City election forum

Listen to last night’s Adrian city election forum online

Both candidates for mayor and six candidates for Adrian City Commission took part in a forum Tuesday night at Siena Heights University organized by the Lenawee County chapter of NAACP. The candidates for mayor are Jim Berryman and Kirk Valentine. The candidates for city commission who attended the forum were Chuck Chase, Tom Faulhaber, Allen Heldt, Ray Lennard and Lad Strayer, who are on the ballot, and Devin Stevens, who is running as a write-in candidate. The sixth candidate on the ballot, Nicole Gestwite, was unable to attend. Continue Reading

Police Chief Vince Emrick addresses Adrian city commissioners at a work session before their Aug. 3 meeting.

Issues faced by APD include gang rivalries, increase in calls, decrease in applicants

Calls to the Adrian Police Department have risen dramatically during the past few years, police chief Vince Emrick told city commissioners during a work session before Monday’s commission meeting. Emrick showed commissioners a graph of how many calls for service the department has received each year since 2012, with estimates for 2015 based on call volume so far:

Year
Calls for service

2012
10,599

2013
12,591

2014
17,049

2015
 19,477 (estimate)

“As you can see, we’ve had a steady rise since 2012,” Emrick said. Part of the difference from 2012 to 2013 could be attributable to a better record-keeping system implemented at that time, but the number has continued to rise since then, he said. Emrick updated the commission on several recent incidents, including the Church Street shooting in July and the drug raids that came immediately before it. He said those incidents involved two rival criminal groups. Continue Reading

The site of a proposed Taco Bell on North Main Street.

Proposed Taco Bell snarled by state and federal red tape

City officials are growing frustrated with state and federal red tape that’s tying up plans for a new Taco Bell on the north side of Adrian. “We have run into some very interesting roadblocks that, when you are familiar with the property, don’t necessarily make sense,” city attorney Sarah Osburn said at Monday night’s city commission meeting. It all started because, in order to put an entrance onto North Main Street, developer Sundance Inc. needed to buy a small parcel of city-owned land in order to get the entrance far enough north to not cause problems with the intersection of North Main and Albert. The property the city is trying to sell is .27 acres of land adjacent to Island Park. When the city commissioned a title search — a normal part of selling a property — the title examiner discovered that the state of Michigan had a deed dating back to 1989 that entitled it to 70 percent of any mineral rights on the land. Continue Reading

Adrian College president holds up a T-shirt reading "Adrian: Open for Business," printed by Todd Harder of Red Paint Printing, during an announcement of Adrian College's purchase of Cornerstone Apartments.

Adrian College purchases Cornerstone Apartments for staff housing

The Cornerstone Apartments building at the corner of South Main and Church streets in downtown Adrian has been purchased by Adrian College, which plans to use it as housing for coaches and other staff members. The purchase was finalized Monday and announced this morning during a press conference at the City Chambers Building. Jerry Wright, Adrian College’s vice president for business affairs, said the 28-unit building will have about 40 residents, most of them members of the coaching staff for the college’s growing athletic programs.

“The acquisition of this property serves the college by allowing us to move those employees downtown, thereby creating additional on-campus residency units for our students,” Wright said in a statement announcing the purchase. “We believe with the influx of these young professionals into the downtown area that it will add vibrancy and increased economic development.” The building will remain on the city’s tax rolls. Continue Reading

The candidates for Adrian City Commission in the November election are Chuck Chase, Tom Faulhaber, Nicole Gestwite, Allen Heldt, Ray Lennard and Lad Strayer.

Meet the candidates for Adrian City Commission

Candidates for the Adrian City Commission turned in their petitions this week, and one thing is basically certain: there will be at least two new faces on the commission after the November election. Commissioners Julie Berryman Adams and Jerry Gallatin have both decided not to seek re-election to a second term, leaving Tom Faulhaber as the only incumbent in the race. Six people are running for three seats on the commission. All commission terms are four years long, and the mayor’s term is two years. As we reported previously, Kirk Valentine is challenging incumbent Jim Berryman for the office of mayor. Continue Reading

Mayor Jim Berryman, left, faces a challenge from Kirk Valentine in the November election.

Kirk Valentine to challenge Jim Berryman for Adrian mayor

Kirk Valentine, a local business owner and former city commissioner, is planning to challenge Mayor Jim Berryman in November for the city’s top elected office. Berryman and Valentine are the only people who have told the city clerk’s office they plan to run for mayor. Nomination petitions are due by April 21. Valentine said one reason he’s running is that he feels the city commission acted more transparently during his time in office, from 2005 to 2009, than it does now. “I don’t think there’s much open debate going on right now,” he said. Continue Reading

Mayor Jim Berryman speaks at a study session before Monday's city commission meeting.

Mayor: “I think we’re in agreement here that people in the city of Adrian want Bohn Pool to be open”

Bohn Pool was one of several topics of discussion at the Adrian City Commission’s pre-meeting study session Monday night. City administrator Shane Horn presented commissioners with a preliminary look at the city’s 2015-16 budget. Although he stressed that it was still very much in the early stages, it didn’t look good. Even with eliminating most capital expenses, dipping into the city’s information technology reserves, and cutting about $100,000 from the library budget, early estimates still show the city facing a deficit. (Although a proposal on the May 5 ballot would spin the library off into its own separate entity, independent from the city’s budget, the city commission will need to pass a budget based on things being the way they are now.)

If the city takes back some responsibility for the operation of Bohn Pool — a possibility that came up because the YMCA of Lenawee County took a financial hit from running the pool last year — that could increase the deficit even more. Continue Reading

E-Race Stigma-1

E-Race the Stigma 5k raises awareness of mental health

Greg Adams knows the connection between mental health and physical health. Becoming an athlete helped him turn his life around after a diagnosis of bipolar disorder explained the issues he’d been dealing with for many years. Now Adams is helping spread the word through the E-Race the Stigma 5k, a new event that will double as a fundraiser and a vehicle to raise awareness of mental health in Lenawee County. The race will take place the morning of Sunday, May 17. “Exercise is what keeps me going, it’s what gives me focus every day,” said Adams, who recently told his story in Lenawee HealthBeat, the Daily Telegram’s quarterly health magazine. Continue Reading

About 60 people turned out for a town hall meeting on oil and gas revenues Monday night.

Citizens discuss ideas for oil and gas revenue at town hall meeting

About 14 people presented their ideas for what to do with royalties from oil and gas drilling on city land at a special town hall meeting held Monday night in the City Chambers Building. Some 60 residents attended the session. Mayor Jim Berryman said prior to the start of the event that the meeting was designed to gather ideas for using the money generated by the trust and not to debate the various issues surrounding the legislation of the trust. The trust now contains about $1.7 million. “Tonight’s discussion is where you, the public, tell us … Continue Reading

DSC_6461

City reaches contract with police sergeants’ union

After an unsuccessful attempt at mediation and nearly going to arbitration, the city of Adrian and its police sergeants have reached a deal on a new contract. The four-year contract between the city and the Police Officers’ Labor Council, which represents the three sergeants in the Adrian Police Department, was approved Monday by the Adrian City Commission. It had already been ratified by the union. The sergeants will receive the same 1 percent cost-of-living increase that other employees received previously, retroactive to Oct. 15. Continue Reading