Friday, May 27, 2016

DOES THE DICKINSON COUNTY SHERIFF DEPARTMENT HAVE A DRUG & ALCOHOL POLICY?


I was recently asked to share some "facts" on drug and alcohol testing of Law Enforcement in Dickinson County (Michigan) located here: www.cvcofdickinsoncounty.com 

I was really surprised that local law enforcement aren't being randomly drug tested or screened. I needed to find out if this was really true and stopped at the Sheriff Dept to file a FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) request. 

Upon looking at the documents provided on "CVC of Dickinson County" I saw that the info gained by their FOIA request wasn't done at the appropriate place. In order to obtain records from the Sheriff Dept, you must FOIA them directly from the Sheriff Dept and not the County Clerk as they did. It appears that County Courthouse workers in fact are NOT tested as stated, however that didn't include the Sheriff Department employees..

The fact is.. The Dickinson County Sheriff Dept does indeed does drug and alcohol testing. 

(Read Below)




All employees at the Sheriff Dept are drug tested before being hired and are advised that if they suspect use, they will be required to submit a sample of urine or blood for testing.

It also says even part time or temp employees too are screened before employment. They require employees to inform them if they are on ANY medications that might effect them at work including cold medicines. If a employee is suspected of having drugs, the Sheriff can randomly search their vehicles, lockers or personal belongings without a warrant. Plus he can force the employee to a drug test.

So the fact is they indeed do have a drug and alcohol policy in place at the Dickinson County (Michigan) Sheriff's Department..

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dickinson County (MI) Police Unions Request Rejected By Commissioners - Read Both Letters, You Decide..

To a citizen living in Dickinson County, Michigan it would appear as if the county commissioners don't like the local law enforcement unions. The commissioners told them if they needed to discuss anything, they should come to the County Board Meeting where "citizens" have 5 minutes to speak to commissioners.. 

 Read these two letters (below), one is from all county unions and the other is a reply by the Dickinson County Board of Commissioners denying their request for "Employee Relations".

  On April 25, 2016 the Dickinson County Board of Commissioners voted and refused to open any discussions with local law enforcement unions. WATCH HERE

- Commissioner Stevens stated the union wants dialogue and communication solves all problems. He stated "if we don’t talk things through, you don’t fix relations" and said he will not sign the letter because he thinks it will create more problems as he believes they need a line of communications with employees.

- Commissioner Degenaer Jr., stated we have a legal opinion and it says we will "open negotiations with conversation". He stated we cannot talk about issues with the unions and said they can create their own safety committee without Board communications. 

May 23, 2016 - On the video below, skip to 9:48 to listen to a upset local law enforcement union employee.


One local county union employee said, "The unions are NOT in ongoing labor disputes with the county!!!! We are in the middle of an existing contract that we are content with. We would be absolutely stupid to want to open a contract when the county is under this much financial trouble and that is why it is absurd that they would even think as such."

 It makes absolutely no sense to avoid contact with them, while citing they don't want to be "renegotiating contracts"... These COUNTY EMPLOYEES are only asking to talk to these commissioners to make our county a better place! 

See all the minutes from recent county commissioners meetings here!  

Watch more Dickinson County Board of Commissioner Meetings below!

 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Is This Vandalism or Free Speech? Someone Wrote "Donald Trump" On Vulcan, MI Bear..

Who painted "DONALD TRUMP" on the big bear along US 2 in Vulcan, Michigan across from the Iron Mine? 


Depending on who did it, it could be vandalism or possibly free speech.. 

I'm sure that's the biggest campaign sign I've ever seen (besides a billboard) for Donald Trump.




If your wondering.. 
The owner did this to make a statement..

Friday, May 20, 2016

Commissioner Martin's Letter to Local Judge Attacking Friend of the Court, Affects Local Court Case

Read the letter sent by Dickinson County (Michigan) Commissioner Ann M. Martin addressed to the local Judge Celello but included (CC'd) Judge Barglind and Slagle, also included Sheriff Celello and State Rep Ed McBroom concerning our local FOC.

The letter begins, "I am writing you to update on the situation of my niece and her children so that you are fully aware of what happened." - It goes on to tell details about the case and evidence about it, before it even goes to court.

On the second page Ann states things like, "I deeply question the judgement and actions of the Friend of the Court Heidi VanSlooten.", "It seems that Ms. VanSlooten has consistently ignored the very threats to these children." and  "I believe that her appointment as Friend of the Court must be re-evaluated."

Names have been removed, read the letter Ann sent below.



The following letter was the reply sent to Ann Martin on March 2, 2016 and was signed by all 3 judges. Not only did they notify her that they had no intention of re-evaluating Heidi, but also informed her that her actions of sending this letter with facts on a case (not yet heard), is resulting in this case being sent to another county. All 3 judges had to disqualify themselves from hearing the case because of the letter Commissioner Martin sent!

It also states, "In our opinion, the letter was not only improper as an ex-parte communication about a pending case, it also has the appearance of impropriety given the fact you are a county commissioner who sets the budget for the court, including the Friends of the Court Office."


If what you read above pissed you off, it should! This elected official took it upon herself to send this letter to 3 judges, the local sheriff and a state representative that attacked our local Friend of the Court Manager Heidi Van Slooten. In doing so, she also sent detailed facts in a case to the judges, resulting in a civil child custody/ divorce case being moved to another county.   

If she did this as a 'commissioner' and not a citizen her actions would be criminal.

During Thursday's County Finance Meeting, Dickinson County Friend of the Court Heidi Van Slooten spoke out about this letter and requested that Ann Martin refrain from any votes relating to the FOC. 

Watch the video below:



NEXT COMMISSIONER MEETING IS MONDAY, MAY 23rd at 6PM...

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Norway Krist Oil Removes Church Sign, Citizens In Uproar!

This is a sign of times I guess, when cities enact rules that all businesses must follow that sometimes upsets those who don't even live there to know the laws.. 

Betty Brock (member of St Vincent De Paul - Niagara, WI) submitted a letter to the editor in the Florence Mining Journal on May 12, 2016..

Betty states in her letter she is appalled that their rummage/bake sale signs were removed from the property belonging to Krist Oil in Norway, Michigan where they had been placed earlier in the week. 
Betty says someone from Krist Oil called to tell her they removed the sign and if they wanted it put back up there would be a $100 fee to do so! Betty says she won't spend another dime there and will also pray for them..
This post really caught some fire after being shared on a facebook post, many people are posting that others should boycott Krist Oil for this action. 

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY....

While so many others were condemning Krist Oil for removing this rummage sale sign, employees were wondering what they had done wrong. The employees who worked at the Norway store said they were told NO SIGNS were allowed on the property unless a $100 fee was paid that covered costs associated with getting a permit to have a sign in place.

Norway DOES HAVE rules and regulations surrounding rummage sale signs that most who don't live there would know anything about.. 

David Stark is the retail supervisor for Krist Oil and posted this statement (below) on Facebook.

 

 After hearing both sides of this and seeing what people were posting on Facebook, I felt I needed to dig a little further into the claim Krist Oil was making.. They kept saying the city of Norway did NOT allow signs to be placed without prior approval from the city. They are in fact correct..

Norway Area Zoning Ordinance:

Section 1014 - Temporary Signs

A. Signs which are intended to identify or advertise a nonprofit annual or one-time event or occurrence, such as a fair or other event of general public interest, shall be permitted for a period not to exceed one month preceding the event provided that the sign is not contrary to the spirit and purpose of this Ordinance and shall conform to all size limitations of this Ordinance. Signs shall not be located in a vision triangle or interfere with traffic. Signs mounted on a mobile base shall all conform to setbacks and conform to lighted sign regulations

       B. The applicant is responsible for both the erection and removal of all signs. All signs must be removed no later than 10 days after the end of the event.

C. Temporary signs shall be limited to private property only, with the property owner’s permission.

Section 1022 - Sign Permits

A. All signs shall require the issuance of a sign permit by the Zoning Administrator. Each sign permit issued shall remain valid upon the condition the sign meets the requirements contained in this Article. 

 I wonder if Betty still feels the same way after learning about this Norway ordinance that forbids signs to just be placed in the city. Krist Oil claims there is a $100 fine per sign posted without a permit, this was their reason for removing it in the first place. 

 I believe that Betty should have gone inside and asked employees at Krist Oil if they could place the signs before they did. Then she would have learned about this ordinance and why this sign wasn't allowed to be there. 

Perhaps Betty wouldn't have been as upset with Krist Oil for following the laws in the city on Norway, Michigan.


DO YOU THINK KRIST OIL SHOULD HAVE LEFT THE SIGN AND FACED THE FINE?