Federal judge John Feinkens of Michigan dies at 93
Detroit, Michigan: Judge John Feikens, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, passed away on Sunday, May 15, 2011 at the age of 93. One of the longest-serving federal judges, he joined the District Court in 1970 (after serving briefly for a recess appointment in 1960-61). He was in charge of making sure drinking water was safe and waste was disposed of properly. Because of this, he was known as the "sludge judge" and oversaw the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department until 6 months prior to his death. He had been serving on senior status since March 1, 1986. State Rep. Kurt Heise, who had worked with Feikens as Wayne County's environmental director, stated, "Judge Feikens was a commanding presence not only as a judge but as a leader for the environment and environmental protection in Southeast Michigan. While his methods were sometimes subject to debate, his love for the environmental health of our region was unmatched."