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FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2010

IN BRIEF Black Lake walleye study

Lake Superior State University, the Black Lake Association, and the Hammond Bay Area Anglers Association are conducting a study to determine where walleye are spawning in Black Lake and its tributaries. Beginning Saturday, LSSU researchers will be placing egg mats made of a metal frame with filter media in several locations around Black Lake, the Upper Black River, and the Rainy River. The egg mats will collect only a small number of eggs, but will allow scientists to identify where walleye are spawning and approximately how many eggs might be deposited. Each "gang" of egg mats will be marked with a orange plastic float. The egg mats will extend approximately 10-15 feet from the float. Caution is recomended when fishing around the egg mats, as they will be easily snagged by hooks near the bottom. If you do hook an egg mat, cut your line or make sure to return the egg mats to the water. For additional Information, contact Virgil Smith, president of the Blake Lake Association at 733-8089.

Fireworks half way to goal

The Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce has annonced the community is once again stepping up with some great support for the 2010 fireworks. The community is now over half way to the goal, with $10,391 raised so far. The goal again this year is $19,000 with the city kicking things off with $5,000. Over 50 businesses, individuals and groups have donated so far this year. If you would like to contribute, make checks payable the City of Alpena and drop off your donation of any size off at the chamber of commerce, 235 West Chisholm Street, or city hall.

Judge blasts lawyer for plea

DETROIT (AP) — There was nothing warm about the courtroom exchange between a Detroit federal judge and a wellknown attorney. Richard Convertino asked that taxpayers pay him to represent Mary Waters in a corruption trial that starts June 1. U.S. District Judge Marianne Battani told Convertino he’s either a ‘‘con artist or just plain stupid.’’ Waters says she can’t afford to pay Convertino after losing her job with the Wayne County prosecutor’s office. It’s common for people to get court-appointed lawyers if they can’t afford one, but Convertino is not on the list. Battani approved the request Thursday but past work won’t be covered. Convertino told The Detroit News that Battani’s comments were insulting.

CITY/ STATE Job opportunities

Hillman officials pleased with MEAP scores

By CRYSTAL NELSON News Staff Writer

News Photo by Patty Ramus

Michael Butler of Atlanta, left, speaks with James Schalm, recruiter's assistant for Trillium Staffing, during the Alpena County Michigan Works Job Fair on Thursday afternoon at Alpena Community College. Chris Coultes, Michigan Works business liaiason, said more than 200 people showed up at the fair during the first hour and traffic had been steady up until the halfway point of the fair. Many of the job seekers were professional and employers were speaking with people with diverse employment skills and levels.

DNRE, USDA dealing with positive TB finding By MIKE MODRZYNSKI News Staff Writer

A white-tailed deer taken in southeastern Cheboygan County by officers from the USDA’s wildlife services division has tested positive for bovine tuberculosis. The deer was taken on a small cattle operation that was reported to have had a large number of deer in the operator’s fields. According to Tim Reis, Department of Natural Resources and Environment wildlife supervisor for the region, the operator requested assistance

from the USDA and received a number of disease control permits. The first deer taken on the farm tested positive and that, according to Reis, kicks in a series of actions in the area. “First, we will draw a 10-mile circle around the farm to declare it a potential bovine TB hotspot,” he said. “Next, we will take and test 300 deer from that area, most from the upcoming deer season, but there are disease control permits available to help out. The issue also affects Presque Isle County in the extreme northeast bor-

der area with Cheboygan County.” He said the farmers entire herd of cattle must also now be tested, and any signs of the diseaes could result in the herd being eradicated. Reis said this is the first TB-positive deer found in Northeast Michigan in a long period, but indicates the problem still exists in the region. This discovery likley will mean a more concerted effort to test deer taken during the fall hunting seasons. Mike Modrzynski can be reached via email at

has heard people don’t believe the lights are adequate and there is controversy about them. “We want to add security ofr our employee parkinh lots and these lights just won’t do the job,” he said. The commissioners voted unanimously to opt out of the street light project. Sharyn Malone, equalization director, reported the county’s total state equalized value fell more than $67 million from 2009. She said the state of the economy and severely sagging sales impacted the totals, costing the county more than $33,000 in anticipated tax revenues for 2010. “It’s not just us here in Presque Isle County, it’s everyone in the state,” she said. “A few of the townships are reporting good sales, but that’s because property owners

would rather hold onto property than sell it at a loss. I suspect that things will turn around if the power plant comes in, but that’s a ways off yet.” In other action, commissioners: ∫ increased the proposed millage levy for the senior citizen centers from 0.4922 mills to 0.5, for a period of four years. The new language will be on the ballot for the August election. ∫ approved a contract with the undersheriff to perform marine patrol duties. ∫ approved a painting contract for the Ocqueoc Outdoor Center. The work will be done in the kitchen at the center. ∫ approved a contract to improve and upgrade the bathroom facilities at the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse. Mike Modrzynski can be reached via email at

PI commissioners end street lights participation By MIKE MODRZYNSKI News Staff Writer

Presque Isle County commissioners will not participate in the streetlight project in Rogers City because of cost and a lack of enthusiasm over the choice of lighting. Commissioner Mike Grohowski said he simply was “not pleased” with the lights and his sentiments were echoed by other members of the county board as they voted down a proposal to fund up to six lights along the north and south sidewalks bordering the county courthouse. “I am not at all pleased with the lights already installed along Third Street,” said Commissioner Mike Darga. “We spoke about adding lights for security reasons but these lights fall far short of what we thought we might get.” Commissioner Bob Schell said he

Discussing hard times

Kennedy to speak at MSU

EAST LANSING (AP) — Michigan State University says ex-U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy II will be a featured speaker as part of its environmentally friendly ‘‘green commencement’’ May 7-9. Among the waste-reducing features of this year’s spring graduation are diplomas and programs printed on recycled paper and caps and gowns made from recycled plastic bottles. The university says about 58,500 plastic bottles have gone to make the gowns, saving 16,500 yards of fabric. Invitations were e-mailed, not mailed. Kennedy represented Massachusetts in Congress for 12 years and is son of the late U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy. He’s founder and chairman of the nonprofit Citizens Energy Corp.


Students at Hillman Community Schools were praised for scoring well on the MEAP exam at the district’s board of education meeting Monday night. Superintendent Jack Richards said they should be proud of how the kids are performing and how well they’re doing. Elementary Principal Shawn Olson congratulated students and staff for a job well done. “It doesn’t get much better than this,” Olson said. In October 2009, students enrolled in grades three through nine took the state mandated exam. She said the test was shorter than in previous years which had to do with the amount of funding at the state level and a lot of things had changed about the test. Despite the changes, students still took their exams on the same day as all students statewide. All of the district’s thirdgraders scored 1s and 2s on the exam, which recognized by the state as the highest scores students can get. The students scored 5 percent higher on the math portion of the test than the state average and 10 percent higher in reading than the state average. “It’s quite phenomenal,” Olson said. “Our third-graders are just thinking they’re the best in the state.” She said the students in fourth, fifth and sixth grades also scored above state average. Fourth-graders scoring 1s and 2s were 9 percent higher than the state in reading and 4 percent higher in math; fifth-graders scored 9 percent higher than the state in science, 5 percent higher in reading and 2 percent higher in math; and sixth-graders scored 3 percent higher in social studies than the state average and 1 percent higher than the state average in both reading and math. “The problem areas we come into — and Jack and I have talked about this a little bit — are the seventh and eighth grade math,” she said. Richards said how students in the seventh and eighth grades scored on the math portion of the MEAP test is a concern statewide. Although 76 percent of seventh-graders scored 1s or 2s in math compared to the states 82 percent, they scored 4 percent higher than the state in reading. In the eighth grade, 58 percent of students scored 1s or 2s in math compared to the state’s average of 70 percent; 79 percent scored 1s or 2s in reading compared to the state’s average of 83 percent; and 81 percent scored 1s or 2s in science compared to the state’s 76 percent average. Scoring 1 percent lower than the state in social studies, ninth-graders were just shy of meeting the 71 percent state average. Crystal Nelson can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 358-5693.

Murder charge filed in death

News Photo by Mike Modrzynski

Nearly four dozen residents of Rogers City attended a public broadcasting presentation Thursday evening and participated in a discussion regarding what’s wrong with the state and how best to fix it. The video presentation, "Michigan: Hard Times, Hard Choices" was the result of a weekend gathering of residents from around the state, gathered in Lansing to discuss the issues. Hosted in Rogers City by Sarah Adams, the film provided a focal point for local points of view of what needs to be done and how best to achieve it.

FLINT (AP) — Authorities say a 4-year-old Genesee County boy who urinated on himself was beaten for days as a punishment before his body was discovered Sunday. Sheriff Robert Pickell says the case ‘‘goes beyond torture.’’ Brandon Hayes, the boyfriend of the boy’s mother, was arraigned Thursday on charges of felony murder, child abuse and other crimes. Dominick Calhoun was taken off life support Monday, a day after he was removed from the floor of an apartment in Argentine Township, south of Flint. The sheriff says the beatings began a week ago, April 8.


Judge blasts lawyer for plea C C I I T T Y Y / / S S T T A A T T E E News Staff Writer THEALPENANEWS∫5A News Staff Writer News Staff Writer...