Rail company pleads no contest for 2008 fire



STANDISH — The Lake State Railway Company has pleaded no contest to two counts of starting a forest fire by using an engine without spark arresters.

The company was found guilty on Jan. 3, under 81st District Court Judge Allen Yenior for fires caused in Sterling in April 30, 2008, between the railroad tracks and M-76.

The Lake State Railway Company will have to pay $1,000 in fines and charges and is currently on probation for 12 months.

According to 81st District Court documents, victim restitution will remain open until April 1, and will be paid to the state of Michigan, not the court.

The Lake State Railway Company has been facing these charges since attorney General Michael Cox filed charges against the company for allegedly causing fires in Grayling and Arenac County in April 2008.

According to Arenac County Independent archives, the Lake State Railway train allegedly threw embers from its engine because it did not have the proper safety features called spark arresters.

At this time no representatives from the Lake State Railway Company could be reached for comment.


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