Friday Afternoon State News Summary
Fri, 28 Dec 2012 13:05:15 EST
the lame duck session, with his signature on at least 20 more bills today
(Fri), including legislation that will allow community colleges to grant
bachelors degrees in nursing, cement technology, maritime technology,
energy production technology, and culinary arts.
     The Governor has also signed a bill protecting the online privacy of
Michiganders by prohibiting employers and educational institutions from
asking applicants, employees and students for passwords and other account
information used to access private internet and email accounts, including
social networks like Facebook and Twitter...and penalize educational
institutions for dismissing or failing to admit students who do not provide
details.
     Other bills signed by the governor Friday include: one that protects
commercial truckers from unfair contracts that leave them open to damage to
their equipment without being paid by those responsible; one that allows
employers to not be responsible for paying for employee medical marijuana
treatment; one that designates the walkway between the state Capitol and the
Hall of Justice as the Frank J. Kelley Promenade; one requiring the Michigan
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to make indemnity payments
to livestock producers for the death, injury, or loss of their livestock due
to wolves, coyotes, or cougars; and a bill that allows used car dealers to
voluntarily enter into an agreement with an inventory lender so the lender
can retain physical possession of a used vehicles certificate of title as
long as the used vehicle dealer meets certain criteria.   
     According to Gongwer News Service, all of the bills approved by the
legislature are now on Governor Snyder's desk, with 133 as yet unsigned.

(Capitol-Governor Snyder-Abortion Bill)
     Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has now received, but not yet signed, a
bill that would make major changes for those providing abortion services in
the state.      
     The bill was one of many that was approved by the Republican-led House
and Senate during the lame duck session earlier this month. It would
require facilities that perform more than 120 abortions a year to be
licensed as an outpatient surgical center.
     Opponents say major provisions in the bill are unnecessary and designed
to make abortions more difficult for women. Supporters say the law makes
clinics safer for women choosing to end their pregnancy.
     The governor has until January 10th to sign or veto that bill.    
                                   
(Obit: Nerat)
     Fromer State Representative Judy Nerat of Wallace has died at the age
of 64.
     Nerat had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma during her one term in
the legislature from 2009-to-2010.
     Nerat was the first woman elected to the state House from the Upper
Peninsula.   She was born in Daggett, and graduated from the Milwaukee
College of Beauty Culture and went on to own her own beauty salon.
     She also served on the Menominee County Road Commission and had worked
part-time in a nursing home.
     House Democratic leader-elect Tim Greimel issued a statement saying
(quote) "Those who served with and knew Judy remember her as a hard-working
and dedicated advocate for the families and children of the Upper Peninsula.
    Judy was a pioneer, first as a 10-year member of the Menominee Road
Commission, then as the first woman to be elected to the state House from
the Upper Peninsula.    Judy's siblings, children and grandchildren are in
our thoughts and prayers."

(Detroit-2012 Homicides)
     The city of Detroit is close to having it's highest homicide rate in
nearly two decades.
     On December 16th, Detroit had 375 reported homicides to date. That
number has gradually risen since 2008.
     But the homicide rate is based on number of homicides per 100-thousand
residents. Currently that number is roughly 53 per 100-thousand residents.
That would be the highest rate since 1994 when their were 54 homicides per
100-thousand residents in the city.
                                   (Metro Source)

(Ypsilanti-EMU-Death-Probe)               
     Detectives are continuing to look for clues in the death of a
23-year-old Eastern Michigan University Student.
     Julia Niswender of Monroe Township was found dead in her apartment near
campus on December 11th.
     An autopsy was ruled inconclusive, and investigators said there were no
signs of trauma on her body.
     Ypsilanti Police have not said what they found in her apartment that
led them to rule the death a homicide.
     They are hoping toxicology results due back in mid-January will give
them more clues.
                                     (Metro Source)

(Kalkaska Co-Snowmobile-Death-ID)
     Police have identified a Livonia man as the victim of a fatal
snowmobile crash days before Christmas.
     The victim was identified as 52-year-old Michael Moran died when a 2013
Ski Doo snowmobile he was riding crested a hill at high speeds and struck a
tree in Bear Lake Township.
     Authorities say Moran was traveling with a group of other snowmobilers,
but none of the others were injured.
     He died at the scene near Camp Grayling on Saturday, December 22nd.
     The accident remains under investigation.

(Howell-I96 Shooter Charges)
     The man suspected of shooting at vehicles along the Interstate 96
corridor from Oakland to Ingham County is facing more terrorism charges.   
     The Michigan Attorney General is heading the prosecution for Raulie
Casteel (RAW-lee cas-TEEL) for the charges in Ingham, Livingston and
Shiawassee counties.
     Casteel was arraigned in Howell on several charges Thursday, including
terrorism, based on 21 alleged attacks, assault with intent to murder and
weapons - felony firearm.   
     He's also facing charges in Oakland County.
                                   (Metro Source)

(Mi-New Years-Patrols)
     More than 100 law enforcement agencies in 22 Michigan counties have
begun a statewide drunk driving crackdown, to keep impaired drivers off the
road as 2013 begins.
     Anne Readett (REE-Debt) of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety
Planning says the extra officers will target impaired drivers during the New
Year's holiday period through midnight on January 1st, but recommends anyone
that plans to party on New Year's Eve to designated a sober driver in
advance or consider other options on how to get home safely from that party,
such as taking a cab or spending the night.
     The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) is coordinating
the effort which is supported by federal traffic safety funds.
     Fourteen people were killed in traffic crashes during the New Years
holiday period in Michigan, five of those crashes involved alcohol.
     Agencies in the following counties are participating in the drunk
driving patrols: Allegan, Berrien, Calhoun, Chippewa, Delta, Genesee,
Houghton, Ingham, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Macomb, Marquette, Monroe,
Oakland, Ogemaw, Ottawa, Saginaw, St. Clair, Van Buren,

(MI/DC-Benishek Fiscal Cliff)
     Congressman Dan Benishek of Michigan's 1st District says he would have
voted for Plan B last week if the House had voted for it because he wants
the so-called fiscal cliff issue resolved. The vote was canceled because
there was not enough support to pass it.
      Benishek says he is not happy that the issue is being negotiated
rather than debated in the open. He says the House is supposed to pass its
bill, which it did, the Senate is supposed to pass a bill, which is hasn't,
then they are supposed to come to a conference and work out their
differences, then put it to a vote.
      Along with other members of the House, Benishek is returning to
Washington to wait for a possible vote to avert the fiscal cliff on Jan. 1
when Bush-era tax breaks end.
                                   (WDBC, Escanaba)

(Warren-Hunting In City)
     Two suspected bow hunters accused of killing a deer in violation of
Warrens hunting ban are now facing a four-year felony charge for cruelty to
animals.
     Twenty-seven-year-old William Francis, of Riverview, and his
19-year-old stepbrother Myles Ehret, of Royal Oak, are expected to be
arraigned in a Macomb County courtroom on Thursday.
     Under a city ordinance, hunting in Warren is a misdemeanor punishable
by 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Discharge of a bow and arrow with a
penetrating tip or head also if prohibited by local ordinance.
     Francis and Ehret were arrested on Dec. 21 after residents in the area
complained about hearing gunshots.
     After consulting with DNR Conservation Officers who were called to the
scene, police decided to change the charges to animal killing/torturing
based on the killing of a deer in a non-hunting area.
                                   (WWJ, Detroit)

(Detroit-ATM-Robbery)
     Detroit Police are looking for the people who tried to make off with an
ATM from a CVS store in the city this (Fri) morning.
     Investigators say the thieves crashed their van into the store on East
Warren and Mack Avenue. That's when they tried to grab the machine, but were
unable to get away with it.
     No one is in custody in connection with the attempted robbery and have
not released a description of the suspects or the van they were using.
                                    (Metro Source)

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