Meer’s remarks also caused them pain, embarrassment, anxiety and mental anguish, according to the lawsuit filed earlier this month in Starke Circuit Court.
The interim health worker for Berrien County in southwest Michigan is resigning his post amid continuing unrest over how local governments should respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Courtney Davis, the acting Berrien County health worker, and Gillian Conrad, the county health department’s communications manager, will both be stepping down over the next three weeks, according to a press release on Monday. .
“I make this decision with a lot of emotion,” Davis said in a statement. “Serving the residents of Berrien County for nearly five years and supporting local public health infrastructure has been among my highest honors.
“However, with the politicization of public health during the pandemic, I can no longer do my job effectively and serve the community with their health and safety always at the forefront.”
Since August, debates have raged across Michigan, centered on whether local principals and county health workers should impose mask warrants on students. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration declined to issue a statewide demand, leaving decisions to local officials.
Michigan’s COVID-19 infection rates are on the rise and currently, people under the age of 12 cannot be vaccinated against the virus. Rural counties with low vaccination rates and no mask warrants for students are behind current increases in infections, according to a Detroit News analysis last week.
On September 1, the Berrien County Health Department announced a public health order requiring students to wear masks. At the time, Davis said it was “imperative that we take this step to keep students and teachers healthy and safe in the classroom.”
Twenty-eight days later, the health ministry rescinded the order, citing wording from the state budget, backed by GOP lawmakers, which tried to block funding for counties with emergency health orders. not approved by local commissioners.
Whitmer, a Democrat, said the provisions were unconstitutional and unenforceable, but some local government officials were not convinced by her statements. Four local health agencies, covering six counties, canceled mask warrants.
In addition to the COVID-19 debate, Berrien County is home to Benton Harbor, a city of 9,615 people facing a lead-tainted water crisis. Benton Harbor has experienced three consecutive years of lead levels being exceeded despite attempts by the state to take corrosion control measures.
Last week Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist vowed the state would find the millions of dollars it needed remove lead service lines in the city in 18 months.
Berrien County has begun the process of replacing Davis and Conrad, according to Monday’s press release.
“We appreciate and value the contributions of Courtney Davis and Gillian Conrad, especially during this very difficult time, as well as their commitment to our community,” said R. McKinley Elliott, chair of the Berrien County Commissioners Council. “We wish them all the best in their future endeavors.”
Conrad said she had to quit her job for the sake of her health and that of her family.
“What our team has accomplished during the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of extraordinary; however, the exhaustive work of the past 19 months has had a tremendous impact on my mental, emotional and physical health,” said said Conrad.
This is pure speculation, but follow me here for a second.
Specifically, let’s head to the LSU House of Tigers.
They have a head coach. Well, they will have a head coach until next season.
Ed Orgeron and the university announced on Sunday that he would retire after the season, an announcement that came less than 24 hours after the Tigers beat No. 20 Florida to move to 4-3. As part of the deal, LSU will pay Orgeron the remaining $ 16.95 million on its contract. (ESPN)
Cue Boyz II Men and “End of the Road”.
No harm, no fault. A mutually agreed separation. No drama and it usually happens when you pay off a contract to the tune of almost $ 17 million.
Coach Tucker just arrived at East Lansing two seasons ago. He finished that first season 2-5, but is currently heading into the battle for the Paul Bunyon Trophy on Devil’s Night (October 30) INVALID. How to make a great season without defeat even better?
You beat the Wolverines at Spartan Stadium and remain undefeated.
In your second season.
Right now MSU is ranked No. 9 and Michigan is No. 6. MSU is 7-0 overall with a week off before the showdown on the 30th. The Wolverines are also unbeaten at 6-0 and welcome Northwestern to the Big House this weekend (October 23). If they win this one, it’ll be an unbeaten battle for the state’s greatest bragging rights.
Tucker previously coached at LSU in 2000 as the Tigers’ senior defensive back assistant. He has an SEC pedigree having worked as a defensive coordinator under Kirby Smart in Georgia from 2016 to 2018 and previously associate head coach of Nick Saban in Alabama in 2015. He coached the 2019 season in Colorado before seizing the opportunity. at Michigan State after the program parted ways with Mark Dantonio. Tucker is one of the highest paid head coaches in the Big Ten. (247sports)
How much does Coach Tucker earn?
For the record, Ed Orgeron who is leaving LSU has been ranked as the highest paid college head coach (Nick Saban is No.1).
LSU could certainly afford Coach Tucker.
would he go? Will there be an offer?
Friends of pure speculation. Pure speculation.
Sometimes pictures are the best way to honor the numbers we have lost. When tragedy quickly reminds us that sport is far from the most important thing in life, we can always look back on the winning moment of an athlete who seemed to us larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice. on the ground and bringing joy to millions of people.
Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images compiled by Stacker, showcasing various iconic moments in sports history. Covering the accomplishments of a multitude of sports, these images depict stunning personal accomplishments, team championships and athletic perseverance.
Meer’s remarks also caused them pain, embarrassment, anxiety and mental anguish, according to the lawsuit filed earlier this month in Starke Circuit Court.
Meer began accusing Lake after Bray’s arrest on drugs and guns, less than a month before the November 2019 election.
The lawsuit alleges that Meer claimed that a confidential informant was involved in the on-demand setup of Lake and a member of the LaPorte County Drug Task Force.
It is also alleged that Meer implicated the two in remarks to then police chief Mark Swistek after his stepson’s arrest.
Swistek later resigned and is now the Long Beach City Marshal.
Michigan City is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit because Meer’s alleged statements were made in his capacity as mayor.
The lawsuit seeks an undisclosed judgment for compensatory damages, punitive damages and other just and appropriate relief.
Six counts of intimidation and misconduct against Meer for his alleged behavior towards the police following the arrest of his stepson were subsequently dismissed.
Two Class A misinformation offenses were due to be dismissed against Meer in February until he was charged with other crimes.
Seven years after the Flint water crisis, which put the health and lives of 90,000 Michigan residents at risk, state officials have recognized widespread lead contamination of the water supply. Benton Harbor water.
In 2018, increased water testing in the city of 9,600 people revealed lead contamination at around 22 parts per billion, higher than the 20 parts per billion at the height of the Flint crisis.
Tests of some residents of Benton Harbor have reached 700 and 836 parts per billion. Until a month ago, state officials remained silent and did nothing but distribute filters to residents, with no explanation for the current crisis.
The government’s cover-up of the lead poisoning crisis is a social crime. Although the discovery of lead poisoning in Benton Harbor was in 2018, the condition likely predates intensified testing.
Michigan officials, led by Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, did not notify residents until October 6 of this year, when the state officially warned residents to turn off their taps and use bottled water. for cooking, drinking, brushing teeth and mixing formula. In a belated move, the state sent more than 26,000 cases of bottled water to Benton Harbor.
Lead is a potent neurotoxin that can cause irreversible damage. Ingestion of lead is associated with a host of neurological problems, especially in children.
Although even low levels of lead are dangerous, high and extreme levels of lead consumption can seriously damage the kidneys, general nervous system, and brain development. It can also cause seizures, fainting spells, and even death. Until the warning against drinking tap water, mothers fed their infants formula milk mixed with lead-contaminated water.
Earlier this year, reflecting the political establishment’s ruthless indifference to workers’ health, local authorities presented a two-decade plan to remove and replace the city’s plumbing. In September, under immense pressure from residents, Governor Whitmer asked the state legislature for $ 20 million to replace the pipes. This amount, only two-thirds of the estimated cost of replacing the piping, shortened the expected window to five years.
This month, Whitmer signed an executive directive calling on local authorities to start speeding up the process of replacing pipelines on the basis of an 18-month deadline, while making plans to deliver potable water more quickly. and bottled water, as well as free or inexpensive lead. health services. In response to its initial proposal of $ 20 million, the state legislature passed a budget providing for half of that amount.
The state government has avoided committing to providing financial assistance for the removal of lead pipes from inside homes. Instead, the latest plan pushes the bill on financially troubled residents and local government.
The paltry funds intended to deal with the water crisis are paltry compared to the trillions spent on the US military budget and financial bailouts. Moreover, the current crisis is the result of decades of neglect of the hydraulic system. Before intensified testing in 2018, the roof of the Benton Harbor water treatment plant was collapsing on itself, while the main water supply line to Lake Michigan was in dire condition.
The dangerous conditions at Benton Harbor are far more prevalent than the state government would like to admit. In 2019, the World Socialist Website reported on the results of lead tests in Michigan that revealed high levels of lead in the Detroit metro area.
A study published in JAMA Pediatrics Last month, 78 percent of Michigan children included in the study had detectable levels of lead in their blood. While “detectable” is not the same as “high” – including levels below the Centers for Disease Control baseline of 5 micrograms per deciliter – healthcare professionals note that any amount of lead in the a child’s system is dangerous.
Another recently released report, released by the Natural Resource Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group, exposed the heavy use of lead pipes across the United States. The report estimated that between 9.2 million and 12.7 million pipes in the United States contain lead, while warning that the actual figure is likely higher due to inane reports from state governments or the United States. lack of reports. Michigan is one of the states with the highest lead pipe usage in the country.
Governor Whitmer has awarded a total of $ 14 million to 28 Michigan communities, a tiny amount compared to the funds needed to protect people from lead poisoning.
This is another example of dismal underfunding of basic infrastructure. Last year, several private dams owned by Boyce Hydro failed after years of neglect, inundating much of Midland County. The resulting damage amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars. The entire village of Sanford was nearly destroyed and unknown quantities of toxic chemicals from Dow Chemical were dumped in the surrounding area.
Home to the headquarters of appliance maker Whirlpool, Benton Harbor’s last manufacturing plant closed in 2011. In 2019, the city’s per capita income was $ 14,828.
The population of Benton Harbor is approximately 9,600 according to the 2020 census. There are approximately 4,000 households in the city, with approximately 45 percent of the population living in poverty. Faced with these conditions, many residents have left the city over the past decade, resulting in reduced water consumption. Lack of water flow leads to the accumulation of standing water in the pipes, eroding the system faster.
Years of deindustrialization ultimately put the city at the mercy of the Local Government and School District Fiscal Responsibility Act of then Republican Governor Rick Snyder, who subordinated cities to unelected emergency managers. Acting as agents of banks and bondholders, these officials gutted social services and public school systems in the state’s poorest towns.
As emergency management ended in 2018, the assault on Benton Harbor’s public resources continued under Whitmer. In 2019, Whitmer issued an ultimatum to the Benton Harbor School Board: either shut down Benton Harbor High School or the state would take control of the district and liquidate it.
While massive protests from residents and teachers pushed back this initial effort, the attack has not stopped. Whitmer changed course in favor of a long-term liquidation, tying the high school’s fate to benchmarks of performance on standardized tests.
Benton Harbor High School sits on a large undeveloped waterfront lot. The demolition of the school would open the land to private investors.
East Lansing, Michigan – The Michigan State Men’s Golf Team returns to the course this weekend, playing their penultimate event of the fall program at Quail Valley Intercollegiate in Vero Beach, Fla.
The eighth annual event, hosted by the Spartans, will take place at Quail Valley Golf Club on Sunday (36 holes) and Monday (18 holes). The 16-team course includes six schools ranked among the top 50 nationally by Golfstat.
“We are very proud to be the host school for the eighth annual Quail Valley Collegiate Invitational,” MSU head coach Casey lubahn noted. “This event has become one of the best on this part of the calendar and the members, staff and friends of Vero Beach have supported us beyond our wildest expectations. I want to thank John and Kathleen Gorman for us welcoming and helping to become a cherished part of our season over the past few years. I also want to thank Don Meadows and his staff at Quail Valley Golf Club for handling the operations and facility – they make it an amazing experience to players and coaches this weekend. “
Dated: Sunday October 17-Monday October 18
Course: Quail Valley Golf Club
Live Score: Golfstat
By / Yardage: 72 / 7,350
Format: Stroke play, 54 holes, play five, count four
Calendar: Sunday – Rounds 1 and 2 starting with a shotgun start at 8:30 am
Tuesday: Round three with tee times from 8 am on the first and 10th holes.
1. Troy Taylor (Sr., Westerville, Ohio / South Westerville)
2. Brad Smithson (Jr., Grand Rapids, Michigan / Forest Hills Eastern)
3. Jacques Piot (Sr.-5, Canton, Michigan / Detroit Catholic Central)
4. Ashton mcculloch (Fr., Kingston, Ontario / Catholic Holy Cross)
5. August Meekhof (So Coopersville, Michigan / Allendale)
Boston College, Indiana (No. 25), Jacksonville, Kansas (No. 11), Kent State (No. 31), Louisiana-Lafayette, Maryland, Memphis, Miami, Michigan State (No. 28), Missouri-Kansas City, Nebraska, Northwestern (No. 24), Rutgers, South Florida (No. 10), Toledo.
Designed by Tommy Fazio and Nick Price, Quail Valley was voted one of the Top 10 Clubs by LINKS Magazine in 2010.
The Spartans have won the Quail Valley Intercollegiate twice – 2015 and 2016 – in the tournament’s six-year history and finished second in 2017. Last year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic of COVID-19. In 2019, Notre Dame won the event at 43 under par 821; Michigan State was seventh, Brad Smithson tied for 12th (7-under-par 209) and Jacques Piot tied for 24th place (6-under par 210).
Michigan State shot a 278 by 278 in the final round and finished fifth among 14 teams at the Fighting Irish Classic on October 5. The Spartans finished the 54-hole tournament with a score of 2 under par 838 (274-286-278). First-year student Ashton mcculloch was MSU’s top finisher, tied for 15th place at par 210 (68-71-71).
“Our team is coming out of a great competition here at home and we are eager to challenge very solid ground on a great golf course. Our depth will be important and we will have to focus on eliminating the big numbers and inefficiencies that we’ve had these last two weeks. If we do that, I think we have a good chance of being in contention on Monday afternoon. “
RResidents of Benton Harbor, Michigan, a predominantly black city that has faced high levels of lead in its water for at least three years, welcomed the governor’s announcement that all lead pipes in the city would be replaced. over the next 18 months.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has pledged a “everyone on deck” approach to tackle the water crisis that has plagued this impoverished city since at least 2018.
Whitmer had previously proposed to cut service lines within five years – a schedule that residents and environmental groups have deemed unacceptable. On Thursday, amid growing outcry from those who say the residents of Benton Harbor have been living with poor water quality for far too long, Whitmer issued a directive to speed up the withdrawal process and launch an ‘all government’ to ensure the south- The city of western Michigan has access to potable water.
“Every Michigander deserves clean drinking water and every community deserves lead-free pipes,” Whitmer said in a statement Thursday. “We won’t rest until the job is done and every parent feels confident to give their child a drink of water knowing it’s safe.”
Activists, who have always called for the immediate replacement of the city’s 6,000 lead pipes, took a moment to celebrate the development.
“I am delighted,” Reverend Edward Pinkney, chairman of the Benton Harbor Community Water Council said Thursday. “I think it’s huge.”
The announcement comes just a week after the state advised residents of Benton Harbor, where people have complained of declining water quality for years, not to drink or cook with water tap “out of caution”.
As the Guardian reported last month, many have long suspected that something was wrong with the city’s water. In 2018, tests found a lead content of 22 parts per billion – higher than that of nearby Flint at the height of the crisis that made the city a symbol of American environmental injustice.
Although for three years, Benton Harbor’s water has been tested well above the federal action level of 15 parts per billion, state and local authorities have not taken sufficient action to deal with the crisis. , according to a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council filed last month with the protection of the environment. Agency on behalf of the Pinkney’s group.
When the authorities were slow to act, the inhabitants intervened; Pinkney and others have organized bottled water drives, educating community members about the risks of lead.
Speeding up the schedule to replace the city’s main service lines is a welcome development for those who say the state has neglected the needs and health of the community.
“I applaud the Benton Harbor Community Water Council,” Pinkney said of her team of volunteers. “Their consistency [activism] leads to this.
In September, the state announced it would distribute water filters to every home in the city and provide free bottled water. And earlier this month, the state vowed to expand those efforts, when it advised against drinking the water.
Whitmer said his executive directive on Thursday builds on those efforts. In addition to speeding up the replacement of the service line, Whitmer said his administration would continue to provide free bottled water “until further notice”, offer “free or low-cost lead-related services” such as water testing and “would work closely” with various agencies and community groups.
Federal, state and local resources would be mobilized to deal with the crisis, Whitmer said in the statement, adding that she also expects to be able to finance the removal of the Benton Harbor lead lines with money from the plans. Joe Biden’s infrastructure, who are stranded in legislative limbo on Capitol Hill.
Biden has pledged to replace all lead pipes in the United States, which experts say is necessary to protect not only those in Benton Harbor and other cities already in crisis, but communities as well. of the 50 states that are vulnerable to contamination.
“We shouldn’t wait until there is a crisis to remove the lead pipes,” said Elin Warn Betanzo, a Michigan drinking water expert who was one of the first to identify the Flint crisis. “The best time to take down major service lines is before things go wrong. “
In Michigan, activists and experts applauded the announcement Thursday as a long overdue step in the right direction.
“When it comes to protecting the health and safety of our children, the only way forward is an everyone on deck approach,” said Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, nationally recognized as the pediatrician who exposed Flint’s water crisis. She expressed hope that Benton Harbor would be “our nation’s last water lead crisis.”
“I am grateful to Governor Whitmer and his administration for respecting the science of the neurotoxicity of lead and ensuring that the people of Benton Harbor have clean water to drink,” said Hanna-Attisha .
“The governor has come a long way in terms of responding to the Benton Harbor water crisis,” added Cyndi Roper, NRDC’s senior counsel for Michigan. “The response goes absolutely in the direction the community has asked for. We are optimistic.
But Pinkney said there was still work to be done, including making sure everyone in Benton Harbor was fully aware of the scale of the crisis – something he said will require more forceful language from the people. state officials.
“We have 18 months before the pipes are finished,” Pinkney said, urging authorities to officially declare the water unsafe instead of telling residents they are acting “overly cautiously.”
“It is crucial that [Whitmer] clearly indicates that water is unsafe to use during this time.
East Lansing, Michigan – The Michigan State Women’s Golf Team will look to defend their 2019 tag team title at the UNC Tar Heel Invitational when the Spartans depart on Friday morning, October 15. The three-day, 54-hole event will be held at the UNC Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, NC and features an 18-team course with five of the country’s top 25 teams and 14 of the top 60 teams in total.
This is the first time the event has taken place since MSU posted a 12 under par 852 to hold Alabama in one shot in 2019.
Dated: Friday October 15 – Sunday October 17
Course: UNC Finley Golf Course
Live Score: Golfstat
By / Yardage: 72 / 6,457 yards
Format: Stroke play, 54 holes, play five, count four
Calendar: Friday – Round 1; Saturday – Round 2; Sunday – Round 3 (all with shotgun starts at 8:30 am)
1. Valery Plata (Sr., Floridablanca, Colombia / Colegio La Quinta del Puente)
2. Brooke Biermann (Fr., Wildwood, Mo. / Lafayette)
3. Valentina rossi (So Rosario, Argentina)
4. Leila Raines (So Galena, Ohio / Olentangy Berlin)
5. Nina Rissi (Jr., Barcelona, Spain)
INDIANA. Haylin harris (Sr., Carmel, Ind. / Carmel)
THE CLASSIC TERRAIN TAR HEEL
Michigan State, Alabama, No. 6 Michigan, Clemson, No. 12 Duke, Furman, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi State, North Carolina (host), North Carolina State, UNC Wilmington, Ohio State, SMU, Rollins College, Vanderbilt, No 24 Virginia Tech, No.13 Wake Forest.
Michigan State finished 12th among 15 teams at Windy City Collegiate Classic with a score of 54 holes of 58 over par 922 (304-308-310). Senior Valery Plata tied for 14th place at 8 above par 224 and a freshman Brooke Biermann tied for 19th place at 9 above par 225.
TAR HEEL INVITATION STORY
Michigan State has a strong history at the Tar Heel Invitational as the Spartans make their 12th consecutive appearance in the tournament. The Spartans have won the event twice, most recently in 2019 (the last time it was played), when Plata took medalist honors with an 11 under par 205, the second lowest score in 54 holes in the history of the program. MSU also won the event in 2009. In 2011, Caroline Powers set an academic record of 8 under par 208 to finish second, while Sarah burnham finished second in 2015. Paz Marfa Sans set a tournament record with a score of 8 below par in the second round in 2017.
(TNS) – A Wayne County commissioner requests an audit of a $ 57 million software project he described as a “major blunder” after upgrades were stalled and costs nearly hit. double.
Commissioner Glenn Anderson, whose 12th Borough represents the towns of Inkster, Garden City and Westland, said he was asking the county auditor to look into the county’s corporate resource planning project, which was designed to goal three years ago to upgrade the current accounting software system to account for and move funds accurately for all county transactions.
“Someone dropped the ball on this and I want to know why,” Anderson told the Detroit News Wednesday. “People should take up arms. They let it implode, it’s disturbing and there must be consequences.
Anderson, commissioner since 2016 and former state lawmaker, said millions of dollars have been spent so far and the cost of the desired system, once priced at around $ 31 million, has nearly doubled. An audit, he added, would require the approval of the chairman of the county audit committee.
He described the software problem as an “error” that involved high turnover of some of the county’s CIOs and a general lack of oversight by the county’s chief financial officer, Hughey Newsome, and his administration.
“We (the commissioners) were kept in the dark for months about the problems they (the information technology) were having in setting up the program,” says Anderson.
Newsome told The News on Wednesday that the case was being reviewed to see to what extent the work performed was “salvageable.” Nonetheless, Newsome stressed, he believes that “anything can be solved” and that he is focusing on getting the program back on track rather than determining fault.
The county, he confirmed, is still heavily using the outdated accounting software that necessitated the project.
“My efforts are to get the project going and provide the county with an up-to-date software accounting system,” Newsome said. “My main goal is to get the train back on track rather than figuring out who did what and when. “
Newsome said part of the new system is being used by the county treasury department. He estimates that the final cost of the total system will be $ 57 million and “our hope is to complete this by the end of 2023”.
“We do not plan to run out of money to complete the project,” he insisted.
A September 9 report from Newsome’s office to county commissioners blamed the software problem on several root causes and factors, including. Among them, the report noted, a lack of staff in key departments, inexperienced consultants and companies in government accounting, distorted costs and a lack of accountability or oversight.
Newsome said he has been leading the project since July, providing monthly updates to the county’s executive staff and CEO. He addressed some of the issues but declined to discuss others, noting that they were still under consideration.
He said he didn’t have staff numbers on hand, but “it’s a countywide problem.”
“We are a government entity that has traditionally lagged behind the market in terms of total compensation,” Newsome said. “The current challenges with too few workers compound this problem. “
Newsome said New Jersey-based CherryRoad Technologies was hired to provide some of the work but missed several deadlines. On July 26, by mutual agreement, he stopped working with the county after being paid nearly $ 8.5 million, he said.
“We agreed to a separation in this manner to avoid a long litigation that would have blocked funding and taken too long,” Newsome explained.
“Their experience in government was not as evident during the interview / appraisal process,” Newsome said in an email Wednesday. “They were chosen as a ‘good’ candidate who was competitively priced. “
A CherryRoad representative could not be reached immediately on Wednesday.
Anderson said there has been a lot of explanation given for the issues with the tech upgrades, but none are acceptable. He said he was afraid of the costs that would fall on taxpayers and that the county still would not have the necessary program to run its business, paychecks and contracts.
“And we are still paying over a million dollars a year to keep our old system limping,” he added. “And that was extended for four years or $ 4 million. Just to maintain a program that could fail at any time.
Wayne County Commissioner Jonathan Kinloch, D-Detroit, said “the more we talk about it, the more questions arise.”
“The most important thing is to get him back on track,” Kinloch said. “I’ve heard from the CFO (Newsome) and I want to give him the benefit of the doubt that he’s going to understand the reasons and structure it so that it doesn’t happen again. We were promised regular reports on its progress.
Kinloch said voters are already wary of a system and elected officials to run it.
“The last thing we need is another public funding nightmare,” Kinloch said.
© 2021 The Detroit News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Residents of Benton Harbor, Michigan – a predominantly African-American town just three hours from Flint, Michigan – are grappling with a. People are ordered not to drink, cook, or even brush their teeth with tap water because of the high levels of lead in old pipes.
And city officials have known about the problem for years.
Benton Harbor draws its water from nearby Lake Michigan, but residents like Frances Davis say what comes out of the tap is not safe to use. Instead, she turns to bottled water for everything from cooking to brushing teeth to bathing.
In 2018, lead was detected in the drinking water of some homes due to older lead pipes. State officials say the city’s water supply system has failed six lead tests in the past three years.
In September, concerned residents and activists asked the EPA for help. In response, the state began distributing free bottled water to the city’s nearly 10,000 residents.
“There is no emergency with the federal government. There is no emergency with the state government. And there is no emergency with the city government. just don’t get it, ”Reverend Edward Pinkney said.
He started distributing water in his church two years ago and said many residents are still unaware of the crisis.
“We don’t have time,” Pinkney said. “My children, life is at stake, your children, life is at stake.”
But time is not the only problem. Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad said money was also an issue.
The city cannot afford to fix the lines, and the money from the states and the federal government is not coming fast enough. Muhammad pointed out that the city just received a check for $ 5 million to work on the problem – funds that were approved under the Obama administration.
“If I had a magic wand I would solve it right away. But in government things don’t work that way,” Muhammad said.
As for Davis, she is considering selling her house, but she is not sure if anyone would buy it.
“I’m going to have to get her on board and move out,” she said.
So far, less than 5% of the city’s nearly 6,000 lines have been replaced. Muhammad wants all the work to be done in two years. He also hopes that President Bidenhappening, since he would designate money to help replace the pipes.
All the planning has been done. A last minute sleeve repair, flowers picked and arranged, a slight manicure error corrected, the arrival of family and friends, a successful welcome party and a few prayers that it won’t rain. All that remained was the wedding festivities of my daughter and my new son-in-law.
The day started a little uncertain from a weather point of view. There was still rain in the forecast and no one wanted to move the ceremony indoors because the backdrop of a Great Lake is just too good to sacrifice. A downpour appeared but took its exit a few minutes before we started the procession.
As the officiant (or rather, officiAUNT since she is also my sister) began the ceremony and said, “… the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan…”, the covered clouds parted and a ray sun shone on the bride and groom. We all took our breaths at the incredible timing of Mother Nature.
The rest of the day was just as perfect. Besides the gorgeous couple, stunning views, warm and welcoming spaces, great food and perfect decor, the most important thing was how perfectly our families blended together. Our group came from Seattle, New York, Illinois, Indiana and all over Michigan.
Even though it wasn’t a large gathering, our backgrounds were far from the same. Blacks, Whites, Asian Indians, Jews, Christians, townspeople and suburbanites. Doctors, teachers, moms, dads, kids and babies. Straight, gay, single, divorced, married and widowed. Young, old, big, small and everything in between. None of the differences mattered, we all became a family. Family is not just what you were born into. It’s the group created from those you choose to surround yourself with on the days that matter most.
I haven’t lost a daughter – I have gained a son and a beautiful extended family of wonderful people in his life. What an incredible gift and what an incredible feeling of belonging.
It’s a bit like that when you become a Spartan. You win a huge, and I mean a huge extended family of those bleeding Green and White. We come from all walks of life, but we are bound by these things that make us Spartans. No matter who you are or where you come from, you belong to a community of leaders, rescuers and people who change the world.
Whether you know them or not, outstanding and award-winning professors like engineer Alexandra Zevalkink, who is explore space age materials, become a member of your family. Brilliant students and alumni who recently nominated for prestigious graduate scholarships make up your circle.
But you don’t have to solve complex research problems or win any prizes to be a Spartan. The ways to be a successful Spartan are endless. Whichever path you choose, your place is here to discover your full potential and chart a course by doing something you love.
As Spartans, we also look out for each other and the world at large. Like by partnering with Apple to open a Developer Academy in Detroit to create new career opportunities for the community. Or by serving others by volunteering. This Saturday, many Spartans will do just that by participating in the Fall 2021 Spartan Day of Service.
If you can’t make it to one of these projects, compose your own day of service. Pick up someone’s leaves, donate to a shelter, reach out to someone in need of a friend, read aloud to a child. The slightest gesture can have a profound impact.
PhD student Lori Bruner explores the impact of reading aloud to children. She has some great tips to make learning easier. Discover it Student View: Make reading aloud to kids count for those and other great tips.
One thing about big families is that there is always someone to turn to for good advice. Most likely, someone else has been in your place and can help you. If nothing more, a listening ear is always welcome. When you expand your “family” in any way you choose, you know you are never alone.
No matter where you are in life, reach out to your Spartan family whenever you need to. Life is tough, but you are not alone. We Spartans support each other. You are amazing and your place is here. Our family ties are made of green and white and a lot of Spartan willpower.
Photo by Derrick L. Turner