Thursday Afternoon State News Summary
Thu, 24 Jan 2013 11:59:09 EST
market areas in December.
According to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget, total
employment levels decreased in most regions over the month, while labor force
levels increased in the majority of areas.
A spokesman says December labor market activity throughout the state was fairly
normal as unemployment rates typically increase going into the winter months.
The Ann Arbor area had the state's lowest jobless rate last month at
five-point-one percent while Northeast Lower Michigan had the highest at
Michigan seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December was 8.9 percent.
A state lawmaker is looking into the idea of putting a new surcharge on tires,
including bicycle tires and off-road vehicles, to help raise revenue for road
and bridge maintenance in Michigan.
State House Republican Wayne Schmidt of Traverse City told the Lansing-based
"Gongwer News Service" that while it might not be the right idea, bicycle and
ORV tires should at least be considered as a source of revenue, since in recent
years Michigan has seen the growth of bicycle lanes and expanded shoulders on
The comment comes as lawmakers are poised to look for ways to raise up to
one-point six (b) billion dollars needed for roads, according to a recent study
A 48-year-old man who is accused of taking his father's corpse from a Detroit
cemetery will undergo a mental competency examination.
Vincent Bright of Detroit is charged with disinterment of a dead body, which
carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.
Officials say he took the casket containing 93-year-old Clarence Bright with the
help of another man from a cemetery on the city's east side on January 14th.
Police say they recovered the casket and van at a gas station the next day, but
the body was removed.
Investigators located the remains in a freezer in the basement of Vincent
Bright's home. Authorities say Bright took the body believing he could resurrect
his father through prayer.
Bright remains in the Wayne County jail on $75,000 bond.
(Help from: Metro Source)
(MI-Hunting Season Safe)
State wildlife officials say the 2012 hunting season saw only one fatality in
the 15 incidents reported to the Department of Natural Resources, making it the
safest season in the last five years.
While there were three fewer incidents reported in 2011, there were five
fatalities in that year.
Law Enforcement Division Chief Gary Hagler says the DNR continues to emphasize
the importance of the hunter orange law, knowing your target and safe firearm
handling, and how they all are key factors in having a safe season.
Hagler added they also continue to encourage mentors to work closely with youth
hunters to teach them safe firearm handling skills. One incident this year
involved a hunter under the age of 10.
The lone fatality last year occurred in St. Clair County on September 20 when a
coyote hunter reportedly shot and killed another hunter in an apparent accident.
There were no hunting incidents reported in the Upper Peninsula in 2012,
compared to three in 2011, including one fatality.
A total of three hunting incidents involved minors as the shooter, with the
youngest being six years old.
Hagler credits Michigans hunter education program with Michigans low rates of
incidents over the last few years.
(Osceola Co-Double Murder Trial)
Testimony resumed today (Thursday) in the trial for the man accused of killing
his ex-wife and another man in Northern Michigan more than a year ago.
28-year old Blake Hullihen of Harrison is charged with two counts each of open
murder and felony firearm.
27-year old Donald Feneis and 23-year old Gabriel Woodworth, both of Sears, were
killed in the December 7, 2011 shooting in the parking lot of a gas station at
M-66 and M-115 near Marion in Osceola County.
At a preliminary exam last June Hullihen's father said on the night of the
shootings his son returned to their Harrison home and appeared to be in shock,
had a .45 caliber pistol in his possession and admitted he had killed the pair.
His father said he then drove his son directly to the Clare County Sheriff's
Hullihen and Woodworth had been embroiled in a custody battle involving their
now 8-year old daughter leading up to the shootings.
If convicted, Hullihen could face life sentences for the murders and two
consecutive years for each felony firearms charge.
A solider from southwest Michigan has been killed in Afghanistan.
The Defense Department says Army Sergeant Mark Schoonhoven of Plainwell died
Sunday at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in Texas from wounds
suffered when his unit was attacked by an improvised explosive device in Kabul
on December 15th.
The 38-year-old Schoonhoven was on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, and is
survived by six children. He is the first Michigan soldier killed in the war
Schoonhoven was assigned to the 32nd Transportation Company, 43rd Sustainment
Brigade, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colorado.
(Help from: Metro Source)
(Bay Co-Two Dead-UPDATE)
Police say two people found shot to death in Bay County were victims of a
Sheriff John Miller told MLive.com that the bodies of 51-year old Robert Burt
and his fiancee 48-year old Michelle Pischel were discovered in their Monitor
Township home, between Bay City and Auburn, by a relative of one of the victims
Miller said it appears Burt shot her, then shot himself possibly for some
medical reasons. Deputies found a 38-caliber handgun at the scene.
Autopsies are scheduled and the investigation is continuing.
(Help from: WSGW, Saginaw)
(Grosse Ile-Trench Collapse)
A 56-year-old man is in critical condition after being rescued from a collapsed
trench that he was working on in the suburban Detroit island township of Grosse
The incident happened sometime around 10:30 a.m. this morning (Thursday) at an
intersection on the north end of the island near a toll bridge.
Police say the man, a Grosse Ile resident and employee of the townships
Department of Public Works, was submerged for at least 14 minutes when the
12-feet deep trench collapsed.
Grosse Ile Fire Chief Duncan Murdock said the man wasnt conscious when he was
removed from the trench. Emergency crews from the neighboring city of Trenton
responded and were able to resuscitate the man before he was taken by a medical
helicopter to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
The man, whose name wasnt immediately released, is described as being in very
critical condition. The extent of his injuries is unknown.
(Pat Sweeting, WWJ, Detroit)
(Grand Rapids-Water Main Break Repaired)
A water main break in Grand Rapids that left a huge sinkhole has been repaired.
The 30 inch main first began spewing thousands of gallons water into the streets
in a neighborhood on the city's southeast side late Tuesday night. The waters
had undermined a tree which collapsed distrupting electric and natural gas
services, as well.
The city has said it is aware of at least three reports of water main breaks,
all smaller pipes and all apparently due to the cold.
The repairs were completed about 2 a.m. this morning (Thursday).
About 85 homeowners affected by the break have water in their faucets again, but
it is not guaranteed clean. The Grand Rapids Water department says until the
testing can be done, a boil water order remains in effect.
(John Bry, WOOD, Grand Rapids)
A Detroit News reporter is accused of threatening to kill the ex-wife of state
Treasurer Andy Dillon.
According to a personal protection order filed by Carol Dillon in Wayne County
Circuit Court, Leonard Fleming threatened to attack her with a baseball bat. In
the protection order request, Dillon also accused Fleming of sexting her an
Fleming covered the City of Detroit and its financial affairs for the newspaper
and, according to officials, was reassigned last week.
(Grand Rapids-Former Pastor Plea)
A Grand Rapids pastor has agreed to a plea deal just before his trial was to
begin next week on charges of stealing from his former church.
Reverend Arthur Pearson pled no contest to embezzling between 50-thousand and
100-thousand dollars from the Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist church in Grand
Rapids. He was accused of spending the money for shopping, restaurant meals and
The church fired the 38-year old Pearson in June. He will be sentenced April
(Help from: John Bry, WOOD, Grand Rapids)
(Detroit-NAIAS-Most Expensive Car)
You can look, but you cant touch.
A souped up version of the Bentley Mulsanne has the distinction of being the
most expensive car on the floor at this years North American International Auto
Show In Detroit.
Bentley spokesperson Kristen Thompson said the hand-crafted Mulsanne is the
ultimate in luxury, with a price tag of $368,000.
Thompson said it takes over 500 hours to complete just one Mulsanne.
The cars interior is completely decked out with some of the worlds finest
leather and then, theres an exclusive clock from high-end watch company,
But one of the most impressive things about the Mulsanne is its back seat.
Thompson says the back seats have heating and cooling, massagers, and you can
recline in them as well. In between the seats is a new bottle cooler that
retracts with room for two champagne bottles and three crystal flutes. Theres
also two TVs.
Under the hood, the Mulsanne has a 6 -litre, 90-degree V8 engine, an all-new 505
brake horse power engineering marvel that generates 752 foot pounds of torque.
You cant get too up close and personal with the Mulsanne at the Auto Show,
however. Thompson said the only way youll be able to get inside of one is by
making an appointment at a Bentley dealer.
The Auto Show runs through Sunday at downtown Detroits Cobo Center.
(Sandra McNeill, WWJ, Detroit)