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Local News Summary - January 16, 2019 Edition

Preliminary exam begins on Rasmussen case in District Court
The preliminary examination of Lee A. Rasmussen, 32, Alpena, began in 88th District Court in Atlanta on Jan. 11. Rasmussen faces charges involving using a computer to commit a crime for e-mailing false accusations against Hillman’s school superintendent to a school administrator.

Dr. Pamela Rader, elementary principal in Hillman, testified she received an e-mail indicating the superintendent was involved in sexual misconduct, but Trooper Charles Collier later testified Rasmussen had admitted to sending the e-mail and had given two reasons for doing so.

Collier said his interview with Rasmussen, a former IT specialist working at the school district as an employee of the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District, revealed Rasmussen had sent the e-mail because he was under stress from trying to do the IT work of multiple specialists. He also cited the fact he had recently revealed his sexual orientation to the Human Resources department and felt he was being treated differently as a result.

According to Collier, Rasmussen wanted Carl Seiter, school superintendent, to be in fear of the security of his job just as Rasmussen was in fear of the security of his own job. Collier said Rasmussen has been cooperative with police since his admission to sending the accusatory e-mail.

Matthew Wojda, attorney for the defense, pointed out, although his client had confessed to sending the accusatory e-mail, whether that was a crime depends on whether Rasmussen intended for the superintendent to encounter trouble with law enforcement as a result. Testimony in the matter was cut short because of an unrelated trial taking place on the same day, and the matter was adjourned until Jan. 18 at 11 a.m.

Alternate leachate disposal being considered by board
Landfill board members are considering alternate ways of disposing of leachate. A recent meeting involving engineers yielded discussion of the possibilities of depositing leachate into storage space underground.

At the regular Jan. 11 landfill board meeting, Dave Wagner, board member, said he didn’t like the idea of depositing leachate underground. Bert LaFleche, board chair, said transporting by truck hurts the environment because of the use of diesel fuel, the tearing up of roads and the possibility of a spill. He also said he agreed with Wagner.

“Them putting it into the ground is not good, either,” LaFleche said.

Wagner projected, because of the recent statewide assessment for polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a committee is being formed in Lansing that will dictate what landfills can and cannot do regarding leachate disposal. He recalled a company that had done a presentation for alternative disposal of leachate which was not entertained by the previous board. With three new board members now in place, he suggested having the company return to a meeting with another presentation.

“I think it’s prudent that we just look at what’s around,” Wagner concluded.

Lady Cardinals continue winning streak
Johannesburg-Lewiston’s Lady Cardinals are on a three-game winning streak after defeating Bellaire’s Lady Eagles on Jan. 10. The only loss for the Cardinals so far, this year, was to East Jordan. Bellaire shooters were sharp during warmups. The Eagles led three times early in the game, but the Lady Cards eventually took control and never looked back. Cardinal offense displayed exceptional ball control with good protection of the ball and effective passing, and Cardinal defense kept Bellaire’s good shooters from getting opportunities.

Though J-L was only up four points at the half, Cardinal confidence was gaining as Eagle confidence was waning, and good team effort on the part of Joburg catapulted the Lady Cards to a 17-point lead going into the fourth.

After scoring only two points in the third quarter, the Eagles fired up to make up lost ground in the final quarter. They scored first in the fourth and added 11 more points before it was all said and done, but the Cardinals hadn’t been standing idly by. Joburg’s Alyce Vermilya, Tara Madej and Arielle Vermilya all hit from the free throw line and Sydney Townsend drove to the hoop for two to help the Cardinals to a 43-31 victory.

The leading scorers for J-L were Madej with 24 points, Kennedy Johnson and Arielle Vermilya each with five points and Townsend with four points. Townsend was quick to get the ball downcourt and Madej and Johnson were huge in the rebound department. The Cardinals travel to Inland Lakes on Jan. 15 and Onaway on Jan. 17.

Death Notices
Burdette L. Porter
James J. Kubicki
William L. Stoddard
Lee D. Wheeler

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