Dompierre visits Capitol

Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba welcomed Eric Dompierre and family to the Michigan Capitol on Thursday.

Dompierre was honored in Lansing with a Governor’s Fitness Award by Gov. Rick Snyder. Dompierre won the Accepting the Challenge Award, which recognized him for overcoming great challenges to pursue physical activity as a part of daily life.

In May, the Dompierres came to Lansing on behalf of more than 90,000 people who had signed a petition demanding that the Michigan High School Athletic Association adopt an equitable policy like that in 23 other states, balancing the special needs of disabled students with the need to protect the integrity of high school sports.

The Senate unanimously approved a resolution sponsored by Casperson calling for the policy change. Later that month, Michigan schools overwhelmingly approved a change providing for a limited waiver to the age eligibility rule. That rule change permitted Eric to line up alongside his teammates this for his senior year on the football field, where he served as the teams kicker for the Ishpeming Hematites, who won the Division 7 State Football Championship, as well as on the basketball court.

Additionally, Dompierre was also the winner of Sports Illustrated’s ‘Underdogs’ series. It was a contest in which the winning team, the Hamatites, received a $25,000 donation and had ten team members treated to a trip to Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year Award Ceremony in New York City.


Casperson introduces bills to help manage Michigan wildlife

Sen. Tom Casperson introduced legislation Tuesday to advance the scientific management of wildlife in Michigan.

The two-bill package builds upon voter-approved policy from 1996’s Proposal G, which charged the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) with regulating the taking of game based on sound scientific management.

Among other things, the package includes:

  • Right-to-hunt-and-fish language in state statute to recognize their importance for the conservation, preservation and management of the state’s natural resources;
  • Allowing the NRC to add species to the game list and establish hunting seasons while retaining the Legislature’s ability to both add and remove species on the list;
  • Complimentary hunting opportunities for active service members; and
  • Allow the NRC to regulate the taking of fish as they regulate the taking of game.

“Management of wildlife is an issue that constituents routinely raise as one of great concern for economic, recreational and social reasons,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba. “In 1996, the voters wisely decided that they wanted the NRC to regulate the taking of game based on science.  And, from what I continue to hear, especially lately, the belief that we need to manage game scientifically is even more strongly held today.

“The proposed legislation looks to maintain and build upon that objective while ensuring that management by hunting and fishing is preserved for the future.

“As we look to preserve the future of our wildlife, it also seems fitting to honor those who bravely fight to preserve our freedoms and our future by offering complimentary hunting opportunities to those men and women who are active service members.”

Senate Bills 288 and 289 were referred to the Senate Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee.


Casperson and Kivela work to secure dredging funding for Marquette Harbor

For Immediate Release                                                           
April 8, 2013

Contact: Marty Fittante

Casperson and Kivela work to secure dredging funding for Marquette Harbor

LANSING, Mich.—In a true measure of bipartisan and bicameral teamwork, state Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, and Rep. John Kivela, D-Marquette, have worked together towards securing funding to secure funding to dredge the Marquette Harbor.  

Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation last week to spend $21 million on emergency dredging of 58 harbors, including ten marinas in the Upper Peninsula: the Big Bay Harbor of Refuge, the Grand Marais Marina, the Cedarville Harbor, the Hessel Marina, the Escanaba Municipal Marina, the Naubinway Marina, the Manistique Municipal Marina, the Menominee Marina, the Munising Bayshore Marina and the Cedar River State Harbor.

However, the Marquette Marina was overlooked despite its critical need for dredging. In response, Casperson and Kivela came together immediately in an attempt to rectify the oversight, recognizing that the harbor is vital to the area.

“The lower harbor supports the Harbor of Refuge, the Mattson Park Seawall and commercial fishery operations, and it also hosts some Department of Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife vessels,” said Casperson. “Clearly it was critical for Representative Kivela and I to come together to persuade the department to correct what was simply an unfortunate oversight.”

The teamwork and advocacy of Casperson and Kivela has resulted in the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently issuing a letter to the city that stated that “The Department of Natural Resources is pleased to inform your community that Governor Rick Snyder has just signed the bill that establishes a budget to implement the 2013 Emergency Dredging Plan. [Marquette is now] included in the plan, based upon your estimate of dredge needs.”

“As mayor of Marquette, I worked on the strategic plan for the dredging of the Presque Isle Harbor,” said Kivela. Therefore I thoroughly understand how critical the Marquette Harbor is to the entire area. As a result, I am glad to see the DNR recognize its importance as well, and grateful to the Department and Senator Casperson for the steps both took to help.”
Casperson, who expressed his sincere appreciation to DNR Director Keith Creagh for getting personally involved, echoed Kivela’s sentiments.

“It simply goes to show what can be done when we work together and focus on solving issues,” Casperson said.   

The city of Marquette now needs to adopt a resolution supporting the DNR’s offer and execute an agreement with the state. It is expected that the Marquette County City Commission will act immediately on the resolution, with a vote coming possibly as soon as Monday evening, April 8.