Monday Afternoon State News Summary
Mon, 08 Oct 2012 12:42:42 EDT
A new statewide poll says that Michigan voters -- by a wide margin -- support
the effort by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to require voters to declare prior
to receiving their ballot whether or not they're a US citizen.
The poll was commissioned by Lansing-based Gongwer News Service.
On Friday, a federal judge ruled that Johnson's action violated the US
In the meantime, several local clerks say they will refuse to use ballot
application forms that contained the citizenship question.
In the poll however, 73 percent of the respondents approve of being asked
whether or not they're legal citizens.
And in a second question, where the reasons for supporting and opposing the
policy were explained, 56 percent said Johnson was trying to prevent fraud, and
29 percent said she was trying to suppress turnout among non-Republicans.
The poll was conducted by Lansing-based EPIC-MRA. The margin of error was plus
or minus four percentage points.
(Grand Rapids-Contraception Mandate Lawsuit)
A West Michigan businessman is the latest to sue the Obama administration over a
controversial provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires employer health
plans to fund free contraceptive and abortion-inducing drugs.
John Kennedy filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court Monday saying his
religious beliefs as a Catholic prevent him from complying with the
abortion-related mandates of what opponents call Obamacare.
The President and CEO of Kentwood-based Autocam told the Grand Rapids Press that
he hopes the lawsuit will buy opponents of the law like himself enough time to
repeal the mandates in Congress. The lawsuit seeks a court injunction to stop
the mandates when they become effective on January 1, 2013.
Kennedy filed the lawsuit with the support of the CatholicVote Legal Defense
Fund and the Thomas More Society of Chicago.
A similar lawsuit has been filed by Michigan-based Weingartz Supply Company and
Legatus, which is an organization of Catholic business owners.
In addition, Michigan has joined six states to file their own lawsuit, which has
been appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit,
after a lower court declined to hear the case.
(Detroit-Police Chief Retires)
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing announced this morning (Monday) the retirement of police
chief Ralph Godbee effective immediately.
Godbee's exit puts an end to a sex scandal that has plagued the department for
the past week. Bing said that he met with the chief, who had been placed on
suspension for 30 days on Sunday and Godbee told the mayor of his plan.
Bing made it clear Godbee wasnt fired, saying leaving was his own decision. But
he did support Godbees decision.
Assistant Chief Chester Logan was named interim police chief by Bing.
Godbee was accused of having a sexual relationship with Internal Affairs Officer
Angelica Robinson. She came forward about their relationship after Godbee took
another woman with him to a police chief's conference in San Diego last week.
Meanwhile, Robinson's attorney says they are considering a lawsuit against the
city. Robinson was sent for a mental evaluation last week, but was declared fit
for duty and returned to work on Thursday.
(Metro Source/WWJ, Detroit)
Gas prices in Michigan are up just over three cents a gallon this week.
However, according to Triple-A Michigan, the current statewide average of
three-dollars-91 cents per gallon is almost 53 cents more than at this time last
Triple-A reports that the lowest average price among the cities it surveys, was
found in the Marquette area at slightly more than three-dollars-76 cents per
gallon. The highest price was in the Jackson area at nearly three-dollars-94
Dearborn-based 'Triple A Michigan' surveys two-thousand-800 Michigan gas
Among Michigan's major metropolitan areas, three-dollars-76-point-four cents in
Marquette, three-dollars-87-point-four cents in Benton Harbor,
three-dollars-88-point-eight cents in metro Detroit,
three-dollars-90-point-eight cents in Traverse City, three-dollars-92-point-four
cents in Ann Arbor, three-dollars-92-point-eight cents in Lansing/East Lansing
and Flint, three-dollars-93 cents in Saginaw/Bay City,
three-dollars-93-point-five cents in Grand Rapids/Muskegon and a statewide high
of three-dollars-93-point-eight cents in Jackson.
(Capitol-Pledge of Allegiance)
Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation to guarantee all public school
children the opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day.
Snyder says the legislation provides one more way to help introduce students to
the importance of civics.
The requirement takes effect for the 2013 school year. All children will have
the opportunity to say the pledge, but no one will be required if they or their
The legislation also calls for a U.S. flag to be hung in each classroom where
the pledge will be recited. Both the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign
Wars have offered to help furnish flags, within their resources, for schools
that cannot afford them.
Forty-three other states current require schools to offer the pledge.
(Detroit-GM Tech Jobs)
General Motors announced this morning (Monday) that it will create 2,000 new
hi-tech jobs with 1,500 of those jobs going to the Warren Tech Center.
GM is out to bring more of its information technology operations in-house. Right
now, most of the companys IT is handled outside the automaker. To that end, GM
is spending $300 million on new IT Innovation Centers in Warren and in Austin,
GM says its recruiters are visiting U.S. college campuses this fall and
participating in local job fairs targeting IT professionals.
Governor Rick Snyder praised General Motors decision saying the automaker is
demonstrating once again that Michigan is where the world looks for automotive
He says the move will make Michigan a bigger player in hi-tech, keep younger
workers from moving away and even attract younger workers to the state.
(MI-Classic Lotto Winner)
Michigan Lottery officials say a Warren couple wasted no time coming forward to
collect a $3.4 million Classic Lotto 47 jackpot on Friday.
The couple had the sole winning ticket from the Classic Lotto 47 drawing last
Wednesday. They purchased their winning ticket from the Meijer Gas Station at
29585 Mound Round in Warren.
The anonymous winners said the first thing they would do with their fortune was
help their family, then they would splurge a little on themselves and jet-set
off to Italy.
Opting for a one-time lump sum payment of $2,173,112, the couple took home a
check for $1,537,478 after paying federal and state taxes.
(Wyoming-Boy Killed By Parade Float)
A four-year-old suburban Grand Rapids boy has died after being run over by a
homecoming parade float in the city of Wyoming. Police say Jordan Lamrouex was
walking next to the float with his parents after coming down off of it when he
either fell under a tire or was pulled underneath. He was remembered with a
moment of silence during the homecoming football game at Wyoming High School.
Crisis teams and grief counselors will be on hand at all of the district's
schools today (Monday).
(Washtenaw Co-Murder Suspect Surrenders)
A 34-year old man accused of killing a co-worker surrendered to police in
Ypsilanti today (Monday).
Leonard Ware of Ypsilanti Township is being held in the Washtenaw County Jail
and will be arraigned Tuesday.
According to Ann Arbor.com, police believe Ware shot 29-year-old Bhagavan Allen
of Superior Township Wednesday afternoon following a dispute over job
performance. Police say the shooting occurred not far from Marsh Plating
Corporation where the two men worked.
The Oakland County Sheriff's department is looking for the mother of a child who
was left alone in a vehicle early Saturday morning. The two-year-old boy was
asleep next to a juice bottle that contained alcohol and a crack pipe was on the
floor nearby. It appears the driver was in an accident as there was fresh
damage to the front end of the vehicle when deputies located it.
The child's 49-year-old aunt returned to the car when deputies were on the scene
and said the vehicle was out of gas. She said the child's 44-year-old mother
went searching for drugs while she went to a gas station.
A warrant for her arrest is being sought for woman who could face charges
including child neglect and endangerment.
The aunt was questioned and released pending possible charges. The boy was
released to his father.
A body has been found in Kalamazoo County that is believed to be a woman who
walked out of an adult foster care home in August.
Police in Portage say they are awaiting tests to confirm the remains are those
of 55-year old Bonnie Merckley. They believe it is her body due to the clothing
and purse found next to the badly decomposed remains in a swampy area about a
mile from the foster home. (Metro Source)
(Grand Rapids-ArtPrize Winner)
The top 200-thousand-dollar Grand Rapids ArtPrize 2012 award belongs to an
elementary school teacher from Burbank, California.
Adonna Khare's (Car's) large-scale drawing "Elephants" was the top vote-getter
in the 16-day competition.
Khare's drawing began the event at eight feet tall and 35 feet wide, and she
continued to expand it throughout ArtPrize 2012.