Friday Morning State News Summary
Fri, 05 Oct 2012 02:01:05 EDT
(Detroit-Citizenship Checkbox Hearing)
A federal judge in Detroit will hear arguments this morning (Friday) on a voting
coalitions request to strike down Secretary of State Ruth Johnsons controversial
U.S. citizenship checkbox as unconstitutional and a violation of federal and
Johnson has been ordered to appear at the 10 a.m. hearing, and her attempt to
send Elections Director Chris Thomas instead was denied by U.S. District Judge
Paul Borman on Thursday afternoon.
The lawsuit contends that the erratic and inconsistent implementation of the
checkbox violates the Fourteenth Amendments equal protection clause, which
requires voting rules and regulations to apply uniformly across the state.
It was filed last month by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan,
Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Latin Americans for Social and
Economic Development, Ingham County clerk Michael Bryanton, and registered
voters from several communities.
Bryanton claims the check-off box "is a solution in search of a problem" and
Johnson's directive is a barrier to minority voters.
Thomas says the citizenship box was created around 2002 to assist voters in
properly filling out the new optical scan ballots and at a statewide conference
earlier this summer told clerks that they should use the form this November.
(Grand Rapids-GVSU Advisor Death Suspects)
Two men have been arraigned in Kent County in the stabbing death of a Grand
Valley State University advisor last month.
24-year-old Timothy Miller and Maceo Scott, both of Grand Rapids, are charged
with first-degree felony murder and armed robbery.
50-year-old Santiago Zapata Jr. was found dead in the basement of his Grand
Rapids home on September 25. A medical examiner determined Zapata died of stab
wounds suffered four days before he was found.
Police say it's believed Zapata knew his killers.
(Help from: Metro Source)
(Allegan Co-Escapees in Indiana)
The stolen car believed to be used by two escaped inmates from a northern
Michigan prison facility has been discovered in Kokomo, Indiana.
The Allegan County Sheriff's Department says the vehicle was found Thursday
morning, and police in Indiana are now assisting in the search for 23-year-old
Gregory Bradshaw and 32-year-old Kenneth Grauman the Second.
The two men escaped from the Lake County Residential Re-entry Program in the
Baldwin area last Saturday. Investigators think they are now being accompanied
by their girlfriends.
The pair are considered armed and dangerous.
A reward of up to $1,500 for information leading to the apprehension of Grauman
and Bradshaw is offered by federal authorities. Anyone with information is asked
to contact Allegan County authorities.
(MI-Religious Freedom Poll)
Most Michigan voters feel that religious organizations should have the freedom
to act according to their own beliefs without interference from the government,
according to a new poll.
The Michigan Catholic Conference released the poll conducted by Lansing-based
Marketing Resource Group that shows 80-percent of those surveyed support the
freedom of faith-based organizations being able to act upon their beliefs
without government interference.
The poll is in response to President Barack Obama's health care overhaul that
would require employers, including religious employers, to cover contraception
in their health plans.
Michigan Catholic Conference President and CEO Paul Long says Michigan residents
are clearly stating that faith-based organizations have a right to adhere to
their religious tradition when serving the public.
The poll of 600 likely Michigan voters was conducted September 10-15 and had a
margin of error of plus or minus four-percentage points.
(Detroit-Water Workers Strike Ends)
Union officials say the strike at the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department's
wastewater treatment plant is officially over.
AFSCME Local 207 officials said they've reached an agreement with the city's
water department which will allow a return to the bargaining table and the
reinstatement of 34 workers the Department had planned to fire for starting the
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 were fighting proposed cuts in the workforce by
over 80-percent, a ten-percent pay cut and concession in pensions and health
City officials were not immediately available for comment.
(MI-Child Welfare Project)
The Michigan Department of Human Services will pilot an innovative program
designed to keep "at risk" children ages birth through 5 years in their homes
safely, rather than entering the foster care system.
DHS officials say the program is made possible by a waiver granted by the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services. The waiver allows the department to use
federal funds for the federally approved pilot project over the next five years.
Usually, Title Four-E dollars must be spent for the placement of eligible
children into licensed foster care.
DHS will partner with private agencies and directly engage with families in
their own homes to prevent abuse and neglect and to also prevent removal and
eventual placement in foster care.
Michigan is one of nine states chosen for the pilot program which is expected to
launch August 1, 2013, in three counties: Macomb, Kalamazoo and Muskegon.
(MI-Talent Connect Site Crash)
The new version of a state website designed to connect job-seekers with
employers crashed Monday, the same day it launched.
The Pure Michigan Talent Connect website crashed because it could not handle the
number of people trying to use it.
Gongwer news service reports the crash forced state information technology
staff to restore the old site, which resulted in Michigan Works! offices across
the state being inundated with calls from unemployed workers who were unable to
use the site.
Michigan Works! staff were instructed to gather information needed to file for
benefits from unemployed workers and then manually set up their accounts on the
Kurt Weiss, spokesperson for the Department of Technology, Management and
Budget, says they hope to have the new website back up and running by early
As Ford Motor Company launches its first hybrid only vehicle, it also launches a
series of commercials that make direct comparison to the most popular hybrid of
all, Toyotas Prius.
Ford Marketing Communications Manager Matt Van Dyke says they want to let
people who are considering a hybrid know that there is a new choice out there.
The Dearborn based automaker says the C-MAX gets better fuel economy and higher
horsepower, but does lack the Prius' name recognition. The C-MAX has a fuel
economy of 47 miles per gallon, and a starting price of $25,000.
The C-MAX, which is now arriving in dealerships, replaces the hybrid version of
the Escape. Ford sold about a thousand C-MAX hybrids last month.
Its built at Fords Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne.
(Jeff Gilbert, WWJ, Detroit/Metro Source)
The US. Housing and Urban Development Midwest Regional office has announced that
HUD is approving a nearly six (m) million dollar loan guarantee to the City of
Lansing to finance development of the Knapps Building Historic Renovation
The renovation and adaptive reuse of the former Knapps Department Store, vacant
since 2002, is expected to create 230 new jobs, as well as create mixed-use
commercial and office space. The store is located about one block southeast of
the Capitol Building.
The Lansing Economic Development Corporation will occupy two levels providing
space and services for start-up businesses.
HUDs loan guarantee has leveraged more than $30.8 million federal, state, city
and private funds, and at least 51 percent of the jobs created will be made
available to low- and moderate-income persons.
(Report: MI Energy Efficiency)
Michigan made "significant progress" in the efficient use of energy, according
to a new report from an energy efficiency advocacy group.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy revealed the finding in its
sixth annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard.
The report says states continue to move strongly in 2012 to advance energy
efficiency initiatives regardless of which political party is in control of
state legislatures and governors offices.
The ACEEE State Scorecard shows that the top 10 energy efficiency states are
Massachusetts (in its second year atop the rankings), California, New York,
Oregon, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland, and Minnesota.
But it also notes that Michigan, along with Arizona, North Carolina, and
Pennsylvania, all accomplished "significant progress."
The 10 states most in need of improvement (starting with last) are Mississippi,
North Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Kansas, Missouri,
Louisiana, and Nebraska.
The three most improved states are Oklahoma, Montana, and South Carolina, as all
three states significantly increased their budgets for electric efficiency
programs in 2011.
(MI-Enbridge Not Done)
The Environmental Protection Agency says Enbridge Energy isn't finished cleaning
up its 2010 Kalamazoo River oil pipeline spill. The federal agency notified
Enbridge Wednesday that more work is needed to clean up the spill site.
The EPA is proposing additional action upstream of Ceresco Dam, in the Mill
Ponds area, and in the upstream of Morrow Lake. More than one million gallons
of oil, sediment and debris have been collected from the river system. Enbridge
officials declined to comment on the EPA order.
(Clinton Co-Mom Sentenced)
A Lansing-area woman has been sentenced to one-year in jail and five-years
probation in connection with the death of her 10-year-old daughter last fall
from diabetes-related problems.
47-year old Kathleen Parker of St. Johns pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor
fourth-degree child abuse charge in August. She was originally charged with a
felony of second-degree child abuse.
A Clinton County District Court judge on Wednesday ordered Parks to serve 30
days of her sentence now and the rest would be waived unless she violates her
probation. She also will serve 500 hours of community service.
The body of Vienna Parker was discovered in their apartment on September 22,
2011 by child welfare workers who were checking to see why she had not been in
Authorities believe the girl may have been dead for several weeks.
Kathleen Parker was found next to her daughter's body with multiple cuts and a
stab wound to her abdomen that police say were self-inflicted.
During a welfare check on Vienna a few weeks before, Parker told authorities
that her daughter was ill and suffered from diabetes.
A three-week old baby died in Detroit Thursday after being mauled by a pit bull.
The 24-year-old mother of the girl, carried the child in her car seat into a
home on the city's west side at about 5:45 p.m. The woman then set the car seat
on the floor and momentarily walked away. When she returned she found the pit
bull attacking the child.
The infant was taken to a local hospital for treatment but died from her
The Detroit Police Homicide unit is investigating the incident.
The Detroit nightclub that featured a then largely unknown Barbra Streisand just
before her first national TV appearance, is closing.
The Caucus Club, one of downtown Detroit's oldest restaurants, is calling it
quits after 60 years.
The Detroit Free Press reports that rising costs imposed by the new
Toronto-based owners of the Penobscot Building have effectively forced her to
lock the doors.
Streisand was performing at the club in 1961 when she flew to New York to appear
on the Tonight Show, her first national television appearance.
The club opened in 1952, and was bought by Belloni out of bankruptcy in 1993
after working there as a waitress, according to the Free Press.
Famed TV chef Bobby Flay also once did a segment from the restaurant.
The club will close for good later this month.
(MI-Washing Machine Recall)
GE is recalling over 60,000 front load clothes washing machines because they
could pose an injury hazard to consumers.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said the recall affects GE Profile
Front Load Washers sold at Best Buy, Lowes, Sears, The Home Depot and other
department and retail stores nationwide from July 2008 to August 2011 for
between $1,199 and $1,599.
The CPSC said the washers basket seam can separate during the final spin cycle,
which in some instances can breach the washers top panel, posing a potential
risk of injury.
GE has received 19 reports of washer baskets separating, including 10 reports of
top panel breakage. No injuries have been reported.
This recall involves GE Profile washing machines with model numbers beginning
with WPDH8800, WPDH8900 and WPDH8910.
GE will provide a free repair to all consumers with units affected by the
recall. The company says consumers wishing to use the washer while waiting for a
repair must first adjust the spin speed setting to medium or low before each use
of the washer.
Tonight's (Fri) Mega Millions jackpot is worth $36 (M) million dollars.
The winning numbers for the Midday 3 lottery on Thursday were: 0-9-8.
The winning numbers for the Midday 4 lottery were: 5-9-5-7.
The winning numbers for the Evening 3 lottery were: 3-3-6.
The winning numbers for the Evening 4 lottery were: 5-0-9-8.
The winning numbers for the Fantasy 5 lottery were: 02-14-19-26-28.
The winning numbers for the Keno lottery were: 05, 06, 08, 09, 12, 16, 19, 23,
24, 28, 29, 30, 49, 50, 55, 60, 68, 69, 73, 76, 77, 80.
Saturday's Classic Lotto jackpot is projected to be one (M) million dollars.