Vanderwall drives towards lower insurance premiums

 Rep. Curt Vanderwall yesterday, supported a plan to guarantee lower car insurance rates for insured drivers in Michigan. The plan continues benefits for those already receiving lifetime health care after a catastrophic traffic accident. The plan also gives drivers the option to continue buying unlimited personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, or buy more affordable alternative plans. The savings could be greatest for seniors, who would not need PIP coverage if they already have lifetime health insurance.
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“Why should seniors who already have proper health insurance be forced to buy duplicative coverage through auto insurance?” VanderWall said. Full coverage auto insurance in Michigan is 82 percent above the national average and twice as high as in neighboring states. The high cost contributes to more than 20 percent of Michigan motorists driving illegally, without car insurance.
“These reforms will provide an opportunity for people who can’t afford insurance at all right now to get the coverage they should have,” VanderWall said. House Bill 5013 advances to the House floor for consideration.

Local Schools hear the Rhythm

This week, West Shore Bank presented proceeds from Rhythm & Dunes to local music programs for the 6th year in a row. Record crowds flocked to Waterfront Park to enjoy the two performances this summer. Donations totaled this year at $12,000 and are distributed to Ludington Area Schools, Mason County Central, and Mason County Eastern.  

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“The turnout for this year’s concerts was the highest we have experienced,” said Raymond A. Biggs, President and CEO of West Shore Bank. “It’s an honor to come together with our friends and neighbors to celebrate and support music education for our local students.”  During the past six years, over $42,000 has been donated to these local music programs. Funds have been used to buy and repair instruments, purchase sheet music and provide accessories for students with financial needs.  Mason County Eastern offers a K-12 music program for students and hired a full-time music instructor with funds donated from these concerts.

Ludington Area Center for the Arts to replace furnace

The Ludington Area Center for the Arts is the recipient of a $5000 grant from the Community Foundation for Mason County. The grant will be used toward furnace upgrades.
“We are so appreciative of the support from the Community Foundation for this project. These funds will be added to the money raised by the Arts Center through the support of its donors and proceeds from the September Baby It's Cold Inside fundraiser event,” states Brad Reed, LACA board president. “Together the cost of the necessary furnace upgrades will be paid in full, without having to borrow funds to cover those costs.”


In addition to savings in utility costs, this system upgrade will help LACA avoid costly repairs and will eliminate the possibility of water or other damages to the building. Reed adds that in the past, loss of heat in critical areas of the building, sometimes for days at a time, resulted in cancellation of events and, in some instances, complete closing of the building until the issue could be remedied. Total cost of the upgrade is over $21,000, with the work being done by local contractor.

Library expands digital resources

 The Mason County District Library is now providing digital resources from RB Digital to residents. With your library card, you can sign up for an account to access these resources at any time via a computer or mobile device.

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Library patrons now have access to over 7,000 downloadable audiobooks, magazines, and a language learning resource called Transparent Language Online. You will need to know your library card number and will be able to use the same account to access the resources. Those who have already been using Transparent Languages through the library will need to sign up for a new account. To access the collections, follow the link provided at

Liquor at the Ramsdell

 The House of Representatives passed Rep. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington, HB 4411, yesterday, which would allow the Ramsdell Theater in Manistee to receive a year-round liquor license from the state. “We had my bill pass that would allow the threshold of population lower so the city of manistee, who owns the Ramsdell Theatre, an opportunity to pursue a liquor license for the theatre.” Stated Vanderwall

Michigan law did not allow municipally-owned theaters, civic centers or civil auditoriums in communities with populations under 9,500 to obtain a liquor license. Rep. Vanderwall's legislation removes the population threshold. “It would allow them to get that license. Before, they could apply and get a specialty license and they could do that 13 times a season. This will allow them to hold that licence [so that they] they can hold events year round. This license is only good for that facility.”

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