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Law
2:05 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Kilpatrick case jurors' identities will be kept from public

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick
Dave Hogg Wikimedia Commons

A judge says the names and hometowns of jurors will only be known by lawyers in the upcoming corruption trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Federal Judge Nancy Edmunds says she's concerned about the privacy of jurors. At a hearing today, she said jurors will be identified in court by a number in place of their names to everyone except the lawyers.

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Law
11:39 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Feds want southern Michigan militia leader to serve prison time

David Stone Sr.
U.S. Marshall Service

DETROIT (AP) - Prosecutors are urging a judge to send the leader of a southern Michigan militia to prison for possessing a machine gun and other illegal weapons.

David Stone is returning to Detroit federal court next week. In March, he and other members of the Hutaree were cleared of conspiring to rebel against the government, but Stone pleaded guilty to a gun crime.

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Law
3:50 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Michigan Supreme Court: Parents can be exempt from paying child support in extreme cases

The Michigan Supreme Court
Michigan Supreme Court courts.michigan.gov

Tuesday night, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that if a parent can prove they are unable to pay child support, they cannot be charged with a felony for the nonsupport.

The catch is, proving an inability to pay is quite difficult. Defendants must prove that they have sold off assets and exhausted their resources to be protected under the decision.

The ruling revolved around three Michigan cases in which parents argued they were unable to pay child support. The parents charged with nonsupport said they were denied their constitutional right to due process when circuit courts refused to consider evidence of their inability to pay.

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Transportation
10:37 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Freighter carrying iron ore pellets runs aground

The grounded ship is on the right, with an incoming freighter on the left.
Jojeann Riley

The U.S. Coast Guard says a freighter carrying iron ore pellets has run aground on the Canadian side of southern Lake Huron, about one mile offshore of Sarnia, Ontario. The agency there's no reports of injuries or pollution after the shipped named Buffalo ran aground late Wednesday while en route to Cleveland.

The U.S. Coast Guard is assisting Thursday in the response and sent a 41-foot boat to the scene. Sarnia is located across the St. Clair River from Port Huron, Michigan, about 55 miles northeast of Detroit.

Auto
10:12 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Toyota recalls RAV4 SUVs and Lexus sedans

A 2012 RAV4. Toyota is recalling RAV4s from the 2006 to 2011 model years.
Toyota publicity still

Toyota is recalling 778,000 RAV4 SUVs and Lexus HS 250h sedans to fix a suspension problem that could cause crashes.

The company says if rear suspension nuts aren't tightened properly after a wheel alignment, the arms can rust and separate from the vehicle. Toyota reported nine crashes and three minor injuries from the problem.

RAV4s covered by the recall are from the 2006 to 2011 model years. The Lexus sedans are from 2010 only.

Toyota says it's developing a plan to fix the problem. It will notify owners by mail when it's time to take the vehicles into dealers for a free repair.

In the meantime, the company is telling drivers to contact their dealers if they hear an abnormal sound in the rear of the vehicle.

Environment & Science
3:20 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Fermi 2 reactor back up and running after shutdown

Fermi 2 is one of three nuclear power plants in Michigan.
Nuclear Regulatory Agency

The reactor of the Fermi 2 nuclear plant in Monroe County is back up and running after a monthlong shutdown.

The Monroe Evening News reports that the plant began generating power at 3:28 a.m. Sunday and was operating at about 62 percent of its power early Monday.

DTE officials say they expect to gradually raise power at the plant during the new few days.

Fermi 2's reactor was shut down June 25 when a feedwater pump broke down. The Evening News says the cause of the pump problem hasn't been made public. Utility officials restarted the reactor briefly a week ago, but shut it down within a day when operators noticed a valve wasn't operating correctly.

Auto
1:18 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Hyundai recalling Santa Fe SUVs and Sonata sedans

Hyundai is recalling nearly 200,000 Santa Fe SUVs in the 2007 to 2009 model years.
Hyundai publicity still

Hyundai Motor Co. is recalling some Santa Fe SUVs and Sonata sedans because of problems with their air bags.

The Santa Fe recall involves nearly 200,000 vehicles in the 2007 to 2009 model years. Hyundai dealers will reprogram the front passenger air bag sensors so they will accurately detect when a small adult is seated.

Hyundai said it has received complaints from some adults under 130 pounds (60 kilograms) whose air bags didn't deploy. No injuries have been reported. The air bags were originally programmed not to go off to protect children.

The company is also recalling 22,500 Sonata sedans from the 2012 and 2013 model years because their side air bags could go off without warning.

Hyundai says it has received 16 complaints about the Sonata's air bags, but no injuries have been reported.

Politics & Government
10:07 pm
Sat July 28, 2012

Michigan Congressman Dave Camp being treated for cancer

Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI)
Official portrait

WASHINGTON (AP) - The chairman of the House's tax-writing committee says he's been diagnosed with a "very early, highly treatable and curable type" of cancer.

GOP Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan says in a statement that doctors found non-Hodgkin lymphoma during a recent physical. Camp says he'll continue in Congress and retain his committee chairmanship during chemotherapy.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer that begins in the cells of the immune system. The 59-year-old Camp says he has large B-cell lymphoma. B-cells are a type of white blood cell that helps fight infections.

Politics & Government
10:38 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Hoekstra's conservatism at issue in Michigan primary

Pete Hoekstra appearing on Fox News Sunday.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - After representing Michigan's most conservative congressional district for nearly two decades, Pete Hoekstra contends his Republican opponents "are totally off base" in trying to convince voters they're farther to the right.

Yet that was a familiar refrain during the Holland Republican's unsuccessful primary bid for governor in 2010, and he's hearing it again as the presumed GOP favorite in the race to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

Charter school foundation executive Clark Durant of Grosse Pointe and former Kent County Judge Randy Hekman of Grand Rapids have criticized Hoekstra for voting to approve federal loans to troubled banks and raise the federal debt limit while in Congress.

Hoekstra has raised more money than his opponents and says he has a strong statewide campaign organization that should help him win.

Politics & Government
1:38 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Detroit police rally in protest of new contract

Still from My Fox Detroit's coverage of today's protest
myfoxdetroit.com

Several hundred Detroit police officers, firefighters and other municipal union members have rallied in protest of wage and benefits cuts called for in new city contracts.

Holding aloft some signs that read: "Highest Crime Rate. Lowest Pay," workers, retirees and their supporters marched today around City Hall.

The rally was organized by Detroit police unions.

Mayor Dave Bing imposed new contracts on unions whose previous deals expired June 30. Salaries will be cut by 10 percent, and employees must come up with 20 percent of their medical costs.

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Auto
1:06 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Ford to recall 485,000 small SUVs to fix throttles

2001-2004 Ford Escape
Wikimedia Commons

Ford is recalling nearly 485,000 Escapes and Mavericks to fix sticking gas pedals that can cause crashes.

The worldwide recall affects the 2001 through 2004 model years that are powered by 3-liter V-6 engines with cruise control. It comes just over a week after U.S. safety regulators began investigating the Escape small SUV.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 68 complaints about the problem, including 13 crashes, nine injuries and one death. A teenage girl died in the January crash of an Escape in Arizona.

Ford says the cruise control cables can snag on the plastic cover atop the engine and cause the gas pedals to stick. Dealers will replace the engine cover fasteners and raise the covers to make more room.

Weather
11:38 am
Thu July 26, 2012

37,000 without power after storms pound Michigan

Screen grab of the DTE Outage Map as of 11:45 a.m. This map displays interruptions in electric service lasting more than 5 minutes.
DTE Energy

Overnight storms have left about 37,000 Michigan utility customers without power.

DTE Energy spokesman Scott Simons says Thursday that 16,000 outages include 13,000 scattered customers and 3,000 in South Lyon and Lyon Township.

Consumers Energy spokeswoman Debra Dodd tells MLive.com that nearly 21,000 of the Jackson-based company's statewide customers are blacked out. County outages include 2,900 in Bay, 3,300 in Genesee, nearly 2,700 in Gladwin, and more than 1,200 in Montcalm.

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Economy
8:58 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Ford posts lower profits in the 2nd quarter

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) - Ford Motor Co. says its net income fell by 57 percent to $1 billion in the second quarter as losses in Europe and Asia mounted.

The company lowered its full-year profit forecast. Ford still expects a strong operating profit, but it will be lower than 2011. Previously the company had expected to make about the same amount.

Politics & Government
1:03 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Patterson calls on parties to skip special primary with lottery

L. Brooks Patterson
L. Brooks Patterson Facebook.com

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) - Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson wants political parties use a lottery to winnow the number of candidates running to serve the last two months of former U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's term.

If only one Democrat and one Republican run, an expensive Sept. 5 special primary election could be avoided.

Democrats have only one candidate, Dave Curson of Belleville. But five Republicans have filed to run: Kerry Bentivolio of Milford, Nancy Cassis of Novi and Livonia residents Steve King, Kenneth Crider and Carolyn Kavanagh.

Holding the 11th District special primary election could cost local governments in Oakland and Wayne counties $650,000.

Oakland County's Daily Tribune reported on the County Executive's statement earlier today:

“This is about fiscal responsibility... If there is only one candidate from each party running, there is no need to spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a special primary election.

“It’s ridiculous to spend that amount of taxpayer dollars on a special primary election for just a couple weeks in office.”

McCotter unexpectedly resigned on July 6.

Law
12:39 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Federal court reinstates lawsuit over Flagstar stock

Flagstar Bank branch in Ann Arbor
Dwight Burdette Wikimedia Commons

Some current and former employees will get another chance to pursue a lawsuit against Flagstar Bank over company stock in their retirement accounts.

A federal appeals court has reinstated the case in Detroit federal court. The Troy-based bank is blamed for offering Flagstar stock to employees at a time when the bank was in perilous shape.

Flagstar's stock price lately has been under a dollar, compared with nearly $15 in 2007. The court says the lawsuit raises a "plausible claim" that Flagstar breached its fiduciary duty to employees during that time.

The bank has said workers made their own investment decisions.

Flagstar recently announced its first profitable quarter since 2008. It has 111 branches in Michigan.

Arts & Culture
7:29 pm
Sat July 21, 2012

Crews taking down landmark building in downtown Saginaw

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) - Demolition has begun on one of downtown Saginaw's oldest buildings.

Crews started work this week to bring down the 145-year-old former Yak's Deli to make way for a new work force services center.

It's one of the last remaining structures on the approximately 2-acre plot that's scheduled to be used for a one-story, 20,000-square-foot Michigan Works center.

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Politics & Government
7:19 pm
Sat July 21, 2012

Vibrant cities adviser draws on DNR experience

DETROIT (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder's point man on the administration's vibrant cities initiative knows there's not a lot of spare money to invest in recreation and green space in Michigan cities.

But Rodney Stokes, the former leader of the state's Department of Natural Resources, sees a growing desire to expand urban trails, reclaim riverfronts for recreational use and offer outdoor activities. He's helped do that in Detroit, and sees potential elsewhere.

This month, he's planning meetings in Grand Rapids, and then will reach out in Lansing, Saginaw and other cities later.

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Transportation
7:17 pm
Sat July 21, 2012

Work on salvaging barge, tugboat is under way on Lake Huron

LAKEPORT, Mich. (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard has begun salvaging a sunken barge and an overturned tugboat in southern Lake Huron.

Petty Officer Levi Read tells the Times Herald of Port Huron (http://bwne.ws/MOX3cS) work began at first light on Saturday.

The 110-foot dredging barge and the 38-foot tug were overcome in rough seas early Thursday about a mile from the Michigan coast and nearly six miles from the opening to the St. Clair River.

No one was hurt. Diesel fuel spilled into the lake, but officials say it's uncertain how much escaped.

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Politics & Government
12:25 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

'Vaginagate': Group delivers signatures asking for GOP apology

Lisa Brown
Jeff Winston Youtube.com

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A group upset over last month's silencing of a female Democratic lawmaker who said "vagina" during House debate about anti-abortion legislation and another who said "vasectomy" have delivered over 115,000 signatures asking for an apology.

Members of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy For America brought the signatures Wednesday morning to the office of House Speaker Jase Bolger.

The signers want GOP leaders to make a public apology to state Reps. Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum after suspending their speaking privileges for one day.

Bolger spokesman Ari Adler said Tuesday that he doesn't anticipate any apology is forthcoming. He says the pair "violated the decorum of the House" and "were gaveled down for it."

Several women's groups also planned a Wednesday rally at the Capitol to promote women's issues.

Politics & Government
6:13 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Medical malpractice bills before Senate committee

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A hearing is scheduled in Lansing on Wednesday on a package of bills that would prevent some patients from suing doctors for malpractice.

The hearing is 8 a.m. before the state Senate Insurance Committee in Lansing.

Leaders of the 16,000-member Michigan State Medical Society say the Patients First Reform Package closes a legal loophole that allows unnecessary suits to be filed and prevents trial lawyers from artificially inflating awards.

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