Saturday Morning State News Summary
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 00:18:30 EST
The Department of Community Health has confirmed Michigans first measles case of
Michigan is now one of seven states reporting the disease, according to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The case involves an adult in
Oakland County, and may be associated with the recent Disneyland outbreak in
California, but an exact connection has not yet been determined.
Health officials say they will continue to coordinate with local health
departments to monitor any potential secondary cases in individuals who may have
been exposed to the initial case in Oakland County. Individuals may be
contagious for a few days before they present with symptoms, which increases the
potential of exposing others to the infection.
Chief Medical Executive Dr. Matthew Davis says the best way to protect families
and communities against measles is to get vaccinated.
Last year, there were a total of five measles cases in Michigan.
Governor Rick Snyder started his campaign to sell the sales tax increase from
six to seven percent in his State of the State message this week, but new
polling data is not very encouraging.
A poll coming out tomorrow (Sunday) shows a vast majority of Michigan voters
would rather tax marijuana to fix the roads than raise the state sales tax to
get the job done.
According to the Survey USA Poll commissioned by the Michigan Medical Marijuana
Report, only 43% support raising the sales tax to pay for roads. 49% opposed the
hike and 8% were not sure.
The poll shows 64% of Michigan adults would likely vote in favor of taxing and
regulating Marijuana, as opposed to raising taxes across the board. 28% of
respondents opposed regulating marijuana like alcohol, and 8% was not sure.
The survey of 500 registered voters was conducted on January 20. It has a margin
of error of 4.5%.
The sales tax increase proposal will be voted on May 5th in a special statewide
Following a positive holiday sales season, Michigan retailers expect 2015 sales
to follow the same path of a growing economy as outlined to state lawmakers last
week by economists.
Tom Scott, of the Michigan Retailers Association, says while the more than
one-percent growth in holiday sales in November and December was positive, he
would like to see 2015 retail sales get off of the roller coaster
they have been on over the past several years. M-R-A members responding to a
survey found holiday sales rising about 1.1-percent compared with 2013, and just
below a 1.6-percent pre-season prediction last October.
Scott says one thing that will help local retail sales is the implementation of
the "Mainstreet Fairness Act," requiring some internet retailers to begin
charging Michigan's six-percent sales tax at the point of sale, despite
continued growth in internet sales in the state.
Scott says with the advent of the M-R-A's "Buy Nearby" campaign, and the
"Mainstreet Fairness Act," local retail sales has, and will, grow more in 2015.
(UMStdy-Local Government Pay)
Five years after the depths of the recession, more local governments in Michigan
say they've boosted employee pay while subtracting in other places such as
A University of Michigan survey of top elected and appointed officials in local
government units found that, among those that have paid employees, the
percentage that reported boosting employee pay rose in each of the last four
years, from 22 percent in 2011 to 48 percent in 2014.
The poll conducted by the Ford School of Public Policy also found that among
jurisdictions that provide health care benefits, many have been asking employees
to take on a greater share of the costs, from a peak of 51 percent in 2012 to 43
percent in 2014.
The study, conducted April 8-June 10, 2014, had a margin of error of 1.4
(BerrienCo-Toddler Shooting Death)
No charges will be filed in the accidental shooting death of a three-and-a-half
year old southwest Michigan boy.
Police have released more information on the incident that killed Randell Parks
of Benton Township on Wednesday morning.
His mother told police she was awake in the living room when the boy went into
the room where his father was sleeping to go to bed. Jennifer Parks says about
10 minutes later, she heard a single gunshot.
The boy's father, Randell Parks, awoke immediately to find his son had shot
himself in the head.
Police say the gun the boy used was a semi-automatic 9mm handgun that was
legally registered to his father, who told authorities he did not know that the
boy knew where the guns were kept.
The Berrien County Prosecutor's Office declined to issue any charges after
reviewing the case.
(Michael Arney, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)
(Detroit-Super Bowl Ads)
Fans watching this year's Super Bowl will not see ads from several automakers.
While eleven different brands bought ad time last year, only a handful have
committed to commercial time this year. Absent will be General Motors, Ford
Motor Company, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar-Land Rover and Mazda.
Fiat Chrysler officials have not said if they will continue their campaign which
has been very successful over the past four years. A spokesman for the company
will only confirm they have "reserved" time during the Super Bowl.
(24/7 News Source)
(SaginawCo-Yik Yak Threat)
A number of schools throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region were taking safety
precautions Friday because of a threat on social media Thursday night.
The threat of violence against an unspecified school was posted on the anonymous
social media app known as Yik Yak. It prompted The Midland Academy of Advanced
and Creative Studies to cancel classes and several districts in Saginaw and Bay
Counties to tighten security using "safe mode" policies or "lockdowns."
Michigan State Police and other agencies are investigating.
A Kent County Circuit Court Judge has concluded the evidentiary hearing against
two Kent County jail guards accused of using medical marijuana in the form of
butter to treat their own medical problems.
The two claim immunity from prosecution because they are registered medical
marijuana users. Judge Dennis Lieber says he will decide if that defense is
allowable, and issue his opinion in written form.
The judge gave no indication when he will hand down that ruling.
(WOOD, Grand Rapids)
(DearbornHghts-Woman Sues Police)
A Muslim woman is suing the Dearborn Heights Police Department and the city
claiming her rights were violated during her arrest last year.
Malak Kazan was arrested for a traffic misdemeanor and while being processed was
asked to remove her head scarf. The 27-year old Kazan told the officer it would
violate her faith but the officer said there were no exceptions.
The suit claims Kazan suffered severe discomfort, humiliation and emotional
(24/7 News Source)
(MI-Trooper of the Year)
Trooper Corey Hebner of the Gaylord Post is the 2014 Michigan State Police
Trooper of the Year.
The 19-year veteran of the department was presented with the Dr. Carl A.
Gerstacker Award by State Police Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue during at a
special ceremony in Lansing.
The award recognizes the trooper or sergeant who symbolizes outstanding
professional ethics, dedication to duty and a concern for giving back to their
Hebner serves as a community service trooper at the Gaylord Post, where he is
known for his leadership and dedication to area youth.
In addition, Motor Carrier Officer Christopher Keller of the Alpena Post is the
recipient of the 2014 Motor Carrier Officer of the Year Award.
Keller enlisted with the department in 2011, graduating as a member of the 17th
Motor Carrier Officer Recruit School.
(Capitol-Energy Efficiency Standards)
Legislation has been introduced in the state House that would double Michigans
energy efficiency standards.
Under the measure, the states current 1 percent electricity efficiency rate, set
in 2008, would gradually increase to 2 percent through 2019. The bill would also
increase natural gas efficiency from 0.75 percent to 1.5 percent over the same
period of time.
The bill's sponsor, Democrat Sam Singh of East Lansing, notes that according to
the Michigan Public Service Commission, every $1 invested in energy efficiency
programs results in $3 of energy savings for customers. Michigans current energy
efficiency standards are projected to save customers $1.2 billion over the next
The legislation has been referred to the House Energy Committee.
(MI-Ballot Language Suggestions)
The Board of State Canvassers has set the deadline for people to submit
suggested ballot language and materials regarding the May 5 proposal to raise
the sales tax to raise money for roads and other programs.
That date is February 5.
The board tentatively plans to meet the week of February 16 to decide on the
State Police say a Thumb area man is jailed on five felony counts related to
contact with a Pennsylvania girl.
David Parsons was arrested Wednesday night at his home in Sanilac County's
Evergreen Township after a nearly two year investigation.
Troopers were contacted by Pennsylvania State Police in February of 2013
regarding a 47-year-old man they believed was to be contacting a then
14-year-old girl on the internet. The girl was led to believe she was chatting
with a 17-year-old friend.
When Parsons first contacted the girl he was on Michigan's Sex Offender Registry
for a 2009 conviction on a second degree, criminal sexual conduct charge
involving a subject under 13-years of age.
Parsons was arraigned on the charges Thursday and is being held in the Sanilac
(Bill Hewitt, WSGW, Saginaw)
(MacombCo-Sex Assault Plea)
A former assistant volleyball coach at Yale High School has pled guilty to three
counts of child sexually abusive activity.
Charles Goubert of Emmett was arrested last October after undercover detectives
with the Macomb County Sheriff's Office were conversing with Goubert via e-mail
and text messages after they responded to an ad he posted on a social media
Goubert was allegedly trying to arrange to meet a 13-year old girl. After
investigations, the detectives arranged to meet Goubert and when he showed up he
A sentencing date of March 3 has been set in Macomb County Circuit Court. The
charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
(WPHM, Port Huron)
(MI-Pure Michigan Hunt Winners)
The Department of Natural Resources has announced the most recent winners of the
Pure Michigan Hunt drawing.
Mike DiLorenzo of Rochester, Jason Eurich of Saginaw and Michael Sikkenga of
Whitehall each won 2015 hunting licenses for elk, bear, antlerless deer and
spring and fall turkey for themselves and three companions, as well as first
choice at a managed waterfowl area on opening morning.
In addition to the hunting licenses, the winners also received the ultimate
hunting prize package, valued at more than $4,000 per winner. Among the gear
donated by businesses and organizations are hunting garments, a camouflage
pop-up blind, a shotgun, a crossbow, guided hunts and gift cards.
The prizes will be officially presented at the February Natural Resources
Applications for the 2016 Pure Michigan Hunt go on sale at retail license agents
and online starting March 1.
Hunters may purchase as many $5 Pure Michigan Hunt applications as they like. To
make a purchase or get more information visit michigan.gov/puremichiganhunt.
DNR officials say the dollars generated fund wildlife habitat restoration and
improvements in Michigan.
(BerrienCo-Fire Victim Identified)
A 72-year-old southwest Michigan man who was found dead inside his burned-out
home this week has been identified.
Family members say the victim is Leonard Harp.
The Berrien County Sheriff's Department says deputies and fire crews responded
Tuesday morning and found the home in Berrien Township engulfed in flames.
Harp's body was found after the fire was out.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
(Michael Arney, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)
No tickets matched all the winning numbers in Friday's Mega Millions drawing.
That mean's next Tuesday's jackpot will be worth $25 (m) million dollars.
The numbers from the Mega Millions drawing Friday were: 14, 15, 32, 68, and 72
Mega Ball: 8. Megaplier: 2x.
The winning numbers for the Midday 3 lottery on Friday were: 4-0-6.
The winning numbers for the Midday 4 lottery were: 7-7-0-4.
The winning numbers for the Evening 3 lottery were: 0-0-0.
The winning numbers for the Evening 4 lottery were: 6-6-8-6.
The winning numbers for the Fantasy 5 lottery were: 11-13-26-32-38.
The winning numbers for the Keno lottery were: 02, 05, 08, 15, 16, 19, 22, 27,
28, 30, 35, 41, 44, 45, 46, 51, 52, 62, 66, 73, 75, 80.
Tonight's (Sat) Classic Lotto jackpot is projected to be one-point-zero-five (m)
million dollars ($1,050,000).
Tonight's Powerball jackpot is worth $230 (M) million dollars.