1997-02-21; Central Michigan Life
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Central Michigan LIFE :i I t i ) i j I Volume 79, Number 64 Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859 ©1997 CM LIFE 77 years of serving the community FRIDAY February 21, 1997 12 pages Ruling allows police to remove passengers By Dave Borough LIFE Staff Writer On Wednesday the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of police safety by allowing officers to order all passengers out of a vehicle for routine traffic stops. The court ruled in a 7-2 decision in a Maryland case that ordering passengers not suspected of wrongdoing out of a car is only a "minimal" intrusion on their rights. Martin Trombley, director of Mount Pleasant Public Safety Department, said by his understanding, the ruling gives officers the ability to ensure their own safety. "It's not a benefit — it's about safety," Trombley said. "Police officers are constantly concerned about what a passenger or passengers are doing." Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote in this decision hailed by police, "Regrettably, traffic stops may be dangerous encounters" for police. "Danger to an officer from a traffic stop is likely to be greater when there are passengers in addition to the driver in the stopped car," Rehnquist added. He noted that 11 police officers were killed and more than 5,700 were assaulted during traffic stops in 1994. "It's not a about safety' benefit it's MARTIN TROMBLEY Director of Mount Pleasant Public Safety Department TVombley said statistical proof shows traffic violation offenders are committing some other serious crime. "It's not my desire to have everyone get out of the car," he said. "Officers are not going to order people out of the car on every stop." In some circumstances where officers feel there is reasonable cause, sense something wrong or observe certain movements, they may order everyone out of the vehicle. Trombley noted just this week in Ohio, police have on videotape a passenger coming out of a vehicle and shooting at officers. He also said a few years ago a young Grand Haven officer was shot and killed during a traffic stop when an escaped felon shot him from the back seat of the New gas tax proposed to repair Michigan roads LIFE Staff Reports Funding for repairing Michigan roads is creating quite a stir among legislators as two new proposals for a gas tax have formed. Senator Jim Berryman, D-Adrian, and Senator Walter North, R-St. Ignace, each have designed proposals to repair Michigan roads by instating a gas tax. The major difference between the two proposals is, both the House of Representatives and the Senate will vote on Berryman's proposal, while North is proposing the issue to go before the voters next November. Julie Stevenson, administrative assistant for North, said North's plan includes a 6-cent gas tax increase the first year of its instatement and after a year an additional 2 cents will be added on. Stevenson said North feels this issue should go before the voters due to the political climate in the state capital. She said North feels a gas tax proposal will not pass by a t»vo~thirds rn s*ori fcxr in either house. North said there are several state representatives whose term limits are almost completed and many representatives are planning to run for office again. None of these people will want to vote for any new taxes and have that on their platform. "It appears through dialog in the legislature, that people don't want to deal with it," North said. Stevenson said the plan fully supports several reforms Gov. John Engler has put into place. There are seven main areas of support, she said. •The state trying to get more money from the federal government for infrastructure improvement; •Demand greater efficiency from county road commissions; •Streamline the Michigan Department of Transportation by cutting 1,000 employees through an early retirement program; •Eliminate the 2 percent spillage allowance; •Reforming how many civil cases involving highway accidents can be brought before Michigan courts; and •Allocating $110 million for bridge repair and $70 million for local road repair as Engler proposed in his budget. Berryman said he feels North's program will simply not work, because it will take too long to implement. Berryman said by putting it before the voters, the Republicans are just putting off solving the problem. "We can't wait until 1999 or the year 2000 to fix our roads," Berryman said. "The current administration is basically saying 'there is no sense dealing with it now.'" "The plain fact is, without a gas tax increase now and the longer we deal this spring and summer, we are going to miss this year's construction period," said Berryman. He said not only does he feel the Engler administration is just putting off the problem, but he finds several points wrong with their plan. "A 6- to 8-cent gas tax is just not going to do it," Berryman said. He said this will delay paying the amount to fix roads too long and will not even cover the $500-million bond that is currently due that Engler borrowed a few years back to fix the roads. Berryman said his plan would create a gas tax of 8 cents a year, which would bring in about $600 million dollars in just the first year to fix the roads. Berryman said his plan also will repeal the diesel discount that entitles truckers to pay lower rates for diesel fuel. See TAX Page 2 • The two dissenters, Justices John Paul Stevens and Anthony M. Kennedy, said officers should be allowed to make passengers get out of a vehicle only when they actually suspect possible danger. Kennedy wrote that because the court last year bolstered officers' authority to stop motorists in some cases, the new ruling "puts tens of millions of passengers at risk of arbitrary control by police." Trombley said, "The bottom line is the officers are doing what they are doing to ensure their own safety. Officers have to be careful. Safety is very important." The Associated Press contributed to this story. New minor should be available by fall LIFE Photo/Gabriel Guerrero Michigan drivers, like Mount Pleasant resident Eileen Sonnad, may soon be paying more at the gas pump to repair Michigan roads. One gas tax proposal currently being considered by lawmaker would increase the gas tax 6 cents the first year and 2 cents the next year. Run-off election will decide final Tribal Council position By Lenny Padiila LIFE Staff Writer The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe will hold a run-off election Monday to settle a dispute over questionable results from last month's tribal election. Tribal District 1 voters will determine whether Thomas Kequom or Susan Durfee will hold the 10th and final spot on the Tribal Council, the governing body of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. "There's mixed emotions because there are two sides to the story," said Tribal Chief Kevin Chamberlain. "But we'll let the people decide what they want." When the final votes were tallied at the end of the Jan. 14 election, Durfee and Kequom were deadlocked at 142 votes apiece. However, two late absentee ballots broke the tie in favor of Kequom, 144-142. Following the election, the tribe formed a judicial oversight committee which ruled in favor of approving the final election results. Kequom has held a position on the council in the interim. "Both sides want to interpret the ordi nance to meet their needs," Chamberlain said of Durfee and Kequom. "But each side has equal and valid concerns. Durfee filed a protest with the tribe within the allowed seven-day time period following the election in order to hold a run-off. The Tribal Council then approved a run-off by majority vote. "I think it is important that the tribal council supports each other," Chamberlain said. Much of the problem which led to the run-off stems from a primitive election process, Chamberlain said, and the tribe has been looking to improve that. They have been looking to other governmental bodies for answers about how to run a concise and accurate election. "Our (election) rules just aren't clear cut," he said. According to Chamberlain, the two absentee ballots that spawned the debate, were found in the mail a day after the election. Both were apparently overlooked because they were incorrectly labeled. The polling booths will be open at the Tribal Center Monday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ■ Environmental minor will require around 25 credit hours total By Matthew J. Roberge, Jr. LIFE Staff Writer By next fall, students interested in environmental studies should be able to minor in it. Jane Matty, assistant professor of geology and director of environmental studies, said currently, only an environmental studies major is offered. The major requires students to double major in another discipline. Matty said "the reason we introduced the minor is it really is not feasible for students ■who are getting business or education majors to get a double major." The minor is "a trimmed down version of the major," Matty said. She said the minor will require around 25 credit hours total. The major now requires over 50 interdepartmental credit hours. This, Matty said, will allow a greater variety of people to receive training in environmental studies. Matty said through talking to students she is aware of a demand for the new minor. She said she is hoping to have everything finalized and the minor available to students by the Fall '97 semester. The Academic Senate approved the minor at their Feb. 11 meeting. The Academic Senate also approved adding a GPA requirement of 2.7 to the environmental studies major. This requirement was added, Matty said, "because we want to make sure all students are taking the program seriously." She said the requirement was added because students who do not take the environmental studies program seriously could make CMU look bad to the company providing the internship. All environmental studies majors must complete an internship. There are about 90 students registered for the major, which was introduced in the fall of 1994. INS I D'-E Classified ^ 11 Crossword 11 - - * _»*. f 8-9 Sports 6-7 Et cetera <4> _** .Voices To reach CM LIFE 4-5 Phone 774-3493 E Mail CMLIFEdcmuvm csvcmtch edu I-ax number (517)774 7805 | | Central Michigan LIFE Online I Internet address "* http_ wwwcmlife cmich edu Detroit newspapers prepare job offers for striking workers The Associated Press Detroit newspaper officials Thursday prepared job offers for some striking workers, one day after accepting the workers' unconditional offer to return to work. But the unions were preparing to seek a court injunction to immediately restore jobs for all non-fired strikers who -want them. Some of the job offers for returning workers could go out as soon as Friday, newspaper officials said. They declined to say how many offers would be Union strikers move towards injunction attempts made in coming days. One newspaper official said the job offers are being slowed because the unions haven't told the papers how many striking workers want to return. "It would help us put together accurate lists and begin to evaluate them in an accurate way," said Robert Giles, editor and publisher of The Detroit News. Union spokeswoman Nancy Dunn said her hunch is that between 1,400 and 1,600 of the roughly 2,000 striking workers want to return. But she said the unions are making no formal effort to determine that number, and said such a figure is meaningless as to -whether the strikers should receive job offers. "I don't see how it should slow down his process," Dunn said. Officials with the News, the Detroit Free Press and Detroit Newspapers Inc. on Wednesday accepted the strikers' unconditional offer to return to work after a 19-month walkout. But the unions contend the newspa pers in effect rejected the offer because of their vow to retain 1,200 replacement workers, thus making few jobs available for returning strikers. Dunn said the unions will ask the National Labor Relations Board to seek a court injunction to immediately reinstate all non- fired strikers who want to return to work — even if it means displacing replacement workers. She said the unions are assembling their own seniority lists in anticipation of their injunction request. "We need to know exactly how our people line up so when the court sends everybody back to work we are ready," Dunn said. Meanwhile, union leaders are advising strikers who receive back-to-work offers while the injunction attempt is pending to accept them. Free Press Managing Editor Carole Leigh Hutton said she hoped to make the first job offers by seniority as soon as Friday. "I would like very much to get this going," she said.
|Title||1997-02-21; Central Michigan Life|
|Publisher||Students of Central Michigan University|
|Description||Friday, February 21, 1997 issue of the student newspaper of Central Michigan University. Also known as CM-Life. Originally published biweekly. Later published three times a week during the academic year and once a week during the summer. Began publication in 1941. Previously known as Central State Life. Issues from 1999 to the present are available online at the CMLife website.|
|Subject/Keywords||Central Michigan University - Newspapers; Mount Pleasant (Mich.) - Newspapers; Isabella County (Mich.) - Newspapers; College student newspapers and periodicals;|
|Copyright Permission||Copyright 1997 by Central Michigan University. This material is copyrighted and any further reproduction or distribution is prohibited.|