Tuesday State News Summary
Tue, 03 Oct 2017 05:24:29 EDT

Auto insurance rates will take front and center stage in Lansing this week as hearings
begin on a bill aimed at reducing Michigan's highest-in-the-nation premiums. The bill,
which will have its first hearing at 9 a.m. Tuesday, would guarantee premium
reductions of 20% to 50% by allowing drivers to choose lower levels of coverage;
setting fee schedules for the health care services provided to car crash victims, and
allowing senior citizens to use their Medicare coverage to pay for crash-related injuries,
rather than their auto insurance.

For the 22nd year in a row, Grand Valley State University has been named one of
America's 100 Best College Buys by Institutional Research and Evaluation, Inc. in
Georgia. Each year, Institutional Research and Evaluation identifies the 100 American
colleges and universities providing students the very highest quality education at the
lowest cost. Grand Valley has made the list far more times than any other Michigan
institution; authors of the report say it is because of Grand Valley's high academic
performance coupled with its low cost. The only other Michigan institutions on the list
this year are Hillsdale College and Western Michigan University.

Congressman Dan Kildee will speak at a rally at the U.S. Supreme Court on the need
to end partisan gerrymandering this morning at 10:30. The High Court will hear oral
arguments in Gill v. Whitford today, a case where a lower federal court struck down a
Wisconsin legislative map drawn by Republicans as unconstitutional. Last month,
Congressman Kildee filed a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to abolish partisan
gerrymandering. The brief, signed by Republicans and Democrats, proposed that the
Court put guidelines on how states can draw district lines.

Oakland County Health Division begins their annual flu vaccination program today. The
flu vaccine protects against as many as four flu viruses which are most likely to occur
this season. Flu shots are available for $25 at both Health Division offices in Pontiac
and Southfield. Individuals 65 years and older qualify for a high-dose flu shot, which
costs $47.

The Supreme court has decided NOT to hear a case that challenges Michigan law that
would temporarily let the state remove the authority of local officials to appoint an
emergency manager. The lawsuit was brought forward due to the belief that the
appointment of emergency managers largely occurred in areas with a high African
American population, where similar areas with a largely white population were not
assigned emergency managers.

Lear Corporation has broken ground for a new plant on the old Buick City site in Flint.
The massive site closed in 1999. The roughly 33-acre development should start
production in April and employ about 600 workers.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Michigan's sex offender registry law must be
rewritten. The high court let stand a decision that, due to numerous restriction, treats
people as - quote - "moral lepers." This ruling strikes down a Michigan appeal 13
months following a federal appeals court finding many retroactive rules unconstitutional.

A doe killed during the youth deer hunting season had chronic wasting disease.
The Department of Natural Resources is awaiting confirmation from the Michigan State
University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory on the doe that was killed in Montcalm
County. Chronic wasting disease is a neurological disorder affecting white-tailed deer,
mule deer, elk and moose.

General Motors is promising two new electric vehicles in the next one-and-a-half years
and more than 20 electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2023. The two new electric
vehicles likely will be SUVs or maybe a sportier car designed to compete with Tesla's
upcoming Model 3. GM says most of the new vehicles will offer a longer range than
the Chevrolet Bolt's 238 miles.

An analysis from the Legal Aid Justice Center describes Michigan as one of the top 5
most difficult states regarding having your driver's license suspended for not being able
to pay court fines and fees. This not long after a lawsuit filed against the state saying
the policies harm poor people. Michigan does not take into consideration one's financial
ability to pay the debt. Only Delaware, Virginia, Maine and Florida also have the same

City officials are calling the first phase of the Grand Rapids’ first-ever pedestrian safety
campaign successful. During the two-week campaign, police officers observed
pedestrian/motorist interactions at nine high-visibility enforcement zones. Over the
course of 351 hours, officers stopped over 2000 vehicles and provided warnings and
education to motorists about pedestrian safety laws. The most common causes of such
crashes include motorists not yielding to pedestrians, and pedestrians not using

A helicopter crash in Lee Township in Midland County has claimed the life of a 76-yearold
man and injured his 16-year-old son. Paul Pangborn of Midland was piloting the
helicopter Sunday afternoon and was pronounced dead at a hospital. Authorities claim
that Pangborn had flown to his grandson's birthday party and picked him up before the
crash. His grandson suffered minor injuries and was released from a local hospital.

On average, one of every 85 Michigan drivers will have an insurance claim for damage
caused by a collision with a deer in 2017. That's the result from State Farm's annual
deer claim study. It ranks states by the potential of hitting a large animal, including
deer, elk and moose over a given time period. The odds more than double during fall
months. State Farm says the average cost for deer-vehicle claims nationwide is now
over 4-thousand dollars.

The Michigan Department of Education has announced that thirteen exemplary, highperforming
schools in Michigan are being recognized as 2017 National Blue Ribbon
Schools. State superintendent Brian Whiston says the honor shows that Michigan is on
its way to becoming a Top 10 education state in ten year. The school district honored
include Byron Center, Otsego, Cadillac, Saginaw, St. Joseph and Jenison schools.

AAA Michigan says gas prices statewide are on the way back up. In the past week,
the auto club says prices at the pump have risen by about 8 cents per gallon. Currently,
the average price is about $2.50 per gallon. That's about 26 cents more than at the
same point last year.The lowest average price is about $2.47 per gallon in the Jackson
area. The highest is in the Marquette area at $2.57 per gallon.

Authorities say a 33-year-old man has died after a vehicle he was working underneath
accidentally slipped off a jack at a home in Michigan.
The Huron County sheriff's department says Adam J. Duda of Bad Axe had been
working on the vehicle when it fell on him Sunday. The death is under investigation.

A former Grand Rapids Police officer was caught on body camera video holding a gun
to a handcuffed suspect's head. WOOD TV reports police first told suspect Javonte
Howell to put his hands on top of his head and when he didn't , an officer ordered a
taser to be used. Officer Kevin Penn told Howell that he had a gun and if he moved, it's
possible that he'd be injured. Penn then pointed his gun only a few inches from
Howell's head while was handcuffed and on the ground after being tased. Howell told
officers he didn't attempt to rob anyone. Police say Penn was suspended after fellow
officers reported him for using excessive force. He resigned before an internal affairs
investigation was completed.

Some family members of an 18-year-old west Michigan woman killed by her half
brother are upset that he's been offered a plea deal. WOOD TV reports Savon Schmus
plead guilty to one count of first degree murder in the strangling death of 18-year-old
McKenna Hilton in Grand Rapids in 2016 in exchange for the prosecutor not pursing a
life sentence without the possibility of parole. Prosecutor Chris Becker says his office
decided to ask for a prison term of 30 to 40 years given that Schmus was 16 years old
at the time of the murder and had no past criminal history. Hilton's mother Stacey Hilton
says she thinks Schmus should have been eligible for the same punishment had he
committed the crime once he was an adult.

The National Parks Service is warning visitors to Sleeping Bear Dunes National
Lakeshore near Traverse City--about large amounts of broken glass on the beach
there. Workers have been busy cleaning up a stretch of sand in the park's Port Oneida
Rural Historic District. M-LIVE says beachgoers are being urged to wear shoes--and to
NOT walk their pets in that area. Warning signs are posted. No glass containers are
allowed on Sleeping Bear's beaches.

Governor Rick Snyder is calling for U-S and Michigan flags to be lowered to half-staff in
honor of the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas.
The governor encouraged residents, businesses, schools, local governments and other
organizations to display the flags at half-staff through sunset on Friday.
In a statement, Snyder asked Michiganders to pray for those injured and those fighting
for their lives.

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