New guidelines will help protect Michigan hunting

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mike Shirkey on Friday announced that new cervid importation regulations will help protect the state’s deer population and safeguard our hunting tradition.

“Michigan has a rich hunting heritage,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “These guidelines have been put in place for the protection and health of these herds.”

To help keep potential cases of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) from unintentionally being brought into Michigan, hunters who harvest a cervid (deer, moose or elk) in any other state or province can only import certain parts, such as hides, deboned meat, quarters, finished taxidermy products, cleaned teeth and antlers.

CWD is a fatal, contagious neurological disease. In 2015, a free-ranging deer in mid-Michigan tested positive for CWD.

Since that discovery, nine animals have tested positive for the disease. The state has taken constructive steps to help contain this threat. Those hunting in Michigan within areas where CWD has been found must follow specific regulations as well.

For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/cwd.

Shirkey testifies on his bill to aid local hospital’s transition

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mike Shirkey testified before the House Health Policy Committee Wednesday on his bill to ease a Coldwater hospital’s upcoming merger.

Senate Bill 450 would enable the Community Health Center (CHC) of Branch County to become a nonprofit entity and make the transition to ProMedica Health Systems more seamless.

“If we do nothing, the CHC will become a new entity under the transaction and would need to once again take the many steps necessary to continue operation, such as re-acquiring all of their licenses, filing a new certificate of need with the state, enrolling with Medicare and Medicaid and other insurers as a new provider, and so on,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake.

“This bill will spare the CHC and its patients many headaches that would otherwise be caused by bureaucratic red tape as the center seeks to merge with ProMedica.”

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Fall travel guide now available

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mike Shirkey on Wednesday reminded residents of Branch, Hillsdale and Jackson counties that the 2017 Pure Michigan Fall Travel Guide is now available.

“Autumn in Michigan is remarkably beautiful. Our state’s waters and woodlands offer postcard-perfect views and countless opportunities for outdoor adventure,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “The travel guide can help you navigate the many outdoor treasures and help you plan your next venture.”

From scenic drives and hikes to weekend getaways to culinary destinations, the 2017 Pure Michigan Fall Travel Guide highlights places to go and sights to see across the state, Shirkey said.

Residents can access the digital version of the travel guide and sign up for weekly fall color updates at www.michigan.org.

They also can contact Shirkey’s office to receive a free print copy of the guide. Call 517-373-5932 or email MikeShirkey@senate.mi.gov.

Sen. Shirkey announces Oct. 2 coffee hour

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, announced that a coffee hour is scheduled for the 16th Senate District in Coldwater next Monday, Oct. 2.

All residents are welcome to come for coffee and conversation about issues that matter to them. Coffee hours are for one-on-one discussions with the senator.

Those unable to attend can stay up to date by checking this website for the most up-to-date information.

Sen. Shirkey will be meeting at the following time and place:

Monday, Oct. 2
Henry L. Brown Municipal Building
Council Chamber (second floor)
4 – 5 p.m.
1 Grand St.
Coldwater

Shirkey offers pocket Constitutions to celebrate Constitution Week

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mike Shirkey on Friday reminded residents of Branch, Hillsdale and Jackson counties that Sunday, Sept. 17 kicks off Constitution Week, a time to celebrate our founding principles and the document that established the United States.

“To help our communities celebrate liberty on Constitution Day we want to spread the word about the pocket Constitutions available from our office. These are great for teachers, parents and more,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “We are blessed to live in this great nation.”

On Sept. 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the U.S. Constitution, which is the longest standing written constitution still in existence.

Each year on Sept. 17, America celebrates the signing of the Constitution as part of Constitution Week, which runs from Sept. 17 through Sept. 23.

“The Constitution stands as a testament to the determination of Americans throughout history to maintain our liberty and unalienable rights,” Shirkey said. “I encourage everyone to read or reread it. If you don’t have a copy, call or email any time and we’ll gladly provide one.”

You can easily order a copy of the U.S. Constitution or Michigan Constitution from Shirkey’s office. Call 517-373-5932 or email MikeShirkey@senate.mi.gov.

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Shirkey bill would help curb shortage of oral health care by improving dental care freedom

Shirkey: ‘This bill could improve access to oral health care for underserved patients’

LANSING, Mich.Sen. Mike Shirkey introduced legislation on Thursday to address the limited access to oral health care faced by millions of Michiganders.

Senate Bill 541 would allow dentists to treat more patients by hiring a mid-level provider, called a dental therapist.

“Many areas of Michigan have a shortage of dental providers,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “This problem even affects Branch, Hillsdale and Jackson.

“By allowing a mid-level provider — a dental therapist — to practice, this bill could improve access to oral health care for underserved patients, while giving dentists the ability to modernize and expand their practices.”

Under SB 541, dentists could choose to employ dental therapists in their practice. Dental therapists would be similar to a physician assistant on a medical team and would work under the supervision of a dentist. Dental therapists could provide preventative and routine restorative care such as filling cavities.

Seventy-seven out of Michigan’s 83 counties have at least one dental shortage area.

Shirkey said the creation of a mid-level dental provider makes sense from both a public health and fiscal perspective.

“The Legislature should be about ensuring those practicing in our state are qualified to provide care, and after those qualifications are met, we should get out of the way and let the market and consumers decide how that care is provided.

“There are dentists right now who want this help. They understand how dental therapists could provide their patients with access to important dental health care.”

SB 541 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health Policy.

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Jackson County Museum Day means free admission

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Mike Shirkey on Thursday discussed the first-ever Jackson County Museum Day on Saturday, Sept. 16, where participating museums open for free.

“The County Museum Day next week gives you a great way to explore key Jackson museums,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “From rail history and military heritage to art history and more, there’s bound to be something for you. It’s an awesome opportunity!”

Eleven locations around Jackson County will open to the public free of charge for Jackson County Museum Day on Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Some museums will offer open-house receptions and self-guided tours; others are hosting festivals, child-friendly activities, historical demonstrations and guided tours.

The locations participating in Jackson County Museum Day are:
• Cell Block 7 Prison Museum
• Coe House Museum
• Ella Sharp Museum
• Hanover-Horton Area Historical Society
• Lost Railway Museum
• Mann House
• Michigan Military Heritage Museum
• Tompkins Historical Stewart Museum
• Waterloo Farm Museum and Dewey School Museum
• Ye Ole Carriage Shop
• The ’20s Roar into Jackson

For more information on Jackson County Museum Day, visit ExperienceJackson.com/MuseumDay.