**PHOTO ADVISORY** Sen. Nofs welcomes Major General LeMasters Jr. to state Capitol for Memorial Day Service

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, welcomes Major General Clark W. LeMasters Jr. (right) to the Michigan Capitol for the 2017 Memorial Day Service at the Michigan Senate. Major General LeMasters Jr. is the commanding general at the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command.

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Save the Date: Kowall and Nofs announce Hastings event honoring Vietnam era veterans

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall and Sen. Mike Nofs on Wednesday announced they are sponsoring a formal Vietnam veteran lapel pinning ceremony on Saturday, June 10 in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the war.

Kowall, R-White Lake, and Nofs, R-Battle Creek, are hosting the “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event to Thank and Honor Vietnam Veterans and Their Families” in Hastings in conjunction with the Barry County Honor Guard, American Legion Post 484 Hickory Corners, American Legion Post 140 Middleville, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 7 Battle Creek, Military Order of the Purple Heart USA Chapter 110, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4461 Lake Odessa, and American Legion Riders Post 45.

The ceremony will give long-overdue recognition to Vietnam War era veterans, Gold Star Mothers and their families. The lawmakers encourage all interested residents and veterans to join them in paying tribute to the men and women who were too often forgotten when they returned home.

Kowall said the event, made possible in part by the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 10, at the Barry Expo Center Exhibition Hall (home of the Barry County Fair), 1350 M-37, in Hastings. The guest speaker will be Brig. Gen. Michael A. Stone, assistant adjutant general for installations for the Michigan Army National Guard and deputy director, Michigan Department of Military & Veterans Affairs.

RSVP to Barry County American Legion Commander Jim Gross at 616-328-1343 or by email at j.gross13@yahoo.com.

Kowall and Nofs will provide a Vietnam War Commemorative Lapel Pin to U.S. veterans who served on active duty at any time from Nov. 1, 1955 – May 15, 1975, regardless of location. The symbolism attached to the lapel pin is significant, Kowall said.

“The Commemoration honors all Vietnam veterans, whether they served in-country, in-theater, or were stationed elsewhere during the Vietnam War period,” he said. “All were called to serve and the overwhelming majority of these veterans served honorably and admirably.”

The Commemoration was authorized by Congress and established under the secretary of defense, and then formally launched in 2012. It was designed to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families in hometown America, in light of the 50th anniversary of the war. Recognition is given to these heroes when commemorative partners, such as Kowall, hold events for the veterans and their families.

“Michigan’s Vietnam veterans, whether drafted or enlisted, served our country with honor. Tragically, too many returned home with little thanks for their service and not much help transitioning to civilian life,” Kowall said. “This ceremony is a way to recognize veterans of the Vietnam War era and their families for their service and sacrifice on behalf of a grateful nation and the Michigan Legislature.”

Nofs agreed.

“I’m honored and privileged to be able to present these Vietnam veterans with these Commemorative Lapel Pins,” Nofs said. “It’s a small token of our gratitude and appreciation for their sacrifice. That sacrifice will not be forgotten.”

Kowall has held numerous events, in both Lansing and throughout the state. The ceremonies are held in a variety of locations, including VFW/American Legion posts, veteran memorial parks and banquet halls. Kowall often partners with the senator of the district where the event is being held.

“It is always a moving time for me when I am able to present the lapel pins and personally thank each veteran for their service,” Kowall said.

Any Gold Star Mothers or Gold Star Wives of the Vietnam era who would like to receive an “In Memory Of” pin at a future lapel pinning ceremony should contact Lynn O’Brien in advance of the ceremony at 517-373-0563.

Information regarding the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration can be found at www.vietnamwar50th.com.

Sen. Nofs praises passage of legislation aimed to help grieving families

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, praised the passage of Senate Bill 78 on Thursday, which would allow a family member who inherits a property to retain for up to two years the existing Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) on the property due to the loss of a family member.

“This bill allows the proper time for the family to make the necessary funeral arrangements, go through the grieving process, and to then deal with what can be a lengthy process of getting a property title, cleaning out the property and preparing the property for sale,” Nofs said. “There is no good reason to add to the burden of going through the difficult process of losing a loved one. No one loses under this bill as the same amount of tax the previous owner would have paid will still be paid by the inheritor.”

The bill, sponsored by Nofs, now heads to the House for further consideration.

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**Photo Advisory** Sen. Nofs presents Michigan State Police with a special tribute honoring 100 years of service

 

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, welcomed Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police, to the Michigan Senate on Wednesday to receive a special tribute recognizing the 100th anniversary of the Michigan State Police.

“As a former trooper, I’d like to congratulate the Michigan State Police on 100 years of protecting our great state,” Nofs said. “We can all take pride and comfort in knowing our troopers are on the job and represent an organization that is recognized across the nation for first class training and professional law enforcement service.

“Here’s to the next 100 years of service with a purpose that helps make Michigan a great place to live, work and play.”

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Sen. Nofs reacts to Michigan State Police subcommittee budget

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, issued the following statement Tuesday morning in response to the passage of the Michigan Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State Police and Military Affairs budget:

“This budget represents a commitment to public safety for all of Michigan. By funding 150 new state troopers, eight new computer crimes experts to track down online predators and 14 new forensic science technicians, we will continue to improve service and offer swift justice for crime victims. As the state police face many trooper retirements in the coming years, this budget aims to meet the increased demand for new troopers head on and ensures that our commitment to providing public safety is renewed for the future.

“I am proud of the work of our subcommittee and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to support this budget when it comes up for a vote in front of the full Senate in the near future.”

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**Photo Advisory** Sen. Nofs receives MIRS Senator of the Year award at Michigan Senate

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, received the Senator of the Year award for 2016 from the Michigan Information & Research Service Inc. (MIRS) on Tuesday in the Michigan Senate. Presenting Nofs with the award was John T. Reurink (left), publisher and co-owner of MIRS, and Kyle Melinn (right), news editor and co-owner of MIRS.

Nofs was announced as Senator of the Year in Dec. 2016. The recognition was based on Nofs’ work on energy policy, his efforts to improve pay rates for certified nursing assistants at the Grand Rapids Veterans Home and his work on legislation to implement an alert system when an active shooter is on the loose.

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**Photo Advisory** Sen. Nofs welcomes Pastor Smail to deliver invocation at Michigan Senate

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, welcomed Pastor Steve Smail (middle) and his wife Sharon to the Michigan Senate on Tuesday. Smail, pastor of the Lighthouse Baptist Church in Plainwell, delivered the invocation at the start of the Senate session.

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**Photo Advisory** Sen. Nofs welcomes guests to the state Capitol for State of the State address

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, welcomed Dr. Mauri Ditzler (left), president of Albion College, and Vince Pavone (right), a member of the Southwest Michigan First board and a Battle Creek business leader and community volunteer, to the Michigan Capitol before Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2017 State of the State address. Ditzler and Pavone were Nofs’ guest for the annual address Tuesday night.

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Sen. Nofs energy bill signed into law

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, chair of the Senate Energy and Technology Committee, on Wednesday watched as Gov. Rick Snyder signed the Michigan Comprehensive Energy Plan into law. Senate Bills 437 and 438, sponsored by Sen. Mike Nofs and Sen. John Proos, are now Public Acts 341 and 342 of 2016 respectively.

“The Michigan Comprehensive Energy Plan is the culmination of several years of work and establishes a strong foundation for Michigan’s next-generation energy policy,” Nofs said. “This plan is not about what’s best for a few companies, organizations, or individuals, it’s about what’s best for the entire state of Michigan.”

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Photo caption: Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, attended the energy package bill signing with Gov. Rick Snyder on Dec. 21, 2016.

Sen. Nofs named Senator of the Year by MIRS

LANSING, Mich. State Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, chair of the Senate Energy and Technology Committee, was named the Senator of the Year by Michigan Information & Research Service Inc. (MIRS) after his work on the energy reform passage that cleared the Legislature last week.

“It is an honor to be recognized for the hard work that many of us have put in over the past couple of years to update and modernize Michigan’s energy policy,” Nofs said. “Working together with a broad coalition of folks, we were able to get a major policy update implemented. This goes to show that we can achieve big things with a lot of hard work and determination.”

Nofs was announced as Senator of the Year during the MIRS Monday podcast on Dec. 19. In addition to Nofs’ work on energy policy, MIRS cited his efforts to improve pay rates for certified nursing assistants at the Grand Rapids Veterans Home and his work on legislation to implement an alert system when an active shooter is on the loose as reasons for being named Senator of the Year.

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