Thursday Morning State News Summar
Thu, 24 Jan 2013 01:12:21 EST
(Mi-2012 Holiday Sales-Final)
It wasn't as robust as they had hoped, but Michigan Retailers still posted
better sales than a year ago during the just-completed 2012 Holiday shopping
season.
A new survey just released by the Michigan Retailers Association found overall
holiday sales in the state rose an average of Two-Point-Nine percent compared
with 2011, with 54-percent of retailers showing positive numbers in December.
M-R-A Spokesman Tom Scott says while the season got off to a great start,
December sales fell sharply, most because of consumer uncertainty during the
end-of-year fiscal cliff debate. Scott says while December was a (quote)
"disappointment," robust sales in late October and November helped them stay in
positive territory for the overall season.
Three-out-of-Four Michigan Retailers in a pre-season poll expected a positive
season, with 43-percent of them hoping for sales increases of five-percent over
last year.
Last year, overall Michigan holiday sales rose an average of four-percent, which
was just short of a pre-season projection of six-percent.


(MI-Anti-Obesity Campaign-UPDATE)
The Michigan Department of Community Health has launched the MI Healthier
Tomorrow public awareness campaign asking Michigan residents to pledge to lose
10 percent of their body weight. It's the result of recommendations in the
Michigan Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan released last June.
Community Health Director James Haveman says the campaign will not only raise
awareness, it will also provide people with the tools necessary to make real
change.
After taking the online pledge, residents who provide a mailing address will
receive a free Getting Started Kit that will help guide them on their weight
loss journey. Additionally, those who provide an email or mobile phone number
can sign up for healthy texts and/or emails with motivational messages,
reminders, tips, and recipes to help keep them focused on losing weight and
becoming healthier.
MI Healthier Tomorrow is working with a wide array of partners across the state
including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Huntington Bank, McDonalds, Mercy
Health System, Michigan Association of Broadcasters, Michigan Chronicle,
Rockford Construction, and the YMCA.
Health officials say Michigan currently ranks as the fifth heaviest state in
America as some 800,000 children and 5 million adults have a weight problem.
Its estimated that by reducing obesity by 10 percent, Michigan health care costs
could be reduced by roughly $357 million.
For more information about the MI Healthier Tomorrow campaign, including current
partners and opportunities, or to take the pledge, visit
michigan.gov/mihealthiertomorrow.


(Lansing-Casino)
We could know alot more about the possibility of a tribal gambling casino in
Lansing, within a month, according to reports.
A federal judge in Grand Rapids says a ruling could be issued within thirty
days. The court action is a result of Michigan attorney general Bill Schuette's
legal attempt to stop the casino project.
Lawyers for both Michigan and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
were in federal court in Grand Rapids on Wednesday. The lawyers for the tribe
argued that the Attorney General's suit should be dismissed.
Schuette says the casino, to be located five blocks east of the Capitol
Building, violates both federal law as well as a tribal compact signed with the
state.


(Detroit-Murder Stats)
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing highlighted statistics on homicides in the city that
show a number of victims knew their killer.
The mayor said he was not making excuses for the increase in homicides in 2012,
but said Detroit is not as dangerous as some people claim it is.
The Detroit Police Department stats show that over 37-percent of the homicides
last year stemmed from some sort of dispute while just over 15-percent were drug
related.
The comments came as the mayor and interim police chief announced plans to
eliminate two units in the department and deploy more officers on the street.
(Metro Source)


(Report-Research Corridor)
Michigan's University Research corridor generated 15-point-5 (b) billion dollars
in economic impact statewide, exceeded two (b) billion dollars in annual
research expenditures and awarded more than 31-thousand-600 college degrees in
one year.
That puts it at or near the top of seven university innovation clusters in the
U-S, according to the report prepared by East Lansing-based Anderson Economic
Group.
The corridor consists of Michigan State University, Wayne State University and
the University of Michigan.
Annual research and development spending grew in that corridor by 43 percent
from 2007 to 2011, when it topped two (b) billion dollars for the first time.
Its R&D growth rate topped six other major university research clusters in five
states, including well-known hubs such as North Carolinas Research Triangle
Park, Californias Innovation Hubs and Massachusetts Route 128 Corridor.
The report showed that the URC universities conferred 31,683 graduate and
undergraduate degrees in 2011, more than any of the university innovation
clusters the URC has benchmarked itself against since 2007.    
The URC also granted the second-highest number of high-demand degrees overall.


(MEDC-More Jobs)
Governor Rick Snyder has announced that state incentives are being handed out to
support 14 business expansions that are expected to generate more than a (b)
billion dollars worth of investments and 4,590 jobs in Michigan.
The investments reach all parts of the state, from Alpena in the north, Benton
Harbor in the south, Holland to Detroit, and promise new job creation in
automotive manufacturing, robotics, home appliances, pharmaceuticals and
high-tech optical products.
Areas affected include Battle Creek, Southfield, Detroit, Allegan, Holland
Township, Coopersville, Rogers City, the Lansing area, Techumseh and Benton
Harbor.


(Lansing-Pathways to Potential)
The placement of social workers in Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw public
schools may be the beginning of a much larger program aimed at sending state
employees to their clients.
The Department of Human Services' "Pathways to Potential" program, which so far
has placed more workers into public schools in four cities, expects to have
social workers on location at an estimated 135 schools by mid-February.
Governor RIck Snyder mentioned the program in his State of the State address
last week saying the program will focus on sending state employees to where
clients are located, rather than relying on clients to come to state offices.
It's an effort to meet the needs of DHS clients more effectively and directly by
putting social workers directly into school buildings.
Mlive.com reports the Pathways to Potential program is designed to help children
and families get access to resources - both public and private - for which they
qualify. The social workers will be able to assist DHS clients, and also work
with families and children that are not DHS clients.


(Detroit-Dispute Killings)
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing highlighted statistics on homicides in the city that
show a number of victims knew their killer.
The mayor said he was not making excuses for the increase in homicides in 2012,
but said Detroit is not as dangerous as some people claim it is. The Detroit
Police Department stats show that over 37-percent of the homicides last year
stemmed from some sort of dispute while just over 15-percent were drug related.
The comments came as the mayor and interim police chief Chester Logan announced
plans to eliminate two units in the department and deploy 100 more officers on
the street.
Come early March, Detroit Police will shift around their personnel so eight of
every 10 officers are either patrolling the streets or investigating crimes.
That means the elimination of the Detroit Police Departments Tactical Mobile
Unit and Gang Squad.
(Metro Source/WWJ, Detroit)


(Cass Co-Tarwacki Murders Trial)
A 28-year old man will stand trial for killing a southwest Michigan couple
nearly three years ago.
A Cass County District Court judge ruled Tuesday there is enough evidence to
justify a trial for Keith Lintz of Niles on two counts each of first-degree
murder and felony firearm use. He was found competent to stand trial in
December.
Lintz is accused in the deaths of 40-year old John Tarwacki and his 39-year old
wife Carolyn who were found dead in their home near Niles in February of 2010.
He allegedly stabbed John Tarwacki ten times, shot him twice and stabbed his
wife four times, shot her twice and badly beat her about the face.
Authorities have not released what they believe may have been the motive for the
murders.
Lintz remains in jail on bond. A trial date has not been set.
(Help from: WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)


(Lansing-Party Store Murder-UPDATE)
A man who was left paralyzed after being shot at a Lansing convenience store on
New Year's Day is now facing charges for his alleged role in the shooting that
left one man dead and three others injured.
24-year old Noe Arcaute was arraigned in his room at Lansing's Sparrow Hospital
on open murder, three counts of assault with intent to murder and weapons
charges. He remains in critical condition. A preliminary examination is
scheduled for January 31.
29-year old Nicholas Jones of Lansing was killed in the barrage of gunfire at
the Save On Market on the city's north side. Four other people, including
Arcaute, were injured.
20-year-old Delon Miller of Lansing was arraigned on similar charges earlier
this month. He's being held without bond at the Ingham County Jail.
Arcaute and Miller both face life in prison if convicted.


(Detroit-Carbon Monoxide Death)
Police say the death of a Detroit man found this morning inside his home may be
due to carbon monoxide poisoning.   
Investigators say family members of the victim went to his home on Rutland
Street and found him inside. Firefighters were called in to investigate and
check the air quality inside the house.
The name of the victim has not been released.
The man's death is the first that can be linked to the extremely cold air that
settled into southeast Michigan early Monday.
(Metro Source)


(Troy-Priest Removed)
The Archdiocese of Detroit has removed a priest from his parish after an audit
found questionable financial transactions at the church.
Father Edward Belczak (BEL-chahk) was temporarily relieved of his duties as
pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Troy on Tuesday as church officials and
police investigate the allegations. Belczak is accused of misappropriating over
400-thousand-dollars, including taking 92-thousand-dollars in excess
compensation and diverting 240-thousand-dollars over the last six years to
someone the Archdiocese calls a "ghost employee".
The 67-year-old Belczak remains a priest but cannot function as the parishs
pastor or remain in residence at the parish until an administrative review
process is completed. He was ordained in 1972 and has served as pastor of St.
Thomas More since 1984.
(Metro Source)


(Isabella Co-Neighbor Murder-UPDATE)
A former Mid-Michigan pastor accused of beating and strangling a neighbor to
death to fulfill a sexual fantasy has waived his preliminary examination and
will stand trial.
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.
A pre-trial hearing in Isabella County Circuit Court is scheduled for February
25.
Earlier this month, White, an ex-convict and pastor of the tiny Christ Community
Fellowship church outside of Mount Pleasant, was declared competent to stand
trial. He told police that he was engaged to Gay's mother, who was a regular at
his Sunday sermons.
White 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 connection with the disappearance of a woman in Kalamazoo
County. In the early 1980s he was also sentenced to five years for choking and
stabbing a 17-year-old Battle Creek girl.


(East Tawas-Downtown Fire)
A historic building in downtown East Tawas was destroyed by a fire Tuesday
morning.
All fire crews from Iosco County and one from Arenac County were called to
battle the blaze in the more than 125-year old building that was home to the
Freel Law office and Chick'N Dots, a children's clothing store which was just
recently remodeled.
Witnesses say the building collapsed in on itself, but no injuries were
reported.
An adjoining real estate office was slightly damaged by the blaze.
Fire officials believe the fire was caused by a faulty electrical connection,
however a state fire marshal's report will be forthcoming next week that will
give more details about the cause.
(Marvin Walther, WIOS, Tawas City)


(Iron Mountain-Fatal Fire Cause)
Authorities have determined the cause of a house fire that killed a western
Upper Peninsula man last week.
The Michigan State Police Fire Marshal Division says an electrical issue
triggered the blaze that claimed the life of 66-year old Robert Davis of Iron
Mountain on January 16. Davis was alone in the home at the time.
An autopsy determined that Davis died by smoke inhalation.
The Iron Mountain Police Department says it has concluded the investigation of
the fire.
(Help from: Aaron Harper,WJNR/WOBE/WHTO, Iron Mountain)


(Portage-Breach of Contract)
The Portage Public School District has released its breach of contract charges
that prompted the resignation of the districts Superintendant.
Ric Perry resigned from his job after being placed on suspension pending the
outcome of the district's investigation. The focus of the investigation was
Perrys alleged relationship with the districts Human Resources Director, who has
also resigned.
The school district alleges that Perry was having an affair with his subordinate
and had shown favoritism towards her through allowing extra personal days and
paying her as a consultant while also paying her as a district employee.
(WBCK, Battle Creek)


(MI-Snowman Contest Cancelled)
A Snowman-Making Contest scheduled for Saturday in southwest Michigan has been
cancelled for the second consecutive year.
The five-city event was to see whose residents could build the most snowmen
within their community. As was the case in 2012, quality snow conducive to
snowman-making has prevented the event from taking place.
The communities that had committed to the event were Three Rivers, Zeeland,
Douglas, St. Clair and Saline.
(WLKM, Three Rivers)


(Wed lottery)
There were no winning tickets sold in Wednesday's Classic Lotto 47 game.
That means Saturday's jackpot will be worth four-point-seven-five (4,750,000)
(m) million dollars.   
The numbers drawn Wednesday were: 12, 16, 21, 23, 28, and 39.
The Powerball numbers from last night: 11-12-24-43-45.
The power ball was 09.
The winning numbers for the Midday 3 lottery on Wednesday were: 1-2-1.
The winning numbers for the Midday 4 lottery were: 0-2-2-7.
The winning numbers for the Evening 3 lottery were: 3-1-5.
The winning numbers for the Evening 4 lottery were: 1-3-6-3.
The winning numbers for the Fantasy 5 lottery were:   06-16-20-27-29.
The winning numbers for the Keno lottery were: 07, 08, 09, 11, 12, 14, 16,19,
26, 36, 39, 41, 42, 46, 47, 51, 55, 59, 71, 73, 76, 79.
Friday's Mega Millions jackpot will be worth at least $89 (m) million dollars.
Saturday's Powerball jackpot will be worth $130 (m) million dollars.

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