Friday Morning State News Summary
Fri, 15 Mar 2013 01:46:21 EDT
Governor Rick Snyder has selected a high-powered Washington D-C lawyer to be Detroit's emergency manager, over protests from some city officials who say no city manager is needed.
His name is Kevyn Orr, who worked on Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy restructuring.
Detroit is currently facing a disastrous financial situation, which includes 14 (b) billion dollars in long-term liabilities, and an accumulated deficit of 327 (m) million dollars.
The city has also faced a shrinking tax base and rapid population loss.
Orr's selection represents the largest state takeover of a major city in the country.
Opponents say the takeover violates the right of local residents to elect local policy makers, and some opponents have already acted.
Activist Robert Davis was in Ingham County Circuit court Thursday, asking a judge to delcare Snyder's declaration illegal.
Detroit Democrats in the Michigan Legislature were not happy with the Governor's decision to appoint an EFM.
Rep. Thomas Stallworth said that while he doesn't deny Detroit has fiscal problems, he adds (quote) "I also do not believe that appointing an emergency manager who is not accountable to the people of Detroit is the way to putting our city on the right path," adding that the city's problems can be solved without an Emergency Financial Manager.
(Detroit-No Council EFM Challenge)
The Detroit City Council will not legally challenge the appointment of an Emergency Financial Manager.
Council President Charles Pugh announced the decision after a closed door session with other council members. He said there was a "spirited" discussion, but the majority of the council decided against the move on the recommendation of their attorneys.
Council members Kwame Kenyatta, Brenda Jones and Saunteel Jenkins did not participate in the meeting.
A conservative state lawmaker and the American Civil Liberties Union are locking arms at the state Capitol in an effort to restrict the use of drones by law enforcement in Michigan.
House Republican Tom McMillin of Rochester Hills, has introduced a bill to put specific guidelines in place for the deployment of unmanned drones by police in Michigan, including their ability to illegally collect information.
McMillin says the effort is to prepare for the "legal and practical challenges" regarding the rapidly developing drone technology, and protect Michigan citizens against "Big Brother looking down" from above.
Among other things, his bill requires a warrant or the presence of imminent danger to use a drone; require data gathered in an unauthorized manner to be destroyed immediately and made inadmissible in courts and prohibit weapons on drones, require prior approval by local government and put reporting requirements on the use of drones and the data it collects.
Shelli Weisberg, legislative director for and American Civil Liberties Union, supports the effort, saying the legislation (quote) "is the first step to ensuring that law enforcement cannot sacrifice our fundamental liberties for their convenience.”
(Capitol-Dead Food Assistance)
Legislation to ensure that dead and incarcerated people are removed from Michigan's food benefit program has cleared the State House.
The House yesterday (Thursday) passed the measure that would require Michigan's Department of Human Services to check each month if food benefit recipients are in jail or prison or dead, then terminate their Bridge card access.
House Republican Tim Kelly of Saginaw Township introduced the legislation. He says requiring the state to cross-check Bridge Card recipients with the country's death index is a commonsense way to keep our welfare system strong and free from abuse.
The bill now heads to the State Senate.
(MI-Open Carry in School)
The Michigan Education Association (MEA) is calling on state lawmakers to take up and pass legislation that would close a loophole in Michigan’s gun law that allows a concealed weapons license holder to openly carry a gun in gun-free zones such as schools.
Citing a string of gun violence across the country, including the shootings in December at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, MEA President Steve Cook says something must be done to protect our children from these acts of violence. He says (quote) "As both an educator and a gun owner, I say this, having more weapons in Michigan schools is not the answer."
House Democrat Andy Schor of Lansing is sponsoring the legislation. He says allowing openly-armed civilians to roam the halls of our schools is a recipe for disaster.
Michigan law prohibits a permit holder from carrying concealed weapons into schools and other "gun-free zones," but a statutory loophole does not prevent permit holders from openly-carrying in those areas.
Michigan had a point-one-percent gain in population from July 2011 to July 2012, according to U.S. Census data.
The state gained six-thousand-559 new residents pushing it's population up to nine (m) million-883-thousand-360. It's Michigan's first net increase since 2004.
However, 57 of 83 counties saw their populations decline over the period.
Wayne County experienced the biggest slide, a point-five-percent decline or nine-thousand-424 people.
Oakland County had the biggest increase in numbers, nine-thousand-300 or point-eight-percent. By percentage, Ottawa County tops the list with one-point-one-percent growth, or two-thousand-923 people.
Police from 155 agencies in 26 counties are stepping up drunk driving enforcement through April 8.
The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning says St. Patrick's Day, NCAA basketball tournaments and spring break for high schools and colleges all fall in that timeframe.
During the same enforcement period last year, police made nearly 25-hundred arrests in Michigan for drunk driving, with 789 nabbed under the state's high blood-alcohol content law.
Two new Michigan films have been approved for taxpayer-supported incentives, according to the Michigan Film Office.
The films, titled "Landlord," and "Papou," are receiving a total of about 90-thousand dollars in incentives.
Both films will be shot in metro Detroit.
Set in Hamtramck, Landlord follows the tale of Elvis Martini, a widowed landlord dealing with spiritual conflict and the abduction of his daughter. The script was written by up and coming filmmaker Nickola Shreli (Hostile: Part III, Abduction), who will also star in the film.
Papou is the tale of a wildly imaginative boy and his dying grandfather’s attempts to escape the clutches of death. A film about death, family, and the bond between grandfather and grandson, Papou plans to take the audience on a journey of self-reflection and discovery.
The project is being directed by Michael Angelo Zervos (Realizim). Zervos also wrote the screenplay and is serving a co-producer alongside Michael Sinanis (Motor City Motors) and Christos Moisides. The project has tapped Southfield-based Kinetic Post for post-production work.
Cast members for Papou have been announced on the production company’s website: http://motherandmidwife.com/news/.
(Port Huron-Unidentified Woman)
Officials in St. Clair County are hoping the public can identify a woman found dead Tuesday behind a Goodwill Store in Port Huron Township. Investigators say the woman appears to be in her 80's and was approximately five-feet tall and weighed around 100 pounds. She had been behind the store since March 3rd but her body was concealed by blankets and snow.
An autopsy was performed but the cause of death has not been determined.
The woman was wearing an Indian print skirt that is white, black and red in color. Anyone with information on the woman's identity is asked to call the St. Clair County Sheriff's Office.
Police say they were able to arrest two men accused of a rash of home robberies in Ohio this morning in metro Detroit.
The Macomb County Sheriff's Department was contacted by police in Huron County, Ohio concerning the suspects who made their way to the Mount Clemens area.
A check of area motels turned up the suspects vehicle in the parking lot of local motel.
The suspects saw police and one jumped into a running pickup truck and fled the area.
The vehicle was equipped with a GPS device which allowed police to track the vehicle, which was later stopped and the driver was arrested. The second suspect was found later.
(Help from: Metro Source)
The defense team of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has until May 10th to file an appeal of his convictions on 24 felony counts.
Kilpatrick and his friend Bobby Ferguson are currently being held in the federal prison in Milan. They could spend 20 or more years behind bars after they were convicted of charges including racketeering and extortion.
Kilpatrick's father Bernard was found guilty of one tax charge and is free on bond. A sentencing date for the trio has not been set.
Since this time last year, unsafe sleep practices have resulted in a 50-percent increase in the number of Detroit babies who died of asphyxiation. Officials say nine babies suffocated to death in just the past 12 days.
Loretta Davis, President and CEO of the Institute for Population Health in Detroit, wants to remind new parents and their families that infants should only sleep in an approved crib and never with an adult or older child.
When put into its crib, she said an infant should always be placed on his or her back.
There’s this myth that’s still in the community that baby needs to be placed on their tummy, she says. However she adds that babies are safest on their back. And the crib needs to be free of bumper-guards, from toys, from blankets, from stuffed-animals.
Davis said these things look good, but can turn a baby’s crib into a death trap. The Institute for Population Health is offering free portable cribs along with safe-sleep instructions.
The Grand Rapids Police Department has a new high-tech tool in its arsenal. Officers have begun using Automated License Plate Recognition equipment.
WOOD-TV reports the technology scans license plates via a camera system and then compares the numbers to those in a database.
Cops think the new system will aid in the recovery of stolen vehicles and assist them in locating suspects wanted on outstanding warrants.
Tonight's (Fri) Mega Millions jackpot is worth $12 (m) million dollars.
The winning numbers for the Midday 3 lottery on Thursday were: 0-5-2.
The winning numbers for the Midday 4 lottery were: 8-7-5-4.
The winning numbers for the Evening 3 lottery were: 0-1-4.
The winning numbers for the evening 4 lottery were: 5-8-5-2.
The winning numbers for the Fantasy 5 lottery were: 14-16-17-25-29.
The winning numbers for the Keno lottery were: 07, 08, 09, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, 21, 26, 27, 30, 32, 42, 43, 46, 48, 50, 55, 58, 65, 75.
Saturday's Classic Lotto jackpot is projected to be one-point-five (m) million dollars.