Thursday Afternoon State News Summary
Thu, 03 Jul 2014 08:32:32 EDT
(Det-Competitive)
Detroit is ranked the ninth most competitive metropolitan city in the country. A new report by CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists studied the 50 most populous areas of the U.S. from 2010 to 2013. Detroit's ranking is a result of three primary industries driving the local economy.    
They are motor vehicle manufacturing, engineering service and temporary help services.    Houston ranked at the top of the list.


(Capitol-Foresters-Veto)
Governor Rick Snyder has vetoed a package of four bills that would have eliminated the state foresters registry.
The veto came despite a recommendation from the Office of Regulatory Reform that the bills should become law.
In his veto message, Snyder said he opposed the total elimination of the registry.
He noted Michigan's more than four million acres of public forest land, adding (quote) "without certification to ensure appropriate education and training, the objectives of both public and private programs would be compromised."       
The governor did say that the Legislature should resubmit the bills so they modernize the forestry's current regulatory system in Michigan.
He added that Michigan should have a "clear, concise and rigorous licensing program for foresters," to "help achieve long-term goals for capitalizing on the enormous public and private forest resources" in Michigan.


(Lincoln Pk-Emergency Mgr)
Governor Rick Snyder has appointed an emergency manager for Lincoln Park, a Detroit suburb plagued with deficits.
The city also has rejected a proposed agreement to bring city finances under control.
Brad Coulter, a Detroit-area finance consultant, has been named by the governor to be the emergency manager for the city.
Lincoln Park's deficit has been tied to employee pension costs and declining property-tax revenue.
The governor says the city's General Fund Balance decrease from two (m) million in 2012 to a negative 90-thousand dollars. The governor also says there has been "a trend of over-spending" from the city's General Fund.


(Subaru-Recall)
Subaru of America is recalling more than 660-thousand Outback, Legacy, Impreza and Forester vehicles registered in cold-weather U.S. states, including Michigan, because of possible corrosion of brake lines.
Brake line corrosion could cause leaking of brake fluid and make the brakes less effective, increasing the risk of a crash, according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Affected vehicles are the 2009-2013 Forester, the 2008-2011 Impreza and the 2008-2014 Impreza WRX/STI, the 2005-2009 Outback and the 2005-2009 Legacy, according to the NHTSA.
(Help from: WWJ, Detroit)


(Allen Pk-Stabbing-Chase)
Police have one person in custody following an early morning stabbing and high-speed chase on I-94 in Allen Park.
The incident unfolded around 2:45 a.m. Thursday when a woman was leaving her Allen Park home to go to work. The woman told police she walked out of her house and was attacked by her ex-boyfriend, who stabbed her in the chest.
9-1-1 was called and the suspect fled in his car at speeds up to 100 miles per hour. Police caught him in Ypsilanti, where the suspect was taken into custody. The woman was treated at an area hospital and later released.
The suspect's name was not immediately released. Charges are pending. The incident remains under investigation.
(Help from: WWJ, Detroit)


(Cooley-Cuts)
The Lansing-based Thomas M. Cooley Law School has announced that it will be cutting faculty and staff as enrollment and revenue declines.
Cooley has campuses across Michigan and in the Tampa, Florida, area.
Reports cite rising health care and legacy costs. The school also told students it wouldnt enroll a new class at its campus in Ann Arbor this fall.
A statement from the school says its part of an effort to "remain at the forefront" in legal education.


(GrossePte-Water Spout)
The wonder of nature caused a traffic back-up in Grosse Pointe Farms today (Thurs).
Police were called to the shores of Lake St. Clair Thursday morning to deal with the backup, which was caused by gawkers taking photos of a waterspout.
A witness says he was driving along Lake Shore Road when he spotted what looked like a tornado forming over the lake.
But he says so may people stopped to photograph the spout, police had to be called in to help direct traffic.
Waterspouts appear as funnel clouds, and they occur over a body of water. They rarely have the strength of tornadoes.
(WWJ, Detroit)


(MI-Fourth Of July Travel-Underway)
The Mid-Summer holiday break is finally upon us, and millions of Michiganders are joining Americans setting out in droves to holiday destinations.
Nearly 1.35 million Michigan residents are expected to travel during the Fourth of July holiday, a 2.5 percent increase compared to last year.
According to the Triple-A travel forecast, of those, nearly 1.2 million people plan to travel by auto, while more than 61,000 will travel by air. The remaining 103,000 travelers will go by rail, bus or ship.
Triple-A Michigan's Susan Hiltz says its a travel trifecta: school is out, days are longer and the weather is warmer. She notes that with the holiday falling on Friday, many people are taking advantage of the long weekend with some turning it into a week-long getaway.
Nationally, Triple-A Travel projects 41 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday weekend, a 1.9 percent increase from the 40.3 million people who traveled last year and a nearly 14 percent increase compared to the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
The majority of travelers will be celebrating their freedom with a road trip, with more than eight in 10 (34.8 million) choosing to travel by automobile, the highest level since 2007.
The Fourth of July holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday July 2 to Sunday July 6.


(MI-Fireworks)
The Independence Day period is always loud, but since Michigan changed its fireworks law three years ago, it's become even louder.
The new law allows louder an more powerful fireworks, although the loudest, such as M-80s and Cherry Bombs, remain illegal.
This year, the state has issued more than 700 permits for fireworks stores, and many more are pending approval.
Since the new law was approved, more than three-and-a-half (m) million dollars worth of fireworks have been sold in Michigan, according to The Detroit News.
The law prohibits local communities from banning fireworks usage on and around holidays, but does allow them to be banned from midnight to eight a-m during the holidays, and on New Year's, the allowed banned period is one a-m to eight am.


(Capitol-Pharmacy Regulations)
Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation that imposes tighter regulations on so-called "compounding pharmacies" in the state.
The bills require properly licensed 'pharmacists in charge' to be on duty; more detailed record keeping of compounded drugs; regular inspections by state authorities; and criminal background checks for unlicensed pharmacists and those licensed prior to October 1, 2008.
Snyder says the bills will help establish additional safeguards between patients and pharmacists helping ensure Michiganders remain safe and healthy
The legislation followed a comprehensive review of existing state regulations and statutes in the wake of the meningitis outbreak linked to the now-defunct New England Compounding Center. More than 260 Michigan patients were affected by the outbreak including 22 deaths.




(Jackson-Prison Food Maggots)
Maggots have again been found inside a prison in Jackson.
Food workers peeling potatoes on Tuesday for a meal to be served at Egeler Reception and Guidance Center in Jackson discovered maggots inside one or more of the potatoes.
Egeler Warden Heidi Washington ordered the entire pallet of raw potatoes be thrown out and the prison kitchen was scrubbed with bleach.
The Detroit News reports the infestation was the second in less than a week at a Jackson prison facility and adds to Corrections Department officials worries regarding their $145-million, three-year contract with service giant Aramark to run the prison system food service.
On Friday, June 27, larvae and maggots were found at the Parnall Correctional Facility in Jackson in small cracks around the food service line where the sneeze guard protects the food. Over the weekend, 30 prisoners fell ill with food poisoning-like symptoms.
Governor Rick Snyder on Tuesday said the situation is (quote) "not acceptable."When asked if the contract with its private sector food vendor might be discontinued, the governor said (quote) "we're approaching those kind of points, in terms of what needs to be done."


(East Lansing-MSU Stadium Bomb Threat)
Police have two people in custody in connection with a bomb threat made Wednesday at Spartan Stadium according to the Lansing State Journal.
Michigan State University police Sgt. Paul Kuckek said a 31-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman were in custody in Ingham County Jail and could face formal charges on Thursday according to the paper.
Police evacuated Michigan State Universitys Spartan Stadium and a nearby area of campus due to a bomb threat.
According to a statement on the schools website, MSU police dispatch revived a call Wednesday afternoon saying there was a bomb at the stadium. All stadium personnel were evacuated to Wells Hall and Munn Arena.
A running track and MSUs Central Services garage were also evacuated, MSU police spokeswoman Florene McGlothian-Taylor told the Lansing State Journal.
(WWJ, Detroit)



(Muskegon Heights-Motorcyclist Shot-UPDATE)
A 25-year-old Muskegon man has been arrested in connection to the death of motorcyclist Jacob Rameau (ruh-MOH), who died in a crash last week in Muskegon Heights after being shot while chasing a car thief.
Dashawn Andrew Boylan has been charged with stealing the car Rameau was chasing and authorities say Boylan is a "person of interest" in the shooting. Boylan has not been charged in connection with Rameau's death.
26-year-old Rameau died around 1:55 a.m. Thursday, June 26, while chasing down his brother's stolen car.
An autopsy found a bullet wound on Rameau's body, turning what had been a hit-and-run investigation into a homicide investigation.
Muskegon County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Timothy Maat says it's not yet clear whether the bullet or the crash was the cause of death, but either way his death is considered a homicide.
Boylan was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of unlawful driving away of an automobile, a maximum five-year felony. His bond was set at $50,000. A preliminary examination is scheduled for July 7.


(Lenawee Co-Sports Betting Ring)
A Jackson man has pleaded guilty to felony offenses for his role in an extensive sports betting ring.
Attorney General Bill Schuette's office says 68-year-old James Melvin Johnson pleaded guilty yesterday (Tuesday) to aiding and abetting the distributing of cards; and aiding and abetting the conducting of a gambling operation, both punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Johnson is the second individual convicted in case. 57-year-old Thomas Allen Demlow of Adrian pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting conducting a gambling operation and failure to file a tax return or filing a false tax return on May 2.
Earlier this year, Schuette filed criminal charges against 55-year-old Kevin Andrew O'Connor for allegedly orchestrating the sports betting operation. Also charged were 62-year-old Deborah Kay Johnson of Tecumseh and 48-year-old Gregory Todd Worker of Onsted.
A Michigan State Police investigation revealed that OConnor allegedly ran the large sports betting operation for more than 15 years in Lenawee County through his flooring store, OConnor & Sons Flooring, in Tecumseh.

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