Monday State News Summary
Mon, 06 May 2013 11:22:17 EDT
Muskegon Co-Heeringa Investigation-UPDATE)
Tips are still pouring in more than a week since the disappearance of a Muskegon County woman.
Norton Shores Police Chief Daniel Shaw said theyve received more than 1,000 tips in the case of 25-year-old Jessica Heeringa (HAIR-ing-UH), who was abducted from a gas station where she had been working.
Shaw said their task force remains vigilant and he believes they will find Heeringa and bring her home safely. Although, he said, time is not on their side.
Investigators say they have talked to several persons of interest including the driver of a silver minivan seen in the area near the time she went missing, but havent made any arrests.
Police believe Heeringa was abducted because all of her personal belongings were found in the store and no money was missing from the cash register.
Anyone who may information is asked to contact Silent Observer.
Police are searching for a man wanted for questioning in the apparent kidnapping of an Ypsilanti woman.
Authorities say 25-year-old Farrah Cook was spotted by witnesses as she was forced into a vehicle against her will just before 6 a.m. this (Monday) morning.
Police want to talk to her ex-boyfriend, 27-year-old Jeremy Abston of Ann Arbor, in connection with her disappearance. They warn that he could be armed and dangerous.
Abston is a black male, 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weight about 240-250 lbs. The suspect vehicle is a dark blue or black Pontiac Grand Prix with a hub cap missing from one of the rear wheels and some rust.
Police are also looking for a second man as well as a woman who might have assisted in the abduction.
Anyone with information is asked to call Ypsilanti Police or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.
Michigan motorists will find gas prices up almost two cents a gallon this week.
Triple A Michigan reports the current statewide average is $3.77 per gallon, but that's down just over 8 cents from this same time last year.
Among the cities it surveys, the Auto Club says the lowest price in the state was found in the Flint area at slightly more than $3.69 per gallon. The highest was in the Marquette area at $3.83 per gallon.
Dearborn-based 'Triple A Michigan' surveys two-thousand-800 Michigan gas stations daily.
Among Michigan's major metropolitan areas, three-dollars-69-point-three cents in Flint, three-dollars-72-point-three cents in Traverse City, three-dollars-73-point-fivee cents in Saginaw/Bay City, three-dollars-75-point-two cents in Metro Detroit, three-dollars-76-point-eight cents in Grand Rapids/Muskegon, three-dollars-78-point-one cents in Lansing/East Lansing, three-dollars-79-point-eight cents in Benton Harbor, three-dollars-80-point-two cents in Jackson, three-dollars-80-point-five cents in Ann Arbor and a statewide high of three-dollars-83-point-five cents in Marquette.
Fire danger throughout Northern Michigan will be elevated this (Monday) afternoon and early evening, and once again Tuesday afternoon and early evening.
National Weather Service forecasters say temperatures in the 70s coupled with a lack of rain in the past week, low humidity levels with sustained winds are all a mix for elevated wildfire danger.
Those enjoying the outdoors are strongly urged to take proper precautions with campfires and other open flames, and remember to properly dispose of used smoking materials.
Burn permits are not being issued.
(MI-Pure Michigan Ads)
With its $13 million national advertising campaign already underway, Pure Michigan has now kicked off its advertising campaign in local markets throughout the Great Lakes region. The television and radio ads feature 34 private sector partners and will air in key regional markets and statewide through June.
The advertising budget for the spring/summer campaign is $4.8 million, including $1.5 million committed by partner communities and attractions.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation matches the contributions as part of the Travel Michigan Ad Partnership Program for an overall partnership advertising budget of $11 million for the year.
Officials say in total, private sector partners, including five national partners, are contributing $5.5 million in 2013 to help air Pure Michigan ads nationally, regionally and in-state. Partner contributions to the campaign have nearly doubled since 2011.
(UM-Distracted Driving Parents)
New research from the University of Michigan finds that many parents multi-task with their kids in the car.
Dr. Michelle Macy, lead author of the report, said children of distracted driving parents are at greater risk of being in an accident than kids whose parents pay full attention at the wheel.
Ninety percent of parents surveyed admitted that they often take their eyes off the road - saying they had least one technology-related distraction the past month while driving their kids.
Macy says using a handheld cell phone was one of the most common things that parents reported they were doing.
About half of parents said they had driven while trying to find directions, by using a map or a GPS device while driving. Other distractions were eating, feeding a child, fixing their hair or makeup and picking up dropped toys or other items from the car floor.
Texting was the least common distraction, with just a little over 10 percent of parents reporting texting while driving their children in the past month.
The researchers surveyed more than 600 parents whose children were treated at two emergency departments in Michigan for any reason. The children were ages 1 to 12.
The study will be presented Monday at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Washington, DC.
(Missaukee Co-Mother Charged)
A northern Michigan has been arrested in the death of her young son.
Police in Missaukee County say 20-year old Brittani Grabon of McBain is charged with murder for the death of her 14-month-old son Payton last December.
Grabon remains in jail on a $1 million bond. She will be back in court in 2 weeks for a preliminary examination.
(WBRN, Big Rapids)
(Berrien Co-Double Fatal-UPDATE)
Authorities have released the names of the two young women who died in a crash on I-94 in southwest Michigan Sunday afternoon.
Police in Berrien County's Lincoln Township say 18-year-old Jaquisha Wright of Chicago and 19-year-old Rashell Allen of Holland were killed in the accident.
Police say Wright swerved the car to avoid a piece of tire, hit a truck in another lane, and careened out of control into the eastbound lanes.
The teens slammed head-on into a semi, causing the truck to go across the median and into the westbound lanes, where it came to rest in a ditch. The crash closed the westbound lanes of the highway for hours.
Police say the driver of the truck suffered minor injuries, while Wright and Allen were killed on impact.
Authorities add that speed was not a factor, and everyone was wearing a seat belt.
I-94 Westbound was reopened around 9 p.m. Sunday.
(Michael Arney, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)
(Leelanau Co-No Growth Needed)
Business leaders in Leelanau County in northwest lower Michigan are upset after the County Commission decided to abolish its Economic Development Corporation and rejected a partnership with nearby Grand Traverse County that is designed to promote growth.
At a meeting last month, commissioners said the county is wealthy enough already and that they don't want growth. They said it's up to people to find their own jobs and businesses to make their own plans. But, business leaders say people who want jobs can't find them and leave the area.
Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce President Doug Luciani told the Traverse City Record-Eagle that the move sends the message that the county is closed for business.
Leelanau County with about 21,000 residents is part of the Traverse City metropolitan area, which has about 143,000 people.
(Macomb Co-Park Shooting)
Police are looking for a suspect after a 24-year old man was shot to death Sunday night in a Macomb County park.
The incident took place in Drewry Park on Clinton Townships east side.
Detectives say witnesses reported some kind of argument on a basketball court led up to the shooting, but further details surrounding the incident were still unclear.
The shooter fled the scene and remained at large this (Monday) morning.
The victim had a single gunshot wound. His family drove to him to the hospital but he was pronounced dead on arrival. His name was not immediately released.
Police say as many as 20 people witnessed the shooting but so far no one has come forward with information.
(WWJ, Detroit/24/7 News Source)
(Gogebic Co-Murder Suspect Arrested)
An Upper Peninsula man wanted in connection with a murder in Louisiana has been arrested.
United States Marshals assisted by troopers from the Michigan State Police-Wakefield Post took the Ironwood Township man into custody without incident late Friday.
The 20-year-old man was wanted on a first degree murder charge in a case in Baton Rouge.
The suspect was lodged in the Ontonagon County Jail pending extradition back to Louisiana. His name has not been released.
(Rick Allen, WCC/WOLV, Houghton/WTIQ, Manistique)
A trail of blood down a sidewalk, in a lobby and an elevator led Detroit police to the doorstep of an elderly, disabled man who was charged in connection with a grisly dismemberment.
72-year old Alphonso Jackson of Detroit, has been charged with disinterment of a body, tampering with evidence and concealing the death of a person. Jackson is expected to be arraigned this afternoon in 36th District Court.
Officers allegedly discovered him in his kitchen at the Phillip C. Sims Senior Housing Apartments on the city's east side at 5 a.m. Friday after they were called there on a welfare check.
When the police entered his apartment it is alleged the dismembered body of a woman was found in Jacksons bathroom. Jackson, who reportedly uses a wheelchair, was placed under arrest.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said the police investigation is ongoing.
Disinterment and tampering both carry possible penalties of 10 years in prison; concealing death is five years.
The name of the victim has not been released.
(Marquette-Marina Dredging Project)
Work is scheduled to begin on a half-million dollars dredging project in Marquette's Presque Isle Marina.
Jon Swenson of the Marquette City Parks and Recreation Department says the marina will be closed to all traffic because a barrier will be placed at the mouth of the harbor so that the dreged materials don't go into Lake Superior.
Swenson says the project that will be fully-funded with money from the state's Waterways Fund. The work will take between eight and ten weeks to complete.
Swenson says while the project is being worked on, people should use the Cinder Pond access site in the Lower Harbor to get their boats into the lake.
(Ottawa Co-Car-Bike Fatal)
A West Michigan bicyclist was killed after he was struck by a vehicle yesterday (Sunday) afternoon.
According to the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department, 55-year-old Jeffrey Looman of Walker was pedaling along the Musketawa trail near Coopersville and did not yield to traffic where the path intersects 24th Avenue.
A crossing SUV driven by a Coopersville man was not able to stop and hit the bike throwing the Looman off the cycle.
Emergency responders treated Looman at the scene and summoned the Aero Med helicopter. However, resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful and Looman was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the SUV was not injured.
(Walt Zerlaut, WGHN, Grand Haven)