News Update For Thursday, 6/7/12
A federal judge has postponed a decision on whether or not to halt construction of a controversial mining operation in Marquette County. A lawsuit by the Huron Mountain Club argues Kennecott Eagle Minerals Company failed to secure the proper federal permits to build a nickel and copper mine. The suit also charges other agencies such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for failing to require the permits. Kennecott says they received approval from the State of Michigan for the project and the federal permits are unnecessary. U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell heard arguments yesterday in Grand Rapids on the club’s request for an injunction halting work at the site until the case is decided. Bell says he’s taking the matter under consideration and will make a ruling later.
The D-N-R has announced that the entire Duck Lake Fire area in Luce County will reopen to all property owners tonight at 7. Property owners will be required to check in at the M-123 and County Road 500 checkpoint for a pass that must be displayed at all times. Proof of ownership, such as a driver’s license or tax record, is required for entry. The pass will allow travel to and from property only. All roads and trails will be reopened to non-residents on Monday at 10 a.m.
Governor Rick Snyder has lifted an outdoor burning ban in 49 counties and a fireworks ban in Luce and Schoolcraft counties. Both bans were imposed May 25th in response to the wildfires that destroyed more than 20,000 acres of land and more than 100 buildings in the U.P. The 49 counties in the outdoor burning ban covered the entire Upper Peninsula and much of northern Lower Michigan.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is advising residents affected by the recent Duck Lake Fire to avoid getting ripped off by home repair scams. Schuette says homeowners who have suffered damage to their homes may encounter unscrupulous home repair “contractors” hoping to take advantage of a stressful situation. He is encouraging everyone to take their time and properly check out the people they’re considering doing business with. Schuette also recommends reviewing your homeowner’s insurance policy for what repairs may be covered by your policy and how much your deductible will be, get everything in writing and never pay in cash. Citizens who believe they may have been contacted by a con artist or unscrupulous contractor are encouraged to file complaints with the Attorney General’s office online at www.michigan.gov/ag
M-DOT has started some road work today on M-28 near Seney in Schoolcraft County. The project includes the construction of a weigh-in-motion facility for commercial vehicle enforcement. The project is expected to run through Friday, June 29th, and M-DOT says motorists should expect intermittent lane closures with flag control and some possible lane width restrictions.
A reminder for motorists in the City of Marquette. The Champion Street bridge will be closed and traffic should use Genesee to Front street to Fisher. Work will be starting on Monday. Also, at the very start of the project and again during stage 2 later in the project, eastbound trucks on US-41 will not be able to enter downtown on Front Street from the roundabout. Eastbound trucks will be directed to enter downtown at Washington or Grove Street during these times.