Aaron Mueller of the Kalamazoo Gazette reports on a settlement reached between the family of a 2009 drowning victim, and the "Michigan Municipal Risk Management Association." Martin Jordan of St. Charles, IL drowned in Lake Michigan after being caught up in strong rip currents.
A critical two week federal inspection of the Palisades nuclear power plant begins Monday.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors want to determine if Palisades’ owners have addressed problems that have raised questions about the nuclear plant’s “culture of safety”.
The problems have resulted in four unscheduled reactor shutdowns.
“It’s a very important inspection for us,” says Anthony Vitale, the plant’s site vice president, “And it will give us a very good scrub as to where we are. We expect to come out of that with very good ratings.”
The owners of the Palisades nuclear power plant promised last night to improve their “culture of safety."
But dozens of people at the public meeting doubted that promise. Catherine Sugas spoke for many people who attended the meeting when she questioned why the problem plagued nuclear power plant is still operating.
“If you can’t shut down a plant that’s dangerous…what are you? How can you keep a plant going that’s obviously dangerous,” Sugas asked a panel from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The Palisades Nuclear Power Plant near South Haven is shut down again. This is the second time this summer Entergy Corporation has had to shut down the plant for repairs.
The plant shut down to refuel in April; that was normal. It restarted in early May.
But then a water leak in a tank above the control room caused the plant to shut back down just a few weeks later. Those repairs took a month and on July 11th the plant started up again. Though that leak appears to be fixed, it is still under investigation by special federal agents with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
But as it returned to service in July, Palisades Spokesman Mark Savage says operators discovered a different water leak – this time in the building that holds the nuclear reactor. In a written statement Savage called the leak “minor.”
Michigan is the largest blueberry producing state in the country, and Van Buren County produces the most blueberries in Michigan.
“It’s natures perfect fruit, if you stop and think about it. There’s not any seeds that you have to deal with. You don’t have to peel it. You rinse it. You eat it. And not only do they taste good, they’re good for you,” Shelly Hartmann said.
Hartmann owns The Blueberry Store in downtown South Haven and a huge blueberry farm, True Blue Farms, in Grand Junction.
At The Blueberry Store you can get just about anything with blueberries in it. “Blueberries aren’t just for pancakes and muffins anymore,” Hartmann said.
I spot blueberry bath soaps, blueberry coffee, frozen and fresh blueberries, blueberries in brats and sausages, chocolate covered blueberries, blueberry candles, dog treats, mustard, popcorn, soda pop, butter, cookies, pancake mix, pie filling, jam, jelly and blueberry whoopee pies. Plus there’s dried blueberries, and even blueberry flavored beef jerky. The list goes on and on.
Hartman says this year’s crop has been affected by the dry conditions, but fared much better than other fruits grown in the region.
The National Blueberry Festival celebrating the region’s top fruit crop in South Haven is nearly 50 years old. Organizers typically expect around 40,000 people to come for the blueberry pancake breakfast, the live music, a blueberry parade and the very messy but very entertaining blueberry pie eating contest.
Here's a video the festival posted on youtube of one of the blueberry pie eating contests Friday afternoon.
The head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says operators of the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant must improve plant safety.
NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko shared his thoughts following a three-hour tour of the plant in South Haven Friday.
“There’s really a need to improve on fundamentals. Just some of the basics of nuclear safety really need to be worked on,” Jaczko said. “We’re starting to see some of that happen which is a positive but it needs to be sustained to ultimately get the performance where we’d like to see it."
Holland-based Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates says the vessel sits upright and is in relatively good condition. The group says the sloop's construction and design are consistent with ships built in the 1820s and 1830s.
Video of the wreck is expected to be shown April 16 at an event in Holland.
The National Weather Service is releasing data on just how much snow fell during the massive winter storm that sweep across the state this week. South Haven, on the coast of Lake Michigan, saw 20 inches of snow on the ground. That's the largest snowfall so far reported, according to the Associated Press. Muskegon got 19.7 inches. A foot of snow fell in the Lansing area. Flint got 10 inches, Detroit got 8.7 inches.