Local Residents Can Use Free Rides for New Years Again This Year

As part of the drive safe-drive sober campaign, local residents will be able to take advantage of free rides this New Years Eve. Thanks to an effort from local law enforcement and some local area businesses to keep people safe, free rides will be offered to anyone wishing to use the service. The service area will be the city of Ludington, Pere Marquette township, east to the city of Scottville and north to Hansen road and south to Conrad Road.

You can make Reservations by calling LMTA at 845-6218 up to 4 p.m. on Monday the 31st. Last minute arrangements can be made with LMTA starting at 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve as well.

Ludington and Scottville Both Decide to Opt Out of Recreational Marijuana Businesses

Ludington city council meeting last night where the city "opted out" of having recreational marijuana businesses with in its city limits. An amendment was added to the ordinance though, that will make the city revisit this issue within 60 days after the state makes its regulations. That amendment to make sure the city revisits the issue was proposed by Councilor Brandy Henderson Miller. The amendment to the ordinance and the ordinance itself was approved unanimously by the council. The Scottville city commission meeting was last night where they also decided to "opt-out" of recreational marijuana businesses with in their city limits. That was also passed unanimously. It will be a lot tougher for local residents to purchase recreational marijuana in the area unless something changes.

Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital begins construction of New Family Birthing Center

Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital held a “wall breaking” and reception event yesterday to signify the start of construction of an all-new Family Birthing Center. Kicking off the event was longtime local obstetrician Margaret Gustafson, MD, who had the honor of taking a sledgehammer and breaking through a wall on the current Birthing Center unit. The new Family Birthing Center, made possible with financial assistance from many community donors, will be located where the current unit is on the second floor of the Ludington Hospital.

The renovations will necessitate a complete demolition of the current facility and all-new construction of a new Family Birthing Center, all while maintaining a comprehensive security system for mothers and babies. While the new facility will not add significant square footage or number of rooms, it will add private bathrooms to each patient room, and make the existing space more efficient for nursing and education care processes. When completed, the Center will have five post-partum patient rooms, three labor, delivery and recovery rooms—two with whirlpool tubs—and improved heating and cooling systems.

The new Family Birthing Center at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital is being built by The Christman Company. Tower Pinkster is the architectural firm. The project is slated to be completed in Fall 2019.

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries the Topic of Discussion at Ludington City Council Meeting

It was very packed for the Ludington City Council meeting last night where recreational marijuana was part of the discussion. It was the first presentation of an ordinance to “opt-out” of marijuana dispensaries with in the city limits. Interim City Manager Steve Brock recommended to enact an “opt-out” ordinance to give time to see what happens next at the state level and all around Ludington. The ordinance could still be amended later on if the city decides to change it’s mind. The plan is for the council to vote on that ordinance at the next meeting which takes place on the 17th. There were many in attendance and 9 people from the crowd got up to give their opinion on recreational marijuana during the public comment section of the meeting set apart just for that topic. Opinions ranged from people being completely against an opt-out, some pleeing with the city to wait to make a decision as there was still plenty of time to make one, and a couple of people that agreed the opt-out was the correct move.

Local Municipalities Starting Discussions On Marijuana Facilities in their Jurisdiction

Local municipalities are trying to figure out whether or not to allow marijuana facilities within their jurisdictions after the legalization of marijuana in the state. The discussion has started in Scottville now as it was brought up at their most recent city commission meeting earlier in the week. The commission made the decision to have a pre-drafted opt-out ordinance drafted by law firm Dickinson Wright. That doesn’t mean they will opt-out, but they are prepared to, if they chose to. Ludington has already got the discussion going last month at a public safety meeting on November 19th. There is still plenty of time for municipalities to decide whether or not to opt-out or to choose how many facilities they will allow. At some point the state will make their recommendations on what should be allowed for municipalities that don’t decide to opt- out.

Discussion regarding recreational marijuana facilities in the city of Scottville is now underway, following the passing of Proposal 1 in the Nov. 6 election and both city officials and residents weighed in Monday at Scottville City Hall.

The commission made the decision to have a pre-drafted opt-out ordinance — a measure that would prohibit the sale of recreational marijuana in Scottville — sent to the city’s ordinance committee for review. The ordinance was drafted by the law firm of Dickinson Wright for Scottville and several other municipalities in the event that city commissioners choose not to allow recreational marijuana facilities in the city.

City Attorney Tracy Thompson said it was a smart move to have the ordinance committee review the draft, adding that he’s glad the city waited to make a decision regarding medical marijuana sales — another hot-button issue throughout the past year — until after the Nov. 6 election.

He believes the issue of medical marijuana dispensaries has been rendered a “dead end,” economically speaking, by the passing of Proposal 1, which makes marijuana use legal for people who are at least 21 years old.

“In my opinion, medical marijuana doesn’t seem like a viable business model,” Thompson said, adding that he believes residents are more likely to patronize facilities selling recreational marijuana than those strictly distributing medical marijuana.

He urged the commission to make headway in terms of coming to a decision as to whether or not to allow recreational marijuana sales in Scottville, saying that the matter will be decided on the state level if the commission waits too long.

“We can’t just sit on our hands. If we don’t do anything, then the state would allow marijuana dispensaries within the city of Scottville,” Thompson said. “If you decide that this is business you want here, you should find out where and how much and pass a responsible ordinance.

“It’s pretty clear it needs to be done before the state passes its recommendations… That could take a year, but I wouldn’t wait that long.”

Discussion among residents was not limited to recreational marijuana alone, as several locals spoke up to advocate allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in addition to or instead of recreational ones.

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