Friday Afternoon State News Summary
Fri, 23 Aug 2013 12:50:16 EDT

(MI-Canvassers-Detroit Primary)
The Board of State Canvassers will meet next week to try and certify the results of Detroits August 6th mayoral primary election.
A spokesperson for the Secretary of State announced that the board will meet in Detroit on Tuesday. A time and location for the meeting have not yet been determined.
The Wayne County Board of Canvassers wants to disqualify roughly 20-thousand write-in votes because incorrect markings were used to tally the votes.
State Elections Director Chris Thomas says the markings are not significant enough to disallow the votes.
The results of the state count could change who actually received the most votes: former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan (DUHG-en) or Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon. Regardless, the two will face off in the November general election.
(24/7 News Source)


(MI-Mackinac Bridge Top)
What's your story?
For the second year in a row, the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Mackinac Bridge Authority are asking you to share your Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk experiences on social media with photos and videos.
Now through Monday, September 9, you can post your memories of walking the bridge, either this year or in a previous year, on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #MightyMacWalk13. Officials say due to recent rules changes, Facebook postings will not be considered entries.
One person will be chosen at random to receive a behind-the-scenes tour to the top of the bridge.
Last year's winner was Michael Gronseth of Negaunee.


(MI-Prison Kitchens)
The State of Michigan has agreed to a contract with a Philadelphia-based company to run prison kitchens.
Aramark was awarded the contract after bidding 64-million dollars to provide daily meals to approximately 43-thousand prisoners. Officials say there are currently 300 to 400 workers on the state payroll and half may be hired by Aramark.
Governor Rick Snyder has been trying to pare down the operating costs of state prisons which is estimated at one-point-two billion dollars annually.
The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees union who represent current food workers is appealing the change to the Michigan Civil Service Commission.
(24/7 News Source)


(Kalamazoo Co-Enbridge Dredge Pad)
Enbridge will have to find a new site for their dredge pad in Kalamazoo County after the Comstock Township Planning Commission voted last night (Thursday) to deny a special exception permit.
The pipeline company had planned to move material it dredged from Morrow Lake to the pad in Comstock Commerce Park, a move opposed by some residents and business owners, such as the owners of Bells Brewery which sued to stop the plan.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Enbridge to do additional dredging of the Kalamazoo River at the delta in Morrow Lake as part of the ongoing cleanup from a massive 2010 oil spill near Marshall. Dredge pads are designed to hold oil-contaminated sediment removed from the river until it can be hauled away.
Enbridge has been ordered by the EPA to complete the dredging by December 31st.
(Help from: WBCK, Battle Creek)


(MI/MT-Firefighters To Montana)
Firefighters from Michigan are being sent to Montana to help battle wildfires.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is sending 18 firefighters out west. They will join the fight against a blaze that has charred over 95-hundred acres in western Montana to date.
The crew is comprised of five fire officers, 12 foresters and one surveyor from the DNR, Two U.S. Forest Service employees rounded out the crew.
DNR Forest Resources Division chief Bill O'Neill says they have been trained to battle fires and are ready to go wherever needed. He says it's important for states to cooperate during emergencies.
Nationally, there are 50 large uncontained fires currently burning, with 238 new fires that started Wednesday.
When sent on out-of-state assignments, the DNR is fully reimbursed for all costs associated with the support.
O'Neill stressed that while some employees were sent to assist firefighters in Montana, the state is still well-equipped to handle wildfires should one occur in Michigan.


(Escanaba-U.P. State Fair Attendance)
The numbers are in, and it was another successful year for the Upper Peninsula State Fair.
Delta County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Vickie Micheau says that paid attendance for last week's event in Escanaba was up by almost four percent.
Nearly 80,000 people visited the fair, and that doesn't include vendors, sponsors, and others who got in for free. The Skerbeck Carnival reported that its ridership was up by almost ten percent. And the grandstands were near capacity for the concerts.
Micheau says that last week's dry, sunny weather was a factoralong with a lot of U.P. residents choosing to "stay home" this summer.
(WTIQ, Manistique)


(MI/DC-Jeep Roof Fires)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the reports of roof fires in 2012 model year Jeep Grand Cherokees.
The safety board began their probe this week after three fires were reported near the passenger side sun visor. Investigators say one fire caused the sunroof in the vehicle to shatter while another fire spread to the passenger seat. No one has been injured.
The investigation reportedly involves over 146-thousand vehicles.
A Chrysler spokesman says the company is investigating and working with NHTSA.
(24/7 News Source)


(Macomb Co-Child Beaten-UPDATE)
A 26-year-old Macomb County man has been charged with first degree child abuse, accused of severely beating his girlfriends 2-year-old son.
Damian Sutton was listed in critical condition this morning (Friday) at Childrens Hospital in Detroit after police say he suffered terrible abuse at the hands of Ronald Dimambro (duh-MAM-bro).
Family members said at first, they thought the toddler had fallen out of a playpen at his Washington Township home on
Tuesday - but they quickly became suspicious.
Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said Dimambro, who eventually turned himself in, admitted that he shook the boy roughly and then threw him.
Hospital personnel told authorities the child suffered from severe head trauma consistent with shaken baby syndrome.
Dimambro is being held on a $500,000 bond. He faces up to life in prison.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for August 27.
(Help from: Mike Campbell, WWJ, Detroit)


(Holland-Prettiest Town List)
It's another fresh leaf added to the Tulip City's laurels.
The West Michigan city of Holland is one of the 15 prettiest towns in the nation, according to Forbes Magazine.
Mayor Kurt Dykstra says Forbes was impressed with the city's wide beaches, the lively arts scene, shops that celebrate its Dutch culture and even the snowmelt system that keeps downtowns streets dry during those cold, wet Lake Michigan winter days.
The publication gathered information from magazine travel experts for Frommers, National Geographic, Fodor's and Midwest Living to help compile the list of 15 which it says would not only stand out in a beauty pageant, but also provide great options for your next getaway.
(Jason Scott, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)


(Barry Co-Fatal Crash Charges)
A 24-year old man will stand trial on 10 charges in connection with the death of his pregnant girlfriend and her unborn baby in a traffic crash near Hastings earlier this year.
Derrick McElhaney of Delton has been bound over to Barry County Circuit Court on second degree murder, grossly negligent act causing miscarriage or stillbirth and several drunk driving and drug-related charges.
State Police say McElhaney was driving drunk on M-43 in Rutland Township on May 12 when he lost control of his vehicle and slammed into a tree.
21-year old Faith Allen of Lake Odessa died two days later at a Grand Rapids hospital. Her injuries led to the pregnancy failing.
McElhaney's next court appearance is tentatively set for September 23.
A conviction on 2nd degree murder can bring a sentence of up to life in prison; the lesser crimes carry varying sentences and fines.
(Jean Gallup, WBCH, Hastings)


(Tuscola Co-Helicopter Crash)
The pilot and a passenger were not hurt when a helicopter crashed Thursday evening in a corn field in Michigan's Thumb.
According to the Tuscola County Sheriff's office, the pliot said he was working on the power lines about 250 feet up, when a hoist that was attached had a line break. That caused the helicopter to pitch and strike a support arm.
The chopper's blades were damaged, but the pilot was able to land safely in the corn field in Denmark Township.
The Federal Aviation Administration was to inspect the site and the helicopter.
(WSGW, Saginaw)


(MI/DC-Crop Insurance)
For the first time, tart cherry growers in Michigan will have crop insurance available to them.
Michigan U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow says the United States Department of Agriculture has agreed to her proposal to offer the insurance to those growers following the disaster last year that wiped out nearly all of the crop. Sweet cherry growers received the option to have crop insurance last fall.
The coverage will be available in 14 counties in the state for the 2014 crop year. ?
Stabenow had pushed to get the insurance as part of a new five-year Farm Bill, but while the Senate has named conference committee members, the House has not done so yet.
(24/7 News Source)


(Saginaw-Splash Park Closes)
Saginaw's Splash Park is closed for inspection and maintenance of the chemical treatment system.
City officials said recent water quality testing showed that disinfection performance was outside the acceptable range. They said there have been no reports of illness or any indication of contamination, but the park will be closed until adjustments have been made and water quality test results meet required standards.
The city does plan to have the splash park in the Frank N. Anderson Park reopened in time for the Labor Day holiday next weekend. The Park is scheduled to close for the season on September 3.
(WSGW, Saginaw)


(Gogebic Co-Inmate Beating Death)
Two inmates at a state prison in the western Upper Peninsula have been arraigned on murder charges in the beating death of another inmate back in January.
25-year-old Delorean Henderson and 32-year-old Michael Smith were both charged in Gogebic County Circuit Court with second degree murder and manslaughter.
Both are charged as habitual offenders, fourth offense on the manslaughter charges.
26-year old Randolph Connor died after being punched and kicked several times in the TV room at the minimum security Ojibway Correction Facility in Marenisco Township.
Henderson and Smith will be in court October 1 for an all purpose hearing. They have since been moved to a higher security facility.
(Rick Allen, WCCY/WOLV, Houghton)


(MI-Scuba-Marijuana-UPDATE)
A Canadian scuba diver arrested near Marine City for trying to smuggle eight pounds of marijuana into the U.S., by swimming through the St. Clair River, has been arraigned on charges.
The St. Clair County Sheriff's Office says 24-year old Jesse Zunti is charged with one count of controlled substance and delivering and manufacturing of marijuana, a four year felony.
The incident started with a tip from a citizen to agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, with the pot towed in what's called a "dry bag", which is often used by divers.
Zunti was arrested by border patrol agents early Monday morning when he got out of the water by Marine City.
(WPHM, Port Huron)

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