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Local News Summary - January 15, 2020 Edition

Lady Tigers swat down Wolverines
Hillman’s Lady Tigers improved to 6-2 after making a meal of the Lady Wolverines from AuGres-Sims on Jan. 10. The Wolverines displayed pretty good defense and nabbed multiple rebounds, but inexperienced ball handling, difficulty in executing passes and failed shots resulted in only one Wolverine point in the first quarter.

The Tigers opened with a 14-point run, including six consecutive points for Melanie Morrison to start the game, and led by 17 at the end of the first. The Wolverines added four points in the second quarter, but they were making wild passes and failing to protect the ball, two things no team wants to do against the Tigers.

Already up by 23 points at the half, Hillman’s Bailey Schook stole the ball, scored while drawing the foul and added the foul shot for a three-point execution to start the second half. AuGres-Sims’ Victoria Selle added four third-quarter points for the Wolverines, but the Tigers pummeled away to a 35-point lead going into the final quarter.

Fourth-quarter action began with consecutive shots from Hillman’s Schook, Emma Libby and Ellie Crawford. Lady Wolverine Olivia Verdusco stalled the Tiger momentum with a bucket for AuGres-Sims, and Selle fired a triple as the clock was running down. However, Hillman gave the Wolverines a lot to think about on the way home after the game that ended 56-14, Tigers.

The leading scorers for the Tigers were Schook with 17 points, Morrison with 14, Julia Taratuta with six and Libby, Allyson Brown and McKenna Hiveley each with four. The Lady Tigers host the Lady Hurons from Rogers City on Jan. 13 and travel to Posen to conquer the Lady Vikings on Jan. 17.

Commissioners vote to stop paying insurance premiums for some county retirees effective March 1
Commissioners for the county have voted to stop paying insurance premiums for county retirees, including sheriff department retirees, who qualify for Medicare effective March 1. While the county board considers switching insurance for active employees to Priority Health, commissioners voted in favor of extending the current Blue Cross policy for one month until March 1 because of a union mediation meeting on Jan. 29 and because the insurance provider is extending the current premium rate for one month.

At the regular county board meeting on Jan. 8, Sheriff Chad Brown pointed out the allocation to the sheriff department from the tax revolving fund had not been made for the year, and the department went without an officer for six months, a savings of $30,000. That combined with jail revenue of $60,000 is enough to pay for the current active employee and retiree policies, he said.

The sheriff maintained the sheriff department employees had made sacrifices to keep their benefits and taking the benefits away when they need them most is unjust.

“At some point, we have to take care of these people,” Sheriff Brown said.

Commissioner Daryl Peterson emphasized the county has a $6.7 million pension liability, no knowledge of whether legislators will release funding and possible upcoming litigation that could cost money.

“We can’t keep going into the revolving fund to get us through,” Peterson said. “We have to make some decisions, in my opinion, for the future. We were going to do this all last year at this time.”

Commissioner Gary Girardin, who voted against the motion to stop paying retiree insurance premiums, said he agrees with the sheriff.

“I think it’s time we quit taking away from the county employees and look at things we can do to make it better for these employees,” Girardin said. “They gave their lives and their time, and they deserve the things they thought they were going to get.”

The insurance premium for active employees is due to increase by about $48,000. Switching to Priority Health would save about $114,000 in premiums. Regarding eliminating retiree health insurance, Tim McDonald, union representative, said that’s a benefit the union employees seek and were promised.

“As union reps, we will back the retirees as far as we can,” McDonald advised. “I’ve already talked to them about what we can do, just to let you know. So, see you Tuesday.”

Changes to dumpster ordinance in Albert Township
Owners of private property in Albert Township are being informed of changes to the township’s dumpster ordinance. The matter was discussed at the regular Jan. 6 township board meeting.

The changes prohibit the keeping of a dumpster on private property that makes it visible to the public from a public or private road, except when shielded from an opaque fence or an effective vegetative screen. Also prohibited is allowing refuse within a dumpster to accumulate above the top rim of the dumpster or allowing refuse to accumulate on the ground near the dumpster.

Property owners must keep dumpster lids closed to prevent them from becoming a breeding ground, food source or habitation for insects and vermin. The changes to the dumpster ordinance do not take effect until spring when frozen ground does not pose an issue for those who need to reposition dumpsters or construct a fence.

Death Notices
Full obituaries are in the Tribune print & paid online edition
Becky L. Wilkes
Joan P. Renodin
Doris E. Herrick
Ada G. Haynes
William R. Rundel

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