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Local News Summary - March 20, 2019 Edition

Lady Tigers fall to LaSalle Saints in regional semi-finals
After a triumphant run for the district trophy, Hillman’s Lady Tigers fell hard to the top-ranked LaSalle Saints from St. Ignace in regional semi-final action on March 11. The Saints held the Tigers to just 12 points in what developed into a running clock situation for the entire second half.

With three players at least six feet tall, the Saints outrebounded the Tigers, and aggressive but careful Saints’ offense was able to strip the ball away from Hillman at the net without foul calls. The Tigers struggled to get a shot off before losing possession.

Second-half action brought more full-court pressure from the Tigers, and Hillman was able to force some travel turnovers. However, there was too much ground to make up in the game that ended 72-12, Saints. John Kuzewski, coach for the Tigers, credited the Saints for being a talented and well-coached team, but he also said he was incredibly proud of the effort his players put forth.

The Tigers started the season with six straight losses, but Kuzewski said he saw the team take a turn for the better about 10 games into regulation after his team had beaten four teams that had beaten them earlier in the season.

“They beat them on their own courts,” the coach pointed out.

The district championship was a great accomplishment for seniors Brooke Jones, Alison Samp and Anna Callender.

“Whenever you’re able to make a run and win the district championship, it means a lot to the seniors. They know it’s their last go,” Kuzewski told the Tribune.

The leadership of Jones meant a lot to him throughout the season, he said, and Samp and Callender really stepped up to help make the district title possible. He commended the entire team for being able to turn the season record around and finish at an even 12-12.

“They dug themselves out of it,” Kuzewski said.

The Mackinaw City Comets suffered a similar fate against the Saints with the regional championship ending 71-17, Saints. The St. Ignace team at 25-0 advanced to state quarterfinal action against the 21-3 Baraga Vikings on March 19.

County commissioners to hold Briley Township accountable for debt to equalization department
County commissioners are holding Briley Township fully accountable for a debt for equalization maintenance. At the regular March 13 county board meeting, the board accepted the termination of a contract for equalization maintenance between the county and the township.

The township made a $3,000 payment but still owes the county more than $3,700 for services. According to Commissioner Dave Wagner, the supervisor for Briley Township, Bruno Wojcik, asked the county to reduce the charges by 50 percent, but Wagner said that’s not possible because the township accepted the service and other townships pay in full.

He indicated the township never intended to pay for services extended as the result of a signed contract, because a recent meeting with Wojcik revealed the township didn’t budget anything for the expense.

Kevin Keller, county equalization director, said he offered to include the township in a mass tax mailing to help save the township money. The cost to the township to participate is about $1,500. However, many commissioners expressed a reluctance to extend more credit to the township before the maintenance debt is paid.

“We don’t give them the time of day until we get that,” said Commissioner Daryl Peterson.

A motion passed in favor of holding the township accountable for the $3,792 with a one percent monthly late fee. Commissioner Don Edwards abstained from the vote as he serves as the township’s zoning administrator.

Representative Triston Cole and Senator Jim Stamas chosen to receive MPA 2019 Peter Pettalia Memorial Sunshine Award
The Michigan Press Association is proud to announce that the following legislators have been chosen as this year’s Peter Pettalia Memorial Sunshine Award recipients:

• Representative Triston Cole (R-Antrim Co) a third term Representative who serves as Majority Floor Leader in the House and has been a strong supporter of open government throughout his career.

• Senator Jim Stamas (R-Midland) who is also serving his second term in the State Senate and has been a proponent of open records, government accountability and available citizen information throughout his years in the House and the Senate.

Both Representative Cole and Senator Stamas consistently show support for improving transparency in government and are strong supporters of Sunshine in government.

The Michigan Press Association chose these legislators for this award based on their continuing efforts to improve FOIA in Michigan, and their leadership in promoting the importance of available and accessible public notices in keeping Michigan’s citizens informed about government activity. These actions directly support MPA’s mission of defending free speech, promoting an open and responsive government and fostering an informed citizenry.

“Elected officials like Sen. Stamas and Rep. Cole show that they believe in a government of the people.” said MPA Public Policy Committee Chairman Dirk Milliman. “Through the years and in their current work for open, accessible government for the people of our state, they reach the standard that Rep. Peter Pettalia, in who’s honor this award is named, set for all legislators who follow. We congratulate and thank them for their efforts.”

The awards will be presented to Representative Cole and Senator Stamas at the April MPA Board Meeting

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