Observer 3/4/2016 : Page 1

Douglas Joins In Call To Repeal State Law That Prohibits Government Comments On Ballot Issues Page 3 Saugatuck Mayor Pro-Tem Ken Trester Shares Reasons Why Township Needs To Join KLHA Page 3 Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid Saugatuck MI Permit No. 30 CURRENT RESIDENT THE LOCAL OBSERVER WE BRING YOU THE NEWS SERVING March 4, 2016 Vol. 14 FREE SAUGATUCK * DOUGLAS * SAUGATUCK TOWNSHIP * LAKETOWN TOWNSHIP * FENNVILLE * GLENN * GANGES TOWNSHIP * HAMILTON * HOLLAND * SOUTH HAVEN No. 10 Voters Head To Polls March 8 Staff Report Detroit News Local voters will be heading to the polls this Tuesday (March 8) to choose their next state representative for District 80. Also on the ballot is an operating millage for Fennville Public Schools. Running for the state rep seat are Mary Whiteford (R), David Gernant (D) and Libertarian candi-date Arnis Davidsons. According to the Michigan Secretary of State Office, anyone who does not have an acceptable form of photo ID or is not carrying one can still vote. All you have to do is sign a form stating that you are not in pos-session of a photo ID. Your ballot will then be tallied on election day. The candidates will be seek-ing the seat left vacant by former State Rep. Cindy Gamrat who was ousted from the legislature after becoming embroiled in a sex and coverup scheme with fellow former representa-tive Todd Courser of Lapeer, who resigned his seat just prior to a vote to remove him as well. Both Courser and Gamrat were arraigned Tuesday (March 1) on felony charges of misconduct in office stemming from their failed cover-up of an extramarital affair. Gamrat and Courser faced 54A District Court Judge Hugh B. Clarke Jr. in separate arraignment proceedings at Lansing City Hall, were finger-printed and released on their own r ecogni-zance. Courser, a Lapeer-area Republican and bankruptcy attorney, told the judge he’s “a well-known figure” because of the scandal that last year ended the eight-month tenures in the House of Representatives of himself and Gamrat. “I don’t think I’m a flight risk,” Courser told the judge. Courser faces four felony charges. They include a misconduct of office felony for trying to get a for-mer House aide to send fellow Republicans an anonymous email making up a story about how Courser was having a homosexual affair to divert attention from his romance with Gamrat. The other two misconduct in office charges against Courser are for allegedly having House aides forge his signature on proposed legislation and for allegedly lying to the House Business Office during an investiga-tion of his failed cover-up of the affair. He faces a perjury charge for allegedly lying under oath to a special House committee about the signature forgery. “I didn’t intentionally deceive anyone,” Courser told reporters after the hearing. Controversial Local Landowner Aubrey McClendon Killed One Day After Being Indicted Staff Report Business Insider Aubrey McClendon, the controversial local landowner who successfully battled Saugatuck Township officials over development rights to his extensive Lake Michigan property holdings, died in a fiery sin-gle-car crash Wednesday, a day after he was charged with conspiring to rig bids for oil and natural gas leases. McClendon, 56, crashed into an embankment while traveling at a "high rate of speed" in Oklahoma City just after 9 a.m. local time, said Capt. Paco Balderrama of the Oklahoma City Police Department. Flames engulfed McClendon's vehicle "immediately," Balderrama said. He added that police determined McClendon was not wearing a seatbelt after earlier being unable to tell. "He pretty much drove straight into the wall," Balderrama said. He said police still needed to determine an exact cause of the (Cont. Page 4)

Voters Head To Polls March 8

Staff Report Detroit News <br /> <br /> Local voters will be heading to the polls this Tuesday (March 8) to choose their next state representative for District 80.<br /> <br /> Also on the ballot is an operating millage for Fennville Public Schools.<br /> <br /> Running for the state rep seat are Mary Whiteford (R), David Gernant (D) and Libertarian candidate Arnis Davidsons.<br /> <br /> According to the Michigan Secretary of State Office, anyone who does not have an acceptable form of photo ID or is not carrying one can still vote.<br /> <br /> All you have to do is sign a form stating that you are not in possession of a photo ID. Your ballot will then be tallied on election day.<br /> <br /> The candidates will be seeking the seat left vacant by former State Rep. Cindy Gamrat who was ousted from the legislature after becoming embroiled in a sex and coverup scheme with fellow former representative Todd Courser of Lapeer, who resigned his seat just prior to a vote to remove him as well.<br /> <br /> Both Courser and Gamrat were arraigned Tuesday (March 1) on felony charges of misconduct in office stemming from their failed cover-up of an extramarital affair.<br /> <br /> Gamrat and Courser faced 54A District Court Judge Hugh B. Clarke Jr. In separate arraignment proceedings at Lansing City Hall, were fingerprinted and released on their own recognizance.<br /> <br /> Courser, a Lapeer-area Republican and bankruptcy attorney, told the judge he’s “a well-known figure” because of the scandal that last year ended the eight-month tenures in the House of Representatives of himself and Gamrat.<br /> <br /> “I don’t think I’m a flight risk,” Courser told the judge.<br /> <br /> Courser faces four felony charges. They include a misconduct of office felony for trying to get a former House aide to send fellow Republicans an anonymous email making up a story about how Courser was having a homosexual affair to divert attention from his romance with Gamrat.<br /> <br /> The other two misconduct in office charges against Courser are for allegedly having House aides forge his signature on proposed legislation and for allegedly lying to the House Business Office during an investigation of his failed cover-up of the affair.<br /> <br /> He faces a perjury charge for allegedly lying under oath to a special House committee about the signature forgery.<br /> <br /> “I didn’t intentionally deceive anyone,” Courser told reporters after the hearing.<br />

Read the full article at http://digital.zoompubs.com/article/Voters+Head+To+Polls+March+8/2416355/292796/article.html.

Controversial Local Landowner Aubrey McClendon Killed One Day After Being Indicted

Staff Report<br /> Business Insider <br /> <br /> Aubrey McClendon, the controversial local landowner who successfully battled Saugatuck Township officials over development rights to his extensive Lake Michigan property holdings, died in a fiery single- car crash Wednesday, a day after he was charged with conspiring to rig bids for oil and natural gas leases.<br /> <br /> McClendon, 56, crashed into an embankment while traveling at a &quot;high rate of speed&quot; in Oklahoma City just after 9 a.m. local time, said Capt. Paco Balderrama of the Oklahoma City Police Department.<br /> <br /> Flames engulfed McClendon's vehicle &quot;immediately,&quot; Balderrama said. He added that police determined McClendon was not wearing a seatbelt after earlier being unable to tell.<br /> <br /> &quot;He pretty much drove straight into the wall,&quot; Balderrama said. He said police still needed to determine an exact cause of the Crash, but a medical event was &quot;possible.&quot; McClendon was expected to turn himself in at 11 a.m., Wednesday Balderrama added.<br /> <br /> Police would not speculate on whether or not McClendon possibly committed suicide.<br /> <br /> McClendon — a key player in the U.S. shale boom — co-founded Chesapeake in 1989 and stepped down from the company in 2013. Chesapeake is the second-largest natural gas producer in the United States. He also founded American Energy Partners, where he had been chief executive.<br /> <br /> McClendon, a Duke University graduate, was a part owner of the National Basketball Association's Oklahoma City Thunder. The team plays its home games at Chesapeake Energy Arena.<br /> <br /> &quot;Aubrey's tremendous leadership, vision and passion for the energy industry had an impact on the community, the country and the world. We are tremendously proud of his legacy and will continue to work hard to live up to the unmatched standards he set for excellence and integrity,&quot; American Energy Partners said in a statement.<br /> <br /> Chesapeake said in a statement that it is &quot;deeply saddened by the news&quot; and its &quot;thoughts and prayers are with the McClendon family during this difficult time.&quot;<br /> <br /> McClendon had denied the antitrust charges against him.<br /> <br /> The alleged conspiracy took place between December 2007 and March 2012, Tuesday's federal indictment said.<br /> <br /> The companies are accused of deciding who would win certain oil and natural gas bids, then giving an interest in the leases to the other company. The Justice Department did not say which other company it believes was involved in the alleged scheme.<br /> <br /> &quot;Anyone who knows me, my business record and the industry in which I have worked for 35 years, knows that I could not be guilty of violating any antitrust laws,&quot; McClendon said in a statement Tuesday.<br /> <br /> What will become of McClendon’s 315-acre, privately held Saugatuck area land holdings remains to be seen. The property is reportedly for sale with a pricetag of $40 million.<br /> <br /> McClendon bought the 412-acre property in 2006 for $39.5 million after failed attempts by dunes preservationists to purchase the land, which encompasses an infamous buried ghost town.<br /> <br /> He later sold the southern part of the property to a conservation organization for $19 million in 2009, but insisted on trying to develop the remaining property with high-end homes, a marina and a condo project.<br />

Read the full article at http://digital.zoompubs.com/article/Controversial+Local+Landowner+Aubrey+McClendon+Killed+One+Day+After+Being+Indicted/2416367/292796/article.html.

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