Thursday Morning State News Summary
Thu, 11 Apr 2013 01:43:27 EDT
A coalition of insurance and health organizations locked arms at the state capitol on Wednesday, and called on the legislature and the governor to repeal Michigan's new law that allows adult motorcyclists to ride without a helmet.
They say the new law, which is now one year old, is costing the state lives, and they cite a study saying there's 26 cases where a biker in Michigan who died, would have lived if they were using a helmet.
Heather Drake of Triple-A Michigan says the data over the last year tells them that (quote) "the experiment is over in Michigan. Helmet's save lives," adding that its time to repeal the new law.
But many motorcyclists, including Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, say it should the choice of an adult to wear a helmet or not wear a helmet.


(Capitol-MMA)
The Michigan Legislature is moving quickly on a two-bill package that puts new regulations on amateur mixed martial arts events.
It comes just days after an MMA fighter died following a bout in Port Huron. Reports say an autopsy after the bout was inconclusive.
The legislation, which was approved by the Michigan House Wednesday and sent to the Senate, requires promoters to be licensed and contestants to register, and also creates regulations on how the fights should take place.
It also sets a minimum age of 18 for contestants and spectators. Fees for participation and penalties for violators are also included in the bills.
MMA events have experienced a large increase in spectator interest in recent years, and is considered one of the fastest growing sports in the country.


(MI-State Revenue)
Revenue coming into the state in March was above last year's levels, according to figures from the Senate Fiscal Agency.
The state's collections on general fund and school aid fund taxes during the month of March totaled 1.2 (b) billion-dollars, a 9.4 percent increase from a year ago, and 64 (m) million-dollars above projections made during the January Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference.
Collections earmarked to the General Fund were 37.1 (m) million-dollars above the expected level for March, while School Aid Fund tax collections were 24 (m) million-dollars above the forecasted level.
Much of the increase is attributed to above-forecast collections from income tax withholding, the Michigan Business Tax (MBT), and the Corporate Income Tax that more than offset above-forecast income tax refunds.


(MI-Unlicensed Insurance Sales)
The state has ordered a Detroit area car dealership to stop selling auto insurance without license.
A Department of Insurance and Financial Services investigation found multiple instances of consumers purchasing what they thought was auto no-fault insurance from Monaco Motors in conjunction with the purchase of a car.
The agency says Monaco Motors owners Camillo Monaco and Darrell Lees acted as an unlicensed insurance agents, providing incorrect or misleading advice, insufficient or non-existent no-fault coverage, or simply failing to pay for the necessary policies and ultimately leaving buyers without insurance.
Over 25 people found themselves without the required coverage or even the ability to register their newly purchased vehicles with the state.
The Department says all insurance producers in Michigan are required to have a license on display. Consumers are advised prior to purchasing auto insurance to ask the salesperson to show a copy of their license.


(Newaygo Co-Shooter Search)
Authorities in Newaygo County are searching for the gunman in the shooting deaths of two people Wednesday afternoon.
Police were called to a home around 2 p.m. after getting a call that shots were fired in the area of 17 mile road and M-37, near the Manistee National Forest. There authorities found two people dead of gunshot wounds.
Michigan State Police and the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department, along with K-9 units are searching for the suspect Charles Mark Hoover.
Hoover is described as approximately 60 years old and 5' 10'' to 6' tall. Authorities say he is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who sees him should call 911 immediately.
The names of the victims were not released.
(MI-Velsicol Burn Pit Assessment)
The Department of Community Health has finalized a Public Health Assessment for the Velsicol Burn Pit Superfund site in Mid-Michigan.
The assessment looked at the amount of chemicals in the soil, ash, and groundwater under the site, also known as the former burn area or Gratiot County Golf Course in St Louis.
The report says chemicals measured in the soil from the Velsicol Burn Pit and from a nearby neighborhood are not expected to harm people's health.
There are ash piles in the site that do have levels of arsenic and lead over health-based screening levels. However, people are not expected to be harmed by those chemicals, as they will have little to no contact with the ash piles.
According to the report, shallow groundwater under the site had higher levels of chemicals than groundwater from deeper underground which could possibly mean that chemicals in the soil or ash piles at the site could be moving into the groundwater.
Health officials say people have little, if any, contact with the shallow groundwater under the Velsicol Burn Pit, and nearby private drinking water wells did not have chemical levels above health-based screening levels.


(Gogebic Co-Murder Trial)
The trial is underway for a 50-year-old Western Upper Peninsula man accused of murdering his elderly wife.
Kenneth Peters of Bessemer is charged in Gogebic County Circuit Court with first and second degree murder and vulnerable abuse of an adult.
79-year-old Ethel Grzeena-Peters was reported missing on August 3rd of last year. Her body was found about ten days later in Watersmeet Township.
If he is convicted, Kenneth Peters could spend the rest of his life in prison.


(Lansing-Police Chief To Retire)
Lansing is in the market for a new police chief.
The city's top cop Teresa Szymanski has announced that will be retiring effective April 20th.
Szymanski has served with the Lansing Police Department for 26 years. She joined the department in 1987 as a uniform patrol officer and worked her way up the ranks. In 2005 Szymanski was named captain in charge of the department’s South Precinct and was named interim police chief in March 2010.
Szymanski was promoted to chief in February 2011.
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is expected to name an interim chief in the coming days.


(Lansing-Oil Spill Cleanup)
The Lansing Board of Water and Light says most of the oil that spilled into the Grand River last week has been cleaned up.
An equipment malfunction at the city-owned utility's Eckert Power Plant on Easter Sunday night caused turbine oil to spill into the river near downtown Lansing.
Officials estimated that fewer than 300 gallons of oil escaped into the river.
Two of three oil booms placed in the river to soak up the oil have been removed and BWL officials expect the the third to be removed today (Thursday).


(Auburn Hills-Chrysler Recall)
Chrysler is recalling more than 200-thousand vehicles.
The Auburn Hills automaker reports potential airbag problems in about 120-thousand Chrysler 300's and Dodge Challenger and Charger sedans from the 2011 and 2012 model years.
Roughly 61-thousand 2008-model year Dodge Nitro and Jeep Liberty SUV's reportedly could have drive shaft problems causing the vehicle to suddenly lose power.
A potential fuel tank problem that could cause a vehicle to stall prompted Chrysler to recall over 20-thousand 2012 Jeep Patriot and Compass SUVs.
Sixty-five-hundred 2013 Dodge Ram pickups are also being recalled because a cable in the parking brake system was improperly set so the brake may not hold.
(24/7 News Source)


(Grosse Pointe-Santorum Speech)
A speech to be delivered by former presidential candidate Rick Santorum at Grosse Pointe South High School later this month is back on.
Santorum was invited to speak at the school by the conservative student group Young Americans for Freedom, which raised 18-thousand-dollars to bring the Pennsylvania Republican to Grosse Pointe South. But school officials canceled the April 24 event because they were denied a preliminary review of Santorum's speech.
Santorum criticized the school contending that the rejection was due to his stance against gay marriage.
Mlive.com reports that Superintendent Thomas Harwood, in a statement Thursday afternoon, said a compromise was reached restoring the event, but giving students and teachers the option of skipping the speech.


(Detroit-Children Alone)
A 31-year-old Detroit woman is charged with two counts of misdemeanor fourth-degree child abuse in connection with leaving her two young children home alone.
Deedra Pitts' ten-year-old son and ten-month-old daughter were on their own last week when someone reportedly tried to break into their house.
The little boy called 9-1-1- and fled, with the baby, to a neighbor's house.
(24/7 News Source)


---Note Nature---

(Macomb Twp-Child Porn)
A 33-year-old Macomb Township man has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison, convicted of manufacturing and distributing child porn.
Among the hundreds of images of children prosecutors say they found in Thomas Wooten’s home was a video of Wooten sexually abusing a 3-year-old girl.
According to prosecutors, evidence at trial showed that Wooten produced and distributed on the internet pornographic images of a 3-year-old girl, including a video of her engaging in a sexual act with Wooten. Wooten also downloaded and collected hundreds of child pornographic images and videos, some of which he obtained by trading the images he created.
He was found guilty in December and sentenced Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Marianne O. Battani in Detroit.
Wooten was sentenced to serve an additional 15 years of parole following his release.
(WWJ, Detroit)


(St. Joseph Co-Former Deputy Sentenced)
A former sheriff's deputy in Southwest Michigan who authorities say stole a prescription pain reliever from a jail while on duty has been sentenced to a year of probation.
39-year old Stephen Morris of Kalamazoo County was sentenced in Van Buren County Circuit Court on Monday. Morris admitted to stealing the pain reliever Tramadol.
The St. Joseph County Sheriff's deputy was initially charged with felony larceny counts after the theft. He resigned after his arrest.
The state attorney general's office requested neighboring Cass County prosecutors handle the case.
(Jason Scott, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)


(Shelby Twp-Body Found)
Shelby Township Police are investigating the death of a woman found in a creek.
The discovery was made Tuesday at the Spring Hill apartments at West Utica and Mound roads.
Initial reports indicated the woman may have had a medical problem that contributed to her death and an autopsy is pending.
Police are asking anyone with information in this case to call 586-731-2121.
(24/7 News Source)


(Midland Co-Attempted Abduction-UPDATE)
Police have arrested a man wanted in the attempted abduction of a Midland County woman Tuesday.
The Midland County Sheriff’s Department says Woodie Lewis, who also goes by the first name of "Adrian," was in custody early this (Wednesday) afternoon.
Deputies say a Lee Township woman reported her estranged, ex-finance broke into her home, tied her up with duct tape and refused to let her leave her home. She was able to escape the house about midnight.
The victim drove to a friend's house seeking help and later went to the Mid Michigan Medical Center for treatment of injuries.
Authorities say while Lee is from the Clinton Township area in suburban Detroit, he has lived in the Mount Pleasant area.
(Help from: Bill Hewitt, WSGW, Saginaw)


(Taylor-Bottle Bomb)
Taylor Police arrested three teens who were allegedly seen setting off a bottle bomb.
The teens may be responsible for the attack on a ten-year-old girl earlier. "WDIV-TV" reports Daeja (DAY-zhuh) Franklin was approached by three teenage boys carrying the bottle filled with a mixture of household chemicals. They allegedly threw a device at the girl and it exploded when she tried to kick it away from her. She suffered burning to her eyes and was covered in a dangerous liquid but was lucky to not suffer more serious injuries.
The incident remains under investigation.
(24/7 News Source)


(Wed lottery)
There were no winning tickets sold in Wednesday's Classic Lotto 47 game.
That means Saturday's jackpot will be worth two-point-nine-five (2,950,000) (m) million dollars.
The numbers drawn Wednesday were: 05, 08, 12, 20, 40, and 45.
The Powerball numbers from last night: 01-36-40-52-53.
The power ball was 20.
The winning numbers for the Midday 3 lottery on Wednesday were: 8-7-2.
The winning numbers for the Midday 4 lottery were: 8-6-2-1.
The winning numbers for the Evening 3 lottery were: 4-0-9.
The winning numbers for the Evening 4 lottery were: 6-6-6-3.
The winning numbers for the Fantasy 5 lottery were: 01-13-17-23-34.
The winning numbers for the Keno lottery were: 04, 06, 09, 10, 19, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 35, 37, 42, 44, 46, 47, 49, 52, 62, 64, 69, 72.
Friday's Mega Millions jackpot will be worth at least $66 (m) million dollars.
Saturday's Powerball jackpot will be worth $70 (m) million dollars.


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