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Mich. bill designed to protect late-night clerks

December 9, 2013 • Business


Roman Homrich holds a sign honoring his missing granddaughter Jessica Heeringa during a news conference in Norton Shores, Mich., on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, where St[auth] ate Rep. Collene Lamonte, D-Montague, announced a bill aimed at protecting gas station and convenience store workers. The bill will require gas stations and convenience stores that stay open between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. to have two employees working or to install security cameras. The bill comes after the April disappearance of Jessica Heeringa, 26, from her job at a Norton Shores gas station. Heeringa disappeared before she was set to close the station. Police say there was no indication of a robbery. (AP Photo/The Muskegon Chronicle, Ken Stevens) ALL LOCAL TV OUT; LOCAL TV INTERNET OUT

NORTON SHORES, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan legislator on Monday announced a bill to require gas stations and convenience stores that stay open between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. to have two employees working or to install security cameras.

The bill unveiled in western Michigan comes after the April disappearance of a 26-year-old woman from her job at a Norton Shores gas station. Jessica Heeringa’s mother and local law enforcement attended the news conference, according to the Muskegon Chronicle.

“I believe these measures go a long way to preventing the kind of anguish endured by her family,” said the bill’s sponsor, Democratic Rep. Collene Lamonte of Montague.

Heeringa disappeared before she was set to close the station, where she was working alone. Police say there was no indication of a robbery.

The gas station had no security cameras, leaving authorities without potential clues. The reward for information in the case is more than $15,000.

“I think if a security camera were in place, Jessica would still be here today,” said her mother, Shelly Heeringa.

She said the owner of the Exxon gas station has since installed video cameras.

The proposed law would be called the Jessica Heeringa Act.

Lamonte said three states have laws similar to her bill.

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