2/2/2023: WMU back up after hacking

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Thursday, February 2, 2023

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WMU’s computer system is coming back online after an “unauthorized person” accessed two servers. Also: A Kalamazoo factory has been fined for emitting foul odors last year. And the state has rejected an attempt to recall Kalamazoo County’s treasurer.

News You Need To Know

WMU network back up after hacking

Western Michigan University’s networks are coming back to full capacity after an “unauthorized user” accessed servers nearly two weeks ago. An investigation is ongoing and staff have added measures to make the network more secure. On Jan. 19, the “unauthorized user” broke into two servers employed by the university for backups of faculty data. The university said it’s possible some personal information was accessed, but the breach didn’t affect anything having to do with sensitive employee, student, or patient data.

There have been several attempts to hack into networks and websites run by schools and universities in Michigan over the past year. Most recently, University of Michigan Health was the target of a cyber attack by a Russian hacker group. So far, no group has taken credit for the breach at WMU. The university took down parts of its network immediately after the unauthorized access came to light. That included the university’s campus-wide Wi-Fi system. All services are expected to come back online over the next week and staff plans to restore backups to the state they were at on Jan. 18. [MLive]

Graphic Packaging fined for odor violation

Graphic Packaging International will have to pay a fine of $109,270 and abide by a compliance plan under a consent agreement with the state’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). That stems from an odor violation issued by EGLE late last year. The department stated the smell was of “sufficient intensity, frequency and duration so as to constitute a violation.” The agreement also cites the company for beginning construction on two new boilers before they were allowed to. As part of the agreement, Graphic Packaging will have to begin sharing air quality reporting data within 90 days.

Graphic Packaging has been at least part of the source of foul odors plaguing Kalamazoo’s Northside Neighborhood for years. Another source may be Kalamazoo’s wastewater treatment plant, though there has been no conclusive data released yet. EGLE is working on a report on air quality in the area, but that report is now a year overdue. [Fox 17]

State rejects attempt to recall Kzoo County treasurer

An attempt to recall Kalamazoo County Treasurer Thomas Whitener has hit the end of the road. The recall petition was submitted by Paul Foust of Richland Township after several allegations of mismanagement by Whitener came to light last year. The Board of State Canvassers unanimously rejected that petition yesterday finding that it didn’t sufficiently explain why Whitener’s conduct warranted the recall.

Whitener has been taken to task by county officials repeatedly for missteps while in office. Last year, his office failed to invest millions of dollars in county money and almost defaulted on a loan payment. He’s also been accused of failing to adequately record and report financial data for the county. The county commission even hired an outside accounting firm to help get the department back in shape. [MLive]

Vicksburg man appointed to state health board

The head of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi will soon play a big part in advising on health policy as it relates to Native Americans in Michigan. Tribal Chairperson Jamie Stuck has been appointed to serve on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Tribal Advisory Committee as the delegate from the Bemidji Area Office. Stuck, who lives in Vicksburg, also serves as the president of the United Tribes of Michigan. But he’s long been an advocate for improving health and health outcomes. “While his efforts target taking care of his own citizens, Stuck also looks at the bigger picture of how Native Americans receive health services and are counted within the systems that track their data,” wrote MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel in Stuck’s nomination to the board. Stuck’s term on the committee will last two years.

NowKalamazoo Partner Event

This Saturday, young entrepreneurs will display their products. This event is free to the public. Middle and high school-aged youth who are interested in starting a business should also come for the mini-seminar on how to brand their business on a budget.

Junior CEO Pop-Up Shop for Youth Entrepreneurs
Parent/Kidpreneur workshop (15-20 minutes): How to brand your business on a budget
Free admission to the public
Feb. 4 11am to 1pm
The Space
320 E. Michigan Ave. Suite 101
Sponsored by NowKalamazoo

Things To Do In Kalamazoo

Chris Clayton – Trak Houz Bar and Grill
6:00PM 2/2

Karaoke – Shakespeare’s Pub
8:30PM 2/2

Coffee and Civics – Southwest Michigan First
8:30AM 2/3

59th Annual KAARC Winter Auto Swap Meet – Kalamazoo County Expo Center
2pm 2/3, 8am 2/4

Black History Month – Exhibit Opening Night – Black Arts & Cultural Center
5:00PM 2/3

Art Showing: Portage High School Art Inspired by 2023 CommuniTeen Read – Bookbug & this is a bookstore
5:00PM 2/3

Pitch Night – Startup Zoo
6:00PM 2/3

The Incantations – The Distant Whistle Brewhouse
6:00PM 2/3

Carry the Love: Western Michigan University – WMU, Kanley Chapel
7:00PM 2/3

Clybourne Park – Kalamazoo Civic Theatre
7:30pm 2/3-4, 2/10-11; 2pm 2/5, 2/12

Thunderstruck – Bell’s Eccentric Café
8:00PM 2/3

Out of Favor Boys – Final Gravity Brewing Co.
8:00PM 2/3

AJ LaPorte – Louie’s Trophy House
9:00PM 2/3

Baby Grands | Clayton Stephenson – The Gilmore
11:00AM 2/4

Bells Brewery Hike – Mayors Riverfront Park
11:00AM 2/4

Lantern Festival Gala – Chenery Auditorium
4:00PM 2/4

2nd Annual Kzoo Bourbon Fest – The Foundry
4:00PM 2/4

Vine Mid-Winter Festival – Vine Neighborhood Association
4:30PM 2/4

Black History Month Presentation: Lt. General Russel Honoré – Air Zoo
6:00PM 2/4

See more upcoming events here.

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