Tuesday Afternoon State News Summary
Tue, 05 Feb 2013 12:00:59 EST
A move is underway among some Democrats in Michigan, to replace incumbent chair Mark Brewer.
U-S Senator Debbie Stabenow is working to elect Lon Johnson of Kalkaska as the new chair.
Several other top Democrats are already supporting Johnson to replace Brewer, the longtime chair of the party.
Johnson is a former State House candidate (103rd District) from northern lower Michigan.
And on Tuesday morning, Johnson posted a note on his Twitter account that says (quote) "Its official! I'm running to be the next Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party."
He also has created a website titled "lonjohnson.com."
Johnson is a native of Rockwood, and is regarded as a top fundraiser for President Obama. He lives in Kalkaska with his wife, Julianna Smoot, who was deputy campaign manager for Obama's re-election campaign, and is a former White House Social Secretary.
Detroit police homicide detectives are investigating after a young womans body was found in a house on the citys northwest side.
Authorities were called to the vacant home after a Department of Public Works crew made the discovery at around 11 a.m. this morning (Tuesday).
Police said the woman, whose identity is unknown, appeared to be 19 or 20-years-old.
This was the second body found in an abandoned Detroit home today. Earlier in the morning, another unidentified person was found dead after a fire in a boarded-up, two-story house on the citys west side. Firefighters responded to the home and discovered the body in a side entranceway. Information on the victim was not immediately available.
Officials say its not yet clear what started the fire, although arson investigators were called to the scene to help determine a cause.
Investigators suspect the victim was assaulted at another location and then taken to the vacant home where a fire was set.
An investigation is ongoing.
(Ron Dewey, WWJ, Detroit)
Prosecutors in Missouri say they want to try two teenage boys accused of murdering a northern Michigan couple as adults.
The bodies of 70-year-old Paul Brooks and his wife, 69-year-old Margaret Brooks, of Baldwin were found last Thursday night at a home on Table Rock Lake in Galena, Missouri where they were seasonal residents.
A neighbor caught the teens breaking into a house, near where the Brooks were staying and held them at gunpoint until sheriff deputies arrived.
The deputies then found the bodies of the Brooks, while checking the homes in the neighborhood.
Police say the two boys ran away from a nearby detention center. Currently, they face juvenile charges of first-degree murder, armed criminal action and burglary.
The state has awarded almost $2.5 million in funding to 16 community-based and non-governmental organizations to provide HIV prevention services.
The Michigan Department of Community Health HIV/AIDS Prevention and Intervention Section say the goal is to reach the populations in Michigan at greatest risk for acquiring or transmitting HIV.
Funding through 2016 is going to communities including Detroit, Kalamazoo, Dearborn, Ypsilanti, Saginaw, Lansing, Ferndale, Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Flint.
(Grand Traverse Co-Scuba Diver Death)
Authorities say a man has died after scuba diving in a northern Michigan lake while trying to retrieve a snowmobile that went through the ice.
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports 46-year-old Steven Wagner of Traverse City went into Duck Lake in Grand Traverse County on January 29 in an attempt to get the snowmobile.
The sheriffs department says Wagner was unconscious when pulled from the water, and was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Officials suspect he had a heart attack.
The snowmobile went down a few days earlier about a mile south of the Interlochen State Park campground and about 100 yards from the lakes west shoreline. The sheriffs department says the snowmobiles driver, who had been ice fishing, crawled to safety that day.
A German phrase which famously greeted Nazi prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II, has a new home. It sits prominently on a bridge overlooking the old Packard Plant in Detroit.
The words are in the same script as the concentration camp, but in this case they lord over the hulking plant that once created luxury cars and now serves as a decrepit 40-acre squatting grounds for the homeless, and a favorite spot for scrappers, graffiti artists and ruin porn photography.
The factory that built luxury Packard cars at the start of the 20th Century, closed in 1958. The city of Detroit has pledged to take the plant down, but that hasnt happened yet.
The German words now prominently displayed on it translate into English as work will make you free, and they guarded the gates at the camps where 1.3 million people, mostly Jews, were killed during the Nazi regime. In Detroit, no one has come forward to take credit, or blame, for it.
(Grand Rapids-Bigger Old Building)
One of the best-known buildings in downtown Grand Rapids is making a multi-million dollar change.
The Gilmore Collection says its bar/restaurant complex known as "The Bob" will be adding a new outdoor festival marketplace and biergarten facing Van Andel Arena, new dining venues and a concert and event space capable of holding up to 2,000 people.
Managing Partner Greg Gilmore says the first phase of the renovation and expansion project includes a renovation of the space that had been Gillys - located on the ground floor facing Van Andel Arena.
A second phase of work will begin on the event venue, biergarten and piazza after ArtPrize 2013, with completion slated for June 1, 2014. One of the most talked about additions, it will be adaptable to changing seasonal and weather conditions.
(Chuck LaTour, WOOD, Grand Rapids)
Detroit Red Wings star Pavel (pah-VEL) Datsyuk (DAHT-zook) is suing an Oak Park man who he claims has been selling clothing with his name, number and likeness without permission.
The suit alleges Terrance Sullivan, owner of Pasha Sportswear, has been manufacturing and marketing products related to Datsyuk since early 2012.
Pasha is Datsyuk's nickname.
A temporary restraining order has been issued to halt the production of the products and a hearing on the suit will be held Wednesday.
(Grand Rapids-Administrators Pink Slipped)
Grand Rapids Public Schools is cutting white collar jobs, with roughly 200 administrators being told they will likely not have their contracts renewed after this year.
The school board approved giving all administrators 90 days notice that those contracts may be gone as of June 30 as the district works to restructure.
Ten schools will close in the fall, and other employees are likely to also receive layoff notices. Teachers will likely be the last, with their evaluations scheduled for May.
(Ann Arbor-Gratz U-M Regent)
Jennifer Gratz, who challenged the University of Michigan's affirmative action system over a decade ago is reportedly running for a slot on the school's Board of Regents next year.
Gratz confirmed to the political newsletter MIRS that she is seeking a Republican nomination for one of the two seats up for grabs. She was denied admission to the University of Michigan law school, while arguing minority students who were less qualified were let in due to the school giving minorities a 20-point handicap in a point system for admissions.
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the University's undergraduate affirmative action point system in 2003.
Gratz also spearheaded 2006's Proposal Two, which banned the use of affirmative action in Michigan for higher education admissions and governmental hiring.