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News

pic of TrackMIBallot Logo
Kent Communications inc.

A Grand Rapids company is getting good reviews after it launched the state’s first beginning-to-end mail ballot tracking system.  Kent Communications Inc. is a Grand Rapids based mail service provider.  It’s “TrackMIBallot” product aims to add what they call a “critical layer” of integrity to the vote-by-mail process.

“Track my ballot is a way that clerks around Michigan can track every absentee ballot from the clerk to the voter and from the voter back to the clerk.”
 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer portrait
Michigan.gov

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is scheduled to be featured on the opening night of next week's Democratic National Convention. Whitmer will speak Monday during the four-day event, which will be virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic. The first-term governor, who was on Biden's short list until he chose Senator Kamala Harris, met with him in Delaware last week. Her profile grew nationally in the spring as she confronted the COVID-19 crisis. At the convention, Democrats will formally nominate the presidential ticket and also adopt a party platform and rules.

Police car lights
Wikimedia | Matty Ring | CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia.org

After some community members and Grand Rapids City Commissioners asked for the partial defunding of the Grand Rapids Police Department, a new plan for policing has been released. Chief of Police, Eric Payne says the first step is a community-based approached; assigning patrol officers to specific neighborhoods.

“Each neighborhood is different than the next one so we are looking to work with neighborhoods specifically in how they are looking to be policed.”

Mosquito photo
flickr

 

Michigan health officials say the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the state’s ability to track mosquito-borne illnesses.

Just last year Michigan saw ten cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, six of which were fatal. Now, state officials are urging residents to take precautions because early warning systems around mosquito-borne illnesses aren’t as nimble during the pandemic.

Lynn Sutfin is a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Dog rescued from Lake Michigan four miles from shore

Aug 11, 2020
Public Domain Pictures

 

A dog treading water nearly four miles offshore in Lake Michigan has been rescued by a family out on a boating trip.

The family was boating from Grand Haven to Frankfort in northwestern Michigan on Friday when Jeannie Wilcox said she saw a “red animal in the lake” and started screaming, ‘dog in the water!’”

President Donald Trump & Joe Biden split screen photo
Andrea Widburg / flickr.com

Lansing-based EPIC-MRA has conducted a third poll leading up to the November presidential election.

In June, Michigan registered voters surveyed resulted in a 12-point lead for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden over Republican incumbent, President Donald Trump. A second poll indicated a 16-point lead.

Now, a third poll conducted in late July surveying 600 registered Michigan voters, 40-percent by cell phone; 44-percent identified as a Democrat, 39-percent Republican, 14-percent Independent and 2-percent undecided.

Doctor's coat
Pixabay | CC BY 2.0 / pixabay.com

 

Michigan will be part of a federal project that funds mental health and addiction services at community health clinics.

The Certified Community Behavioral Health Center pilot program was created through a law that Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt partnered up to promote in 2014.

State investigators and contractors will this week start assessing the remaining portion of a failed Michigan dam. The failure of the Edenville dam and another barrier in May destroyed 150 houses and caused more than $200 million in damage to the Midland County area. The state said it took over the duty to assess Edenville after the owners failed to comply with a federal court order to look into what additional work might be needed to stabilize the dam and ensure the safety of nearby residents.

Hilary Farrell

The Grand Rapids City Commission Tuesday morning will consider changing its election cycle from odd years to even…this after a group has been calling on the move for years

As it currently stands, city officials are elected in odd years, the last being 2019. Groups have argued for years that the elections should be held on an even cycle, to coincide with state and national elections. The argument being, that people are most likely to vote for city commission elections if they are already headed to the polls to vote for the presidential race or other larger tickets.

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