July 24, 1997Annie preparing to cast a (dead) rattlesnake as a necklace.
16Nov House approves Rep. VanderWall bill updating ice shanty rules State Rep. Curt VanderWall’s bill offering more flexibility in the rules regulating ice shanties placed on Michigan waterways was overwhelmingly approved last week by the Michigan House of Representatives.VanderWall’s legislation gives the Michigan Department of Natural Resources the ability to adjust ice shanty removal dates each year based on weather conditions. Current law sets precise dates by which ice shanties must be removed from specific waters.“The weather is different every year. It’s silly to have precise dates written in law by which ice shanties must be removed from the ice,” said VanderWall, of Ludington. “It makes more sense to allow the DNR to adjust the removal dates each year based on weather conditions.”The legislation also offers increased privacy protections for the owners of ice shanties, who are currently required to put their names and addresses on the structure.“Some people don’t like the idea of everyone who walks by their ice shanty knowing their address,” VanderWall said. “Giving people the option to choose between displaying their name and address, driver’s license number or DNR Sportcard number will offer more privacy while still giving law enforcement officers the ability to identify owners when needed.”VanderWall noted the additional identification options are consistent with other types of sporting equipment, such as tree stands and animal traps.House Bill 4787 now moves to the Senate for consideration.### Categories: VanderWall News
State Rep. Jason Sheppard today was appointed by Speaker Lee Chatfield to serve as chair of the House Government Operations Committee.Sheppard said the Government Operations Committee, which guides House discussions on a wide range of policy proposals, will be one of just four main committees with the authority to advance legislation to the House floor during the 2019-20 legislative session.“I’m honored to lead such a vital committee,” said Sheppard, of Temperance. “This position will allow me to play a key role as we craft and refine policies that better the lives of residents in Monroe County and the State of Michigan.”Additionally, Sheppard has been appointed to serve as vice-chair of the House Elections and Ethics Committee, which is responsible for considering all legislation pertaining to elections and campaign finance law.“Elections play a critically important role in our system of government,” Sheppard said. “We must continually look for ways to improve the security and efficiency of our elections.”Sheppard will also serve on the Transportation and Financial Services committees and as majority caucus whip, a job of critical importance in communicating key information among legislators.Residents may contact Sheppard’s office by calling (517) 373-2617 or emailing JasonSheppard@house.mi.gov.### Categories: Sheppard News 16Jan Rep. Sheppard to lead House Government Operations Committee
Freesat, the UK’s free-to-air DTH platform, has launched a next-generation connected TV proposition that blends broadcast and OTT video services.Free time from Free sat offers a backwards EPG linking to broadcaster catch-up platforms and a ‘showcase’ section offering editorialised recommendations. The service will launch on a Humax box offering 500Gb of storage for £279 (€352) at the end of the month. The announcement comes just over a month since the launch of YouView, a similar proposition that offers a mix of subscription-free, DTT-delivered Freeview channels and online services from public broadcasters and pay TV platforms, including BSkyB’s Now TV service.Free time will offer seven-day catch-up services from the BBC and ITV at launch, with Channel 4’s 4oD and Five’s Demand 5 platforms to follow before the end of the year. Ahead of this morning’s launch, James Strickland, Freesat’s director of product and technology development, told Digital TV Europe that the platform was in talks with TV, movie and music providers about launching services on Free time but denied reports that it had already struck a deal with Netflix.Should deals with the likes of Netflix and Lovefilm follow, it would be a blow to incumbent operator Sky, which has already lost customers to Freesat and, according to reports, is concerned that it can’t compete with Netflix on price. Strickland said Freesat would continue to target Sky’s customers with its Free time offering as well as existing Freesat customers that were looking for an upgrade path. To-date, Freesat has sold 2.6 million devices.Freesat has developed Free time using widely adopted European open standards, including HTML5, OIPF and HbbTV, which Strickland said would make it easy for third parties to launch on the platform. “HTML5 gives us an edge. It’s a low barrier to entry for broadcast and broadband partners, and offers a gateway to people developing those kinds of services.”The service will offer a common UI across all devices, giving a specific Free time feel to the services, unlike the existing Freesat platform that sees UIs designed by the set-top manufacturers.A 1TB version of the Humax Freesat Plus box is on the horizon, along with devices from Sagemcom, Philips and Manhattan. Strickland said the range of Free time devices would eventually cover the spectrum from zapper boxes to Smart TVs and added that it had held “concrete discussions” with exiting TV partners Panasonic and Samsung.