Thursday Afternoon State News Summary
Thu, 16 Jan 2014 10:37:49 EST
An elderly Northern Michigan man was shot and killed in a standoff with police overnight.
According to multiple reports, the 75-year old man got into an argument with several people at a home in Roscommon Township near Houghton Lake.
Police say the incident stemmed from a domestic assault that happened earlier Wednesday night.
Roscommon County Sheriff's Deputies surrounded the home and were able to get two people out of the house safely. The suspect later confronted police armed with a handgun, when he refused to put down his weapon shots were fired.
The man went back inside the house, where he was found dead around 4:00 AM. this morning (Thursday). His name has not been released.
The shooting is under investigation.


(MI-Potholes Return)
It's not spring yet, but a mid-January warm-up brought with it a bumper crop of potholes across Michigan.
The Michigan Department of Transportation says if you spot a pothole on any state roads, you can report it to M-DOT's Pothole Hotline. The roads are those with an I-, US- or M-route designation.
State Transportation Director Kirk Steudle (STIGH-Duhl) says the quicker they know about where potholes are forming, the sooner they're patched. However he adds that patching them won't last, but will help get through until warmer weather returns.
Motorists in Michigan can report potholes on state highways in three ways: calling the Pothole Hotline at 888-296-4546; going online at michigan.gov/mdot and clicking the "Report a Pothole" link in the Spotlight section or by calling your local M-DOT Transportation Service Center or region office.
Those reporting pothole locations are asked to provide the route name (M, I or US designation), the county, the nearest community, and the closest cross street or interchange.
Potholes on non-state roads should be reported to local road commissions since M-DOT does not have jurisdiction over roads that are not part of the state system.


(Snyder-DIA Aid-Pension Funds)
Governor Rick Snyder is reportedly proposing a plan that involves 350-million dollars in state aid for the Detroit Institute of Arts and the city’s two pension funds.
Sources close to the governor say the plan calls for 350-million dollars over 20 years to bolster Detroit’s pension funds and help protect city-owned art from a bankruptcy sale.
According to officials, Snyder met with lawmakers yesterday and proposed the state match the 330-million dollars that nine private foundations have pledged to keep the DIA’s masterpieces off the auction block.
(24/7 News Source)


(Kent Co-Flu Deaths)
The Kent County Health Department says the H1N1 flu virus has contributed to three recent deaths.
Two of those cases involved other medical conditions, and authorities are waiting to find out if other conditions affected the third individual, as well.
Overall, the health department says there have been more than 400 reported flu cases in Kent County this year. At least 26 people have been hospitalized.
The health department encourages people to get a flu shot if they have not already.
(WOOD, Grand Rapids)


(Detroit-Biden- Auto Show)
Vice President Joe Biden calls the government investment in the auto industry a bet on the American auto worker that it won.
Biden addressed a large crowd at the North American International Auto Show this morning (Thursday). He was on a stage with six U.S.-made vehicles behind him including the Chevrolet Corvette, the Chrysler 200 and the Ford F-150 pickup truck.
The Vice President was introduced by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and told the mayor that Detroit is going to come back just like the auto industry but when asked if the Obama administration would provide assistance to help Detroit exit Chapter 9 bankruptcy, Biden replied the Motor City had to do it on its own.
The Vice President says Detroit has some major issues to address but it’s a great city and there’s no reason why it can’t come back. Mayor Duggan says he made a pitch to Biden for assistance with programs that can help bring jobs back to the city.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker told a Detroit Economic Club luncheon yesterday that the Obama Administration has committed about 300-million-dollars to Detroit in new, unlocked, or repurposed investments.
(24/7 News Source)


(Novi-Elderly Woman Death-UPDATE)
A 46-year-old Novi man has been arraigned on charges in connection with the death of his 84-year-old neighbor.
Peter Jones was charged with first-degree murder and felony murder and is accused of killing Bernice Schauffle (SHAW-ful), whose body was found in her home at the Country Place condominium complex on Monday. The Oakland County Medical Examiner’s office determined the woman was nearly strangled and suffered a stab wound in the neck.
Jones was ordered held without bond in the Oakland County Jail because he has been previously convicted in two murder cases.
A preliminary exam will be held January 22. If convicted as charged, Jones faces a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
(24/7 News Source)


(Eaton Co-Dead Dogs-UPDATE)
Lansing-area police have identified the owner of the three dead dogs found in a dumpster in Charlotte Sunday night.
The Eaton County Sheriff's Department says the owner of the animals is an elderly Brookfield Township woman. Deputies have also removed 15 dogs, 6 cats, 3 rabbits and a large number of birds from her home.
It's believed someone else disposed of the three dead dogs.
Investigators are waiting for the results of necropsies on the animals before turning the case over to the Eaton County Prosecutor who will determine if there will be any charges.
The incident is still under investigation.


(Oakland Co-IRS Scam)
It’s a new scam just in time for tax season and officials say to stay skeptical.
A Farmington Hills man was swindled out of nearly four-thousand dollars by someone claiming to be with the IRS. The man was threatened that he needed to pay up in the form of green dot prepaid money cards or face jail time.
It wasn’t until the scammers tried to get more money out of their mark that the man became suspicious. This time the thieves pretended to be Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard.
The Sheriff’s Department urges people to be skeptical of any calls demanding money.
(WWJ, Detroit)


(Battle Creek-Police Chief Retiring)
Battle Creek Police Chief Jackie Hampton is stepping down, after 27 years of service.
Hampton started out as a patrol officer and became Chief in early 2010, succeeding Chief David Headings. According to a memo released to staff Wednesday, Hampton will be leaving the department at the end of the month.
Hampton also added that he had hoped to retire “some time ago,” but that he chose to stay in order to address the allegations of corruption that were leveled at the department last year.
Hampton says he's proud of the fact that that there wasn’t a single murder in the city of Battle Creek in 2013, an accomplishment that had not reached for 47 years.
Battle Creek Commissioner Mark Behnke says the Chief’s decision is no surprise. He says Hampton has been talking about it for some time and will be eligible for retirement on February 1st.
(Tim Collins, WBCK, Battle Creek)


(St. Clair Co-Marijuana Bust)
Police busted a St. Clair County man this week who claimed that he's a medical marijuana caregiver.
The St. Clair County Drug Task Force and the Marysville Police Department went to a house in Marysville after getting a tip and the homeowner admitted he was growing marijuana.
The 36-year old man gave permission for a check of his buildings and it was discovered he had 106 marijuana plants growing, over 13-pounds of processed marijuana and a small quantity of suspected psilocybin mushrooms. Police also seized $13-thousand dollars in cash.
According to officials the street value of the marijuana is estimated at $43,000.
It was discovered that the man also had a second property in Port Huron with a small amount of marijuana seized there, along with gaming tables.
The man has been released from custody pending results from the Michigan State Police Crime Laboratory. His name has not been released.
(WPHM, Port Huron)


(Hillsdale Co-Pocket Change Theft)
A judge has ordered a 20-year-old woman to serve jail time for stealing two-dollars in change during a home invasion in Hillsdale County last year.
Karlissa Hawkins told the court that she and 20-year-old Autumn Deck broke into an apartment looking for money to pay off a debt. They couldn't find a substantial amount of cash so Hawkins took the change and used it to purchase gas.
Hawkins pleaded guilty last month to one count of attempted second-degree home invasion.
The judge ordered her to serve 90-days in jail and pay court costs. She also was placed on probation for three years.
(24/7 News Source)


(Kalamazoo Co-Police Officer-Meth)
A reserve officer is facing charges in Kalamazoo County that he sought to trade drugs for sex with men.
Michael Strong of Plainwell was arrested Tuesday during a sting operation. Authorities say the 37-year old Strong met with an undercover officer at a hotel in Oshtemo Township for sex in exchange for drugs Strong would bring.
The pair had allegedly been communicating via social media for about two weeks prior to the meeting. Michigan State Police report that during the conversations it did come up that Strong was a police officer in Prairieville Township in Barry County. When the two met at the hotel Strong allegedly brought a gun.
He's charged with one count each of delivery of methamphetamine and felony firearms. Strong could face up to seven years in prison if convicted of both charges.
(Alyssa McElreath, WOOD, Grand Rapids)


(Benton Harbor-Teen Death)
Family, friends, and the community, want answers as to what happened to a Benton Harbor teen.
18-year old Karrington Penny died New Year's Day. His cell phone and wallet were missing. Though high levels of alcohol and drugs were found in his system, detectives reported no foul play in the case and ruled the teen's death accidental.
Penny's parents are questioning that ruling, and want to know more.
The Benton Harbor Legislative Committee is sending a recommendation to the full body to formalize a special investigation into the case. That recommendation is expected to be taken up Tuesday night.
(Jason Scott, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)


(Marquette-Penny Location Close)
One J.C. Penny location in Michigan is going to be affected by yesterday's (Wednesday) announcement of 33 store closures nationwide.
The location in Marquette at Westwood Plaza is scheduled to close with the others in May.
Company officials say the closures will affect two-thousand employees in 20 states.
Remaining inventory in the affected stores will be sold over the next several months, with final closings expected to be complete by early May.
(Help from: Aaron Harper, WJNR/WOBE/WHTO, Iron Mountain/24/7 News Source)


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