LANSING — A resolution to be introduced by state Sen. Tom Casperson would declare November 15, the start of the Michigan’s firearm deer hunting season, as “Webster L. Marble Day” in the Michigan.
According to a press release from Casperon’s office, Marble is recognized as the Upper Peninsula’s greatest inventor. Marble is an early 20th century Upper Peninsula entrepreneur who started Gladstone-based Marble Safety Axe Company that would become heralded internationally as an outdoor gear powerhouse, outfitting legions of hunters, anglers, campers and hikers.
After eight successful veterans assistance fairs across the district, Escanaba can now be added to the list. These type of one on one assistance opportunities are designed to give veterans a more personal approach.
“What we do is bring together professionals in one place where local veterans can get access to the care that they have earned,” said Congressman Dan Benishek, “so there’s educational specialist here, PTSD specialists, people familiar with the VA as far as their health systems and disability claims. Anything that a veteran might need we’re offering here today.”
Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, right, welcomed Brian Swift, left, to the state Capitol last week to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Swift joined Casperson to speak in favor of Senate Bill 434, which would create a pilot program to allow law enforcement to conduct field sobriety tests on motorists suspected of driving under the influence of controlled substances.
Durocher was sentenced to: five years and six months to up to 15 years in prison on each of two counts of reckless driving causing death; five to 15 years in prison on each of two counts of driving with a suspended license causing death; and three to 15 years in prison on each of two counts of driving with the presence of a controlled substance (THC in marijuana) causing death.
The Swifts’ son and daughter, Brian Swift of Fort Worth, Texas, and Patti Swift-Dringoli, of Neenah, Wis., were devastated by the loss of their parents and wanted to do something to discourage motorists from driving while impaired by drugs.
“Our pain never goes away, but we know my parents would want to help others and we think it’s worth the fight,” Brian Swift stated in an email to the Daily Press.
With the assistance of Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba), Senate Bill 434 was introduced to the Michigan Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee this summer.
“We have worked hard over the past year to turn the horror of losing our mom and dad into saving others,” Swift posted online. “This bill is about stopping people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle and choose to put other peoples’ lives at risk.”
Last week on Oct. 6, Swift testified before the judiciary committee about the “Swift Check” legislation which would honor his parents and be named the “Barbara J. and Thomas J. Swift Law.”
“Their bill establishes a pilot program that utilizes technology for the 21st century to do drug testing at roadside stops. It would allow saliva testing as a new tool for law enforcement when determining when motorists are driving under the influence of a range of different drugs,” stated Swift.
“Like the breathalyzer – used to detect consumption of alcohol – portable saliva machines screen for marijuana, cocaine, opiates and methamphetamine, along with some classes of prescription medications,” he explained.
On Oct. 8, the judiciary committee recommended the legislation go into immediate effect and the document was referred to the committee of the whole.
In a telephone conversation on Tuesday, Swift said he expects the bill to pass the Senate next week. Once approved by the Senate, the legislation will be forwarded to the House for consideration. Swift said he and his sister both plan to testify before the House judiciary committee.
“With all this talk in Michigan about legalizing marijuana, this is the time to put teeth into laws that might stop people from driving before they kill somebody,” Swift stated online, encouraging others to support the legislation.
According to the recent Judiciary Committee summary of Senate Bill 434, the legislation “would authorize the Michigan Department of State Police to establish a one-year pilot program in three counties for roadside drug testing to determine whether an individual was operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance.”
In combination with Senate Bill 207, a police officer certified as a drug recognition expert would be authorized to arrest a person without a warrant if the officer had reasonable cause to believe the driver was operating a vehicle while impaired by or under the influence of a controlled substance.
The officer could arrest the person based in whole or in part upon the results of a preliminary oral fluid analysis using a swab-based drug detection kit designed to identify the presence of six different controlled substances within saliva, according to the legislation.
Republican National Committeeman Dave AGEMA would consider running in the 1st Congressional District being vacated next year by retiring U.S. Rep. Dan BENISHEK (R-Crystal Falls) if he feels there is adequate support and around $500,000 and $1 million in financial commitments.
Agema, a former state representative, lives in Grandville, which is in the 2nd Congressional District. However, since the Benishek announcement, Agema said he’s received numerous communications from northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula residents asking he run.
Michigan Congressman Dan Benishek announced his retirement from Congress in 2016 earlier this week, and the first poll in the race is already out.
According to MIRS, a subscription-based Michigan news outlet, former State Senators Jason Allen and Tom Casperson lead the pack in Michigan’s First Congressional District GOP Primary while political newcomer State Rep. Lee Chatfield is third with around 10%.
Click Here For Poll: results
State Sen. Tom Casperson: 26.7%
Former State Sen. Jason Allen 19.1%
LANSING — The abrupt announcement that Congressman Dan Benishek will not seek re-election has shocked local government.
The seat, which has been held by Benishek since 2011, is wide open. While he hasn’t officially announced running for the vacant position yet, State Senator Tom Casperson spoke with TV6 and says he’s seriously considering it.
“I haven’t even had time to sit down and talk about it with my wife,” said Casperson. “That’s why when people ask, I’ve had to be reluctant to say anything straight forward about it. Clearly, it’s something we’ve talked about in the past. We’re just going to wait a day or so.”