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STATE NEWS for FRI 23OCT20
Michigan University is using some high tech devices to sanitize around
campus using ultraviolet light to fight COVID-19. WOOD TV says Western
Michigan University has 20 of these devices from Tekna Inc. stationed
around campus. Students and staff are encouraged to use hand sanitizer
while the machine can sanitize cell phones, keys and wallets. WMU is also
testing out five cabinet sized models.
Central Grade School in Traverse City is closed today because of a
sewer line backup. Both in person and remote classes are canceled today
while repairs are being made. Meanwhile, Traverse City Central High School
is opening today after a COVID-19 case forced the campus to close for two
A free COVID-19 testing event has been canceled next week in Alpena
County. It's because of staffing shortages with the Michigan National
Guard. It was to be held at the Alpena Fairgrounds. MUSKEGON LAKE BODY A
body found in Muskegon Lake earlier this week has been identified as
71-year-old James Bortel, of Muskegon. Police say he was the victim of a
drowning and foul play is not suspected.
President Donald Trump took a shot at Michigan and Governor Gretchen
Whitmer during the debate last night. The candidates were talking about
COVID-19 and how some states responded to the pandemic. Former Vice
President Joe Biden said restrictions on businesses and social distancing
should be required if the Coronavirus is spreading in communities. Mister
Trump disagreed, saying Michigan is like a prison until the state supreme
court ruled her executive orders unconstitutional. The statement went
unanswered by Biden.
Kid Rock showed up at the debate last night. Asked if he was
supporting Trump's reelection -- he told reporters his presence would do
his speaking for him. "I think being here says it all, right?" he said.
"Happy to be invited.” The musician say a few seats away from pro golfer
John Daly .. who was decked out in a red, white and blue jacket. Neither
was wearing a mask when they arrived at the debate venue -- and but were
later handed ones by debate staffers.
The University of Michigan football team, wearing their hearts on their
sleeves as they kick off their season tomorrow. The team will wear a decal
on their helmets, featuring the word "equality" with six raised fists --
each depicting a skin tone to reflect diversity and unity. The team says
it's a way for players to contribute to increasing awareness about social
injustice. All student athletes at U of M also have the option of wearing
seven other slogans and themes on their warm-up apparel, including "say
their names" and "no justice, no peace."
The Kalamazoo Public Schools will continue learning online through next
March. WOOD TV reports it's because of an increase in COVID-19 cases and a
rise in cases among younger people. The school district also sent surveys
to parents , teachers and non-teacher staff and they all said they wanted
to stick with virtual learning. The earliest the district would return to
in person classes would be March 15th.
Plans appear to be moving forward for a new casino in Muskegon County,
according to tribal leaders. M-Live reports leaders of the Little River
Band of Ottawa Indians say the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs is
expected to publish a final environmental impact statement today. That
document will be open for public comment for 30 days and there will be a
decision after that. Plans call for a new casino in Fruitport Township
with 69- thousand square feet of gaming space, creating 15-hundred new
Michigan State University is dropping swimming and diving teams for men
and women after the 2020-21 season. Officials say the athletic department
is facing a "financial crisis" with a likely revenue shortfall of more
than $30 million dollars. MSU says no swimmer or diver will lose a
scholarship if they remain as students. Counseling and mental health
services will also be available. MSU says dropping the teams will improve
the athletic department's long-term finances. MSU says it has struggled to
recruit swimmers because it has a "smaller than regulation pool."
An Emmet County man is facing prison time after he was convicted on
multiple charges for stealing 70-thousand dollars from a neighbor's safe.
39-year-old Michael Carson, of Alanson, was found guilty of incidents that
took place last October in Littlefield Township , south of Mackinaw City.
STATE NEWS for THU 22OCT20
Gretchen Whitmer is warning that Michigan on average has more confirmed
daily cases of the Coronavirus than ever -- noting a sharp increase since
the state Supreme Court invalidated her sweeping orders earlier this
month. Since the court decision on Oct. 2nd, the seven-day case average is
up to 1,818 which is nearly double. The governor says Michigan is at a
"dangerous moment." She pleaded Wednesday for people to wear a mask and
Nearly four weeks after the Michigan Supreme Court threw out
Governor Gretchen Whitmer's emergency Coronavirus orders, a new lawsuit
has been filed against the new orders by the state health department. A
chiropractor in western Michigan has sued the Whitmer administration
claiming the health department can regulate gatherings under state law,
but can't order masks. Semlow Peak Performance Chiropractic in Grand Haven
makes masks optional, although the Ottawa County health department says it
must follow the state order. It's one of the first lawsuits since the new
orders were put in place.
Health officials in west Michigan's Kent County plan to track COVID-19
infection trends in the wastewater. M-Live reports they also hope to get
an early warning on outbreaks with the pilot program. The two municipal
wastewater systems the health department plans to test are the Grand
Rapids Water Resource Recovery Facility and the Wyoming Clean Water Plant.
The Clinton Township election department is closing for at least the rest
of the week after three employees tested positive for COVID-19. Clerk Kim
Meltzer says the closure will provide time to assess the staff's exposure
to the virus, and so all staff members can get tested. The department is
expected to reopen by Monday. In the meantime, the office will continue to
receive ballots by mail and from six collection boxes throughout the
lawsuit expected to be filed today over guns at the polls. Attorneys
working on a court challenge to the secretary of state's ban on open carry
guns at the polls say they will file a lawsuit today. Secretary of State
Jocelyn Benson says she and the Michigan attorney general have determined
she has the power to issue the ban. The lawsuit is seeking a temporary
injunction to stop the ban before the election, just 12 days away.
One person was killed and one was injured after a two vehicle crash in
Flint Township last night. M-Live reports a 26-year-old man from Flint was
killed when he was hit on his motorcycle by an S-U-V driven by a
78-year-old man, who was making a turn. A passenger in the SUV, a
77-year-old woman , has minor injuries.
west Michigan businessman who was also a former U.S. Ambassador has died.
Peter Secchia died Wednesday at his home. He was 83. Secchia was appointed
Ambassador to Italy in 1989 and remained in the position for four years.
Family and friends say he donated millions of dollars to Michigan State
University and was behind the move of the MSU School of Human Medicine
from East Lansing to Grand Rapids as part of the Medical Mile. Its
headquarters is called the Secchia Center.
Voters in the Evart area, east of Reed City, will vote on a fire millage
in November. They are asking for two mills to help cover increasing costs.
That would replace the current millage of one mill and would cost the
owner of a $100-thousand dollar home 200 dollars.
third person charged in the death of a teen at Kalamazoo's Lakeside
Academy will go on trial. Michael Mosley is facing charges of involuntary
manslaughter and child abuse in the death of 16-year-old Cornelius
Fredericks, whose death was ruled a homicide after he was held down by
multiple staff members last April. Heather McLogan and Zachary Solis will
also go on trial in his death. A state investigation revealed that up to
seven staff members held Fredericks down for about 12 minutes after he
threw food in the cafeteria. (Photo:
Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt thought he locked his sheriff's
vehicle when he went to do a radio interview . But , when he came out of
the interview last Saturday, his marked Chevy Silverado was gone...it had
been stolen. The sheriff thought the department was playing a joke on him
according to a Facebook post, but the vehicle was found in a ditch and K-9
Deja tracked the suspect to the Forestville boat launch. The sheriff's
office says lock your vehicles.
After a fire at the Elmira Post office earlier this month that destroyed
the facility west of Gaylord, the U.S. Postal Service says all of the mail
was retrieved. They say some of it suffered water damage in the fire and
it was dried out before being delivered. Customers are being asked to now
use post offices in Alba, Boyne Falls, and Gaylord.
STATE NEWS for WED
a Coronavirus vaccine is approved in the U.S., health care workers will
be the first people in Michigan to receive it. The state revealed its plan
last night to distribute the vaccination, once one is approved, in three
phases. During phase one, the vaccine would first be directed to 143
hospitals and health systems for use on health care workers. After that,
it would be distributed to critical populations identified at high risk of
severe COVID-19 illness, including individuals over 65. Phase two would
prioritize people considered essential workers, including grocery and food
distribution workers, healthcare workers not immunized during phase one,
and other critical populations. In phase three, vaccine distribution would
be expanded to include the general population. Health officials anticipate
high demand and shortages of the vaccine, especially initially.
The Grim Reaper will visit the state capitol this morning regarding the
Herd Immunity plan when it comes to the Coronavirus. Members of the
Michigan Peoples Campaign plan to offer legislators dead flowers and thank
Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey for what they say is
abandoning all hope in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. They
will present 30-thousand blank death certificates to Shirkey.
Apartment rental prices are on the rise in Grand Rapids. They've jumped
nearly 40- percent in the past ten years, according to a report by the
group Self Financial to an average price of one thousand-22 dollars for a
two bedroom apartment. It says Grand Rapids had the 13th largest hike in
rental prices in the U.S. in the past decade.
in Battle Creek will be getting body cameras. The Battle Creek City
Commission approved spending about 737-thousand dollars, money coming out
of risk self insurance funds, according to City Manager Rebecca Fleury.
Police Chief Jim Blocker told the commission that it's frustrating when
they don't have video on an incident because of a lack of equipment or
former Muskegon area teacher and principal, James Russell, has been
sentenced to 60 years in prison for the sexual exploitation of two minors
on federal charges . Earlier this month, the 50-year-old Russell was
sentenced to 20 to 95 years in prison in a sexual assault case in Muskegon
County. He was a teacher and principal in Ravenna and North Muskegon
school districts before moving to Las Vegas in 2019. He was charged with
child porn there and then police in west Michigan charged him with
sexually abusing minors. (Police Photo:
This may surprise you, but Michigan drivers are ranked among the best
in the U.S. That's according to crash data from insurance quote company
QuoteWizard. It ranked Michigan drivers third best in the country, while
Missouri and West Virginia drivers are better. The rankings look at
millions of insurance quotes, but don't include drivers without insurance
and one in five Michigan drivers don't have car insurance.
Roseville police are investigating a deadly shooting that happened
during a basketball game last night. An altercation over a game at
Basketball City led to one person being fatally shot and a C-P-L holder
being placed in police custody. Police say following the initial
altercation, one of the individuals involved left the scene and later
returned with a firearm. A valid C-P-L holder intervened, there was a
brief exchange of gunfire and the individual who returned with a firearm
was shot dead by the C-P-L holder. That person is now in police
STATE NEWS for TUE 20OCT20
President Mike Pence will be back in Michigan on Thursday to hold a
campaign rally in Oakland County. It will be the fifth Pence trip to
Michigan this year. President Donald Trump lost Oakland County in 2016 ,
but won the state by more than 10- thousand votes. Former democratic
presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (Boot-eh-jedge) campaigned for Joe
Biden in Grand Rapids on Monday. He says “This could be a close election,”
He says It looks like Biden is winning right now but says they can’t leave
anything to chance.
The Biden and Trump campaigns are both continuing their push to win
the state of Michigan. The president's son, Eric, is hosting a Make
America Great Again event in Lansing this afternoon, followed by a
campaign event tonight in Willis, south of Ann Arbor. Joe Biden’s wife,
Jill, is making four campaign stops in the state today -- in Detroit,
Madison Heights, Dearborn and Saginaw.
The body of a man was recovered from Muskegon Lake in Muskegon
Monday afternoon. A caller to 911 reportedly found the body. An autopsy
will be performed.
One of the 14 men accused of planning to kidnap Michigan's governor
was released from custody yesterday. According to multiple reports, after
posting 10-thousand dollars bond, 51-year old Brian Higgins walked out of
the Columbia County Jail. Higgins' movement will be restricted to two
Wisconsin counties, he can't contact any of his co-defendants and has
surrendered his passports. He's due back in court next month. The other 13
men remain behind bars in Michigan.
are being dropped against a Michigan barber who reopened his barber shop
last Spring during the governor's order to remain closed. Karl Manke's
attorney, David Kallman, says the case against him fell apart after the
state supreme court ruled that Governor Whitmer used an unconstitutional
law as the foundation for emergency orders to control the virus. There is
still a case against Manke to revoke his barber license, but Manke is
requesting that that be dropped. (Photo:
To honor victims of domestic violence in Grand Rapids, the Blue
Bridge will be lit up purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. There
will also be laminated pieces of paper tied to the side of the bridge that
have the names of each person killed in Michigan in a domestic violence
situation last year. The city will also hold a virtual candlelight vigil
on October 27th.
than a half-ton of marijuana was seized from a trash hauler at the Blue
Water Bridge on Sunday. The driver was attempting to cross into Michigan,
claiming to be transporting municipal trash destined for a landfill in New
Boston. The officer referred the driver for a secondary examination...
during which more than one-thousand pounds of marijuana was discovered.
The pot was concealed inside trash bags in the rear of the truck.
Authorities say the Detroit Field Office, which covers all ports of entry
throughout Michigan, has seen a significant increase in narcotics seized
over the past 12 months.
There's been a shooting in Battle Creek involving a police officer
early this morning. A Battle Creek Police officer pulled someone over for
erratic driving and for stopping and backing up in the middle of the road.
A second officer arrived and walked up to the passenger side of the car
and saw that the passenger had a gun in their waistband. The officer told
the passenger to put their hands up, but when the passenger reached for
the gun, they began to struggle . Police say the passenger reached for a
second gun under the seat. The officer on the driver's side shot the
passenger. The passenger has been taken to the hospital with non-life
threatening injuries. The officers have been placed on paid administrative
leave pending an investigation.
A Southfield woman has died nearly two months after she was found
alive at a funeral home after she was mistakenly declared dead. The
attorney for Timesha Beachamp's (Tuh-Meesh-uh Bo-CHamp's) family says the
20- year old passed away at Children's Hospital. In late August,
Southfield paramedics declared her dead in her home. However, Beauchamp
was found alive at a Detroit funeral home and then rushed to the hospital.
Attorney Geoffrey Fieger, who has filed a lawsuit against the city and
paramedics, says the family is devastated. The city of Southfield said in
a statement it sends its deepest sympathies to the Beauchamp family and
they cannot comment further because of pending litigation.
A Battle Creek man, Chad Reed, has pleaded not guilty temporarily to
killing his two tenants, Joey Soule and Jackie Lepird. Reed was denied
bond. Police say Reed had an ongoing dispute with the couple. Police are
investigating what caused a fire Sunday at the house where the murders
allegedly occurred. Police say Reed confessed to the murders and the
couple's bodies were found in the back of Reed's truck.
(Police Photo: Reed)
STATE NEWS for MON 19OCT20
and Big Rapids Schools are closed today because of confirmed cases of
COVID-19. Alpena school officials say one high school student has tested
positive and one is listed as probable with the virus.
Governor Whitmer's top medical advisor is testifying before a COVID-19
oversight committee today. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun will take questions from a
joint House-Senate panel on how decisions were made in the state's
response to the Coronavirus. The committee wants to know what data the
administration has been relying on, what recommendations officials are
making to the governor, and how Governor Whitmer has formulated executive
orders and public health directives. So far, the committee has heard over
50 hours of testimony from over 100 people across Michigan – including
several officials from Governor Whitmer's administration.
Fire officials in Battle Creek are investigating after a fire at a home
where a Battle Creek couple was allegedly recently killed. WOOD TV reports
the home was on fire Sunday morning where it's allegedly that Joey Soule
and Jackie Leperd were killed earlier this month. They rented the upstairs
unit of the home and their landlord, Chad Reed, confessed to killing them
last week. No one was injured in the fire. Family members of the victims
held a vigil at the home last night, and some say the fire raises more
questions for them.
There's heavy damage to a home in Muskegon after a fire on Sunday.
Firefighters say two men lived in the home and only one has reportedly
been accounted for. The cause of the fire is being investigated.
The tragedy deepens for a woman who lost her six year-old daughter in a
crash last week in Waterford Township in Metro Detroit. The woman's
husband , Nick Melanshek, has now died from the crash. Their daughter six
year old Riley also died from the crash. You may remember they had just
bought a new car and the mom was driving it while Melanshek and Riley were
in their other vehicle behind her. They had stopped for a light when a
28-year-old Waterford man allegedly slammed into them at a high rate of
speed. Trevor Taylor's bond was set at one million dollars on charges of
second degree murder , operating while intoxicated while causing death and
other charges. A GoFundMe has been set up to help the wife and mother of
the victims get a new vehicle since both were lost in the crash.