Saturday State News Summary
Sat, 12 Jan 2013 02:40:42 EST
The U of M's George Fulton appeared before a Revenue Estimating Conference in Lansing on Friday.
He says the rate will fall from the 9 percent at the end of 2012, to six-point nine percent by the end of 2015. At that point, he says, Michigan's jobless rate will be only three-tenths of a percentage point below the national unemployment rate.
In the bigger picture, Fulton says Michigan is now starting its fourth year of recovery, following the recession during the last decade.
State economists Friday agreed that revenues to the State Treasury are coming in at a rate that had been expected.
The January Revenue Estimating Conference at the Capitol is held to provide the Governor and the Michigan Legislature with enough information to write a budget for next fiscal year.
Because of tax policy changes last year, available revenues during the current fiscal year are reduced, but it is effectively compensated by the better than expected revenues from the just-finished fiscal year.
Net revenue for the general fund this year will be about eight-point-eight (b) billion dollars, according to the agreement, which is about five percent down from the previous year.
However, School Aid Fund revenues will be 11-point-three-(b) billion dollars, which is a two-point-three percent increase.
In the coming fiscal year, which begins in October, the conferees agreed that the general fund revenue will be nine-point-two-six (b) billion dollars and the school aid fund will be 11-point-43-(b) billion.
Even with a new law designating wolves as game animals in the state, a wolf hunt is not guaranteed in 2013.
Department of Natural Resources officials told the Natural Resources Commission on Thursday that if a wolf hunt does happen, it will likely be limited to areas with the most reports of wolves attacking livestock. Commission members warned that the department needs to be sure it can resolve those conflicts in other ways if the commission recommends against a wolf hunt.
DNR furbearer expert Adam Bump presented a process that would have recommendations for structuring a hunt by June. He said that would allow sufficient time to conduct a hunt before the end of the year if the commission does approve one.
Legislation approved during the lame duck session and signed into law by Governor Snyder last month would authorize the hunt and set license fees. But it leaves it to the commission to set the rest of the regulations for a wolf hunt. Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason said the department would not go out of its way to recommend a hunt.
There are an estimated 700 wolves in Michigan, mainly residing in the western Upper Peninsula.
(Mount Pleasant-Stabbing Death Suspect)
A Mount Pleasant man has been bound over for trial in the stabbing death of another man at a downtown Mount Pleasant apartment complex in November.
A visiting judge in Isabella County ruled this week there is enough evidence for 25-year-old Curtis Leachman to stand trial on one count each of open murder, witness intimidation and carrying a concealed weapon with unlawful intent.
Leachman is accused of stabbing 20-year-old Tyrone Stanley during a fight outside Stanley's apartment on November 24. Authorities say Leachman threatened people who saw the stabbing.
Defense lawyers say Stanley was the aggressor and that Leachman was in his home and defending himself when the fight happened.
Leachman remains in the Isabella County jail. He faces up to life in prison if convicted for the murder.
No trial date has been set.
(MI/NV-Miss Michigan Competes)
Miss Michigan will be competing for the title of Miss America tonight (Saturday).
24-year-old Angela Venditti of St. Clair Shores is among the 53 contestants taking part in this year's event at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
ABC is airing live coverage of the pageant starting at 9 p.m.
Right To Work will continue to be a part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's business advertising message despite the criticism from Democrats and liberal organizations over a Pure Michigan advertisement that ran this week in the Wall Street Journal.
President and CEO Michael Finney says the business brand of Pure Michigan featuring the green M routinely promotes the business-friendly climate in the state and policy changes that would attract site selectors and high-level business people. According to Finney, Michigan's new right-to-work status has opened up a lot of potential investors.
He says site selection experts have told the MEDC that some clients will not even consider a state without right-to-work status.
Finney says it was too soon to tell what kind of effect the advertisement has had or will have, but regardless, he merely continues to explain what the state can offer to businesses.
(Clinton Co-MSU Prof-Animal Neglect-UPDATE)
A professor at Michigan State Universitys veterinary school has waived a preliminary examination on a felony animal neglect charge.
55-year old Patricia Schenck was arrested last month after authorities found 17 dogs and two cats in poor condition at her home in Clinton County's Olive Township, north of Lansing, where she lives with her elderly parents.
Schenck is free on bond and has been ordered not to have any animals in her possession. She faces up to four years in prison.No trial date has been set.
An MSU spokesman says Schenck has been suspended with pay from MSUs College of Veterinary Medicine pending the outcome of the case.
(Ingham Co-Counterfeit Sports Merchandise)
Federal agents raided a sports merchandise and apparel store in the Meridian Mall in Okemos, just east of Lansing, earlier this week making what they call a significant seizure of suspected counterfeit items.
The Lansing State Journal reports U.S. Customs Enforcement officers executed a search warrant Monday morning at the Sportz R Us store.
Khaalid Walls, a Detroit-based spokesman for the federal agency that operates within the Department of Homeland Security, told the newspaper that no arrests were made, but sports merchandise and apparel were boxed and hauled off.
Agents are believed to be looking for items associated with teams from the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball that was manufactured without payment of the licensing fees the leagues collect.
Walls declined to quantify the amount of merchandise seized or to speculate on its retail value.
According to state business registration records, Sportz R Us was incorporated by Terry Harrison in 2007, one year before he incorporated Goin Deep Collectibles in Saginaw.
The Journal was unable to reach Harrison for a comment.
(Kentwood-Person Of Interest)
Police in West Michigan are looking for a 22-year-old man as a person of interest in a home invasion and the murders of an elderly couple last weekend.
Investigators stress Javonte Higgins is not yet considered a suspect, but has several outstanding felony warrants, and say his family is cooperating.
A search was conducted Thursday afternoon at a home about a half mile from the Kentwood home where 81-year-old David Bouwman and his 80-year-old wife, Vivian were found dead last Saturday morning. Higgins was not at the home, but was known to have lived there.
Investigators believe the couple were victims of an apparent home invasion.
Police also released a sketch of a suspect yesterday in the arson of the Bouwman's vehicle which police found in the city of Wyoming. He is a light-skinned black man in his 30s with a beard and standing around six feet tall.
Anyone with information on Higgins' whereabouts is encouraged to offer tips to Kentwood Police or by using Silent Observer. A reward fund has been established for leads that bring about arrests and convictions in the case.
(John C. Smith, WOOD, Grand Rapids/Metro Source)
Ex-Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been put on a GPS tether and confined to his residence over concerns about cash he received through a wire transfer at an area Walmart last month.
The Michigan Department of Corrections is investigating a Chesterfield Township Walmart security tape that shows Kilpatrick counting out $2,000 in cash he accepted as a gift from pastor in Chicago. Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan said Kilpatrick failed to report the money as income and not doing that could be a probation violation.
As part of his parole after serving his sentence in the text message scandal, the former mayor is required to disclose all gifts and forms of income to the state.
Kilpatrick, who moved to Texas two years ago, has reportedly been staying at his mothers house. If thats indeed the case, the home of Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick would be considered his residence for the purposes of the order.
Kilpatrick will be able to go to court for his federal corruption trial, meet with his lawyers and keep any pre-approved employment commitments, but he will not be allowed to travel to his home in Texas.
(WWJ, Detroit/Metro Source)
The Sierra Club Michigan Chapter failed both legislative chambers on their voting records for the environment in releasing its scorecard this week.
The Senate voted only 40 percent of the time to protect the environment under the club's measures. The House did slightly better at 46 percent.
Mike Berkowitz, the Michigan legislative director for the group, says 2011-2012 was by far the most anti-environmental Legislature in Michigan for decades and members find it hard to believe that so many of lawmakers are voting against Clean Air, Clean Water, and Public Health.
As expected, Democrats did better on the scorecard, averaging 96.1 percent in the Senate and 83 percent in the House. Republicans averaged 23.7 percent in both chambers.
Berkowitz says they hope that incoming lawmakers will see their scorecard and be motivated to get rid of the anti-environment attitude in the 2013-2014 legislative session.
(Berrien Co-No Cussing Charges)
The Berrien County Prosecutor says his office is not going to be prosecuting an Indiana woman for allegedly cussing in a court clerk's office in Niles.
Art Cotter says he doesn't think the contempt of court citation against LaRue Ford of South Bend can be legally sustained, but the county's chief judge still needs to rule on dismissing the case.
Ford was charged with contempt of court when she allegedly swore to herself in December while trying to get a nearly decade-old traffic ticket cleared up. She spent ten days behind bars after a judge changed the terms of her bond.
(WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)
(Grand Rapids-Toilet Paper Lawsuit)
A former Kalamazoo County Jail inmate is suing over the lack of toilet paper.
Timothy Hamilton filed the civil rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids claiming prisoners were denied toilet paper for several days. Along with claiming deputies violated his constitutional rights, Hamilton wants 400-thousand dollars in compensation for mental anguish.
Undersheriff Pali Matyas told MLive.com that they (quote) "never had a shortage of toilet paper here at the jail."
There were no winning tickets in Friday's Mega Millions lottery drawing.
The jackpot Friday was worth $55 (m) million dollars.
The numbers from the Mega Millions drawing Friday were: 24, 29, 30, 34, and 56. The gold ball was 01. The Megaplier was 4x.
Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot will be worth $62 (m) million dollars.
The winning numbers for the Midday 3 lottery on Friday were: 3-0-6.
The winning numbers for the Midday 4 lottery were: 4-2-6-7.
The winning numbers for the Evening 3 lottery were: 2-7-6.
The winning numbers for the Evening 4 lottery were: 5-2-7-2.
The winning numbers for the Fantasy 5 lottery were: 04-17-23-31-38.
The winning numbers for the Keno lottery were: 05, 06, 17, 20, 22, 25, 31, 32, 33, 35, 40, 41, 46, 47, 49, 51, 63, 64, 67, 72, 73, 79. Tonight's (Sat) Classic Lotto jackpot is projected to be three-point-eight-five (3.85) (m) million dollars.
Tonight's Powerball jackpot is worth $80 (M) million dollars.