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Michigan State News              Updated 04/27/15

MON 27APR15

(Bay Co-Ponzi Scheme Sentence)
A Saginaw man convicted of running an extensive Ponzi scheme has been sentenced to nine to 20 years in prison.
Joel Wilson also has been ordered to repay $6.5 million to investors who participated in his Diversified Group Advisory Firm.
A Bay County Circuit Court jury found the 32-year-old Wilson guilty last month of all charges including racketeering, larceny by conversion, the fraudulent sale of securities and the sale of unregistered securities. Two women who worked for Wilson had already been convicted and sentenced for their roles in the operation.
Diversified's business model involved buying and rehabilitating homes in the Saginaw and Bay City areas and selling them on land contracts.
The state attorney general's office says Wilson stole money from over 100 investors, put it to personal use and did not advise clients of investment risks. Wilson acknowledged he made mistakes, but insisted he never swindled anyone.
(WSGW, Saginaw)



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(MI-Snyder-Presidential Bid)
Governor Rick Snyder says he plans to decide whether to run for president "in the next couple of months or so."
Snyder made the comment to Bloomberg News when questioned about a decision on a presidential run. Asked if the odds of him running for president are better than 50 percent, he declined to "speculate" and refused to directly answer if he is interested in being vice president.
The governor is in California to speak at a conference about Detroit's turnaround and emergence from bankruptcy and gave a round of cable news interviews.
On Saturday, Snyder called published reports that he told former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman he's decided to make a presidential bid a "lot of speculation."

(MI/IL-Triple Homicide Suspect)
An Upper Peninsula man has been arrested in southern Illinois in connection with the recent discovery of three bodies in a burned out SUV.
Kenneth Brunke of Manistique was arrested Sunday by police in West Frankfort, Illinois on a Michigan warrant for three counts of homicide.
The arrest comes after the investigation into the deaths of 42-year-old Jody Hutchinson of Gould City and sisters 31-year-old Carrie Nelson and 25-year-old Heather Aldrich, both of Newberry. Their bodies were found April 17th inside the burnt vehicle in Schoolcraft County’s Doyle Township.
Michigan State Police contacted West Frankfort Police after Brunke was named a person of interest in the case. He's being held without bond in Illinois at the Franklin County jail.
(Walt Lindala, Great Lakes Radio, Marquette)

(Detroit-More GM Claims Approved)
The General Motors Ignition Switch Compensation Fund has approved two more death claims.
The automaker has now approved 90 claims of death caused by bad switches installed in over two-point-six million vehicles. There were six more injury claims approved bringing that total to 163 claims.
The company originally said only 13 deaths could be attributed to the problem. GM officials knew about the defect for almost a decade before recalling the vehicles.
(24/7 News Source)

(Monroe Co-Bruck Body)
A vigil is planned tonight (Tuesday) at a Monroe County church for a 22-year old woman who disappeared six months ago and was found dead Friday.
The memorial event for Chelsea Bruck is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Parish in Maybee, according to a post on the Facebook page "Help Find Chelsea Bruck."
Bruck had been missing since October 2014 when she apparently walked away from a Halloween party at a rural farmhouse in Frenchtown Township. Police say her remains were found Friday in Ash Township.
The Monroe County sheriff says her death is being treated as a homicide. An autopsy has not yet been completed.
(Help from: WWJ, Detroit)

(MI-Auto Insurance Rates)
A new study finds Michigan is the home of the highest car insurance rates in the nation.
The report by InsuranceQuotes.com found drivers are paying 136-percent above the national average. The survey shows the average price is 815-dollars per year.
Wayne County has the highest car insurance rate of any county in the state with an average cost of nearly 28-hundred dollars a year.
Michigan's law requiring lifetime benefits to those injured in a car accident and the high number of uninsured drivers are cited as the top reasons for the high cost to insure a vehicle.
(24/7 News Source)

(UP-Roadside Parks Open)
Most roadside parks operated by the Michigan Department of Transportation in the Upper Peninsula opened today (Monday).
However, the nine parks located in Luce, Alger, Chippewa and Schoolcraft counties will remain closed until the remaining snow melts, facilities thaw and water recedes. Those parks are tentatively set to open May 1.
M-DOT maintains 32 roadside parks in the U.P. They usually close in late October and reopen in mid- to late April.

(Detroit-ICE-Involved Shooting)
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer has been involved in a shooting in Detroit.
Officials say the ICE agent was executing a search warrant this afternoon (Monday) on the city’s west side, when he shot someone.
The condition of the person shot and circumstances leading up to the shooting were not immediately known. The ICE officer was reportedly unhurt in the incident.
An investigation is ongoing.
(WWJ, Detroit)

(Ferndale-Drone Ban)
It could soon be illegal to fly a drone over the Detroit suburb of Ferndale.
A vote is scheduled to be held at this evening’s (Monday) city council meeting on a new ordinance that would ban the unmanned aircraft - often fitted with video cameras - from flying across the city.
Michigan State Police have approval for a drone designed to aid in investigations.
The Federal Aviation Administration already regulates the use of drones, and 15 states have laws banning drones, at least in part. Earlier this month, Governor Snyder signed into law a ban on hunting with a drone or using a drone to harass hunters.

(Allegan Co-Murder Suspect Vehicle Found)
Police believe a southwest Michigan man wanted for murder may now be driving a stolen truck.
47-year-old Monty Ray Menefee's GMC Yukon was found abandoned in Allegan County's Casco Township on Sunday.
Now police are looking for a Maroon 2004 Chevy Diesel three quarter ton pickup that was reported stolen from a location about two miles away in the Fennville area. It has a black hundred gallon fuel tank in the bed.
Menefee has been the target of a manhunt since his 79-year-old mother was found stabbed to death at a home in Coloma early Saturday morning. Lavonne Monta's body was found when police were called to the house on a report of a possible attempted suicide.
(Michael Arney, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor/WOOD, Grand Rapids)

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FRI 24APR15

(Alpena Co-Bovine TB)
Routine testing by state and federal officials have confirmed a medium size dairy heard in Alpena County as positive for bovine tuberculosis.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says this is the 61st herd found in Michigan with bovine TB since 1998.
Bovine TB is an infectious bacterial disease that affects cattle and white-tailed deer in Michigan’s northeastern Lower Peninsula.   
Officials say annual surveillance testing is designed to catch disease in the very earliest stages.   Michigan has a small area where TB is endemic in the deer herd.   
An informational meeting for beef and dairy cattle producers in Alpena County is scheduled for May 14 at the Green Township Hall, 14621 M 32 W., Lachine, MI.

(Detroit-Quicken Loans Sued)
The U.S. Department of Justice is suing Detroit-based mortgage lender Quicken Loans, alleging the company lied to the government when making loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration.
The government’s complaint alleges that, from September 2007 through December 2011, Quicken knowingly submitted, or caused the submission of, claims for hundreds of improperly underwritten FHA-insured loans.
The complaint further alleges that Quicken instituted and encouraged an underwriting process that led to employees disregarding FHA rules and falsely certifying compliance with underwriting requirements in order to reap the profits from FHA-insured mortgages.
Quicken says is riddled with inaccurate and twisted conclusions from fragments of a handful of emails cherry-picked from 85,000 documents that the DOJ subpoenaed.
Last week, Quicken filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Housing and the Justice Department, alleging it is a target of a “political agenda.”
(Help from: WWJ, Detroit)

(Detroit-Cops Pay)
Detroit police officers are seeking a pay raise. Now that the city has emerged from bankruptcy, the Detroit Police Officer's Association is making a push to get officers more money.
According to D-P-O-A union chief Mark Diaz, starting pay for officers in Detroit is a little more than 28-thousand-dollars a year, which is much less than cities like Chicago or Los Angeles whose salaries are 43-thousand-dollars and 50-thousand-dollars respectively.
Diaz says after pension obligations and healthcare contributions, officers make 12-dollars 29-cents an hour before taxes.
(24/7 News Source)

(Capitol-House Ed Budget)
A Michigan House committee has approved a nearly 16-billion dollar education budget - sending the bill to the full House for a vote.
The bill - approved on a 17-12 vote - would spend more per student than the governor wanted but does so in a roundabout way. Instead of allocating money to specific programs, it lumps those dollars into one pool that goes to districts who can then decide how they want to spend it.
The House Appropriations Committee also stripped out 5-million dollars out for private schools, which would have funded the reporting of things like fire drills and attendance reports.
A Michigan Senate committee approved its own education budget earlier this week.

(Ford-Layoffs)
Ford is laying off about 700 workers at a Detroit-area plant that makes compact cars.
The company says there's been a dip in demand for such vehicles since the price of gas has dropped.
A Ford spokeswoman said the compact-car assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan will cut a shift and run on two shifts only starting in June.   Ford said it will work to find the laid-off workers jobs at the company's other plants.
(24/7 News Source)

(Snyder-Physical Appointment)
Governor Rick Snyder has appointed a former NFL linebacker to his Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports.
Brian Townsend of Ann Arbor, is currently director of student athlete development at the University of Michigan. He's also served as director of basketball operations at the university, and he also played football there.
In addition, Townsend's career includes stints with the St. Louis Rams and Cincinatti Bengals.

(Wyoming-GR Plastics Fined)
Grand Rapids Plastics has been slapped with $558,000 fine for safety violations related to a workers death last year.
Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) inspectors recently issued the fine against the Wyoming plastic injection molding company following an investigation into the June 27, 2014, death of 34-year-old Russell Scharenbroch.
Scharenbroch was crushed by a molding press after another employee cycled the machine while Scharenbroch was inside.
MIOSHA inspectors concluded Scharenbroch and other employees were not properly trained in lockout procedures that would have prevented the press from being energized while being cleaned.
The fine is among the largest issued against West Michigan company, and the biggest issued by MIOSHA in more than a decade.(MI Jobless-March Breakdown)
Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates in March declined slightly in nine of the state’s 17 major labor market areas, according to state officials.
The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget reports that total employment levels edged upward over the month in the majority of areas, while labor force levels were mixed throughout the various regions.
Officials say that from February to March, unemployment rates in the state’s regional labor markets recorded only modest changes.
Michigan's statewide jobless rate in March was five-point-seven percent.

(GM-Profits Lower)
General Motors is reporting lower-than-expected profits for this quarter.
The company said Thursday that weak demand in South America and Russia hurt their bottom line, as did a higher than predicted tax rate.
Excluding one-time charges, GM earned 86 cents a share compared to a 97 cents per share prediction.    Overall revenue fell by about four percent.
(24/7 News Source)

(Capitol-Democrats Energy)
Michigan Democrats in Lansing have unveiled an energy proposal for Michigan that includes a requirement that 20 percent of Michigan energy should come from renewable sources by 2022.
The current law requires the figure to be 10 percent by the end of this year, a standard that has been reached.
That differs from Governor Snyder's proposal which stops short of saying the standard should be specifically increased, although he does propose that Michigan should be getting 30-to-40 percent of its energy from a combination of renewable energy and energy waste reduction, by 2025.
The governor made his comments during an energy address last month.

(Capitol-CTF)
A couple of hundred people braved the chilly winds and gathered in front of the Michigan Capitol Thursday, to show support for Michigan's child Abuse Prevention Awareness Day.
The focus of the event was to emphasize the power that individuals can help in fighting child abuse, part of what CTF supporters call "The Power of One."
The rally included a procession and the planting of a pinwheel garden - the national symbol for child abuse and neglect prevention - to recognize the issues of child maltreatment and to underscore the belief "every child has the right to grow and flourish in a nurturing environment."

(Cass Co-Missing Fisherman Charged)
A southwest Michigan man who disappeared while fishing and was found six days later on a lake island in Cassopolis now faces criminal charges.
Kurt DeYoung of Cassopolis was charged Thursday with two counts of second-degree home invasion and two counts of larceny in a building.
The 46-year-old is accused of breaking into two seasonal residences on the Diamond island and stealing alcohol between April 8 and April 14, the same period DeYoung was missing.
DeYoung told the Cass County Sheriff's Department while fishing in Diamond Lake, the motor on his pontoon boat died and he drifted on the vessel until it went ashore on Diamond Island. Authorities say when DeYoung was found he was incoherent and combative. He later told police he couldn't remember much of what happened over the period he was missing, only that he sought shelter in an empty residence.
DeYoung was already on probation for an earlier alcohol-related incident.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of up to $3,000.

(Mi-Teach-Children-To-Save)
More than 12-thousand bankers from all 50 states, including Michigan, will participate in the American Bankers Association's 19th annual "Teach Children To Save" program today (Friday).
The day-long effort will involve hundreds of bankers across Michigan teaching children to become more financially responsible by developing a greater appreciation of saving and spending wisely.
Today's effort hopes to reach 248-thousand-746 kids, who will be encouraged to explore the difference between needs and wants, learn how to identify expenses and ways to cut spending.
The A-B-A says children who save money are more likely to go to college, have a better outlook on life and are more financially literate later in life.
In the past, the "Teach Children To Save" program has reached 7.2 million children with the help of more than 210,000 banker volunteers across the country.

(Mackinac Co-Trainer Exploits Teens)
A former teacher and volunteer athletic trainer is facing charges after secretly using his cellphone to make videos of undressed teenage boys in a training room.
According to court documents, Thomas Hamel of St. Ignace is charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of child pornography.
The alleged crimes, which involve five victims who were about 14-years-old, happened from 2007 to 2012 in Mackinac County.
9 & 10 News in Northern Michigan reports Hamel was arrested nearly two years ago on child pornography charges.
The St. Ignace News reports Hamel taught for 32 years until retiring in 2009.
Hamel is jailed on $100,000 bond.

(Sault Ste. Marie-Ship Aground)
The Coast Guard continues to monitor a 603-foot bulk carrier that ran aground in the St. Mary's River near De Tour Village, Michigan early Wednesday.
Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie received a message around 1 a.m. Wednesday that the Canadian-flagged bulk carrier Mississagi ran aground in the Potagannissing Bay.
No one was hurt and inspectors determined the vessel, loaded with stone, is not leaking any pollution into the water.
The owner of the vessel, Lower Lakes Towing, continues to work with Northeast Tech Salvage Company on a salvage plan to present to the Coast Guard.
The cause of the grounding is under investigation.

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THU 23APR15

(Alpena Co-Bovine TB)
Routine testing by state and federal officials have confirmed a medium size dairy heard in Alpena County as positive for bovine tuberculosis.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says this is the 61st herd found in Michigan with bovine TB since 1998.
Bovine TB is an infectious bacterial disease that affects cattle and white-tailed deer in Michigan’s northeastern Lower Peninsula.   
Officials say annual surveillance testing is designed to catch disease in the very earliest stages.   Michigan has a small area where TB is endemic in the deer herd.   
In order to prevent it from spreading to other farms, each herd must undergo annual testing and any additional movement off a farm must include a TB test within 30 days before movement.
All cattle in Michigan must also have electronic identification eartags before they may move from the farm. Electronic identification allows MDARD to trace cattle and control the spread of disease in the event of an investigation.
An informational meeting for beef and dairy cattle producers in Alpena County is scheduled for May 14 at the Green Township Hall, 14621 M 32 W., Lachine, MI.

(Capitol-No-Fault)
A Michigan House committee has approved a two-bill package reforming Michigan's no-fault auto insurance law.
The votes were 9-to-6, with Republicans supporting and Democrats opposing.
Republican sponsors say it's an effort to reduce costs in the system.
Democrats voted against the legislation, fearing it will short change those who need medical help, although sponsors note that it does not eliminate the unlimited coverage now part of Michigan law. They also emphasize that the bills now include a mandated 100 dollar rate reduction.
Democrat-sponsored amendments to roll back rates by larger amounts, including one as high as 40-percent, were rejected by the Republican majority on the committee.
The legislation also includes a small appropriation, which effectively prohibits any referendum in the future if the bills becomes law.
The package now goes before the Michigan House, which reconvenes on Tuesday.

(MI Jobless-March Breakdown)
Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates in March declined slightly in nine of the state’s 17 major labor market areas, according to state officials.
The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget reports that total employment levels edged upward over the month in the majority of areas, while labor force levels were mixed throughout the various regions.
Officials say that from February to March, unemployment rates in the state’s regional labor markets recorded only modest changes.
Michigan's statewide jobless rate in March was five-point-seven percent.

(GM-Profits Lower)
General Motors is reporting lower-than-expected profits for this quarter.
The company said Thursday that weak demand in South America and Russia hurt their bottom line, as did a higher than predicted tax rate.
Excluding one-time charges, GM earned 86 cents a share compared to a 97 cents per share prediction.    Overall revenue fell by about four percent.
(24/7 News Source)

(Detroit-Quarrel-Death)
Authorities say an argument between lovers ended with a man stabbed to death and a woman in police custody.
The incident unfolded around 6:30 a.m. Thursday in Detroit’s Midtown area.
According to police, a 59-year-old man and his 45-year-old girlfriend were apparently having an argument inside their apartment. At some point, the man allegedly assaulted the woman - and she apparently retaliated by stabbing him in the chest.
The man was declared dead at the scene, and the woman was placed under arrest.
Other details weren’t immediately clear. Names were not immediately released.
Police would not comment on the abuse claims, but did say investigators are trying to determine if they’re dealing with a homicide or possibly a case of self-defense.
An investigation is ongoing.
(WWJ, Detroit)

(Capitol-CTF)
A couple of hundred people braved the chilly winds and gathered in front of the Michigan Capitol Thursday, to show support for Michigan's child Abuse Prevention Awareness Day.
The focus of the event was to emphasize the power that individuals can help in fighting child abuse, part of what CTF supporters call "The Power of One."
The rally included a procession and the planting of a pinwheel garden - the national symbol for child abuse and neglect prevention - to recognize the issues of child maltreatment and to underscore the belief "every child has the right to grow and flourish in a nurturing environment."

(Capitol-Adoption Bills)
Bills that allow faith-based adoption agencies in Michigan to deny services to certain potential adoptive parents, without fear of losing state money, has cleared a state Senate committee.
The Senate Families, Seniors and Human Services Committee voted 4-to-1 yesterday (Wed) to send the bills to the full Senate, over the objections of opponents who say tax dollars should not be given to agencies that are allowed to discriminate against gays, unmarried couples and others.
But defenders of the legislation say it protects freedom of religion.
The bills have already cleared the Michigan House.

(Capitol-MMA-Regulations)
A Michigan House committee has approved a pair of bills regulating amateur MMA events in the state.
Right now pro MMA fights are regulated in Michigan but amateur events are not.
The two bills, which are now heading to the House floor, would add a series of rules and mandatory testing guidelines along with penalties for not following them.
If the bills become law fighters would have to submit to a test for performance enhancing drugs, female fighters would have to prove they aren’t pregnant and it would be a felony for a promoter to knowingly pit a pro fighter against an amateur.

(Capitol-Mobile Homes)
A Senate committee in Lansing has approved a measure that requires better communications among agencies involved in mobile home park oversight.
It now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
The legislation also increases fines for "bad actors" whose inaction threatens the health and safety of mobile home parks.
The bill is at least partially in response to a Lansing mobile home park which was condemned last year because of significant sanitation and public health issues that were not properly addressed by the owners.

(Inkster-Police Chief Resigns)
The chief of police for the city of Inkster has resigned according to a statement released by the department late Wednesday afternoon.
Vicki Yost resignation will take place immediately according to reports.
The resignation comes in the wake of charges of police misconduct and assault of a driver , Floyd Dent, during a traffic stop.
A recently fired Inkster police officer is facing felony charges after video of a violent arrest went viral.
William Melendez is charged with misconduct in office mistreatment of a prisoner, a 5-year felony, and assault with intent to go great bodily harm less than murder, a 10-year felony.
Police dash-cam video of the incident shows two officers throwing Dent to the ground and Melendez repeatedly punching him in the head.
(Help from: WWJ, Detroit)

(Detroit-Wellness Check Shooting)
A 61-year-old Detroit man is hospitalized in critical condition, shot by two police officers as he allegedly threatened a firefighter with a knife.
It happened Wednesday afternoon when police officers were making a welfare check at a home near the Lodge Freeway and Chicago in Detroit.
Officials say the officers requested help from a Detroit firefighter to gain access to the home. Once inside, the man ran toward the firefighter, armed with a knife - and the two officers opened fire, hitting the man at least twice.
Family members say the man had a history of mental illness. His name was not released.
An investigation is ongoing.
(WWJ, Detroit)

(Ann Arbor-No Domino's Vegan)
Domino's is saying "no" to a proposal to put vegan cheese and meat on its pizzas.
The "Detroit Free Press" reports the proposal from PETA got shot down yesterday at the annual shareholders' meeting.
The animal rights group had said it owns 39 shares of stock for the pizza chain based in Ann Arbor.
Domino's spokesman Tim McIntyre told the paper there have been signs customers want the vegan toppings, but the company tested vegan-cheese internally and it did poorly.
(24/7 News Source)

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WED 22APR15

(Capitol-Pedal Pubs)
A bill allowing people biking on a pedal pub to drink beer or wine en route to their next stop is due before a House committee this week.
Right now if you take a pedal pub tour in Grand Rapids, Midland, Marquette or Traverse City you bike as a group from place to place - stopping for a drink along the way. Under State Representative Wayne Schmidt’s legislation you could drink while biking.
The Traverse City Republican's bill would require pedal pub companies to carry liability insurance and give cities the option to not allow the practice.
The former is a deal breaker for Laurie Ryan who owns Great Lakes Pub Cruiser in Grand Rapids. She says the insurance is expensive to carry. Ryan, who opposes the bil is also concerned about people drinking on her pedal pub and falling off the bike.
The bill is scheduled before a House committee Thursday.

(Obit-Weaver)
Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Weaver has died.
She was 74.
Weaver served on the state's highest court from 1995 to 2010.
Reports say she died at her home in Glen Arbor.
Weaver served as Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court from January 1999 to January 2001 and was a state court of appeals judge in Traverse City for 18 years before being elected to the high court.
A Republican nominee, Weaver was a maverick on the court and publicly clashed with other more conservative members, at one point campaigning against the more conservative Justice Robert Young Jr.
She also secretly recorded conversations with Justice Young, the only African American on the high court, and accused him of using racial epithets.
The court later censured Weaver for making the secret recordings.
Weaver was also critical of Democratic and Republican campaign contributions in support of judicial candidates, and called for reform.
Former Justice Elizabeth Weaver, dead at 74.

(MI Unemployment-Suit)
Michigan's unemployment insurance system is being sued by a group of Michigan citizens who charge that the current computer system that decides cases involving fraud within the insurance program, is unconstitutional.
They say the "robo-adjudication" system, lacks any human oversight because it "regularly accuses people who have filed for unemployment benefits of fraud" because of routine discrepancies in the Agency's information.
The Sugar Law Center of Detroit, which is representing the plaintiffs, says many unemployed people have been accused of fraud and assessed "onerous financial penalties," even though "they did absolutely nothing wrong."

(Capitol-Mobile Homes)
A Senate committee in Lansing has approved a measure that requires better communications among agencies involved in mobile home park oversight.
It now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
The legislation also increases fines for "bad actors" whose inaction threatens the health and safety of mobile home parks.
The bill is at least partially in response to to a Lansing mobile home park which was condemned last year because of significant sanitation and public health issues that were not properly addressed by the owners.

(Wayne Co-Dent-Charges-Dismissed)
Drug charges against a man seen on police video being beaten have been dropped.
Floyd Dent was in a courtroom this (Wed) morning where Judge David Groner (GROW-nur) dismissed the charge of cocaine possession against the 57-year-old Inkster man.
Dent's case drew the attention of authorities after the video of his arrest was released.
Former Inkster Officer William Melendez is seen on the video repeatedly punching Dent in the head while other officers tried to apply handcuffs.
Melendez was charged earlier this week with assault, misconduct in office, and mistreatment of a prisoner.
Meantime, Melendez' defense attorney, David Lee, says his client has been vilified in the media because of the video, and claims Dent's motives are "financial."
(24/7 News Source/WWJ)

(UM-Hydrogen Fuel)
Researchers at the University of Michigan have been awarded a one-point-two (m) million dollar Department of Energy grant to isolate and develop "best in class" hydrogen storage technology.
The project is looking into man-made compounds called metal-organic frameworks, or MOFs.
They say finding MOFs that can store hydrogen at high densities could eventually pave the way for a market-ready hydrogen powered-vehicle. Such a car's only emission would be water.
The right MOF could allow drivers to simply visit a station and pump hydrogen into an MOF-filled tank; when the driver hits the accelerator, hydrogen gas released from the tank would power a fuel cell.
In addition, the goal is to eventually achieve driving ranges that are comparable to today's conventional, gasoline-powered vehicles, according to the researchers.

(Capitol-Medical Pot-Rentals)
A Michigan House committee Tuesday approved a measure that codifies restrictions that a landlord may put on renters who want to smoke medical marijuana.
The House Judiciary Committee, on an 8-to-3 vote, sent to the full house a bill which allows landlords to prohibit medical marijuana smoking and growing, if the prohibition is in the rental contract.
Sponsors cite cases where medical pot growers have damaged in the inside of rental units.
Some medical marijuana advocates blasted the bill, saying such language is already allowed under the law, and the measure is "a waste of time."
The bill does not affect those renters who consume medical marijuana in edible form, or as topical cream.

(Detroit-Strip Search Settlement)
An Ohio woman is getting thousands of dollars in a legal settlement after she claims she was racially-profiled and strip-searched at a Detroit area airport.
The American Civil Liberties Union says Shoshana Hebshi will get 40-thousand-dollars from the federal government after being arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in 2011 while trying to fly home to Ohio.
The organization claims Hebshi, who's of Saudi Arabian and Jewish descent, was arrested along with two men she didn't know sitting next to her on the plane after the men reportedly acted suspiciously. The ACLU claims Hebshi was held in a cell for hours and strip-searched at the airport before being released.
(24/7 News Source)

(Detroit-Serial Rapist)
A 21-year-old Detroit man has been charged with kidnapping, armed robbery and rape in connection with the sexual assault of five women.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says 21-year-old Michael Sykes is facing kidnapping, rape, robbery and assault charges connected to the attacks on two women in 2008, and three women in March.
Sykes was taken into custody Friday night after police stopped a car that was seen leaving the site of a robbery.
Investigators say the driver of the car threw a gun out of the window; and there was a passenger in the back seat who was wearing the rape suspect’s trademark black zipper mask. That passenger also matched the physical description of the serial rapist.
The Wayne County Prosecutor’s office says Sykes allegedly kidnapped, raped and robbed two women in an alley more than 7 years ago.
(WWJ, Detroit)

(Capitol-Odd Laws)
Did you know taking part in a walkathon is illegal in Michigan?
According to State Representative Kurt Heise (HI-zee), chair of the House Criminal Justice Committee, that’s what dance contests were called in the 1920’s and lawmakers back then saw fit back then to outlaw them. The Plymouth Republican says it’s also against the law to dance to The Star Spangled Banner, to say anything shameful about someone for not accepting a duel and to curse within earshot of women and children.
Heise’s committee is considering whether to repeal these laws, and a few others, that are outdated or are too hard to prosecute to keep on the books.

(Selfridge-Nationall Guard Deployment)
Selfridge National Guard Base is deploying airmen and women to the Middle East to help fight ISIS.
The 127th Wing at the base is going to aid the battle that's part of Operation Inherent Resolve for six months.
Michigan Congresswoman Candice Miller in a statement Tuesday said the deployment to Iraq and Syria shows the crucial part the National Guard plays in defending the country. She adds it also shows how effective the A-10 "Warthog" is in combat.
(24/7 News Source)

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TUE 21APR15

(Capitol-Old Laws)
Did you know taking part in a walkathon is illegal in Michigan?
According to State Representative Kurt Heise, chair of the House Criminal Justice Committee, that’s what dance contests were called in the 1920’s and lawmakers back then saw fit back to outlaw them. The Plymouth Republican says it’s also against the law to dance to The Star Spangled Banner, to say anything shameful about someone for not accepting a duel and to curse within earshot of women and children.
Heise’s committee is considering whether to repeal these laws, and a few others, that are outdated or are too hard to prosecute to keep on the books.

(Capitol-Medical Pot-Rentals)
A Michigan House committee Tuesday approved a measure that codifies restrictions that a landlord may put on renters who want to smoke medical marijuana.
The House Judiciary Committee, on an 8-to-3 vote, sent to the full house a bill which allows landlords to prohibit medical marijuana smoking and growing, if the prohibition is in the rental contract.
Sponsors cite cases where medical pot growers have damaged in the inside of rental units.
Some medical marijuana advocates blasted the bill, saying such language is already allowed under the law, and the measure is "a waste of time."
The bill does not affect those renters who consume medical marijuana in edible form, or as topical cream.

(Capitol-Adoption Religious Exemption)
Faith-based adoption agencies in Michigan which claim a religious exemption would be allowed to decline services to certain potential adoptive parents without risk of losing taxpayer funding, under bills before a senate committee Wednesday.
The Republican-sponsored bills were approve in the Michigan House on a 65-44 vote last month.
Supporters say faith-based adoption agencies should not be required to enter in any arrangement that would violate their beliefs.
But critics say the bills amount to being a license to discriminate against gays, unmarried couples or others.

(Capitol-No Fault Cap)
Auto insurance policies could be allowed in Michigan without unlimited lifetime health care under a measure being introduced in the Michigan Senate.
The bill, which is aimed only at lower income motorists, is co-sponsored by Senate Republican Joe Hune of Hamburg, and Senate Democrat Virgil Smith of Detroit.
Under the measure, those earning 300-percent of the poverty level or less and who have a good driving record, could buy an insurance policy that offers only 50-thousand dollars in personal injury coverage, and presumably results in less expensive insurance. Michigan's insurance law mandates unlimited coverage, something that critics say has driven up the price of auto insurance.
Supporters say it will allow lower income motorists in Michigan to be able to afford auto insurance and reduce the number of uninsured motorists. They estimate that up to 50 percent of Detroit drivers and up to 25 percent of Michigan drivers are on the road without required auto insurance.
The bill, if approved, would be in effect for a "five year test period" according to sponsors.

(Report: Mi Economy and Roads)
A national research group says in a new report that Michigan's economic recovery could be in jeopardy because of deteriorating roads and bridges and a lack of funding to fix them.
The report is from "The Road Information Program," a private non-profit group in Washington DC.
The group says the percentage of Michigan’s major roads that are in poor condition increased significantly in recent years, from 23 percent in 2006 to 38 percent in 2014.
It also says driving on rough roads costs Michigan motorists a total of $4.8 billion each year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs, an average of $686 annually per motorist.
Further, the group also quotes in its press release, Denise Donohue of the County Road Association of Michigan, touting the need for voter approval of Proposal 1 on next month's ballot.
TRIP's webpage is sponsored by insurance companies, equipment manufacturers, distributors and suppliers, businesses involved in highway and transit engineering and construction, labor unions, and organizations concerned with an efficient and safe surface transportation network that promotes economic development and quality of life.

(Capitol-Air-Emissions)
A proposal to increase the air emissions fee industries pay is up for debate in the Michigan House.
Governor Rick Snyder wanted a 36-percent bump in the fee paid by industries that emit air pollutants, instead a House committee recently gave the green light to just a 6-percent increase.
The fee increase would allow the state’s Department of Energy Quality to keep up with the federal air emission requirements. If Michigan didn’t do so the EPA would take over the state’s air quality program which industries fear would slow down the permitting process.

(Capitol Fees)
The state budget is beginning to take shape as House and Senate committees have begun approving some fee increases and extending the life of other fees. However there is one fee hike absent from the list -- an increase in the cost of a liquor license.
The governor wants to hike the cost of a liquor license by 50-percent.
But State Representative Al Pscholka, a Stevensville Republican, says he and other lawmakers are shying away from fee increases that go above and beyond what would cover the actual cost of a service.
Most of the measures recently approved by the House Appropriations Committee, which Pscholka chairs, have been to extend fees that were due to expire soon.
Also in limbo is a proposed fee increase on the agriculture sector. Pscholka says his committee is still mulling that over.

(Asian Carp)
While it continues to be talked about, there also has been no action on any type of aggressive move to keep invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.
In the meantime, a report from the U-S Army Corps of Engineers which recommended several methods to block the fish has been on the table.
Resolutions are now before the Michigan Senate calling on the Obama Administration and Congress to close the connection between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins to prevent the Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.
Also, US House Republican Candice Miller of Michigan has introduced a measure authorizing the Army Corps to take immediate action, a proposal that has been endorsed by the Healing Our Waters - Great Lakes Coalition, a major environmental group.

(Lansing-Capitol Tours)
Those wanting to tour Michigan's Capitol Building will get an extra day to do it beginning June 6th.
The Capitol Commission has voted to revive Saturday tours of the Capitol Building, a practice Commissioner Kerry Chartkoff says ended sometime in the mid-1990s.
It's unclear the costs associated with a weekend tour, but Gongwer News Service reports the commission expects to hire another tour guide at a rate around $33,000 per year.
Chartkoff says it's estimated some 100,000 to 150,000 students visit the Capitol every year, making Michigan's state Capitol "one of the most visited Capitols in the country."

(Pontiac-Drunk Driver Charged)
A 24-year-old woman has been charged with drunken driving in an accident that left a 3-year-old girl clinging to life, and three others hospitalized, over the weekend.
Oakland County Sheriff’s officials say Ieshia Barnes of Pontiac had a blood alcohol level of nearly two-times the legal limit when she ran a red light Saturday night, crashing into a van.
According to witnesses, Barnes flew through the signal in her Chevy Blazer, made a quick left turn, and t-boned a Pontiac Montana with a 23-year-old woman, her 16-year-old brother, her 3-year-old daughter, and her 2-year-old nephew inside.
The 3-year-old girl, reported to be in “very grave condition” Monday morning, was on life support at Beaumont Hospital, while her mother was last reported in serious condition.
The 2-year-old and 16-year-old boys were last reported in critical condition.
Barnes was also hurt, but not critically.
She was arraigned Monday in 50th District Court on three counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury, a 5-year felony. Bond was set at $500,000 cash/surety, no 10 percent.
(WWJ, Detroit)

(Roseville-Uzi Carjacker)
Roseville Police say a young man armed with an Uzi tried, and failed, to carjack a Roseville woman Monday morning.
Police say 19-year-old Dietrich Sanders of Detroit was taken into custody after holding a woman at gunpoint and attempting to steal her vehicle.
Police say the woman used her auto-start, so when Sanders got into her car, not having the key, he was not able to put it in gear. Sanders was arrested a few blocks away.
Police say they confiscated Uzi M11/9mm.
Sanders was arraigned in 39th District Court Monday afternoon on one count of carjacking and one count of felony firearm.
He remains held at the Macomb County Jail on $1 million bond.

 

UPCOMING NEWS EVENTS-Powered by

April 28, 2015

Tony Awards nominations are announced today.

MLB games: Toronto Blue Jays at the Boston Red Sox; Kansas City Royals at the Cleveland Indians; Tampa Bay Rays at the New York Yankees; Los Angeles Angels at the Oakland Athletics; Seattle Mariners at the Texas Rangers; Pittsburgh Pirates at the Chicago Cubs; Milwaukee Brewers at the Cincinnati Reds; San Francisco Giants at the Los Angeles Dodgers; Houston Astros at the San Diego Padres; New York Mets at the Miami Marlins; Colorado Rockies at the Arizona Diamondbacks; Chicago White Sox at the Baltimore Orioles; Washington Nationals at the Atlanta Braves; Detroit Tigers at the Minnesota Twins; Philadelphia Phillies at the St. Louis Cardinals.

April 29, 2015

The Federal Open Market Committee is expected to make a decision today on interest rates following a two-day meeting.

MLB games: Toronto Blue Jays at the Boston Red Sox; Kansas City Royals at the Cleveland Indians; Tampa Bay Rays at the New York Yankees; Los Angeles Angels at the Oakland Athletics; Seattle Mariners at the Texas Rangers; Pittsburgh Pirates at the Chicago Cubs; Milwaukee Brewers at the Cincinnati Reds; San Francisco Giants at the Los Angeles Dodgers; Houston Astros at the San Diego Padres; New York Mets at the Miami Marlins; Colorado Rockies at the Arizona Diamondbacks; Chicago White Sox at the Baltimore Orioles; Washington Nationals at the Atlanta Braves; Detroit Tigers at the Minnesota Twins; Philadelphia Phillies at the St. Louis Cardinals.

April 30, 2015

The 2015 NFL Draft is held tonight in Chicago - the first Draft held away from New York since 1964, when it was also held in Chicago.

The State Department releases 'Country Reports on Terrorism 2014' today, an annual Congressionally-mandated report on terrorism with regard to countries and groups meeting criteria set out in the legislation.

All of the nearly-3,000 U.S. troops who deployed to West Africa to participate in the fight against Ebola are due to have returned home by today, although Operation United Assistance continues with around 100 personnel remaining to help support the ongoing response.

New Tesla product line -- not a car -- will be unveiled at the company's Hawthorne Design Studio.

Clinton Foundation Gala is held tonight. Last year's attendees include foundation co-chairs former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.

MLB games: Toronto Blue Jays at the Cleveland Indians; Detroit Tigers at the Kansas City Royals; Los Angeles Angels at the Oakland Athletics; Seattle Mariners at the Houston Astros; Washington Nationals at the New York Mets; Philadelphia Phillies at the St. Louis Cardinals; Cincinnati Reds at the Atlanta Braves; Chicago White Sox at the Minnesota Twins.

 

 

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