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STATE NEWS for FRI 03JUL20
A toll road maintenance worker has died after being struck by an SUV in
northern Indiana. State police say 61-year-old Ronald Smith was in front
of his truck about 1:50 p.m. Thursday sweeping debris from the right
shoulder of the toll road in St. Joseph County when the SUV sideswiped the
truck and hit him. The SUV then rolled over in a ditch. Police say
emergency lights on the truck were on and that state law requires vehicles
to move into an adjacent lane or slow to at least 10 miles under the speed
limit when approaching emergency vehicles on the side of the road with
lights activated. Smith was from Edwardsburg, Michigan.
An elderly couple has been killed in a house fire in Van Buren
Township. 76-year-old Richard Johnson and 77-year-old Patricia Johnson
were found dead in the garage of the home on Lilac Lane in the Belle
Harbor Estates subdivision around 2AM on Thursday morning. The home was
fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived at the scene -- they were
eventually able to contain and extinguish the fire. The cause of the fire
is unknown and remains under investigation.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge has announced that nine Michigan residents have
been charged with trafficking methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and
suboxone between November 2018 and June 2020. The alleged conspiracy
involved current and former inmates of the Michigan Department of
Corrections procuring controlled substances from Mexico and distributing
them in Alger, Luce, Allegan, Berrien, Branch, Grand Traverse, Ingham,
Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa, and Van Buren Counties. The charges carry varying
maximum penalties, including up to life in prison for some of the
at the Kalamazoo Speedway have canceled this weekend's season over
Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Coronavirus restrictions. The information was
posted on the organization's Facebook page yesterday by Kalamazoo Speedway
managers. The decision was made after officials were told that allowing
spectators at the track, even at a reduced capacity of a few hundred
people, would be a violation of the governor's recent order about sporting
events. A message posted on the Kalamazoo Speedway web site said the
cancellation was due to Executive Order 133 which prohibits all live
The Marquette County Sheriff’s Office says a teen driver and their
passenger are recovering after being involved in a roll over accident. The
16-year-old driver lost control of a Ford F-150 around 9PM last night on
Forestville Road near the Forestville Trailhead. The truck rolled into the
woods. Officials say the driver was wearing a seat belt, but the passenger
was not belted. Both sustained non-life threatening injuries. They
were transported to UP Health System Marquette for treatment.
The Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids will be donating one-million-dollars
in COVID-19 tuition assistance to Catholic school families. The
announcement was made on Thursday by Bishop David Walkowiak in a video
news conference. The funding comes from the rainy-day fund of the diocese.
Walkowiak says he was hearing from parents that they wanted their children
to return to school, but they didn't know if they could afford the cost.
The money will be distributed by a first-come, first-served basis.
Families can apply online -- the first application deadline is July 13th.
More applications will be accepted every two weeks.
General Dana Nessel has announced charges against a Montcalm County woman
who allegedly embezzled money from an elderly woman under her care. 56-
year-old Teri Marie Miller of Edmore, is accused of embezzling from a
90-year-old woman. The victim lived with her daughter and son-in-law, but
after her daughter passed away in October 2018, the victim’s son-in-law
hired his sister, Teri Miller, to care for the victim. Miller was released
from jail on a 70-thousand-dollar personal recognizance bond.
Kalamazoo Township Police are investigating a report of a noose found
at the Kalamazoo Central High School football field. The rope was
discovered hanging from the press box on Thursday afternoon. A picture of
the scene was posted on Twitter and Facebook. When officers arrived the
rope had been moved and was no longer in the shape of a noose. Police are
asking for patience while they investigate. Anyone with information should
call Kalamazoo Township police.
planned fireworks display in Frankenmuth has been canceled. City leaders
say the decision was made on Thursday evening after discussing the event
with the Michigan Attorney General's Office. The fireworks were set to
launch from Frankenmuth’s Heritage Park, but those plans were canceled
after officials receiving additional information from the Attorney
General’s office. Many other communities, including Saginaw, Bay City and
Midland, have already canceled their events amid the ongoing pandemic.
STATE NEWS for THU 02JUL20
Upper Peninsula State Representative Beau LaFave is criticizing Governor
Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of State Licensing and
Regulatory Affairs for causing the cancellation of the U.P. State Fair.
The annual tradition which is held in Escanaba every August was canceled
on Tuesday. LaFave says LARA threatened to revoke Escanaba-based Skerbeck
Carnival’s license if it decided to go forward with the fair. He says the
region is designated as Phase 5 and Delta County has reported only twenty
COVID-19 cases and three deaths since the pandemic began.
Watch for price gouging. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says
since early March, her office has received around 44-hundred complaints.
Most complaints are related to grocery items, face masks, and sanitizers.
She says while the rate of complaints appears to be decreasing, the total
number of complaints received is substantially higher than last year.
Ingham County Judge has ordered Enbridge to keep a portion of Pipeline 5
closed pending a federal investigation into recent damage to its supports.
Judge James Jamo agreed with State Attorney General Dana Nessel's request
to shut the east portion of the pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac
until they know what happened and the extent of the damage and until all
repairs are completed. Enbridge had argued that the state could not
override the federal oversight of the pipeline. Enbridge will be allowed
to restart the west portion of the pipeline for testing.
(Photo: Enbridge Line 5)
The Kent County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the drowning
of a 6-year-old girl. It happened at Millennium Park on Wednesday evening
around 6:30PM . Authorities say first responders attempted to revive the
girl but were not able to do so. She was taken to a local hospital where
she was pronounced dead. The child's name has not been released pending
the notification of family members.
10-hour standoff with a gunman in Ottawa County has ended peacefully. The
incident began when a 50-year-old suspect sent rambling emails to Crockery
Township officials and then showed up at the township hall. The man was
followed by deputies to his home on Walnut Drive between 96th and 104th
avenues. Officials say he produced a gun which led to a 10.5-hour standoff
with officers. He surrendered around 8:30 p.m. last night and faces
assault and weapons charges.
Three people have been officially charged in the death of a
15-year-old boy at a Kalamazoo youth home. Michael Mosley of Battle Creek
and Heather McLogan of Kalamazoo turned themselves in Wednesday.
Authorities say Mosley restrained Fredericks in a “grossly negligent
manner.” McLogan is accused of failing to seek medical care for the boy in
a timely manner. A third suspect, Zachary Solis, was arraigned on Tuesday.
A state investigation found up to seven staff members at Lakeside Academy
held the teen down for about 12 minutes after he threw food in the
Genesee County prosecutors have charged two people in the death of a
68-year-old Flint woman as part of an elder abuse case. 58-year-old Lori
Rosebush and 56-yearold Robert Stilwill were arraigned on June 19th on
single counts of first-degree murder and first-degree vulnerable adult
abuse. 68-year-old Bonnie Fisher was found inside her home on June 12th.
Officials say she was cognitively impaired, weighed only 69 pounds and had
not seen a doctor in four years.
STATE NEWS for WED
The first of three people facing charges in the death of a
15-year-old boy at Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo was arraigned on Tuesday.
Zachary Solis was charged with involuntary manslaughter and two counts of
second-degree child abuse in the death of Cornelius Fredericks.
Prosecutors say staff members held Fredericks down for about 12 minutes
after he threw food in the cafeteria on April 29th. He died at the
hospital on May 1st. An attorney for Solis said the death was accidental
and his client was following the rules. A judge granted bond and Solis
will be back in court next month. (Home
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an Executive Order to rename
the state-owned Lewis Cass Building in downtown Lansing to the
“Elliott-Larsen Building,” honoring the legislators who sponsored
Michigan’s landmark civil rights act. The legislation was introduced by
Republican State Rep. Melvin Larsen and Democratic State Rep. Daisy
Elliott in 1976 and was signed into law by Governor William Milliken in
January of 1977. This change marks the first time in Michigan history that
a state building is named after an African-American woman.
Governor Whitmer has requested a disaster designation for Michigan
counties impacted by severe weather, and is also asking the USDA to make
other assistance available under the Federal Crop Insurance Program.
Michigan experienced significant freezing temperatures in the spring after
many warm days, which impacted many crops during their development. Even
though damage assessments are still being calculated, early reports show
varying degrees of damage to cherries, peaches, wine grapes, apples,
blueberries and row crops.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday
issued rules which ease restrictions on visits to nursing and other
residential facilities. Two orders signed by MDHHS Director Robert Gordon
are effective immediately. One order allows visits with residents who are
in serious or critical condition or in hospice care. It also allows visits
from family members or friends who assist with residents daily activities.
The second order affects youth in juvenile detention facilities. It allows
young residents to have off-campus visits with foster and birth parents or
prospective adoptive parents.
The Lansing Police Department will announce new guidelines for
traffic stops at 3:00 this afternoon. Mayor Schor, Chief Green and
Councilman Jackson will discuss the new Lansing Police Department
guidelines memorandum on patrol officer traffic stops. Chief Green will
explain definition on primary and secondary traffic stops and the LPD’s
elimination on secondary stops.
Nearly $800 million in grants will help several northern Michigan
airports. Chippewa County International Airport, Pellston Regional, Cherry
Capital Airport, and Alpena County Regional all received funding for
infrastructure upgrades at the airports. The FAA says the funding is
crucial for rural airports. The money was made available through the cares
act and airport improvement program, and even more grants are expected to
be available later this year.
State is making it easier for people to find COVID-19 testing sites. The
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has launched a test
finder website for people to find free, local testing. It can be found at
Michigan.GOV/Coronavirus Test. People who feel more comfortable with the
phone can also all the 2-1-1 system. The test finder can also help users
schedule a testing appointment.
The HopCat restaurant in Kalamazoo is being temporarily closed after two
employees visited an East Lansing bar linked to COVID-19 outbreak. In a
Facebook post the restaurant said the two visited Harper’s Restaurant &
Brew Pub which has been linked to over 100 COVID-19 cases. The post
indicates HopCat will reopen when officials find it is safe to do so, with
all their existing safety protocols in place.
is reporting 373 new cases of the coronavirus and 32 additional COVID-19
deaths in the last 24 hours. Michigan now has 63,870 total confirmed
coronavirus cases and 5,947 COVID-19 deaths. Meanwhile, Chippewa County
Health Department is reporting seven new confirmed cases of COVID-19.
After more than 100 people contracted Coronavirus after visiting Harper's
in East Lansing, another hotspot is emerging: Three people tested positive
for COVID-19 after visiting Fifth Avenue Royal Oak. All of the infected
people report being there on a very crowded night of June 19 and
developing symptoms in the days afterward. Oakland County Executive Dave
Coulter is urging all businesses, especially bars attracting large crowds,
to follow the necessary steps to protect customers and staff. Experts say
everyone who was at Fifth Avenue Royal Oak on the evening of June 19
should monitor for signs and symptoms.
University of Michigan study found that one-third of Michigan parents may
not send their children back to school over fears of Coronavirus. Still,
the majority of parents surveyed said they will likely send all of their
children to school in fall. Most also support certain safety measures,
including decreasing the number of children on buses, daily temperature
screens for students, alternating between in-person and online classes,
regular testing of school staff, and requiring school staff and older
children to wear masks.
Munson Healthcare will be moving into their Phase Two plan for recovering
from the pandemic. Among other elements, Phase Two, which will take 12-18
months to complete, will help in coordinating resources and capital
investments. It will also allow the hospitals to develop new models of
care through technology like telemedicine, which they believe is critical
to evolve the health care industry. Phase One has dealt with the immediate
financial impacts of the virus.
studies show that the number of babies born in the United States is
expected to fall sharply due to the global COVID-19 outbreak. It shows
that the country could see as many as 300,000 to 500,000 fewer births as
early as next year. Researchers are now calling it a "COVID-19 baby bust."
The Great Recession of 2008 and 1918 flu pandemic help predict what rates
may look like after the Coronavirus. In both cases, birth rates declined
and remained at lower levels. Experts say the pandemic is a threat to
birth rates due to parents worried about both health concerns and economic
STATE NEWS for TUE 30JUN20
Governor Whitmer is seeking assistance for several West Michigan
counties following flood damage last month. A letter to the Small Business
Administration requests an Administrative Declaration for Muskegon, Kent,
Newaygo, Oceana and Ottawa counties. The declaration would make available
long-term, low-interest loans to business owners, renters and homeowners.
No word on when the S-B-A will decide on such a declaration.
Governor Whitmer and Republican leaders in the State Legislature are
announcing a balanced budget for Michigan. The governor, Senate Majority
Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield say the bipartisan
budget agreement includes some cuts but allocates federal CARES Act
funding to local governments and schools to address the costs of COVID-19.
The leaders call on Congress to continue federal funding for essential
services during the pandemic. The State of Michigan has received just over
three-billion dollars in CARES Act funding.
School districts across Michigan are approving budget cuts to offset
financial losses associated with the Coronavirus pandemic. The Portage
School District, near Kalamazoo, cut about 100 jobs and eliminated funding
for middle school sports. Kalamazoo school leaders cut teachers and other
staff while pay cuts are in the future for other personnel. School budgets
can be adjusted throughout the year as administrators learn more about
The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office Marine Division will take part in
Operation Dry Water, an effort to deter boating while under the influence.
Ahead of the July 4th holiday, deputies will be on heightened alert
looking for those violating boating under the influence laws. Law
enforcement agencies will be focused on educating boaters about safe
boating practices, which includes keeping intoxicated operators off the
wheel and the use of life jackets. Alcohol use is the leading known
contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.
STATE NEWS for MON 29JUN20
Grand Rapids restaurants have closed after employees tested positive for
COVID-19. The B.O.B., Butcher’s Union and O’Toole’s all announced Saturday
that they would be closing temporarily. The B.O.B. (Big Old Building)
announced its closure on Facebook following an employee testing positive
the Coronavirus. The worker may have contracted COVID-19 as early as June
11th or 12th. The Butcher’s Union says an employee who had not been at
work since June 19th had tested positive. O’Toole’s announced an employee
who had not worked since June 23rd had also tested positive.
Township Police are investigating a non-fatal shooting early Sunday
morning. The man was in the area of Quail Court around 4 a.m. and got into
an altercation with the suspect. He was shot in his midsection and was
taken to the hospital. The cause of the fight remains unclear. A suspect
has been arrested, and police say there is no danger to the public.
Authorities say there was another shooting in the same are on Saturday,
although the two shootings are not related, both are currently under
The Flint Police Department says two people are in custody following
a hit-and-run crash on Sunday morning. Police say a truck hit a man on a
bicycle near Longway Boulevard and Chavez Drive. The bicyclist was
pronounced dead at the scene. The vehicle flipped on its roof and the
driver tried to run from the scene on foot. Officers were able to locate
the driver near the scene and he was arrested. The truck passenger was
removed from the vehicle and taken into custody. Alcohol is believed to
have been a factor in the crash.
Motown Museum in Detroit will officially reopen its doors in a little over
two weeks with some changes to keep the public safe during the Coronavirus
pandemic. All guests will get touch-less temperature checks on arrival.
Masks will be required (available onsite if needed) and hand sanitizing
stations will be positioned throughout the museum. The tour groups will be
decreased in size, only allowing 10 people at a time instead of the usual
thirty (30). Officials encourage customers to get their tickets online.
Michigan drivers who renew or buy car insurance will have some new
choices starting Thursday. They can either continue with unlimited medical
coverage, lower the coverage, or choose be to opt out entirely. On average
statewide PIP rates will drop 15.5% for those who maintain unlimited
coverage because an annual $220 fee assessed on every vehicle to cover
catastrophic claims is dropping to $100. Motorists can avoid the Michigan
Catastrophic Claims Association fee altogether which will save them an
additional $100 a year simply by forgoing unlimited coverage and picking
$500-thousand of coverage or $250-thousand.