Michigan AG impressed by CC strong

Kali Katerberg/Daily Mining Gazette Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette visiting some of Ripley's hardest hit homes during his Friday visit. From left to right: Houghton Chief of Police John Donnelly, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, Franklin Township Supervisor Mary Sears and Houghton City Manager Eric Waara

RIPLEY — Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Gubernatorial candidate spent Friday morning visiting areas damaged by June 17 flash-flooding and meeting with impacted locals and leadership.

Schuette left impressed by the spirit of volunteers and the attitude of “Copper Country Strong.”

“That’s classic vintage Upper Peninsula. It’s classic vintage Michigan, quite frankly, where people help each other because of the spirit of citizenship, the spirit of helping. It happens when there are times of disasters,” Schuette said.

He met with the Portage Health Foundation about relief funding and with locals, including members of the Markham family which lost 12-year-old Thatcher Markham to flood-related injuries.

“This is an opportunity for me as Attorney General and as a candidate for governor to see first hand what we will need to do in the future to help on the cleanup and the rebuilding and the restoration.”

Schuette described his visit as focused on listening and learning about the situation and working with on the ground leaders better equipping him for the future as Attorney General or Governor, “that’s how you solve problems,” he said.

Schuette mentioned his desire to work with Congressman Jack Bergman on federal funds as well as State Senator Tom Casperson during the rebuilding process.

As Attorney General, consumer protection is a major area of concern and was a part of Schuette’s visit as disasters can be a common target for scammers.

Any questions over the licensing of contractors can be checked using Attorney General resources at michigan.gov/ce or by calling the AG’s office.

“If you have any questions, we have a big portion of our department is concentrated towards consumer protection and so we’re always here to help,” Schuette said.

Schuette’s U.P.-based Constituent Relations Representative Judi Schwalbach had a stern warning anyone getting ideas.

“If the Attorney General gets any idea that there is any scamming or ‘shystering’ going on, it is going to be handled swiftly by the AG’s office,” she said.