A measure sponsored by an Upper Michigan lawmaker clearing up state regulations that limit shoreline owners’ ability to groom their beaches passed out of committee yesterday in Lansing. Senate Bill 10-52, sponsored by Senator Tom Casperson, proposes dropping restrictions by the Department of Environmental Quality on how beach maintenance can be done. Under the legislation, property owners would no longer need to get a DEQ permit for beach grooming activities. Certain activities like construction projects, digging of channels, or dredging below what is called the regulatory watermark will still be subject to a DEQ permit and some restrictions will still be imposed by federal regulations. The measure heads to the Senate for further consideration.
Northern Michigan University has named Martha Haynes as vice president for advancement, effective July 1st. The action was taken today at the NMU Board of Trustees meeting. Haynes oversees the NMU Foundation and Alumni Association. She becomes NMU’s third vice president, along with Gavin Leach in Finance and Administration and Paul Lang in Academic Affairs. Haynes came to NMU as the director of Alumni Relations in 1999 and became executive director of advancement in 2003.
The NMU Board also approved 2012-13 housing and dining rates. The annual cost of a standard double-occupancy room and the “constant meal pass” option will be $8,200, an increase of $230. The board also authorized the university to continue in 2012-13 at a budget level no greater than the current year—with the exception of increases required by negotiated union contracts—until the state’s appropriation is determined and a new general fund budget is approved. In other action, the board authorized a new Doctorate in Nursing Practice degree, effective fall 2014 and approved the demolition of Carey Hall, slated to begin in mid-June and last six to eight weeks. The board also approved the previously negotiated agreement between the university and the NMU Faculty Association.
Efforts to build a new tribal casino in Lansing have moved a step forward. The Sault Ste. Marie tribe of Chippewa says its members have approved a proposal to seek federal permission to open a 245 million dollar casino in downtown Lansing. It follows a decision by the Lansing city council in March to move forward with the proposed casino by selling property to the Sault tribe. Those plans are opposed by Governor Snyder and other tribes which have competing casinos in Michigan.