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New Law Lets Municipalities Restrict Fireworks

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(credit: WWJ, File)

(credit: WWJ, File)

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has signed a bill giving local governments in Michigan power to restrict the use of fireworks on the day before, during and after a national holiday.

After lawmakers legalized louder, more powerful fireworks in Michigan in late 2011, they began hearing from residents and local officials upset about noise and safety issues.

Legislation signed by Calley Wednesday lets local governments regulate fireworks use during nighttime hours on holidays and the day before and after.

Commercial-grade fireworks — including once-banned bottle rockets, aerial cakes, Roman candles and firecrackers — are all now sold legally in Michigan after lawmakers and Snyder erased a previous ban.

A local government could impose a maximum fine of $500 per violation of a fireworks ordinance under the new law.

Among those who spoke out in support of the new law was Roseville Police Chief James Berlin who said his department fields hundreds of fireworks complaint calls each summer.

“They light ‘em off, you know, morning, noon and night — doesn’t matter what day it is,” Berlin told WWJ Newsradio 950′s Sandra McNeil. “You know, people gotta get up and go to work … and the neighbor down the street’s blowing fireworks off at one o’clock in the morning.”

“We get a lot of complaints about the pets being terrified bye the noise and that,” Berlin added. “Myself, I have a cat and when they go off he hides under the bed and will not come out. So, I empathize with them — I understand their feelings on it.”

Berlin said this year’s complaint calls started in back April.

Calley signed the bill because Gov. Rick Snyder is on a trade trip in Israel.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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