Montgomery County Council Recognizes Parks and Recreation Month 

Montgomery County council members Andrew Friedson and Gabe Albornoz began the June 11 meeting with a proclamation acknowledging the work that parks and recreation have accomplished this year. 

“I circle this date on the calendar every year because it’s an opportunity for us to acknowledge the incredibly dedicated and professional staff of both departments, ” said council member-at-large Albornoz. 

Council vice president Friedson said the recognition has taken new meaning during and after the pandemic. “We have relied on our parks and on our recreation department to provide wellness, community, and health needs,” said Friedson. 

Directors from both Montgomery County Parks and Department of Recreation chose employees in the organization and highlighted the work that they provide for them. 

Every two years, residents fill out a survey of the services in the county that they appreciate and like the most. Both departments come out in the top three each time the survey is done. 

“This is kind of the Super Bowl season, the summer season for our friends at the recreation center,” said Friedson. 

Albornoz talked about how staff members were at the Germantown Fourth of July event until 2 a.m. making sure people got home safely and got to their cars. 

The recreation department shared a video detailing the work that its employees provide for Montgomery County residents. 

“Our team works extremely hard and is relatively a small team, we have about 2,500 seasonal workers from lifeguards, out of school time, to senior programs you name it they do it, ” said Robin Riley, who serves as the director of recreation for Montgomery County Recreation. 

Members of Montgomery County Department of Recreation. Photo By Liz Thomas

Members of the recreation department who were acknowledged worked in different sectors such as high school, elementary, seniors and camp directors. 

“They are the fuel in our engine and the grease on our wheels,” said Riley. 

Montgomery County Recreation has many programs to offer for residents to participate in. 

Montgomery County Park Director Michael F. Riley said the eight year plan that was developed called “The Big Three.” This plan focuses on developing a world class public athletic field at parks and schools, destination trail network and park activation that focuses on bringing community members of diverse backgrounds together. 

“Historically we have built beautiful parks with beautiful facilities,” said Riley. Montgomery County Parks has over 420 parks across 37,220 acres,102 campsites, 136 picnic areas and 276 playgrounds.

East Lansing poll workers note large turnout; surpasses primaries

“I voted”  stickers dot the shirts of people around East Lansing as in-person voting for the Michigan midterm elections occurred. Voters and precinct captains noticed a good turnout, though still lower than that of general elections.

Margie Ring, 3rd Precinct captain, said, “We’ve had 288 voters in person so far and at a better pace than we were for the primary elections.”

Q&A with Delta Charter Township Clerk Mary Clark

With the Nov. 3 election on the horizon, clerks across the state of Michigan are preparing to make the voting process as smooth as possible. On top of executing her regular duties, Delta Charter Township Clerk Mary Clark has been raising awareness about the election process and the disinformation often surrounding it. 

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, Michigan’s longest-serving representative, will not run for another term.

Redistricting, retirements mean less clout in Congress

LEAVING CONGRESS: Michigan’s congressional delegation will look different next year, due largely to redistricting and intra-party fights. The loss of one U.S. House seat, the awkward retirement of one of the chamber’s most senior lawmakers and a messy primary battle for a suburban Detroit seat mean at least three of the state’s 14 incumbents won’t be back on Capitol Hill. That has implications for Michigan’s clout in Washington. Leaving for sure are Fred Upton of St. Joseph, Brenda Lawrence of Southfield and either Haley Stevens of Rochester Hills or Andy Levin of Bloomfield Township. Others could lose in the August primary or November general election. Pundit Bill Ballenger discusses. By Eric Freedman. FOR DETROIT, HOLLAND, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, MANISTEE, WKTV, LUDINGTON, OCEANA COUNTY, LAKE COUNTY, CADILLAC and ALL POINTS.

A "vote" sign is staked outside Dixie Baptist Church in Oakland County's Springfield Township.

Michigan voters head to polls

Michigan voters headed to the polls this morning amid a pandemic that’s helped push absentee voting to record levels. More than 3 million Michigan voters have cast absentee ballots, according to the Secretary of State’s office, and 2 million people are expected to vote in person at the polls today. That could beat a turnout record of just over 5 million ballots cast in 2008.

8th Congressional District ups its civic involvement

Gordon Trowbridge, spokesman for Slotkin’s re-election campaign, said from a campaign standpoint, he has noticed a difference this year in public participation. Trowbridge said it seems like voters are aware this is a big moment for Michigan because a lot of national issues addressed can also have a significant impact on a local level.  For example, concerns about medical costs and water quality is at the top of that list. 

“What was successful for Slotkin in 2018 and so far this year, was to be pragmatic toward these issues,” he said. “Slotkin has said participating in the choice-making is one of the most important symbols to show love for the country.”

Slotkin decided before voting took place to publicly endorse Democrat Joe Biden in the year’s primary. 

Infographic listing some of the candidates and topics voters may have seen on their ballot. Credit: Lauren Buchko

Trowbridge said he has definitely noticed a higher turnout during campaign events. “Slotkin realizes there’s a lot of attention on Michigan during the primaries,” he said.  “It’s kind of like a ‘ground zero’ when it comes to a campaign.”

Representing the district

Trowbridge said it’s quite a bit of work for Slotkin to represent Michigan while in Washington D.C. because of the complicated schedule, but she works to represent as best as she can.

Senior center asks the city to be on Nov. ballot

Julie Rudd, a volunteer at the Williamston Area Senior Center, gives a presentation to the City Council about the center. Photo: Sophia Lada

Williamston Area Senior Center

Julie Rudd, a volunteer at the Williamston Area Senior Center, asked the Williamston City Council to add its organization to the November ballot to ask voters to support operational costs. The center’s budget is $26,000 each year. If voters vote down the millage, said Rudd, then the center will have to shut down within the next five years. If voters approve the millage, then it would receive $125,000, which would cover operational costs, increase staff and improve the volunteer program.

Gretchen Driskell campaigns at James Madison College

State of MichiganGretchen Driskell

EAST LANSING – Michigan House of Representatives Democratic candidate Gretchen Driskell spoke at a Feb. 3 event for James Madison College Kennedy Democrats. 

“She is an incredibly optimistic and hardworking candidate who is very excited to bring about progressive change in Washington, D.C.,” said Jasper Martus, president of the Kennedy Democrats. Driskell is running in Michigan’s 7th Congressional District to turn the traditionally Republican district blue by defeating incumbent Tim Walberg. 

“Tim Walberg is basically your average Republican Congressperson,” said Trevor Jones, a Driskell campaign staffer. “Walberg isn’t creating any new policy. He just kind of sits back, floats along and votes with Trump 98% of the time.”

Jones, a recent University of Michigan graduate, previously worked on Driskell’s campaign as an intern and jumped at the opportunity to work with her again. 

“Gretchen is just the perfect candidate,” Jones said.

WATCH: Trump impeachment trial opens; Delta flight dumps fuel mid-air

Chief Justice John Roberts was sworn in to preside over the impeachment trial of President Trump that officially opened today in the Senate, almost a month after the House voted to impeach the President. The Senate will look to determine if the President acted in obstruction of Congress and in abuse of his power. A flight heading to Shanghai dumps fuel on heavily populated school district in Los Angeles as it stopped for engine problems.