Midland County News

Putnam Drive Incident Response From Sheriff Stephenson

  • February 4 2015
Putnam Drive Incident Response From Sheriff Stephenson

February 4, 2015


There has been much information circulated through social media regarding what people are referring to as a “puppy mill” located in Midland County.  The complaint has been and continues to be investigated and while the conditions of the kennel are less than ideal, they do meet the minimum standards that are required by law.  Because the Sheriff’s Office continues to receive complaints, we felt it was important to inform concerned citizens of what has been done in the past and what will continue to be done in the future.

On December 16th the Animal Control Division of the Midland County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint regarding the living conditions of the animals being kept at this residence.  A subject had gone to the residence and took pictures of the various animals and kennels.  The photos were sent to the Humane Society of Midland County who forwarded them to our Office.   Our Animal Control Deputy made an unannounced visit to the residence and conducted an inspection of the premises.  The homeowner has 22 animals on the property.  Ten of the dogs are covered under the kennel license that was re issued and inspected in May of 2014, and 12 dogs are individually licensed.  There were no violations of any laws that regulate the operation of a kennel noted at that time.  The Deputy made two recommendations regarding the nails on one animal that were in need of trimming and the removal of some matted hair from another.

Even though we were confident of findings, we felt a second opinion was in order.  On December 23rd we returned to the residence with a doctor of veterinary medicine from the Michigan Department of Agriculture.  This person is responsible for inspecting animal facilities throughout the State of Michigan.  The veterinarian conducted an inspection of the kennels and agreed with our original assessment that there were no violations.  The veterinarian did note that two kennels needed additional bedding after a recent clean out.  Our Deputy responded the following day and additional straw had been added.  Our Deputy has made several other unannounced inspections since the original complaint with no violations observed.

We continue to receive numerous contacts from citizens from all over the United States expressing their concerns over the treatment of the animals at the residence.   While we appreciate people’s concerns for animal rights, we must also be mindful of the dog owners and their Constitutional Rights.  They have been and continue to be cooperative throughout this incident allowing my staff to inspect their kennels at anytime.  Rest assured that we will continue to monitor this facility to ensure the lawful care and treatment of these animals. 

In an effort to afford better understanding, representatives from the Midland County Sheriff’s Office, the Midland County Prosecutor’s Office and the Midland County Humane Society met to discuss the issues surrounding this case.  This was an excellent opportunity for everyone to sit down and share their concerns and further explain the Michigan laws surrounding the regulating of kennels and animal cruelty.  I believe all parties left with a better understanding of the adversities our respective agencies are facing.  We will be meeting again in the very near future to further discuss ways to work together on this very important issue.

Edenville Township Trailer Fire Under Investigation

  • January 28 2015
Edenville Township Trailer Fire Under Investigation

January 28, 2015

Deputies and Firefighters discovered components of a methamphetamine laboratory after responding to a trailer fire in Edenville Township.

Midland County Central Dispatch received a call for house fire at 5582 N Lake Sanford Rd in Midland Counties Edenville Township. Firefighters arrived on the scene to find the residence fully engulfed.  In the course of fighting the fire, components known to be used in the manufacturing of the drug methamphetamine were discovered and seized as evidence.  After the fire was extinguished, the Bay Area Narcotics team was contacted.  They responded with personnel who are trained in the proper removal and disposal of these caustic materials.

The resident of this house, a 52 year old man, ran to the neighbors and asked them to contact 911 to report the fire.  He then fled the scene prior to the arrival of Law Enforcement and the Fire Department.  He was later located at another residence in Edenville Township and arrested for unrelated outstanding warrants.  The investigation into the potential Meth Lab is ongoing. Edenville Township was assisted at the scene by the Hope and Jerome Township Fire Departments.

Sheriff Scott Stephenson

Norovirus - Stomach Flu *Health Warning*

  • January 21 2015
Norovirus - Stomach Flu   *Health Warning*

Have you or your family recently been ill with vomiting and diarrhea? There is a good chance it was caused by a norovirus, commonly called "the stomach flu." Noroviruses are highly contagious viruses that cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramping. Some people also experience headache, low grade fever, and body aches. Symptoms usually last for 24 to 48 hours. See our fact sheet for more information.



January is National Radon Action Month

  • December 26 2014
January is National Radon Action Month

January is National Radon Action Month

Test.  Fix. Save a life.

Nearly ONE in EIGHT Michigan homes would be expected to have an elevated radon level, and in some counties, more than 40 % of the homes could have problems! Still unsure “How can Radon affect you?” Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that can accumulate in your home and cause cancer in you and your children. The primary source of Radon usually comes from surrounding soil entering through openings in your homes foundation floor and lower basement wall openings. Sump openings, other penetrations caused by plumbing, wiring, and ductwork not properly sealed may allow radon into your home. Exposure over time can increase your risk of lung cancer. In fact, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.  ALL HOMES SHOULD BE TESTED FOR RADON!

• The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that radon is responsible for about 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year. Furthermore, it is estimated that one in every 15 homes nationwide have a high radon level of at or above the recommended radon action level of 4 Picocuries (pCi/L) per liter of air.

• The Surgeon General of the United States issued a Health Advisory, warning Americans about the health risk from exposure to radon in indoor air. The Nation’s Chief Physician urged Americans to test their homes to find out how much radon they might be breathing.   

• The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that they had launched an International Radon Project involving more than 20 countries in a partnership to identify and promote programs that reduce the health impact of radon. WHO acknowledges that radon is an international problem. Epidemiological studies confirm that radon in homes increases the risk of lung cancer in the general population. Other health effects of radon have not consistently been demonstrated.

• A report by the Michigan Public Health Institute estimates that 600 new lung cancer cases in Michigan each year are attributable to exposure of elevated indoor radon gas levels.

“However, says Robert Wolfe from the Midland County Department of Public Health, because there are no warning symptoms like headache, nausea, fatigue, etc, people tend to downplay the health effects and ignore the possibility that there might be a silent killer in their homes. Two adjacent houses may have drastically different radon levels. Any kind of home can have elevated levels -- new or old, drafty or well-sealed, and basement or non-basement. The only known health effect is an increased risk of lung cancer”.

Midland County Homes in 2014 have experienced very low Radon levels. Midland’s normal calculated background level of radon was 1.13 pC/L for 2014. Yet in 2014 we had seen a slight increase in homes exceeding the action level of 4 Picocuries (pCi/L) per liter of air. There were seven (7) homes that had levels exceeding the action level. Since 1992, only 69 homes exceeded the action level where repairs were recommended. The average level of the exceeded test results was 6.5 pC/L. Radon problems can be fixed. In most homes, cost is similar to common home repairs, like painting or having a new water heater installed.

Building healthier homes starts from the ground up. New homes constructed should have radon mitigation systems installed to further reduce potential health risks from radon gas. If you’re thinking about building a new home, insist on having your contractor install a radon reduc

Pere Marquette Rail-Trail Improvements are underway!

  • December 17 2014
Pere Marquette Rail-Trail Improvements are underway!

Work is underway on the Averill Rollway Trail-Head project adjacent to the Pere Marquette Rail Trail.  Mild December weather has allowed crews to begin construction of a new trailhead parking lot and pavilion at the scenic Averill rollway site, an area rich in our Michigan’s logging history.  Construction will be stopped as winter moves in, but will recommence when weather breaks this spring.  Completion of the project will provide a new access location for the trail, as well as a historical look at the significant location that was Averill in the 1880's logging era.

The Averill improvement and the replacement of two miles of trail surface at North Bradley are the results of a Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant that was awarded to Midland County in 2013.

The North Bradley trail surface improvements will take place in 2015.