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Michigan State News
(MSC-Juvenile Lifer Law)
The Michigan Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today (Thursday) on the
question of whether persons already sentenced to life in prison as juveniles
can be offered a chance at parole.
At issue is whether the U.S. Supreme Court 2012 decision can be applied
In the case, all three defendants were juveniles when they were convicted
either of murder or participating in a murder. They were sentenced to life
without parole as juveniles.
But in 2012 the U-S Supreme Court ruled that mandated life imprisonment
without the chance of parole was unconstitutional. That led to the current
question of whether or not the ruling applied to future sentences, or
previous ones as well.
More than 360 juveniles had been sentenced to the required life without
parole when the ruling came down.
Attorney General Bill Schuette says that the families of the victims were
told that the killers would be put away forever. He told the Detroit Free
Press that to break that promise now would be a cruel and unfair injustice
to those families.
(Capitol-"R” Word Removed)
Governor Snyder has legislation before him to remove all instances of of the
words “retardation” and “retarded” from state laws.
The House and Senate passed on Wednesday respective bills that would replace
the words with "developmental disability" or "intellectually disabled." The
bills passed unanimously in both chambers.
Republican Senator Rick Jones of Grand Ledge called the words “archaic” and
compared them to using racial slurs.
Democratic Representative Tom Cochran of Mason said replacing dated,
offensive terms with language that is inclusive and respectful sends a
strong message that we welcome people of all backgrounds in Michigan.
The bills came out of recommendations from the bipartisan Michigan Mental
Health and Wellness Commission.
(Detroit-Apartment Building Fire-UPDATE)
A fire that ripped through a Detroit apartment building, forcing some adults
and children to leap from second- and third-story windows, has officially
been ruled an arson.
Detroit Arson Chief Charles Simms said Wednesday’s devastating fire at the
Jason Manor apartment complex on the city's west side was absolutely started
on purpose. He wouldn't go into details because he says so many other cases
may be connected to this fire.
At least 80 firefighters and 20 trucks responded to the blaze. Four people
were taken to hospitals and several others were treated for minor injuries
at the scene.
Crews rescued 25 people who were trapped inside their apartments, while
other residents jumped from windows to escape the flames. Nearly all of the
building’s 42 units were occupied.
No deaths have been reported, but Simms said a few residents are still
Simms said investigators will be on the scene for the remainder of the day
(Thursday) and probably all day Friday to collect evidence.
Investigators are also trying to figure out if the fire is connected to an
alleged sexual assault that occurred about three hours earlier at the
A 19-year-old woman called police just before 3 o'clock yesterday morning to
report that she had been raped during a party in one of the units.
Investigators said there’s no indication that the woman, who does not live
at the complex, knew her attacker.
(Mike Campbell, WWJ, Detroit/24/7 News Source)
(Battle Creek-Police Probe)
An internal investigation has been started of the Battle Creek Police
The investigation has been initiated by Interim Police Chief Jim Blocker who
will only say it’s a personnel matter and an investigation of members of the
As a result, two people have been placed on administrative leave and an
internal departmental memo requested that staff not comment on the matter.
However, The “Battle Creek Enquirer” reports there have been several issues
in the department, including the handling of a drunk driving accident that
involved two off-duty cops.
The former city manager retired amid heavy criticism of the city and
department in February.
(Help from: Brad Carpenter, WBCK, Battle Creek)
(MI-Fuel Bid Rigging)
Attorney General Bill Schuette says two North American energy giants, Encana
Oil and Gas USA and Chesapeake Energy Corporation, will face criminal
charges for bid-rigging in Michigan oil and gas lease auctions.
Gongwer News Service reports the charges are the culmination of a nearly
two-year investigation that began following a report by Reuters in 2012 that
revealed a conspiracy between the two companies to bid in separate areas of
the state and avoid competing against each other in the same auction to
prevent driving up the price.
Schuette says the state’s May 2010 auction saw an average lease price of
$1,510 per acre, but that fell to less than $40 an acre at the October
auction, and the alleged conspiracy may have been a factor.
Schette filed conspiracy and antitrust violations charges aginst the two
companies yesterday (Wednesday) in Cheboygan County’s 98th District Court.
(Grand Rapids-Sunglasses Record)
Gilda's LaughFest goes for another world record tonight (Thursday).
To kick off this year's LaughFest in Grand Rapids, Spokesperson Wendy Wigger
says they hope to get at least 1,643 people wearing sunglasses in the dark.
If you want to be a part of it, show up at the Rosa Parks Circle in downtown
Grand Rapids by 7:15 to get free sunglasses.
Wigger says to be sure to check in to be counted.
For more Gilda's LaughFest information go online at laughfestgr.org.
(WOOD, Grand Rapids)
(MI-No Asian Carp in Rivers)
The Michigan Department of Natural resources says Michigan rivers and inland
lakes in 2013 had no evidence of Asian Carp.
The DNR says the U.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Service sampled water at
locations around the state including the Muskegon River, St. Joseph River,
Grand River and the Lake St. Clair/Detroit River testing for environmental
DNA, or eDNA related to the bighead carp or silver carp varieties of
invasive Asian Carp.
M-Live reports the DNR says that eDNA tests of Michigan rivers will continue
Asian carp are voracious eaters and pose a great threat to the Great Lakes
ecosystem, according to scientists.
(Ingham Co-Veterinary Clinic Embezzlement)
A 34-year old woman has admitted stealing more than half a million dollars
from a Lansing area veterinary clinic over a six year period.
Jennifer Sheaffer of Potterville pleaded guilty in Ingham County Circuit
Court to embezzlement of more than $100,000, which carries a maximum penalty
of 20 years in prison.
According to a report in the Lansing State Journal, the embezzlement
happened between March 2007 and March 2013 while Sheaffer was the office
manager for the Red Cedar Animal Hospital in Okemos.
Sheaffer told Judge Rosemarie Aquilina that she wrote checks to herself from
the clinic’s checkbook and used the money for clothes, cruises to the
Bahamas as well as to support her mother and sister.
Sheaffer will be sentenced on April 9. As part of the plea agreement, her
jail sentence will not exceed 12 months. Sheaffer also has agreed to pay
$581,938 in restitution.
(Schoolcraft Co-Cougar Slaying)
Three men from Bay and Saginaw counties have been charged in the slaying of
a cougar in the Upper Peninsula.
The charges stem from the killing of a cougar in mid-December on a hunting
property in northeast Schoolcraft County. It was the first cougar killed in
Michigan in more than a century.
42-year-old Troy Richard of Bay City pleaded guilty Wednesday in Schoolcraft
County District Court to two misdemeanors in exchange for the dismissal of
felony charges. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and ordered to pay fines
and restitution and also to complete community service.
68-year-old Theodore Richard of Munger pleaded guilty to taking or
possessing an endangered species. He is paying fines and must perform
community service as well.
43-year-old Todd Richard of Burt pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to taking
or possessing an endangered species. A pretrial hearing has yet to be set.
(WCCY/WOLV, Houghton/Aaron Harper,WJNR/WOBE/WHTO, Iron Mountain/Great Lakes
(Ludington-Ice Cream Recall)
If you're allergic to nuts you may want to check your freezer.
Ludington-based House of Flavors is recalling its Belmont Chocolate Chip
Cookie Dough ice cream that's sold at many Aldi stores because it may
contain a nut that's not declared on the label.
The company say the ice cream was shipped only to Aldi stores in Illinois,
Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The recall follows two complaints from people
who had allergic reactions.
Customers can return the ice cream to an Aldi store. Anyone seeking more
information can call (800) 930-7740.
Kudos to the city of New Baltimore, located northeast of Detroit.
It's been named Michigan's safest city or township, according to the home
security website "safewise.com."
The website, which based its survey on 2012 statistics, says there were no
homicides, robberies or incidents of arson reported to law enforcement in
that city during 2012.
Ranking second through fifth on the list were: Hamburg Township, Riverview,
Grosse Ile Township and Berkley.
According to the website, only municipalities with populations exceeding
more than 10-thousand were considered.
(Huron Co-Bovine TB)
A steer from a Huron County feed lot in Michigan's Thumb has been confirmed
to have bovine tuberculosis.
Officials with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development say the
case could be related to a Saginaw County dairy herd case found last year,
but genetic tests on the bacteria that cause the disease are needed to
confirm the link.
Over 26,000 cattle have been tested as part of the trace investigation thus
far. Feedlots connected to the Saginaw County investigation remain under
agreements to sell directly to slaughter until they are empty.
(Kent Co-Racial, Religious Slurs)
The Caledonia Community Schools District in West Michigan is investigating
an incident involving a substitute teacher who possibly made racial and
religious comments in class.
Students at Kraft Meadows Middle School said the teacher began a
conversation about "Muslim religions", and Superintendent Randy Rodriguez
said there were also reports of the teacher using the "n" word during class
Rodriguez did not give any information regarding grade level and he did not
allude to the fact if the teacher had worked in the district before.
However, he did say the person would not be back in the district. School
officials have not identified the teacher.
The Superintendent did not divulge any further information citing the
ongoing investigation of the case.
(Alyssa McElreath, WOOD, Grand Rapids)
(Berrien Co-Police Chief Probe)
A small town police chief in southwest Michigan will learn his fate next
The Oronoko Township Board is set to receive a report next Tuesday on the
Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township Police Department. Chief Milt Agay is on
voluntary leave, and has been off the job since the middle of last month.
Agay has been chief for nearly seven years and has been with that department
for 14 years. His attorney believes the township plans to fire him next
Genie Eardley says Agay has done nothing wrong and is instead under fire for
trying to combat what he saw as illegal activity being done by the township.
(Michael Arney, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)
A Saginaw man is being charged in the death of his six-year old son who died
at an area hospital over the weekend.
39-year old Aki Dillard was arraigned Monday on three felony charges in
connection with the injuries that authorities say his son, Elijah, suffered
Thursday, Feb. 27th. The boy died on March 1st.
Prosecutors yesterday (Tuesday) charged Dillard with first-degree
premeditated murder, felony murder, torture, and first-degree child abuse.
The mother, Mio Campbell was also arraigned on child abuse charges.
Police determined at the time Elijah Dillard was found Thursday afternoon
that he appeared to have burns on his body and trauma to his head.
Authorities say other children in the home have been moved into temporary
foster care and the investigation is continuing.
The ice coverage on the Great Lakes is changing by the day, and still
flirting with an all-time record.
NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab in Ann Arbor puts the coverage
now at 86-point-two-percent, a slight decline from earlier in the week. The
ice covering both Lake Michigan and Lake Ontario fell slightly Tuesday.
Monday’s ice coverage was 90-point-five-percent, with the record of
94-point-seven-percent standing since 1979.
(24/7 News Source)
(Detroit-Apartment Building Fire-UPDATE)
Detroit police investigators are trying to figure out if a four-alarm fire
at an apartment building is connected to an alleged sexual assault that
occurred at the complex overnight.
The fire broke out early this (Wednesday) morning at the Jason Manor
apartment complex on Detroit’s west side. At least 80 firefighters and 20
trucks responded to the scene.
Detroit Fire Commissioner Jonathon Jackson said crews rescued 25 people who
were trapped inside their apartments. Other residents, some nearly naked,
frantically jumped from windows to escape the flames.
Authorities say four people are hospitalized.
Detroit Fire Arson Chief Charles Simms said nearly all of the building’s 42
units were occupied, and seven to 12 tenants are still unaccounted for.
However, officials say no bodies have been found in the rubble. Arson
investigators are looking for the cause of the fire.
Deputy Police Chief Rodney Johnson said officers were called to the complex
around 3:10 a.m. after a 19-year-old woman reported being raped. The call
came in as a loud party was talking place in one of the units.
Johnson said the woman was taken to the hospital for treatment and
observation. Police are now looking for a young black male, and are trying
to develop a better description of the suspect.
An investigation is ongoing.
(WWJ, Detroit/24/7 News Source)
Restrictions on the use of "logo" barware at Michigan pubs and restaurants
are eased, under a measure approved by a Michigan House Committee on
For many years, Michigan bars and restaurants were prohibited from serving
with items that have brewer and distiller logos.
The bill, which now goes to the full house, allows them to have logo
glasses, napkin holders, patio umbrellas, pitchers, stir rods and hats.
Bar owners say the measure eases an unreasonable restriction.
The state House has approved a supplemental budget bill that includes $215
million for road funding, $100 million of which would go toward winter road
The House voted yesterday (Tue) to pass its version of the Senate bill that
scales back on spending approved by the upper-chamber.
Among other changes, the House removed $114 million the Senate had set aside
for the Health Insurance Claims Assessment (HICA) shortfall. Also gone from
the House version was $2 million for the Regional Transit Authority.
The Senate is unlikely to sign off on the changes and the bill is expected
to go to a conference committee where the respective chambers will hash out
the points of difference.
House Democrats criticized majority Republicans for changing the legislation
saying the Senate passed a bipartisan bill and worked across the aisle on
(MI/DC-Sleeping Bear Dunes)
The U.S. House yesterday (Tue) passed legislation to protect the Sleeping
Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
The bill, sponsored by Upper Peninsula Congressman Dan Benishek, was given
approval in the Senate in June. It now heads to President Barack Obama.
The legislation would designate approximately 32,500 acres of Sleeping Bear
Dunes Lakeshore as "wilderness" areas ensuring that natural features of the
area will be preserved, while protecting county roads, historical
structures, and access to recreation and enjoyment of the lake.
The right to hunt and fish in designated wilderness areas is specifically
protected in the bill.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has been named by ABC's "Good Morning
America" as the most beautiful place in America.
(Help from: WTIQ, Manistique)
(Marquette Co-Abduction Torture Conviction)
Guilty verdicts were handed down Tuesday in the in trial of two Marquette
County men accused of kidnapping two women last summer, and holding them
43-year-old Jason Sadowski and 66-year-old Charles Cope, both of Ishpeming,
were convicted of unlawfully imprisoning the women in the basement of
Sadowski’s martial arts studio in Ishpeming last July.
Sadowski was found guilty of seven of eight charges in the case:
solicitation of murder, and two counts each of torture, unlawful
imprisonment and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than
murder. He was acquitted of a charge of first-degree criminal sexual
Cope was found guilty of two counts each of torture and unlawful
Both men have habitual offender - fourth offense status attached and could
face life in prison.
No sentencing date has been set.
(Walt Lindala, Great Lakes Radio News)
(Detroit-Barra UM Commencement)
General Motors CEO Mary Barra will reportedly give the commencement address
to University of Michigan undergraduates this spring.
Sources familiar with the plans for the ceremony say she will give the
commencement speech May 3rd at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. If the rumors
are true, it would be among the first major public appearances for the
highly-sought leader who has kept a low profile since taking over as CEO on
Spokespeople for both GM and U of M would not confirm if Barra will be the
(24/7 News Source)
(East Lansing-Police Settlement)
The city of East Lansing will pay $35,000 to settle a claim of excessive
force used by a police officer.
The claim stemmed from a January 2013 arrest of two Michigan State
University students for disorderly conduct. According to a police report,
they began fighting with the officer after he asked them to walk around an
area where a power line had fallen.
The City Council unanimously approved the settlement on Tuesday night after
watching video of the incident recorded on a patrol car’s dash camera. The
video shows the ensuing struggle as officers attempted to arrest the
suspects, tackling them to the ground to handcuff them, after calling for
Police Chief Juli Liebler says the investigation revealed the officer used
inappropriate force but the intent was not malicious. The officer, who has
been with the department about two years, was disciplined but still is
employed by the department.
A federal study found e-cigarette experimentation more than doubled among
middle and high school students between 2011 and 2012 - meaning nearly two
million young people have tried them.
E-cigarettes are not regulated like traditional tobacco, and the state
legislature is considering whether or not these should be exempt from
existing tobacco legislation.
Doctor Matthew Davis, with the Michigan Department of Community Health says,
there just isn’t enough information on the safety of e-cigarettes to leave
them unregulated. He says e-cigarettes are clearly derived from tobacco in
order to get the nicotine and along with that nicotine comes other
compounds, some of which are known to cause cancer.
Davis says (quote) "We need to avoid the trap we fell into in this country
fifty or sixty years ago, where when we didn’t have enough information about
tobacco cigarettes they were allowed to become more and more widely used as
(Barry Co-Flu Death)
The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency is reporting the
third death in the tri-county area this season due to complications from
This is the second death of a St. Joseph County resident, though the death
of the elderly man occurred in an out-of-county facility. Details regarding
the latest victim’s age were not made available.
In each of the three cases, there were underlying conditions that may have
been the root of the problem, and it is unknown if any of the three people
had received a flu shot this season.
Health Officer Steve Todd said some years, the agency sees the peak of the
flu season hit in March and April. While it has seen some decreases in flu
reports, the tri-county region is not out of the woods yet.
He said the deaths serve to remind the importance of vaccination.
(WLKM, Three Rivers)
(Capitol-Personal Property Tax-Revenue Sharing)
A ten-bill package to ensure that local governments are not hurt by a cut in
the personal property tax on business, is on the fast track in Lansing.
The tax has, for years, provided needed revenue to many local communities,
but the recently approved phase-out has endangered that funding.
A ten-bill package approved by the Michigan Senate on Tuesday would
guarantee 100 percent reimbursement to the affected local communities.
The tax cuts, which are actually underway for small businesses, will come to
a halt however, if a ballot proposal to continue the cuts is not approved by
voters in August.
The ten-bill revenue sharing legislation now goes to the Michigan House for
(Capitol-Renters Med Marijuana)
The State Senate has approved legislation that would require medical
marijuana patients that rent their home to receive permission of the
property owner to grow or smoke marijuana on the property.
Senate Republican Rick Jones of Grand Ledge says the reasoning behind his
bill is because when you grow marijuana, it puts moisture into the walls and
sometimes destroys the property. Jones also says if the smoke is traveling
throughout the apartments, it can bother the other residents.
The bill now heads to the House for consideration.
Today is “Fat Tuesday,”, the day before Lent begins. It's also "Paczki (Poonch-key)
A Polish-American tradition, several celebrate Fat Tuesday by gorging on
paczki, calorie-laden, deep-fried pastries filled with creams, custards and
And as much as we complain about the colder-than-usual winter weather,
people had no problem standing in line in single-digit temperatures to get
their paczki fix. In historic Hamtracmk, arguably the most popular place for
paczki, lines of hungry customers wrapped around bustling bakeries as far as
the eye could see.
Traditionally, the reason for making paczki was to use up all the lard,
sugar, eggs and fruit in the house, because the ingredients are forbidden to
be consumed due to Catholic fasting practices during Lent, according to
The tradition has evolved over the years and now, come Fat Tuesday,
Michiganders rush out to get the tastiest paczki they can find.
(Help from: WWJ, Detroit)
(Auburn Hills-New Jeep)
The first Jeep vehicle to be produced by Fiat and Chrysler is being unveiled
at the Geneva International Motor Show today (Tuesday).
The Jeep Renegade shares a chassis with the Fiat 500X but has many exclusive
features. Designers improved the strength of vehicle to meet off-road
capabilities and raised the height of the mini-SUV by as much as eight
The Renegade has a number of power train options including diesel motors,
and both manual and automatic transmissions.
The vehicle is slated to be in showrooms in 2015.
(24/7 News Source)
(Mecosta Co-Fatal Fire)
An early morning (Tuesday) fire has claimed the life of a disabled man in
The Mecosta County Sheriff's Department says the house in Austin Township
was fully engulfed in flames and beyond saving by the time the first crews
arrived on the scene.
Fire officials told WWTV that It wasn't until they almost had the blaze out
when they learned the man was inside the home.
Police are withholding the man's name while family is notified.
The cause of the fire is under investigation but foul play is not suspected.
A fish caught in northern Michigan has made the list of the "best" record
catches of the past year.
The International Game Fish Association has compiled the list which includes
a world-record Great Lakes muskellunge caught on October 13, 2012, on Lake
Bellaire in Antrim County.
The state record was caught by Joseph Seeberger of Portage and weighed 58
pounds and measured 58 inches. It was listed as a world-record catch by the
International Committee of the Modern Day Muskellunge World Record Program
in February 2013.
The muskie is part of the IGFA's 10 of the Best Catches of 2013 effort,
which is now asking anglers around the world to vote for their favorites. It
is the only fish in the contest that was caught in the United States.
The voting runs through the end of the month. Voters are limited to one vote
per day. You can cast a ballot at igfa.org/contests/AnglersChoice.
The catch that receives the most votes will receive the Angler's Choice
Award at the IGFA's World Record Achievement Award ceremony in April.
(Grand Rapids-Hit-Run Fatal-UPDATE)
Grand Rapids police say a man has stepped forward, saying he's likely the
driver officers were looking for after Monday morning's fatal hit and run
accident on the city's northeast side.
The man has not been charged at this point, but the Kent County Prosecutors
Office is reviewing the case.
63-year-old Estela Alfonso-Isasi of Grand Rapids died in that accident.
Reports say the victim was walking to work at the time of the crash just
after 7:00 a.m.
(Greg Ghering, WOOD, Grand Rapids)
Move over paczki (Poonch-key) - there’s a new “king” in town! While
thousands of the Polish sweet treats are being devoured to mark this day
before lent, there’s a bakery in the Detroit suburb of Farmington that’s
selling the traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras delight- king cakes.
Jeff Pavlik, owner of Sunflour Bakehaus, said it isn’t just the Mason-Dixon
line that divides the north and south. Fat Tuesday does, as well.
The St. Louis native says Yankees in the north tend to eat paczki today,
while southern folks go for king cakes. All the cakes have a small plastic
golden baby inside, and legend has it whomever gets that special slice is
king of the party.
Pavlik says a traditional New Orleans style king cake is like a cinnamon
coffee cake, then it’s covered in different colored decorative sugars,
including purple and green.
Pavlik worked on his king cakes all night, selling 100 or so on this Fat
Tuesday alongside paczki. He says they’re a nice alternative adding that
cutting it yourself makes portion control a little easier.
(Marie Osborne, WWJ, Detroit)
A teen-aged Detroit girl has been missing for nearly a month and police are
hoping someone has information regarding her whereabouts.
Tiara Moore is 14-years-old, four-feet tall and weighs 98-pounds.
She has a medium brown complexion, brown eyes and long, straight black hair.
Police say she was last seen leaving her home on Stringham Court in Detroit
on February 7th wearing blue jeans and a light blue and white jacket.
(24/7 News Source)
(Muskegon Co-Child Beating)
A West Michigan couple has been accused of abusing their baby son since the
day he was born.
25-year old Kevin Bastian of Fruitport Township is charged with first-degree
child abuse. He's being held on $80,000 bond and is facing up to life in
His 27-year old wife Randee Bastian is charged with second-degree child
abuse which carries a 10-year prison term and lying to a police officer, a
two-year high court misdemeanor. She's being held on a $60,000 bond.
Both parents were ordered not to have contact with any children if their
bond is posted.
WOOD TV says the 5 month old baby is at DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand
Rapids with life-threatening head and spine injuries. He also is badly
The Department of Human Services, in conjunction with the Muskegon County
Prosecutor’s Office, is asking the court to terminate the parental rights of
both mother and father.
(Help from: WOOD, Grand Rapids)
A department store in Marquette County remains closed today (Tuesday)
because of the amount of snow on the roof of the building.
The Kohl’s department store in the Westwood Mall in Marquette Township was
shut down around 6:00 p.m. yesterday evening. The closure was made as a
precautionary measure to allow crews to assess the pressure on the store’s
roof from the snow.
The store is expected to re-open soon.
(Walt Lindala, Great Lakes Radio News)
A suspended Detroit police officer who is already facing charges for
allegedly stealing wine from two different stores, is now accused of causing
an alcohol related crash.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said 41-year-old Dana Bond is expected to
be arraigned today (Tuesday) on charges of high blood alcohol content,
failure to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident, and failure to
stop at the scene of an accident with property damage.
The charges stem from an incident that happened just Sunday in northwest
Detroit. Bond was allegedly driving while intoxicated when she crashed her
car into another vehicle injuring two teens. After the collision, Bond
apparently tried to flee the scene, but she ran into a snow bank.
Bond was suspended from the Detroit Police Department in August after being
charged with shoplifting. She is do back in court April 15th.
February car and truck sales for Detroit's automakers are showing
significant improvement from January, but aren’t yet completely out of the
General Motor’s 1 percent sales drop was a better performance than analysts
expected. The company’s Buick brand sales increased 18.8 percent, while
Cadillac and Chevrolet brand sales each fell 2.9 percent year-over-year and
GMC sales were down 0.6 percent from February 2013.
Chrysler, meanwhile, posted an 11 percent sales gain, its 47th-consecutive
month of year-over-years sales growth. The Jeep brand lead the way, with
another strong performance from the new Cherokee.
Ford sales dropped six percent. But, the company says they saw good momentum
as February went on. Ford was helped by a resurgence of its Lincoln brand.
Lincoln sales rose 36 percent.
Nissan sales, meanwhile, rose 15 percent. The all-new Rogue, now built in
Tennessee, was a real stand-out up 73 percent. Long-time favorites like
Altima with double-digit growth continue to bolster Nissan sales and market
While there is some sign of improvement, analysts say the weather is
definitely still having an impact. Many analysts feel the spring could bring
some of the best post-recession sales numbers, but, we aren’t there yet.
(Jeff Gilbert, WWJ, Detroit)
The winter that just won't quit has now gripped Michigan with another round
of bitter cold temperatures.
The National Weather Service reports the temperature dropped this (Monday)
morning to 29 degrees below zero in Pellston, 24 below in Grayling and 16
below in Traverse City. In the Upper Peninsula it was 21 below zero in
Grand Rapids fell to 7 below and it was 3 below in Lansing.
The cold follows a fresh wave of snow fall on much of Michigan over the
The average price for a gallon of gas is up this week in Michigan, compared
to last week.
Triple-A Michigan reports that motorists are finding the average price
increased nine-point-eight (9.8) cents per gallon.
The statewide average is now $3.69 per gallon. While it's more than last
week, it's still 15 cents per gallon less than last year at this time.
The highest average among the markets surveyed, was found in the Saginaw/Bay
City area at $3.73 per gallon.
The lowest was in Marquette, at $3.62 per gallon.
Triple-A surveys 28-hundred gas stations each day.
Gas prices are coming down slightly in the Tawases. The price for a
gallon of regular has dropped an average of 8 cents over the weekend.
The average price for a gallon of regular is $3.67.9 in the Tawas area, down
from a high of $3.76.9 set last Thursday.
A helicopter crew from the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station in Traverse City had
to make an emergency landing on Washington Island in Wisconsin after a
flight control malfunction Sunday morning.
The four-member crew was not hurt. They say the problem happened about 30
minutes after takeoff.
The helicopter is currently on an island beach, and the Coast Guard is
working on recovering it.
Washington Island is at the northern tip of Wisconsin's Door County
Peninsula in northern Lake Michigan.
(Don Curran, WTIQ, Manistique)
The Michigan House will soon consider bills that exempt firearm records from
the Freedom of Information Act.
The bills also set up a method for law enforcement to obtain the records if
it's needed for investigation purposes, although the bill says they would
have to detail "reasonable suspicion" before they could gain access.
The National Rifle Association is the main interest-group backer of the
bills, saying in other states such information has been published with the
intent of ostracizing gun owners. They also say publishing the material
advertises to thieves that valuable guns may be in their homes.
Proposed amendments in committee by Democrats to require background checks
before a firearm is purchased, were rejected by majority Republicans.
Republicans support the legislation, and Democrats mostly abstained during
the vote in committee last week.
Law enforcement organizations have not signed off on the bills, saying
recently they were concerned about their ability to access records.
(MI/Wash-Rogers on Ukraine)
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee says the U.S. has no good
military options in the Ukraine.
Congressman Mike Rogers told "Fox News Sunday" that sending naval forces to
the Black Sea "is really not a very good idea," unless you intend to use
He says economic sanctions are the best options with Russia.
The Michigan Republican also advised President Obama to pull out of the
upcoming G-8 summit meeting in Sochi, Russia in June.
(24/7 News Source)
The three Detroit casinos saw revenue fall in January from both December and
January 2013, and they all saw revenue down in 2013 compared to 2012.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board reported that Greektown Casino saw the
biggest losses, with the $23.1 million it took in January down 11.2 percent
from January 2013 and 9.1 percent from December. For all of 2013, the casino
took in $328.3 million, down 6.7 percent from 2012.
MotorCity Casino, with $31.7 million in January, was down 9.7 percent from
last January and 13.9 percent from December. The $454.3 million for 2013 was
1.2 percent less than 2012.
MGM Grand Detroit remained the top earner at $41.2 million in January, but
that was down 8.5 percent from last January and 8.4 percent from December.
For 2013, revenue was down 6.3 percent to $566.8 million.
(Dickinson Co-Snowmobile Fatality-UPDATE)
Michigan State Police are continuing to investigate a fatal snowmobile
accident in the western Upper Peninsula.
37-year-old Chad Schlenvogt of Port Washington, Wisconsin was found by a
passerby on Pine Mountain Road in Dickinson County's Breitung Township at
approximately 2:00 A.M. Sunday. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.
Schlenvogt was transported to Dickinson County Memorial by ambulance where
he was pronounced dead.
Police say Schlenvogt was ejected from his snowmobile after it struck a
Troopers say alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.
Kingsford Public Safety Department officers and Integrated First Response
Ambulance personnel assisted Iron Mountain State Police troopers at the
(Aaron Harper, WJNR/WOBE/WHTO, Iron Mountain/WTIQ, Manistique)
(Grand Rapids-Hit-Run Fatality)
Grand Rapids police are looking for the hit-and-run driver involved in a
crash that killed a pedestrian this (Monday) morning.
The crash happened about 7:10AM.
WOOD-TV reports the driver fled after hitting someone near the intersection
of Michigan Street and Bel Air Drive northeast. There were reportedly no
Some reports say the victim is a 63-year-old woman who was walking to work.
Police say the vehicle that hit the woman was likely damaged. Officers
indicated that some broken parts were at the scene.
No other details are available.
(WOOD, Grand Rapids)
The City of Detroit is getting ready to mail out voting packages to about
170-thousand creditors eligible to vote on its proposed bankruptcy plan.
Those creditors will be voting on whether to accept or reject the city's
plan for restructuring its debt.
A nearly 200-page document was filed with U.S. bankruptcy court late Friday
detailing who is eligible to vote.
The creditors include City of Detroit retirees and others with claims
against the city. They have a deadline of 5 p.m. on June 9th to return their
The document filed Friday states "it is essential to conclude this Chapter 9
case as soon as possible so the City can return to a condition that its
citizens have a right to expect."
(24/7 News Source)
(Grand Rapids-Fort Exhibit)
If the kids are going stir crazy at home, ask them to hang in there until
That’s the day the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum will unveil its newest
exhibit: Just Fort Fun. The interactive exhibit allows kids to build forts,
pitch tents and put together hideouts.
The museum will host its “indoor campout” Tuesday from 6-8 p.m., allowing
families to have all the fun of camping in a warm, indoor environment.
(24/7 News Source)
A new federally funded study will look at the relationship between the
stress of marriage, and heart disease.
Michigan State University researcher Hui Liu will be leading a study on how
biology and social factors interact with marriage to affect cardiovascular
Liu is a medical sociologist who has previously done research on the tie
between relationships and health.
She says the findings will have important implications for health policy and
The study will focus on people aged 50 and older based on two nationwide
datasets from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project and the
Health and Retirement Study.
Heart disease accounts for one of every four deaths in the United States.
(Detroit-Stay Off Ice)
Officials with Michigan's Department of Natural Resources are warning those
who like to go out on the ice on Lake St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair to
be wary. They say despite the unrelenting cold, the ice may be weaker than
State Department of Natural Resources’ law enforcement supervisor for
southeast Michigan Dave Malloch says even with the colder temperatures, the
ice conditions on the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair are changing and
they are urging anglers to use extreme caution when venturing out to fish on
those bodies of water.
According to the The Detroit News, DNR officials have released guidelines
for those who venture out on the ice. They include: make sure someone knows
here you are going and when you plan to be back; where layered and bright
clothing to help prevent hypothermia and to be more easily identified if you
fall through the ice; and to travel with a partner.
A newly formed metro Detroit Muslim American group is taking aim at “the
Maged Moughani, of the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative, says they’re taking
to social media to urge local Muslims to stop using the word “abeed” to
describe African Americans. It means slave in Arabic.
Moughani said the conversation started with a social media about a murder in
The Dearborn attorney said the slur has been around since the time of the
prophet Mohammed, and it’s time for it to die out.
The group’s message? Just don’t say it.
(Sandra McNeil, WWJ, Detroit)
(Ann Arbor-Mardi Gras Beads)
Dangerous levels of lead, other toxic metals and toxic flame retardants were
found in most Mardi Gras beads tested by Ann Arbor’s Ecology Center.
Some of the chemicals found in testing the beads are cancer-causing agents,
while others are neurotoxins. Where they came from was a mystery until
Ecology Center researchers looked at them under an electron microscope at
Hope College in Holland.
Almost all of the beads were made in China, where the handling of discarded
electronics is a huge problem. Old electronics are also a likely source of
the lead and other toxic heavy metals found in many of the beads.
Jeff Gearhart, the Ecology Center’s principal researcher on the project,
said the toxic substances can rub off the beads onto the skin, and break
down off the bead material over time. They found over two-thirds of the
beads had over 100 parts per million of lead in them.
The toxic flame retardants were found at much higher level - 1 or 2 percent
by weight, which works out to 10,000 to 20,000 parts per million.
Gearhart says people using the beads should keep them out of their mouths,
keep them out of the hands of children, and wash your hands afterwards.
According to Gearhart, the beads that have the shiny coatings on the outside
were the ones that had the problems. The clear plastic ones they tested were
(Matt Roush, WWJ, Detroit)
Branch-Tanger Outlets Roof Collapse)
A roof collapsed Thursday at Tanger Outlets in West Branch.
It happened at around 1:30 p.m. at the Polo Ralph Lauren Factory store.
Remarkably, no one was seriously hurt, but shoppers were evacuated from the
mall as a precaution.
A mall employee said he thinks the heavy snow on the roof may have caused
the collapse, but Tanger Outlet spokesperson Quentin Pell says they’re not
sure yet if that’s a fact.
Pell says the West Branch Center was immediately evacuated and they are
working with safety officials and investigators to find out what caused it -
and to prevent it in the future. Pell also says they are looking into snow
He says outlet management is committed to making sure the mall is safe
The latest report from the Michigan Educational Assessment Program found
students in the eighth grade have made great progress in reading, but third
graders are still struggling.
The MEAP results were released today (Friday) and showed gains in science
and writing for students in all grades but math and reading results are
mixed across the board. The biggest decline in test scores compared to 2012
was in social studies. Michigan Department of Education officials say the
results of the MEAP tests are promising for students with disabilities but
found an increase in achievement gaps for black students statewide.
(24/7 News Source)
Record low temperatures were reported across Michigan this morning (Friday)
as another round of bone-chilling arctic air gripped the state.
UpNorthLIve.com reports it was one of the coldest nights in the past decade
in Northern Michigan with a reading of 40 degrees below zero reported at Big
Twin Lake in Kalkaska County. That's only 11 degrees from the all-time state
record of -51 degrees at Vanderbilt on February 9, 1934.
Gaylord and Pellston broke record low temperatures early today (Friday).
Pellston dipped to 33 degrees below zero and Gaylord obliterated its old
record by falling to 29 below.
Elsewhere in Michigan, it was record minus 12 degrees about 5AM Friday at
the National Weather Service's official recording station at Gerald R. Ford
International Airport in Grand Rapids. Holland broke its record low with a
temperature of minus 8 degrees overnight. Ionia reached minus 18 degrees
breaking its record and Big Rapids fell to minus 21 and broke its record
In southeast Michigan, Detroit reached zero degrees, a smidge from its
record of 1 below set on this date in 1994. Flint, Saginaw and White Lake
all broke records also set that year, according to the National Weather
The good news is that the first day of spring is 20 days away.
(Detroit-Debbie Dingell Announces)
Debbie Dingell officially kicked off her campaign today (Friday) to seek the
Democratic nomination for the U.S. House seat currently held by her husband,
who on Monday announced plans to retire.
The 60-year-old Dingell concedes that her husband Representative John
Dingell is “irreplaceable,” and it’ll take some big shoes to fill his seat
in the 12th Congressional District that includes the greater Ann Arbor area,
Dearborn and Downriver Detroit.
The 87-year-old John Dingell announced Monday that he will not run for
re-election this fall, bringing an end to the longest congressional career
in history that began with a 1955 special election for his late father's
Debbie Dingell is one of Michigan’s longtime representatives on the
Democratic National Committee and a former president of the General Motors
Foundation. She is the first Democrat in the August 5th primary.
Meantime, State Senator Rebekah Warren of Ann Arbor announced today that she
has formed an exploratory committee as she considers a run to replace the
retiring John Dingell. Others mentioned as potential Democratic contenders
include state Representatives Andrew Kandrevas (kan-DREE-vahs) of Southgate
and Doug Geiss (gahys) of Taylor.
(MI-Lake Erie Water)
Lake Erie is "severely threatened" and is struggling to survive.
That's according to a 100-page report issued Thursday by the International
Joint Commission, which says the quality of water has declined over the past
ten-years, primarily because of phosphorus from agricultural fertilizers
getting into the lake.
The report recommends the lake be declared "impaired," which will trigger
action under the U.S. Clean Water Act.
(24/7 News Source)
Michigan lawmakers voted to repeal a state law requiring county sheriff's to
(quote) "locate and kill" unlicensed dogs.
The state Senate voted yesterday (Thu) to approve legislation that
eliminates the requirement that sheriffs kill unlicensed dogs and that
county treasurers deliver a list of unlicensed dogs to the director of the
state agriculture agency.
The House passed the same measure last May.
Critics say the 94-year old law is antiquated and currently not enforced.
The measure is supported by the Michigan Humane Society, the Michigan
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the group Protect
The bill now heads to Governor Rick Snyder for his signature.
(Holland-Amtrak Train Stuck)
The Pere Marquette Amtrak train that runs between Grand Rapids and Chicago
got stuck in a 5 foot deep snow drift that covered the rails south of
Holland last night (Thursday).
Passengers were hours late because, first, the train had be towed back down
the track around 10:30 p.m. Then it had to wait for a track-clearing engine
to break a path.
(Alyssa McElreath, WOOD, Grand Rapids)
(Saginaw Co-Child Shooting-UPDATE)
The last of three men convicted in the shooting death of a 6-year-old girl
in Saginaw has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The sentence was handed down yesterday (Thu) for 24-year old Michael
A Saginaw County jury in January found Lawrence and 22-year old Rico Saldana
guilty of first degree premeditated murder, conspiring to commit that crime,
plus 18 other charges.
Saldana received his life without parole sentence last week.
Saldana, Lawrence and 23-year old Levonne Greer were involved in the
drive-by shooting in August 2012 that killed 6-year-old Lay'la Jones and
injured her father.
Greer is also serving a sentence of life without parole for first-degree
Lawrence faces a second murder trial for the April 15, 2013 death of
Angelica Olivarez, his former girlfriend and mother of his four-year-old
son. That trial is scheduled to begin in June.
Diehard Detroit Tigers fans will be flocking to Comerica Park this (Friday)
afternoon, less than 24 hours before single game tickets go on sale.
Individual game tickets for the 2014 Tigers season go on sale Saturday at 10
a.m. - but in order to provide a greater opportunity to purchase Opening Day
and choice game tickets, the Tigers will distribute numbered wristbands to
the first 1,000 fans beginning at 3 p.m. today.
Fans can pick up a wristband at the Tiger Club lobby, located on Witherell
Street. Fans are not permitted to wait at the box office overnight.
On Saturday, between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m., a fan will randomly draw a number
that will start the line. All other numbers will be placed in numerical
order through 1,000, and then one through the last number drawn, followed by
fans without wristbands.
Wristbands are one per person and do not guarantee tickets. Fans with
wristbands must be in numerical order by 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. Those
arriving after 9:30 a.m. even with a wristband will need to go to the end of
Fans can purchase single game tickets at the Comerica Park Box Office,
online at www.tigers.com, or by calling 1-866-66-TIGER.
(Allegan Co-Former Choir Director)
A former church choir director from Allegan County faces more criminal
sexual conduct charges.
According to WOOD-TV, Nathan Lavoie was arraigned Wednesday on charges of
second-degree criminal sexual conduct, accosting a minor for immoral
purposes, and indecent exposure. He faces up to 20 years in prison and
$100,000 in fines if convicted.
The 32-year old from Middleville was arrested February 6 for a crime that
allegedly occurred during the summer of 2008 and involved a female victim
when she was 12 years old.
It's the third time Lavoie has been arrested on sexual misconduct charges
Lavoie worked at St. Therese Lisieux Parish in Wayland and was eventually
put on administrative leave and let go of his duties following the first
arrest. At least one of his alleged victims had connections to the church.
State police say there could be more victims, and anyone with information
should call investigators at 269-792-2213.
(Help from: Greg Ghering, WOOD, Grand Rapids)
(Jackson-Consumers Energy Donation)
Consumers Energy is helping Michigan residents stay warm this winter with $3
million in recent grants to three statewide nonprofit organizations.
TrueNorth Community Services, The Salvation Army and The Heat and Warmth
Fund (THAW) will distribute $2 million in immediate energy assistance that
helps income-qualified customers stay up to date with their energy bills.
Another $1 million will allow THAW to expand its social innovation
initiatives, including building upon a pilot program currently operating in
Flint that helps income-qualified residents reduce their energy usage and
better manage energy expenses.
The Jackson-based utility is also developing tools that should let many
customers manage their energy bills more effectively in the future.
Participants in the Clear Control program receive daily texts that detail
their household energy usage costs, make smaller, more frequent payments and
receive immediate financial assistance in certain circumstances. Customers
remain in the program as long as they stay current on their account.
Consumers Energy’s residential customers have used 26 percent more natural
gas this winter compared to last year, resulting in higher bills.
(Berrien Co-Solicitors Arrested)
Two people were arrested this week in southwest Michigan while going
door-to-door claiming to represent Toronto-based Just Energy.
Company spokesman Al Shulman says the men were independent contractors, but
both have since been fired.
Raymond Guzman was arrested in Niles after getting into a physical
confrontation with a homeowner after demanding personal information and
claiming to be from an energy company. In Dowagiac, a still unidentified man
was arrested on charges of marijuana possession and soliciting without a
The Berrien County Sheriff's Department has received other complaints about
door-to-door solicitations for the same firm in Three Oaks and Berrien
Shulman notes Just Energy has done business in the state for years and will
be working to overcome the bad reputation the arrests have quickly given the
company in southwest Michigan.
(Michael Arney, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)
Two men died when a swept through a home in Jackson early today (Thursday).
Authorities say the house was fully engulfed in flames by the time
firefighters and police arrived on the scene about 2:55AM.
The Jackson Citizens Patriot reports the two men, ages 58 and 59, were found
inside the burning house and pronounced dead at the scene. Their names have
not been released, pending notification of family.
The cause of the fire is not yet known; a Michigan State Police Fire marshal
(Detroit-Security Guard Killed)
Detroit police are searching for two men accused of the deadly shooting of a
security guard as he tried to stop a carjacking.
The armed guard was working at a CVS Pharmacy on the city's northwest side
when he saw the two men taking someone's car and ran out of the store to
help. One of the men shot him in the neck and both suspects fled the scene
in the stolen vehicle.
Deputy Chief Rodney Johnson said officers rushed to the scene after
receiving word of the shooting, but there wasn’t much they could do to help
the 24-year old victim. The security guard was pronounced dead at the
hospital. His name was not released.
No one else was injured.
Police found the stolen car a few blocks away from the store and they
continue to search for the suspects.
Johnson says one suspect is a black male, age 20, in a red coat and black
hat. Thye do not have a description of the second suspect at this time.
(WWJ, Detroit/24/7 News Source)
The proposal in Lansing to immediately spend 100 (m) million dollars extra
for winter road maintenance for local governments has been increased, at the
expense of some Medicaid-related dollars.
The Republican controlled House Appropriations Committee has changed
language in the bill, and has increased the spending to 215 (m) million
In addition, the move eliminates spending designed to cover the shortfall
from the Health Insurance Claims Assessment, over objections from minority
Democrats. The H-I-C-A is used to help support Medicaid in Michigan.
House Republican Greg MacMaster of Kewadin was the lone Republican to vote
with Democrats against the move.
The revised bill could be voted on in the House as early as Thursday.
(Capitol-Slain Trooper Highway)
Eric Knysz (NEYES) is headed to prison for the rest of his life for killing
State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield, and a movement is underway in Lansing
to name a highway in northern Michigan for the fallen officer.
The 20-year-old Knysz of Luther was convicted Tuesday after just 90 minutes
of jury deliberations in Mason County.
The bill before the state House would rename M-116 in Mason County as the
"Trooper Paul K. Butterfield II Memorial Highway." It's sponsored by House
Republican Ray Franz of Onekama (oh-NEK-uh-muh).
Knysz will be sentenced April 8. His wife, Sarah, is serving two to five
years in prison after pleading guilty to being an accessory after the fact
and she testified against him this week.
(Help from: Michael Arney, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)
He currently wields little power, but that didn’t stop Mike Duggan for
making his first State of the City address as mayor of Detroit Wednesday
Duggan remains optimistic despite the ongoing managed bankruptcy, along with
a myriad of other challenges facing the city.
The mayor said Detroit is really not as far away from turning around as most
Duggan said job creation is key to recovery, and “a job means a reliable bus
system.” Duggan announced he signed a letter asking the Obama administration
for 50 new city buses; and pointed out that the city’s new bus director Dan
Dirks has hired additional mechanics to fix buses, and is working to extend
and add bus routes to help Detroiters get to work.
What Duggan can actually do for Detroiters is limited at the moment, as the
city remains under the control of an emergency manager. Duggan admitted that
he’s exactly happy to be working underneath Kevyn Orr, who was appointed by
As for bankruptcy proceedings, Duggan said Orr’s plan of adjustment “made
pretty much everybody unhappy.”
(Marquette Co-Empire Mine Extension)
Cliffs Natural Resources has announced a deal that will extend the life of
the Empire Mine in the Upper Peninsula.
The revised commercial agreement agreement with ArcelorMittal USA Inc. will
supply iron ore pellets through the end of January 2017, with an option to
extend the agreement for one year.
Cliffs and ArcelorMittal USA have also extended their joint partnership for
the Empire Mine located near Palmer on the Marquette Iron Range.
Cliffs had announced the closure of the Empire Mine at the end of this year.
Until this new agreement was reached, the Empire did not have a customer for
pellet production beyond 2014.
The partnership arrangement was also scheduled to expire automatically this
December without a mutual agreement of both companies to extend.
Cliffs says this amended agreement will extend the life of the Empire Mine
(Walt Lindala, Great Lakes Radio News)
(Grosse Ile-Condo Fire)
Residents were evacuated from a large condominium complex in Grosse Ile and
a nearby elementary school was shut down because of a quick-spreading fire.
The fire broke out around 4:30 a.m. this morning (Thursday) at the Hawthorne
Condominium Complex near the Grosse Ile Golf and Country Club on the south
end of the island.
Fire Chief Duncan Murdock says an evacuation was ordered shortly after the
fire took off. Murdock also closed down Meridian Elementary School because
of the amount of smoke filling up the building.
At least two condominiums are a complete loss. Murdock said one of the units
damaged by the fire was unoccupied at the time.
It appears no one was injured in the fire, but Murdock says they won’t be
completely sure until they can get in and thoroughly check the burned units.
Firefighters from Trenton were called in to help battle the blaze, which
took about four hours to extinguish.
It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the fire. Arson investigators are on
(Ron Dewey/Lance Howard, WWJ, Detroit)
Cautious consumers and lingering bitter cold and snow are being blamed for a
significant decline in retail sales in Michigan last month, and seriously
dampening expectations for the entire year ahead, based on new survey
results from the Michigan Retailers Association.
According to the M-R-A's January "Michigan Retail Index," 46-percent of
retailers polled last month experienced lower sales, compared to 30-percent
with increases over the same month last year. The January numbers follow a
poor holiday shopping season, and created a seasonally adjusted performance
index of 42.5, down from 50.5 in December. A year ago in January the index
was at 57.9.
Looking forward, 45 percent of retailers expect sales during February-April
to increase over the same period last year, while 20 percent project a
decrease. That puts the seasonally adjusted outlook index at 58.5, down from
63.3 in December. A year ago January it was 74.7.
In the meantime, just 58-percent of those same retailers expect
year-over-year sales growth in 2014. While 25-percent expect their sales to
rise more than five-percent, the average across the state is for 1.4 percent
growth. Ten-percent project a more than five-percent drop.
(Detroit-GM Recall Investigation)
The National Highway Safety Administration is launching a formal
investigation into General Motors handling of a recall of compact cars due
to an ignition problem that is being connected to 13 deaths.
The recall affects nearly one-point-four million vehicles.
NHTSA says it has opened an investigation into the timeliness of General
Motors’ recall of faulty ignition switches to determine whether GM properly
followed the legal processes and requirements for reporting recalls.
The recall involves Chevrolet Cobalts, Pontiac G5 cars, Saturn Ions,
Chevrolet HHRs, Pontiac Solstices and Saturn Sky models made between the
years of 2003 and 2007.
The recall stems from an ignition problem that can cause the vehicles to
switch out of the "Run" position. When that happens the engine shuts off,
which makes the power brakes, power steering and airbags non-operational.
(Help from: 24/7 News Source)
(Petoskey-McLaren Hospital Cuts)
McLaren Northern Michigan hospital in Petoskey is cutting 43 positions
across the health system and many others will see a reduction in hours.
Officials say the cuts are due to efforts in restructuring positions to
continue to reduce costs.
21 positions eliminated will come from workers who were already planning to
retire this year and from positions that were open but will not be filled.
Another 22 positions include current employees of which nine are manager
In addition to the job losses, approximately 100 staff members will
experience a reduction in hours. Five agency/per diem positions will be also
A spokesperson with McLaren Northern Michigan said the cuts are spread out
across a wide range of health care services.
President and CEO David Zechman says the changes reflect the redesign of
programs and departments to improve productivity, and do not diminish the
hospital system's ability to maintain high levels of patient care staffing.
McLaren Northern Michigan also has a campus in Cheboygan.
(Help from: WATZ, Alpena)
(Goodrich-Student Stuck Video)
An elementary school teacher is on paid leave from her school in Goodrich,
Michigan over an incident involving a 10-year-old autistic student.
Oaktree Elementary teacher Nicole McVey allegedly shot a cell phone video of
the 5th grade child after he got his head stuck in a chair.
McVey can be heard on the video seemingly taunting the student in a
classroom full of kids.
Family attorney Patrick Greenfelder says McVey played the video at least
three times for her class on a large-screen television.
The principal, heard in the video saying the situation was not an emergency,
has already lost his job over the incident.
Greenfelder says the pair took their time getting help for the boy.
Another school employee reported the incident to the superintendent. The
school board voted to fire McVey, but she is currently going through a
tenure hearing to fight the loss of her job.
(Flint-Baby Murderer Sentenced)
A Genesee County man has been sentenced to life in prison in the death of
his 3-month-old son.
A judge sentenced 24-year-old Jeramy David Wagner of Montrose Township
yesterday (Wed) to life in prison after Wagner pleaded guilty to
second-degree murder and first-degree child abuse.
According to police, Wagner was watching his son while the boy's mother was
not at home on October 15, 2012. Wagner admitted to punching the infant,
when he would not stop crying. He then placed the unresponsive baby in the
crib where he was discovered by his mother, who called for help. The child
was pronounced dead upon arrival at Hurley Medical Center.
Wagner will be eligible for parole in 15 years.
(Ecorse-Standoff Suspect ID)
A man shot and killed by police during a standoff in Ecorse has been
identified as Billie Joe Woolford of Ohio.
An Ecorse cop fired on Woolford on Tuesday after police say the armed
48-year-old man threatened officers who were trying to get him to surrender.
Police were initially called to the scene on a report that a resident was
acting distraught, was engaged in destructive behavior, and had broken
windows in a mobile home at June’s Trailer Park. The caller, a trailer park
employee, said he spotted blood at the scene, and that Wolford had begun
shooting at him.
According to police, when officers arrived they found Woolford ”agitated”
and “shouting obscenities.”
During negotiations, Wolford allegedly opened fire on a SWAT team vehicle
before pointing his gun at the cops. An officer fired, striking Wolford. He
was pronounced dead at the scene.
Michigan State Police are conducting an investigation to make sure proper
protocol was followed.
(Flint-Idol Finalist Facing Jail)
A Flint native who was an “American Idol” finalist in 2007 has 60 days to
come up with money to pay her 68-year old father’s nursing home bills or
head to jail.
34-year old LaKisha Jones was convicted of contempt of court this week in
Genesee County and was removed by the court as the legal guardian of her
father. He suffered a stroke in June 2012 and was kicked out of a nursing
home due to unpaid bills.
Jones contends the nursing home was working with her on payments and sued
her after she complained about the treatment he was receiving.
Jones finished fourth in 2007 on the sixth season of American Idol and
completed a three-month stint on Broadway as a cast member of "The Color
(24/7 News Source)
Upcoming News Events:
Hearing on 'The Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal
Year 2015 and the Future Years Defense Program', with testimony from
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel; and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen.
Martin Dempsey. |
President Barack Obama attends DNC fundraising events in
Boston, appearing at a roundtable discussion and dinner ahead of the 4 Nov
midterm elections. |
World's oldest person, Misao Okawa of Osaka, celebrates
116th birthday. |
Ash Wednesday |
Former President Bill Clinton visits Queen's University
Belfast in Northern Ireland, where he opens the university's new
leadership institute, now known as the William J. Clinton Leadership
Institute at Riddel Hall. |
U.S. Supreme Court hearing: Halliburton, Co. v. Erica P.
John Fund, Inc. (Whether this court should overrule or substantially
modify the holding of 'Basic, Inc. v. Levinson' (1988), to the extent that
it recognizes a presumption of class wide reliance derived from the
fraud-on-the-market theory? |
Global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray &
Christmas, Inc. will release its report on January job cuts on Thursday,
March 6, at 7:30 a.m. ET. After falling to a 13-year low in December,
monthly job cuts surged nearly 50 percent to kick off 2014, as U.S.-based
employers announced plans to reduce their payrolls by 45,107 in January.
'All The Way', opening night for Robert Schenkkan's
historical drama about the first years of Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency
and his fight to pass a civil rights bill, starring three-time Emmy
Award-winning 'Breaking Bad' actor Bryan Cranston in the lead role in his
Broadway debut. |
Conservative Political Action Conference. Speakers incl
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Sens.
Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, Rep. Paul Ryan, and former Sen. Rick
Santorum, all of whom have been mentioned as possible 2016 Republican
presidential candidates, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Donald Trump
and Dr Ben Carson. |
House Committee on Veterans Affairs and Senate Committee
on Veterans Affairs joint hearing on 'Legislative Presentation of Multiple
Remaining feature film slate for the Tribeca Film
Festival announced following an initial announcement on Tuesday.
Derek Medina in court in Florida accused of killing his
wife then posting pictures of her body on Facebook. Authorities say Medina
confessed to the killing of Jennifer Alfonso, 26, on the social media site
on 8 Aug 2013, before posting a photo of a woman slumped on the floor. He
has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder * Case no. F-13-018474.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers
keynote address at TINEPUBLIC 'Global Perspectives' series in Canada *
Clinton has been mentioned as a possible 2016 Democratic presidential
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers
keynote address at TINEPUBLIC 'Global Perspectives' series in Canada *
Clinton has been mentioned as a possible 2016 Democratic presidential
The Employment Situation: Unemployment Rate, Average
Workweek, Average Hourly Earnings, Manufacturing Payrolls, Nonfarm
South By Southwest Festival, aka SXSW, 21st annual
interactive industry film and 28th annual music festival made up of three
strands; Interactive (7-11 Mar), Film (7-15) and Music (11-16).
Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony.
National Day of Unplugging, 5th annual day encouraging
people to switch off their cell phones and computers from sunset to
sunset, and instead make real life connections with the people around
Food and Drug Administration holds public hearing to
obtain information on the formulation, manufacturing, and labeling of
currently-marketed over-the-counter emergency first aid eyewash drug
products, including their components, and the conditions under which such
they are safe and effective for their intended uses. |
Republican Governors Association Chairman New Jersey
Governor Chris Christie attends RGA fundraiser with Georgia Governor
Nathan Deal, who is running for a second term in the 4 Nov general
election . |
Patrick’s Day, the new film from Irish director Terry
McMahan, will have its world premier at SXSW Fi;m Festival. The
anticipated sophomore feature film from McMahon, PATRICK'S DAY follows a
twenty-six year old schizophrenic named Patrick (Moe Dunford) as he
navigates a new romantic relationship with Karen (Catherine Walker),
despite the objections of his overbearing mother Maura (Kerry Fox).
International Women's Day - first observed in Austria,
Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland on 19 Mar 1911 to galvanize the female
campaign for rights to work, vote, be trained, hold public office, and end
Major League Soccer regular season begins.
U.S. Daylight Saving Time (aka U.S. Daylight Saving
Time) begins at 2:00 AM - clocks go forward one hour. Not Hawaii, most of
Arizona, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands.
Lindsay Lohan documentary series begins on OWN.
Anniversary of retired FBI Special Agent Robert Levinson
disappearing during a business trip to Kish Island, Iran (2007) * State
Department has previously announced a $1 million reward for information on
his whereabouts that could lead to his safe return and, last year, called
on the Iranian Govt to uphold an offer it made to help find him and return
him safely to his family. |
Vice President Joe Biden and Dr Jill Biden visit Chile
and the Dominican Republic this week, with Vice President Biden leading
the U.S. delegation to the presidential inauguration of Michelle Bachelet
- who is returning to the position she left in 2010 following an election
win in December - in the former, and meeting President Danilo Medina to
discuss bilateral issues and regional cooperation in the latter.
Court hearing in Canada for pop star Justin Bieber,
charged with assault after allegedly hitting a Toronto limousine driver
several times in the back of the head in the early hours of 30 Dec 2013,
with police saying there was an altercation en route to a hotel when
Bieber and five others were picked up from a nightclub. |
Pretrial conference for Robel Phillipos and Kazakh
natives Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, accused of lying to
investigators and conspiring to obstruct justice with the intent to impede
the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, following their arrest on 1 May
Former Bell City, CA, manager Robert Rizzo sentenced,
after he pleaded guilty in January to one count each of conspiracy and
filing a false federal income-tax return, for which he faces up to eight
years in prison. |
Pretrial conference ahead of March 18th trial for former
Los Angeles International Airport security screener Naa Alpha Onuoha,
accused of making threats that forced the evacuation of several terminals
on the eve of the anniversary of 9/11. |
Court review hearing for Kou Thao, accused of
first-degree intentional homicide after authorities say they found a
severed head with a gunshot wound between the eyes in the trunk of a car,
and other body parts in the basement of a Milwaukee home. |
Court status conference for three men - Clifford Henry,
Steven Aguirre, and Jonathan Jarrell - after they were charged with
causing a wildfire in Southern California that destroyed five homes and
injured six people. |
European Parliament plenary session opens, with this
week's agenda expected to including discussion of an EP report on the
Nation Security Agency (NSA) surveillance inquiry, including the issue of
whether NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden should be allowed to give
evidence to MEPs. |
Academy of Television Arts & Sciences 23rd annual Hall
of Fame Induction Gala. This year's inductees are Jay Leno, Rupert
Murdoch, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ray Dolby, David E. Kelley and Brandon
Florida 13th Congressional District special general
election, with Democrat former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink
facing Republican David Jolly, a former aide to Rep. Bill Young and
lobbyist. Jolly won the 14 Jan GOP primary with 44.6% of the vote, ahead
of state Rep. Kathleen Peters, and former Marine Gen. Mark Bircher.
Nadya Suleman, aka 'Octomom', in court accused of
welfare fraud after allegedly failing to report $30,000 she earned while
collecting public assistance money. |
Arraignment of two men charged in relation to the June
5, 2013 building collapse in Philadelphia. Six people died and 14 were
injured when a four-story brick wall collapsed onto the adjacent Salvation
Army thrift shop. |
10th anniversary of Madrid train bombings killing 191
and injuring 1,700 when militants linked to al-Qaida detonated multiple
devices on four rush-hour trains in the Spanish capital * Commemoration
services expected. |
Pretrial hearing for former Tampa, FL, police captain
Curtis Reeves, charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of
43-year-old Chad Oulson, following an argument over texting in the Pasco
County movie theater. |
Congressional committee hearings today including: Senate
Armed Services subcommittee hearing on FY'15 military space programs
Status conference in case of convicted terrorism plotter
Jose Padilla, after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that his
original 17-year prison sentence on charges of conspiracy to murder,
kidnap, and maim people overseas was too lenient. |
25th anniversary of the original proposal of the World
Wide Web. Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist at CERN, the
European Organization for Nuclear Research, submitted his paper
'Information Management: A Proposal' on 13 March 1989. |
31st William S Paley Television Festival (PaleyFest
2014) opens with a 'Veronica Mars' reunion ahead of the U.S. opening of
the Kickstarter-funded film adaptation tomorrow. |
'Rocky', opening night on Broadway for a musical version
of Sylvester Stallone's 1976 Oscar-winning movie about small-time
Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa and his once-in-a-lifetime shot against
heavyweight champion Apollo Creed. |
1st anniversary of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, then
76, elected Pope Francis, succeeding Pope Benedict XVI who unexpectedly
stepped down from the position for health reasons on 28 Feb 2013 at the
age of 85. |
Premiere in Los Angeles for 'Captain America: The Winter
Soldier', Marvel comic book action sequel, directed by Anthony and Joe
Pretrial hearing for Nathan Campbell, 38, charged in
relation to a 3 Aug 2013 'auto rampage' on Los Angeles' Venice Beach
boardwalk that killed one (Alice Gruppioni, a 32-year-old newlywed from
Bologna, Italy, who was on her honeymoon) and injured 16 more.
Motion hearing in trial of former BP engineer Kurt Mix,
who was convicted last year of trying to obstruct an investigation of the
company's 2010 Gulf oil spill plan. |
Congress breaks for State Work Period (aka District Work
Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, in the
first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire. Speakers incl
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Sen. Rick Santorum and Rep. Pete King
who have all been mentioned as a possible 2016 Republican presidential
'Veronica Mars', big-screen version of the cancelled TV
show released in selected movie theaters nationwide, funded by a
record-breaking Kickstarter campaign that ended in April 2013 with the
backing of 91,585 fans. |
Sentencing hearing for SAC Capital Advisors - the
Stanford, CT-based hedge fund who pleaded guilty to criminal fraud charges
in November 2013, satisfying a $1.8 billion with the govt.
UK: Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints aka the Mormon church, scheduled to appear
before court in London after a summons raised by former Mormon Tom
Phillips, who now runs a website which criticizes the church, alleging
that the church is guilty of fraudulent claims. |
Preliminary hearing for Zakieya Avery and Monifa
Sanford, charged in relation to the stabbing deaths of two children, aged
one and two in “exorcism” in Maryland. |
3rd anniversary of protests in Syria starting during the
Arab Spring with a mass uprising in Daraa demanding the resignation of
President Bashar al-Assad and the overthrow of the govt - which eventually
descended into civil war |
Northeast Republican Leadership Conference continues, in
the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire. |
Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games continue with bronze
medal and gold medal game in wheelchair curling, and bronze medal and gold
medal game in ice sledge hockey. Other medal events today are in men's
giant slalom alpine skiing (visually impaired, standing and sitting), and
cross-country skiing 4 x 2.5km mixed relay and 4 x 2.5km open relay
SpaceX-3 Commercial Resupply Services flight to the
International Space Station launches aboard the Falcon 9 rocket - the
third commercial resupply mission to the ISS by SpaceX (aka Space
Exploration Technologies). |
'Selection Sunday' - NCAA Division I Men's Basketball
Tournament (aka March Madness) 68-team field announced. |
South By Southwest Festival, aka SXSW, 21st annual
interactive industry film and 28th annual music festival concludes with
the annual SXSW Barbecue and Softball Tournament. Open to SXSW Music and
Platinum registrants only. |
St Patrick's Day - annual parades in Ireland and in
cities worldwide, with many bars and restaurants holding Irish-themed
parties. Financial markets in Ireland closed. |
Teenagers Kenan Adams-Kinard and Demetrius Glenn on
trial charged with first-degree murder and two counts of robbery after
their arrest in connection with the beating death of 88-year-old World War
II veteran Delbert Belton, who died 22 Aug after he was beaten in his
vehicle while waiting for a friend in the parking lot of an Eagles Lodge
in north Spokane, WA. |
P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, UK and the U.S.)
opens latest round of direct negotiations with Iran, as part of attempts
to build on an interim agreement on Tehran's nuclear activities following
last November's deal. |
Pretrial conference for Jodi Arias, after jurors in her
original murder trial failed to agree on whether to sentence her to life
in prison or to be executed. Arias was found guilty on 8 May of the
first-degree murder of her lover Travis Alexander in his Mesa, AZ, home on
4 Jun 2008. |
Computer science student Jared James sentenced after
pleading guilty in November 2013 to three counts of extortion and one
count of hacking, after being accused of hacking the computers of Miss
Teen USA Cassidy Wolf and other young women, to force them to send nude
photographs or undress on camera for him. He could face up to 11 years in
prison and up to $1 million in fines. |
Court hearing for Kevin Bollaert, charged with operating
a 'revenge porn' website that let people anonymously post explicit
photographs of others in an effort to extort money from those whose
privacy was breached. Bollaert faces 31 felony counts of conspiracy,
identity theft and extortion, with authorities alleging that he earned
tens of thousands of dollars from the two websites - ugotposted.com and
changemyreputation.com - that he operated in the scheme. |
President Barack Obama awards 24 U.S. Army veterans with
the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry, after their valor during
major combat operations in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam
War. Each had previously been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross -
the U.S.' second highest military honor - with those awards being upgraded
at this ceremony in recognition of 'gallantry, intrepidity, and heroism
above and beyond the call of duty'. |
Federal Open Market Committee first day of two-day
meeting, with interest rates decision tomorrow. |
Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health
Administration begins informal public hearings on its Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking on Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica, announced last
year. Employers, workers, and public health professionals who have
experience in successfully protecting workers from silica-related diseases
expected to participate |
Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators Capitol Day,
with keynote from Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who has been mentioned as a
possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate. |
Primary election in Illinois, with voters selecting
Democratic and Republican candidates for Governor, U.S. Senate and 18
members of the House of Representatives ahead of the 4 Nov midterm
Federal Open Market Committee decision on interest
rates, following two-day meeting. |
Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez sentenced after pleading
guilty in September 2013 to one count of destruction of property and one
count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence after he was
accused of attempting to assassinate President Barack Obama by allegedly
firing at the White House on 11 Nov, cracking a window of the First
Family's living quarters. |
American Jewish Congress 2014 Stephen S. Wise Award
Dinner, honoring former Secretary of Sate and possible 2016 Democratic
presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for lifetime achievement.
Court hearing for middle-school football coach Craig
Michael Wood, accused of kidnapping and killing 10-year-old girl Hailey
Owens, whose body was found in his basement with a gunshot wound to the
Status conference 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. |
President Barack Obama attends DCCC fundraiser at the
Miami home for former NBA star Alonzo Mourning. Other attendees including
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, DCCC Chairman Rep. Steve Israel, Rep.
Ted Deutch and the Florida Democratic delegation. |
National Cherry Blossom Festival, celebration of the
original gift of 3,000 cherry trees from the city of Tokyo to the people
of Washington in 1912. On average, peak bloom occurs the week of April 4,
when 70% of the blossoms of the Yoshino Cherry trees that surround the
Tidal Basin are open. |
Congressional committee hearings today including: House
Homeland Security Committee field hearing (in Texas) on combating human
trafficking in major cities. |
Former Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker sentenced after
pleading guilty in February 2012 to a felony charge stemming from a
political donations scandal that saw him fired in March 2011 and the
Bowl's COO Natalie Wisneski also charged. |
The Beatles Collection sale, with highlights including
the jackets worn by Ringo Starr and George Harrison whilst filming
'Help!', and also feature on the cover of the soundtrack album, estimated
£50,000 - £60,000 ($82,000 - $99,000) * Today marks the 50th anniversary
of the UK release of hit single 'Can't Buy Me Love'. |
8th anniversary of Twitter created when the social
networking site's founder Jack Dorsey (@jack) made his first tweet : 'just
setting up my twttr'; and his co-founders @ev and @biz also first created
their accounts. The site went public on 15 Jul 2006 and was called 'Twttr'
until September 2006 when they added in the vowels |
4th anniversary of the House of Representatives passing
landmark health care reform bill the 'Patient Protection and Affordable
Care Act' (aka Obamacare) - the most sweeping social legislation in over
four decades - by 219 votes to 212, with no Republican backing.
50th anniversary of SeaWorld opening its first
attraction on the shores of San Diego's Mission Bay. The company currently
also operates marine parks in Orlando, Tampa and San Antonio.
Major League Baseball 2014 Opening Series game: Los
Angeles Dodgers @ Arizona Diamondbacks held in Sydney - the first ever MLB
regular season game in Australia. |
Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Gala, with keynote
from Vice President Joe Biden. Second Lady Dr Jill Biden also attends.
March 23 |
Second Major League Baseball game held in Australia: Los
Angeles Dodgers @ Arizona Diamondbacks held in Sydney. |
Revival of Cameron Mackintosh’s ‘Les Miserables’ opens
on Broadway. Opening night for the Broadway revival reimagined version of
Claude-Michel Schonberg’s musical at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre, home of
the original Broadway production from 1990-2003. |
4th anniversary of President Obama signing landmark
health reform bill: Fourth anniversary of President Obama signing landmark
health care reform bill the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (
aka Obamacare) – the most sweeping social legislation in over four
decades—into law. |
25th anniversary of oil tanker the Exxon Valdez running
aground on Bligh Reef off the Alaskan Coast, releasing 11 million U.S.
gallons of crude oil into the water and contaminating about 1,300 miles of
Nuclear Security Summit aimed at preventing nuclear
terrorism around the globe. President Barack Obama will be attending.
Sentencing date set for man convicted of attempted
murder in ‘loud music’ shooting case: Sentencing date set for Michael
Dunn, who was convicted in February on three counts of second degree
attempted murder and one count of shooting or throwing a deadly missile,
after shooting into a carful of teenagers outside of Jacksonville, FL,
convenience store in November 2012. |
U.S. Supreme court debates health coverage,
contraceptives, and religious corporation owners: U.S. Supreme Court
hearing: Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius v. Hobby
Lobby Stores, Inc.; Conestoga Wood Specialities Corporation v. Secretary
of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius |
Nuclear Security Summit: President Barack Obama attends
the world summit aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism around the globe,
second and final day. The President holds bilateral events with Dutch
officials while in the Netherlands. |
US Supreme Court hear case accusing U. S. Secret Service
agents of viewpoint discrimination: Wood v. Moss—secret service agents,
while protecting president George W. Bush, are alleged to have required
that a group of 200 to 300 anti-bush demonstrators be moved away from an
alley close to where the president was dining, in violation of the First
President Obama makes his first visit to the EU
institutions in Belgium: President Obama visits Brussels for a US-EU
summit with European council president German van Rompuy and European
commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. |
Laureus World Sports Awards: 2014 Laureus World Sports
Awards, 15th annual event held in recognition of the achievements of
sportspeople in the past year. |
U.S. Final growth figures for Q4: U.S. Bureau of
Economic Analysis publishes its final GDP data for the fourth quarter of
2013, after last month's revised data, Q4. |
President Obama meets the Pope in Vatican City:
President Barack Obama visits Vatican City, to meet Pope Francis, for
talks on their 'shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing
inequality'. He also meets Italy President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime
Minister Matteo Renzi in Rome. |
March Madness ‘Sweet Sixteen’ round: NCAA Men's
Basketball West Regional 'Sweet Sixteen' round games. |
Planned Parenthood annual gala: Planned Parenthood:
Planned Parenthood Federation of America Annual Gala, incl presentation of
the Margaret Sanger Award - the organization's highest honor - to House
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in recognition of her 'leadership,
excellence, and outstanding contributions to the reproductive health and
rights movement over the course of her career' |
Woman sentenced for pushing husband off cliff eight days
after their wedding: Newlywed bride Jordan Graham sentenced after pleading
guilty to the second-degree murder of her husband, who she pushed off a
cliff in Glacier National Park after having second thoughts about her
Court hearing in New York for man accused in boat crash
that killed two: Court hearing for Jojo John, 35, who has pleaded not
guilty to 18 charges, incl vehicular manslaughter and operating a vessel
under the influence of alcohol or drugs, after allegedly crashing a
powerboat into a barge on New York's Hudson River, killing two friends - a
bride-to-be and her fiance's best man. |
President Barack Obama visits Saudi Arabia, to meet King
Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud as part of regular consultations between
the two countries. Topics for talks incl ongoing cooperation to 'advance a
range of common interests' related to Gulf and regional security, peace in
the Middle East, countering violent extremism, and other issues of
prosperity and security |
Bureau of Labor Statistics releases Regional and State
Employment and Unemployment for February |
NCAA March Madness ‘Sweet Sixteen’ round: NCAA Men's
Basketball East Regional 'Sweet Sixteen' round games |
Ultra Music Festival: the 16th annual electronic music
festival is held in Miami. |
Lady Gaga begins Roseland Ballroom, New York closing
residency: Lady Gaga plays the first of six homecoming shows at The
Roseland Ballroom in New York, after which the iconic venue will close its
doors for good. |
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards: 27th annual Nickelodeon
Kids' Choice Awards (KCAs), honoring film, TV, music, books and sport,
hosted by Mark Wahlberg and broadcast live on the station from 8:00 PM
EDT. New categories incl Favorite App, Favorite Funny Star, Favorite
Animated Sidekick and Most Enthusiastic Athlete. |
Lights turned off across every continent for Earth Hour:
WWF Earth Hour - annual global initiative in which govts, businesses, and
individuals in cities and towns around the world turn out their lights for
an hour at 8:30 PM local time as a call for action on climate change.
NCAA March Madness 'Elite Eight' round: NCAA Men's
Basketball South Regional 'Elite Eight' game. |
15th anniversary of Dow Jones closing above 10,000 for
the first time: 15th anniversary of the Dow Jones industrial average
closing above 10,000 for the first time at 10,006.78. |
NCAA March Madness 'Elite Eight' round: NCAA Men's
Basketball East Regional 'Elite Eight' game. |
New York Tartan Week, annual celebration of Scottish
culture incl 15th Annual Tartan Day Parade, this year taking place on
Tartan Day itself (6 Apr). |
43rd Juno Awards for Canadian music. Arcade Fire lead
the nominations with six, followed by Michael Buble and Serena Ryder with
five each, and Celine Dion, Drake, Hedley and Tegan & Sara with four
apiece. Performers incl Robin Thicke, City and Colour, Serena Ryder, Tegan
& Sara and Walk Off The Earth. |
OPCW to complete by today the destruction of Syria's
most dangerous chemical weapons - which were to have been removed from the
country by the end of last year. Total elimination is due by 30 Jun 2014
Open enrollment period ends for health insurance
coverage for 2014 under Health Insurance Marketplaces, as introduced by
the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a 'structured
marketplace' for the sale and purchase of health insurance
Cesar Chavez Day. Presidential Proclamation calls on
Americans to observe the day with appropriate service, community, and
educational programs to honor Chavez's 'enduring legacy' |
U.S. Supreme Court hearing: Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd.
v. CLS Bank International (Whether claims to computer-implemented
inventions - incl claims to systems and machines, processes, and items of
manufacture - are directed to patent-eligible subject matter within the
meaning of Title 35 |
10th anniversary of four U.S. private military
contractors working for Blackwater USA killed, and their bodies mutilated,
after being ambushed in Fallujah, Iraq. |
Comments in Today's "Viewpoints".
See WIOS Forum for Details
DNR Burn Permit
Ben Sasse does not approve of the way President Obama is
unilaterally changing laws and violating the Constitution. In a new video
that has over 250,000 views, Sasse says Obama's supposed "fix" to
Obamacare is outrageous, illegal, and unconstitutional.
Watch "Constitutional Crisis" here.
Ben Sasse also won a big endorsement from the Club for
Growth, which supports fiscal conservatives. Club for Growth President
Chris Chocola said, "Ben Sasse is the rare
candidate who can clearly and forcefully prosecute the case against
ObamaCare, not only because it’s an unconstitutional assault on our
liberty, but also because he’s read every word of it."
Senate Conservatives Fund
Incumbent U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu's approval rating
has dropped by more that 10 points to 47 percent in the last six months
according to a new poll. The drop in the Louisiana Democrat's image is
largely due to her support for Obamacare.
This is good news for conservative Col. Rob Maness
(R-LA) who is a strong opponent of Obamacare. The Republican establishment
in Washington prefers moderate Congressman Bill Cassidy (R-LA) in this
race, but Cassidy has supported policies similar to Obamacare and has
voted to fund the unconstitutional program. Col. Maness offers voters a
compelling alternative to Mary Landrieu and will win if he gets his
Senate Conservatives Fund
A new poll shows conservative Chris McDaniel (R-MS)
surging in the U.S. Senate race. Incumbent U.S. Senator Thad Cochran
(R-MS) has not indicated whether he will seek a seventh term, but the poll
shows McDaniel trailing by just 6 points in a hypothetical race with
Cochran. The early competitiveness of this race has shocked the GOP
We launched a new statewide TV ad highlighting Chris McDaniel's
conservative message. The ad includes footage of Chris McDaniel's remarks
at his campaign announcement and will run for two weeks.
Watch the "Rightful Heirs" TV ad here.
Senate Conservatives Fund
Conservative Matt Bevin (R-KY) won the straw poll at the
Boone County GOP Christmas gala, which was attended by nearly 700
Republicans. Bevin dominated the straw poll, winning over 80% of the vote
against incumbent U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY). This is a clear
sign that the grassroots in Kentucky are ready for a change and that Matt
Bevin's message is beginning to get out.
Also, Breitbart News reported that Mitch McConnell
attacked conservatives on a conference call organized by Karl Rove.
According to the report, McConnell was critical of Senators Ted Cruz
(R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) and said that the Senate Conservatives Fund
should be "punched in the nose." It's yet another reason why conservatives
should support Matt Bevin.
Senate Conservatives Fund