Oakland County Conducts First Siren Test of Severe Weather

Oakland County Conducts First Siren Test of Severe Weather

Oakland County Conducts First Siren Test of Severe Weather Season

Post Date:02/27/2024 2:49 PM
  • Oakland County will activate its outdoor warning siren system at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 2. It has 275 outdoor warning sirens, each capable of covering about a one-mile radius from its location.
  • Individuals, families, and businesses throughout Oakland County are encouraged to use the siren test as an opportunity to discuss their preparedness plan to ensure that they are ready for severe weather.
  • For more resources on how you can prepare your home, school, or business for severe weather emergencies and other disasters, visit oakgov.com/emergency-management. To sign up for OakAlert, click oakgov.com/OakAlert.

Feb. 27, 2024, Pontiac, Mich. – Oakland County will conduct its first outdoor warning siren test of 2024 on Saturday, March 2. It will produce a steady three-minute tone beginning at 1 p.m.

In a real emergency, the siren indicates a tornado has been sighted or strongly indicated on radar or a severe thunderstorm with sustained winds of 70 mph or greater is in the area. Residents would be given instructions to seek shelter immediately and listen to radio or television for more information.

“The first siren test of the season is a great opportunity to learn about why we have sirens and why it’s vital to have an emergency plan,” Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter said. “Knowing what you will do ahead of time and how you will communicate with family and friends is invaluable.”

Individuals, families, and businesses throughout Oakland County are encouraged to use the siren test to discuss their preparedness plan to ensure that they are ready for severe weather. Oakland County Emergency Management has an array of preparedness resources and information about severe weather threats, tornados, downed power lines, floods, and fires on its webpage and social media accounts.

For more resources on how you can prepare your home, school, or business for severe weather emergencies and other disasters, visit oakgov.com/emergency-management. Follow Oakland County Emergency Management @OakGov.EM on X, formerly Twitter, and Facebook for preparedness tips and emergency information.

Oakland County has 275 outdoor warning sirens, each capable of covering about a one-mile radius from its location. The sirens are designed to alert individuals who are outside. People who are inside buildings may hear the siren if they are near the siren location. For indoor warnings, residents are

advised to obtain the FEMA mobile app or purchase a weather radio, which provides notifications of incoming severe weather. Or they can be warned through the “OakAlert” message sent to subscribers.

OakAlert is a self-registering alert system that emails participants about emergencies and disasters in Oakland County, such as chemical spills, significant road closures, missing persons, interruption of county services, health and safety messages, and active assailant situations. Subscribers are notified each time a siren goes off. To sign up for OakAlert, click oakgov.com/OakAlert.

OACC International Women’s Day Networking Luncheon

OACC International Women’s Day Networking Luncheon



February 27, 2024

Joyce Donaldson, IOM, President and CEO

Phone: 248.693.6300  I  Cell:  760.808.0823 

Email: [email protected] 


Media Release

Orion Area Chamber of Commerce Announces

International Women’s Day Networking Luncheon

The Orion Area Chamber of Commerce will host an Internationally Inspired Strolling Buffet Networking Luncheon in celebration of International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8th, 11:30 – 1:00 PM. 

“International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The first International Women’s Day gathering was in 1911, supported by over a million people.” says Joyce Donaldson, Orion Area Chamber President and CEO. “The Chamber’s Networking Luncheon is a grand opportunity for similar minded professional women to gather together and support, mentor, and celebrate each other on this National Day of Recognition!”

Guests will be treated to an Internationally Inspired Strolling Buffet featuring delicious cuisine thanks to generous Chamber Member Restaurants: Fancy Sushi & Thai, Italian Gardens, Lake Rock Fusion & Grill, Palazzo di Bocci, Rainforest Café, Sprout Bake, Texas Roadhouse, and The Flavor Lab.

The luncheon is sponsored by: Sprout Bake. 

Registration is required. Register at orionareachamber.com or call 248.693.6300. 

Cost: Orion Area Chamber Members: $45   I   Non-Members: $60

The Luncheon will be held at the Orion Township Municipal Complex – Dragon Room, 2323 Joslyn Road, lake Orion, MI 48360.

MDARD Recognizes Spay/Neuter Awareness Month

MDARD Recognizes Spay/Neuter Awareness Month

bob new header
For immediate release: February 27, 2024
Media contacts: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724 or Chelsea Lewis-Parisio, 517-331-1151

MDARD Recognizes Spay/Neuter Awareness Month

MDARD values the importance of spay/neuter for Michigan’s registered animal shelters and the communities they serve

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) proudly recognizes Spay/Neuter Awareness Month—a month dedicated to highlighting the importance and benefits of this procedure. For Michigan animal shelters, spaying and neutering animals is vital for controlling the population of unwanted pets and making more pets ready for adoption into their fur-ever homes.

“Spaying and neutering animals is required of Michigan’s registered animal shelters,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland, DVM, MS, DACVPM. “Dogs, cats, and ferrets have to be spayed or neutered as part of the adoption process, which helps protect against overpopulation. Thanks to the generosity of Michigan taxpayers, MDARD helps to support spaying and neutering programs at local animal shelters through Animal Welfare Fund grants, leading to a lasting impact in the communities served by these shelters.”

Grants through Michigan’s Animal Welfare Fund help shelters get animals into their forever homes by financing the spay/neuter and vaccination of those animals. This funding also provides for other animal care projects and services in a shelter’s local area. All Michiganders can help to protect shelter animals and improve their care by checking the Animal Welfare Fund’s box on Form 4642, Voluntary Contributions Schedule, on their state tax returns. More contributions will lead to more shelters having the resources and funding they need to keep pace with the demands of their communities.

“Spaying and neutering is important because we want to decrease the amount of strays,” said Shawn Donovan, Supervisor at the City of Taylor Animal Shelter. “It’s a big help to us and the community that when we do adopt that they are spayed and neutered. It’s a disservice when they are not because it contributes to a growing population of stray dogs and cats.”

“I think it is very important to donate to the Animal Welfare Fund because there are so many animals in need,” said Jodi Schrader, Director and Founder of Saved by Zade. “Throughout the entire state of Michigan, we try to help, but there are so many shelters that are in need of assisting the animals in their area. So, donations would be helpful throughout the state to help any places that are applying.”

To learn more about the importance of spaying and neutering animals, please watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIMeTIUhYAU.

For more information about the Animal Welfare Fund, please visit www.michigan.gov/animalwelfarefund.

OC Recognizes Employees for Actions That Saved the life of Coworker

OC Recognizes Employees for Actions That Saved the life of Coworker

Oakland County Recognizes Employees for Actions That Save the Life of a Coworker

Post Date:02/14/2024 1:55 PM
  • Oakland County IT employees found their co-worker, James Fortune, unconscious at work. They called 911, performed CPR, and used an automated external defibrillator to resuscitate him, saving his life.
  • On Valentine’s Day, County Executive Dave Coulter and others joined Fortune, who is back on the job, in expressing gratitude for their swift, life-saving actions.
  • Oakland County offers AED/CPR training to its employees and has AED machines distributed throughout county buildings. Learning CPR and AED saves lives.

LEFT: Waterford Area Fire Department Lt. Steve Meier, Chief Matt Covey, County Executive Dave Coulter and James Fortune.

Pontiac, Mich. ­– While some were focused on matters of the heart this Valentine’s Day, Oakland County was celebrating matters of James Fortune’s heart after his county coworkers saved him from what could have been a fatal heart attack. County Executive Dave Coulter joined Fortune in sharing the gratitude for saving his life during a ceremony with his Information Technology colleagues today.


“The Oakland County Information Technology Department has a tight-knit bunch of workers who sprang into action that morning to help their co-worker,” Coulter said. “Their selfless and instinctive actions are a true reflection of our values in Oakland County – respecting and caring for one another.”

On Sept. 13, 2023, Fortune’s coworkers found him collapsed, not breathing, and without a heartbeat in the county’s Information Technology Building in Waterford. They rallied together to save his life by calling 911 for help, performing CPR, and using an automated external defibrillator (AED) to resuscitate him.

IT employee Todd Simpson called out to identify coworkers who have AED/CPR training. Steve Jennings, Jeff Long, and Steve Erkins responded, performing CPR and utilizing the AED, while another dialed 911. A Waterford Township dispatcher aided in guiding Fortune’s resuscitation.

Other IT employees honored today for their life-saving actions along with Simpson, Jennings, Long, and Erkins were Dawn Clark-Pitts, Addie Hankins, Scott Kaiser, Stacy Metcalf, Melba Collins, Casey Hanson, Jill Nagi, Tammi Shepherd, and Janet Brinker.

“They deserve any honor I can give them. They did a fantastic job,” said Fortune, a 67-year-old Pontiac resident. He added that his doctors told him there was no permanent damage to his heart because of the prompt actions of his coworkers.

Coulter gave each employee a challenge coin for their quick reaction which saved Fortune’s life. The challenge coins remind recipients of the county’s values of community, respect, inclusion, and gratitude.

Fortune has embraced the value of gratitude now that he has recovered from his heart attack. The former college athlete who ran cross country and wrestled said he has been biking five to 10 miles a day and walking. Next, he said he will train to run a marathon.

“My plan is to stay in shape the rest of my life. There are no shortcuts anymore,” said Fortune, who returned to work Oct. 25.

Waterford Regional Fire Department Chief Matt Covey, who attended today’s private recognition ceremony, sent a note to Coulter and others at the county on the day of Fortune’s episode, emphasizing that CPR and AED training saves lives.

“This morning over at the IT building our crews responded to a cardiac arrest. I have been informed that a team of county employees did an absolutely amazing job using an AED and performing CPR,” Covey said.

Oakland County offers CPR/AED training to its employees on an ongoing basis. In 2023, 306 county employees completed CPR/AED training across 32 classes. The county also maintains 174 AED machines in county buildings ensuring the ability to respond to a cardiac emergency. There have been at least three saves of county employees by AED since 2016.

“I was working for the right place. Had this happened anywhere else, I would have died,” Fortune said.

Bipartisan Bills to Protect Children, Cut Red Tape

Bipartisan Bills to Protect Children, Cut Red Tape

Governor Whitmer Header


February 27, 2024

Contact: [email protected]


Gov. Whitmer Signs Bipartisan Bills to Protect Children, Cut Red Tape, Improve Environmental Review Process


LANSING, Mich.— Today, Governor Whitmer signed two bipartisan bills to better protect foster care children in Michigan and ensure they are receiving a high-quality education. She also signed a trio of bills to cut red tape and improve the environmental rules promulgation process.


“Today’s commonsense, bipartisan bills will help us better protect young Michiganders and cut red tape,” said Governor Whitmer. “We must ensure that our kids have the support they need and monitor the effectiveness of our child care programs. Also, let’s continue streamlining permitting by cutting out duplicative steps without compromising community voices. Together, we can make state government work better for Michiganders and keep delivering tangible results that make a real difference in people’s lives.”


Child Care Facilities

House Bill 4677, sponsored by state Representative Stephanie Young (D-Detroit), requires the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Department of Education (MDE), and the Center for Educational Performance and Information to provide an annual report to the Legislature that contains information on foster children in the education system.


“It is a great day for foster youth all across our state. I was proud to sponsor House Bill 4677, which requires more detailed and regular assessments and tracking of youth in care,” said state Representative Stephanie Young (D-Detroit). “This bill also requires an annual report back to the House and Senate standing committees and appropriations subcommittees for the DHHS budget. Everyone who’s making decisions about these young people are about to get on the same page with better information to help guide our decision-making. I want foster youth to know we are committed to putting them first and to making their lives better, providing them the resources they need for success; we see them and we hear them.”


House Bill 4678, sponsored by state Representative Kimberly Edwards (D-Eastpointe), requires the MDE to regularly review educational programs provided in child caring institutions to ensure compliance with the Revised School Code and rules promulgated under the Code.


“My years as a child welfare specialist exposed me to the challenges many foster youth face in and out of the classroom. There are all too many stories from foster youth who persevered on classwork through unstable situations and found out too late that classes they took didn’t count toward a diploma. These students’ educational triumphs should not be stunted as a result of a broken system,” said state Representative Kimberly Edwards (D-Eastpointe). “This package to require regular review and assessment of the educational programs provided in child caring institutions is crucial to ensure every student in foster care is set up for success. We must continue putting children first — and that means all children.”


Cutting Red Tape

House Bills 4824, 4825, and 4826 remove authority from the Environmental Rules Review Committee (ERRC), an inefficient, duplicative link in the environmental rules review chain.  EGLE’s robust stakeholder input process for rule-making already brings in diverse expertise related to the issues before the department. A more streamlined rule-making process that ensures EGLE can move forward utilizing sound science would better protect public health and the environment while helping the state be more efficient.


  • House Bill 4826, sponsored by Rep. Sharon MacDonell (D-Troy), repeals sections of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) that establishes the ERRC.
  • House Bill 4825, sponsored by Rep. Jenn Hill (D-Marquette), removes references to the sections of the APA that establish the ERRC in another part of the Michigan state code.
  • House Bill 4824, sponsored by Rep. Donovan McKinney (D-Detroit), removes references to the sections of the APA that establish the ERRC in Part 201 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act. .


“My bill is about making the government more efficient and cutting the unnecessary entities that hinder the delivery of good, fair and timely services,” said state Representative Donavan McKinney (D-Detroit). “The dissolution of the Environmental Rules Review Committee is the right thing to do for the future of protecting our environment and for the commitment we’ve made to putting people first. Over the years, we’ve seen countless examples of the committee becoming an overbearing obstacle in the process of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. This legislation removes this barrier and paves the way for us to meet the cleaner, renewable energy the people of Michigan want and deserve.”


“By eliminating this panel, we’re allowing EGLE to more effectively do its critical job,” said state Representative Jenn Hill (D-Marquette). “This streamlined approach ensures quicker responses to environmental challenges, safeguarding public health and our state’s precious natural resources.”


“I’ve always been an advocate for protecting our environment. By removing the Environmental Rules Review Committee — a committee mostly made up of corporate polluters — from statute, we are able to ensure that the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy can fulfill its mission of protecting our air, water, land and people,” said state Representative Sharon MacDonell (D-Troy). “I’m glad to see this bill make its way to the finish line. We are putting the health and well-being of Michiganders before corporate profit.”


Governor Whitmer’s Permitting Executive Directives

In April 2023, Governor Whitmer signed an executive directive to bring an all-hands-on-deck approach to ensuring state government is responsive, efficient, and effective in responding to permit applicants and getting projects done on time while protecting our environment, maintaining rigorous standards of permit review, and putting science and Michiganders first.


It directed state departments and agencies to assess what permits and licenses they issue and the statutory authorities governing application fees and response times. They were then to report that information to the governor, who will establish recommended times for the efficient processing of each type of permit or license. When state departments or agencies exceed the recommended time, they must waive or refund the full application fee to the extent permitted by law. The agencies are also required to identify what permits can be eliminated.


The full executive directive can be found here.


In June 2022, Governor Whitmer signed another executive directive on permitting, summarized here:

  • Increasing inter-departmental and inter-agency coordination: When a covered project is identified, the Michigan Infrastructure Office (MIO) will convene interested departments to create a coordinated permitting plan (“coordinated plan”) for the review of applications for state permits.
  • Streamlining permitting: Departments and agencies implementing coordinated plans must create publicly available schedules for their permitting processes that set forth the permits required and a projected timeline for departmental review and decision. Departments and agencies must review their own and other permitting schedules to avoid duplication, streamline processes, and/or share information to expedite the review of permits.
  • Raising public awareness: As part of a coordinated plan, interested departments must create a plan and schedule for any necessary public and tribal outreach and coordinate to ensure that affected communities are informed about proposed projects and that they understand when and how to provide input related to state permitting. MIO, with support from other departments, must develop a publicly accessible dashboard to track key information about the progress of state permitting for covered projects, including opportunities for the public to provide input.
  • Protecting our environment. Departments and agencies will aid as needed to MIO and departments reviewing permit applications to ensure that projects realize their environmental, climate change, and climate resilience goals.


Click to view the full PDF of the executive directive.