Wednesday Morning State News Summary
Wed, 03 Oct 2012 01:31:11 EDT
(Roseville-No Human Remains)
The Jimmy Hoffa watch ended Tuesday when Roseville police released word that
soil samples taken from under a driveway in a suburban Detroit backyard turned
up no signs of DNA.
Many were skeptical of reports from a tipster who told police he had seen men
mysteriously moving black bags around the yard the night the former Teamsters
union boss disappeared more than 37 years ago. Dozens of people turned the
neighborhood into a block party Friday while the Michigan Department of
Environment Quality dug up samples of dirt from 6 feet under the ground.
The dirt was tested for the presence of bone fragments or human DNA - and the
results were negative.
Roseville Police in a news release said the analysis showed (quote) "no signs of
human decomposition" and as a result of the tests the department will be
concluding its investigation into the possible interment of a human body upon
Hoffa vanished from a Detroit area restaurant in 1975. Experts believe his
killers either incinerated Hoffa or disposed of his body in another way that
means hell never be found.
(MI-Motorcycle Fatalities Decrease)
The group that pushed for the repeal of Michigans mandatory helmet law says
recent data proves opponents were wrong in claiming that to allow rider choice
in wearing a helmet or not would mean an increase in motorcyclists fatalities.
ABATE Michigan President Vince Consiglio says they used the Michigan State
Police/Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning data which compares motorcycle
data between January 1 and August 31 for the last two years and the numbers
speak for themselves.
The study says from 2011, before the mandatory helmet law was revoked, to 2012
when the law changed, total fatalities dropped from 89 to 85- a 4.5 percent
Adjusting the data to show fatalities as a percentage of motorcyclists involved
shows a decrease from 3.24 percent to 3.05 percent - a 5.8 percent reduction.
During the same time period, the number of motorcycle registrations increased
from 261,658 to 266,589.
If the fatality rate is adjusted to the total of motorcycle registrations it
shows that the fatality rate has decreased from 0.034% to 0.0318% since the
helmet-law amendment - a 7% reduction.
The requirement for motorcycle helmets was amended on April 12 to allow adult
choice for motorcyclists 21 and older, providing they completed an accredited
motorcycle-safety course or had a minimum of 2 years riding experience.
Consiglio says the data proves conclusively that the helmet-law amendment had no
adverse effect on motorcycle safety.
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is reminding residents they have less than a
week to register to vote in the November 6 general election. The deadline is
Tuesday, October 9.
As part of her efforts to increase voter registration this fall, Johnson
launched a 3,000-mile voter registration drive that crisscrossed Michigan,
visiting every public university, as well as college campuses and community
To register to vote, applicants must be at least 18 years old by Election Day
and be U.S. citizens. Applicants must also be residents of Michigan and of the
city or township in which they wish to register.
Voters may register by mail, at their county, city or township clerk's office,
or by visiting any Secretary of State office. The mail-in form is available at
First-time voters who register by mail must vote in person in their first
election, unless they hand-deliver the application to their local clerk, are 60
years old or older, are disabled or are eligible to vote under the Uniformed and
Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.
Car and truck sales remain a bright spot in a weak recovery, jumping 13 percent
in September. The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate hit 14.9 million. Thats
the best showing since March of 2008.
Chrysler lead the domestic car companies with a 12 percent sales increase, its
strongest September in five years.
General Motors says its September sales rose 1.5 percent marking its best
September since 2008, while Ford sales remained flat in September compared to
the same month a year ago.
Among foreign automakers, Toyota lead the way with a sales increase of 41.5
percent over September of 2011. Volkswagen saw a 34 percent sales increase while
Honda sales were up 31 percent. Nissan sales fell 1.1 percent.
(Jeff Gilbert, WWJ, Detroit)
(Detroit-Police Chief Suspended)
Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee has been suspended for 30 days after reports
of a potential relationship involving the chief and another officer.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bings office released a statement explaining the suspension
saying, quote, after learning of the allegations regarding Chief Ralph Godbee, I
have placed him on a 30-day suspension pending a full and thorough investigation
of this matter. In the interim, Assistant Chief Chester Logan will assume the
duties and responsibilities of police chief.
The allegations involve Godbee, a Detroit police officer and another woman who
does not work for the department. The officer, who works in Internal Affairs,
allegedly became irate when the chief went out-of-town with the other woman.
According to reports the officer is Angelica Robinson and her attorney has
stated that Robinson was trying to cut off the relationship and that Godbee,
quote, didnt like that.
Patricia Birkholz has resigned from her post as Director of the Office of the
Great Lakes, according to Governor Rick Snyder.
No reason was given for her decision to step down.
The Governor says that she'll be replaced by Consumers Energy executive Jon
Allan of East Lansing through an "executive on loan" program.
Allan most recently has been director of environmental policy and
intergovernmental affairs for Consumers Energy.
Snyder praised Birkholz' work as the Director of the office, which focused on
partnerships with local, state and federal groups and government bodies to
protect and improve the Great Lakes.
In a statement, the Governor said (quote) Patty Birkholz has long been a
champion for Michigans natural resources, and we thank her for her leadership in
this role....she will remain an important voice advising this administration and
we wish her well as she continues her work as a supporter of Michigans
environment and natural resources.
Allan begins on the job October 15th.
(Detroit-Water Workers Strike Firings)
Thirty-four striking Detroit Water and Sewerage Department workers have been
suspended pending termination for endangering the public health and safety by
unlawfully abandoning their jobs at the plant."
Workers from the Detroit Waste Water Treatment Plant walked off the job Sunday
in protest of proposed cuts to their workforce.
The approximately 950 members of the American Federation of State, County and
Municipal Employees Local 207 are fighting proposed cuts in the workforce by
over 80-percent, a ten-percent pay cut and concession in pensions and health
A temporary restraining order was issued Monday by U.S. District Court Judge
Sean F. Cox ruling that "the job duties performed by DWSD employees represented
by the unions perform job duties that impact the safety of the public and the
threatened strike by such employees will harm the safety of the public."
The judge has ordered both sides to appear in federal court at 10 a.m. on
October 11 to answer the department's motion and to show cause why the court
should not issue the injunction.
Michigan State University has received nearly $1 million in grants from the
Environmental Protection Agency that will be used to keep invasive species from
entering the Great Lakes basin.
One grant, totaling about $600,000 will be used to develop a hand-held, genetic
analysis tool to monitor the lakes for invasive species such as hydrilla, golden
mussel, northern snakehead, killer shrimp, and Ponto-Caspian water fleas.
The other grant, totaling more than $392,000, will be used to test the
effectiveness of a chemical repellant to prevent sea lamprey from entering
rivers by creating chemical dams that are only visible to lampreys.
The two grants are part of the EPAs Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
(MI-Target Disaster Help)
Target stores could help Michigan State Police in the event of a major disaster
in the state.
Mlive.com reports the Minneapolis-based retailer recently signed a memorandum of
understanding with the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland
Michigan State Police spokeswoman Nicole Lisbeth says the new relationship with
Target really enhances their capabilities before a disaster actually strikes,
noting that the retailer has the ability to provide and transport essential
items, such as food and water, to citizens in the aftermath of an emergency or
As part of the agreement, State Police will help Target employees join the
states Citizen Corps program, which trains volunteers to respond to local
(Kent Co-Meijer Hiring)
West Michigan retail store chain Meijer is going to add 12-thousand jobs to
their locations for the holidays.
The Walker-based company says workers will be needed to meet demand at their
locations in five states across the midwest. Each store will average
approximately 60 new employees as part of the plan.
Those interested is applying for one of the jobs available can do so online at
www.meijer.com. Prospective employees can also fill out an application inside
(Grand Rapids-ArtPrize Entry Vandalized)
An entry in the Grand Rapids ArtPrize entry is severely damaged after someone
vandalized it Monday night.
Judy Rogers' entry "Love Is..." was installed on the north side of the David D.
Hunting YMCA downtown branch. A YMCA employee saw a man run up to the
eight-foot globe last night and begin hammering at the work, pushing and shoving
it until it broke off its stand.
The large, rotating sphere features drawings about love by Greenville elementary
school students and plays music by the school choir.
Police are checking to see if surveillance video from the area can help identify
the vandal, who witnesses said ran toward downtown after damaging the entry.
It's the second ArtPrize entry to be vandalized this year.
Reports say high concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been
found in the River Raisin near the Port of Monroe.
The Monroe News reports that crews cleaning sediment from a polluted hot spots
in the river found the higher than expected concentrations of PCBs.
PCBs were once widely used as an insulator and a fire retardant and are now
banned. PCBs have been linked to cancer.
The newspaper reports that readings upwards of 10,000 parts per billion, which
were some of the highest levels found during a partial clean-up at the site five
years ago, have been found during the recent dredging as well.
Additional sampling is now taking place to determine the full extent of the
The current cleanup is part of a nearly 14-million dollar cleanup project funded
by a federal grant. The site had already been considered among the most
contaminated areas of the Great Lakes.
(Shelby Twp-Man Tasered)
Three people were arrested and one man was tasered by police yesterday (Tuesday)
during a brawl in the lobby of the 41A District Court in Shelby Township.
Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakiss told the Detroit Free Press the
altercation was between two groups that were in the court building about a
harassment complaint in their neighborhood.
Officers from Shelby Township, Utica and the Macomb County sheriff's department
stepped in when the fight broke out. One person who resisted was subdued by
Police arrested two men and a woman. One of the men was released as police
thought he was the victim.
Shelby Township police are investigating the matter.
(Jackson Co-Bounty Hunter Helps Search)
The search for a fugitive in Jackson county has taken on a celebrity status.
Famed bounty hunter Duane Dog Chapman and his wife, Beth, have been authorized
to work for a bail bond company in the hunt for convicted racketeer Ricky
Mason-based Leos Bail Bonds and its insurance company will have to pay Jackson
County $500,000 if Wheeldon is not apprehended by today (Wednesday).
The 53-year old Wheeldon was free on bond when he failed to return from a lunch
break on May 1 during the seventh day of his trial on charges of profiting from
the acquisition of large amounts of stolen property, for which he would pay
people in drugs and money.
In his absence, jurors found him guilty of nine felonies, including the
conducting of a criminal enterprise.
The exploits of the long-haired Chapman were featured on the A&E reality TV show
Dog the Bounty Hunter, which was canceled this year. A new show is to air next
year on CMT.
(Montcalm Co-Patrol Hours Cut)
For the first time in 38 years, Montcalm County will not have 24 hour shifts for
its sheriff's department. The cuts were made due to a county deficit of over
$733,000. $345,000 is being taken from the Sheriff's Department budget.
A .6 mill proposal that would generate about $971,000 a year for 2 years is on
the November ballot. If approved, it would restore the 24 hour patrols for the
(WBRN, Big Rapids)
(Battle Creek-FireKeepers Hotel Reservations)
Anyone who wants be among the first to stay at the still-to-be completed
FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek can now sign up.
The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi says reservations are open to
secure a room in its new 242 room resort-style hotel which is expected to open
late this fall.
The hotel will have a stylish indoor pool, exercise facility, full service
restaurant with seating for up to 150 guests, and a functional multi-purpose
event center capable of hosting headline entertainment.
Reservations can be made by contacting the hotels customer care center at
877-FKC-8777 or online by visiting FireKeepersCasinoHotel.com. Reservations are
being accepted from December 15, 2012, and forward.
FireKeepers Casino has been open since August 2009.
There were no winners in Tuesday night's Mega Millions drawing.
That means Friday's jackpot will be worth $36 (M) million dollars.
The Mega Millions numbers drawn Tuesday night were: 10, 11, 20, 42, AND 55.
The mega ball was 09. The megaplier was: 4x
The winning numbers for the Midday 3 lottery were: 7-4-0.
The winning numbers for the Midday 4 lottery were: 0-0-2-8.
The winning numbers for the Evening 3 lottery were: 7-8-7.
The winning numbers for the Evening 4 lottery were: 3-3-7-1.
The winning numbers for the Fantasy 5 lottery were: 01-19-23-31-39.
The winning numbers for the Keno lottery were: 02, 11, 21, 27, 28, 29, 32, 37,
39, 40, 46, 47, 61, 62, 65, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, 77, 80.
Tonight's (Wed) Classic Lotto 47 jackpot is worth three-point-three-five (M)