At a Glance ...


SBM cancels 50-year Golden Celebration

In the interest of the health and safety of members and their families and colleagues, the State Bar of Michigan’s 50-year Golden Celebration scheduled for May 11, at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, is cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

SBM officials say they will be exploring options for rescheduling and refund options.

Given the uncertainty of the spread of the coronavirus, they say it is unlikely any rescheduling would happen until July or later. Members will be updated as decisions are made.

MPA reveals Sunshine Award winners

The Michigan Press Association annually gives the Rep. Peter Pettalia Memorial Sunshine Award to public servants that strive to promote and protect transparency in government.

The award is named after former State Rep. Peter Pettalia of Presque Isle who was known for supporting the citizens in his community and understanding of the importance of keeping them informed through a transparent government.

This year’s recipients are State Attorney General Dana Nessel and Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum.

Byrum has been an advocate for openness since her days in the Michigan House of Representatives. She was one of the first legislators to approach MPA to jointly work on legislation that would improve the Freedom of Information Act in Michigan.

As the clerk of Ingham County, she has been active in promoting ethics changes that would improve openness and continues to be a supporter of maintaining the integrity of public notices in print.

The MPA says Nessel has worked to promote openness at the state level and has strengthened use of FOIA and OMA in her own department.

Since taking office she has conducted five FOIA/OMA sessions in Michigan communities, talking about Michigan’s open government laws and their importance, according to the MPA.

Judge orders couple to trial on animal neglect charges

EMMETT TOWNSHIP (AP) — A couple in southern Michigan has been ordered to stand trial after 17 pit bull terriers were found in bitter cold.

A Calhoun County district judge ruled recently the criminal case against Dennis and Lynn Norrod should go to circuit court, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer.

The couple is charged with animal neglect.

County animal control officers found the dogs Jan. 31, 2019 in an Emmett Township home, about 120 miles west of Detroit.

A neighbor concerned about the dogs called authorities to the home.

An officer testified the dogs were attached to heavy chains, and that there was insufficient bedding in their doghouses. Food and water were frozen.

A veterinarian testified that the dogs were dehydrated. One dog died of heart failure and was found to have lesions on its lungs.

Defense attorney Richard Pattison argued that officers were overreaching in their investigation and that “it was clear that there were houses and automatic feeders in place” for the dogs.


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