Wednesday Afternoon State News Summary
Wed, 28 Nov 2012 12:43:18 EST
(Snyder-Renewable Energy)
Governor Rick Snyder says the state needs to increase its use of renewable
energy, but in his message to the legislature on energy and the environment
today (Wednesday) he did not propose a new level to set that use at.
Instead, Snyder said in 2013 all sides on the issue should talk and reach an
agreement on what new level of renewable energy usage to set.
The Governor also said he wanted to have a summit of the Great Lake governors
and Canadian premiers on Mackinac Island to discuss how better to use and
protect the lakes from invasive species. He also called for improved land and
water usage, a summit on timber use, a changed tax structure for the states
extractive industries, greater use and planning for natural gas, and improved
recycling across the state.
Snyder also said the state needs to do more to improve energy efficiency.
He also says Michigan has an opportunity to leverage its own natural resources
for economic growth that also allows for environmental protection.
So the Governor is calling for Michigan to consider having a natural gas
strategic reserve, because (quote) "Michigan is a very strong natural gas
state," although he notes that Michigan is not a nation-leader in natural gas
reserves.
But he emphasized that (quote) "compared to coal, (natural gas) is a much better
alternative," give its effectiveness, and the fact it burns cleaner than coal.


(MI-Jackpot Jumps Higher)
Michigan Lottery officials say the largest jackpot in Powerball history has
jumped to $550 million.
The Powerball drawing will take place tonight (Wednesday) at 10:59 p.m.
Lottery officials say the jackpot would be the second-largest lottery jackpot of
all time, eclipsed only by the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot won by three
ticket holders in March.
The jackpot can be paid out as an annuity for 30 years, where the player would
receive several million dollars annually. Or, the winner could decide to take
the money in a lump sum of $360.2 million.
The previous top prize in Powerball was $365 million won by eight ConAgra Foods
workers on a single ticket in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2006.
Powerball is played in 42 states. The odds of winning stand at roughly one in
175-million.


(MI-Meningitis Cases Increasing)
Michigan continues to lead the nation in the number of cases linked to the
nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis stemming from tainted steroid
injections.
The Michigan Department of Community Health says there are now 178 total cases
and 10 deaths; 65 cases of meningitis, 102 epidural abscess, one stroke and 10
joint infections.
One death is associated with stroke, one associated with an epidural abscess,
and eight among patients counted as meningitis cases. The number of deaths does
not include three people in southwest Michigan who received their injections at
a pain clinic in Indiana.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the fungal meningitis
outbreak has spread to 20 states with 510 cases and 36 deaths.
The outbreak is tied to tainted steroid injections for back pain made by a
specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts. The medication has been recalled.


(MISUPCO-Hathaway Still At Work)
Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway makes her first appearance on the
bench today (Wednesday) since facing accusations of bank fraud.
Judge Hathaway will join the other judges at a public hearing on the use of
cameras in court among other items on the agenda.
Last week a suit was filed in federal court alleging that Hathaway and her
husband Michael Kingsley shuffled around some of their assets in order to move
through a short sale on a home in Grosse Pointe Park. That short sale eliminated
600-thousand dollars in mortgage debt for the two.
Hathaway and Kingsley have not been charged with crimes. The government,
however, wants to take possession of the couple's Florida home.
(Metro Source)


(MSU-Gay Marriage Poll)
Support for gay marriage is growing in Michigan, mirroring changing attitudes in
many parts of the United States. That's according to Michigan State Universitys
State of the State Survey.
The recent survey found that 56 percent of the states residents support gay
marriage while 39 percent oppose it. Two years ago, 48 percent supported gay
marriage and 51 percent were opposed.
The survey, a telephone poll of 1,015 Michigan adults, was conducted June 12 -
August 13.
MSU economics professor and director of the State of the State Survey Charles
Ballard says although a majority of Michigan residents favored gay marriage in
this survey, there remain substantial differences among different groups.
Among those with at least some college education, 63 percent favored gay
marriage, while it was favored by only 26 percent of those who had never been to
college. About 71 percent of those with household income over $100,000 favored
gay marriage, compared with only 26 percent of those with household income below
$20,000.
Some 57 percent of whites favored gay marriage, whereas only 30 percent of
blacks did so. Gay marriage was favored by 58 percent of Catholics, 48 percent
of Protestants and 78 percent of those with no religious preference.


(Missaukee Co-Deadly Shooting-UPDATE)
Police in northern Michigan are investigating a deadly shooting that took place
late Tuesday night.
The Missaukee County Sheriff's Department says 46-year-old Charles Cuykendall
(KWY-kenn-dahl) of Lake City was shot to death at a home on Lachance Road near
the intersection of M-55 in Lake Township.
A 48-year-old man who lives at the home was arrested. He's expected to be
arraigned later today on charges of open murder and felony firearms.
His name has not been released.
(Help from: Bill Froehlich, WTCM, Traverse City)


(MI-Bond-Refinance)
Some good news for Michigan on the financial front.
The State has closed on a refinancing deal that it says is a historically low
interest rate of one-point-one-six (1.16%) percent.
That generated nearly ten percent in debt service savings over previous
bonds.The bonds were issued to refund outstanding general obligation
environmental program bonds.
State Treasurer Andy Dillon says (quote) "the eagerness of bond purchasers to
invest in Michigan is a testament to the strong financial turnaround that is
taking place."
The extremely low 1.16% interest rate was made possible by the economic
turnaround in the state as well as sound financial decisions that have resulted
in a consistently balanced budget. Each of the major rating agencies has
recently commended the states strong fiscal management, according to Dillon.


(St. Clair Co-Murder Trial Begins)
One man has pled guilty and one is on trial this week in the shooting death of
another man in Port Huron last summer.
23-year old Jason Williams was found shot to death outside the Village Manor
Townhomes on the city's south side June 15th.
28-year old John Little of Detroit has entered a guilty plea for tampering with
evidence, as well as accessory after the fact to murder, according to officials
with St. Clair County Circuit Court. He's set for sentencing on January 7th.
Meanwhile, a jury has been seated and a trial is now underway for 33-year-old
Cidney Ingram of Detroit who's charged with open murder and felony firearm.
(WPHM, Port Huron)


(MI-Cougars)
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced that it has verified
three photos of cougars taken by trail cameras in the Upper Peninsula this fall.
A press release from the DNR says two of the photos were taken in Menominee
County in October and in both cases the cougar was wearing a radio collar.
A third photo was taken in northern Marquette County in November and on that
occasion, the cougar was not wearing a radio collar.
The closest states that implement radio collars on cougars are North and South
Dakota, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Since a cougar was killed near Newberry in 1906, there have been 20 cougar
verifications, but all of them occurred since 2008, according to the DNR.


(Ann Arbor-Snyder Nearly Kicked)
Governor Rick Snyder escaped injury, but A photo by the "Detroit Free Press"
makes it look like he took a sneaker to the chin at the University of Michigan
basketball game last night.
Snyder was courtside at Crisler Center and was nearly kicked in the face by
Mitch McGary of the Wolverines in the second half of the game as he fell out of
bounds.
The Wolverines beat North Carolina State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, 79-72.
(Metro Source)


(Kent Co-GVSU Student Attack)
A 14-year-old Grand Rapids boy will be a registered sex offender for the rest of
his life and will be in prison until he's at least 19 for raping a Grand Valley
State University student.
Marco Varquez was identified this fall as one of two attackers who robbed and
raped the female student as she was walking home from class on the southeast
side of Grand Rapids September 10th. Vasquez plead guilty Tuesday in a Kent
County Court to first degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, as well as being an
accessory after the fact. He was considered an adult for the sex registration
purposes.
Varquez will be sentenced before the end of January when he will turn 15.
16-year-old Felipe Lopez-Velasquez will be tried as an adult on charges of
unarmed robbery and criminal sexual conduct stemming from the assault.
(Help from: John C. Smith, WOOD, Grand Rapids)


(Saginaw Twp-Missing Woman)
Saginaw Township Police are working with Midland County Sheriff deputies looking
for a missing woman.
Relatives say Leigh Swanson who was last seen November 18th. Officers say the
45-year-old Saginaw woman was said to have gone on a date with a Midland man she
met through an on-line dating service.
Swanson was last known to be wearing black jeans and a dark purple shirt. She's
described as 5' 10" tall, weighs 180-pounds, with brown eyes and sandy, blonde
hair.
Anyone with information about Swanson can contact their local police agency.

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