Lane closures for road repair will be in place from 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 24 through 5 p.m. Sunday, August 12 on Plainfield Avenue from Lamberton Lake Drive to Fuller Avenue. A minimum of one lane will remain open in each direction. The work is weather dependent (no rain, cold temps, etc.). Sign up to receive free traffic alert e-mails by county at http://1.usa.gov/qZzuHo. For up-to-date information on this project and others, go to the list of statewide lane closures at www.michigan.gov/drive. Follow MDOT at www.twitter.com/MichiganDOT or www.facebook.com/MichiganDOT.
With the weather improving and groups of volunteers heading out to clean our roadways, there is a new and dangerous hazard they should be aware of. Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and your sheriff want you to be safe. Volunteers who clean up roadside litter are being urged to watch for potentially toxic debris discarded from methamphetamine (meth) labs. Meth is a highly addictive stimulant that can be made using common household chemicals and equipment and common cold remedies containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine (such as Sudafed and Actifed to just name a couple). Clean-up crews who come across materials used to make the drug can be burned or their lungs damaged from inhaling fumes. If you encounter any of the signs of a meth lab, leave the area immediately and call 911 or MDOT. Do not touch anything if you suspect it may be meth lab waste. The waste can be extremely dangerous and may even be booby-trapped. Entire labs can be found in tool boxes, coolers, or other storage containers. Mobile meth labs are becoming more common. Labs are sometimes run out of car trunks and RVs and discarded on our roadways. Clues indicating a dumpsite include: • empty bottles attached to a rubber hose • the smell of ammonia • coffee filters stained red or containing a white powder residue • garbage bags with cat litter (can contain deadly gases and are sometimes called “death bags”) • corroded propane tanks • empty or used alcohol products • numerous empty cold medicine and diet pill bottles or blister packs • unused matches without striker plates Don’t try to remove unknown or suspected toxic substances. Notify MDOT or the police of the location of these items immediately. Meth lab waste is very serious. Your safety comes first! Contact Undersheriff Jon Hess at (616) 632-6236.
‘It is difficult to validate their accusations’ —Supervisor Meek Two different investigations of claims of threats and harassment are concluded in Plainfield Township. An MDOT investigation regarding the Kent County Road Commission’s (KCRC) actions in securing agreements to grade Belmont Road property frontage found there were no threats to residents in order to receive permission for grading. An extensive investigation initiated and paid for by Supervisor George Meek and trustees Charles Weldon and Vic Matthews—threatened with recall—also found no basis for the claims of threats made by residents. A small group of verbal and accusing residents have been condemning the board members, as well as the KCRC staff, of disregarding the will of voters, breaking the law, and complaining of threats to health and home. Several of those claiming wrongdoing by KCRC and the board refused to talk to Gene Debbaudt, a former FBI investigator who was hired to look into the accusations. “While we respect their right not to talk to our investigators, without the information they claim to possess, it is difficult to validate their accusations,” said Supervisor George Meek following the board’s Monday, September 20 meeting. “We are satisfied that the issue of threats and intimidation has been meticulously and extensively investigated, not only by Mr. Debbaudt and his associates, but also by MDOT. We now consider this matter closed,” said Meek.