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Raisin Township Board rejects reduction in pay for township staff

Raisin Township Supervisor Jay Cavanaugh made the recommendation to reduce the hours and pay of some township officials, which was rejected at the Monday, Sept. 8, meeting.

“I believe we can save a considerable amount by restructuring our hours to three hours a day,” said Cavanaugh. “Right now, the treasurer, clerk and supervisor essentially have part time jobs, but get full time pay and benefits. There are a lot of people who are killing themselves to get not even half as much as what they are getting.”

According to information obtained from the township, clerk Betty Holdridge receives a salary of $28,984 per year, with a $2,400 pension and $23,572 health insurance package. Treasurer Kami Johnson receives a salary of $28,984 per year, with a $2,400 pension and $15,497 health insurance package. Cavanaugh receives $30,172 per year with a $2,400 pension. Cavanaugh receives health insurance through his main employer.

The three positions receive a pension in lieu of Social Security. Holdridge and Johnson pay 80/20 percent on their health insurance.

Cavanaugh estimated the restructuring could save the township between $50,000 and $100,000. He suggested moving to a three-hour workday. Currently, Holdridge and Johnson work eight hours a day, three days a week.

Cavanaugh felt that working 24 hours a week with health benefits was what he called “governmental waste.”

However, Township Attorney David Lacasse educated the board that reducing an elected official’s salary was not easy.

“In order to reduce the income of an elected official during their term, you have to have a reduction in duties, not just hours, and a written acquiescence,” said Lacasse.

Both terms would have to be satisfied for an official’s pay to be reduced. Respectively, if an elected official seeks to reduce their own pay but has no reduction in duties, they have to take the money, Lacasse explained.


Commission rejects bid for N. Evans dam repairs

The Lenawee County Drain Commission will be searching locally for contractors to begin repair work on the Red Mill Pond dam after rejecting the single bid received from Schaedler Enterprises of Toledo, said Lenawee County Drain Commissioner Stephen May.

Their bid was more than $600,000, double an engineer’s estimate of $315,000. Six contractors took out project plans, but the lone bid was the only one received. May suggested they may have not had the time for such a project.

“We’re happy to have a couple local contractors to do the work,” said May.

The drawdown of the pond is still slated to happen October 1. This will allow contractors to inspect the damn before it is refilled again starting June 1, 2015, which is the soonest it can be refilled according to state law, said May. This has been the timeline all along.

May said he hoped that work could begin on making the dam’s main gate operational in the next 30 to 45 days. He also said that there was other repair work on safety issues like a catwalk, fencing and concrete repairs that could be completed while the commission looks for local contractors.

If contractors cannot be found before winter, May said that they would hope to begin work promptly in the spring.


Tecumseh Police Department investigating potential threat of violence at Tecumseh High School

As of Monday morning, Sept. 15, the Tecumseh Public Schools has handed over all their information regarding the threat of violence against teachers and staff to the Tecumseh Police Department, who are continuing the investigation.

Below is the email Supt. Kelly Coffin sent to staff on Friday afternoon, Sept. 12. Also below is the press release from Tecumseh Police Department that was sent to The Tecumseh Herald on Friday.

Email sent to TPS staff September 12, at 4:39 p.m. from Supt. Kelly Coffin —

Good Afternoon,

Over the past day and a half, Tecumseh High School has been working with staff members, administration and community members to investigate concerns brought forth to administration. On Thursday morning, the Assistant Principal received an "anonymous" call. The caller shared concerns regarding a particular student at the high school who was planning to do something to hurt staff and students. The caller did not think that anything was planned for this particular day (9/11), but the caller just wanted the school to know due to the significance of the date. Another anonymous call came in a short time later, sharing a similar concern. The High School was placed on a "soft" lock down and police were called.

The High School administrators worked all morning to piece together information they had received and were able to identify the students that the two callers referenced. They spent the afternoon working in conjunction with Tecumseh Police Department to investigate the situation. Additional evidence was provided to administration which in turn was passed on to the Tecumseh Police Department.


Two Tecumseh High School Students suspected of ‘Columbine-like’ plot

On Thursday morning, Sept. 11, Tecumseh High School Assistant Principal Angel Mensing received an anonymous phone call concerning a particular student who was planning to do something to hurt staff and students, according to an email sent to staff from Dr. Kelly Coffin, Supt., on Friday, Sept. 12.

The email continues, “The caller did not think that anything was planned for this particular day (9/11), but the caller just wanted the school to know due to the significance of the date.” Another call came in a short time later with similar concern.

“I am so glad and thankful they did,” said Coffin in a phone call Friday. “These kids need help. This could have could have been pretty tragic.”

On Thursday, Sept. 11, the high school was put on a “soft” lockdown, where students are not allowed to go to their lockers between classes during passing time. Coffin said that the school routinely practices these drills and no students raised any concerns.

The email continues, “The High School administrators worked all morning to piece together information they had received and were able to identify the students that the two callers referenced. They spent the afternoon working in conjunction with Tecumseh Police Department to investigate the situation. Additional evidence was provided to administration, which in turn was passed on to the Tecumseh Police Department.”

Coffin described the students as two 16-year-olds.

Tecumseh Police Dispatcher Krisiten Smith said there was no information available at this time to pass along.


Blue Cross Blue Shield


Shopko, Wendy’s managers charged with embezzlement

Two businesses in Tecumseh have had managers charged with embezzlement. William Stanton, 61, of Adrian, a former general manager of Wendy’s, was charged with taking $5,621 from the restaurant, and Justin Bailey, 26, of Adrian, former assistant store manager of Shopko, was arrested for taking $4,800.

On June 27, Tecumseh Police were called to Wendy’s by District Manager Monique Morehouse. She told the officer Stanton made a deposit for the store on his day off, which Morehouse found to be suspicious.

She followed up with Huntington Bank, and was told by the bank that deposits made according to store records were not deposited at the bank. There were four missing deposits totaling $5,621. On June 24, Wendy’s records showed two deposits of $1,305 and $1,581, and on June 25 two deposits were listed for $1,562 and $1,249.65.

Morehouse confronted Stanton, who told police he admitted taking the money and was only able to return $75.65. Stanton was suspended by Morehouse, and made a statement to police on June 30 about the embezzlement accusations.

He told police in his statement he lost a deposit in October or November 2009. At the time Stanton didn’t report the loss to Wendy’s, but instead tried to win the amount back through gambling.

For the past four and a half years Stanton has been floating deposits. He told police he has not gambled in two years, but has $50,000 in personal debt, not counting his mortgage and the money he owes to Wendy’s.

The prosecutor’s office charged Stanton with one count of Embezzlement by Agent or Trustee of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, and ordered restitution. He was arraigned in district court on August 25, but no court date has been set.

On August 7, Tecumseh Police were called to Shopko by Regional Loss Prevention Supervisor Brett Dunnick about the loss of money at the Tecumseh store attributed to Assistant Manager Bailey.


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