Friday Morning State News Summary
Fri, 12 Apr 2013 01:20:43 EDT
(Capitol-Internet Lottery Sales Ban)
The Michigan Lottery wants to sell lottery games over the Internet, but the proposal could be running into roadblocks in the state legislature.
Bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate making online lottery sales in Michigan illegal.
The sponsor of the bill in the House, Republican Kevin Cotter of Mount Pleasant, says allowing state-sponsored gambling online would be going too far.
Senate bill sponsor Republican Rick Jones, a former Eaton County sheriff, says he thinks expanding the sales to someone's computer or smartphone will make it easier to become addicted to gambling, will make personal debt "skyrocket" by allowing credit cards to be used to buy tickets, and will deprive small businesses of sales and store traffic.
(Help from: 24/7 News Source)


(Capitol-Pension Tax)
The Michigan Senate has voted to delay until late December at the earliest, a vote on a bill to repeal the state's new pension tax.
Democrats pushed for a vote this week, as it's the week before the annual tax filing deadline.
They say the tax has created an undue burden on already strapped seniors.
The vote to delay action was 21-to-12, with Democrats voting against the delay and majority Republicans, save for two, voting in favor of the delay.
Senate Republicans Rick Jones of Grand Ledge and Roger Kahn of Saginaw voted with Democrats.


(Capitol-Wolf Hunt Bill)
A proposal that would allow for a wolf hunt regardless the results of a potential voter referendum on the issue, was advanced by a Senate committee Thursday.
The legislation proposed by Senate Republican Tom Casperson of Escanaba would give the state’s Natural Resources Commission the authority to designate a species as a game species without the Legislature's permission. Current law requires that the Legislature designate a game species and then give the NRC permission to establish a hunt.
The measure also includes a 1 (m) million-dollar appropriation, which protects it from being overturned by a voter referendum.
The Humane Society of the United States, which opposes a wolf hunt, says the measure is a deliberate attempt to thwart their pending ballot proposal.
The Humane Society is part of a coalition, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, that submitted nearly 254-thousand signatures to the Secretary of State’s office seeking to put a question on the statewide ballot that would throw out a law that allows the state to schedule a wolf hunting season in Michigan.
Supporters of a wolf hunt contend that gray wolves have been causing problems in the Upper Peninsula.


(MI-Business Forecast)
The state’s business roundtable continues to forecast that Michigan’s economy will grow faster than the U.S. economy over the next six to eighteen months.
The forecast by Business Leaders for Michigan is reinforced by 43 percent of its members planning to increase hiring in Michigan in just the next six months.
According to the survey, 55% of business leaders believe Michigan’s economy will grow over the next six months and none believe it will get worse while 62% feel the American economy will be about same.
76% of Michigan business leaders believe the state’s economy will grow over the next 18 months while only 52% forecast the American economy will grow during that time.
About 1/3 of business leader believe they will make capital investments in Michigan.
The results reflect a survey of Business Leaders for Michigan’s 80 members, the chairpersons, chief executive officers, or most senior executives of Michigan's largest companies and universities, who represent nearly one-quarter of the state’s economy.


(MI-Obama Budget-Michigan)
Michigan could see an cash influx if President Obama's three-point-eight-trillion budget plan for 2014 is approved.
The budget includes 300-million dollars for Great Lakes restoration. It also calls for incentives for auto dealers who sell more advanced technology vehicles.
The president is also looking to create an Energy Trust Fund to invest in development of alternative fuels.
(24/7 News Source)


(MI-Wolf Hunt Numbers)
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the killing of 43 gray wolves would keep the population stable.
The Natural Resources Commission (NRC) released numbers showing the 2013 updated wolf population in the state is 658, down from 687 population estimate in 2011.
The numbers come ahead of the NRC's vote on a wolf hunting draft from the Department of Natural Resources.
MIRS News Service reports the DNR is proposing a hunt to kill 43 wolves: 16 in Wolf Management Unit (WMU) A, which covers the far western Upper Peninsula; 19 for WMU B, which includes portions of Baraga, Houghton, Ontonagon, and Gogebic Counties; and eight for WMU C, which includes portions of Luce and Mackinac counties.
John Madigan, who chairs the NRC Policy Committee on Wildlife and fisheries (quote) “I think the main point, if there's one point that needs to get out there, it's that the wolf hunt is not to decrease the number of wolves. It's to manage the wolves."


(Eaton Co-Youth League Embezzlement)
A Lansing woman is accused of stealing more than $17,000 from a youth football league.
39-year old Celeste Foster was arraigned in Eaton County District Court on one count of embezzlement and multiple counts of writing bad checks.
Authorities say the embezzlement happened between October 2011 and October 2012 when Foster was acting treasurer for the Junior Waverly Warrior Football League. The league is for 4th- through 8th-grade students who live in the Waverly school district.
Foster is free on bond pending a preliminary hearing on April 15. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison and/or three times the amount embezzled.


(MI-Foreclosures Down)
The number of foreclosures in Michigan has dropped.
According to data released by RealityTrac, the number of Michigan homes auctioned by the county sheriff or taken back by banks dropped by almost two-thousand between February and March of this year. Compared to a year ago this time, the number of foreclosures has dropped by roughly half.
Nationally, the number of foreclosed homes has dropped by one-percent between February and March.
(24/7 News Source)


(Clinton Twp-Spaghetti Sauce Bomber)
Police are searching for a suspect who they say used two cans of spaghetti sauce to rob a Macomb County bank Thursday.
Officials say 53-year-old Ophelia Amelia Neal told bank employees that she had a bomb in her bag and demanded money. Neal exited the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash and rode away in a car being driven by a man.
The bomb squad discovered later that the bag had contained two cans of spaghetti sauce.
Neal is parole absconder, with previous convictions for assault and drug charges.
The Michigan Department of Corrections describe Neal as a 5-foot, 7-inch, 430-pound black woman with graying hair.


(MI-Killer Resentence)
A Michigan Court of Appeals has ordered a resentencing for a Northern Michigan man convicted of the 2011 stabbing death of a Traverse City teen.
19-year old Robert Schwander was sentenced to 40 to 70 years in prison following his conviction by a Grand Traverse County jury of second-degree murder for killing then 16-year old Carly Lewis.
According to the Traverse City Record Eagle, the minimum sentence handed down by Circuit Court Judge Thomas Power was almost double the highest minimum under state sentencing guidelines.
Power trimmed Schwander's sentence by two years after the Court of Appeals ordered him to explain why he exceeded the guidelines or re-sentence him. Power declined to explain his departure from sentencing guidelines, and said he provided substantial reasoning during the initial sentencing.
The appeals court says the resentence was done in a manner inconsistent with mandated procedures and ordered Schwander be resentenced by a different judge.


(Detroit-Old Assets-New Name)
The now bankrupt Michigan battery supplier A123 systems has a new name, at least for its "old assets", and its called B456.
The firm was bought by a Chinese company and needed to change its name to comply with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The name change is similar to what General Motors did with their old assets now owned by Motors Liquidation Company.
The new owners finalized their purchase of B456 and plan to keep the original name of A123 Systems going forward. The company has also pledged to keep its plants in Michigan open.
(24/7 News Source)


(Grand Rapids-LaughFest Success)
Year three for Gilda's LaughFest was a good one.
Leann Arkema, president and CEO, of Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids says over 50,000 people attend LaughFest this year, and a total of 33,509 tickets were sold to the various events last month with visitors coming from 33 states, plus Canada.
In addition to the attendance figures, LaughFest officials are estimating the third year of the festival will have net proceeds of $210,000, which includes $74,790 raised specifically for the children’s grief support programs at Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids through LaughFest's "High Five" donation campaign.
Arkema says LaughFest is becoming as much a part of the fabric of west Michigan as ArtPrize and Festival and is raising the visibility of Grand Rapids and West Michigan on a national level as well.
(Chuck LaTour, WOOD, Grand Rapids)


(DC-Cheeks-Kilpatrick Alien Hearing)
The mother of former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is going to join a panel gathering so-called evidence of extraterrestrial life on Earth.
Former Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick and five other former Congressional members will be in Washington, D.C., for the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure. The Detroit Free Press reports the six panelists will each get 20-thousand dollars and expenses for listening to testimony at the National Press Club starting April 29th.
Event organizer Stephen Bassett told the newspaper that none of the panelists were asked if they believed in an extraterrestrial presence on this planet.
(24/7 News Source)


(Marquette Co-Car-Train Accident Suspect)
A Marquette County woman will stand trial in connection with a car-train accident last month that injured three members of her family.
24-year old Samantha Jo French of Gwinn was bound over to Marquette County Circuit Court on two counts of operating under the influence causing serious injury and one count of possession of marijuana. She will be arraigned April 19.
Police say French failed to stop for an approaching Canadian National Railway train at a crossing in Little Lake on March 28. Her 5- and 6-year-old children were injured, and so was her mother.
French was not injured in the accident. She's lodged in the Marquette County Jail on a $305,000 bond.
The incident is still under investigation.
(Rick Allen, WCCY/WOLV, Houghton)


(Grand Rapids-Silver Line Groundbreaking)
Governor Rick Snyder participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking on a new Silver Line bus station in Grand Rapids Thursday.
The SilverLine is Michigan's first bus rapid transit program, developed in the Grand Rapids metro area by the Interurban Transportation Partnership, which operates the city's Rapid bus service.
The state and federal governments are helping local tax dollars pay for the $40 million project which required two votes before public acceptance.
The SilverLine is said to be able to travel as fast as a Light Rail System, but at a fraction of the cost, as it connects Cutlerville to the downtown Grand Rapids Medical Mile.
The buses will travel in a dedicated traffic lane that cars are not supposed to use except for turning right. Reportedly, each bus will have the ability to change the timing on the traffic signals to suit itself.
Heralded by Snyder as a landmark system that will bolster transit in a rapidly developing region, the Silver Line is expected to open for service in August 2014.
(WOOD, Grand Rapids)


(Livonia-Cat Hoarder)
A Livonia man could face charges after his cat hoarding got out of control.
Livonia Animal Control and volunteers from the Michigan Humane Society were called in to a house near 5 Mile and Middlebelt to remove 49 cats that were living in their own waste.
Animal control was tipped off due to complaints from neighbors about the smell.
Brian Wilson, Superintendent of Public Services in Livonia, said, this was not the first time animal control has had to remove cats from the home, but the situation was far worse this time.
The homeowner is currently hospitalized. He signed paperwork on Wednesday allowing the city and MHS volunteers to enter the home and remove the cats.
(WWJ, Detroit)


(Thur Lottery)
Tonight's (Fri) Mega Millions jackpot is worth $60 (m) million dollars.
The winning numbers for the Midday 3 lottery on Thursday were: 0-7-6.
The winning numbers for the Midday 4 lottery were: 1-5-4-6.
The winning numbers for the Evening 3 lottery were: 4-6-8.
The winning numbers for the evening 4 lottery were: 9-9-7-0.
The winning numbers for the Fantasy 5 lottery were: 05-09-17-27-36.
The winning numbers for the Keno lottery were: 01, 02, 04, 06, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 18, 22, 26, 27, 42, 44, 55, 59, 61, 71, 72, 75, 77.
Saturday's Classic Lotto jackpot is projected to be two-point-nine-five (m) million dollars.


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