LASATA: Serving, helping southwest Michigan is my top priority

The year 2020 will be remembered as one of the most difficult in many of our lifetimes. Issues that people never thought they would have to deal with arose and I have never been more proud to be serving in the Legislature to be able to help.

Among the biggest problems 21st Senate District residents had to contend with was the state’s unemployment system. The overwhelming strain that the system has had to endure due to the onslaught of jobless claims filings from the governor’s stay at home orders exposed the system’s weaknesses.

Thousands of area residents who lost their jobs through no fault of their own expected this failsafe to be there and they were met with unimaginable problems. My staff and I stepped in to help as many people as we could and were able to assist in over 1,000 jobless claims getting resolved. Many of the system’s problems have been addressed, but if you are having problems, please fill out the form on my website at StateSenatorKimLaSata.com/unemployment-assistance, and we will do what we can to help you.

As your voice at the Capitol, keeping in touch with you and knowing your priorities and concerns is essential to being able to best represent you in the Senate. That is why I sent out 219,403 newsletters to residents this year, hosted 11 in-district coffee hour events and held three virtual townhalls. The virtual events were particularly beneficial this year, and over 5,000 people participated, which was great. I also appreciate that 166 people took the time to fill out my district survey and provided your legislative priorities — these responses will help me formulate bills and positions going forward.

While 2020 was a tough year, I am heartened by the resiliency of Southwest Michiganders. Your strength and endurance is remarkable, and I believe that we will emerge from a challenging 2020 stronger and better.

Cass County

Dowagiac man pleads guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct

Business

Dowagiac business cited for COVID-19 safety violations

Cass County

Cass County Chief Judge talks COVID’s impact on treatment court

News

Historians, archaeologists with ties to Fort St. Joseph to give free lectures

Buchanan

Commission votes to make One Buchanan official city board

Berrien County

Businesses in Berrien, Cass counties report disparities in mandate enforcement

Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg/Ontwa Township Police Log: Jan. 11-18

Berrien County

Berrien County’s only homeless shelter raising money for repair

Cass County

Cass County commissioners approve five-year parks plan

Cass County

Woman ordered to pay back money taken from disabled son

Dowagiac

Ascension CAO provides vaccine update to Rotary

Berrien County

Spectrum Health Lakeland, Berrien County Health Department give joint update on COVID-19 immunizations, numbers

Cass County

Niles man sentenced to probation, jail time for 27th criminal conviction

Berrien County

Michigan indoor dining to resume Feb. 1 with restrictions

Berrien County

Lakeland, health department seeking COVID-19 vaccination volunteers

Business

Canceled Ice Time Festival to impact local businesses

Berrien County

New Berrien County prosecutor eyes crime prevention, support services

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien, Van Buren counties report new COVID-19 deaths

Cass County

Cass County deputy saves dog from icy pond

Berrien County

Slow vaccine rollout hinders southwest Michigan distribution

Buchanan

Andrews University’s urban design studio arrives in Buchanan to kickoff revitalization project

Berrien County

Berrien County vaccine supplies remain limited, residents urged to have continued patience

Buchanan

‘Freddie the Stoner’ says Jimmy Kimmel changed his life

Cassopolis

Dowagiac charity campaign doubles fundraising goal