Capitol and Community Update

May 24, 2019
Friday, May 24, 2019

Dear Friend,

Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! Read on for legislative updates and things to do this month, along with other community information.

Keep Fire Safety in Mind During Summer Activities

The Memorial Day holiday weekend marks the unofficial start of summer fun in Michigan, complete with campfires, cookouts, fireworks and other outdoor activities. But spring and summer are also key times for wildfires in Michigan, and most of these are started accidentally by people. Just a little bit of precaution and planning can reduce the risk of fires and keep outdoor activities fun and safe. Michigan’s late spring this year means that some trees and plants are still in a dry winter state, and more likely to burn when hit by a stray spark or ember. The DNR’s new fire safety page, available in the Safety Information section of the DNR’s website here.

Help for High April Heat Bills

A colder-than-normal April kept furnaces running, leaving some residents struggling to pay a higher than normal energy bill.  Help is available now through two programs -- the Consumers Energy CARE Program and State Emergency Relief:

More than 5,000 spots remain in the CARE Program, a long-term plan that provides monthly bill discounts and forgives past-due balances to reward consistent payment and ongoing participation. Find more information at ConsumersEnergy.com/CARE.

For emergency situations, State Emergency Relief offers bill assistance to eligible households through May 31. Contact your local state Department of Health and Human Services office or apply online at MiBridges.michigan.gov.

Measles Warning

Southeast Michigan is currently experiencing a measles outbreak with 33 cases in Oakland County and one case in Wayne County. Infected individuals in Oakland and Wayne Counties range in age from 8 months to 63 years. There are currently no measles cases in Genesee County. To help prevent further spread of the disease, the Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) is urging residents to make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Measles is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable disease that can have lifelong health complications. Measles is spread by direct person-to-person contact and through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. The virus can live up to two hours in the air where an infected person was present. Symptoms of measles usually begin 7-14 days after exposure, but can appear up to 21 days after exposure and may include:

  • High fever (may spike to over 104˚F)
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Tiny white spots on the inner cheeks, gums, and roof of the mouth (called Koplik Spots) 2-3 days after symptoms begin.

For more information, please contact the Genesee County Health Department at (810) 257-3612.

Baby Birds are Starting to Leave Their Nests

Do you have a bird’s nest on your property? Soon you might notice the baby birds inside are starting to outgrow it. Because baby birds learn to fly by trial and error, it is not uncommon to find them on the ground outside their nests after an attempt at flight – especially if their flight feathers have not fully grown in yet. If you do see a baby bird on the ground, it’s best not to touch it, because the mom and dad will continue to take care of the bird even if it’s on the ground. If you find a sparsely feathered chick on the ground, it may have accidentally fallen from the nest before it is ready to fledge (or learn to fly). If you know where the nest is, it is okay to put the chick back in the nest only if you can do so safely.

Touching a baby bird will not cause the adults to abandon it, but if you move a baby bird, the parents might be unable to find and care for it. The best option is to leave young birds alone to be raised by their parents.  Birds, their nests and their eggs are protected by law and must be left alone. Only licensed wildlife rehabilitators may possess abandoned or injured wildlife. Unless a person is licensed, it is illegal to possess a live wild animal, including birds, in Michigan.

Help keep Michigan’s wildlife wild. Learn more at michigan.gov/wildlife or contact DNR wildlife communications coordinator Hannah Schauer at (517) 284-6218.

Events in the 48th District

Genesee Memorial Day Parade

The Genesee Memorial Day Parade will begin on Monday, May 27 at 11 a.m. beginning at Genesee High School and ending at the Veteran’s Memorial Park on Genesee Road, just south of the bridge. Veterans are welcome to join and walk in the parade. All members of the community are invited to watch the parade and remember those who have served.

Open House at Veterans’ Bell

On Saturday, June 1, from 9:30 – 10:00 a.m., Montrose Township is hosting an Open House at Veterans’ Bell to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-day. For more information, please visit their website by clicking here.

Davison Festival of Flags

The Davison Chamber of Commerce is hosting the Festival of Flags June 5 - June 9. 5 days with tons of family fun all in the Davison area! For more information, please visit their website by clicking here.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May in recognition of the men and women who died while in military service. Though local activities to honor those who died in the Civil War had taken place for some time, it is reported that the origins of a national day of memorial date back to May of 1868 – three years after the end of the Civil War. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress and placed on the last Monday in May. In observance of Memorial Day, my office, along with most local, state and federal offices, will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2019. I hope as you and your families take care and enjoy a safe holiday, you also make a point to honor and remember the Americans who willingly sacrificed their lives for our future benefit. 

I hope you found this information useful. Please feel free to contact my office if we can be of any assistance.

Sincerely,
 
State Rep. Sheryl Y. Kennedy, Ph.D.
48th House District

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