Friday State News Summary
Fri, 02 Mar 2018 05:36:46 EST

637-million dollars of debt-owed has been wiped-out by the state of Michigan --
Relief for some 350-thousand drivers will arrive October 1st, as Governor Rick Snyder
signed legislation Thursday to end driver responsibility fees. Those fees, ranging from
100 to two-thousand dollars, were passed in 2003 to help fill a budget hole when the
state's economy was floundering. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said the bill signing
marked a great day for Michigan drivers.

Vice President Mike Pence is set to speak this afternoon in Detroit --
A White House official says the America First Policies event at the Westin Book
Cadillac hotel begins at 4:30. The downtown affair is titled "Tax Cuts to Put America
First." Before the Vice President speaks, Congressmen Paul Mitchell and Tim Walberg
will be joined by the owner of Victory Automobiles in a business roundtable discussion.
Attorney General and gubanatorial candidate Bill Schuette is also expected to speak
before Pence.

Before setting-up-shop in Wisconsin, Foxconn Technology Group considered multiple
sites across Michigan -- according to newly released documents from Governor Scott
Walker's administration.
Under the open records law, some 13-thousand pages of emails and other documents
have been made public. Detroit, Flint and Battle Creek were all considered to house the
tech company's massive display-screen complex. Last year, the Cheese State
approved three-BILLION dollars in tax incentives to land Foxconn -- a deal which could
result in the creation of 13-thousand jobs.

Charged with putting a no-show employee on his payroll, state Senator Bert Johnson
has apparently struck a deal with federal prosecutors --
A change-of-plea hearing is set for later today. The Highland Park Democrat had been
preparing for a March 12 trial. Johnson is accused of repaying 14-thousand dollars in
loans by putting Glynis Thornton on the payroll. The government says she did no work
for 23-thousand dollars

62-thousand DTE customers don't have power this morning after heavy wet snow hit
southeast Michigan on Thursday. The outages are concentrated in Macomb, Oakland,
Wasntenaw, and Wayne County. DTE expects to have most customers' power
restored by the end of the day today.
Consumers Energy, meanwhile, only shows 134 customers without service this

A murder is being investigated in Geneva Township in Van Buren County. A man in his
40's was reportedly found dead at a mobile home park last night. He'd been shot. No
one has been arrested yet.

A man who ran for state representative in 2010 is now facing charges for sexual
exploitation of children. William Easterling Junior, of Grand Haven, is accused of
persuading a 16-year-old boy to send him a video of himself engaging in a sex act in
2015. He's accused of trying to do the same thing to another boy who was between 13
and 15 between 2015 and 2017. He lost in the republican primary for state
representative in the 89th district. If convicted, he faces up to 70 years in prison.

The former director of operations for Kalamazoo Strong has facing charges of
embezzlement from the organization and the Kalamazoo Cobras minor league
basketball team. WOOD TV reports a warrant is out for the arrest of 34-year-old
Rachel Kaiser. Kalamazoo Strong was formed after the shooting rampage in which six
people were killed and two seriously injured to raise money for the victims and their
families. A police report shows Kalamazoo Strong board members saw irregularities in
their PayPal account...that Kaiser had opened a credit card linked to the account and
spend one-point-eight million dollars without the board's permission.

Dreaming of doing a little gardening? You can get some ideas at the West Michigan
Home and Garden show at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids now through Sunday. The
show features 14 indoor garden.

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