It is election day across the state and voters have a series of ballot proposals to decide today. Voters in Forsyth Township in Marquette County have millage issues to vote on while voters in the City of Ishpeming are deciding whether or not to recall certain members of the Ishpeming City Council. Millage issues are also being decided by voters in Alger County, Schoolcraft and Luce Counties. Communities and School Districts with items on the ballot have all regular polling places open today from 7am to 8pm, local time.
The Huron Mountain Club has filed a federal lawsuit against Kennecott Minerals Company to stop the company’s nickel and copper mine in Marquette County. The club owns 19,000 acres of forestland that comes to within 3 miles of the mine site and says Kennecott did not obtain necessary federal permits for the project under development in northwestern Marquette County. The club also filed the legal action saying the mine would damage the Salmon Trout River and nearby wetlands and risk endangered species. Federal Judge Robert Holmes Bell rejected the club’s request for an immediate work stoppage on the mine yesterday but scheduled a hearing for June 6th. Kennecott officials say they have not had the opportunity to review the suit, but they will defend their legal position for the mining operation.
There could be a change coming in the Michigan High School Athletic Association rule barring those over the age of 18 to participate in sports. The representative council of the MHSAA, at its spring meeting in Gaylord yesterday, approved a proposal to allow age related waivers in certain situations. Specifically, the proposal says that if approved, the MHSAA would (quote) “allow for a waiver of its maximum age limitation under narrowly defined circumstances.” The proposal must be approved by a vote of member schools for it to take effect. The proposal comes on the heels of the case of Eric Dompierre of Ishpeming, who has Down syndrome, who turns 19 as a senior next year, but would still like to play sports. Ballots will be mailed to schools this week. They have two weeks to return the ballots. Changing the MHSAA constitution requires a two-thirds vote of member schools. Most states currently do not allow waiver of the age limit.
Eric Dompierre’s father Dean says he and his son are pleased by the decision by the MHSAA to offer a vote by member schools to change the organization’s Constitution to allow for a waiver of its maximum age limitation under narrowly defined circumstances. Dean Dompierre says he and his son, along with over 90,000 people who have supported his cause, were excited to hear the news and remain anxious to see the specifics of the proposal. Dompierre added he is confident that this rule change will be in place to save the upcoming season for Eric and his peers.