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Michigan State News              Updated 11/28/14


(SaginawCo-Fatal Shooting)
A man is dead and a woman is in custody after a Thanksgiving morning shooting in Saginaw County.
It happened around 9:30 a.m. in Bridgeport Township. A next door neighbor told MLive he heard at least six gun shots and then moments later the woman knocked on his door and said she shot her boyfriend.
The woman was also taken to the hospital for treatment of unknown injuries. The couple reportedly had a history of domestic violence.
No other information is available.
(Help from: WSGW, Saginaw)

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(Pontiac-Peanut Butter Reaction)
A reaction to peanut butter has claimed the life of a 19-year-old Oakland University student.
According to the university, sophomore Chandler Swink died Wednesday after being in a coma for a week. He suffered a severe allergic reaction in mid-November when he came in contact with peanut butter at a friend's house. He was found unconscious in the parking lot of St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Pontiac after he drove himself there.
(24/7 News Source)

(Marquette-Record Snowfall)
November snow is nothing new for the Upper Peninsula, but the amount seen this year is.
The National Weather Service says Marquette has passed its 1991 record for total snowfall, which had been 48-point-nine inches. The most recent number published by the Weater Service shows 50-point-eight inches for Marquette as of Tuesday, with a final total coming next week.
(24/7 News Source)

(Pontiac-Wandering Girl)
A 3-year-old girl was found wandering by herself in Pontiac on Thursday and police are now deciding if charges will be filed.
Police were dispatched after someone called saying that a small child was walking alone on the sidewalk. Officers arrived to find the caller with the child, who could not provide her name or information about where she lived.
Officials transported the child to a local hospital, where staff evaluated the child’s condition and confirmed that she was in good health.
Police located the child’s mother, who said that the father had been watching over the child. It was later found out that the father had taken the child to the apartment of his girlfriend, where he had been asleep the entire time the child was missing and was unaware the child was gone or how she left the home.
Detectives are working with Child Protective Services to investigate what possible charges may be filed.
(WWJ, Detroit)

As firearms deer hunters in Michigan seek their prey in the woods, consumers are filling stores today (Fri) hunting for holiday bargains.
The official beginning of the holiday shopping season, or "Black Friday," can be a critical time for retailers, according to Jim Hallan, President of the Michigan Retailers Association.
But, Hallan says there are high hopes for increased sales this season, although some remain cautious remembering the ice storm in December last year which wiped out several critical shopping days before Christmas.
He says "Black Friday" shopping is critical since it "sets the tone" for the holiday shopping season, which some retailers depend on for 50-percent of their annual sales each year.
A survey of Michigan Retailers in September found 63-percent of retailers expect better holiday sales than a year ago, with nearly a third of them projecting holiday sales increasing more than five-percent from a year ago. That averages to one-point-six percent improvement compared to one-point-three percent prior to the 2013 Holiday season.
Nationally, retail economists project a four-percent increase in Holiday spending this year.
Meantime, an October survey of M-R-A members showed 41-percent of retailers increased sales over the same month last year while 51-percent of retailers expect sales to increase over the next three months.

(MI Poll-Right Track)
A new statewide poll seems to coincide with the voters' decision to re-elect Governor Rick Snyder.
The survey, conducted a week after the election by Denno Research for Public Sector Consultants, shows that 61-percent of voters feel the state is on the right track. Twenty-eight percent feel it's on the wrong track.
However, half of Michigan voters said their financial situation was the same as it was four years ago. The remainder is split between those who felt they're better off, and those who say they're worse off.
White voters and male voters tend to be more likely to say the state is headed in the right direction (62 percent and 67 percent respectively).
Forty-four percent of African American voters say its on the right track, and 55-percent of women say the state is on the right track.
And by a two to one margin, Republicans said they're better off compared to Democrats.
The margin of error was plus or minus four percentage points.

Attorney General Bill Schuette is asking state lawmakers not to approve changes in sentencing laws during this lame duck legislative session which runs for the next three weeks.
Schuette says the proposed reforms need further review.
In a letter, Schuette says public safety should be the priority, and he does not want to rush legislation that would "prematurely release violent criminals back into our neighborhoods."
The legislature is back in session Wednesday, and is scheduled to hold session days through the third week of December.

(Capitol-Senate Secretary)
Reports say the Michigan Senate will be getting a new secretary.
Carol Viventi (vih-VENN-tee) has served the post for 20 years. The Gongwer News Service reports that on Monday, a new secretary will be announced.
The report cites sources saying Viventi may be taking a position within the Snyder administration.
Viventi was the first woman elected as either Senate secretary of House clerk. She's also the first Japanese-American named to a top legislative administrative post.

(Detroit-Cop Sues Dept)
A former Detroit police sergeant is suing the department. Sergeant Joseph Abdella claims he was transferred out of his unit for reporting fraud.
Department officials say they transferred him for hurling a racial slur at a black subordinate. Abdella's whistle-blower suit says he was cracking down on time-clock fraud prior to his reassignment.
(24/7 News Source)

(MadisonHts-Chinese Auto)
A Chinese automaker is establishing a new facility in Madison Heights, with help from the state of Michigan.
STEC USA is a subsidiary of Chinese automaker Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation.   It's new facility is supported by the Michigan Strategic Fund.
The company will be establishing a new headquarters and manufacturing operation at its existing facility in Madison Heights.   It will include research and development, warehousing and assembly, and the manufacturing of window regulator components, according to a press release from the Strategic fund.
The project will generate a total capital investment of nearly $15.1 million and create 176 jobs, resulting in a $700,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant, according to state officials.
Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Missouri.    The City of Madison Heights has offered support to the project in the form of locally established programs including “I-Connect” and/or the use of local brownfield grant funds.

Governor Rick Snyder's inauguration in January carries the theme: "Relentless, Resilient, Reinvented."
The inauguration is January 1, 2015.
The theme title is clearly based on his oft-repeated phrases, such as "relentless positive action," and "reinvention of Michigan."
The chair of the gubernatorial inauguration committee is Linda Gobler, longtime president and CEO of the Michigan Grocers Association. She also chaired the committee in 2011.
The governor will hold a receiving line at the Capitol, after his noontime swearing-in, and speech.
Those interested buying tickets for the celebration events that evening at the Lansing Center, can go to

(Wayne Co-Teacher CSC)
A Brownstown Township kindergarten teacher is facing a charge of second degree criminal sexual conduct after being accused of touching a four-year-old student. Forty-year-old John Guthrie is on a GPS tether after being arraigned this week.
He was teaching at Wegienka Elementary School, and the victim told her mother that her teacher touched her private parts at school as she was being put to bed one night in September.
Guthrie was suspended by the school on September 30th, and the little girl is in counseling according to her mother.
(24/7 News Source)

(Houghton Co-Lift Bridge Bid)
A contract has been offered to one of the bidders for the Portage Lake Lift Bridge rehab project in the Keweenaw Peninsula.
After receiving approval from the Transportation Commission, the Michigan Department of Transportation accepted the bid of Waukesha, Wisconsin-based Zenith Tech, who’s bid came in at $8.3 million, well above the estimated $5.5 million budget.
Project manager Alan Anderson says due to the immediacy of the situation, they needed to get approval on one of the bids. The project is set to begin in mid-December.
The project is expected to perform upgrades and major preventive maintenance work on the Portage Lake Lift Bridge which connects the cities of Hancock and Houghton. It includes lift cable replacement, balance chain maintenance, electrical and mechanical upgrades, security system improvements, spot painting and new barrier gates.
If it starts on time, the project is scheduled to be completed in mid-April 2016.
(WCCY/WOLV, Houghton)

(Van Buren Co-Palisades Open House)
The Palisades nuclear power plant in Van Buren County will be holding a public open house next week in South Haven.
Palisades owner Entergy says that the event will be held at the Beach Haven Event Center on Monday from five to seven PM. Plant officials will continue an open dialogue with the public on facility operations, provide an overview of activities there in 2014, and give an update on measures that have been taken in the past year to improve safety and reliability. Specifically, work completed in the plant's refueling outage will be discussed.
There will also be topic areas set up with informational materials, and Palisades employees on hand for the public to meet.
(Andrew Green, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)

(MI-MI Health Link Delay)
The Department of Community Health has announced a change to the implementation timeline for MI Health Link, Michigan’s demonstration project to integrate care for individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.
Officials say the start date has been changed from January 1 to March 1 to ensure that the program is prepared to deliver services and coordinate care. Enrollment will begin in February 2015.
DCH and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have agreed to delay the program to ensure that the necessary care coordination models, training, provider networks and systems are adequately prepared and tested prior to the start of enrollment.
MI Health Link will be launched in four regions of the state in two phases. Phase 1 includes the entire Upper Peninsula and eight counties in southwest Michigan, including Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren. Phase 2 includes Macomb and Wayne counties.

(MI-Reading Program Books)
Children in 115 Michigan elementary classrooms and early childhood programs will receive their own books to read and take home in the first award of the Michigan Department of Education’s Culture of Reading program.
Over 3,000 copies of the 2014 Michigan Reads! Book of the Year, Acoustic Rooster and his Barnyard Band, will be delivered to the children across the state this fall.
State Superintendent Mike Flanagan announced last December an effort to coordinate private donations to help build a Culture of Reading in Michigan.
The grant program was open for application from September 4 through October 6. Elementary school classrooms and early childhood programs could apply. Approximately 740 applications were received, requesting over 23,000 books.
The awards were given to 23 kindergarten classrooms; 23 first grade classrooms; 21 second grade classrooms; 24 third grade classrooms; and 24 early childhood programs.
Flanagan says the number of classrooms and early childhood programs that receive these free books is dependent on available resources and that’s where the public can help.
If you want to make an online donation or get information about how to donate by check, as well as find links to other similar initiatives log on to

(Romulus-Vehicle Tracking System)
Detroit Metropolitan Airport officials will soon be able to track vehicles operating on the airfield and improve safety at the airport.
The Airport Authority selected Exelis to install transponders in vehicles operating on the airfield. The devices send a signal showing their exact location to both air traffic control and the airport’s operational control center.
Exelis will install the vehicle movement area transponders in airport rescue and fire fighting, airport maintenance, and airfield operations vehicles operating in the aircraft operating area.
Officials say by utilizing the system, air traffic control will have the ability to view vehicles equipped with the transponders instantly with the vehicle’s identification being displayed on a common screen shared with the operational control center. Vehicles currently have to check in by radio with air traffic control, and are not visible in the airport’s operational control center.
Director of Airfield Operations, Dianne Walker, says another advantage is that if an incident occurs the system will give the airport’s operational control center the capability to view a display and contact the closest emergency vehicle for a faster, more efficient response time.
Airport officials said the installation of the transponders in the 48 vehicles that operate in the aircraft operating area should be complete by the spring of 2015.
(Edward Cardenas, WWJ/CBS, Detroit)



(Snyder-Trade Mission)
Gov. Rick Snyder is confident his recently completed trip to five cities in China, will lead to "significant opportunities" for Michigan business and more jobs for Michiganders.
It was the fourth trip to the far east in four years.
The Governor says China offers "extraordinary opportunities for Michigan companies to grow."
Snyder met with top executives from numerous Chinese companies in meetings, business receptions and roundtables along with government officials in Beijing, Shenyang, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Hangzhou.
He hosted tourism forums in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai to promote Pure Michigan as a travel destination to Chinese media and tour operators. He also participated in forums with auto and business reporters to address Michigan’s economic recovery and Detroit’s exit from bankruptcy.
Snyder lauded several contract signings between Chinese companies and the state or Michigan companies, including Rochester-based Air Liquid Systems, Inc. & Hydrotech, Michigan Economic Development Corp. and soon-to-be based in Greenville CITIC Dicastal, and MEDC and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) subsidiary company, HASCO.
Combined, the governor says the agreements represent millions of dollars in investments and thousands of Michigan jobs.

(Grand Rapids-Ferguson Protests)
Rallies in support of the family of Ferguson, Missouri teenager Michael Brown were held in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo on Tuesday, a day after a grand jury refused to indict the officer who killed the unarmed black teen.
In Grand Rapids, the march was put on by Black Lives Matter, which formed in the area in October. Members of the crowd at Rosa Parks Circle called for police in Grand Rapids to start wearing body cameras, which authorities have no plans at present to use.
Protesters in Kalamazoo broke out the back window of a police car, but were otherwise peaceful in their demonstration.
(24/7 News Source)

(Clawson-Trustee Resigns)
A Clawson Public Schools Board of Education trustee is stepping down for suggesting children with food allergies be shot.
It was apparently meant to be a joke. Superintendent Monique Beels says however that Linda Grossmann's attempted humor was not thought out well.
The flippant remark, which was made two weeks ago, came after a presentation about food service when the board was told that 20 children in one school have food allergies.
Other members describe themselves as saddened by the comment, although a video recording posted on YouTube shows a couple of people laughing afterward.
Grossmann submitted her resignation letter Tuesday.
(Help from: 24/7 News Source)

(Detroit-Phony Cops)
Investigators in Detroit are searching for a group of suspects who robbed a man early Wednesday while pretending to be police officers.
According to police, a 43-year-old Mount Clemens man was walking down an east side street when a dark-colored Dodge Charger pulled up and a man wearing all black exited the vehicle.
The victim told investigators the man identified himself as a police officer before patting him down.   The man then allegedly pointed to his waistband to imply he was armed, police said, before robbing the victim of his wallet and cell phone.
The man got back into the vehicle, which then fled westbound on I-94.   The victim was uninjured.
The victim told police there were at least three other occupants in the car, one who looked as young as 15-years-old.
(WWJ, Detroit)

(MI-Elk Poacher)
A 51-year-old Waterford man has confessed to killing an elk in northern Michigan on the opening day of firearm deer season.
The Department of Natural Resources says a deer hunter contacted its Report All Poaching Line to report he had found a dead elk while hunting in Montmorency County north of Atlanta on November 15.
Conservation officers responded and located the 4x4 bull elk and determined it had been killed by a single gunshot.
After a lengthy investigation by the officers, a suspect was identified and a confession was obtained. Charges currently are under review by the Montmorency County Prosecutor.
The suspect's name has not been released.

(Fruitport-Drunk Cop Fired)
A police officer in West Michigan has been fired after being arrested for drunken driving.
Fruitport officer Tim Thompson was picked up by Ottawa Deputies in Saturday night.   The Deputies report said he had a youngster under the age of 16 in the car with him.
Police would not share any other details of the arrest.
(WOOD, Grand Rapids)

(Detroit-Ferguson Protests)
Ferguson, Missouri isn't the only place protesting a grand jury's decision not to charge a white police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager. Protests in Detroit led to the arrests of five people.
Detroit Police Sgt. Michael Woody says five protesters were arrested Tuesday night and taken to the Detroit detention center. It's unclear why the arrests were made.
Protests held near Wayne State University were relatively peaceful throughout the day. Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Shaw told MLive officers from his department only responded to instances of freeways being blocked off to the protesters. But, he said, the groups of protectors complied with officers' orders to leave the scene and let motorists pass through.
A grand jury on Monday declined to indict white police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, sparking largely peaceful protests in cities across the nation.

(Capitol-Fiscal 2014 Closed)
Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley has signed a supplemental budget bill that includes $32.5 million to help Southeast Michigan and Northern Michigan communities hit by weather-related disasters earlier this year.
The bill, which closes the books on the 2014 fiscal year, includes $30 million from the state’s general fund and $2.5 million from the disaster relief fund, in part to help cover the state’s share of the federally declared disaster relief. The funding is now part of the fiscal 2015 budget.
The bill also makes adjustments to amounts included in the 2014 budget, reflecting changes in welfare caseloads and other projected costs.
The legislation was signed by Calley yesterday (Tue) because Governor Rick Snyder is on a trade mission to China this week.

(UM-Sex Assaults)
A new report by the University of Michigan shows there were 129 reported incidents of potential sexual misconduct on the Ann Arbor campus in the 12-month period which spans July 2013 to June 2014.
According to the first annual report by the Office for Institutional Equality this is an increase from the 83 reported in 2012-13, the 71 reported in 2011-12 and the nine reported in 2010-11. During 2009-10, only four were reported.
Of the 129 reported incidents this year, 68 were for sexual assault, 34 for sexual harassment, 18 for stalking, two for retaliation and 11 classified as “other.”
Twenty-seven of the 129 cases were investigated by the University. 11 were found to be violations. Fifteen resulted in rulings of no violation and one was closed without a finding.
The report lists four incidents in which UM placed a student on disciplinary probation for more than one year and one student was placed on disciplinary probation for less than one year. In addition, there were two instances of temporary separation of greater than one year.
One student was kicked out of school, which corresponds to a report in The Michigan Daily that former Michigan kicker Brendan Gibbons was expelled in December 2013 - four years after he was accused of raping an 18-year-old freshman in November, 2009. Gibbons was not charged.
The report comes as UM along with Michigan State University and other universities across the country have been under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights for their handling of sexual assault cases on campus.

(MI-Levin Future)
Michigan U.S. Senator Carl Levin is on the short list of possible candidates for Secretary of Defense.
Former Levin aide Kel Smythe (Smyth) of Escanaba worked with Levin in Detroit and served as his Upper Peninsula representative. Smythe is not surprised that Levin is on the short list because of years on the Senate Armed Service Committee but would be even more surprised if he is chosen.
Chuck Hagel resigned the position Monday.
(Craig Woerpel, WYKX/WDBC, Escanaba)

(MI-LGBT Protection)
The Michigan Civil Rights Commission has passed a resolution reiterating their support for expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, and called on the legislature to pass and the governor to sign a bill adding protection for sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.
The commission released a statement also reiterating its support of the constitutional protection of religious liberty, and of not placing any substantial and undue burden on any person's religious exercise.
The panel has been pushing for expansion of the Civil Rights Act for more than 30 years and most recently adopted a report on LGBT inclusion under Michigan law prepared by the Department of Civil Rights in March, 2013.
Commissioners clarified that the resolution supports the intent of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

(MI-SCOTUS EPA)The U.S. Supreme Court will review a case brought by Michigan and 22 states challenging the Federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to regulate power plant emissions without any regard for the cost of regulation.
The Supreme Court yesterday (Tue) said it would decide whether the EPA improperly adopted regulations requiring power plants to reduce mercury and other toxins from their emissions without first considering how much it would cost.
Attorney General Bill Schuette says he's please the nation's highest court will review the case challenging the overreach of the EPA. Schuette says rising costs are hindering taxpayers at every turn and American families cannot afford yet another hike in their utility rates due to the EPA’s at-any-cost environmental mandates.
In 2011, the EPA finalized new rules that target coal- and oil-fired power plants, regulating the emissions of mercury and other pollutants, such as arsenic, acid gas, nickel, selenium and cyanide.

(Grand Rapids-County Commissioner Jail)
A former Kent County Commissioner has been sentenced to a year in jail for taking kickbacks.
MLive reports 44-year-old Michael Wawee Jr. was sentenced in a Kent County courtroom Tuesday to serve one year in jail and ordered to pay $214,000 in restitution.
Wawee had earlier pleaded no contest to embezzlement from a charitable organization and attempted false pretenses between $1,000 and $20,000.
Prosecutors say Wawee took kickbacks from cemetery headstone engravers as an employee of the Catholic Diocese, where he served as a salesman of cemetery services at several Grand Rapids cemeteries.
Wawee also was accused of using cemetery fuel tanks for his personal vehicle.

(Kalamazoo-Fire Death Suspect)
A Battle Creek man has been arraigned in connection with a fatal stabbing and apartment fire in Kalamazoo over the weekend.
35-year-old Christopher Oros is being held without bond on charges of open murder, felony murder, first degree arson and second degree home invasion. No date was set for a preliminary examination.
Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officers were called to the Clayborne Court Apartment complex Saturday night. The fire was in a bedroom and fire crews were able to put it out before it could cause damage to other apartment units.
After the fire was put out, crews found the body of 47-year-old Marie McMillan on the bed. McMillan was pronounced dead at the scene with multiple stab wounds.
(Help from: Robert Nelson, WBCK, Battle Creek)



(MI-Storm Coming)
The spring-like temperatures are on the way out and another powerful storm is going to roar through Michigan this afternoon (Monday) into Tuesday.
Forecasters say this storm will come with a strong cold front that will send temperatures dropping fast. After the cold front passes through, strong winds are expected in southern Lower Michigan and accumulating snow in northern and western Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.
In southern Michigan, winds of 20 to 30 mph are forecast that could gust to 45 mph and could make driving hazardous and knock out power.
The northern Lower Peninsula could see 2 to 7 inches of snow depending on the location. 4 to 8 inches of snow is in the forecast for the U.P. with higher amounts along Lake Superior.

(Saginaw Co-Couple Dead-Fire)
Saginaw County authorities say an elderly couple are dead following a house fire early Saturday morning.
Fire crews responded to the home in Buena Vista Township and found one of the victims near the front door and the other in the living room area.
Officials say they've been informed by relatives that both of the victims were invalids. The fire left extensive damage, but no dollar figure on the loss was available. The fire appears accidental, an investigation is on-going.
Names of the victims were being withheld by authorities, however the victims' daughter told MLive they were her parents 64-year old Christine and 65-year old Gary Acha.
(WSGW, Saginaw)

(MI-Unemployment Ranking)
Michigan's October unemployment rate of 7.1 percent tied with two other states for the fifth highest in nation.
Nevada and Tennessee also reported monthly unemployment rates of 7.1 percent last month, according to figures released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Altogether 34 states and the District of Columbia had lower jobless rates in October than they did in September. There were no changes in 11 states and five states had increases.
Michigan had the highest jobless rate of the Great Lakes states.
Georgia had the highest unemployment rate in the nation during October at 7.7 percent while one again, North Dakota led the nation in the lowest jobless rate at 2.8 percent.

(East Lansing-School Threat Arrest)
Michigan State University police have a person in custody after allegedly making threats against a local school on a social media site.
The posting on Yik Yak said there was going to be a shooting at 12:15 P.M. but did not specify which school was being threatened.
The threats, reported to MSU police by a tipster at approximately 11:45 a.m., prompted a lockdown of East Lansing Public Schools, Lansing's Eastern High School and Williamston schools.
An MSU spokesman told the Lansing State Journal police were quickly able to trace the IP address and arrest the individual suspected of making the threat. The suspect was taken into custody at 12:25 p.m. and the lockdowns were lifted shortly afterward.
The name of the suspect has not been released. It's not known if the person is an MSU student.

(MI-Operation CARE)
The Michigan State Police is reminding motorists to make safety a priority during their holiday travel this Thanksgiving weekend.
State troopers will join their counterparts from across the country in the international traffic safety initiative, Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort).
Beginning Wednesday, there will be extra troopers on patrol across the state focusing on impaired driving, seat belt use, careless driving and speeding. The extra patrols are paid for with federal traffic safety funds coordinated by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.
State Police Director, Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etue says the goal is to prevent traffic crashes and fatalities so every family can celebrate a safe holiday season.
Thanksgiving is the second deadliest holiday in Michigan for traffic crashes. In 2013, there were 12 traffic fatalities during the Thanksgiving holiday; a 30 percent increase from nine fatalities in 2012.
The official Thanksgiving holiday weekend begins at 6 p.m. on Wednesday and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 30.

(Ann Arbor-UM Donors)
Despite plenty of off-the-field drama, the University of Michigan athletic department's coffers are still hail and hearty.
Donations to the department are up by more than a million dollars compared to the same time last year. An analysis of those donations, though, shows that the number of people donating has dropped.
Analysts say the fact that the total amount of money donated is on the rise despite the drop in the number of those donating means that the big-money contributors are still happy.
(24/7 News Source)

(MI-Power Outages)
High wind gusts have been causing power outages throughout southeast Michigan today (Monday).
At 2 p.m., DTE Energy was reporting an estimated 60,000 customers were in the dark - and that number was expected to increase. One of the largest outage was near Monroe where 1,500 customers are without electricity. Other outages were reported near Riverview, River Rouge and Ann Arbor.
Trees, power lines and poles were reported down across the region. The high winds also blew over a couple of traffic arrow signs in downtown Detroit. One hit a Detroit police car, but no one was hurt.
The weather service said wind gusts to near 60 mph were likely as this front works through into the afternoon and into the evening.
(WWJ, Detroit)

(Clinton Co-MSU Student Death-UPDATE)
The last of the three Saline teenagers accused of murdering a 19-year old Michigan State University student is on his way to prison.
17- year old Brendan Heim was sentenced today (Monday) in Clinton County Circuit Court to 32 1/2 to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty last month to first-degree felony murder.
MSU sophomore Dustyn Frolka of Owosso was found partially clothed on the side of Interstate 69 near the Lansing exit in Bath Township on February 15. Prosecutors say Frolka was beaten with brass knuckles and robbed of about $800. He later died from his injuries.
Eighteen-year-old Tyrel Bredernitz was sentenced earlier this month to 25 to 38 years behind bars after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in September.
18-year old Samantha Grigg is serving a 6 to 15 year prison term after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

(Allegan Co-Body Found On Beach)
Police hope an autopsy shines some light on a badly decomposed body found on the shore of Lake Michigan on Friday.
According to the Allegan County Sheriff's Department, a man and his dog were walking along the beach when they discovered the remains in Casco Township.
Authorities say it will take dental records or DNA to identify the person, and they don't yet know if the victim was a man or woman. The extent of decomposition leads police to believe the body had been in the water for "a considerable amount of time."
Anyone with information that could help the investigation is asked to call the Allegan County Sheriff's Office Investigation Division. The autopsy is being performed today (Monday).
(Michael Arney, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)

(Three Oaks-Port-A-Potty Launch Delayed)
The planned launch of a portable toilet in Three Oaks had been delayed.
A group of rocketry enthusiasts called Thrusting the Throne had planned to send the porta potty on its intrepid journey into the brave unknown on Saturday, but because of the weather conditions, the launch was pushed back to December 6.
Thrusting the Throne will launch the toilet that Saturday at 1:00 PM in a field south of the intersection of US 12 and Avery Road near Three Oaks.
Everyone's invited to come view the spectacle. You can find out more at
(WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)

It will be another term at the state capital for Michigan House Clerk Gary Randall.
The Gongwer News Service reports that Randall will return for his 10th term as either the House clerk or assistant clerk.
The 71-year old Randall served in the Michigan House as a representative from Elwell, during the late 70's through the mid-90's.   

(Van Buren Co-Stabbing Death)
Van Buren County Sheriff's deputies found a 57-year-old Paw Paw woman stabbed to death at her home Sunday morning just before noon.
The woman's 22-year-old nephew who lived at the home with the victim is in custody, and police say an altercation between the two led to the woman's murder.
The names of both are being withheld until family members are notified and the suspect is arraigned.
(24/7 News Source)

(Eaton Co-Prosthetic Arm Recovered)
A man’s prosthetic arm that disappeared after two juveniles apparently stole his car near Lansing has been recovered.
The electric prosthetic arm was in the man's vehicle when it was stolen last Tuesday in Eaton County's Delta Township. Police found the vehicle when they arrested the two suspects for shoplifting from a business near the Lansing Mall. But the victim’s prosthetic arm was still missing.
The Eaton County Sheriff's Office says a family member of one of the suspects returned the prosthetic arm to a deputy on Friday. The arm has now been returned to the victim, according to the Lansing State Journal.
The minors are also suspected of stealing a second vehicle. The case remains under investigation.

(Kalamazoo-Fatal Fire)
Police are calling the circumstances surrounding a deadly fire in Kalamazoo suspicious.
Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officers were called to the Clayborne Court Apartment complex Saturday night. The fire was in a bedroom and fire crews were able to put it out before it could cause damage to other apartment units.
After the fire was put out, crews found the body of 47-year-old Marie McMillan on the bed. McMillan was pronounced dead at the scene.
The cause of the fire and McMillan’s death are being investigated. No arrests have been made.
(Help from: WOOD, Grand Rapids)



(Mackinac Bridge-Travel Slow)
High winds in the Straits area are requiring an escort of certain high profile vehicles across the Mackinac Bridge.
According to the Mackinac Bridge Authority's website, motorists should reduce their speed to 20 miles per hour as they approach the bridge and be prepared to stop. Bridge personnel are stationed at both ends of the structure to provide instructions regarding how and when to proceed across the bridge.
High profile vehicles include pickup trucks with campers; cars with small boats, bicycles or luggage attached to the roof; Ryder or U-Haul trucks; any vehicle pulling a boat; semi-tractors with enclosed trailers and all trailers with side walls over two feet in height.
The Mackinac Bridge Authority is monitoring wind speeds at various points along the structure. Additional steps will be implemented if conditions change.

(West MI-Record Snowfall)
The amount of snowfall in West Michigan this week has broken records.
Gerald R. Ford International Airport picked up just under ten inches on Tuesday breaking the old record for most snow on the day.   It was also the third most snowfall ever recorded on a November day in Grand Rapids.
The two days total is 16.6 inches of snow. That lands in second place for the most snow over two days ever recorded.
Forecasters say with the snow expected today (Thursday), this will become the 4th snowiest November on record.
A Winter Weather Advisory will continue for most of West Michigan until 7:00 tomorrow morning (Friday). More lake effect snow will stream in off Lake Michigan today.
Forecasters say areas west of US 131 and near and just south of I-96 could pick up another one to three inches of snow today. They also forecast gusty winds and that should cause some more blowing and drifting snow.
(WOOD, Grand Rapids)

(MI-Flags Lowered)
Governor Snyder has ordered U.S. flags within the state Capitol Complex and on all state buildings to be lowered to half-staff today (Thursday) in honor of former state Representative Carroll Newton, who died at the age of 96 on Sunday at Pennock Hospital in Hastings.
Michigan residents, businesses, schools, local governments and other organizations also are encouraged to display the flag at half-staff.
Newton was elected to the state House in 1955 and served for 10 years, becoming chair of the Ways and Means Committee. Following his time in the Legislature he served as assistant auditor general to the state before he was appointed chief deputy state treasurer under Governor William Milliken.
The funeral service is 11 AM this morning at the Daniels Funeral Home in Nashville.
Flags should be returned to full-staff on Friday.

(MI Tech-Sexual Assault)
A female student at Michigan Tech has told authorities that she was sexually assaulted on Houghton campus last weekend.
According to the university website, the student was walking outside the Walker Arts and Humanities Center on Saturday between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., when the alleged sexual assault occurred.
The suspect is being described as a white male in his late 20’s, approximately 5’11” with brownish-reddish hair, blue-green eyes, a pierced left ear, a goatee and a broad build. He was wearing a black t-shirt, jeans with holes, a black winter hat and a checkered blue and white jacket.
The suspect was also described as having a graffiti-type tattoo on his left forearm and a very deep voice.
Anyone with any information regarding the incident should contact Michigan Tech Public Safety and Police Services.
(WCCY/WOLV, Houghton/Great Lakes Radio News, Marquette/Radio Results Network, Escanaba/Marquette/Manistique)

(Kalamazoo-Three Killed-UPDATE)
The 21-year-old who drove his minivan into the path of a high-speed Amtrak train near Kalamazoo on Tuesday did not have a valid driver's license.
Josh Cartwright of Kalamazoo is described by the mother of his four-year-old child as "the most impatient man you'd ever meet," and witnesses say he drove around several stopped cars and onto the tracks.
Cartwright's driver's license had expired earlier this fall. Also killed in the crash in Oshtemo Township on the west side of Kalamazoo were passengers in the van, 20-year-old Ashley Melson and her 19-year-old boyfriend, Justin Mastin, both of Kalamazoo.
Michigan State Police investigators said autopsies would be performed to determine whether or not drugs or alcohol were factors. Because everyone in the van was killed, investigators say it’s likely they will never know exactly what happened and why.
(24/7 News Source/WOOD, Grand Rapids)

(Escanaba-Veterans Home Embezzlement)
An Escanaba woman was arrested Wednesday on embezzlement charges.
Escanaba Public Safety Sargent Tony LaPlant says the 37-year-old woman stole more than 135-thousand dollars from a vulnerable adult who lives at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette.
Wednesday's arrest came after a several-month-long investigation.
LaPlant said the woman is alleged to have concealed the crimes over a period of years from 2010 to 2014 when she was in a position of trust over the victim.
The suspect turned herself in when she learned that she was under investigation. Her name has not been released because she has not yet been arraigned.
The woman faces up to 20 years in prison, and/or large fines and restitution, if convicted.
(Radio Results Network, Escanaba/Marquette/Manistique)

(Capitol-Shift Notice)
Some state lawmakers are pushing a bill that would give some Michigan workers more notice about their shifts, ahead of Thanksgiving.
The measure would require an employer to give an employee their schedule at least 24-hours ahead of time, or else pay that worker for an additional hour. Workers whose scheduled shifts end early unexpectedly would get paid for at least four hours of work.
The bill, being sponsored by Democratic Senator Jim Ananich and others, aims to help workers juggle childcare and transportation.
(24/7 News Source)

(MI-Emergency Manager Lawsuit)
A federal judge says a lawsuit challenging the state's emergency manager law can proceed on grounds that the law disproportionately affects African-Americans.
U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh yesterday (Wed) dismissed all but one of the claims made in a lawsuit filed by activists in March 2013 against Governor Rick Snyder and then-Treasurer Andy Dillon, challenging the constitutionality of the EM law.
However, Judge Steeh did allow one claim that charges the law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution because the cities under emergency management are predominantly Africa-American communities.
In response to the ruling, Snyder spokesman Dave Murray told the Detroit News that (quote) "race has not and does not play a role in determining financial status." He says PA 436 is designed to be an objective measure of the financial health of a municipality or school district.
The lawsuit will not impact Detroit's bankruptcy, which was filed while the city was under emergency management.

(MI-Gov Ad Spending)
Michigan's two gubernatorial candidates and their backers spend $47.6 million on TV ads in the November election, according to a campaign finance watchdog.
The Michigan Campaign Finance Network issued a report yesterday (Wed) showing the race between Governor Rick Snyder and Democratic challenger Mark Schauer was the second-most-costly in state history.
But that wasn't the only record set. With $36.6 million spent on TV ads by outside groups, it more than doubled the previous record of $18 million spent in the 2006 campaign between Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm and Republican challenger Dick DeVos.
The Detroit Free Press reports Snyder's campaign spent $7.7 million on TV ads and Schauer's campaign spent $3.3 million, representing just 23% of the TV ad spending.
Groups backing the governor spent $18.9 million on TV ads and Schauer's backers spent $17.7 million.

(Kalkaska Co-Double Murder)
The 40-year-old man accused of killing his wife, his father-in-law, and holding a woman hostage in northern Michigan Tuesday evening was arraigned Wednesday afternoon.
Keith Ferguson was arraigned on 12 felonies including two counts of open murder. He's being held on a $10 million bond.
According to the Kalkaska County Sheriff's Department, Ferguson shot and killed his wife Tiffany Ferguson at a home in Cold Springs Township Tuesday night. He then took their four children to their grandfather's house in Excelsior Township where he allegedly shot and killed his father-in-law, James Webber.
The Sheriff's Office says the children ran for help to a neighbor's house, who is a Kalkaska County Sheriff's Deputy.
Officials say Ferguson fled to a home in Orange Township where he took another person hostage. Police finally got him to surrender about seven hours later. The hostage wasn't hurt.
Authorities say his wife had filed for divorce in September and a hearing was scheduled for Friday.

(Detroit-Stepmother Murder)
Police have identified a woman found strangled to death inside a home in Detroit Wednesday morning.
Investigators say the body of 57-year-old Ellen Aubrey was found wrapped in a blanket in a padlocked room in the basement of the home on the city's east side. She had apparently been strangled to death.
The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine how long the woman had been dead before she was discovered.
Police say the woman's 24-year-old stepson and a female acquaintance were arrested by Warren police after a brief car chase. The man and woman have not been formally charged.
(WWJ, Detroit/24/7 News Source)

(MI-Wise Charitable Giving)
Attorney General Bill Schuette and several non-profit organizations have unveiled a resource designed to help Michigan residents make smart decisions to support charities this holiday season.
The free Giving Wisely brochure offers advice on how best to avoid scams when making their charitable contributions and encourages donors to be cautious before donating online or in response to a phone solicitation.
Among the suggestions for researching charitable organizations are: Making sure donations go to a tax-exempt organization; checking to see if a nonprofit organization is registered with the state of Michigan; making contributions directly to organizations and not individuals and never giving out credit card information over the phone.
The guide also suggests checking into crowd-funding campaigns to see if fees are being deducted from donations, if donations are tax-deductible and where the funds actually go.
Schuette notes many telemarketing professional fundraisers keep as much as 85% of the donor’s over-the-phone donation.
In a report released in March, Schuette said charities in Michigan received 38 cents of every dollar raised by professional fundraisers licensed in Michigan. That was a 3 percent improvement on the 2013 report.
The Giving Wisely handout is available for download and can be read on the Attorney General's website, the Michigan Nonprofit Association's website,, and the Council of Michigan Foundations website,

(MI-Ruffin Obit)
Motown singer Jimmy Ruffin died Monday afternoon in a Las Vegas Hospital.
The 78-year-old, who was best known for songs "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" and "Hold on to My Love" had been hospitalized in September, where he developed pneumonia and further complications. His daughter, Philicia Ruffin told the Detroit Free Press an official cause of death has not been released.
Jimmy Ruffin is the older brother of the late Temptations singer David Ruffin.
He had lived in the metro Detroit area as recently as 2010, but returned to his home in Las Vegas, where he was planning to begin performing again before taking ill, according to his daughter.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been set.



(MI-More Snow)
A foot or more of fresh snow is expected in parts of west and northern Michigan through Thursday, adding to already deep snow on the ground.
The National Weather Service says 8 to 14 inches of lake-effect snow is possible in the northern Lower Peninsula, including the Gaylord area. As of Tuesday, up to 18 inches fell in upper Michigan.
In west Michigan, the weather service says at least 16 inches of snow has fallen since Monday in Grand Rapids and in Kalamazoo County. Officials are expecting four to eight inches of snow along the lakeshore, north of Holland, as well as two to four inches of snow in other areas today.
Southwestern Michigan could see 5 to 8 more inches into Thursday.
There were many slide-offs during this morning's commute as drivers dealt with snow, ice and low wind chills. The pre-winter cold weather system has set temperature records and caused at least one crash death in Genesee County.

(Saginaw-Bank Robber Blues)
Saginaw Police say a suspected bank robber was just having a bad day.
The man reportedly walked into an Independent Bank branch just before noon Tuesday and demanded money. After leaving the bank, his getaway car in the parking lot would not start.
Saginaw Township Police officers in the area arrested the suspect within minutes. He's being held in the Saginaw County Jail.
Investigators are not saying if he got any money during the robbery.
(WSGW, Saginaw)

(MI-Unemployment Rate)
Michigan’s unemployment rate in October was the lowest in the state since January through March 2008.
According to the Department of Technology, Management & Budget, the jobless rate last month edged downward by one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.1 percent.
Total employment rose by 13,000 over the month while the number of unemployed fell by 8,000. The net impact was an increase of 5,000 in the state’s labor force in October.
The Michigan jobless rate last month was one and a half percentage points below the state’s October 2013 rate of 8.6 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate in October was 5.8 percent.

(Kalamazoo-Three Killed-UPDATE)
The three people killed when an Amtrak train struck a minivan west of Kalamazoo Tuesday have been identified.
Michigan State Police identified the victims as the driver 21-year-old Joshua Cartwright, 20-year-old Ashley Melson and 19-year-old Justin Mastin, all of Kalamazoo.
Police are still trying to figure out why their minivan pulled in front of an Amtrak train in Oshtemo Township on the west side of Kalamazoo.
Witnesses said the crossing bells and safety arm were working, but the driver pulled out of line, started passing everyone that had stopped, and drove right into the path of the train.
The train was doing 80 miles per hour and the van was demolished.   A large part of it was pushed a mile down the tracks.
The bodies had to be cut out with the Jaws of LIfe.
Part of the van flew up in the collision and took down power lines. About 22 hundred people in the area lost power.
(WOOD, Grand Rapids/24/7 News Source)

(Kalkaska Co-Double Homicide)
A standoff ended early this morning (Wednesday) in northern Michigan with two dead and a 40-year-old man behind bars.
According to the Kalkaska County Sheriff's Department, Keith Ferguson shot and killed his wife Tiffany Ferguson at a home in Cold Springs Township Tuesday night. He then took their four children to their grandfather's house in Excelsior Township where he allegedly shot and killed his father-in-law, James Webber.
The Sheriff's Office says the children ran for help to a neighbor's house, who is a Kalkaska County Sheriff's Deputy.
Officials say Keith Ferguson fled to a home in Orange Township where he took another person hostage. Police finally got him to surrender about seven hours later around 3:30 this morning. The hostage wasn't hurt.
Ferguson is being held on a charge of open murder. Authorities say his wife had filed for divorce in September and hearing was scheduled for Friday.

(Eaton Co-Missing Prosthetic Arm)
Police are on the hunt for a man’s prosthetic arm that disappeared after two juveniles apparently stole his car near Lansing.
The Eaton County Sheriff’s Office said the situation unfolded Tuesday night after they received a report about a stolen vehicle. Of more concern, the victim told police his electric prosthetic arm was inside the vehicle.
Deputies were searching the area when they received a call about two juveniles who were caught shoplifting from a nearby business near the Lansing Mall. Deputies responded to the store and discovered that the partners in crime were in possession of the stolen vehicle, as well as second vehicle that was earlier reported stolen out of Lansing.
After the suspects were apprehended, deputies searched the stolen vehicles and realized that the victim’s prosthetic arm was still missing.
Police are now hoping the public can help find the prosthetic, described as a black “Milo” electric arm from the elbow down.
Anyone who might have information on the case or who knows where the arm might be, is urged to contact police at 517-816-8196.
(WWJ, Detroit)

(MSU-Smoking Ban Petition)
A move is underway to get Michigan State University to ban smoking on all parts of its East Lansing campus.
According to MLive, more than 1300 people have signed an online petition on the website to ban smoking on the campus. The website has a goal of 1500 signatures.
The MSU Anti-Cancer Society has been promoting the petition through Facebook and other social media. The group eventually plans to turn the petition over to the MSU Board of Trustees to show the public support for a ban.
The current MSU Smoke-Free Policy bans smoking in any closed space, regardless of location, except specifically designated private residential space and hotel rooms.
All three University of Michigan campuses - Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint - ban smoking, as do Central Michigan, Michigan Tech, Hope College, Spring Arbor University and 15 community colleges.

(Washtenaw Co-UM Student Murder)
A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole sentence in the deadly shooting of a University of Michigan medical student.
Dajeon Franklin of Pittsfield Township was sentenced this morning (Wednesday) in Washtenaw County on one count of felony murder and to lesser prison terms on home invasion and firearm charges. He was convicted of killing Paul DeWolf during an armed robbery at a fraternity house in Ann Arbor last year.
Two South Carolina men - 20-year old Joei Jordan and 21-year old Shaquille Jones - have also been charged in DeWolf’s murder. They face trial early next year.
(24/7 News Source)

(Berrien Co-Bank Robber Sentenced)
A 46-year-old Niles man is headed to federal prison for seven years for robbing a Chemical Bank branch in Niles in February 2013.
Richard Smith was convicted in August following a three-day trial in federal court.
Smith gave a teller a note saying he had a bomb and warned that if police were called within 30 minutes of his leaving the bank, it would be detonated by people he had watching the building. The Berrien County Sheriff's Department bomb squad was called in to use a robot to peek inside a bag left in the foyer of the building by Smith. It did not contain a bomb.
Smith stole just over $1,800 in the heist.
(Michael Arney, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)

(Detroit-Stepmother Murder)
Police have apprehended a 24-year-old man accused of killing his stepmother, wrapping her body in a blanket and leaving her inside a home in Detroit.
The situation unfolded around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at a home on the city’s east side.
Police responded to the woman’s home for a welfare check after neighbors said she hadn’t been seen in several days.
Officers arrived at the home and found the 57-year-old woman’s body wrapped in a blanket in the basement. She had apparently been strangled to death. The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine how long the woman had been dead before she was discovered.
Police located the stepson at a gas station in Warren and tried to stop his vehicle, but he fled the scene with officers in pursuit. Police called off the chase after an extended pursuit and began to watch a location in Warren identified by Detroit police as a place the stepson was known to frequent.
Eventually the stepson and a female acquaintance showed up and were taken into custody for questioning.
An investigation is ongoing. No names have been released.
(WWJ, Detroit)

(Flint-School District Deficit)
A new audit shows the deficit faced by the Flint School District is nearly 22-million dollars.
The audit has been posted online by the Michigan Department of Education, and has 23 weaknesses and two significant deficiencies listed that caused the ballooning amount of red ink.
The deficit hit 20-point-four million dollars in June, and had continued to get larger ever since.
The district's board of education meets tonight (Wednesday) to discuss the audit.
(24/7 News Source)

(Ontonagon Co-Hunters Threatened)
A 30-year old man is facing charges for threatening two hunters with a shotgun in the western Upper Peninsula over the weekend.
Scott Krueger of Bruce Crossing was arraigned this week in Ontonagon County on charges of felonious assault, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, and possession of an uncased firearm in a vehicle.
Michigan State Police say two men, ages 26 and 55, both from Ewen, told troopers Krueger entered their hunting camp in McMillan Township early Saturday morning with a loaded shotgun looking for a bow he said had been stolen from his vehicle.
The victims said they did not know Krueger and one victim managed to take the his shotgun away. Krueger was then told to leave and the victims pushed him out the kitchen door. Troopers stopped his vehicle as he was leaving the camp.
Krueger's next court date has not yet been set.
(WCCY/WOLV, Houghton)

(Grand Rapids-Plowing Delays)
Even as the city of Grand Rapids has added 14 more plow drivers to its roster from last winter, it will be tomorrow (Thursday) before they're able to get into every neighborhood.
Those extra plow drivers are being put into those vehicles from city garbage trucks this week.
City Manager Greg Sundstrom notes crews can normally clear the entire city in 24 hours, but this storm is causing some delays. Priority is being given to major roads.
(24/7 News Source)

(Marquette-Power Plant Controversy)
The Upper Peninsula Power Company says the controversy over the financial impact of keeping the Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette open is a complex issue and is sure to change.
The Mid-Continent Independent System Operator, which maintains the electric grid in the Midwest, determined that the plant was needed to reliably operate the grid and designated it a System Support Resource.
UPPCO says every company providing electricity in the U.P. will pay for the costs to keep Presque Isle in service, but the amount could be reduced by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. A recent FERC ruling determined that division of expenses of the Presque Isle agreement are not just and reasonable.
UPPCO expects further action on the matter and officials say they will continue to make the utility's voice heard before the federal agency.
(Walt Lindala, Great Lakes Radio News)

(Centreville-New Police Chief)
The small southwest Michigan community of Centreville has a new top cop.
The Village Council haa approved the hiring of Sergeant David Richmond as the chief of police. The 30-year old Richmond was appointed interim chief in October.
Richmond replaces Luke Delcourt who resigned after being suspended pending a police committee’s investigation of matters that have not been made public. The 41-year old Delcourt was the first officer to lead the newly created department.
The Centreville Police Department was re-created earlier this year after its duties were contracted to the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department since the 1990s.
(WLKM, Three Rivers)

(Garden City-Frozen Body)
Police in Garden City are investigating the death of a woman who was found with a dog in the backyard of a home Tuesday.
Police said a microchip in the dog’s neck helped lead to the tentative identification of the woman: a 53-year-old Canton resident with family ties to the area where the body was discovered. Her name has not yet been released.
Officials say preliminary results of an autopsy show there was no foul play - the woman apparently froze to death.
(WWJ, Detroit)



November 29, 2014

Small Business Saturday, for people to show their support for small businesses and the communities they help to keep thriving.

First Saturday of Christmas shopping season after Thanksgiving and one day after 'Black Friday', traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year.

International Buy Nothing Day, encouraging people to take a break from shopping for 24 hours to highlight the environmental and ethical consequences of consumerism.

November 30, 2014

83rd Hollywood Christmas Parade Benefiting Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, featuring celebrities from film, television and the stage along with bands, floats and special characters, plus a special appearance by Santa Claus. Parade hosted by Laura McKenzie, Dean Cain, Erik Estrada and Montel Williams with Stevie Wonder serving as Grand Marshal.

North Atlantic hurricane season ends. Northeast Pacific and Central Pacific peak hurricane seasons also end today.

NFL games: Washington Redskins at the Indianapolis Colts; Tennessee Titans at the Houston Texans; Cleveland Browns at the Buffalo Bills; San Diego Chargers at the Baltimore Ravens; New York Giants at the Jacksonville Jaguars; Cincinnati Bengals at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Oakland Raiders at the St. Louis Rams; New Orleans Saints at the Pittsburgh Steelers; Carolina Panthers at the Minnesota Vikings; Arizona Cardinals at the Atlanta Falcons; New England Patriots at the Green Bay Packers; Denver Broncos at the Kansas City Chiefs.

United Nations Security Council mandates due to expire, unless extended, for the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and the U.N. Integrated Peace-building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS).


December 1, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court hearings: Elonis v. United States (Whether conviction of threatening another person requires proof of the defendant's subjective intent to threaten, or whether it is enough to show that a 'reasonable person' would regard the statement as threatening? Whether, as a matter of statutory interpretation, conviction of threatening another person under Title 18 Section 875(c) of the United States Code requires proof of the defendant’s subjective intent to threaten?).

Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 20th session (aka 'COP-20') opens.

24th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards, celebrating independent filmmaking. Nominating committee for the Best Actor category have voted to award a Special Jury Award jointly to the three leading actors in 'Foxcatcher' – Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum. This year's Gotham Audience Award shortlist comprises the 15 films nominated for Best Feature, Best Documentary and the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award. Best Feature nominees are 'Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)', 'Boyhood', 'The Grand Budapest Hotel', 'Love Is Strange' and 'Under the Skin'. Acting nominees incl Bill Hader, Ethan Hawke, Oscar Isaac, Michael Keaton and Miles Teller (Best Actor); and Patricia Arquette, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Julianne Moore, Scarlett Johansson and Mia Wasikowska (Best Actress). In addition to the competitive awards, Gotham Award Tributes are given to actress Tilda Swinton, director Bennett Miller and Industry Tribute recipient Ted Sarandos of Netflix.

World premiere of 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies', the last of Peter Jackson's three 'Lord Of The Rings' prequels, held in London, attended by cast incl Sir Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans and Orlando Bloom. Based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien, the films focus on the character of Bilbo Baggins, and follow Jackson's 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. The final part concludes the story of Bilbo and is released in U.S. theaters from 17 Dec, following 'An Unexpected Journey' and 'The Desolation of Smaug' which were released Dec 2012 and 2013 respectively.
World AIDS Day

'Cyber Monday' - the first Monday after Thanksgiving, when many U.S. retailers traditionally plan special promotions and sales online.

League of Conservation Voters annual New York Dinner, with keynote from possible 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

NFL Monday Night Football: Miami Dolphins at the New York Jets.

Deadline set by President Barack Obama for Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey to report back to him with a full-scale review of their progress on making 'substantial improvements' to sexual assault prevention and response in the armed forces, including to the military justice system.

100th anniversary of Alfieri Maserati and his brothers Ettore and Ernesto opening the Officine Alfieri Maserati car repair workshop in a basement in Bologna, Italy. The luxury car brand relocated to its current home in Modena in 1940, and was acquired by Ferrari in 1997.

Danielle Slaughter on trial after she pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to accusations she killed her six-year-old daughter with scissors. Kyla Franks died of stab wounds in April 2012, with Slaughter arrested soon after she was found naked and bloody, screaming and running through the streets near her home in northwest Las Vegas. She allegedly told police that the blood was from the 'lamb of God', that she hadn't slept much after beginning to take a caffeinated weight-loss product, and that she felt an 'evil presence' before striking her daughter with scissors.

United Nations target dictates that by today at least 70% of all people infected with Ebola should obtain treatment and 70% of all burials occur without contamination. The U.N. says that failing to reach those targets would mean 'we fail entirely'.

December 2, 2014

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show tapes in London for the first time, combining a fashion show with musical performances and model profiles. It is only the second time the event has left the U.S, after transferring to Cannes in France in 2000. This year's Dream Angels Fantasy Bra, designed exclusively for Victoria Secret by jeweler Mouawad, worn by two models, or 'Angels', for the first time - Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio. The bras are valued at $2 million each and adorned with over 16,000 handset precious gems, accompanied by body pieces of fine gemstones strung together with 18K gold. This year's other 'Angels' including Doutzen Kroes, Candice Swanepoel, Lily Aldridge, Behati Prinsloo, Karlie Kloss and Lindsay Ellingson.

Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 20th session (aka 'COP-20') continue.

AC/DC release new album 'Rock or Bust', their first since 2008's 'Black Ice', and the first in the band's 41-year career without founding guitarist Malcolm Young, who took leave of the band earlier this year due to an undisclosed illness. It has since been revealed he is suffering from dementia, and due to the nature of his condition, will not be returning to the band. Malcolm and fellow founding guitarist and brother Angus Young's nephew Stevie Young plays rhythm guitar on the album and will accompany the band on a world tour in 2015. Album produced by Brendan O'Brien and mixed by Mike Fraser.

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition since 1964.

U.S. Supreme Court hearings: B&B Hardware v. Hargis Industries (Whether the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board finding of a likelihood of confusion between the existing trademark 'SEALTIGHT' and Hargis' attempt to register 'SEALTITE' precludes Hargis from relitigating that issue in infringement litigation, and - if issue preclusion does not apply - whether the district court was obliged to defer to the TTAB finding absent strong evidence to rebut it?) * Whitfield v. United States (Whether the forced-accompaniment offense under Title 18 Section 2113(e) of the United States Code requires proof of more than a de minimis movement of the victim?).

Congressional committee hearings today include: House Veterans' Affairs subcommittee hearing on national cemeteries.

'CMT Artists of the Year', 5th annual TV special honoring the top country acts of the past year, broadcast live from Nashville. This year's honorees are Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban. Aldean has been named a CMT Artist of the Year since the award's inception in 2010, while Urban is this year's only first time honoree.

December 3, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court hearings: Young v. United Parcel Service (Whether, and in what circumstances, an employer that provides work accommodations to nonpregnant employees with work limitations must provide work accommodations to pregnant employees who are 'similar in their ability or inability to work'?).

Rockefeller Center 2014 Tree Lighting Ceremony, 82nd annual event this year hosted by Matt Lauer, Savannah Suthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales. Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, who recently released jazz collaboration album 'Cheek to Cheek' perform and help light the tree, which is a 90-year-old Norway Spruce standing at 82ft tall. Other performers on the night incl Seth MacFarlane, promoting his festive album 'Holiday for Swing' with Sara Bareilles; Idina Menzel, Cyndi Lauper, LeAnn Rimes, Trisha Yearwood and Pentatonix.

25th anniversary of U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev reported to have declared the Cold War over, in a meeting on a boat off the coast of Malta, on the same day as East German leader Egon Krenz resigned. It followed the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 and preceded the reopening of the Brandenburg Gate on December 22. East and West Germany were not officially reunited until October 3, 1990 and the Soviet Union (USSR) did not fall until 1991.

U.N. Climate Change Conference continues.

5th anniversary of U.S. contractor Alan Gross being arrested in Cuba on accusations of undermining Cuba's government by bringing communications equipment onto the island illegally. He was later sentenced to 15 years in prison in March 2011. Gross has said he was trying to improve internet access for the small Jewish community when he was arrested in December 2009.

50th anniversary of one of the first Vietnam War protests with 800 students arrested at University of California, Berkeley during a nonviolent sit-in at Sproul Hall.

December 4, 2014

NASA Orion spacecraft Exploration Flight Test-1, with the new craft launching on an uncrewed mission 3,600 miles above the Earth's surface - 15 times farther than the International Space Station's orbital position, and farther than any spacecraft designed to carry humans has gone in over 40 years. Mission's primary flight objective is to understand the performance of Orion's heat shield (the largest ever constructed) at speeds generated during a return from deep space.
Official Lighting of the National Christmas Tree Ceremony, 92nd annual event attended by the First Family.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host latest White House Summit on College Opportunity, focusing on building sustainable collaborations in communities with strong K-12 and higher education partnerships to encourage college-going, and supporting colleges to work together to 'dramatically improve' persistence and increase college completion, especially for first generation, low-income, and underrepresented students. Aims to build on the first summit, held in January.

NFL Thursday Night Football: Dallas Cowboys at the Chicago Bears.

Congressional committee hearings today include: House Veterans' Affairs subcommittee hearing on VA land-use agreements and waste.

December 5, 2014

The Employment Situation: Unemployment Rate, Average Workweek, Average Hourly Earnings, Manufacturing Payrolls, Nonfarm payrolls.

57th GRAMMY Awards nominations announced in 82 of the 83 categories this morning, with Album Of The Year nominees revealed this evening during 'A Very GRAMMY Christmas' one-hour entertainment special on CBS. Awards ceremony takes place in Los Angeles on February 8, 2015.

It was one year ago that Nelson Mandela died.

Winner of 2014 TIME Person of the Year online poll revealed, recognizing the individual or group that the public feel has most influenced the world, for better or worse, during 2014.

Formal sentencing of BNP Paribas after they pleaded guilty in July to violating U.S. trade sanctions by processing transactions on behalf of clients in Sudan, Cuba, and Iran. The French bank has agreed to pay $8.97 billion in penalties after prosecutors said transactions were processed through the New York branch from at least 2004 through 2012. The bank had earlier entered a guilty plea in New York state court to falsifying business records, and admitted in federal court to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Trading With the Enemy Act. In announcing the guilty plea, Deputy Attorney General James Cole said 'BNP ignored U.S. sanctions laws and concealed its tracks. And when contacted by law enforcement it chose not to fully cooperate', adding that the bank's 'prolonged misconduct mandated the criminal plea' and the almost-$9 billion fine.

Latest temporary 90-day re authorization of the Section 215 bulk telephony metadata program expires, having been issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in mid-September. In January, President Barack Obama announced that the program would be ended and a mechanism established that allowed the government to preserve its security capabilities without holding onto bulk metadata; in March, he announced that his chosen option was for the government to stop collecting the metadata, with telephone companies instead holding onto it for the normal length of time and the government able to obtain it pursuant to individual orders from the FISC, while also requesting a temporary re authorization because the legislation had not gone through yet; and in June and September, he requested further temporary re-authorizations because the 'USA FREEDOM Act' - which is consistent with his proposal and had passed the House of Representatives - had not gone through the Senate.

December 6, 2014

U.S. Senate runoff election in Louisiana: Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu vs. Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy.

37th Kennedy Center Honors medallions presented to this year's honorees at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry, ahead of tomorrow's gala ceremony which will be attended by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. This year's recipients are singer Al Green, actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks, ballerina Patricia McBride, singer-songwriter Sting, and comedienne Lily Tomlin.

College football: Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game.

December 7, 2014

37th Kennedy Center Honors Gala celebrating this year's honorees - singer Al Green, actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks, ballerina Patricia McBride, singer-songwriter Sting, and comedienne Lily Tomlin. Attended by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, who receive the honorees, members of the nominating Artists Committee and the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees at the White House prior to the performance. Medallions were presented last night at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry.

'The Elephant Man', opening night for a revival of Bernard Pomerance's play based on the story of the severely deformed John Merrick, set in 19th century London, starring Bradley Cooper in the title role, with Patricia Clarkson as Mrs. Kendal and Alessandro Nivola as Dr. Fredrik Treves - the original cast of the 2012 Williamstown Theatre Festival production. Original 1979 Broadway production was nominated for seven Tony Awards, winning three including Best Play, and revived in 2002.

2014 MLS Cup - the championship game for the Major League Soccer season.

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, marking the anniversary of the Japanese aerial assault on the U.S. naval base in Hawaii on December 7, 1941 which killed 2,402 and led to the U.S. and the UK declaring war on Japan the next day. A total of 350 Japanese aircraft flew from six naval carriers positioned offshore and destroyed a large part of the U.S. Pacific fleet.  Presidential Proclamation encourages Americans to observe the 'solemn day of remembrance' and to honor military - past and present - with appropriate ceremonies and activities. It also urges federal agencies and interested organizations, groups, and individuals to fly the U.S. flag at half-staff in honor of those who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor.

NFL games: Pittsburgh Steelers at the Cincinnati Bengals; St. Louis Rams at the Washington Redskins; New York Giants at the Tennessee Titans; Carolina Panthers at the New Orleans Saints; New York Jets at the Minnesota Vikings; Baltimore Ravens at the Miami Dolphins; Indianapolis Colts at the Cleveland Browns; Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Detroit Lions; Houston Texans at the Jacksonville Jaguars; Buffalo Bills at the Denver Broncos; Kansas City Chiefs at the Arizona Cardinals; Seattle Seahawks at the Philadelphia Eagles; San Francisco 49ers at the Oakland Raiders; New England Patriots at the San Diego Chargers.

Selection Sunday: College Football Playoff Selection Committee announce Playoff Semifinal pairings and semifinal bowl assignments, Cotton, Fiesta, and Peach Bowl pairings, final top 25 rankings, and Orange Bowl pairing live on ESPN. New College Football Playoff system sees the top four teams play in semifinals (rotating between the six bowls) before a championship game (played in a different city each year).

Medicare Open Enrollment period - when people can change their health and prescription drug coverage for next year without interruption – ends.

National Influenza Vaccination Week.

The rebel-controlled Ukrainian territories of Donetsk and Luhansk hold legitimate local elections, as prescribed by the Special Status Law signed by Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko. Separatists declared that Donetsk was independent from Ukrainian rule after Russia annexed from Crimea in March - a move that caused the most serious East-West rift since the end of the Cold War.

December 8, 2014

Trial of James Holmes, accused of shooting 12 people dead and injuring 58 during a midnight screening of the Batman movie 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, CO, on July 20, 2012 begins. Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to 166 counts – including two first-degree murder charges (murder with deliberation and murder with extreme indifference) for each of the 12 people killed, which could all carry the death penalty; and two attempted first-degree murder charges for every one of the 58 injured - and prosecutors have said they are seeking the death penalty. He allegedly entered the cinema wearing body armor and a gas mask and set off gas canisters before opening fire with a military-style semiautomatic rifle, a shotgun, and a pistol - all weapons bought legally at local gun stores.

NFL Monday Night Football: Atlanta Falcons at the Green Bay Packers.

U.S. Supreme Court hearings: Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl (Whether the Tax Injunction Act bars federal court jurisdiction over a suit brought by nontaxpayers to enjoin the informational notice and reporting requirements of a state law that neither imposes a tax, nor requires the collection of a tax, but serves only as a secondary aspect of state tax administration?). Department of Transportation v. Association of American Railroads (Whether Section 207 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 effects an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power to a private entity?).

December 9, 2014

U.N. Climate Change Conference continues.

SpaceX CRS-5 flight to the International Space Station launches aboard the Falcon 9 rocket - the fifth commercial resupply mission to the ISS by SpaceX (aka Space Exploration Technologies) - today at the earliest.

U.S. Supreme Court hearings: Gelboim v. Bank of America Corporation (Whether and in what circumstances is the dismissal of an action that has been consolidated with other suits immediately appealable?). Alabama Department of Revenue v. CSX Transportation (Whether a state 'discriminates against a rail carrier' in violation of Title 49 Section 11501(b)(4) of the United States Code when it generally requires commercial and industrial businesses, including rail carriers, to pay a sales-and-use tax but grants exemptions from the tax to the railroads' competitors? Whether, in resolving a claim of unlawful tax discrimination under the law, a court should consider other aspects of the state's tax scheme rather than focusing solely on the challenged tax provision?).

NYSE Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. The annual New York Stock Exchange tradition including live musical entertainment, hot cocoa and a choir performing Christmas carols.

December 10, 2014

Nobel Peace Prize presented to Indian children's rights advocate Kailash Satyarthi in Oslo by Norway's King Harald V.

TIME Magazine reveals the 2014 TIME Person of the Year, recognizing the individual that has most influenced the world, for better or worse, during 2014. The annual list was headed in 2013 by Pope Francis.

President Barack Obama hosts White House Summit on Early Education, bringing together philanthropic, business, education, advocacy, and elected leaders, as well as other stakeholders who are committed to expanding access to high-quality early education. During the summit, President Obama announces the states and communities that will receive $250 million in Preschool Development Grants and $500 million in Early Head Start Child Care Partnership awards, to enhance and expand preschool programs and to improve access to high-quality infant and toddler care in high-need communities. He also highlights new private sector commitments to expand children's early learning opportunities.

International Human Rights Day, marking anniversary of United Nations General Assembly adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, entitling civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights to people worldwide (1948). Presidential Proclamation calls on Americans to mark the day - and Human Rights Week, which also begins today - with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

Congressional Holiday Ball at the White House.

U.S. Postal Service recommends sending Priority Mail Military Service for Christmas delivery no later than today.

Court hearing for social media editor Matthew Keys, charged with transmitting and attempting to transmit information with the intent of damaging a protected computer, and conspiring to transmit that information, after allegedly conspiring with hackers to deface the website of the Los Angeles Times. Keys, who most recently worked at Reuters news agency, is accused of giving the hacking group Anonymous the log-in credentials to the computer system of The Tribune Company, which owns the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and other media properties. The federal charges stem from an incident that occurred before he was employed by Reuters. He has pleaded not guilty.

World Health Organization launches its annual World Malaria Report on the results achieved and challenges remaining in the effort to combat malaria and including new data on access to malaria control interventions, incidence, death rates, and other key indicators.

Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products public workshop on electronic cigarettes and public health, including presentations and panel discussions on the current state of the science, focusing specifically on product science, packaging, constituent labeling, and environmental impacts.

Homeless Arizona Hot Car Mom Re-Charged After Spending Kids’ Charity-Raised Trust Fund Money.

December 11, 2014

Golden Globe Award nominations announced. The awards honor achievements in film and TV and are seen as an indicator for the Oscars. Winners announced at January 11 ceremony.

Latest continuing resolution funding federal government due to expire, following the passage of 'H.J. Res. 124 - Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015' through both chambers of Congress in September. Short-term bill funded government from the Sept. 30th end of the fiscal year up until today at the current annual cap rate of $1.012 trillion.

Christie's inaugural New York Exceptional Sale, featuring the 'Ricketts' Apple-1 personal computer, estimated $400,000 - $600,000. Named after its first owner Chris Ricketts, the example is the only known surviving Apple-1 to have been sold directly by Steve Jobs to an individual from his parent's garage. The Ricketts Apple-1 is fully operational, and is sold with a cheque from the original purchase on July 27, 1976.

'Hunger and Homelessness' report released by U.S. Conference of Mayors at press conference call.

NFL Thursday Night Football: Arizona Cardinals at the St. Louis Rams.

December 12, 2014

Billboard Women in Music Luncheon, 9th annual awards ceremony celebrating the contribution of women to the music industry to coincide with the publication of Billboard's Women in Music Power Players list. This year's Woman of the Year is Taylor Swift while Breakthrough Artist goes to Idina Menzel and Rising Star goes to Ariana Grande. Invitation only.

Airlines for America provides air travel forecast for the 2014-2015 winter holiday period, including estimated number of passengers and peak travel days.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its partners issues Arctic Report Card 2014 - annual update on scientific observations of the Arctic, including snow cover, sea ice, air temperature, ocean temperature, black carbon, the Greenland ice sheet, vegetation, and fish and wildlife.

'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' National Impaired Driving Enforcement Crackdown (Winter Holidays period).

Former Qualcomm global business operations president Jing Wang sentenced after pleading guilty to insider trading, money laundering, conspiracy, obstruction of official proceedings, and aggravated identity theft, after making nearly $25,000 in illegal profits from using inside information to buy stock. Wang admitted buying shares in three illegal trades - twice in Qualcomm and once in an acquisition target - in 2010 and 2011 through an account in the British Virgin Islands.

December 13, 2014

80th Heisman Memorial Trophy winner announced live on ESPN - presented annually by the Heisman Trophy Trust to the nation's outstanding college football player, as determined by a poll of sportswriters and sportscasters.

December 14, 2014

Second anniversary of 26 killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Gunman Adam Lanza, 20, shot dead 20 students, mostly aged six or seven, and six adults before turning the gun on himself. He had earlier shot dead his mother. Speaking through tears in the White House press room, President Barack Obama called for 'meaningful action' to prevent such shootings in the future 'regardless of the politics', adding that 'our hearts are broken today'.

64th Miss World Final held in London. United States represented by 22-year-old lobbyist Elizabeth Safrit, while 21-year-old psychology and anthropology student Annora Bourgeault represents Canada.

'Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2014', 22nd annual ABC News special highlighting some of the year's most prominent names in entertainment, sports, politics and pop culture. Last year's broadcast was billed as Walters' last as she prepared to retire from TV journalism, but the host said of her return 'there are just too many fascinating people out there'. The Number One Most Fascinating Person of 2014 is announced on the program. This year's nominees include talk show host Oprah Winfrey; actor and next year's Academy Awards host Neil Patrick Harris; talk show host Chelsea Handler; and actress Scarlett Johansson.

33rd annual Christmas in Washington holiday concert tapes. Event is annually attended by the President and First Lady and other Washington VIPs and benefits the Children's National Health System.

NFL games: Pittsburgh Steelers at the Atlanta Falcons; Washington Redskins at the New York Giants; Miami Dolphins at the New England Patriots; Oakland Raiders at the Kansas City Chiefs; Houston Texans at the Indianapolis Colts; Jacksonville Jaguars at the Baltimore Ravens; Green Bay Packers at the Buffalo Bills; Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Carolina Panthers; Cincinnati Bengals at the Cleveland Browns; Minnesota Vikings at the Detroit Lions; New York Jets at the Tennessee Titans; Denver Broncos at the San Diego Chargers; San Francisco 49ers at the Seattle Seahawks; Dallas Cowboys at the Philadelphia Eagles.

December 15, 2014

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation 2015 inductees announced this month. Eligible acts must have released their first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. Nominees are The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Green Day, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Kraftwerk, The Marvelettes, N.W.A, Nine Inch Nails, Lou Reed, The Smiths, The Spinners, Sting, Stevie Ray Vaughan, War and Bill Withers.

NAHB Housing Market Index, Dec.

80th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Gala, for the award presented by the Heisman Trophy Trust to the nation's outstanding college football player of 2014, as determined by a poll of sportswriters and sportscasters.

NFL Monday Night Football: New Orleans Saints at the Chicago Bears.

Health insurance coverage under federal Health Insurance Marketplaces renews automatically for consumers that have not made a choice to retain or change their coverage plan on Comes exactly one month after the Open Enrollment Period began for coverage starting in 2015.

U.S. Postal Service recommends sending Parcel Post for Christmas delivery no later than today.

Bill of Rights Day, on anniversary of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution becoming effective in 1791.

December 16, 2014

Federal Open Market Committee first day of two-day meeting, with interest rates decision on December 17.

U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade 25th session held in Chicago. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, U.S. Trade Representative Amb. Mike Froman, and China Vice Premier Wang Yang co-chair, while Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack participates.

Hanukkah (aka Chanukah), Jewish Festival of Lights, commemorating the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabees retook Jerusalem from the Syrian Greeks in the second century BC. All Jewish holidays begin at sunset the day before.

National Chanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony.

RFK Center Ripple of Hope Awards Dinner, honoring possible 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, entertainers and philanthropists Tony Bennett and Robert De Niro, and Physicians Interactive Chairman and CEO Donato Tramuto.

Busiest mailing day of the year for cards, letters and packages, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse releases 2014 Monitoring the Future results - from survey which tracks annual drug abuse trends of 8th, 10th, and 12th-grade students, including attitudes and perceived risk of specific drugs of abuse.

'The Death Penalty in 2014: Year End Report' released by Death Penalty Information Center.

'Constellations', previews begin for British playwright Nick Payne's alternative romance drama about a beekeeper who falls in love with a quantum physicist, featuring 100 different scenes in a 65-minute performance. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal in his Broadway debut.

December 17, 2014

Federal Open Market Committee decision on interest rates at conclusion of two-day meeting, followed by quarterly press briefing with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen presenting the FOMC's current economic projections and providing additional context for the FOMC's policy decisions (2:30 PM EST).

U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade 25th session continues in Chicago. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, U.S. Trade Representative Amb. Mike Froman, and China Vice Premier Wang Yang co-chair, while Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack participates.

25th anniversary of 'The Simpsons' making its debut on FOX with an episode entitled 'Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire'. The characters first appeared in a series of animated shorts on 'The Tracey Ullman Show' in 1987 before being developed into a half-hour prime time show, beginning as a regular series on January 14, 1990.

Ross William Ulbricht, aka 'Dread Pirate Roberts' pretrial conference in New York accused of operating the secret Silk Road website, where users could browse anonymously through nearly 13,000 listings under categories like 'Cannabis', 'Psychedelics', and 'Stimulants'. Authorities say the site generated an estimated $1.2 billion since it started in 2011 and collected $80 million by charging 8%-15% commission on each sale. Ulbricht faces charges in New York including drug trafficking, computer hacking, and money laundering.

Sentencing of Michael Vanhise after being found guilty in March last year, along with Robert Asch, of 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 acquittal of former New York police officer Gilberto Valle, who prosecutors say plotted to eat women. Defense lawyers said that Asch and Vanhise were only role-playing and would never have actually hurt anyone.

'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies', last of Peter Jackson's three 'Lord Of The Rings' prequels, based on the book by JRR Tolkien and focusing on the character of Bilbo Baggins with Martin Freeman in the title role. Cast also incl 'LOTR' alumni Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Christopher Lee, Andy Serkis and Ian Holm, as well as Benedict Cumberbatch and Stephen Fry. Follows 'An Unexpected Journey' and 'The Desolation of Smaug' which were released in 2012 and 2013.

U.S. Postal Service final recommended deadline for mail to overseas military for Christmas delivery, for priority mail express military service (PMEMS).

December 18, 2014

U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade 25th session concludes in Chicago. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, U.S. Trade Representative Amb. Mike Froman, and China Vice Premier Wang Yang co-chair, while Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack participates.

Busiest delivery day of the year for holiday cards, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

NFL Thursday Night Football: Tennessee Titans at the Jacksonville Jaguars.

5th anniversary of the metal sign stolen shortly before dawn from the main gate at the former Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz in southern Poland. The lettering on the 5-meter wrought-iron sign reads 'Arbeit macht frei' - meaning 'Work sets you free' - and for many it has come to symbolize the atrocities of Nazi Germany. It was found cut into three pieces three days later. On November 26, 2010, two Polish nationals and a Swede accepted prison terms of between 28 and 32 months after pleading guilty to the theft. Three other Poles were convicted in 2010 for stealing the sign and were sentenced to between 18 and 30 months.

December 19, 2014

Senior U.S. Navy investigator John Beliveau II sentenced, after pleading guilty in December 2013 to bribery charges, after he was accused of downloading over 100 files for an Asian defense contractor at the center of a multimillion-dollar fraud investigation.

Busiest delivery day of the year for packages, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

Robert Asch sentenced after being found guilty in March last year, along with Michael Vanhise, of 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 Vanhise were only role-playing and would never have actually hurt anyone.

'Annie', musical comedy directed by Will Gluck ('Easy A') adapted from both the original book by Thomas Meehan and the Broadway musical. Annie is a young orphan girl living with a mean-spirited and abusive foster mother. She plans an escape in order to find the parents who abandoned her and along the way she meets a powerful tycoon who campaigns to adopt her. Starring Quvenzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Bobby Cannavale, Rose Byrne, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Cameron Diaz.

'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb', adventure comedy sequel directed by Shawn Levy, starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Dick Van Dyke, Rebel Wilson, Ben Kingsley, Steve Coogan, Rachael Harris and Ricky Gervais, and in one of their final completed performances in a major studio film, the late Robin Williams and Mickey Rooney. When the powers of The Tablet of Ahkmenrah begin to fade, Larry travels to London in an effort to save the magic before it is gone forever.

December 20, 2014

Stevie Wonder's 19th Annual House Full of Toys Benefit Concert Featuring Stevie Wonder & Friends, annual music event benefiting the We Are You Foundation for which guests are requested to bring a toy that can be donated to a needy child. Wonder performs his classic album 'Songs In The Key Of Life' in full.

The Homeless Vigil, marking National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day (21 Dec), to bring attention to 'the tragedy of homelessness' and to remember 'homeless friends who have paid the ultimate price'.

U.S. Postal Service recommends sending Priority Mail for Christmas delivery no later than today.

15th anniversary of the Vermont Supreme Court giving homosexual couples the same rights as married couples.

December 21, 2014

Anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 when a Pan Am Boeing 747-121 named Clipper Maid of the Seas crashed onto the Scottish town, killing 270 people from 21 countries, including 11 people on the ground. Abdelbaset Ali Al Megrahi, the only man convicted for the atrocity, was released early on compassionate grounds from a 27-year life sentence on 20 Aug 2009 following his diagnosis with terminal prostate cancer and having been given only three months to live. He died in Libya on May 20,  2012 - nearly three years after his release.

NFL games: Minnesota Vikings at the Miami Dolphins; Baltimore Ravens at the Houston Texans; Detroit Lions at the Chicago Bears; Cleveland Browns at the Carolina Panthers; Atlanta Falcons at the New Orleans Saints; Green Bay Packers at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Kansas City Chiefs at the Pittsburgh Steelers; New England Patriots at the New York Jets; New York Giants at the St. Louis Rams; Buffalo Bills at the Oakland Raiders; Indianapolis Colts at the Dallas Cowboys; Seattle Seahawks at the Arizona Cardinals.

Winter Solstice - shortest day of the year and first day of winter. Pagan festival of Yule also begins in Northern Hemisphere.

December 22, 2014

El Gordo (aka 'Fat One') Christmas lotto drawn in Spain - world's biggest lottery, which has no single jackpot but rather a complex share-the-wealth system in which thousands of five-digit numbers running from 00000 to 84999 win at least something from the estimated €2.3 billion ($3 billion) prize fund. Open to entrants worldwide via the internet.

NFL Monday Night Football: Denver Broncos at the Cincinnati Bengals.

30th anniversary of self-employed electronics repair man Bernhard Goetz shooting four African-American men who were demanding $5 from him on a New York subway train. All four survived and Goetz served eight months in prison - but he was dubbed the 'Subway Vigilante' by the New York press and became a symbol of the public need to fight back against the high New York crime rates of the 1980s.

December 23, 2014

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis publishes its final GDP data for the third quarter of 2014, after last month's revised data, Q3.

Pro Bowl players announced live on NFL Network, with votes from fans, players, and coaches each counting one-third toward selection of the 88 players who will be eligible for the teams * Radical change to format of the annual NFL all-star game - introduced last year - eliminated the AFC vs. NFC match-up that had been in place since 1971, replacing it with a fantasy-football-style All-Star game with no reference to conference. Top two players selected in voting will be joined by alumni team captains Pro Football Hall of Famers Cris Carter and Michael Irvin and two fantasy football champions in drafting teams from the selected players Jan. 20-21 Jan, ahead of the January 25 game.

December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve.

NORAD Tracks Santa - North American Aerospace Defense Command tracks Santa's flight on Christmas Eve, online or via phone at the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center. Tradition began in 1955 when an advertisement in Colorado for children to call Santa misprinted the telephone number, instead giving the operations 'hotline' for the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center. Director of Operations Col. Harry Shoup had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole, and gave updates on the location to children who called.

Palestinian Territories: Christian pilgrims gather for the traditional Christmas Eve midnight mass at the Church of the Nativity on Manger Square in the West Bank town of Bethlehem - the believed scene of Christ's birth.

Midnight Mass and Christmas Eve Angelus with Pope Francis. In St Peter's Square, a Christmas tree is traditionally lit to continue the tradition begun by the late Pope John Paul II in 1982 of accepting a tree from a different European country or region of Italy.

Washington National Cathedral Christmas services, including Holy Eucharist (12:00 PM EST), Carols by Candlelight (6:00 PM EST), and Festival Holy Eucharist (10:00 PM EST).

December 25, 2014

Christmas Day.

'Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade', 31st annual holiday TV special.

Vatican City: Christmas Day Urbi et Orbi message and blessing by Pope Francis in 50 languages in St Peter's Square. The Latin phrase 'urbi et orbi' literally means 'to the city (of Rome) and to the world'.

Washington National Cathedral Christmas services, including Festival Holy Eucharist, Christmas Day Service of Lessons and Carols, and Christmas Day Organ Recital.

December 26, 2014

Boxing Day.

10th anniversary of 2004 tsunami which killed 230,000 people in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and Indian Ocean islands.

Post-Christmas sales rush begins, with shoppers across U.S. heading to stores.

8th annual Zillow Celebrity Neighbor Survey results published, naming U.S. residents' most and least desirable potential celebrity neighbors. Last year's most desirable neighbor was late-night TV host Jimmy Fallon, while the least desirable were Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.

3rd anniversary of the Arab League beginning its monitoring mission in Syria, amid widespread reports of a violent government crackdown on protesters who had been demanding the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad and the overthrow of the government since March 2011.

U.S. Weekly Export Sales Report, including Weekly Corn Export Sales, Weekly Soybeans Export Sales, and Weekly Wheat Export Sales.

December 27, 2014

'Dancing with the Stars: Live!' tour launches in Niagara Falls, NY, live production produced by Faculty Productions in association with BBC Worldwide featuring some of the show's most popular competitors including Mark Ballas and Witney Carson.

'WWE Tribute To The Troops', annual holiday special following WWE Superstars as they perform for the troops serving in the U.S. military.

College football: 2014 Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman benefiting the USO.

December 28, 2014

Final day of NFL regular season: Carolina Panthers at the Atlanta Falcons; Cleveland Browns at the Baltimore Ravens; Dallas Cowboys at the Washington Redskins; Indianapolis Colts at the Tennessee Titans; Detroit Lions at the Green Bay Packers; Jacksonville Jaguars at the Houston Texans; San Diego Chargers at the Kansas City Chiefs; New York Jets at the Miami Dolphins; Chicago Bears at the Minnesota Vikings; Buffalo Bills at the New England Patriots; Philadelphia Eagles at the New York Giants; Cincinnati Bengals at the Pittsburgh Steelers; New Orleans Saints at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Oakland Raiders at the Denver Broncos; Arizona Cardinals  at the San Francisco 49ers; St. Louis Rams at the Seattle Seahawks.

December 29, 2014

87th Academy Awards (The Oscars) nominations voting begins.

1st anniversary of Peyton Manning surpassing Drew Brees' NFL record of 5,476 total yards passing in a single season. The Denver Broncos quarterback threw for 266 yards against the Oakland Raiders, taking his total to 5,477.

December 30, 2014

8th anniversary of former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein hanged at the 'Camp Justice' army base in Kadhimiya, north-east Baghdad, following his conviction for the killing of 148 people in Dujail after a failed assassination attempt in 1982. Hussein came to power in 1979 and was deposed in 2003 following the U.S.-led coalition's invasion of Iraq.

Law Enforcement Officer Fatality Research Bulletin released by NLEOMF, providing preliminary officer fatality data for 2014.

New regulations come into effect aiming to streamline U.S. export controls on certain military electronics, by moving less-sensitive equipment, parts, and components from Category XI of the State Department's U.S. Munitions List to the Department of Commerce's Commerce Control List, in order to 'enhance national security by increasing interoperability with close allies and partners'.

December 31, 2014

New Year’s Eve.

Key security responsibilities in Afghanistan due to be transferred to the country's government by today - the target date for the withdrawal of all foreign combat forces . Mandate for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan - NATO-led security mission established by the United Nations Security Council following the 2001 U.S.-led invasion - expires today, unless extended, and the mission transitions to an advise and assist operation.

New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square. Organizers announced their first ever official charitable partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in October, with representatives of the charity acting as the special guests chosen to lead the 60-second countdown to signal the lowering of the Ball.

'Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2015', broadcast live on ABC from Times Square in New York hosted by Ryan Seacrest, with live music from Taylor Swift. Gavin DeGraw and Lady Antebellum perform live from Nashville.

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas hosts annual New Year's Eve concert, headlined by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga performing together for the first time since the September release of their collaborative jazz album 'Cheek To Cheek'. The show is broadcast to the public on the hotel's 65-foot outdoor screen overlooking the Strip.

College football: Capital One Orange Bowl. Under new College Football Playoff system, the semi-finals will rotate between six different bowls (Rose, Sugar, Cotton, Peach, Orange, and Fiesta), with the Orange Bowl not one of the chosen games this year.

College football: Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.  Under new College Football Playoff system, the semi-finals will rotate between six different bowls (Rose, Sugar, Cotton, Peach, Orange, and Fiesta), with the Fiesta Bowl not one of the chosen games this year.

College football: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Under new College Football Playoff system, the semi-finals will rotate between six different bowls (Rose, Sugar, Cotton, Peach, Orange, and Fiesta), with the Peach Bowl not one of the chosen games this year.







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Copyright © 2014 Carroll Broadcasting, Inc. & WIOS AM 1480 Tawas City, MI
All Tawas Bay State Park Lighthouse, Lumberman's Monument, and regional wild areas photography used on this site © 2014 Marvin Walther

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This website uses Java scripting to display On Air (what's playing) information, users must have Java enabled to view this data.

Streaming Technical: The audio stream is broadcast in monophonically direct from our AM modulation monitor, you are hearing the same signal that is broadcast over the air (audio processing included). If you have an exceptionally good AM receiver with full 10kHz IF bandwidth, you will experience a hi-fidelity frequency response closely approximating that of the streaming service. WIOS's music is digitally "cleaned" and equalized to provide removal of most analog noise, clicks and pops along with crisper highs and deeper lows on older recordings where that range had been previously restricted.

This site uses only standard Microsoft Explorer™ or Firefox tracking cookies.  No sensitive data is ever collected from your computer.  Your number of visits, duration, operating system and your point of entry at your ISP is the only information gathered by this site and are only stored for an average of 30 days.  You can disable this tracking by disabling tracking cookies in your web browser, however some other websites may not function properly without them.  This site will function properly without tracking cookies enabled.   *Online Listener is defined as an "online listener session", an "online listener session" is defined as one connected stream.

Adobe Shockwave™ or Macromedia required to operate some scripts on this website.  Not seeing the "Now Playing" data?  Make sure your Java is updated to the latest version and if that doesn't work, clear your Temporary Internet Files cache and cookies.  Also, newer versions of Internet Explorer block scripts automatically thus preventing display of our "Now Playing" data.  You will have to go into your IE security settings and make a safe zone or enable Java scripting for this zone to get rid of the "nag screens" that come up in IE when viewing this site.
Go to and follow these instructions.  Add to the Site List you'll find in the instructions. Java scripting should not interfere with your streaming player.

Emails sent to this site are subject to use by Carroll Broadcasting for promotional purposes.  Your anonymity is maintained if we decide to use your email to WIOS for publicity.



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