Monday Afternoon State News Summary
Mon, 20 Jan 2014 09:33:43 EST

(MI-U.S. Senate Poll)
Another new poll shows a statistical tie between Republican U.S. Senate
candidate Terri Lynn Land and the presumptive Democratic nominee Congressman
Gary Peters.
In Rasmussen Reports' first poll of the race, Land, a former Michigan Secrtetary
of State, had 37 percent to 35 percent for Peters.
The poll of 500 likely voters was conducted January 14-15 via automated
telephone interviews and with an error margin of plus or minus 4.5 percentage
points is a statistical tie.
In the 2012 election, Rasmussen came under heavy criticism nationally for
polling numbers that proved inaccurate. However, its polling of the presidential
race in Michigan was among the closest of any firm.

(Auburn Hills-Chrysler Purchase Delayed)
The expected closure of the deal giving Italian automaker Fiat 100-percent
ownership of Chrysler may be delayed due to today's (Monday) Martin Luther King,
Jr. holiday.
When the plan was announced on January 1st, officials said they expected to
purchase the shares of the UAW Trust by January 20th. However, banks are closed
today and cash transfers would be difficult.
Fiat is buying the 41-point-five percent share for a reported four-point-three
billion dollars.
(24/7 News Source)

(Van Buren Co-Palisades Off Line)
The Palisades nuclear power plant in southwest Michigan is again offline.
Officials removed the plant in Van Buren County's Covert Township from the
electrical grid Sunday morning to begin its 23rd refueling and maintenance
Entergy, the company that owns the plant, says that during the maintenance,
workers will replace 64 fuel assemblies in the reactor and conduct tests and
inspections on equipment. Other major work includes inspection of Palisades'
two low-pressure turbines.
The work will be done by the plants 600 full-time employees and about 1,000
employees from other Entergy power plants and contract workers.
No timetable has been released for bringing Palisades back to service.

(St. Clair Co-Traffic Deaths Trial)
Jury deliberations are set to continue tomorrow (Tuesday) in St. Clair County
Circuit Court in the trial of a 30-year old woman accused in the deaths of two
young men in a traffic crash last year.
Lisa Bergman of Port Huron Township is charged with two counts each of second
degree murder, driving under the influence causing death, and driving with a
suspended license causing death.
The incident happened July 20 when Bergman's pickup truck crossed the center
line on a road in Kimball Township and hit a vehicle head-on killing 19-year-old
Russell Ward and 20-year-old Koby Raymo, both of Avoca.
Bergmans blood samples revealed drugs, including the compounds associated with
the muscle relaxant Soma.
(Help from: WPHM, Port Huron)

(Kent Co-Fatal Fire)
A West Michigan man died as his house burned Sunday night, even though a
neighbor kicked in the door to try to save him.
The fire happened about 8:00 P.M. in a Walker neighborhood just east of the
English Hills Country Club, but Deputy Chief Bob Walker told WOOD-TV the fire
probably had burned for some hours before anyone called 911.
The victim was in his 40s or 50s, and in a wheelchair. He was the only one
reportedly in the home at the time of the fire.
Firefighters believe the fire started in the kitchen.
(WOOD, Grand Rapids)

(Wayne Co-Child Shooting Charges)
Detroit police are searching for a man in connection with the shooting death of
his four-year-old grandson last week.
According to Wayne County authorities, Harvey Whitcher is one of three family
members to face charges following the accidental shooting death of Jamel Witcher
Jr. by his 4-year-old cousin as they played.
Prosecutor Kym Worthy says the three were at a house Thursday when the young
girl found a loaded rifle in a room where children were playing. Authorities say
the girl shot the boy in the chest.
Fifty-three year-old Patricia Johnson and 66-year-old Robert B. Richardson were
arraigned Sunday on involuntary manslaughter and other charges. Both are being
held on $200,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing on January 31.
Harvey Witcher is wanted on charges of involuntary manslaughter, being a felon
in possession of a firearm and felony firearm.
The parents of the dead boy said Sunday they dont believe charges should have
been filed because it was an accident.
(WWJ, Detroit/24/7 News Source)

(MI-Gas Prices)
The average price of a gallon of regular gas in Michigan is now $3.24 per
gallon, down 11 cents from last week, according to
The national average today is $3.27.
The lowest prices found among the six markets surveyed by gasbuddy were in
Kalamazoo, at $3.19 per gallon.
The highest was in Ann Arbor, at $3.26.

(Detroit-Auto Show Attendance)
The North American International Auto Show in Detroit attracted more than 100,0
people for the second consecutive day, marking a strong opening weekend for the
2014 show.
On Sunday 102,115 people attended the show, according to NAIAS Chairman Bob
Shuman. The two-day total slightly bests the combined first and second day
numbers from 2013.
Shuman adds that exhibits, designed to educate, entertain and amaze feature more
interactive events than at any other Auto Show. The show features more than 500
new vehicles. It is open to the public through January 26 at Cobo Center in
downtown Detroit.
(WWJ, Detroit/24/7 News Source)

(Ypsilanti-EMU Campus Patrols)
On the heels of two off-campus murders, Eastern Michigan University is making
good on its promise to increase police patrols near the school.
EMU has announced plans to hire ten more officers by September to expand patrols
beyond campus boundaries. In addition to the new hires, the university says two
current police officers will be promoted to sergeant to assist in supervising
the additional officers.
The university is following a trend around the nation where colleges and
universities are expanding their jurisdiction and hiring additional officers to
patrol off campus grounds.
Authorities have charged two men in the death of EMU football player Demarius
(duh-MAIR-ee-us) Reed at his apartment complex, while the death of Julia
Niswender (NIZE-wen-der) more than a year ago remains unsolved.
(Help from: WWJ, Detroit/24/7 News Source)

(MI-Theft-Dead Homeowner)
State Police say as many as three people are suspected of breaking into a
northern Bay County home whose owner recently died.
Troopers say the thieves forced their way into the Pinconning Township house
through a boarded up, "doggie door" on the west side of the house. Investigators
say the thieves spent a considerable amount of time inside the house north of
Pinconning, stealing multiple items and money.
The stolen items include a 32-inch color television, gold pocket watch, three
collectible knives in a wooden case, five chain saws, a dozen coffee cans filled
with coins and a variety of frozen food including venison, fish and shrimp and
other food items.
(Bill Hewitt, WSGW, Saginaw)

---- Corrects husband to wife in 2nd graph ---

West Michigan Republican powerbroker Betsy DeVos has had enough of what she
calls the failure of the GOP to stand up to intolerance and insensitivity.
The Detroit News reports DeVos has left messages with Michigan Republican
National Committeeman Dave Agema several times in the past week urging him to
resign. She is the wife of 2006 Republican gubernatorial nominee Dick DeVos and
herself a former Republican National Committeewoman.
Agema has created controversy in the past several months for comments bashing
gays and lesbians in Berrien County and anti-Muslim remarks posted on Facebook.
DeVos has also reached out to Republican National Committee chairman Reince
Priebus to find a way to get rid of Agema.
(24/7 News Source)

(Marquette Co-Fatal Fire Probe)
Michigan State Police continue to investigate the cause of a house fire in
Marquette County that claimed the lives of a wheelchair bound woman and two of
the family's dogs on Friday.
The victim has been identified as 59-year-old Cheryl Girard.
Officials arrived on scene to find the Powell Township home totally engulfed in
flames. Girard's husband was clearing snow when the fire broke out. Officials
said he had attempted to rescue her three times but was driven back each time by
the flames and intense heat.
Fire officials said a wood stove is the suspected cause of the blaze, but the
investigation is continuing.
(Help from: Aaron Harper,WJNR,WOBE,WHTO, Iron Mountain/WTIQ, Manistique)

(MI-Catfish Record)
The Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the catch of a new state
record flathead catfish.
The catfish was caught by Dale Blakley of Niles on January 12, on Barron Lake in
Cass County. The fish weighed 52 pounds and measured 46.02 inches. Blakley was
ice fishing for crappies when he landed the record fish.
A DNR fisheries biologist verified the record catch.
The previous state record flathead catfish was caught by Rodney Akey of Niles on
the St. Joseph River in Berrien County on May 22, 2012. That fish weighed 49.8
pounds and measured 45.7 inches.
Prior to that, the record hadn't been broken since 1943. State records are
recognized by weight only.

(UP-More Propane Shortages)
More problems on the way for people in the Upper Peninsula who use propane.
The Michigan Public Service Commission says a facility in Wisconsin that
supplies fuel to the U.P. will shut down for maintenance this week. That as
inventories are already 43 percent below last year.
The PSC says the propane shortage is due to a number of factors--including a
late, wet harvestextreme weatherand pipeline disruptions. Governor Rick Snyder
declared a propane emergency in December allowing delivery drivers to work extra
The PSC is urging propane users to conserve as much as possible in the coming
weeks. The shortage has impacted 24 states.
(WTIQ, Manistique/Aaron Harper,WJNR,WOBE,WHTO, Iron Mountain)

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