Friday Morning State News Summary
Fri, 12 Oct 2012 01:55:28 EDT
(MI-Ann Romney-Clinton Campaign)
The wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will make a couple of campaign stops in Michigan today (Friday).
Ann Romney is scheduled to address a rally at 8:15 this morning at The Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville, west of Grand Rapids. She will then crisscross the state to visit the Franklin Cider Mill in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills at 2:40 this afternoon.
Anne Romney, like the former Massachusetts governor, is a native of Michigan.
Former President Bill Clinton will also be in the Detroit area today for a private fundraiser in Royal Oak for Democratic U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Lansing, who's running for a third six-year term against former West Michigan congressman Pete Hoekstra of Holland.
(Help from: Metro Source)
Another poll shows a that President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are in a statistical dead heat in Michigan.
The poll from Gravis Marketing shows Obama leading Romney among likely voters, 46-percent to 44-percent. However, the two point difference is within the survey's margin of error.
Obama has lost ground since Gravis' last poll, which had the President leading by 4-percentage points.
The poll of 1,122 voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
Michigan had nearly 28 percent fewer foreclosure-related filings in the third quarter than one year ago, more than twice the 13 percent national decline.
According to the California-based foreclosure data firm RealtyTrack, the state still had the nationís 8th highest foreclosure rate of one out of every 201 homes. The national rate is one in 248 homes.
Michigan had 22,586 foreclosure-related filings in the July through September period, down 8 percent from the second quarter.
The five counties with the highest foreclosure rates were Wayne, Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer and Saint Clair.
(MI/DC-No Senate Debates)
Michigan U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow says there will be no debates between herself and Republican challenger Pete Hoekstra (Hook-struh) before the election.
Stabenow's campaign said yesterday (Thursday) they have ended discussions with the Hoekstra campaign.
Gongwer news service reports the two campaigns have been wrangling over the debates for almost two months, with Hoekstra calling for as many as six debates, but Stabenow said she would do only the "traditional" two debates in a Michigan U.S. Senate race.
Stabenow Campaign Manager Dan Farough said unfortunately, rather than agree to continue Michigan's tradition, Pete Hoekstra has instead chosen to launch repeated political attacks and has refused to even start negotiations.
But the Hoekstra campaign said it was the Stabenow side that showed a lack of seriousness by refusing to negotiate debates unless the Hoekstra campaign agreed to accept only debates at Grand Valley State University and another at the Detroit Economic Club.
A new economic forecast from the University of Michigan is predicting slow but continued growth through 2014.
The forecast published by the Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics at the University of Michigan says the state experienced three-percent job growth early this year , but it will finish the year closer to point-five-percent.
It predicts job growth to increase to one-point-three-percent in 2013 and one-point-six percent in 2014.
The forecast estimates Michigan will see an increase of 45-thousand-900 jobs in 2012, then another 50-thousand-800 jobs in 2013 and 63-thousand-100 jobs in 2014.
Although the forecast projects future job growth, the job gains expected in 2012 through 2014 amount to only one-third of total jobs lost between 2000 and 2009.
(Dearborn-Ford C-Max Energi)
Ford Motor Company says its new C-Max Energi is Americaís most fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
According to the Dearborn-based automaker, the vehicle achieves a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-certified 108 miles-per-gallon equivalent city rating and 100 MPG combined rating.
The rating tops its largest competitor, the 2012 Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid, by five combined MPGs. Ford has consistently gone after the Toyota vehicle with the C-Max series.
The C-Max Energi goes on sale next month with a starting price at $29,995 following a federal tax credit. It can operate in electric-only mode or as a normal hybrid which uses both batteries and the gasoline engine as needed or it can tap only the gas engine to save the battery pack for future electric driving.
The Energi joins the C-Max Hybrid as part of Fordís first hybrid-only dedicated lineup of vehicles. The C-Max hybrid went on sale last month with a fuel economy of 47 miles per gallon and a starting price of $25,000.
Both are built at Fordís Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne.
If you are looking for Fall color northern Michigan is where you want to be.
According to the latest report from the Fall Foliage Network, the Upper Peninsula and the northern half of the Lower Peninsula will see peak colors this week.
Meanwhile, lower and mid-Michigan will see moderate fall color this week.
Mlive.com reports that an unusually dry summer has led to an early transition for fall colors across most of the Midwest, and there have been some reports of drought-stressed trees dropping their leaves earlier than normal.
The entire state is currently experiencing moderate leaf fall.
(Wayne Co-Bashara Guilty)
The Grosse Pointe Park man accused of solicitation of murder for attempting to hire a hitman to kill his wife's alleged murderer entered a plea of guilty this afternoon.
Robert Bashara was in court before Wayne Circuit Judge Judge Bruce Morrow and said he "foolishly and regrettably" offered to pay someone to kill Joe Gentz in the Wayne County Jail. He allegedly wanted to prevent Gentz from testifying in any future court proceedings.
Gentz claims Bashara hired him to kill 56-year-old Jane Bashara, whose body was found inside her SUV in a Detroit alley on January 25. Bashara will be sentenced November 20.
Gentz will be in court next week to be arraigned on charges in Jane Bashara's murder.
Former Congressman Thaddeus McCotter testified yesterday (Thursday) that he was unaware of any problems with signatures on petitions for his re-election to the House.
McCotter was questioned by the attorney for his former district director Paul Seewald.
The ex-Congressman told the court Seewald did not have the responsibility of getting the petitions to Lansing as that job was delegated to deputy director Don Yowchuang (YOW-chang).
State officials discovered at least 200 signatures were copied and not valid.
The scandal led to McCotter's resignation from the House of Representatives.
(Saginaw Co-Police Officer Murder Trial)
A jury has convicted a former police officer in Saginaw County in the strangulation death of his pregnant girlfriend over a year ago.
37-year-old suspended Buena Vista Township Police officer Kenneth Bluew was convicted yesterday (Thursday) of first-degree premeditated murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of life without parole.
Bluew was accused of strangling Jennifer Webb, on August 30, 2011. The body of the 32-year-old woman was found by her car, near a pistol range used by the Buena Vista Police Department.
The Bridgeport Township woman was eight months pregnant with Bluew's baby at the time of her death.
Investigators believe Bluew, who lived in Saginaw Township, was on duty when the murder occurred.
(Berrien Co-Eavesdropping Sentence)
The southwest Michigan man who hid a video camera in the shower of the family he was living with in Galien (guh-LEEN) will spend nearly a year in jail and be on probation for five years.
Joseph Shoemaker of Three Oaks was sentenced this week in Berrien County Trial Court after pleading guilty last month to charges of eavesdropping and capturing or distributing the image of an unclothed person. That was for footage of the woman as she showered. He also planted a digital audio recorder in the bedroom of the woman and her husband.
In addition to the jail time and probation, the 35-year old Shoemaker will pay over 26-hundred dollars in fines, has to register as a sex offender and is no longer allowed to use a computer, camera or phone that has Internet access.
(Mike Arney, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)
(Ontonagon Co-Hockey Association Embezzlement)
A western Upper Peninsula woman will spend two months in jail for stealing more than $15,000 from a youth hockey organization.
43-year old Anne Pollard of Ontonagon had pleaded no contest to attempted embezzlement. She admitted taking the money while serving as treasurer of the Ontonagon Amateur Hockey Association. The exact amount is still unknown.
An Ontonagon County Circuit Court judge this week also ordered Pollard to pay $15,500 in restitution.
According to Houghton Daily Mining Gazette, Pollard still faces multiple counts of embezzlement involving Copper Country Mental Health.
A Pontiac man is facing a number of charges after Oakland County Sheriff's deputies allegedly found him inside a van packed with drugs and cash.
Mark Hollis Jr. was allegedly in the driver's seat of the vehicle parked outside a home on Monday night. Deputies were responding to the call of a home invasion when they spotted the van.
Officials say more than 200-thousand dollars worth of cocaine, 12 grams of marijuana, and ten-thousand dollars in cash were found in the vehicle.
The 34-year old Hollis was arraigned on a 20-year felony charge of delivery/manufacture of more than 50 grams of cocaine and possession of marijuana, a 1-year misdemeanor. He is scheduled to be in court again October 16.
Wayne County Sheriff's deputies are cracking down on what they say is a growing problem on city streets. Illegal drag racing has led to a number of problems including at least two homicides during the unsanctioned events.
Sheriff Benny Napoleon says his department received a lot of complaints about the problem and his undercover officers have witnessed a number of violations during the races.
Several vehicles have been impounded by authorities recently and more may be added this week.
The sheriff's department, Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, Detroit Police and Wayne Crime Response Team all participated in the crackdown.
Tonight's (Fri) Mega Millions jackpot is worth $53 (M) million dollars.
The winning numbers for the Midday 3 lottery on Thursday were: 9-8-6.
The winning numbers for the Midday 4 lottery were: 4-9-9-4.
The winning numbers for the Evening 3 lottery were: 8-7-6.
The winning numbers for the Evening 4 lottery were: 9-9-9-2.
The winning numbers for the Fantasy 5 lottery were: 01-02-14-29-30.
The winning numbers for the Keno lottery were: 02, 04, 07, 16, 20, 24, 26, 28, 30, 40, 43, 49, 50, 52, 54, 55, 59, 63, 67, 69, 77, 78.
Saturday's Classic Lotto jackpot is projected to be one-point-one (M) million dollars.