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Michigan State News              Updated 07/27/14


(Macomb Co-Body Found)
Authorities in northern Macomb County are trying to determine if a woman’s body found last night is linked to a missing persons case in the area.
According to police, the body of a white female was discovered along the Macomb Orchard Trail around 8:25 p.m. Thursday night in a wooded area in Armada.
Investigators are still trying to identify the woman, whose physical description is reportedly similar to two women recently reported missing - one from Washington Township; another from Armada.
Police are awaiting autopsy results to determine a cause of death. Investigators said there were no obvious signs of sexual assault or trauma to the woman’s body, which was fully clothed.
Police Lt. Mike Shaw says they are treating this as a homicide until proven otherwise.
Additional details are expected to be released later Friday.
The Macomb Orchard trail is a paved hike and bike trail that runs 24 miles from Shelby Township to Richmond.
(Mike Campbell, WWJ, Detroit)

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(MI-More Prison Maggots)
The Michigan Department of Corrections is confirming maggots have been found in a third state prison.
This time, they were found in potatoes at the Alger Correctional Facility in Munising. The rotten potatoes were not in the kitchen, and were still in a pallet on a loading dock.
DOC spokesman Russ Marlan said he does not think the latest discovery is the fault of Aramark, which handles food service at prisons, but could be a supply issue in the Upper Peninsula.
(24/7 News Source)

(Battle Creek-Gas Station Murder-UPDATE)
Two men are behind bars and charged for their alleged roles in the stabbing death of a female gas station employee in Battle Creek on Wednesday.
30-year old Shawn Pike is charged with felony murder, and 21-year old Dustin Hartman has been arraigned on a charge of being an accessory after the fact.
A friend of the suspects says Pike killed 27-year old Nicole Gates during a robbery because she was trying to hit the panic button.
Police believe Pike stole some cash, beer and cigarettes from the store and then drove off in Gates’ car. Authorities say Pike and Gates were acquaintances.
Pike was denied bond after his arraignment yesterday (Thursday). He faces a mandatory prison sentence of life without parole if convicted. A preliminary examination is set for August 7.
Hartman’s bail was set at $25,000 and his preliminary examination also set for August 7. He faces up to five years in prison, if convicted. Police have alleged that Hartman helped Pike dispose of evidence after the stabbing.
(Help from: 24/7 News Source)

(MI-Uber Ride Sharing)
A new transportation service in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo and Flint is now available, allowing people to hire private cars and drivers with a smart phone app. It's called Uber, and cab companies are crying foul.
They contend they're subject to inspections by the city, while Uber uses personal cars and right now does not face the same oversight.
Uber general manager Pooneet Kant defends the company, saying they make sure vehicles used meet a "certain level of quality," and adds they let consumers decide the rest.
(24/7 News Source)

(Grand Rapids-Radio Host-Plea)
A former host at a popular Christian radio station in western Michigan plans to plead guilty in a child pornography investigation in exchange for the government not seeking any further charges against him.
Prosecutors say John Balyo of Caledonia is due in Grand Rapids federal court Tuesday, just weeks after his arrest on state charges at a Christian music festival in Gaylord.
The 35-year-old Balyo is charged with sexual exploitation with a 12-year-old boy and possessing child pornography. His signed plea deal was filed in court Thursday.
Balyo faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison but his sentence could be longer.
Balyo worked for eight years at WCSG, operated by Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids.
(WOOD, Grand Rapids)

(Detroit-Water Shutoffs)
Call it a "special delivery" from Canada for Detroiters.
A convoy carrying hundreds of gallons of tap water and activists from the Windsor chapter of Council of Canadians crossed the border Thursday afternoon, in an effort to draw attention to the city's ongoing water shut-off saga.
Priscilla Dzuibek with the Detroit-based People's Water Board says she finds it both sad and ironic that the residents of a city in the Great Lakes state are suffering through a water crisis when they are sitting in the middle of 20 percent of the world's fresh surface water.
The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has shut off thousands of residential taps in the past few months in a ramped-up effort to collect what it says is nearly 90-million dollars in overdue water bills. Earlier this week, the utility suspended shutoffs for 15 days to educate customers on how to make payment plans.

(Grand Rapids-Apartment Building Fire)
An apartment building in Grand Rapids is a total loss after a massive fire Thursday evening.
The blaze fire broke out at the house on the the city's northwest side. The smoke drifted through the downtown area and could be seen for miles. More than a dozen people are now homeless.
Investigators haven't determined the cause as yet, but some witnesses say there were two boys burning leaves behind the building just before the blaze started.
(24/7 News Source)

(Canvassers-Min Wage)
The Board of State Canvassers voted 3-to-1 Thursday against certifying a petition that would ask voters to increase Michigan's minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. The proposal also would have brought tipped workers wages up to the $10.10 minimum wage.   It was pushed by a group calling itself Raise Michigan.
The group People Protecting Michigan Jobs, which opposed the $10.10 proposal, argued successfully before the board that the petition drive did not submit enough valid signatures.
The PPMJ group said it found enough duplicate signatures to convince the board not to certify the ballot proposal.
Mark Brewer of Raise Michigan argued unsuccessfully that the challenge to their signatures came in too late to be considered.
The decision could be challenged in court.

(Muskegon Co-No Charges-Sheriff)
No charges will be filed against Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler who was under criminal investigation for alleged misuse of funds from an account set aside for a charity golf event.
Eaton County Prosecutor Douglas Lloyd, who was assigned as the special prosecutor to the case, released the outcome of his decision Thursday afternoon after a report on the investigation conducted by the Michigan State Police.
A complaint by former Muskegon County Sheriff's Office deputy, Jay Jurkas, who lost to Roesler in the 2012 election, triggered the probe.
Roesler admitted to taking $2,290 from an account set up to benefit the county's Memorial Charity Golf Outing over several years to pay for university textbooks for his children and their gasoline. He said he believed the money was coming from his personal bank account.
The report indicated that at the time of the investigation, Roesler had transferred a total of $1,850 from his personal account into the golf outing account.

(Ionia-Aramark Employee Fired)
The Michigan Department of Corrections says an Aramark employee was barred from working at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia after police pulled him over and discovered a marijuana pipe and other marijuana paraphernalia in his vehicle.
Department spokesperson Russ Marlan says the incident occurred July 18. Officials are not sure if he was on his way to work at the time.
The Aramark company, the outside contractor hired by the state to provide food services for prisons in Michigan, has come under fire recently. Four Aramark prison workers at Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia were fired last week, for having inappropriate contact “of a sexual nature” with inmates inside a walk-in cooler. Before that maggots were discovered in food equipment and prisoners experienced food-related illness.
Marlan says since Aramark took over food service operations in December, 93 of the company's workers have been barred from working in the prisons, or stop-ordered.
Governor Rick Snyder has expressed “serious concerns” over the company’s continued problems, and has left the door open to the possibility of terminating Aramark's $145 million contract with the state.

(Detroit-Insurers Overspend)
Seventeen Michigan insurance companies are among those nationwide that took money that was supposed to cover health care and instead spent it on overhead.
A report released by the Obama administration Thursday shows that these companies must either send checks or offer savings valued at more than 13-million dollars to customers across the country.
Federal law dictates that companies covering small groups and individuals are required to spend at least 80-percent of premiums on patient care or to improve patient care quality, with companies covering large groups spending 85-percent on patients.
Refunds to qualified consumers must be issued by August 1st. Individual policyholders owed a rebate will either get a check, a reimbursement to their credit card account or see a reduction in future premiums.
(24/7 News Source)

(MI-Teachers 2nd Jobs)
Almost one in five teachers in Michigan have a second job, according to a new study.
The analysis of teacher salaries by the progressive think tank Center for American Progress found that 19 percent of Michigan's teachers have a second job.
That's above the national average of 16.1 percent.
The study also shows a typical Michigan teacher brings in about $5000 from their second jobs.
M-live reports the analysis argues that part of the reason for teachers working second jobs is that teacher salaries grow at a lower rate than other industries and do not grow as fast as teacher pay in other countries.
Maine and South Dakota had the highest percentages of teachers working extra jobs, with about a quarter of all teachers having extra employment.

(MI-Charter School Value)
While they don't score as well on the National Assessment of Academic Progress, Charter schools are more cost effective in getting to those scores, according to a recent report.
The study, by the University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform, found that charter schools generally provided better results for the money spent on education.
The report shows, in mathematics, Michigan charter students scored an average of 262, compared to 281 for traditional school students. But with $4,740 spent per student, compared to $6,560 in traditional schools, charter students made 69 points per $1,000, compared to only 51 points per $1,000 in the traditional system.
In reading Michigan charter students scored 65 points per $1,000 compared to 48 points for traditional school students. Nationally, that gap was 56 points for charters to 39 points for traditional schools.

(Grand Haven-Coast Guard Festival)
The 90th annual Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven gets underway today (Friday).
Over 350,000 people are expected to attend the ten-day event, including some of the nation's highest-ranking United States Coast Guard dignitaries from Washington, D.C.
The focus of the festival which began in 1924 is to honor the 222nd year of the Coast Guard and those who sacrificed their lives in service to their country.
Officials say many events are free, including Coast Guard ship tours, car shows, kids events, parades and nightly entertainment.
The National Coast Guard Memorial service is next Friday, August 1st and the Fireworks Extravaganza over Grand Haven's Musical Fountain next Saturday night will bring a stirring end to the week.
The festival officially runs through Sunday, August 3rd.
Grand Haven was named "Coast Guard City, USA" by an act of Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton on November 13, 1998.

(Metamora Twp-Fatal Dog Attack)
A Livonia man died Wednesday night after being attacked by two large dogs while out for a run.
Metamora Township Police say 46-year-old Craig Sytsma went out for a run just before 5:30 p.m. when, according to a witness, he was attacked by a couple of animals. The witness then returned to his home to get a gun and returned to help Sytsma.
A police officer arrived soon after and kept the dogs at bay as first responders worked to try and save Sytsma.
The dogs responsible for the attack are reported to be two 3-year-old Cane Corsos, which are described by the American Kennel Club as a "mastiff type" dog that ranges in size from 23 1/2 to 27 1/2 inches tall at the shoulder.
The dogs are being held in quarantine at the Lapeer County Animal Control.

(Holland-Campfire Ice Cream)
Winter Campfire is the winner of the annual Hudsonville Ice Cream Pure Michigan Limited Edition flavor contest.
According to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the flavor features Hudsonville Original Vanilla ice cream with a marshmallow swirl, graham cracker pieces and milk chocolate flakes reminiscent of a s'more.
The other two flavors in the running for the Pure Michigan winter flavor from the Holland-based creamery were Lake Superior Thaw and Cabin Fever.
Previous winning flavors include Double Berry Pie in 2013 and Michigan Caramel Apple in 2012.
Winter Campfire will go to the production line for a limited time and be available this winter at grocery stores in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois.



(MI-Ford-GM Earnings)
Ford Motor Company’s second quarter net income rose 6 percent to $1.3 billion as the company saw record profits in North America and made money in Europe for the first time in three years.
It’s the company’s 20th consecutive profitable quarter and its best since second quarter 2011.
The profit, of 32 cents per share, was up from 30 cents per share in the April-June period a year ago.
Meantime, the cost of recalling so many vehicles is affecting General Motors' bottom line in the second quarter. The automaker reports an income of 190-million dollars, which is approximately 85-percent less than one year ago.
The company has already spent one-point-two- billion dollars in recall charges and estimates it will spend 400-million dollars for a victims compensation fund.
GM officials say they will not have the final cost related to that fund until the middle of next year.
(WWJ, Detroit/24/7 News Source)

(St. Joseph Co-Chamber Embezzlement)
The former executive assistant of the Three Rivers Area Chamber of Commerce is facing embezzlement charges.
St. Joseph County investigators say 57-year old Deb Herring of Schoolcraft allegedly stole between $20,000 and $50,000 over a seven-year period starting in 2007. She was fired from her job earlier this year after the alleged improprieties were discovered.
Chamber director Christy Trammell declined to comment on the matter. However, an e-mail sent to chamber members and signed by the Board of Directors and President & CEO says, in part, that the chamber had been compromised and trust was violated by a former employee.
As of Wednesday, Herring had not yet been notified of the warrant for her to appear in court.

(Calumet-Stabbing Case Dismissed)
A Calumet man who was arrested on stabbing charges in early July had his case dismissed yesterday in Houghton County District Court.
26-year-old Kyle Huuki was originally charged with felonious assault or assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder. However, according to the Houghton County Prosecutor’s Office, those charges were dropped after the victim refused to testify.
Michigan State Police say the alleged victim got into an argument with Huuki outside of his residence in Calumet in the early hours of July 11th. The argument eventually escalated into a fight, at which time police were called in.
The victim’s name is not being released, but police say he is a 25-year-old Laurium man. He was treated at the hospital after the incident and later released.
Police say alcohol was a factor in the altercation.
(WCCY/WOLV, Houghton)

(Port Huron-Hospital-New Name)
New name, same place... that's the former Port Huron Hospital, with signage installed Wednesday, to signal a new start for the facility.
President and CEO, at McLaren Port Huron, Tom DeFauw says next year is expected to see construction started on a new cancer center and a new inpatient tower, once plans are finalized.
According to DeFauw joining McLaren Health Care allows the hospital to remain a non-profit operation and to retain local decision-making, as well as securing high-quality and accessible health care for the local community.
The former Port Huron Hospital becomes the 12th hospital in the McLaren Health Care system.
(Bill Gilmer, WPHM, Port Huron)

(Grand Haven-Child Washed Off Pier)
A life ring on the pier in Grand Haven saved the life of a four-year-old girl.
The child was knocked into Lake Michigan by a wave yesterday afternoon (Wednesday). Her mother jumped into the water to save her, while bystanders tossed her a life ring and helped bring both of them up to safety.
The little girl was not hurt.
(24/7 News Source)

(Saginaw-Deficit Elimination Plan)
Saginaw School Board trustees will close one of the district's two high schools after this coming school year as part of a newly approved deficit elimination plan to be submitted to the state.
The district must eliminate its red ink amounting to $6.1 million by the end of the 2015-16 school year.
Superintendent Carlton Jenkins says the decision on whether to close Saginaw High or Arthur Hill High School will be based on factors including enrollment, cost per student and public input.
Jenkins added staff will take another six percent pay cut on top of reductions already in place for the next two years as part of the deficit plan.
(WSGW, Saginaw)

(Marquette Co-Crash Hospitalizes Nine)
Nine people were hospitalized Wednesday afternoon following a four vehicle crash in Marquette County.
According to WLUC-TV, the crash happened at the intersection of M-553 and Flodin Road in Sands Township and all four vehicles involved were pickup trucks.
The Marquette County Sheriff's Office says two of the pickups were attempting to make a left turn when a third truck failed to stop and rear ended one of the them. The force of the crash pushed the first pickup truck into a ditch. The second pickup truck attempting to turn left was forced into the patch of an oncoming pickup truck hauling a trailer carrying scrap metal.
All nine people involved in the crash were taken to Marquette General Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, including four children ranging in age from four to eleven-years-old.
The driver that caused the crash, 26-year-old Justin Sleeter of Ishpeming was ticketed for careless driving and operating a motor vehicle without insurance.
M-553 had to be closed for approximately one hour.

(MI-Prop 1)
It appears that there's some confusion among voters when it comes to Proposal 1, which is on Michigan's statewide ballot August 5th.
The proposal is to continue the phase-out of Michigan's personal property tax on business. It's a tax that business wants to get rid of because its out of date and it hurts the state's economy.   
But it also produces needed revenue for many local communities.
A new Denno-Research poll shows barely over 30 percent supporting the proposal, even though if approved, it promises to make sure local communities are made good on the lost revenue by taking advantage of expiring tax credits, and a new "Essential Services Assessment" on business.
In the meantime, two large corporations, Ford Motor Company and Dow Chemical, are leading a group that is contributing millions of dollars to a campaign pushing for a yes vote on Prop 1.
If voters reject Prop 1, everything goes back to square one, with the tax being reinstated, and local communities getting revenue from the tax.

(Capitol-Conversion Therapy)
"Conversion therapy", a practice in which a mental health professional seeks to change a minor’s sexual orientation, would be illegal in Michigan, under legislation being introduced in Lansing.
State House Democrat Adam Zemke of Ann Arbor is sponsoring the bill, which would outlaw "conversion therapy" in the state. Zemke says "conversion therapy" has proven to be ineffective and harmful, especially for children, and it doesn’t belong here in Michigan or anywhere.
Zemke says he's pleased to see that this issue is being championed on a bipartisan basis in state legislatures across the country and hopes there will be the same bipartisan support in the Michigan Legislature.
Similar laws are in place in California, New Jersey and New York and have been upheld by federal courts.

(Lansing-Schauer Voted Republican)
Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer says he voted in a Republican primary in 2012 to help decide that party's presidential nominee.
Schauer told reporters yesterday (Wed) that he voted in the Republican primary two years ago because there was nobody to vote for on the Democratic side, since President Barack Obama was unopposed, and Schauer says he tries not to miss any elections. He would not say who he voted for in the Republican primary.
The former congressman says he doesn't encourage crossover voting, but he thinks it's up to every individual voter to decide.
The Michigan Republican Party is criticizing Schauer’s cross-over vote because earlier this year he discouraged a group of Democratic supporters from participating in the 11th Congressional District Republican primary.

(MI/PA-Cold Case Murder)
Grand Rapids police have been able to close the books on a nearly 10-year old unsolved murder after a man behind bars in a federal prison in Pennsylvania admitted to the crime.
33-year-old Walter Wilson has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder as a habitual offender. In return, Kent County prosecutors dropped a perjury charge.
26-year old Robert Farmer was shot to death during a robbery outside a party store on the city's southeast side on October 15, 2004.
Police told the Grand Rapids Press that detectives with the Grand Rapids Cold Case Team used "witness statements, tips and DNA evidence" to link the crime to Wilson, who has been in a Pennsylvania federal prison serving a minimum of 15 years for possession of illegal weapons stemming from a 2007 case.
Wilson faces a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison when he is sentenced August 13th.

(MI-Appealing Vehicle Awards)
The J.D. Power and Associates APEAL awards find Chrysler's Dodge brand and Volkswagen's Porsche division are very appealing to customers.
Dodge topped three categories with Challenger, Charger and Dart vehicles. Porsche also received three awards for the 911, Boxster and Cayenne (KIGH-en).
The most appealing manufacturer for the 10th consecutive year was Porsche followed by Audi and Land Rover. Ford won awards in two categories with their F-Series pickup while General Motors topped the list in one category with the GMC Yukon.
(24/7 News Source)

(Grand Rapids-Radio Host-More Charges)
Former West Michigan Christian radio host John Balyo's legal troubles just got deeper.
The 35-year Caledonia man already faces charges in Calhoun County for allegedly sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy. He now faces separate federal charges.
Charges of sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography were filed against Balyo Wednesday, a federal court document shows.
WOOD TV reports the charge stems from an April 19 incident in Kalamazoo County, the document says, and alleges that Balyo coerced or persuaded a boy about the age of 12 into producing sexually explicit photos.
Balyo initially was arrested June 20 at a Christian music festival in Gaylord. He was fired the next day at WCSG, operated by Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids where he worked for eight years.
(WOOD, Grand Rapids)

(Antrim Co-Deputy Theft)
A law enforcement officer in northwest Lower Michigan is facing criminal charges.
Antrim County sheriff's deputy Michael Bingham is accused of stealing money during an investigation. The 30-year old Bingham was arraigned Tuesday on charges of obstruction of justice and larceny in a building.
According to the Traverse City Record-Eagle, Bingham is accused of taking $200 while assisting State Police troopers in executing a search warrant at a home in Mancelona on June 18.
Bingham is on paid administrative leave.

(Branch Co-Hostage Suspect-Arraigned)
The gunman who barricaded himself inside an adult novelty store in southern Michigan after leading police on a high-speed chase across state lines is facing multiple charges.
39-year-old Joseph Leiffer of Carleton was arraigned on one count of felony fleeing and eluding, two counts of kidnapping and felony firearm possession in Branch County District Court Wednesday.
Leiffer robbed a pharmacy in Angola, Indiana then led police on a high-speed pursuit north, at times exceeding 100 mph, on I-69 over the Michigan state line.
The chase ended at the Lion's Den Adult Superstore off I-96 near Coldwater where Leiffer held a female employee hostage for nearly three hours before he voluntarily surrendered to police.
Leiffer was wanted on a felony warrant out of Carleton for embezzlement before he is believed to have gone on a crime spree Tuesday. He's being held on $250,000 bond.

(Grand Rapids-Betty Ford Statue)
A statue of former first lady Betty Ford is planned for Grand Rapids in 2018.
The Grand Rapids Press reports the statue is part of the Grand Rapids Community Legends project. The Betty Ford sculpture will be installed 100 years after her birth.
President Gerald Ford died in 2006, and Betty Ford died in 2011. They lived in Rancho Mirage, California, for decades. Their hometown was Grand Rapids.
Organizers of the Grand Rapids Community Legends project on Wednesday unveiled a sculpture of civil rights activist Helen Claytor that is the sixth in a series that's expected to grow to 25 statues.
Sculptures are planned for boxing champion Stanley Ketchel in 2015; businesswoman Anna Sutherland Bissell in 2016; and businessman and politician Julius Houseman in 2017.
(Chuck LaTour, WOOD, Grand Rapids)



(Wayne Co-Porch Shooting Trial)
Opening statements were delivered today (Wednesday) in the murder trial for a Detroit-area man accused of shooting a 19-year-old woman to death at his home last November.
55-year-old Theodore Wafer faces second-degree murder, manslaughter and firearm charges.
Renisha McBride was shot in the early morning hours of November 2 after she crashed her car into a parked vehicle and ended up on the porch of Wafer's home in Dearborn Heights.
Wafer does not deny fatally shooting the unarmed woman but claims he did so in self-defense. Court testimony shows that Wafer was about 3-feet from McBride when he pulled the trigger on his 12-gauge shotgun.
If convicted of murder Wafer faces up to life in prison.
(24/7 News Source/Charlie Langton, WWJ, Detroit)

(MI-Violent Crime Suspects)
Three suspects linked to a series of violent crimes on both sides of the southern Michigan are the subjects of a nationwide manhunt.
25-year olds Daniel Leussenkamp (LOOSE-en-camp) and Kevin Seely and 20-year-old Kimberly Wonsey are believed to have fled the state after the weekend incidents.
Police allege the men robbed and stabbed a 50-year-old man at a motel in Wyoming early Saturday morning, then left with a woman, believed to be Wonsey.
On Sunday morning the trio carjacked a woman in the parking lot of the Greenville Meijer store. One of the men, believed to be Leussenkamp, held a screwdriver to the Rockford woman’s throat.
The suspects then are accused of driving across the state and breaking into a home in Mount Clemens north of Detroit and robbing and assaulting the homeowner.
The U.S. Marshals Service is aiding in the search for them. Monday, the Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office issued a nationwide extradition warrant for the trio for the carjacking.
(Help from: 24/7 News Source)

(Van Buren Co-Palisades Reforms)
Changes are underway at the Palisades nuclear power plant in southwest Michigan and throughout parent company Entergy's properties under an agreement with the federal government.
The changes will make sure the training credentials of staff and management are properly verifyied across Entergy's entire fleet.
The moves come in response to the failure to verify the qualifications of a security supervisor to perform specific security duties at the plant in Van Buren County's Covert Township in December 2012.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Viktoria Mitlyng (MIT-ling) says the settlement was reached under the NRC's Alternative Dispute Resolution process. She says a manager needed to find someone to fill in on a job for a few hours, and failed to verify the qualifications of the person selected.
The NRC evaluated the matter and determined it was of very low security significance. Mitlyng says the NRC is pleased with the settlement and it will not fine the company as a result of the agreement.
(Michael Arney, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)

(Marquette-Fireworks Fiasco)
The company hired to execute the Marquette July 4th fireworks show has apologized for the technical failure of this year’s show and has offered the Upper Peninsula city a refund.
The Marquette Area 4th of July Fireworks Committee says Great Lakes Fireworks, LLC contacted them recently with a full apology and explanation for what happened to cause the display to end short.
The company also did not charge for the fireworks that were used, offered a $20,000 refund to the committee and only kept a portion of the funds to cover crew wages and certain costs including transportation to the Marquette Lower Harbor.
The Fireworks Committee says they have voted to continue to function through next year and hope to work together to make 2015’s Fourth of July Celebration the best ever.
(Walt Lindala, Great Lakes Radio News, Marquette)

(Battle Creek-Gas Station Murder)
Police have arrested a suspect in the overnight murder of a female employee at a gas station in Battle Creek.
The Battle Creek Enquirer reports the 27-year old woman was discovered in a bathroom at the station on the Cereal City's northwest side about 3:30AM this morning (Wednesday). Her name was not immediately released.
Police say by mid-morning they had taken 30-year old Shawn Pike into custody along with a person of interest in the case.
Authorities say Pike and the woman have been described as being in some kind of a relationship. However, officers have not indicated yet a motive for the killing.
(Help from: Robert Nelson, WBCK, Battle Creek)

(St. Clair Co-Standoff Suspect)
Port Huron Township was the scene for a standoff between St. Clair County Sheriff Deputies and a suspect in a criminal sexual conduct case that ended peacefully.
Sheriff Tim Donnellon says the 28-year old man from Port Huron Township went into a vacant home Tuesday morning. Deputies were called to the home when neighbors reported seeing the man entering through a window.
When deputies arrived at the house, the man threatened to turn on natural gas and blow himself up.
Initial talks failed to get the man to come out of the house, with the Sheriff's Special Response Team called to the scene. After about 3-and-a-half hours, the suspect finally walked out of the house and was taken into custody without incident.
Officials say the man was wanted for questioning in a criminal sexual conduct case involving a 15-year old girl, with the incident having occurred Monday afternoon in Port Huron.
The man is now lodged at the St. Clair County Jail pending arraignment. His name was not released.
(WPHM, Port Huron)

(Study: Unhappiest City)
A new study finds Detroit is the fourth unhappiest city in the United States.
And New York came in first.
The report comes from researchers at the University of British Columbia and Harvard.   They concluded that after looking at CDC data that asked people, "How satisfied are you with your life?"
Researchers tweaked the numbers for factors like race, education, marital status and family size and found that New York tops the list of America's unhappiest cities followed by Pittsburgh, Louisville, Milwaukee and Detroit.
Yet, New York's population is at an all-time high of eight-point-four-million, so researchers think high incomes earned by Big Apple residents may be trumping happiness for some people.
The study shows the happiest city in America is Richmond, Virginia, followed by Norfolk, Virginia, Washington, DC, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina and Atlanta.

(St. Joseph Co-FOI Documents)
A Three Rivers man who previously taught in Constantine and Three Rivers was reprimanded at least a half dozen times for inappropriate behavior, according to personnel records detailing the employment of David Wing.
The documents, released by Constantine Public Schools in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, show the 59-year-old Wing agreed to surrender his teacher’s license in January 2013. In exchange, he received a $10,000 buyout, payment for unused sick and vacation time, and two additional years of retirement credit.
Wing, who was arrested at his home July 12, faces three counts of criminal sexual conduct and a single charge of child sexually abusive activity. The second-degree CSC incidents allegedly occurred in 2008 and 2009 in the first case, June 2014 in the second case and July 4 this year in the third case.
He is slated for a preliminary examination Thursday. Wing is free after posting a $100,000 bail.
Wing is a former coach at Three Rivers and Marcellus, where he was also the assistant principal. He also worked in the Hillsdale school district.
(WLKM, Three Rivers)

(MI-Burglaries Down)
Michigan State Police say burglaries were down statewide last year.
During 2013, there were just under 54,300 reported burglary offenses in Michigan, 15 percent lower than the more than 63,600 reported during 2012.
July and August have the greatest number of burglaries with over 4,000 each month last year.
Overwhelmingly, items targeted by home burglars are guns, cash, jewelry and electronics, such as televisions, DVD players and stereos.
State Police say the loss values for all property crimes in 2013 was more than $671 million.

(MI-Business Incentives)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation says the Michigan Strategic Fund has approved state incentives to nine projects that are expected to generate more than $1 billion in new investments and add nearly 3,900 new jobs in the state.
Among the projects: West Michigan-based auto supplier Challenge Manufacturing will get $2.3 million in incentives to build a plant in Clinton County's Watertown Township northwest of Lansing and create 420 jobs.
Solar company Suniva headquartered in metro-Atlanta will receive $2.5 million in incentives for a new factory in Saginaw Township. It plans to create 350 jobs.
Governor Rick Snyder says four projects stem from overseas trade trips he took to China, Italy and Canada. He says some companies chose Michigan over competing states in the South.
In addition, Grand Traverse County was awarded $880,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to cleanup environmentally contaminated properties for a Blight Elimination Project in Traverse City that will consist of multi-story condominium units as well as “live-work” mixed use units.

(Auburn Hills-Chrysler Recall)
Chrysler Group LLC will recall an undetermined number of older-model SUVs in connection with an investigation of ignition-switch performance.
In a statement released, Chrysler maintains that engineers are working to develop a remedy and Chrysler is addressing the recall out of an abundance of caution.
Preliminary investigation suggests an outside force, usually attributed to contact with the driver’s knee, may move ignition keys from the “on” position in certain model-year 2006-2007 Jeep Commander and 2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. Such an occurrence may cause engine stall, reducing braking power and making steering more difficult. Safety features such as frontal airbags may also be disabled.
Chrysler Group is unaware of any related injuries. The company is aware of a single reported accident and a relatively small number of complaints involving 0.015 percent of the subject vehicle population.
The precise number of affected vehicles will be determined by the investigation. Approximately 792,300 are implicated - 649,900 in the U.S.; 28,800 in Canada; 12,800 in Mexico and 100,800 outside of the NAFTA region.
(Help from: WWJ, Detroit)

(MI-Disaster Funds)
Governor Rick Snyder announced $6 million in assistance for six Upper Peninsula and three northern Lower Peninsula counties that received a “state of emergency” declaration after sustaining heavy damage due to extremely cold temperatures and deep frost levels last winter.
The nine counties are Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Delta, Emmet, Gogebic, Luce, Mackinac and Marquette. They will be eligible to receive Community Development Block Grants to repair damaged water and sewer mains, roads and other vital infrastructure.
Snyder said it makes good sense to begin the repairs as quickly as possible to restore water and sewer mains and roads in the affected areas.

(Taylor-Craigslist Car Scam)
Police are searching for a suspect in connection with a series of fraudulent car sales to people answering ads primarily on Craigslist.
Police say the suspect lists cars for sale in the Metro Detroit area on Craigslist and unsuspecting buyers who answer the ad meet with him expecting to buy a car from the legitimate owner. The suspect provides the buyer with the vehicle, keys, and an apparent legitimate Michigan title. When the buyer attempts to title the vehicle in their name, they discover the Michigan title is counterfeit and the vehicle they bought has been stolen.
The suspect is described by victims as a black male in his 30’s or 40’s and very thin with a medium to dark complexion.
State Police are asking anyone with information to call the Michigan State Police Tip Line at (877) 616-4677 or the Help Eliminate Auto Theft (HEAT) Tip Line at 1-800-242-HEAT.
(WWJ, Detroit)

(Kalamazoo-WSU Coach Lawsuit)
Western Michigan University's offensive line and tight ends coach has filed a federal lawsuit against Penn State University.
Bill Kenney and former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno’s son, Jay Paterno, filed the lawsuit yesterday (Tue) seeking 1 million in damages for their dismissal from the Penn State football staff in January 2012.
M-live reports the men claim that, as a result of Sandusky’s reprehensible crimes, Penn State reacted in mid-January 2012 with rashness and without basis by prematurely releasing from Penn State’s employment the majority of the Penn State football coaching staff, including Paterno and Kenney.
After being dismissed from Penn State, Kenney did not coach during the 2012 football season.
WMU football coach P.J. Fleck hired Kenney in February 2013.

(Jackson-Anaerobic Digesters)
Consumers Energy has selected four Michigan farms to produce renewable energy with anaerobic digesters.
The Jackson-based utility developed the new anaerobic digester program along with Michigan State University and the state’s agricultural community. Anaerobic digesters generate electricity from biodegradable material.
Timothy Sparks, Consumers Energy’s vice president of energy supply operations, says the addition of anaerobic digestion brings more diversity to their existing renewable energy supply from wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric dams.
The four farms are Beaver Creek Farms in Coopersville, Brook View Dairy in Freeport, Green Meadow Farms in Elsie and Scenic View Dairy in Fennville.
The farms will be offered the opportunity to generate electricity under long-term contracts that collectively provide 2.6 megawatts of electric capacity. Consumers says that’s enough to power about 2,800 homes.
Consumers Energy is Michigan’s largest utility providing natural gas and electricity to 6.5 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.



(MI-Vehicle Database)
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is touting a new tool to help fight auto thefts in Michigan.
Her office is now participating in a national motor vehicle title database that was created to prevent thefts and protect consumers from title fraud. Michigan has joined Texas and Illinois as the latest states to use the system, which is operated by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The database now includes all Great Lakes states and 96 percent of all vehicles nationwide. The six remaining nonparticipating states plus the District of Columbia are expected to join eventually.
Johnson says too often in the past, Michigan residents bought used vehicles they thought were free of major damage only to discover later the vehicle had been wrecked out of state.
Michigan now submits new vehicle title information to the national database and has contributed its entire title history database.
The system protects consumers by ensuring that out-of-state vehicles that are badly damaged in a crash or from flooding, even if they are rebuilt, still receive a specially branded Michigan title when they are brought here.
Residents can review a vehicle's title history through the national database at for a small fee.

(Detroit-Party Store Killing)
Detroit police are searching for the gunman who opened fire inside a party store killing an 18-year-old.
The shooting happened around 7:35 p.m. Monday on the city’s west side.
According to police, the teenager had ridden his bike to the neighborhood store and was inside when the gunman entered through the main door and fired several shots before fleeing the scene.
The teen was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. No one else was injured.
Neighbors told reporters the teen might have been targeted after getting into a verbal argument a day earlier at a local jazz concert.
Police do not yet have a description of the gunman, who remains on the loose. The victim’s name was not immediately released.
An investigation is ongoing.
(WWJ, Detroit)

(Muskegon Co-Murders Connection)
Police in West Michigan are comparing notes for any connection between the murders of a Wyoming couple and their unborn baby last week and the disappearance of a Muskegon woman more than a year ago.
26-year old Jessica Heeringa has been missing since April 26, 2013 after she vanished while working the late shift at a gas station in Norton Shores.
31-year old Brady Oestrike (OH-strike) of Wyoming killed himself last Thursday after killing 25-year old Charlie Oppenneer and his pregnant girlfriend, 18-year old Brooke Slocum.
Norton Shores Police Chief Dan Shaw says they have been sharing information with Wyoming investigators for the past several days. He says it's "common investigative practice" for departments in other cities to discuss case details when there are unsolved investigations.
Wyoming Police Chief James Carmody said the events that led to the killings of Slocum and Oppeneer and the suicide of Oestrike began with an arrangement made on Craigslist between Oestrike and Slocum to meet for sex with Oppeneer present.
Shaw says he's not aware of any relation between Heeringa's case and the deaths of Slocum and Oppenneer or any Craigslist connection at this time.
(Help from: 24/7 News Source)

(MI-Drowning IDs)
Police have released the names of two men who drowned in separate incidents on opposite ends of the state over the weekend.
The St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department says the body of 66-year old Tommy McDonald was found around 6 p.m. Monday by a resident who lives about two miles from the location where McDonald fell into the St. Joseph River early Sunday.
Sheriff’s officials said McDonald was fishing with his son in Constantine when the boat capsized.
Meantime, Michigan State Police on Monday identified 48-year-old Micheal Waeghe (Way-gee) of Gladstone as the man who drowned while kayaking with a friend on Little Bay deNoc in Delta County's Brampton Township Friday morning.
(WLKM, Three Rivers/Radio Results Network, Escanaba/Marquette/Manistique)

(Detroit-People Mover Down)
Commuters in downtown Detroit are without the service of the People Mover today (Tuesday).
Officials from the Detroit Transportation Corporation said all stations are currently closed, until further notice. Spokeswoman Ericka Alexander said the problem is being caused by a communications issue in the system.
Alexander said crews are trying to resolve the issue. Although she couldn’t say when service would be fully restored, officials hope to have the People Mover back in service this afternoon.
(WWJ, Detroit/24/7 News Source)

(MI-Prison Escape Report)
An independent investigation led by Attorney General Bill Schuette into the escape of a convicted murderer from the Ionia Correctional facility last February uncovered six security failures at the prison.
40-year old Michael Elliot was serving a no-parole life sentence for killing four people in Gladwin County in 1993. He escaped from the prison Super Bowl Sunday but was apprehended by Indiana authorities the next day.
Among other things, the independent investigation found a breakdown in the effectiveness of the microwave alert system and the prison’s video surveillance system; a failure to keep the wire alarm system operational, correction officer inattention on several levels and an inadequate prisoner count procedure.
The Attorney General report offers a dozen recommendations. Besides addressing the security measures they include the Department of Corrections reconsideration of whether to station armed officers in the guard towers and restoring the perimeter patrol by an armed officer as a full-time position.
The report also recommends the Corrections Department reevaluate the security classification for inmates serving a sentence of life in prison without parole.

(Detroit-Grand Bargain-Pensioners)
Detroit's 32,000 pensioners have voted in favor of reducing their retirement benefits as part of the so-called "grand bargain" to help the city emerge from bankruptcy.
As part of the deal private foundations and companies have pledged $466 million over 20 years and 194-point-five million dollars of state aid will be used upfront to shore-up Detroit's pension system and avoid a sale of city-owned artwork at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
The plan from Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr calls for a base 4.5 percent cut in monthly pension checks and elimination of cost-of-living increases for members of Detroit’s General Retirement System.
Support from pension recipients comes ahead of an August 14 trial that will determine whether Detroit wins court approval to restructure debt in the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

(MI-Kids Count)
Michigan continues to score poorly in child well being in the most recent Kids Count rankings.
Since the launch of the first Kids Count Data book 25 years ago, Michigan has improved in child and teen death rate and teen pregnancies, but continues to struggle in overall child well being, ranking 32 in the nation.
Gilda Jacobs of the Michigan League for Public Policy, a Kids Count partner, says Michigan's overall ranking puts it in the bottom half of the country, and it is not acceptable.
Among the recommendations to improve the state's child well being: restoring education funding cut since the start of the Great Recession; more tax credits and food and cash assistance for families that earn the least; increasing childcare payments to help working parents; and investing in strategies to reduce the rate of babies born too small.
The report also calls for more focus on education and child poverty.

(MI-Concealed Weapons Permits)
In the year following President Barack Obama's re-election and the Sandy Hook School shooting massacre, applications and approvals for concealed weapons permits increased by more than 50 percent in Michigan.
The annual report by the Michigan State Police shows that from July 2012 to June 30, 2013, there were nearly 130,000 applications for concealed weapons permits and more than 118,000 were approved. Of those applicants, 3,040 had criminal violations.
In 2011-12, there were over 82,300 applications for concealed weapons permits and more than 78,700 permits approved.
The more than 57 percent increase was far smaller than the 118 percent increase in applications from the 2007-08 year to 2008-09. Obama was first elected in November 2008 and gun rights advocates began warning that his administration would take steps to control weapons.
Since Obama was elected, the state has averaged 92,197 permit applications a year.

(MI-Minimum Wage Petitions)
A coalition seeking to increase Michigan's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour did file enough signatures to get on the November statewide ballot, however there are still some hurdles.
The Bureau of Elections concluded that the liberal group Raise Michigan did submit 259,000 valid signitures. They needed only 258,088 to secure a spot on the statewide ballot.
The Elections Bureau's action clears the way for the state Board of Canvassers to certify the ballot proposal on Thursday, however, if they do the issue would likely end up in the courts because the ballot proposal was written to amend a minimum wage law that now no longer exists, raising the question whether the initiative would have any legal import if voters pass it.
In May, Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation that replaced Michigan's minimum wage law with new language that increases Michigan's minimum wage to $9.25 per hour by 2018.

(MI-Fruit Growers Relief)
Michigan fruit growers impacted by 2012's frost and freeze can now apply for new federal disaster relief funding.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture begins accepting applications today (Tue) for the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP).
M-live reports the April 2012 frost destroyed 90 percent of the state’s apple and tart cherry crops and 95 percent of the peach crop. Qualified growers that qualify can get up to $125,000 for lost fruit crops.
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow says funds will be available to farmers who didn’t have access to insurance and had losses to frost and freeze.
Growers can apply for the assistance from July 22-Sept. 22 through their local Farm Service Agency office.

(Alger Co-Shooting Death Probe)
Michigan State Police are asking for the public's help as they try to piece together a timeline of the shooting incident in the Upper Peninsula last week in which a 47-year old man died after being shot by police.
Timothy Mitchell was shot by a Munising police officer on July 14 following a high-speed chase which came to an end on Buckhorn Road, east of Munising, when Mitchell crashed his vehicle.
Police were looking for a suspect believed involved in a type of domestic violence incident in the village of Christmas. Officers received reports that Mitchell drove away from the scene intoxicated.
State Police from the Negaunee Post are asking anyone who might have had contact with Mitchell prior to the shooting to give detectives a call at (906)-475-9922.

(MI/DC-Upton-Immigration Policy)
Thousands of young people have been streaming over the border from Mexico into the United States for months under the impression that they will be allowed to stay in the U.S.
Michigan Congressman Fred Upton says it's become one of the topics he's contacted about the most.
The St. Joseph Republican says that some House hearings are coming up soon to discuss possible health issues the Central American children could have. However, he notes, that's just a start.
A Catholic college in Detroit is offering to take in some of the children, but with a caveat. Marygrove College president David Fike says they will accept migrants between the ages of 16 and 24, put them in the dorms, and give them food and an education but only if President Obama recognizes them as refugees.
(Michael Arney, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)

(MSU Study-Missing Sleep-Memory)
A new study by researchers at Michigan State University and the University of California, Irvine finds that the lack of sleep, already considered a public health epidemic, can also lead to errors in memory.
The study, published online in the journal Psychological Science, found participants deprived of a night’s sleep were more likely to flub the details of a simulated burglary they were shown in a series of images.
Distorted memory can have serious consequences in areas such as criminal justice, where eyewitness misidentifications are thought to be the leading cause of wrongful convictions in the United States.
MSU associate professor of psychology Kimberly Fenn, co-investigator on the study, says they found memory distortion is greater after sleep deprivation and people are getting less sleep each night than they ever have.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls insufficient sleep an epidemic and said it’s linked to vehicle crashes, industrial disasters and chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.

(Clarkston-Streaker Arrested)
Neighbors living in one Clarkston community called police after a naked, drunk man ran throughout the neighborhood in on Sunday night.
The man ran into one of the homes and once inside the residence, was confronted by the homeowner and ran into one of the bedrooms, as deputies entered the bedroom the subject had exited the residence by climbing out a window.
He ran through the neighborhood and was finally found lying on the ground. He was tasered when he fought with deputies.
The 24-year-old from Orion Township was medically cleared and lodged in the Oakland County Jail on charges of indecent exposure, home invasion and resisting and obstructing police.
(WWJ, Detroit)

(Detroit-Used Cadillacs)
A different ignition switch problem for General Motors has forced the automaker to tell dealers to stop selling some used Cadillac models.
The 2003 to 2013 CTS sedans and the 2004 to 2006 SRX crossover vehicles do not have a repair in place stemming from a June 30th recall. GM says a driver's knee could bump the switch and turn the engine off, causing a loss of power steering, brakes and airbag deployment.
The problem is unique to Cadillac and not associated with an earlier GM recall.
(24/7 News Source)



July 26, 2014

National Dance Day.  National Dance Day was launched in 2010 by Nigel Lythgoe as an annual celebration encouraging Americans to incorporate dance into their lives as a way to promote health and self-esteem.

July 27, 2014

101st Tour de France cycling race finishes on the Champs-Elysees in Paris after the final stage, a 136km route from Evry, with the winner of the Maillot Jaune (yellow jersey) crowned overall winner after what has traditionally been a race to the line for the sprinters.
National Baseball Hall of Fame 75th anniversary Induction Ceremony, with Class of 2014 Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine and the Expansion Era Veterans Committee selections Joe Torre, Tony La Russa, and Bobby Cox.

July 28, 2014

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and former First Lady Maureen McDonnell on trial on federal corruption charges. The pair, who left office on January 11, are accused of accepting at least $165,000 in loans and gifts - including a Rolex watch, designer clothes, iPhones, and golf clubs - from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, who allegedly hoped that endorsements from the first couple would help his health supplement business. They have pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing, with Bob McDonnell describing the charges as 'federal overreach'.
Justin Bieber on trial in Miami on charges of DUI, driving with an expired license, and resisting arrest without violence. The 20-year-old pop star was arrested in the early hours of January 23, after allegedly drag racing a yellow Lamborghini on a palm-lined residential street in Miami Beach. Officers say two vehicles were being used to block off the street while Bieber and R&B singer Khalil Sharieff, who was also arrested, raced the Lamborghini and a red Ferrari. Bieber allegedly swore at the officer at the time of his arrest, saying 'What the f--- did I do, why did you stop me?', though he later reportedly admitted to police that he had been smoking marijuana, drinking, and taking a prescription medication. For a first DUI offense, Bieber could face up to six months in jail and a six-month license suspension.

Muslim festival of Eid
Deadline for defense lawyers in Italy to appeal January's judgment reinstating the guilty verdict against U.S. national Amanda Knox and her Italian former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito over the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher. Knox, who is currently living in the U.S., was sentenced to 28 years and six months, while Sollecito received a 25-year term.

The Musical 'The Book of Mormon' opens a production near Mormon church's headquarters in Utah
Pretrial conference for four Southern California men accused of plotting to kill Americans and destroy U.S. targets overseas by joining al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Sohiel Omar Kabir, who served in the U.S. Air Force from 2000-2001 and who was detained in Afghanistan, allegedly introduced Ralph Deleon and Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales to the radical Islamist doctrine of Anwar al-Awlaki, before they later recruited Arifeen David Gojali. Deleon, Vidriales and Gojali allegedly made plans to depart the U.S. in mid-November and carry out plots in Afghanistan and Yemen, with Santana allegedly telling an FBI undercover agent that he wanted to commit jihad. The complaint also alleges that the men went to a shooting range several times

July 29, 2014

BP Q2 earnings

100th anniversary of the first test call being made on the newly completed transcontinental telephone line between New York and San Francisco

July 30, 2014

Federal Open Market Committee decision on interest rates following two-day meeting.  The FOMC decided at its last meeting in June to maintain its main rate at a record low of between 0% and 0.25%.
Michael Vanhise and Robert Asch sentenced, after they were found guilty in March in a plot to kidnap, rape, torture and kill women and children. The case against the pair grew out of a cannibalism case that resulted in a conspiracy conviction of former New York police officer Gilberto Valle, who prosecutors say plotted to eat women. Defense lawyers said that Asch and Van Hise were only role-playing and would never have actually hurt anyone

July 31, 2014

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor steps down from the position, following his June 10 loss in the Virginia Republican primary to Tea Party-backed Dave Brat.
Temporary asylum in Russia for former CIA contractor Edward Snowden expires this month a year after Moscow granted protection to the intelligence analyst who in June 2013 revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) had been secretly mining data from nine of the world's top internet companies through its top-secret PRISM program.
ExxonMobil Corp Q2 earnings
North American Consumer Protection Investigators and Consumer Federation of America release annual 'Consumer Complaint Survey Report', based on responses to 40 state and local consumer protection agencies in 20 states across the nation. Representatives of the organizations release the top 10 consumer complaints made in 2013, trends that stood out from the types of complaints reported, the top five fastest-growing and worst complaints, interesting new types of problems, and new laws the agencies suggested to better protect consumers.







Six Key Questions Need to Be Asked of the IRS
Comments in Today's "Viewpoints".  See WIOS Forum for Details




DNR Burn Permit

Senator Ted Cruz endorses Shannon:


T.W. Shannon is the former Speaker of the House in the Oklahoma legislature. He was elected by his Republican colleagues as the youngest and first African American House Speaker. He's also been called "the most conservative Speaker in State History."

We're very excited to support T.W. Shannon in this important race and hope you will join us by making a contribution to his campaign.

T.W. Shannon has fought to shrink the size of government and reduce the state's debt. He has worked to lower state income tax rates and authored legislation to add work requirements for food stamp recipients.

T.W. Shannon believes that government programs create a cycle of dependency that robs people of their dignity and traps them in generational poverty. If he's elected to the Senate, he will be a powerful voice for freedom.

T.W. Shannon supports all of SCF's policy goals. For example, he ...
*Supports a constitutional amendment to force Congress to balance the federal budget without raising taxes;

*Supports the full repeal of Obamacare and opposes funding for the unconstitutional program;

*Opposes bailouts that reward failure and punish success;

*Opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants;

*Opposes earmarks that are used to pass bloated spending bills;

*Supports term limits for members of Congress;

*Supports our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms;

*Supports the right to life and will oppose taxpayer funding for abortion.


On May 13th, conservative Ben Sasse (R-NE) won the Republican primary election for U.S. Senate in Nebraska. 

This is a major victory for conservatives and it's a direct result of your efforts.

Ben Sasse won this race because he never stopped fighting for conservative principles. He won this race because freedom-loving Americans like you helped him get his message out.

Thank you for believing in him and for being willing to support him financially. Your efforts made it possible for SCF to invest $1.1 million in his campaign and push him on to victory. 

Sasse said his campaign is about "restoring the American idea, returning the Constitution to its central place in American politics, and building a Republican party that crafts conservative solutions to the problems facing our nation." 

Now, we need to help him win the general election so he can spend the next six years promoting these ideas and forcing Washington to live up to them.

Senate Conservatives Fund




Incumbent U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu's approval rating has dropped by more that 10 points to 47 percent in the last six months according to a new poll. The drop in the Louisiana Democrat's image is largely due to her support for Obamacare.

This is good news for conservative Col. Rob Maness (R-LA) who is a strong opponent of Obamacare. The Republican establishment in Washington prefers moderate Congressman Bill Cassidy (R-LA) in this race, but Cassidy has supported policies similar to Obamacare and has voted to fund the unconstitutional program. Col. Maness offers voters a compelling alternative to Mary Landrieu and will win if he gets his message out.

Senate Conservatives Fund







Conservative Matt Bevin (R-KY) won the straw poll at the Boone County GOP Christmas gala, which was attended by nearly 700 Republicans. Bevin dominated the straw poll, winning over 80% of the vote against incumbent U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY). This is a clear sign that the grassroots in Kentucky are ready for a change and that Matt Bevin's message is beginning to get out. 

Also, Breitbart News reported that Mitch McConnell attacked conservatives on a conference call organized by Karl Rove. According to the report, McConnell was critical of Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) and said that the Senate Conservatives Fund should be "punched in the nose." It's yet another reason why conservatives should support Matt Bevin.

Senate Conservatives Fund


Alex Mooney (R-WV)




We're also pleased to report that conservative Alex Mooney (R-WV) won the Republican nomination for the 2nd Congressional District in West Virginia. 

Thanks to your support, SCF was able to invest $95,000 in this race, which included a district-wide radio ad to promote his campaign.

If Mooney wins in November, he will fight to stop the massive spending and debt that are bankrupting our country.


There are several difficult primary elections ahead and conservatives are being massively outspent by their establishment-backed opponents.

Please make a contribution to SCF to help us elect more conservatives.

Time is short so please take action today so we can send more leaders like Ben Sasse and Alex Mooney to Washington.

Senate Conservatives Fund


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