Friday Afternoon State Summary
Fri, 07 Dec 2012 12:45:32 EST
Protesters are angry over the Governor's support of controversial "right to work" legislation, which prohibits labor contracts from requiring workers to be a member of a union or to pay any fees to unions.
Opponents contend the result was a brazen rush to pass the bills Thursday, without any public hearings or debate.
Andy Potter, a Michigan Republican Party activist and chair of Service Employee International Unions Republican Committee, claims Snyder enlisted big government to interfere with freely negotiated union contracts, in violation of conservative values.
Demonstrators will converge on Snyders Lansing office this afternoon, to protest what they call a right-to-work-for-less bill that will crush the economic security of millions of state residents.
According to a press release, additional events are being scheduled throughout the weekend and next week as outrage continues to build against the special interest power grab that will result in fewer jobs in Michigan, and reduce pay and benefits for those jobs that are left.
The eight people who were arrested Thursday during protests at the state Capitol over right to work legislation went before a Lansing judge this afternoon (Friday).
The six men and two women, all from southeast Michigan, were released on $50 interim bonds pending a December 19th court appearance.
Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III told the Lansing State Journal that he expects to make a decision this weekend about what charges they will face. State police are seeking felony charges of resisting and obstructing police which are punishable by up to two years in prison.
The eight were arrested and sprayed with a chemical agent by State Police troopers as they attempted to rush the Senate chamber on the second floor of the Capitol building.
(DC-White House Blasts)
The White House is ripping Michigan lawmakers over right-to-work legislation.
In a statement, a spokesman for the Obama administration says the President has long been opposed to such laws, and says the economy "is stronger when workers get good wages and good benefits, and he opposes attempts to roll back their rights."
The White House went on to say Michigan has been a prime example of how unions have been instrumental in building a strong American middle class and economy.
State Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer says Democrats are calling on the White House for help in an effort to prevent Michigan from becoming a right-to-work state.
President Obama repeated his opposition to right-to-work laws as the Republican-controlled legislature moved toward adopting the union-curbing measure.
Whitmer says Democrats are hoping the President will say that if the GOP in Michigan doesnt care about their middle class, then why should he be bending over backwards to make sure that the Governor is able to deliver on his promises?
Governor Snyder needs cash from the Democratic President to complete projects including the new Detroit/Windsor international bridge crossing and the Woodward Avenue rail system.
If it works out the way the Democrats would hope, Obama would tell the Governor, that if he signs the legislation, then Michigan can kiss that money goodbye.
The President will be in Michigan on Monday to talk about the economy at the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant in Redford.
(Kent Co-2004 Boyfriend Murder)
A Grand Rapids woman has admitted killing her boyfriend more than eight years ago.
44-year-old Joyce Phillips was arraigned Thursday in Kent County District Court and pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter.
53-year-old Michael Richardson was killed February 12, 2004 from a gunshot wound in front of a house on the city's near southwest side.
Phillips initially told police she was inside the home when the shooting began and did not see what happened. However, Kent County's Metro Cold Case detectives learned that Richardson and Phillips had a physical altercation, which resulted in Phillips shooting Richardson. Phillips was interviewed and confessed to the shooting.
Phillips faces up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $7,500 when she is sentenced on January 22.
(MI-Credit Union Embezzlement-UPDATE)
An Ohio woman has pleaded guilty to financial institution embezzlement and racketeering charges after she allegedly pocketed approximately $2.1 million from a southeast Michigan credit union.
61-year old Sharon Broadway of Toledo will be sentenced January 17th in Monroe County Circuit Court. She faces 20 years in prison on each count.
Attorney General Bill Schuette had charged Broadway after a routine examination by the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation revealed that a substantial amount of Certificates of Deposit went un-recorded on the books of the United Catholic Credit Union in Temperance.
Broadway was accused of embezzling the funds since 1985 using a complex money laundering scheme involving multiple aliases and forged checks while she was manager, secretary, board member and sole employee of the credit union. According to the charges, Broadway used the money as her personal funds.
The state closed down the United Catholic Credit Union in August and appointed the National Credit Union Administration as receiver.
(MI-Consumers Energy Refund)
The Michigan Public Service Commission has approved the proposal from Consumers Energy to refund over 23-million dollars to its customers over six months.
The money is from a settlement with the U.S. Department of Energy over the federal government's failure to start accepting spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste by the 1998 deadline set by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982.
The refund won't be much, with residential customers who use 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month getting a credit of 64-cents a month on their bills from January to June of next year.
(Detroit-Wrong Way Fatal-UPDATE)
Michigan State Police have released more information about the man killed in a wrong-way crash on I-96 in Detroit.
Police say 27-year-old David Arcand of Dearborn Heights was killed instantly when his car was struck by an eastbound traveling vehicle in the westbound lanes of I-96 near the Southfield Freeway around 12:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
The wrong-way driver, a 32-year-old Detroit man, remains hospitalized in critical condition. His name has not been released.
Alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the crash. An investigation is ongoing.
(Dearborn-Ford Mileage Claims)
Ford Motor Company's claim of 47-miles per gallon for the new C-Max hybrid and Fusion Hybrid is being questioned by owners and a national magazine.
"Consumer Reports" says their tests found the best fuel mileage was 37-miles-per gallon for the C-Max and 39 m.p.g. for the Fusion. Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency say their results and actual miles of owners vary due to driving styles.
However, Ford officials say while the magazine could not achieve the EPA mileage, customers have written they have surpassed those mileage estimates.
While all vehicles are put through the same EPA test for mileage, those tests are not done by the government, the automakers conduct the tests.
(Battle Creek-Body Found-UPDATE)
Battle Creek Police have a 30-year-old man behind bars after a shooting Thursday morning.
Police say 24-year-old Ian Millard was found in the driveway of a home with a single gunshot to the chest when officers responded to reports of gunfire. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators arrested the suspect, allegedly Millards roommate, a short time later. They believe the two men were involved in an altercation.
The investigation of the case continues.
(WBCK, Battle Creek)
(Muskegon Co-Jail Renovation Shelved)
There will not be an expansion and renovation of the Muskegon County Jail in the near future.
A consultant had recommended making the facility, but the city told a county committee this week the plan would not be approved.
The proposal would have also taken the closed Craig School and turned it into a juvenile transition center, but that move would have required a zoning change that city officials did not want to do.
(Baraga-Schools Closed by Illness)
The Baraga Area School District in the Upper Peninsula is closed today (Friday) because of excessive student illness.
More than 25 percent of the districts kindergarten-through-2nd-grade students were either home sick all day yesterday or had to leave school early because theyd become ill. Some teachers were also affected, either because they were ill, or their kids were.
The district had sent a message out on Tuesday encouraging parents not to send their children to school if they were displaying symptoms to cut down on spreading the illness. The school staff will spend today cleaning and disinfecting the school buildings.
In Michigan, less than 40 percent of residnets get flu shots each year. Thats below the national average.
(Rick Allen, WCCY/WOLV, Houghton)