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The suspected driver in a fatal hit and run accident in the City of Marquette has been arraigned in Marquette County District Court. 30-year-old Luke Eugene Huotari of Gwinn was formally charged this morning in 96-th District Court with two counts of failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in serious impairment or death. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine on each charge. Huotari was arrested over the weekend as the main suspect in the hit and run accident on the night of July 4-th at the intersection of South Front Street and Genesee Street that claimed the life of 42-year-old Karin LaChappell. LaChapell’s 39-year-old husband, Bryan, survived the accident, but was severely injured. He has been released from the hospital. Huotari is scheduled for a preliminary exam on July 23rd and is being held on $500,000 bond on each count.
Authorities in the eastern U.P. report a car-bicycle accident that claimed the life of one man. The accident happened on the Mackinac Trail on Friday evening around 6 o’clock in Rudyard in Chippewa County when a bicycle, operated by 87-year-old Max Mackie of Rudyard crossed into the path of a car driven by 88-year-old Mildred Forgrave, also of Rudyard. Forgrave told Chippewa County Sheriff’s Deputies she was headed south on the Mackinac Trail and was driving down the center of the road because there was a bicycle on each side of the road. That’s when Mackie turned his bike into the path of her car and she was unable to avoid striking him. No tickets have been issued and the accident remains under investigation.
Govenor Rick Snyder’s Office of Constituent Services is visiting areas in the Upper Peninsula this week. Representatives from the office will be holding office hours in a series of locations around the U.P. Staff will be available to answer questions, address concerns, offer explanations and take suggestions in regard to current government issues affecting citizens, communities and businesses. Representatives will be on hand to offer assistance with state agency relations and any other state-related matters. The tour will be in Sault Ste. Marie, Newberry and Munising tomorrow and will visit Marquette and Negaunee on Wednesday. Other stops are planned in Houghton, Iron Mountain, Menominee, Escanaba and Manistique through the week.
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson reminds residents that they have until today to register to vote in the August 7-th state primary election. To register, applicants must be at least 18 years old by Election Day and be U.S. citizens. Applicants must also be residents of Michigan and of the city or township in which they wish to register. Voters may register by mail, at their county, city or township clerk’s office or by visiting any Secretary of State office.
The 2012 Pioneer Days are underway in Negaunee. Various class reunions and gatherings are being held throughout Negaunee this week, as are Alumni Softball games at LaCombe Field. The Pioneer Princess Pageant will take place on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at the Negaunee High School. Applications are available at Lakeview Elementary. Pioneer Days end on Saturday with a parade at 11:30 a.m., Community picnic beginning at 1:00 p.m., and a fireworks display over Teal Lake at dusk.