Police Capt. Andy Latham graduates from FBI National Academy

Andy Latham National Academy
Police Capt. Andy Latham (center) with FBI National Academy classmate Dulgunn Ganbat (left) of Mongolia and an embassy representative (right) during “International Night,” where international students provided food from their country for all to enjoy. 

Police Capt. Andy Latham graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy this month, making him the fifth officer from the Mt. Pleasant Police Department (MPPD) to complete the prestigious program. Held at the FBI campus in Quantico, VA, the ten-week academy is designed specifically for leaders in law enforcement and serves to improve the administration of justice in police departments and agencies at home and abroad.

Latham first learned of the National Academy several years ago when the lieutenant for MPPD at the time graduated from the program. “It was after listening to him tell of his experience that I made it my goal to attend the academy,” said Latham. “So, when the opportunity presented itself for me to apply, I did.”

Attendance is by invitation only, and Latham was one of approximately 220 leaders in law enforcement from all over the world selected to take part. “The most rewarding part of the program was meeting all of the folks from around our country and the world,” said Latham. “I realized that no matter the size of the agency or resources available, we all try to police our communities the best we can. No matter where you’re from, there is a great deal of support and camaraderie among law enforcement worldwide.”

During the program, Latham completed specialized trainings and fitness challenges, as well as rigorous coursework through the University of Virginia focused on leadership, behavioral science, communication in law and more.

“I’m very thankful to all who had a hand in allowing me to attend the academy, and to those who took on my duties while I was away,” he said. “Without a doubt, this includes my wife.”

Previous graduates of the program include current Mt. Pleasant Director of Public Safety Paul Lauria and Sergeant Dan Gaffka. The City’s former Director of Public Safety Bill Yeagley and former Lieutenant Jeff Shell also attended the academy.

Annual Downtown Mt. Pleasant Open House scheduled for Sept. 29-30

Residents and visitors are invited to the third annual Fall Open House downtown Mt. Pleasant for a weekend full of festivities! On Sept. 29 and 30, several downtown businesses will offer customers samples, specials and great coupons for future deals from local retailers, restaurants and eateries.

The following businesses will have a unique offering during the Fall Open House: Art Reach of Mid Michigan, GreenTree Co-op, Trillium, Pure Vitality, Basketree, Le Fleur Boutique, Headliners Salon, Pleasant City Coffee, Motorless Motion, Redbloom Yoga, and Gray’s Furniture & Accessories. Specific details about these offerings can be found on each business’s respective website and social media pages.

For additional information, visit https://www.facebook.com/downtownmp.

Downtown Mt. Pleasant is centrally located in the city of Mt. Pleasant and is bordered by the picturesque Chippewa River.  Two of Mt. Pleasant’s most scenic parks, Island Park and Nelson Park, are also located downtown offering a local trail system with a variety of nature trails and cycling paths. Downtown Mt. Pleasant boasts over 135 businesses that include remarkable specialty shops, art galleries, excellent and eclectic dining establishments, bars and bistros . . . you’ll find “big city” amenities with small-town service and charm.

Located just a few blocks north of Central Michigan University’s campus and 3 miles directly west of the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, downtown Mt. Pleasant has all you’re looking for and more!


5 things to watch at the next City Commission meeting

Here are 5 things to watch at the Sept. 25 City Commission meeting:

  1. Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Mayor Kathy Ling will proclaim October 2017 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month to demonstrate support for the efforts of those who work to hold perpetrators of domestic abuse accountable, and recognize the efforts of those who work to prevent domestic abuse, address its brutal and destructive effects and make ending domestic abuse a local priority. The proclamation also recognizes the courage and strength of domestic violence survivors and encourages survivors and their families to seek assistance from local service organizations, such as Women’s Aid Service.
  2. Special Assessment Roll for District #1 – 2017: After a public hearing is held on the special assessment roll for properties in the Special Assessment District #1 – 2017 (downtown Mt. Pleasant), the City Commission will consider approving the roll and setting of payment terms. The special assessment funds are used for parking lot maintenance and snow removal, groundskeeping and beautification. If approved, the assessment would be in place for 2018 and 2019.
  3. Design and Bid Services for Projects at Mt. Pleasant Airport: The City Commission will consider an agreement with Mead and Hunt for services related to the tree abatement project at the Mt. Pleasant Municipal Airport to clear obstructions protruding into the approach slope – the path an airplane follows to land on a runway. The agreement also includes services related to the updating of the precision approach path indicator (PAPI) lighting. Click here to learn more about the tree abatement project.
  4. Painting of High Street Bridge Abutments: In 2013, a grassroots citizens group raised funds from private contributors to repaint the High Street Bridge with a “Welcome to Mt. Pleasant” sign. Currently, a group of citizens is working to generate contributions to also paint the abutments and the nearby pump house. The City has been asked to be a partner in the project because a governmental unit is needed to contract for the work on the bridge owned by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The City Commission will consider two contracts for the painting of the High Street Bridge abutments and pump hose.
  5. Storm Water Ordinance: The City Commission will receive proposed language on changes to the storm water ordinance, which will impact which parking lot reconstruction projects are eligible for permit waivers, clarify that normal maintenance of parking lots is exempt from the ordinance, address flow through of storm water from adjacent properties, and clarify single-family and two-family dwelling pavement changes.

Following the regular meeting, the City Commission will hold a two work sessions. The first will include a presentation on the 2018 Operating Budget, and the second will include a discussion on sidewalk snow plowing.

To see the full City Commission agenda and packet for Sept. 25, 2017, click here.

Mt. Pleasant City Commission meetings are held at City Hall on the second and fourth Monday of every month. Meetings begin at 7 p.m.

Tree abatement at airport planned for this winter

The City will complete a tree abatement project this winter at the Mt. Pleasant Municipal Airport to clear obstructions protruding into the approach slope – the path an airplane follows to land on a runway.

The project was deemed necessary by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in order for the City to continue to safely accommodate the larger planes that utilize the airport. The majority of the abatement will occur west of the airport between US-127 and South Isabella Road.

According to Airport Manager Bill Brickner, the project is not only essential for the successful arrival and departure of airplanes, it is also needed for the airport to remain a driver of local economic development and business growth.

“The airport adds about $8 million of revenue to the community each year,” said Brickner. “If the trees remain, the runway will be shortened and several of our customers who fly larger planes will have to go elsewhere to land, purchase fuel and conduct business.”

Federal and state funding will pay for 95 percent of the total project costs, with the remaining five percent budgeted in the Airport Capital Improvement Plan.

Work is expected to begin in November.

City announces leaf collection schedule

Beginning the week of Oct. 23, residents who live within City limits may begin raking their leaves into low piles in the street for the City to collect the following week in a citywide sweep. The full leaf collection schedule is as follows:

  • Week of Oct. 23: Rake leaves into low piles
  • Week of Oct. 30: Leaf collection week
  • Week of Nov. 6: Rake leaves into low piles
  • Week of Nov. 13: Leaf collection week
  • Week of Nov. 20: Rake leaves into low piles
  • Week of Nov. 27: Final leaf collection week. (Leaves left in the street after crews have made their final sweep will not be collected and are the responsibility of the homeowner.)

Please rake leaves in low piles into the gutter and close to the curb. Please avoid covering storm sewer catch basins. To prevent causing a traffic obstruction, do not place the leaf piles too far out into the street.

On High and Pickard streets, where traffic prohibits leaves in the gutter, leaves may be piled on the rights-of-way between the curb and sidewalk.

In uncurbed areas, leaves should be raked into the streets along the street shoulders.

Yard waste bags should not be used. Leaf piles must not contain yard waste or brush.

Questions may be directed to the Division of Public Works at (989) 779-5401.

Canine College planned for Oct. 1; RSVP today!

The City of Mt. Pleasant Parks & Recreation invites all members of Hannah’s Bark Park, as well as the general public, to attend “Canine College” on Oct. 1 at City Hall.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m., Kelley Moss, a veterinarian technician and Mt. Pleasant Kennel Club instructor, will offer her expertise on several topics, including:

  • Are all dogs (and humans) good candidates for a dog park?
  • How to prepare your dog for a dog park visit
  • How to read a dog’s body language
  • How to handle dog-to-dog conflicts
  • Behavior tendencies of different breeds

This session is free of charge and open to the public (this event is for humans only, please!). Participants are encouraged to RSVP to Ryan Longoria, director of recreation and sports at (989) 779-5329 or rlongoria@mt-pleasant.org.

2017 Canine College Flyer color

Welfare check leads to police chase 

MT. PLEASANT, Mich. – At approximately 12:40 p.m. on Sept. 15, Mt. Pleasant Police responded to a call requesting a welfare check on an individual in the parking lot of Meijer who was undressing himself and banging on his car. When officers arrived at the scene, a man matching the description of the individual jumped into his vehicle and fled northbound on Mission Street. The man proceeded to drive north on Old U.S. 27 to Jordan Road before crashing his car on the railroad tracks. The subject exited the vehicle and a foot pursuit ensued into a nearby cornfield.

Officers set up a perimeter of the area and were able to locate the suspect after an extensive search. The suspect was identified as 34-year-old man from Leroy, Michigan. 

The Leroy man will be lodged at the Isabella County Jail on charges of Fleeing and Eluding; Resisting and Obstructing; Driving While License Suspend; Reckless Driving and several outstanding warrants. 


The Mt. Pleasant Police Department was assisted by the, City of Clare Police Department, Department of Natural Resources, Isabella County Sherriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, Michigan State Police K-9 Unit, Bay Area Narcotics Unit, Mt. Pleasant Fire Department and Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police Department.


3 Reasons Why the Mt. Pleasant Airport is a Community Asset

Active since 1940, the Mt. Pleasant Municipal Airport is administered as a department within the Division of Public Works of the City of Mt. Pleasant. Covering an area of 344 acres, the airport is categorized as a General Utility Airport with two available runways.

Highlighted in this month’s “Why MP,” check out 3 reasons why the Mt. Pleasant Airport is a community treasure.

1. The City airport adds millions of dollars to the local economy each year.

1935 – First Airplane to Visit Mt. Pleasant

Close to 1,300 aircraft utilize the airport annually, bringing visitors to the Mt. Pleasant area who stay at local hotels, eat at local restaurants and patron local businesses. As a result, nearly $8 million of revenue is added to the community each year!

“When the doors open on the plane, I rarely know who’s going to be on the other side,” said Airport Manager Bill Brickner. “People use the airport for a wide variety of reasons, from selling wares and delivering emergency parts, to transferring prisoners. Even celebrities use our airport.”

Corporate aircraft are among those that use the airport regularly, serving as a means of transportation for several companies, including Morbark, Bandit Industries, Delfield, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Meijer, Walmart, Kay Jewelers and Harley Davidson – just to name a few!

2. It serves as a resource for community safety and emergency services.


Used for the U.S. Military, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan State Police and Medi-Vac flights, the City Airport offers a quick and efficient method of transportation for those in emergency situations. With on-call staff members and a 24-hour phone line, emergency personnel rely on the airport in times of need.

Most recently, the airport housed airplanes that helped people in the paths of the hurricanes Harvey and Irma flee Texas and Florida.

In addition, the nonprofit organization, Wings of Mercy, uses the Mt. Pleasant Airport to provide free air transportation to distant medical centers for those with serious or rare illnesses in need of specialized care. Wings of Mercy connects those who can’t afford the financial burden of commercial flights with volunteer pilots who can get them there.

3. It offers educational and engaging events to promote aviation to all ages.  

Young Eagles Day

The Airport plays host to events organized by Chapter 907 of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), a group of aviation enthusiasts who plan events tailored to engage community members of all ages in hopes of sparking interest in aviation.

This year alone, the EAA’s Young Eagles program has provided free airplane rides to approximately 120 kids between the ages of 8-17. “With each flight lasting about 20 minutes, local kids love the opportunity to fly over Mt. Pleasant and potentially their houses,” says Brickner.

Another EAA-hosted event, “Wings & Wheels,” takes place on Sept. 16. For details, check out the Facebook event page here.

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EAA Chapter 907 – With a team of only 5 individuals making up the staff at the airport, the EAA loves to volunteer their time and effort to ensure the future of aviation is as bright as ever.

For more information about the Mt. Pleasant Airport, contact Airport Manager Bill Brickner at (989) 444-1996 or bbrickner@mt-pleasant.org.

To learn more about the local chapter of EAA, go to www.907.eaachapter.org.

CMU Health donates 50 first aid kits to City

Safety Alliance - First Aid Kits
City Public Works staff and members of the Safety Alliance, Chad Sapp (left) and Sarah Parrott (middle), receive 50 first aid kits from Jennifer Churchill (right) of CMU Health.

All City-owned vehicles will soon be stocked with first aid supplies thanks to the generosity of Central Michigan University Health. In an effort initiated by the City’s Safety Alliance, CMU Health recently donated 50 OSHA-compliant first aid kits to ensure City staff members would have an adequate supply of basic medical care items while working out in the field.

“Until now, only the police and fire departments had first aid kits in their vehicles, so it was a high priority for the Safety Alliance to provide the kits to the rest of the City,” said Sarah Parrott of the Division of Public Works. “The group is in the process of distributing the kits to each department. There are extras in case new vehicles are purchased or items are used, and the kits will be checked once-a-month to make sure they are fully stocked and up-to-date.”

Created this year, the Safety Alliance is comprised of nine City staff members who work collaboratively across departments to make recommendations on health and safety topics.

5 things to watch at the next City Commission meeting

Here are 5 things to watch at the Sept. 11 City Commission meeting.

  1. United Way Week Proclamation: Mayor Ling will proclaim Sept. 17-23, 2017 as United Way Week in the City of Mt. Pleasant to kick off the 2017 Community Campaign and celebrate the more than 60 years of community investment provided through United Way.
  2. Ordinance Amendment to Permit Shooting Ranges in the City: A potential expansion of a local business includes an indoor shooting range. Currently the City Code prohibits the discharge of firearms within the City limits except in the legal defense of person or property. After holding a public hearing, the City Commission will consider an amendment to this ordinance to allow the discharge of a firearm at regularly established indoor firearm ranges authorized by the City, at times and places approved by the City Commission following a public hearing.
  3. Hanger Lease with the EAA: The City Commission is requested to approve a lease with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) for the City-owned hangar at the Mt. Pleasant Municipal Airport. The City-owned hangar has been vacant for over a year, and is in need of cleaning and repairs. As part of the lease agreement, the EAA would not be charged a monthly rental fee, rather they would complete the cleaning and repairs. The agreement would allow the EAA to sublet portions of the hangar to a mechanic, for airplane storage or other aeronautical opportunities, subject to approval by the City. The City would receive funds from the subleases.
  4. Downtown Special Assessment: Earlier this year, the Commission approved the resolution to determine the need for a downtown special assessment to fund downtown parking lot maintenance and snow removal, beautification and groundskeeping. In July, after holding the public hearing on the proposed roll to spread the assessment, the City Commission did not approve the assessment roll. Since then, modifications to the assessment roll have been made. The City Commission will set a public hearing on the revised recommendation for the 2018-2019 special assessment process for the Downtown Principal Shopping District.
  5. 2018 Annual Operating Budget: The City Commission will receive the proposed 2018 Annual Operating Budget. A formal presentation on the proposed budget will occur during the Sept. 25 City Commission meeting, and a special meeting has been scheduled for Oct. 30 for further discussion. It is recommended the City Commission set a public hearing for Nov. 13, 2017 to obtain public comment on the proposed budget. Members of the community may view the document online at www.mt-pleasant.org, or view a printed copy at the City Clerk’s office.

Immediately following the regular meeting, the City Commission will hold a work session to discuss the Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMMFLA) Ad Hoc Committee recommendation.

To see the full City Commission agenda and packet for Sept. 11, 2017, click here.

Mt. Pleasant City Commission meetings are held at City Hall on the second and fourth Monday of every month. Meetings begin at 7 p.m.