Community leaders confident in election integrity

Community leaders confident in election integrity

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic


September 16, 2020

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Whitmer, Benson urge voters, legislature to take action now

Community leaders confident in election integrity

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson called on Michigan citizens and the state legislature to take action now ahead of the Nov. 3 general election. Whitmer and Benson urged voters to request and cast their absentee ballots as soon as possible, and state legislators to pass laws to prevent delayed election results and voter disenfranchisement.

“It’s crucial that all Michiganders know how to safely exercise their right to vote and make a plan ahead of the November election. Right now, Michigan citizens can register to vote and request an absentee ballot online at,” said Governor Whitmer. “They also have a number of options to vote safely and securely, including from home, early at their clerk’s office, and in person at the polls, and I encourage them to make their voting plan now.”

Whitmer encouraged those who choose to vote from home to avoid possible U.S. Postal Service delays by mailing their ballots back as soon as possible, or hand delivering them to their local election clerk’s office or ballot drop box. Starting Sept. 24 local election clerk offices will send absentee ballots to voters and have them available for early in-person voting. Whitmer also noted that Michigan citizens who are not registered and do not have a state ID or driver’s license can register at their local election clerk’s office.

“Already we’ve had three successful elections this year which saw record turnout, record numbers of citizens voting by mail, and little to no crowding on Election Day. We are on track to replicate this success in November,” said Benson. “Our clerks are doing their part, working tirelessly as they have all year to juggle unprecedented challenges while embracing record turnout. But they and voters need support from the federal government and our state legislature.”

Benson noted that while other states provide days for pre-processing of absentee ballots, Senate Bill 757, passed yesterday by the Michigan Senate would allow only a few more hours, and only limited pre-processing, which is not enough to make a significant difference. Benson also pointed out that thousands of voters were disenfranchised in the August primary because their ballots arrived late or without a signature matching the one on their voter registration. The legislature has not advanced the bills that have been introduced to prevent such disenfranchisement in November.

Community leaders joined Whitmer and Benson to express their confidence in Michigan’s elections and to call on all to support them.

“Every citizen of the state must know that the upcoming election will be safe, secure and solidified on the rolls for voter accreditation. Every vote must count. We will not be tricked, bamboozled, or have our eyes taken off the prize of voter participation. We have come too far to turn back now. We urge everyone to TAKE YOUR SOLES TO THE POLLS AND VOTE,” said NAACP Detroit Chapter President, Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony.

“I encourage all voters to turn to trusted sources of information, like our printed voter guides distributed this week and our award winning online voter guide, as well as the information shared by the Department of State and local election clerks,” said Michigan League of Women Voters President Christina Schlitt. “And if you see election information that is untrue or suspicious, report it immediately to the Department of State by emailing”

“Michiganders can also support our elections directly, by serving as an election worker on Election Day,” said Michigan Emgage Executive Director Nada Al-Hanooti. “Communities across the state need more election workers than ever this year, and bilingual workers are especially helpful. Sign up at”

MDOT honored for innovative grant program

MDOT honored for innovative grant program

MDOT E-mail

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2020

CONTACT: Michael Frezell, MDOT Office of Communications, 517-281-6519,

MDOT honored for innovative grant program to
prevent PFAS contamination at commercial airports

Fast facts:

– MDOT received the Most Innovative State Program Award from NASAO at their annual conference. 

– The award recognizes a grant program to deploy ARFF foam testing equipment to 18 commercial Michigan airports.

– This equipment eliminates a potential source of PFAS release into the environment.


September 16, 2020 — Today, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) was honored with the Most Innovative State Program Award from the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) for the first-of-its-kind grant program to deploy groundbreaking aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) foam testing equipment to 18 commercial Michigan airports. This equipment eliminates a potential source of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) release into the environment.

Presented during the 2020 NASAO Virtual Conference and Exposition held Sept. 14-16, the award recognizes truly unique and service-oriented state aviation programs, projects, and activities. NASAO has a long tradition of calling the aviation community’s attention to individual state aviation programs. Many innovative aviation programs that began at the state level have spread to other states or in some cases have been adopted or accepted by the federal government and the aviation community.

“I’m pleased that MDOT was recognized for such an innovative program that we provided to our important airport partners,” State Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba said. “Our Office of Aeronautics staff worked hard to ensure our commercial airports took advantage of this fantastic program that will ultimately help protect the environment they operate in.”

Awarded in 2019, the grant program provides each commercial service airport with nearly $25,000 to acquire environmentally conscious firefighting foam testing devices, such as the Ecologic System manufactured by E-One or the Oshkosh ECO EFP. These types of devices connect to existing ARFF trucks to ensure proper foam proportioning without the need to dispense any firefighting foam concentrate, which eliminates a potential pathway for PFAS to enter the environment while ensuring the readiness of airport firefighting equipment.

“Looking back at the nearly three years since the interagency MPART (Michigan PFAS Action Response Team) was created, I’m thrilled at how much work has been done in the state of Michigan to protect our citizens from such pervasive chemicals,” said Mike Trout, executive administrator of the MDOT Office of Aeronautics, director of the Michigan Aeronautics Commission (MAC), and MPART delegate. “I’m proud that MDOT and the MAC played such an integral role in the response.”

This is the first time since 1992 that Michigan has received this award from NASAO.

Catalyst Communities program will help communities

Catalyst Communities program will help communities

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic


Sept. 16, 2020

Nick Assendelft, Public Information Officer,, 517-388-3135


Catalyst Communities program will help communities address climate impacts on public health, emergency preparedness

Local officials can sign up for series of online classes

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and Governor Whitmer announced today the Catalyst Communities program, a comprehensive initiative to provide education, training, planning and technical resources to local public officials as they prepare for climate impacts on emergency response and public health.


“Michigan has seen and continues to experience the lasting effects of climate change and we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to protect Michigan families, environment, and economy,” said Governor Whitmer. “This program will give communities the resources they need to continue to implement real change that is seen and felt by Michiganders across the state.”


The online Climate Academy training will kick off in November, but local officials can sign up now for the series of training classes and to receive more information. The program is a multi-tier instruction curriculum on adapting locally to the impacts of climate change on communities, mitigating harms and implementing clean energy solutions. After successfully completing the sessions, attendees will be better equipped to prepare their communities for potential climate impacts.


Action on climate must be taken at all levels and local responses are key to ensuring that Michigan’s 10 million residents are able to cope with the stresses of changes that can no longer be avoided, EGLE Director Liesl Clark said.


“The impact of climate change is real. We’re seeing it in our pink skies from West Coast wildfires and in mosquito-borne diseases as well as severe weather that is made worse by high lake levels,” Clark said. “Catalyst Communities will lift up the work ongoing in communities from Northport to Marquette and from Grand Rapids to Detroit. Catalyst Communities will support communities that want to do more and need to hear their options. And the program will create a place to learn for locals who want to take action and need to see what the path might be.”


Participants will work to secure a resilient future for their communities into the next century by building emergency response preparedness, public health awareness, and economic revitalization solutions. These tools will help every Michigan community to succeed in a changing climate and the transition to clean energy.


The program, facilitated by EGLE’s Office of Climate and Energy under Dr. Brandy Brown, includes these four principal themes that move Michigan toward climate readiness:

  • Emergency Preparedness: Offer guidance to communities on potential climate impacts with a focus on risk projection, resilient infrastructure planning and disaster recovery.
  • Adaption Planning Resources: Provide up-to-date public health, climate resilience zoning, green financing and energy infrastructure guidebooks, as well as tools to ensure that every Michigan community is ready for the future.
  • Economic ResilienceProvide advanced technological support that encourages rapid adoption of advanced energy technologies, all-sector building efficiency and pathways to training the workforce of the future.
  • Integrating EquityEnsuring that low-income residents and communities of color are provided with the tools to adapt to climate effects and that they benefit from climate initiatives like clean energy jobs and green infrastructure in neighborhoods.


The Catalyst Communities Program continues Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s focus on preparing Michigan for the wide-ranging impacts of climate change. Shortly after taking office, Gov. Whitmer said the impacts of global climate change are being felt in Michigan and are projected to intensify in the future. In Executive Directive 2019-12, the Governor committed the State of Michigan to implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement, track progress toward climate action goals, and accelerate new and existing policies to reduce carbon pollution and promote clean energy deployment at the state and federal level.


The Office of Climate and Energy was created by Gov. Whitmer to coordinate activities of state departments and agencies on climate response, provide insight and recommendations to state government and local units of government on how to mitigate climate impact and adapt to climate changes; and provide guidance and assistance for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and climate adaptation and resiliency.


Holly Oaks ORV Park Grand Opening

Holly Oaks ORV Park Grand Opening

Holly Oaks ORV Park

Click here to buy Holly Oaks ORV Tickets

Grand Opening – September 17th, 2020!

Here are a few things you need to know before coming out to the park:

  1. To ensure that everyone has a fun and safe experience, we are capping ticket sales at 500 per day at this time.
  2. Tickets for each day can be purchased online starting at 9 p.m. the night before.  We will post on our Facebook page when capacity is reached for the day.
  3. Tickets can also be purchased in-person at our ticket counter (at Mt. Holly until mid-October, then at the park contact station off Shields Road) as availability allows.
  4. If you purchase tickets online – use Guest Checkout for the most efficient experience (you don’t need to click the Log-In button at the top of the page).
  5. Don’t forget you need your DNR ORV and ORV Trail stickers.  We will NOT be selling them at the park until mid-October.  If you don’t have current stickers you can purchase them at dozens of locations in/around Oakland County.  Visit the DNR’s web site for a map of locations near you.  The closest locations to the park are the Great Lakes Ace and Seven Lake Party Store in Holly.
  6. A ticket is needed for EACH vehicle that will be used in the park.  If you want to bring several vehicles and rotate their use in the park, you can do so.  If you want to use several vehicles at a time, they will all need a ticket. Tickets purchased online can be shown on your mobile device or printed and brought to the park.  A wrist band (to attach to a vehicle or worn by an individual) will be provided per ticket purchased.
  7. Ticket sales will stop 2 hours before the park closes each day.
  8. Ten-foot flags are strongly encouraged.
  9. The park gates will open 1 hour before the park opens.  Vehicles should not line up on Dixie Highway waiting to enter.
  10. Please bring a mask if you need to enter the building to purchase a ticket or use the restroom.  Masks are required inside Mt. Holly. Port-a-johns will be available.
  • Hours of Operation
    • Opening Weekend
      • Thursday, September 17,  2-8 p.m.
      • Friday, September 18 – Sunday, September 20, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.


Friday September 25, 2-8 p.m.  September 26-27, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

October: Fridays 2-7 p.m., Saturdays & Sundays 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

November 1: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

November 7 – 29 – Saturday & Sunday only 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

We will post winter 2021 hours (staffing dependent) by mid-October.

Anticipated future hours (2021 and beyond):

April, May, September (after Labor Day), October – Open Th – Sun (Closed Mon – Wed), 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. September, 10 – 7 p.m. October

Winter (November – March) – Open Saturday & Sunday only, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Memorial Day to Labor Day – Open Wed – Mon (closed Tuesdays), 10 a.m. – 8 pm


  • Holidays


Thanksgiving – Closed Thanksgiving day, open Wednesday before and Friday after

Christmas – Closed Christmas day, additional open days TBD

  • Fees

$15 per vehicle entering the park (through the contact station).  Wrist bands can be worn by an individual who wishes to use multiple vehicles in the park on a visit (one at a time).  Or it can be attached to a rear-view mirror or another part of a vehicle if only one vehicle will be used in the park.  All vehicles through the contact station will need a wrist band on-board (on a person or on the vehicle).

  • ORV Sticker and ORV Trail stickers will be required for entry and will be able to be purchased at the park.

MDNR ORV Sticker – $26.25

MDNR ORV Trail Sticker – $10.00

The sale of these stickers goes back to a special funding source at the DNR that provides grants for ORV facilities in Michigan.  Holly Oaks ORV Park (which is owned by the DNR and operated by Oakland County Parks in partnership with the DNR) has already been the recipient of development funding for the park from the sale of MDNR ORV stickers.

  • All types of off-road vehicles are allowed – must have a muffler.  Maximum allowable noise level is 94 dB(A)
  • Children 12 and older with an ORV safety certificate issued by the state (or another state) may operate an ATV or motorcycle at the park with direct supervision
  • All other vehicle operators must have a valid operator’s license (drivers license)
MDOT honored for innovative grant program

road work require closing westbound I-94 this weekend

MDOT E-mail

MDOT on facebook MDOT on Twitter MDOT on YouTube Mi Drive - Know before you go. MDOT on Instagram Sign up for E-mails form MDOT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2020


CONTACT: Rob Morosi, MDOT Office of Communications,


Bridge and road work require closing westbound I-94 this weekend in Metro Detroit


Fast facts:

            – MDOT is replacing the East Grand Boulevard overpass above I-94.

            – Work to set new bridge beams and ongoing road resurfacing will require closing westbound I-94 from I-696 to  I-75.

            – The closure begins at 8 p.m. Friday and ends by 5 a.m. Monday.


September 16, 2020 — Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) contract crews will be setting bridge beams on the East Grand Boulevard overpass and continue road resurfacing that will require closing westbound I-94 from I-696 to I-75 this weekend. The closure will start at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18. All lanes of westbound I-94 are expected to reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 21.


During this closure, westbound I-94 traffic will be detoured via westbound I-696, southbound M-3 (Gratiot Avenue), westbound Gratiot connector and northbound I-75 back to westbound I-94. All entrance ramps to westbound I-94 will be closed starting at 7 p.m. from I-696/11 Mile Road to Chene Street and will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday.


Elsewhere in Detroit, eastbound I-94 will have only one lane open from Trumbull Street to I-75 for ongoing work at the Second Avenue bridge. The left lane of eastbound I-94 will remain closed from I-75 to East Grand Boulevard. The lane closures will start at 8 p.m. Friday and end by 5 a.m. Monday.