their hand shoot Rob?' 'Yes.' 'And where was that individual inside that car?' 'The passenger.' 'Ok, and did you also see someone in the driver seat?' 'Yes.'

The boy claimed that the driver of the green car had, “puffy hair,” and was also wearing a hat.

Alpena County Prosecuting Attorney Ed Black then questioned the boy, bringing up the fact that the statement the boy gave the police did not mention the driver wearing a hat.

'If I told you that there was a report you created from that point in time, from that conversation with you, and in that report there was no mention of a hat. Would you agree with me that you never mentioned a hat before today?' 'I thought I mentioned a hat, but maybe I didn't.'

Once the final witness was excused, both the defense and the prosecution rested their case.

Tomorrow morning the jury will hear closing arguments from both sides, and then they will be left to deliberate and attempt to reach a verdict.

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