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Dear Neighbors,  

With summer coming to an end, I hope you and your family had time to enjoy the outdoors. As fall approaches and we prepare for students to return to school in the next coming weeks, it is important that we stay safe and healthy with the recent severe weather and cooler temperatures approaching. Please be safe this Labor Day as we honor the men and women who have worked to improve the quality of life for us all. 

Featured in this newsletter: 

  • Severe Weather Resources and Tips  
  • Avoiding Storm Scams 
  • Coffee Hour Recap  
  • Back to School Safety Tips  
  • UIA Offers New Coaching Sessions for First-Time Filers   
  • Women’s Equality Day  
  • Things to Know When Considering Student Loans   
  • MDOT Seeking Public Input on Gratiot Ave Improvements   

If you have any questions, want to comment on pending legislation, or resolve any issues in state government, please do not hesitate to contact my office by phone at (517) 373-8360 or by email at SenPWojno@senate.michigan.gov.  

Warmest regards,

Paul Wojno
State Senator
District 10

Severe Weather Resources and Tips 

In response to recent severe weather across the state, our first responders and officials are working hard to ensure there is a swift delivery of resources to the affected areas. We applaud this effort and our dedicated first responders, who have been working tirelessly around the clock. Please continue to exercise caution as some areas are still being cleared and assessed for damage. If you need help or see something to report, use the following links. 

General Storm Safety Tips:

  • Prepare a kit of emergency supplies for your family and pets. 
  • Create a family emergency plan. 
  • For college students, create a campus emergency plan.  

For guides and checklists, visit Plan Ahead (michigan.gov) 

Tornado Safety Tips: 

  • Sign up for The Emergency Alert System or your community’s warning system. 
  • Identify a place to take shelter. 
  • Look for danger signs such as a dark or greenish sky, large hail, a dark, low-lying cloud, and a loud roar that sounds like a freight train. 
  • Ensure all doors and windows are shut. 
  • Be careful when exiting the building after the storm.  

For more information, visit Tornadoes (michigan.gov) 

Blackout Safety Tips: 

  • Have flashlights or emergency lighting available. 
  • Have extra cash available. ATMs might not be working. 
  • Keep a key to the house with you when away from home. The garage will not open if the power is out. 
  • Have food that does not require heat available. 
  • Look for severe weather, such as thunderstorms, tornados, winter storms, and strong winds or extreme hot or cold temperatures. 
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances and electronics. The return of power may cause surges that can damage them.  

For more information, visit Blackouts (michigan.gov) 

Flooding Safety Tips: 

  • Scan and store important documents on an online, cloud-based program. 
  • Put important documents and valuables in a waterproof container on the top floor of your home. 
  • Have extra bottled water – tap water may be contaminated during flooding. 
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Disconnect all electrical equipment. 
  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches is enough water to knock you down. 

Do not drive in flooded areas. Six inches of water can cause you to lose control and two feet of water can sweep away your car. Remember: Turn around, don’t drown. 

For more information, visit Flooding and Landslides (michigan.gov) 

To Report Downed Power Lines: 

To report flooding or flood damage, visit Michigan.gov/difs/consumers/disaster-prep/flood

Avoiding Storm Scams  

With the recent severe storms causing possible home and car repairs, it is important that residents are careful of potential scam artists and price-gougers. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has created a few tips to help avoid these scams: 

  • Get everything in writing. 
  • Never pay in cash. 
  • Never pay in full upfront. 
  • Never respond to an unexpected phone call that demands payment or threatens to turn off your utilities after a storm-related outage. 

Anyone who believes they’ve been victimized by a scam can contact the Attorney General’s office by phone from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at (517) 335-7599 or toll-free at (877) 765-8388. People can also go online to file complaints at https://secure.ag.state.mi.us/complaints/consumer.aspx


Coffee Hour Recap

I truly want to thank every person who attended my most recent coffee hour on August 25 at the Perfecting Church Annex. It was an honor to speak directly to my constituents, along with Rep. Donavan McKinney. We were so pleased by the great turnout of dedicated constituents.  

During these few hours, we were able to discuss pertinent issues that matter to the communities in District 10. I am so excited to relay those concerns to my colleagues in the Senate as we continue to bring forth people-focused policies during this fall session!  


Back to School Safety Tips  

Ensuring that our students are safe while they are learning in school is a priority of mine. During the first days of school, please review these safety tips about getting to and from school carefully with your child:  

  • Use public sidewalks whenever possible. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic. 
  • Always look both ways before crossing the street and avoid entering the street from between objects like parked cars or shrubbery. 
  • Teach children to recognize and obey traffic signals, signs, and pavement markings. 
  • Walk with friends whenever possible as there is safety in numbers. 
  • Avoid distractions while walking, such as texting or talking on the phone, and never use headphones. 
  • Wear a properly fitted helmet when riding a bike and follow the rules of the road, including riding single file on the right side and using hand signals. 
  • Arrive early at the bus stop and line up at a safe distance from the curb. 
  • When riding the school bus, wait for it to come to a complete stop before boarding or getting off, and avoid distracting the driver. 
  • As drivers, avoid texting or changing music while driving, and plan to arrive at school early to ensure safe and defensive driving. 
  • Slow down for school zones and be aware of students crossing the street. 
  • If you have a level two driver’s license in Michigan, be aware of the restrictions on the number of passengers under the age of 21 allowed in the car. 

For more information, click here


UIA Offers New Coaching Sessions for First-Time Filers  

Workers in Michigan applying for jobless benefits now can receive online guidance from trained instructors at the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). These coaching sessions can be accessed through the UIA website. It’s important to note that participating in an orientation session is not mandatory to qualify for benefits.  

During these sessions, UIA staff will provide guidance on their new online Claimant Roadmap, a user-friendly tool designed to simplify the application process and enhance understanding of benefits. Here’s the specific information you need to know:  

Sessions are available on specific days and times:  

    • 9-11 a.m. Tuesdays 
    • 3-5 p.m. Wednesdays 
    • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays 
    • 1-3 p.m. Fridays 
  • After signing up, users will receive an email with a link to use during their selected session. 
  • Reminder emails will be sent one day and one hour before the session begins. 
  • These sessions are not for individuals with current claims. 
  • Those with current claims can seek assistance through other channels: 
    • Call UIA’s Customer Service line at 1-866-500-0017 
    • Visit Michigan.gov/UIA to schedule an in-person, phone, or virtual appointment 
    • Use the website’s Ask Ava chat feature for answers to questions 

Women’s Equality Day  

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed August 26 as Women’s Equality Day — commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, that granted women the right to vote. Since then, various legislative action, such as the 1965 Voting Rights Act, have also been adopted to ensure all women can use their voice at the ballot box and in their daily lives. However, the fight for gender equality is far from over.  

For the first time in a long while, the Michigan Senate sees more women than ever in top leadership positions. To celebrate this progress in state government, take a moment to peruse the work being done to preserve women’s history in our state: There are over 200 women who have served in the Michigan House and Senate, who are being heavily researched, and their stories will be told through an ongoing project
For more information about Women’s Equality Day and its historical significance, click here.  

Things to Know When Considering Student Loans  

As Michiganders prepare for fall semester, tuition bills are piling up and student loans are looming. That is why Michigan Department of Treasury’s MI Student Aid Team is asking students and their families to be alert and informed when considering student loans. To make the best decision regarding student loans, the MI Student Aid Team recommends to: 

  • Complete the FAFSA to maximize financial aid options.  
  • Understand that loans must be repaid with interest. 
  • Compare interest rates and repayment terms before accepting a loan. 
  • Only accept the amount needed and follow instructions to adjust loan amounts. 
  • Beware of loan scams and protect personal banking information. 
  • Visit the school’s financial aid office regularly to stay informed. 
  • Create a studentaid.gov account to manage federal student loans and explore repayment options. 
For more information, visit michigan.gov/mistudentaid or contact MI Student Aid via email, phone, or social media. 

MDOT Seeking Public Input on Gratiot Avenue Improvements  

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is hosting a public open house to discuss proposed improvements to M-3 (Gratiot Avenue) in Detroit. Interested residents and community leaders can attend the event at Eastern Market, Shed 5, on Tuesday, September 5, 2023. Presentations are scheduled for 6:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., and attendees can view displays and ask questions to MDOT staff and consultants. Accommodations are available for those who require assistance and public input is encouraged throughout the Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study.  

For accommodations, please contact Orlando Curry at 517-335-4381 or complete Form 2658 for American Sign Language (ASL) located on the Title VI webpage: Michigan.gov/MDOT/Programs/Title-VI. To stay updated, sign up for project updates on the M-3 PEL study website or contact Monica Monsma at MonsmaM@Michigan.gov or 517-335-4381.