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      Houghton bans smoking at parks and beaches

      The Houghton City Council members approved a ban on tobacco use at all parks and beaches in the city.The council said the new ban will cut back on litter, and they said the ban is another step towards a healthier community."We're working with the local health department, and this was an issue that's being brought up nationwide as far as a 'no smoking campaign' they have for healthy communities. We're really concerned about the litter on the beach and the amount of cigarette butts and things getting into the canal,â?? said Scott MacInnes, City Manager.The council also received an update on the parking deck which is 80 percent completed. A new sign will be placed above the entryway of the deck.West Houghton will have discolored water and low water pressure due to the water and sewage project, new sidewalks are being installed on Bridge Street, and the transit system received a $15,000 bonus.