Thursday Afternoon State News Summary
Thu, 17 Jan 2013 12:55:12 EST
Police say Eric Ramsey was killed after he rammed three police vehicles in Otsego and Crawford Counties.
The incident began when Ramsey kidnaped a female Central Michigan University student, taking her in her own car to an Isabella County residence where he raped her and threatened to kill her.
The woman escaped by jumping out of her own car while Ramsey was driving south of Mount Pleasant. She ran to a nearby house for help.
Investigators say Ramsey failed in an attempt to burn the house down.
The kidnap victim suffered a broken arm jumping out of her car and a State Police trooper suffered minor injuries when Ramsey hit the trooper's patrol car with the victim's car. The Crawford County deputy who shot and killed Ramsey was not hurt.
State Police, Isabella County Sheriff deputies and CMU Police are investigating the incident.
(Bill Hewitt, WSGW, Saginaw)


(Snyder-SOS Detroit Snub)
Noticeably absent from Governor Rick Snyders annual State of the State address Wednesday night: any significant mention of Detroit.
Today, some are questioning why Snyder failed to acknowledge Detroit Mayor Dave Bing in any substantial way or recognize the Motor Citys ongoing fiscal struggle, even as Detroit is under review for a possible state takeover.
State Senator Burt Johnson of Wayne County says to have no mention of Detroit, and with all that is happening in the city and with the looming questions about the future of Detroit from a financial standpoint, it was glaring that Bing wasnt mentioned.
But, Snyder said this speech was about the state at large and not mentioning Detroit wasnt meant to be offensive. He said he discussed Detroit a bit when he talked about strengthening neighborhoods in general.
The Governor says he was happy to have the mayor at the Capitol and appreciates the hard work the Bing administration is doing on trying to improve the city.
(WWJ, Detroit)


(Capitol-New Department)
Governor Rick Snyder has signed an executive order combining two agencies into a new Department of Insurance and Financial Services.
The office will take on the duties currently handled by the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
Snyder says the move will reduce government red tape to help Michigan's economy grow. He noted that insurance and financial services businesses are vital to the economy. Michigan is the home to over 300 state banks and 149 insurance companies.
The order goes into effect in 60 days.
Snyder plans to appoint current Insurance Commissioner Kevin Clinton as the new department's director, subject to advice and consent of the Senate.


(MI-Adoptive Parents)
The Michigan Department of Human Services says some adoptive parents may not have received a monthly subsidy this month.
Last year, DHS began mailing notices instructing adoptive parents to register updated addresses and tax information because of a new computer system that was taking over in the beginning of 2013. Those who did not register did not receive subsidies this month.
Spokesperson Dave Akerly says around 3,000 of the 27,000 parents did not register, with the number reduced to about 800 as of Wednesday afternoon.
He says DHS continues to work to solve the issue and get parents their subsidies, but they still must register. Parents can register online or fax in a W-9 tax form.


(Iron Mountain-Fatal Fire ID)
Authorities have released the name of the Iron Mountain man who died when a fire swept through his home Wednesday morning.
Police Chief Pete Flaminio says 66-year old Robert Louis Davis was alone in the house at the time.
Police responding to reports of a strange odor in the area discovered smoke coming the residence and called the Iron Mountain Fire Department because the smoke prevented officers from entering the house. Firefighters discovered the Davis's body once they got inside.
An autopsy determined that Davis died by smoke inhalation.
A Michigan State Police fire marshal investigator is assisting local authorities in the investigation to determine the caused of the blaze.
(Aaron Harper,WJNR/WOBE/WHTO, Iron Mountain)


(East Lansing-Death at MSU)
An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death for a man who fell from a ladder in a building on the Michigan State University campus this week.
Police say 51-year old David Strouse was setting up for an RV show this weekend at the MSU Pavilion Tuesday when the incident occurred. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at Lansing's Sparrow Hospital.
Investigators are trying to determine whether a medical condition or the fall caused his death.


(St. Clair Shores-Bodies Found-UPDATE)
Authorities are hoping autopsies will determine what caused the deaths of two people whose bodies were discovered in a St. Clair Shores home Tuesday.
Police say the bodies of 38-year old Rebecca Brown and a man who police refuse to identify, were found by authorities lying on the floor of the living room of the house.
According to investigators, there were no signs of foul play. Authorities tested for a possible carbon monoxide leak but tests showed no signs of the gas.
The Macomb County Medical Examiner said he has to wait for micro slides and a toxicology report before he can confirm the cause of death.
(Help from: Metro Source)


(Grand Rapids-Murder Suspect Arraigned)
A Grand Rapids teen has been formally charged in the shooting death of a 23-year old man.
18-year-old Ali Sharif Gray was arraigned today (Thursday) in Kent County District Court on charges of open murder and using a firearm to commit a felony.
Anthony Tompkins was found dead on the sidewalk outside his home on the city's northeast side Monday night. Police say he died of a single gunshot wound. According to court records, Gray has confessed to killing Tompkins.
Police Chief Kevin Belk says it's believed both were in a gang.
Gray was arraigned Wednesday on an unrelated armed robbery charge. He remains jailed without bond and is expected back in court later this month.
(Help from: John C. Smith, WOOD, Grand Rapids)


(Detroit-GM Investment)
General Motors plans to invest one-point-five-billion dollars in its North American operations this year.
GM North American President Mark Reuss (Royce) announced the investment during a speech Wednesday evening, but provided few details. The investment announced last night is in addition to more than ten-point-two-billion in facility investments since July 2009 and two-billion in investments at U.S. plants since May 2011.
On top of the investment, GM officials confirmed on Tuesday that new jobs will also be coming this year.
(Metro Source)


(Lansing-Drug Bust)
Nineteen people are behind bars facing drug, gun or other charges in the federal or state court systems. Most were arrested last week following a crackdown on drug activity and violent crime in northwest Lansing.
The Lansing Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had been working on the investigation for two years.
The U.S. Attorneys Office says ten of the suspects have been indicted on federal charges, while Lansing police say the nine others have been charged in state court. If convicted, some face up to 20 years in prison.
Authorities believe the conspiracy grossed at least $27,000.


(MarquetteTwp-Tribal-Gas Station)
Governor Rick Snyder's administration has sent a letter to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, saying a gas station proposed by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community in Marquette Township could be "unlawful."
In the letter, the Governor's office says such a station, if its land were put into trust by the U-S Bureau of Indian Affairs, could offer (quote) "an unfair commercial advantage of surrounding competitors."
The Mining Journal reports that the letter was written by Deputy Legal Counsel Dave Murley and it lists several issues, such as the possibility that such a station could offer gasoline to consumers with no sales tax, which would be "detrimental to the local community and the state."


(Holland-Apartment Fire)
Dozens of residents were evacuated when a fire broke out at an apartment complex in Holland Wednesday.
The Department of Public Safety reports that personnel from five area departments were called to the Harbor Village Apartments shortly after 10 o'clock yesterday morning to find a second floor unit ablaze.
45 of those living in the building, along with pets and animals got out safely and fire crews had the fire out within an hour of arriving on the scene.
Two firefighters were injured when the ceiling in the burning unit collapsed. They were treated and released for their injuries.
The American Red Cross and Holland Victim Services worked to find temporary shelter for displaced residents.
Fire officials are still investigating the cause of the blaze. Damage is estimated in excess of 250-thousand dollars.
(Walt Zerlaut, WGHN, Grand Haven)

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