Friday Morning State News Summary
Fri, 11 Jan 2013 01:36:14 EST
Economists from the State House and Senate, along with the Snyder
administration, meet in Lansing today (Friday) at a scheduled Revenue Estimating
Together they'll agree on a rate of tax revenue for this year and next, as part
of an effort to help the legislature develop a state budget for 2014.
Both the House and Senate Fiscal Agencies have released revenue reports, with
the S-F-A and the H-F-A saying there's little if any extra revenue to play with.
And the Senate agency even says the school aid fund for next year will have a
deficit of more than 200-(m) million dollars.
The H-F-A report says net revenues to the general fund will fall this year by
more than four and one-half percent, but will rise just over five and one-half
percent next year.
The H-F-A's estimate on school aid also differed from the Senate, in that it was
more optimistic about both this year and next.
(Capitol-Pure Michigan Ad)
A full-page Pure Michigan ad in the Wall Street Journal touting Michigan as "the
newest Right-To-Work state" has some questioning the Pure Michigan brand.
Democrats and liberal organizations took to social media to criticize Pure
Michigan and Governor Rick Snyder for letting the divisive Right To Work issue
get a piece of the Pure Michigan brand.
Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer called on Snyder to explain how much
state money was spent on the full page advertisement, when it was approved, who
it was approved by and whether there are plans already in place to spend further
state resources on additional politically motivated advertisements using the
Pure Michigan brand.
House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (Grime-uhl) says Republicans feel they must
gloat about passing right-to-work by purchasing a full-page ad in a national
newspaper while questioning the governors talk about reaching across the aisle
to achieve common goals.
But Snyder spokesperson Sara Wurfel said that there was no directive from the
Governor's office for this kind of advertisement.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which manages the Pure Michigan
brand, has yet to comment.
(Capitol-Horse Racing Veto)
Governor Rick Snyder will pocket veto a bill designed to boost the struggling
horse racing industry in Michigan.
The measure would have allowed race tracks to offer machines that allow
track-goers to bet on randomly selected, non-identifiable past races.
Snyder spokesman Caleb Buhs says the governor views the legislation as
unconstitutional without an affirmative vote by statewide voters as well as
those in the jurisdiction of tracks using the new feature.
Without Snyder's signature the measure it will be "pocket vetoed" meaning it
will expire this week and wont become law.
Snyder also pocket vetoed a bill designed to allow landlords to clear out a
deceased tenant's belongings if family members or friends do not wish to take
Rumor has it Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's visit to Detroit next week is
linked to the M-1 rail project.
Sources tell the "Detroit Free Press" his trip to Detroit on January 18th is
thought to be tied to the project along Woodward Avenue.
Speculation has surfaced recently that an announcement about funding of the rail
Investigators in Oakland County are looking into the cause of a fire that
claimed the lives an elderly Novi couple.
73-year-old Jeannette Hampton and her 79-year-old husband Lewis Hampton were
pulled from their burning home at the Novi Meadows Mobile Home Park Thursday. A
woman who cared for the couple says Lewis Hampton suffered from Alzheimer's
Firefighters say the blaze broke out while the couple was sleeping and they
likely inhaled a great deal of smoke. They were pronounced dead at Providence
The Oakland County Medical Examiner is expected to perform autopsies this
(Metro Source/WWJ, Detroit)
(Isabella Co-Neighbor Murder Hearing)
A preliminary hearing is scheduled later this month for the Mid-Michigan pastor
accused of beating and strangling a neighbor to death to fulfill a sexual
55-year-old John D. White is charged with an open count of murder and
first-degree premeditated murder in the death of Rebekah Gay on October 31st.
Isabella County Trial Court officials Thursday scheduled a January 24
Last week, the ex-convict and pastor of the tiny Christ Community Fellowship
church outside of Mount Pleasant was declared competent to stand trial.
White told police that he was engaged to Gay's mother, who was a regular at his
He said that after killing the 24-year-old Gay in her trailer in rural Isabella
County that he hid her body in nearby woods and then returned to the trailer to
dress her 3-year-old son for Halloween.
White told investigators he struck Gay's head with a mallet and then strangled
her and stripped her clothes off but does not remember if he carried out his
fantasy of having sex with her dead body. Authorities say White led them to Gays
body, which was found half a mile from her home in Broomfield Township.
White was released from prison in 2007 after serving nearly 12 years for
manslaughter. In the early 1980s he was also sentenced to five years for
choking and stabbing a 17-year-old Battle Creek girl.
(Dearborn-Ford Double Dividend)
Ford Motor Company will be paying a dividend of ten-cents per share of Class B
and common stock.
The payment is double what the automaker paid per share in 2012 and is a
"testament to the Ford One plan" according to Chief Financial Officer Rob
In the first three quarters of last year, Ford increased its cash balance by
two-billion dollars. The dividend will be paid to shareholders on March 1st.
(MI/DC-Upton-More Fiscal Cliff)
If you thought Congress and the White House had all that "fiscal cliff" stuff
solved last week, there's bad news. It's coming up again in February, but
southwest Michigan Congressman Fred Upton says he doesn't think it will be the
mess it was last month.
The St. Joseph Republican says he would not be surprised to see a race between
the White House, the Senate and the House to see who can come up with a plan
first. Upton says the GOP-controlled House will be focused on finding ways to
cut the spending of the federal government this time around since President
Obama got his way the last time with higher tax rates on those families making
more than 450-thousand dollars.
He says entitlement reforms need to be examined, while still protecting benefits
for those now receiving them. Upton says the number of seniors in America will
grow from 50 million to 78 million by 2030, and that will put a tremendous
strain on the federal government's finances.
(Mike Arney, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)
(Saginaw Co-Child Murder Suspect)
One of four men charged in the shooting death of a 6-year-old girl in Saginaw
last summer has accepted a plea agreement in the case. 22-year old Levonne
Greer pleaded guilty to second degree murder and multiple counts of assault with
intent to murder and firearm offenses.
Layla Jones was shot to death on August 29 as she stood with her father outside
a home on the city's northeast side where they were visiting relatives.
Two other suspects also face charges in the case. A motion to dismiss
First-Degree murder and other charges against 22-year-old Rico Saldana is
scheduled for January 14 while 20-year-old Julian Ruiz is set to go to trial
February 12 on a charge of being an accessory after the fact.
The search continues for the fourth suspect, 23-year-old Michael Lawrence. He is
considered to be armed and extremely dangerous.
Investigators believe the men shot at the group of people that included Jones in
retaliation for a murder in the city earlier that day.
(Walled Lake-Standoff Ends)
The Oakland County Sheriff's Department has one man in custody after they say he
barricaded himself inside a home in Walled Lake Thursday and fired shots at a
Initial reports indicated the man refused to come out of a home on Winwood
Circle near Maple Road. Deputies had to evacuate other residents in the area
before the suspect was taken into custody.
The gunman's mother was reportedly inside the home at the time of the shooting
and was not injured
(Allegan Co-Fugitive Returns)
A woman, who was among four people who led police on a multi-state manhunt last
fall, is out of a Colorado jail and back in West Michigan.
29-year old Lauralee Grauman was released from the Fremont County Detention
Center last month after serving a 90-day sentence on a theft charge.
Her 23-year old boyfriend, Gregory Bradshaw and 32-year-old cousin Kenneth
Grauman escaped from a minimum security state prison near Baldwin in late
September. The pair then picked up Lauralee Grauman and 17-year-old Brittany
Rector in Allegan County and eluded police in Michigan and several other states.
They were caught nearly two weeks later at a motel near Pueblo, Colorado in a
stolen vehicle and had an active methamphetamine lab in their room.
The Allegan County Prosecutors Office is considering whether to file charges
against Lauralee Grauman for assisting in the mens flight from justice.
Kenneth Grauman and Bradshaw remain behind bars in Colorado on multiple
felonies. Their extradition back to Michigan to face charges from their escape
Rector returned to Michigan in October.
(Help from: WOOD, Grand Rapids)
(Roseville-Off Bus Attack)
Roseville Police are investigating the alleged attack on a 16-year-old high
school student after he got off the bus Wednesday.
The victim told police on his way to school he was involved in an argument with
a female student. When he got off the bus, he was confronted by four members of
the girl's family who began to beat him in the head and body.
The attack stopped when someone said police were on their way and the four
jumped into a waiting car allegedly driven by the suspect's mother.
No charges have been filed so far.
(Jackson Co-Police Chase Sentence)
The Jackson County man who stole a police patrol vehicle and lead authorities on
a high-speed chase that spanned three counties before crashing just short of the
Ohio border has been sentenced to 14-40 years in prison
35-year old Ryan Cunningham was set to go to trial this month, but pleaded
guilty to maintaining a meth lab, possession of a short-barreled shotgun,
possession of a firearm by a felon, car theft, and fleeing police.
Cunningham stole a patrol unit from the Blackman-Leoni Department of Public
Safety in December of 2011 while in custody for stealing another vehicle. Police
from various agencies, including the State Police, pursued the car along US-23
through Washtenaw County and into Monroe County near the Ohio border, where it
ended in the crash.
Cunningham had been operating a meth lab at the Colonial Inn in Leoni Township.
A short-barreled shotgun was also found in the room.
(Grand Haven-City Lighthouses)
The city of Grand Haven is now the legal owner of the two lighthouses which are
located on the city's South pier leading out to Lake Michigan.
City manager Pat McGinnis said the deed from the United States Coast Guard
arrived last month.
A recent community-wide campaign raised 99 thousand dollars in 99 days, funding
which was used by local volunteers to restore the exterior of the structures
this past fall.
The Coast Guard also made some recent channel wall improvements near the
entrance light as part of the ownership hand-off.
A formal deed transfer ceremony will take place during the city's Boards and
Commissions Dinner which will be held in a couple of months.
(Ron Stevens, WGHN, Grand Haven)
(MI-Daily Show Bridge)
The battle for a second Detroit-Canada bridge got The Daily Show treatment this
Correspondent Al Madrigal lampooned Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Maroun and his
failed attempt to force a statewide vote on a new international crossing.
Among those featured in the piece are Roy Norton, the Canadian consulate in
Detroit, and Malik Shabazz, a longtime militant activist in Detroit who sided
with the Morouns in trying to pass Proposal 6.
The Daily Show said officials from the Detroit International Bridge Company,
owned by the Moroun family, declined to participate.
(Cheboygan Co-Sled Dog Race Postponed)
The January thaw has claimed a casualty in northern lower Michigan.
The Mid-Union Sled Haulers sled dog race was supposed to debut in Indian River
Saturday and Sunday but the organization
has postponed the event due to warm temperatures. The races have been
rescheduled for February 23-24.
The non-profit is still planing to hold the Indian River Sprint Dog Sled Race
January 26-27, the same weekend that the city of Indian River will celebrate its
3rd Annual Winterfest on Burt Lake.
Tonight's (Fri) Mega Millions jackpot is worth $55 (m) million dollars.
The winning numbers for the Midday 3 lottery on Thursday were: 0-6-4.
The winning numbers for the Midday 4 lottery were: 9-7-3-7.
The winning numbers for the Evening 3 lottery were: 0-5-8.
The winning numbers for the evening 4 lottery were: 7-1-5-3.
The winning numbers for the Fantasy 5 lottery were: 11-15-19-21-36.
The winning numbers for the Keno lottery were: 07, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18, 20,
22, 27, 30, 32, 34, 40, 43, 45, 46, 50, 54, 64, 70, 75.
Saturday's Classic Lotto jackpot is projected to be three-point-eight-five (m)