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STATE NEWS for TUE 10DEC19
2019 coming to an end, state lawmakers have some big choices in front of
them. It's possible the full senate could vote on a package that would
legalize sports and online gambling. The house has already passed a
similar package and the Governor is expected to sign a modified package
that would guarantee money continues to flow to the schools. The state
legislature is also expected to put a final ribbon on the state budget
later today and restore over 500 million dollars in state service cuts.
the first week of recreational marijuana sales in Michigan, sales hit
about $1.6 million. The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency has only
issued 10 licenses and just five of those began sales last week. Michigan
is the first state in the Midwest to legalize recreational marijuana but
almost 1,500 of the 1,800 Michigan cities have opted out of allowing pot
shops. The sales generated about $270,400 in state tax revenue.
Northern Michigan's first recreational marijuana shop sold out of
product Friday on its first day of operations. Lume Cannabis Company in
Evart had over 750 customers and sold more than $75,000, with the average
customer spending over $100. The company expects to be able to resupply
product and have full selves this week
The 2020 Census is coming, and state officials are encouraging every state
resident to participate. The 2020 Census will include an option to
complete the form online -- starting in mid-March. Ebersole says the there
are less than 10 census questions the need to be answered, which should
take less than 10 minutes to fill out. Billions of tax dollars are on the
line as well as seats in the House of Representatives.
Van Buren County man will spend a year in jail as a result of his teenage
son's deadly drug overdose. 16-year old Cole Birkhead died at a Kalamazoo
hospital in 2017 and now Gary Birkhead has been sentenced to a year in
jail after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter last month. Gary
Birkhead has already served about 9 months of his sentence.
A St. Clair County woman is facing animal cruelty charges after more
than 80 dogs were seized from her property. Court records show Irene Burns
was arraigned on abandoning or cruelty to 25 or more animals. A not guilty
plea was entered. The small dogs, which included poodles, Yorkies and
Malteses, were taken from wire cages at a St. Clair Township location last
month. The charges carry a penalty of up to seven years in jail and/or a
ten-thousand dollar fine.
An argument leads to an early morning double shooting in Monroe
County. The Sheriff's Department says a 34-year old man got into a fight
with another man inside a home on Killy Court near Telegraph and Newport
roads during a struggle the gun went off. At some point the 34-year old
pulled a gun and, during a struggle, one shot was fired. The 45-year old
man involved in the struggle was grazed in the head. A woman he was with
was hit in the stomach. The man was treated and released. The woman is in
Southwestern Michigan man who served 20 months in custody for a wrongful
conviction is suing police. Ray McCann was repeatedly hounded by police
during an investigation of a girl's killing in St. Joseph County. McCann
denied any role in the death of the 11-year-old girl but says he felt
pressured to plead no contest to perjury. The conviction was thrown out in
2017 at the request of a prosecutor. McCann's lawsuit says his rights were
violated during a "corrupt scheme" by police. Another man confessed to
killing Jodi Parrack.
An alleged prison drug smuggling ring is at the base of a lawsuit
from a Charlotte family claiming 21-year-old Seth Zakora died of an
overdose at the Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater in January
2017. Zakora was the third reported overdose at the prison in a three day
period. Allegedly a female corrections officer was part of the drug
smuggling ring along with a male prisoner with whom she had romantic
involvement. The lawsuit claims that inspectors did not investigate nor
did prison administrators who knew of the overdoses.
The search for a missing man on Lake Erie is being suspended. The
Monroe County Sheriff's Department has identified the missing fisherman as
Kenneth Sisk. The search for the 51-year old Taylor man is now being
called 'unsuccessful.' Sisk was reported missing over the weekend when the
boat he was on capsized off the shore of Monroe Township. Another man, a
28-year old, was found Sunday and is in good health.
A federal judge has granted class-action status on part of a lawsuit
involving faulty gear shifts on Fiat Chrysler vehicles including their
popular Jeep Grand Cherokees. Some drivers said their cars and trucks
rolled away while they were in park. Fiat Chrysler has argued in the past
that some of the claims were made too late.
Mark Howell, TSA Regional Spokesperson, will be at Gerald R. Ford
International Airport in Grand Rapids on Wednesday, to discuss prohibited
items and holiday travel tips for the upcoming holiday. While historically
not as busy as the Thanksgiving travel period, TSA is still preparing for
heavy volume through the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Passengers are
urged to arrive to the airport two hours early and three hours before for
just the third time in 2019, the Mega Millions jackpot has surpassed the
$300 million mark! The largest prize offered since June 7 will be up for
grabs tonight – an estimated $314 million with a $212.3 million cash
payout. The jackpot continues to roll after no ticket matched all six
numbers drawn Friday night. Just a year ago, the jackpot kept growing in
the days leading up to Christmas, until it was won at $437 million on
January 1, 2019.
STATE NEWS for MON 09DEC19
Not Politicians" is the nonpartisan, grassroots group that led the drive
to end partisan gerrymandering in Michigan, is hosting the first of a
series of town halls today to discuss Michigan's last-in-the-nation
integrity rating and how voters can work for policies that fight
corruption. Tonight's town hall meeting will be held in Lansing at 6:30PM
at the Capital Area District Libraries on South Capitol Avenue. This event
is open to the public. You can visit the group's website at
Gretchen Whitmer says Michigan has added a texting option to a hotline
that allows victims of sexual assault to seek help and support from
trained professionals. Victims can text 1-866-238-1454. It’s an expansion
to the 855-VOICES4 hotline — which offers free, confidential and anonymous
support 24 hours a day, seven days a week to victims, family and friends.
Whitmer says she wants every survivor to know their voice and their story
A suspect is in custody after an armed robbery led to a police chase that
started in Bloomer Township and ended in Greenville early Sunday morning.
Michigan State Police dispatched troopers to Lackmer Road near Carson City
Road around 7:30AM. MSP says a 32-year-old man of Illinois went to a
residence to buy a dog. An argument ensued and the man fired several
gunshots at the homeowner and stole the dog. The suspect fled and the
police pursuit ended when his car was disabled on Maple Drive, just south
Authorities are investigating a break-in at a Grand Rapids salon early
Sunday morning. It happened around 7:30AM at the salon on the corner of
Fulton Street and Congress Avenue SE. Officers arrived at the scene to
find the window smashed and the front door open. It remain unclear is
anything was stolen from the establishment.
The Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the drowning of a
78-year-old man. Deputies were called to the 700 block of Lakeshore Drive
in Deerfield Township around 8:30 last Thursday when the man's wife
reported that he had gone to do some work in a barn on the property and
didn't return. Authorities found footprints on the couple's dock to Barnes
Lake. Deputies discovered the man's body in five feet of water two houses
away. No foul play is suspected
STATE NEWS for FRI 06DEC19
body found in a park near Grand Valley State University along the Grand
River on Wednesday has been identified. Grand Rapids Police say the victim
was 51-year-old James Earl Robertson, who was stabbed to death. His body
was found at the Grand River Open Space Park in Tallmadge Township. Police
say the stabbing occurred in the city of Grand Rapids, and his body was
later dumped at the park. An unidentified suspect is now in custody and is
being held at the Kent County jail.
Department of Natural Resources says a convicted felon has been arrested
for shooting a deer in a nature preserve. Officials say in mid-November
DNR officers witnessed four men dragging a dear from a no-hunting nature
preserve, placing it into the back of a truck and driving away. An
investigation confirmed that one of the men, a felon, had shot a large
8-point buck from the vehicle. He returned several hours later with three
men to retrieved the carcass. The shooter is being held at Otsego County
Jail on a charge of felon in possession of a firearm.
A 20-year-old man in Tuscola County is in custody after police say
he attempted to kidnap his girlfriend. Officials say he also fired a gun
while spinning circles in a truck. Michigan State Police troopers were
called to a residence on Evelyn Drive in Arbela Township Wednesday night.
The suspect led troopers on a chase which ended in a rural area, where the
man abandoned the truck and ran into the woods. Officials say he was
eventually located and was bitten by one of the K9s before he was
The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office investigating a case of a woman
who was run over by her own car. It happened in Georgetown Township
Thursday night on 20th Avenue near Baldwin Street. The 50-year-old woman
of Wayland was driving on 20th Street when her vehicle broke down. She was
pushing the car with the door open, when she fell, causing her to be run
over and injured. The victim is now hospitalized with serious abdominal
STATE NEWS for THU 05DEC19
A Grand Rapids man has pleaded guilty to fraud charges in connection with
a scheme to coach prisoners how to lie their way into a drug and alcohol
treatment program that results in sentence reductions. Tony Pham will be
sentenced in March and faces up to 25 years in prison. Officials say Pham
ran a company that taught clients to fake drug problems, giving them
access to treatment programs and a reduced prison sentence.
man accused of stealing an ambulance outside a Flint hospital is due back
in court today. 33-year-old Raymond Kibby will have a probably cause
conference on charges including a dangerous weapon, malicious destruction
of fire or police property, and third-degree fleeing and eluding police.
The incident happened on November 26th when police say he stole the EMS
vehicle at McLaren Flint off South Ballenger Highway and led police on a
chase throughout the city before crashing into a tree.
Port Huron man has been arraigned on charges stemming from the death of a
14- month old who was exposed to fentanyl. 27-year-old Damonte Rice was
arraigned on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter,
and controlled substances maintaining a drug house. On August 25th, the
mother of 14-month-old child Zai’Ahna Darcel Reddic called police and said
her daughter was not breathing. Autopsy results showed the child’s cause
of death was intoxication by fentanyl.
STATE NEWS for WED 04DEC19
police have arrested a man for a double homicide. The victims are
34-yearold David Isner and 63-year-old Ed Fuller. Police say the suspect
is Isner's roommate 36-year-old George Edward Yzaguirre. 911 dispatchers
received a call from a Home Depot on Tuesday morning indicating there was
a man who wanted to turn himself in for killing two of his friends.
Yzaguirre was arrested and is being held at Kent County jail. Police say
the motive remains unclear, but they believe Yzaguirre acted alone.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 16 cases of
Hepatitis A tied to blackberries sold in Fresh Thyme grocery stores in six
states including Michigan. Fresh Thyme brand says it's working with
suppliers to identify the source of the contamination. Health officials
are urging consumers in Nebraska, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois,
Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania to throw
out any fresh blackberries bought from Fresh Thyme between September 9th
and September 30th.
Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office says a 25-year-old man has been charged
with the killing of his father. Kenneth John Boone is accused of beating
his father to death in Spring Lake Township. 64-year-old James Kenneth
Boone was found Sunday morning in a home on Pawnee Drive after authorities
received a call from his son indicating he had harmed his father. An
autopsy performed Monday showed the death was caused by multiple blunt
force trauma. Kenneth Boone has been charged with open murder and is being
held at the Ottawa County Jail.