Friday State News Summary
Fri, 15 Feb 2013 13:06:49 EST
(Big Rapids-FSU Student-Snow Bank)
An 18-year-old Ferris State University student is in critical condition at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids after he was found unresponsive in a snowbank early this morning (Friday).
Police say Nicholas Suttles of Grand Rapids was barely alive when he was discovered. Suttles was extremely hypothermic and had an irregular heart beat. Police say they believe he was in the snow bank since around 3 a.m. and had no coat on.
The Big Rapids Department of Public Safety and Ferris State Police are looking at surveillance video from nearby businesses to determine whether any crime occurred.
The preliminary investigation indicates Suttles brought his own alcohol to a party near the Big Rapids campus and consumed a large quantity.
Charges are expected for multiple individuals relating to allowing a minor to consume under the city's Nuisance Party Ordinance.
(WBRN, Big Rapids)
(MI-Super Bowl Drunks)
State Police say authorities arrested 45 drunk drivers during a Super Bowl weekend drunk driving crackdown. The total includes 11 drivers arrested for a Blood Alcohol Content of .17 or higher under Michigans so-called Super Drunk Law.
65 law enforcement agencies in 20 counties participated in the three-day crackdown. The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning coordinated the effort which was supported by federal traffic safety funds.
Officers made 1,318 traffic stops during which they issued 47 seat belt and child restraint citations, 97 speeding tickets and 302 tickets for other traffic violations. In addition, 28 fugitives were arrested and 94 uninsured motorists were cited. Officers also made 26 drug arrests and cited 20 individuals for other alcohol violations.
Jury deliberations will begin Tuesday in the federal corruption case of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father and a friend.
Prosecutors delivered their rebuttal to the closing arguments of defense attorneys in Detroit today (Friday). The prosecution showed the jury text messages between Kwame Kilpatrick and his friend Bobby Ferguson that they claim show the two conspired to extort money from contractors seeking city work.
Prosecutors allege the former mayor pocketed over 800-thousand dollars in kickbacks and bribes and also used a nonprofit fund as a slush fund for his personal use, while friend Bobby Ferguson made 120-million dollars.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow (CHUT-coh) also took aim at the claims made by Bernard Kilpatrick's lawyer, who called his client a legitimate consultant. The attorney countered by asking where all the receipts were for the work done by Kilpatrick.
The two Kilpatricks and Ferguson each face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on racketeering, bribery and tax charges.
The jury won't begin deliberation until Tuesday because the U.S. District Court is closed Monday due to Presidents Day.
(MI-Free Fishing Weekend)
If you've never been ice fishing and want to give it a try, this is the weekend to do it.
The Department of Natural Resources says everyone in michigan - including residents and non-residents - can fish without a license on Saturday and Sunday, though all other fishing regulations still apply.
The two days make up the Winter Free Fishing Weekend - an annual effort to promote Michigan's plentiful fishing opportunities.
While many individuals and families will bundle up and head out to fish for free on their own, the DNR says there are numerous organized events scheduled throughout the state to celebrate the weekend as well.
Michigan has been celebrating the winter free fishing weekend annually since 1994.
A northern Michigan woman is facing embezzlement charges.
37-year old Heather Peer of Houghton Lake is accused of stealing more than $100,000 from Earls Building Supply in Gladwin, where she was an employee.
Peer was arraigned this week in Gladwin County District Court on one count each of embezzlement over $100,000 and using a computer to commit a felony. She faces up to 20 years in prison.
Peer is free on $5,000 bond. A preliminary exam is scheduled for February 25.
(Big Rapids-Missing Man-UPDATE)
The car of a missing Big Rapids man was discovered in Missouri Thursday but he has still not been found.
Big Rapids Police say 49-year old Fred Byrne's car was discovered outside of the Mark Twain National Forest in Van Buren, Missouri. The vehicle was found unlocked with Byrnes wallet on the rear floor board and the keys in the center console.
According to Carter County Sheriff Deputies there did not appear to be anything out of the ordinary or suspicious found inside the vehicle.
A general canvas of the area was done without locating any sign of Byrne, the search was discontinued due to darkness. Sheriff deputies and US Forest Service investigators will resume the search this morning (Friday).
Authorities say Frederic Byrne was last seen leaving his mother's home in Holland after taking his son back to school at Hope College. He planned on stopping at the Rivertown Crossings Mall in Grandville on his way back home to Big Rapids.
Byrne is 6'3", 290 pounds and was wearing a brown Carhartt jacket, blue jeans and a ball cap. He was driving a silver 2005 Chevy Malibu with a Michigan license plate BSY 0298.
Investigators say Byrne had no medical or personal problems to affect his behavior.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Big Rapids Police Department.
(WBRN, Big Rapids/John C. Smith, WOOD, Grand Rapids)
(MI-Gas Price Hike)
Your wallet is not going to be happy if you've got to fill up your vehicle today.
Gas prices have shot higher once again, with GasBuddy.com spotters reporting they've gone over four-dollars a gallon at stations in Essexville, Franklin, Romulus and Ann Arbor.
Wholesale gas prices, which are what the gas stations pay, shot up by 14-percent for the Midwest yesterday. Prices at the pump typically run about 70 to 80 cents higher than that level, though they've been higher.
The statewide average is currently three-dollars-80-cents, but is expected to move higher as more stations increase prices. A GasBuddy analyst said earlier this week that $4.25 a gallon by the end of the month might not be out of the question.
(Mike Arney, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)
(Oakland Co-Murder Sentence)
A 49-year-old man will serve life in prison without parole, convicted of first degree murder in a brutal murder that shocked a Royal Oak community.
Oakalnd County prosecutors said 80-year-old Nancy Dailey was tied to a chair, beaten and stabbed by Alan Wood - who had come to the womans home with his girlfriend looking for drug money after Dailey had hired the pair to do some yard work.
When it was his turn to speak in court today (Friday), Wood, clad in an orange jumpsuit, denied everything and asked the judge to dismiss all charges against him. When she declined, Wood told her to stop preaching and get to his sentencing.
The girlfriend, 41-year-old Tonia Watson, took a plea bargain with prosecutors in exchange for her testimony against Wood, which prosecutors said, along with DNA evidence, said helped get a conviction.
Watson was sentenced to 23 to 80 years.
Wood and Watson, both parole violators, were arrested in Canton Township two days after Daileys body was found. Police said they were attempting to use one of Daileys bank cards at an ATM.
(Laura Bonnell, WWJ, Detroit)
(St. Clair Co-Fatal House Fire)
Authorities say a St. Clair County woman is dead following a house fire this (Friday) morning.
The sheriffs department says the fire started sometime before 4 a.m. at a home in Berlin Township, just north of the Macomb County line. When crews arrived on the scene, the home was completely engulfed in flames.
Fire officials determined there were four people in the house when the fire started. Three people made it out of the home uninjured, while one woman was unable to escape. The woman, whose identity was not immediately released, was declared dead at the scene.
Firefighters said the fire was extinguished just before 6 a.m., although the cause of the fire is currently unknown.
An investigation is ongoing.
(Ionia Co-Cop Not Charged)
No charges will be filed by the Ionia County Prosecutor's Office against the Belding police officer who shot and killed a man last month. The officer's name has not been released.
Prosecutor Ronald Schafer decided this week the officer was justified in shooting and killing 55-year-old Bernard Rowley.
Rowley allegedly shot at a police car on January 5th while officers were inside Belding City Hall, then opened fire on a Michigan State Police trooper and Belding officer about a mile away.
(Hope College-Bed Bug Oven)
Hope College says it has the first bed bug-roasting heat chamber of any college in Michigan.
Officials say fewer than one percent of students who live on its Holland campus reported bed bug problems, but they've still built a 12-by-12-foot room that can be heated to at least 118 degrees.
After 90-minutes in there, a student's bed, couch and other items will have no living bed bugs in them.
WOOD TV quotes the company hired to deal with Hope College's bed bugs as saying they do not want to use pesticides on intimate items like beds and couches.
(John Bry, WOOD, Grand Rapids)
The Marquette bishop who soon will become the youngest archbishop in the country is lamenting a decline in religious belief.
Bishop Alexander Sample of the Diocese of Marquette will become the new archbishop in Portland, Oregon in April.
As he prepares for his new position, he also says he's "discouraged" that there's been a "great decline in religious practice, and religious belief in our country.
He says we are (quote) "living in a highly secular culture, where God has become less and less relevant in people's lives," maybe because of "materialism" and other man made comforts.
But he adds that the decline of the church is not unique to the Catholic church.
He sees his new position as an opportunity to reintroduce God as part of a new "evangelization" that he hopes the new Pope will continue.
Sample was the youngest bishop in the U-S when he was appointed in Marquette 7 years ago.
At 52, he will be the youngest archbishop in the U-S when he assumes his new position in Portland in April.