State Roundup

New CEO tapped to lead state economic development agency

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - State officials have promoted the Michigan Economic Development Corp.'s executive vice president and chief operating officer to the agency's top post.

The state agency's executive committee announced Tuesday that it selected Steve Arwood as chief executive, following Gov. Rick Snyder's recommendation. He replaces Michael Finney, who joined Snyder's executive staff as senior adviser for economic growth.

Arwood also is director of the new Talent and Economic Development Department. The creation of that department and other moves announced last month by the governor are designed to reorganize the state's economic growth and job-training efforts under one department.

Arwood is an ex-director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. He previously worked in private business in wind energy development, and before that held various state government posts.

U.P. wind farm sued over impacts on neighbors

GARDEN, Mich. (AP) - Eleven people who live near the first wind farm in Michigan's Upper Peninsula say the whir of turbines has reduced property values, diminished their sleep and put birds at risk.

They filed a lawsuit last week in federal court against Heritage Sustainable Energy and the U.S. government, seeking to block expansion and require more study on the impacts.

A message seeking comment was left Tuesday at Heritage. In September, the Traverse City-based company said its consultants found no significant impact on birds.

The wind farm opened in 2012 in Delta County's Garden Peninsula, near the village of Garden. The owner says the 14 turbines can produce the equivalent of a year's electricity for half of the households in the county.

Traverse City
December sees snowmobiling drop because of lack of snow

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Owners of area snowmobile businesses say a lack of snow in December cut into prime riding time.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports snowmobile sales and trail activity were particularly affected the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. Snowmobile rental business owner Brett Campbell said it's a key stretch, and he estimates his business is down 30 percent this season.

Kurt Bard, who's head of the Grand Traverse Area Snowmobile Club, says the sport bolsters spending at area gas stations, restaurants, hotels and sporting goods stores.

Bard says trails are looking better, but that they could use a lot more snow.

Traverse City got just 5.1 inches of snow in December, according to the National Weather Service.

Voters to weigh in on marijuana decriminalization

MONTROSE, Mich. (AP) - Voters in a Flint-area community are expected to consider a marijuana decriminalization measure.

The Flint Journal reports voters in Montrose will decide Feb. 24 whether the Genesee County city will legalize the possession or transfer of less than one ounce of marijuana on private property or the transfer of less than one ounce by those 21 or older.

In November, voters in six Michigan communities passed marijuana decriminalization measures, while those in five others rejected similar proposals. Voters in Hazel Park and Oak Park passed measures in August. Voters in Ferndale, Jackson and Lansing approved decriminalization proposals in 2013.

Decriminalization measures put the communities in potential conflict with state law. Michigan bans marijuana use and possession unless it's medical marijuana.

Bell's Brewery to mark 30th anniversary with Sept. event

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - Bell's Brewery plans to celebrate 30 years of commercial sales of its beer during a September event in Kalamazoo.

The Bell's 30th Anniversary Funvitational Beer Festival is scheduled for Sept. 12 at Homer Stryker Field and will feature more than 100 breweries.

Organizers say in a statement that all breweries in the Kalamazoo area are among those being invited. Some will be from out of state. A final list will be released later.

Ticket sales information is being posted online.

Battle Creek
Police: Woman steals clothes, caught wearing them same day

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) - Police say a 36-year-old woman has been arrested while wearing clothes she had stolen earlier in the day from a Battle Creek store.

Battle Creek police say in a statement that the woman is believed to have smashed a window early Monday at a Dollar General store, where clothing was taken, before smashing a window at a nearby Walgreens pharmacy, where cigarettes were stolen.

Both break-ins were captured on surveillance video. Police say they were able to identify the woman and spotted her while she was walking Monday evening. She was arrested on two counts of breaking and entering and taken to the Calhoun County jail.

Published: Wed, Jan 21, 2015