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      U.S. Senators announce grants for local police & fire dept.

      U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow announced support Thursday for the Ontonagon County Sheriffâ??s Department to purchase a new police vehicle.

      A $14,000 grant will be used to help the community buy a new police vehicle to use in heavy snow conditions. The funding comes through the USDA's Rural Development Community Facility Grant program, which funds critical infrastructure within rural communities across the country.

      In a statement Senator Stabenow said, "With many rural Michigan communities facing serious budget cuts, this support is especially important. Today's announcement reinforces the partnership between our local communities and rural development, which helps to maintain the quality of life across Michigan."

      Senator Stabenow along with Senator Carl Levin also announced support for the Ironwood Fire Department to improve operations and safety. This $13,680 grant comes from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

      Senator Levin believes this support is earned and well deserved stating, â??Every day, first responders in Ironwood stand ready to respond to emergency calls in their community. This grant will provide needed assistance to the Ironwood Public Safety Department as they work to protect lives and property in the City of Ironwood.â??

      The Assistance to Firefighters Grant program is a part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These competitive grants will help fund professional training programs, update equipment and facilities, and provide new supplies to help first-responders handle hazards efficiently and effectively.