Truckers can drive longer hours to deal with UP gas emergency

Even under the best of circumstances, it’s a long haul for truckers delivering gasoline and certain other petroleum products to the interior of Michigan’s central and western Upper Peninsula.

The closest pipeline terminal is in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where lots of Yoopers go to shop when they want a change of pace from what Marquette, Michigan has to offer.

Green Bay is a long drive from places like Marquette, Escanaba and Iron Mountain in the central UP. It’s a bit shorter from places like Houghton and Ironwood on the western end of the UP. Check it out on a map.

All of these places depend on gasoline haulers that fill up at the Green Bay pipeline terminal.

Well, the Green Bay pipeline terminal is on the fritz. The next closest pipeline terminals are in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, which are several hours south of Green Bay.

What was a long haul for gasoline tankers is now an even longer one, so much so, that truckers are having trouble keeping in line with state and federal regulations that dictate how long they can be on the road before taking a required break. And that means they’re falling behind on their delivery schedules.

You don’t want sleepy-eyed truckers driving two-lane highways pulling several thousands of gallons of gas, diesel fuel and jet fuel behind them. Jet fuel? Yes, Marquette has an international airport serviced by major airlines.

But the wheels of commerce, not to mention the wheels on UP residents’ and vacationers’ cars, must keep turning.

So, the solution is to turn a blind eye toward regulations that limit the number of hours in a day that truckers can legally operate their rigs.

Gov. Rick Snyder has declared an “imminent energy emergency.” Executive Order No. 2012-12 suspends “state and federal regulations relating to hours-of-service for motor carriers and drivers transporting gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel to address transportation needs arising from the impact of this energy emergency.”

There’s plenty of legal authority that allows him to do that. The wisdom of doing that is a debatable topic.

But, one way or another, the gas will get through.

Pelton reappointed to law examiners board

Eric Pelton of Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton PLC, has been reappointed to the State Board of Law Examiners for a five-year term.

The board certifies attorneys for admission to the bar in this state by examination (Rule 2) or, on the basis of admission in another jurisdiction, without examination (Rule 5). The board also recertifies attorneys following periods of inactivity in practice (Rule 8). See generally, Rules for the Board of Law Examiners.

Pelton was renominated by the Michigan Supreme Court. Governor Rick Snyder announced the reappointment earlier this week.

Pelton served on the Michigan Board of State Canvassers from 2002-2005. He currently serves as a member of the labor law section of the State Bar of Michigan, a fellow for the Michigan State Bar Foundation, an executive committee member for the Federalist Society and as a member of the Oakland County Bar Foundation board of trustees.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a law degree from Syracuse University.

Michigan Adoption Day Nov. 22

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Michigan families from Houghton to Cassopolis will celebrate the addition of new family members through adoption on the ninth annual Michigan Adoption Day.

In an Oct. 26 resolution, the Michigan Supreme Court designated Nov. 22 as Michigan Adoption Day, declaring that the event’s goal is “to draw attention to children and youth in foster care, particularly their need for permanent, loving families, and also to promote efforts to help those who remain in foster care.” Michigan Adoption Day is co-sponsored by the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS).

Held each year on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Michigan Adoption Day is aimed at highlighting issues for children and youth in foster care, including their need for permanent, loving homes. About 30 of Michigan’s 83 counties are expected to participate this year, finalizing an anticipated 200 adoptions on or about Nov. 22.

In addition to local events, the Supreme Court and DHS will co-host a program at the Michigan Hall of Justice in Lansing. Governor Rick Snyder is slated to speak along with DHS Director Maura D. Corrigan and Chief Justice Robert P.Young Jr. The Hall of Justice event will include finalizations of adoptions for families from Ingham and Ionia counties.

The Hall of Justice is also hosting the Heart Gallery this month. The Heart Gallery, a photographic exhibit of Michigan children waiting to be adopted, is a project of DHS’ Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange.

Anyone interested in adopting a child may call toll-free (888) 200-4005 or visit For Spanish, call toll-free (877) 236-7831 or visit

For more Adoption Day information, see

Source: The Michigan Supreme Court.

Two judges appointed for Barry County

LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder announced the appointments of Amy McDowell to the 5th Circuit Court in Barry County and Michael Schipper to the 56-B District Court in Barry County. 

McDowell, of Hastings, fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge James H. Fisher effective June 30, and will need to run in November 2012 for the remainder of Fisher’s term ending Dec. 31, 2014.

She spent five and a half years with the Barry County Prosecutor’s Office before entering private practice in 2001. She founded the law firm McPhillips and McDowell in 2003.  

Schipper, of Middleville, fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Gary R. Holman and will serve the remainder of Holman’s term through Jan. 1, 2013.

He began his law practice with the Grand Rapids law firm Clary Nantz before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1990, where he worked for 20 years with the civil and criminal divisions. He has most recently served as director of compliance for A.D. Maxim & Associates, a health care consulting firm.

Source: State of Michigan

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