Tuesday Morning State News Summary
Tue, 27 Nov 2012 01:08:26 EST
(Marquette-Power Plant Announcement)
Governor Rick Snyder will be in the Upper Peninsula today to make an
announcement about the Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette. He will be joined
by representatives from We Energies and Wolverine Power Cooperative.
The 431 Megawatt plant owned by We Energies generates 90% of the Upper
Peninsula's electricity and 12% of the electricity in the Wisconsin Energy
system. Half of the plant's generating capacity goes to the Empire and Tilden
iron ore mines on the nearby Marquette Iron Range.
The announcement will be made during a 10:00 A.M. press conference in the Don H.
Bottum University Center at Northern Michigan University.


(MI-Thanksgiving Fatals)
Michigan State Police report that 7 people were killed on Michigan roads over
the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Troopers say alcohol was a factor in 3 of the seven separate accidents. One of
the seven fatalities was known to have not been using the seat belt.
Seven is the same number of fatalities on Michigan roads over the Thanksgiving
holiday weekend last year.


(Capitol-Lameduck Begins)
The Michigan Legislature begins its so-called "Lameduck" session today (Tue),
and while one former state lawmaker says it can be a productive time, another
says it's a dangerous time of year.
Former Republican State House Speaker Rick Johnson says some lawmakers may be
willing to vote yes on bills in the lameduck that they were unwilling to vote on
before the election.
But former democratic Speaker Lew Dodak says with so little time, some strange
things may happen. He says it's a dangerous time of year because a lawmaker
could tack something on to an existing bill and if staff hadn't had time to read
the bill or legislators aren't paying attention the bill could be passed.
Issues the legislature is expected to tackle in the lameduck include regional
transportation for southeast Michigan, a Detroit Street Lighting Authority, Blue
Cross Blue Shield reform, health care reform and business tax relief.


(MI-Gas Prices)
Michigan motorists will find gas prices rose nearly four cents a gallon this
week.
AAA Michigan reports the current statewide average is just under $3.57 per
gallon. That's nearly 34 cents more than at this time last year.
Triple-A says that the lowest average price among the cities it surveys, was
found in the Saginaw/Bay City area at just over three-dollars-50 cents per
gallon.   The highest price was in Ann Arbor at almost three-dollars-61 cents.
Dearborn-based 'Triple A Michigan' surveys two-thousand-800 Michigan gas
stations daily.

---Dash---

Among Michigan's major metropolitan areas, three-dollars-50-point-five cents in
Saginaw/Bay City, three-dollars-50-point-eight cents in Traverse City,
three-dollars-53-point-four cents in Lansing/East Lansing and Flint,
three-dollars-53-point-seven cents in Marquette, three-dollars-55-point-four
cents in Benton Harbor, three-dollars-56-point-nine cents in Grand
Rapids/Muskegon, three-dollars-57 cents in metro Detroit,
three-dollars-59-point-nine cents in Jackson and a statewide high of
three-dollars-60-point-six cents in Ann Arbor.


(MI-Per Capita Income Up)
Most Michigan counties experienced an increase in per capita personal income
last year.
Data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows per capita personal
income in Huron County in Michigan's Thumb rose 11.7 percent to $40,336 in 2011.
The only county that saw a decline in 2011 was Ontonagon County in the Upper
Peninsula. It fell 1.2 percent to $29,514.
Oakland County had the highest per capita personal income last year at $53,297.
Michigans per capita personal income rose 5.7 percent to $36,264. That's less
than the national level of $41,560, which was up 4.5 percent from 2010.


(Detroit-Durhal For Mayor)
State Representative Fred Durhal Junior is tossing his hat into the ring to
become Detroit's mayor.
Durhal joins state Representative Lisa Howe in being the only announced
candidates in the race.
Mayor Dave Bing has not indicated whether he will seek another term as Detroit's
mayor. And while Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan has formed a committee
exploring a run, he is yet to announce his candidacy. Wayne County Sheriff Benny
Napoleon has indicated that he is considering a run.
Mlive.com reports Durhal announced his candidacy yesterday (Monday) at Unity
Baptist Church in Detroit, touting his decades of experience in government and
spoke on a need for a "reality check," and budget cuts to put the city on a path
to recovery.


(Macomb Co-Backpage Murders)
A Macomb County man is accused of murdering four women, locking their bodies in
the trunks of their own cars, and then abandoning the cars on the streets of
Detroit almost one year ago.
34-year old James Brown of Sterling Heights was arraigned Monday on four counts
of first-degree murder. In June, authorities charged Brown with four counts of
disinterment and mutilation of a dead body, a 10-year felony, as well as two
arson counts.
If convicted, Brown faces up to life in prison.
Police and Macomb County prosecutors allege that the Brown initially made
contact with 24-year old Demesha (deh-MEE-shuh) Hunt, 23-year old Renesha
(reh-NEE-shuh) Landers, 29-year-old Natasha Curtis, and Vernithea McCrary
through the online escort service Backpage.com.
He is accused of killing Hunt and Landers on December 18, 2011. According to
police, that's the day the women drove to Brown's Sterling Heights home. Their
bodies were found the next day in the trunk of a car in Detroit.
The bodies of Curtis and McCrary were found in the trunk of a burning car in the
same area of Detroit last December 24th.
(WWJ, Detroit)


(Mount Pleasant-Stabbing Death-UPDATE)
A Mount Pleasant man has been ordered held on a one-million dollar bond in the
stabbing death of another man Saturday morning.
25-year-old Curtis Leachman was arraigned Monday in Isabella County District
Court on an open count of murder and witness tampering.
Leachman is accused of stabbing 20-year-old Tyrone Stanley following an argument
outside Stanley's apartment complex in downtown Mount Pleasant. Stanley was
pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital. Authorities say Leachman
threatened people who saw the stabbing.
The Morning Sun reports Leachman yawned during the arraignment and told the
judge the amount of bond doesnt matter because he has no money. He was given a
court-appointed attorney.
Leachman faces up to life in prison for the murder. Witness intimidation in a
crime carries 10 years or more in prison.
According to the newspaper, Leachman has convictions for burglary, home invasion
and domestic violence.
The incident remains under investigation.


(MI/CA-Ford Touch Update)
Ford Motor Company will show off an updated, simplified version of its highly
criticized My Ford Touch connectivity system this week.
The system will have a smaller 6.5 inch screen, and simpler voice commands. It
will be in the new Fiesta small car that Ford will unveil Wednesday at the Los
Angeles Auto Show.
My Ford Touch has been criticized by Consumer Reports, and complaints about the
system have caused Fords quality scores to fall in rankings by both Consumer
Reports and JD Power.
But Ford is standing by the system, saying it brings younger buyers to the
brand. Thats why its important that it be on a vehicle like the Fiesta, which
generally appeals to younger buyers.
Ford is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its original Sync connectivity
system.
(Jeff Gilbert, WWJ, Detroit)


(MI-Use Tax)
The Michigan Department of Treasury is reminding shoppers that purchases made
on-line are not tax-free during the holiday season, or at any other time of
year.
Officials say Michigans Use Tax generally applies to transactions in which the
retailer does not collect sales tax. This happens most frequently when an
individual makes a purchase from on-line retailers, through mail-order outlets,
or television shopping networks that do not have physical locations in Michigan.
When out-of-state vendors do not collect sales tax on purchases, under Michigan
law, the purchaser is responsible for reporting and paying the Use Tax.
Treasury officials say taxpayers can report the Use Tax annually when completing
and filing their Michigan Individual Income Tax Return.
Michigans Use Tax is calculated at the rate of 6 percent. Purchases subject to
the Use Tax include appliances, books, clothing, computers, DVDs/CDs,
electronics, furniture, and pre-written computer software.


(MI-Mortgage Fraud Scheme)
Attorney General Bill Schuette has charged the former president of a mortgage
document company with racketeering for her alleged role in authorizing
fraudulent mortgage documents.
Lorraine Brown, the former president of Georgia-based Doc-X, is accused of
orchestrating a scheme called robo-signing. Thats when employees are directed to
fraudulently sign another persons name on mortgage documents in order to
finalize the process as quickly as possible.
The charge comes as the result of an ongoing Attorney General investigation that
began in April 2011 after county officials across the state reported that they
suspected mortgage documents filed in their offices may have been forged.
The investigation revealed that from 2006 through 2009, more than 1,000
unauthorized and improperly executed documents were created and recorded at
Brown's direction and filed with county registers of deeds throughout Michigan.
The 51-year old Brown of Alpharetta, Georgia is charged with one count of
Conducting Criminal Enterprises, a 20-year felony. Shes expected to turn herself
in prior to an arraignment yet to be scheduled in Kent County District Court.
DocX suspended operations in 2010.


(Grand Rapids-Soldier Dies)
A soldier from West Michigan has died from injuries suffered in Afghanistan last
year.
According to reports, Zachary Shanafelt of Grand Rapids died last Wednesday at
Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. The 24-year-old Shanafelt was an field
medic with A Battery, 1-84 Field Artillery, 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
He was injured in 2011 and, since that time, has been at hospitals in both the
United States and Germany. No details have been released of his injuries.
Shanafelt was a 2006 graduate of Creston High School.
Visitation is 7-9 p.m. Thursday at Pederson Funeral Home in Rockford and the
funeral is 11 a.m. Friday, with full military honors.
(Help from: Greg Ghering, WOOD, Grand Rapids)


(MI-Energy Efficiency Standards)
Consumer and environmental groups are urging the State Senate to reject a House
bill which would block the planned upgrade of state energy efficiency standards
for new homes.
William Fay, executive director of the Energy Efficient Codes Coalition, says
the bill would mean Michigan would keep its old, less efficient standards until
2015 or longer resulting in higher heating and cooling bills for families and
more pollution for everyone.
The measure calls for the state to discontinue its practice of updating building
codes for residential construction every three years, Instead, it would require
code updates every six years, or more often if agreed to by state officials.
However, commercial construction codes would continue to be updated every three
years.
Fay says it's vital that the state maintain modern, up-to-date energy codes that
would slash home heating and cooling costs by an average of $10,081 over the
life of a standard 30 year mortgage.
He noted that the issue is important enough that the coalition is running radio
ads to make consumers aware.


(Hartford-Officer Dragged)
A southwest Michigan woman is in jail after dragging a police officer with her
car.
Authorities say the 27-year old South Haven woman was stopped by Hartford Police
for a traffic violation Sunday morning. The woman handed the officer a
fraudulent out of state driver's license, and upon questioning she tried
speeding off.
The Hartford officer attempted to physically stop her as she accelerated,
dragging the officer along side the car. A pursuit followed with the suspect
attempting to ram patrol cars several times.
The woman crashed into a ditch on Red Arrow Highway and fled on foot into a
heavily wooded area near the Van Buren County Fairgrounds where she was
arrested.
She is lodged in the Van Buren County jail on multiple charges, one of which is
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs. Her name has not been released.
The investigation has been turned over to the Van Buren County Prosecutor's
Office.
(Jason Scott, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)


(Harper Woods-Mall Murder)
Two Detroit men have been arraigned for the 2010 murder of Cedell Leverett at
Eastland Mall in Harper Woods.
Police say Demetrius Edwards and Bryant Royster are currently at the Michigan
Department of Corrections state prison for felony convictions of assault with
intent to murder and armed robbery.
Mlive.com reports the two men are each being charged with first-degree murder
and felony murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence with no parole.
Leverett was gunned down in September 2010 as he sat in his Mercedes in the mall
parking lot.


(Detroit-Jeep Value)
A new report shows the Jeep Wrangler holds it's value better than any other
domestic SUV.
The "Kelley Blue Book' "Best Resale Value" survey has the Wrangler in the top
ten which was dominated mostly by Japanese nameplates. Toyota and Honda held the
top eight spots with Porsche and Jeep rounding out the top ten.
The industry publication says the report shows how much a new vehicle
depreciates after purchase. Kelley Blue Book editors say an average new 2013
vehicle will only hold 39-percent of it's original value after five years.
(Metro Source)


(Mon-Lottery)
Tonight's (Tue) Mega Millions lotto game jackpot is worth $49 (M) million
dollars.
The winning numbers for the Midday 3 lottery were: 4-8-5.
The winning numbers for the Midday 4 lottery were: 5-0-5-8.
The winning numbers for the Evening 3 lottery were:   6-4-3.
The winning numbers for the Evening 4 lottery were:   2-7-3-8.
The winning numbers for the Fantasy 5 lottery were:   01-09-11-15-19.
The winning numbers for the Keno lottery were: 01, 07, 11, 15, 17, 22, 29, 31,
32, 33, 43, 48, 49, 56, 58, 59, 61, 65, 67, 68, 70, 73.
Wednesday's Powerball jackpot is worth $425 (M) million dollars.
Wednesday's Classic Lotto 47 jackpot is worth one-point-four (M) million
dollars.

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