- Associated Press - Monday, October 20, 2014

TAWAS CITY, Mich. (AP) - A flock of nine hens is doing more than ruffling feathers in a northern Michigan community - the mayor has resigned amid an ongoing chicken fight.

Phil and Theresa Hurst are charged with violating a Tawas City ordinance by raising chickens in a residential area, a misdemeanor, The Detroit News (https://bit.ly/1wZRa3N ) reported. They face up to a 90-day jail sentence and $500 fine if convicted. The Hursts are due back in court Tuesday.

Mayor Kane Kelly said city council members pressured him to resign in September after he tried to help the couple. Kelly filed a complaint with Michigan State Police saying the members violated open meetings law. His supporters plan to petition to recall two members involved.

The city manager also resigned soon afterward, citing health and personal issues.

The Hursts received a letter from the city in June. It said they had 14 days to get rid of their chickens and could also appeal to the City Council. The couple refused to give up their chickens, so they asked for a council hearing on the 14th day. They said they never heard back from the city.

More than two months later, the police chief called the Hursts and told them he had a warrant for their arrest.

“I’m not easily scared,” said Theresa Hurst, 28. “I’m the kind of person to fight to the last breath. They definitely picked the wrong girl to bully like that.”

Annge Horning, the city’s zoning administrator, deputy clerk, deputy treasurer and office manager, wrote the June letter to the Hursts requesting the removal of their fowl.

“The ordinance has been on the books a long time,” he said. “It’s black and white. It says no chickens in a residential area.”

Still, the Hursts are approaching the upcoming hearing with humor. Phil Hurst recently asked on social media if he’d get arrested for wearing a chicken costume to court.

Tawas City is a small resort destination with a population of about 1,800 residents.


Information from: The Detroit News, https://detnews.com/

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