Click above to hear Saturday's radio broadcast of the MICHIGAN SPORTS ZONE SHOW with former NFL star Chris Wilson, award-winning sports columnist Mike Killbreath and former college football star Trace Fisher. The show is presented by CCN RADIO every Saturday morning from 9 am until noon. The broadcast of this syndicated program airs at various times on affiliate stations across the state which present the program. Advertising information is available by calling (810) 347-9803 weekdays from 9:30 am until 5:30 pm.


TODAY'S TOP NEWS STORY  


TODAY'S TOP SPORTS STORY  


​​​Flint freshman Miles Bridges pumps in 31 points to lead MSU past Illini to stay in Big Ten basketball race 

   CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS (CCN) — ​Sophomore sensation Miles Bridges of Flint scored 31 points, including 17 in the first half when he didn't miss a shot, to power the Michigan State Spartans past Illinois 87-74 on the road Monday night. The victory kept MSU's title hopes alive in the Big Ten Conference basketball race.

   The Spartans improved their record to 18-3 overall on the season while going to 6-2 in Big Ten Conference action. They're one game ahead of Michigan and Indiana in the loss column in Big Ten play, but still trail unbeaten co-leaders Ohio State and Purdue.

   Freshman Jaren Jackson Jr., of Carmel, Indiana, added 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Spartans who sank 68.2 percent of their shots from the field to overcome 25 turnovers. MSU's red hot shooting clip was the best ever by an opponent at Champaign's State Farm Center.

   The rash of turnovers marked the third straight time MSU has turned the ball over more than 20 times, yet still won by double digits since losing to Michigan on Jan. 6.

   Kipper Nichols led Illinois (10-11, 0-8) with a career-high 27 points while Trent Frazier added 13 points and Leron Black scored 12 points.

   Michigan State hosts Wisconsin for another Big Ten matchup on Friday. Game time is 8 pm at the Breslin Center in East Lansing. The contest will be on national TV via cable on Fox Sports One. Wisconsin crushed Illinois by 25 points in Madison on Friday.

Click above to hear Tuesday's radio broadcast of YOUR AM ADVANTAGE with your host — award-winning investigative reporter Mike Killbreath. He serves as a watchdog over your tax dollars and spreads a little "Pure Michigan" Pride every weekday morning — live at 6 am on CCN RADIO. The broadcast of this syndicated program airs at various times on affiliate stations across the state which present the program. Advertising information is available by calling (810) 347-9803 weekdays from 9:30 am until 5:30 pm.


An Online Newspaper Published Daily at 7 am with State, USA & World News

BY MIKE KILLBREATH

​Posted on January 15, 2018

Clarkston superintendent steps down after confession about affair with 19-year-old former student in school district

   CLARKSTON (CCN) — ​The Clarkston school district has been in the statewide spotlight for weeks because of a federal court case involving a star athlete, and a scandal involving a top administrator has now rocked the Clarkston community. The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Oakland Press and Detroit stations TV 2, TV 4, TV 7, WJR Radio and WWJ Radio each aired stories on Monday that Rod Rock has resigned as superintendent of Clarkston Community Schools after admitting an "inappropriate relationship" with a 19-year-old former student.

  Rock indicated to the Clarkston Board of Education in a letter that the relationship had started as a friendship and became "inappropriate" after the woman graduated from Clarkston High School, according to the board's leader. A letter confirming the resignation by Rock has been posted to the district's web site by Clarkston Board of Education President Elizabeth Egan.

   Egan wrote to district residents: "This is difficult and deeply troubling news, and we wish to reassure the Clarkston community that student safety and well-being is, and will remain, our top priority. The immediate focus of Clarkston Community Schools is to support the young woman involved. As such, the Board of Education has initiated a full and complete outside investigation and we will share findings as appropriate, while also respecting our former student's privacy."

   All school district buildings are closed Monday because of the Martin Luther King Jr., holiday, but the Detroit Free Press reported that the district's marketing director (Mary Ellen Rowe) said there is "no indication Rock had been similarly involved with any other current or former students."

   Rock was replaced on Sunday, according to what Rowe told the Free Press, by Shawn Ryan.

   Ryan has been an employee of the district for more than 22 years and had been deputy superintendent under Rock for the past seven years.

   None of the media reports have indicated if Rock was married or how old he is, but a profile for Rock on Linked In listed him as a graduate of Central Michigan University with previous employment with the Unionville-Sebewaing school district and the Saginaw County Intermediate School District. He was an elementary school teacher, coach and principal at Unionville-Sebewaing Area Schools and then served as Director of Instructional Services in Saginaw County before going to Clarkston which is a district with more than 8,000 students.

   Rock, who was hired seven years ago as the superintendent in Clarkston, was named as the Administrator of the Year by his Michigan peers in 2015. He had been prominently in the news in recent weeks because of his district fighting for a star basketball player to be allowed to play for Coach Dan Fife's Clarkston Wolves after transferring from Macomb Dakota High School. Two high profile attorneys (Ven Johnson and Steve Fishman) took the case for free, but lost Thursday in an effort to get Thomas Kithier's suspension by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) overturned. A federal judge ruled that the MHSAA had authority to rule Kithier ineligible because Macomb Dakota administrators complained that it violated a rule regarding "athletically motivated" transfers.

   Rock penned a powerful affidavit supporting the argument that Kithier should be allowed to play because his family moved into the Clarkston district.






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​​Veto override of Governor's veto produced by state legislature for only third time in 66 years; Sales tax relief comes for auto tradeins

   LANSING (CCN) — An override of a veto by Michigan's governor has only happened three times in 66 years, but Governor Rick Snyder experienced it on Wednesday for the first time in his seven years on the job. The State House of Representatives voted 85-23 to override Snyder's veto of a sales tax relief bill on vehicle trade-ins after the State Senate earlier in the day staged a rare unanimous vote to stick with the bill they sent the governor for a signature.

   The veto by Gov. Snyder came on a pair of bills designed to help people when trading in vehicles to spur new car and truck sales by providing some sales tax relief.

   Republican Senator David Hildenbrand explained the rare action by saying, "“We have worked with the governor’s office to try and address the impasse. Overriding the veto is not only a historic action, but also represents our democracy. It was granted to the (State) Legislature to provide an additional check. It’s not something we do often.”

   The new legislation will reduces the sales tax owed by buyers who use a trade-in toward the purchase of a vehicle. Buyers would only pay 6% sales tax on the difference between the price of the vehicle they were buying and the value given to their trade-in. The legislation was strongly supported by automobile dealers across the state.


State suspends license of east side Detroit funeral home for deplorable conditions including rodent infestation at building 

   DETROIT (CCN) — The Detroit Free Press reported in its online edition Wedneday that officials from teh State of Michigan have shut down an east-side Detroit funeral home. The action was done by the Michigan Attorney General's Office in conjunction with the state's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) after an investigation revealed multiple violations that ranged from damaged cremains, to a blood-stained box used to transport a body to rodent infestation at the funeral home.

  The investigation led to the LARA's Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau to issue a "cease and desist" order to close Barksdale Funeral Home on E. State Fair Street by suspending its business license. The department's director, Julia Dale, issued a press release statement that said: "“Michigan residents trust funeral home directors, owners, and their establishments to follow the law especially when dealing with the death of a loved one. We will continue to aggressively hold every funeral home in Michigan to the highest standards of public health and safety when providing final arrangements.”

   The Free Press reported that a separate complaint was issued against Barksdale Funeral Home’s prepaid funeral and cemetery sales registration.

   State officials took similar actions to shut down a Flint funeral home last year after discovering deplorable conditions.

   The Free Press story revealed that an investigation last year at Barksdale Funeral Home by state auditors and state inspectors found deplorable conditions and incompetence. The violations included unsanitary embalming and preparation rooms, improper storage of hundreds of cremated remains in the funeral home and its garages, failure to deposit more than $2,000 for several prepaid funeral contracts and dead bodies that were stored without any form of identification.


$1 million award goes to Detroit man wrongly convicted of murder in case where police switched bullets for conviction

   DETROIT (CCN) — A Detroit man was awarded $1 million Wednesday after wrongly convicted and spending 25 years in prison for murder before proving he was the victim of police misconduct.

   The office of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette agreed that Desmond Ricks, 51, qualified for $1 million in compensation and the payment was signed off on by the chief judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals (Judge Michael Talbot). Ricks told the Associated Press he plans to appeal because he believes he's entitled to an additional $216,000.

   Ricks was released from prison last May after the Innocence Clinic at the University of Michigan's law school accused Detroit police of switching bullets after new tests showed that bullets recovered from the dead body in the case didn't match the gun that was presented as the weapon in the murder.

   Ricks also told The Associated Press that he feels "blessed" to be free and plans to use some of the $1 million award to start a construction business and help young boys without fathers in their lives.


Grand Rapids pastor avoids four years in prison; Judge orders 60 days in jail on accosting child for immoral purposes in police sting

  GRAND RAPIDS (CCN) —  A Grand Rapids pastor avoided a four-year prison sentence after a plea bargain deal when given a 60-day jail sentence Thursday on a felony charge of accosting a child for immoral purposes, according to court records.

   David Diehl, 40, was arrested in 2016 after a Craigslist sting operation, according to a Detroit Free Press story. The Free Press said authorities busted the Kentwood man for unknowingly texting an undercover cop who was pretending to prostitute his 11-year-old daughter for sex under an online name as "Daddy Dave." Diehl admitted to officers that he had a "sexual" interest in children between the ages of 12 and 13, according to charges filed against him after he was arrested.

   The Grand Rapids Press reported that Diehl was a pastor with his wife at Church of Fire in Grand Rapids when arrested by State Police detective Matthew McLanin. The detective was the only witness called against Diehl at the preliminary exam when defense attorney Matt Borgula contended that Diehl was "only considering the possibility of meeting the child and hadn't gone through with it" while describing his actions as "self policing."

   Diehl, who had no prior criminal record, told Kent County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Leiber prior to his sentencing that his case was "not a reflection of who I am" and stressed to the judge, "I am a good person."

   Probation after Diehl is released from jail will prohibit him from using any device that connects to the Internet. 

    

Two Pontiac residents shot to death in what police call pot buy gone bad; Police quickly arrest two suspects ages 17 and 23 

  PONTIAC (CCN) — The Detroit Free Press reported that a 17-year-old and 23-year-old are in the Oakland County Jail as suspects in the Saturday night shooting of two Pontiac residents. The Free Press said the suspects were arrested Sunday morning by the Oakland County Sheriff's Department.

   A news release by Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said the victims who died of multiple gunshot wounds were a 23-year-old woman and a 34-year-old man. Three others, including two children, were found inside the home unharmed when his deputies responded to a home in the 800 block of Robinwood Avenue. One witness told deputies that he hit one of the suspects with his vehicle as the two men fled the scene, but they escaped.

   Sheriff Bouchard's news release said the two suspects are awaiting charges by the Oakland County Prosectuor's Office and he believed his deputies recovered the semi-automatic gun used in the slayings. He indicated that the shooting stemmed from a "drug deal gone bad" after the male victim arranged to buy marijuana from the two suspects.


Federal judge dismisses life charge against two Detroit doctors accused in mutilation case on religious tradition

   DETROIT (CCN) — A Sunday opinion by a federal judge dismissed two charges that could have had two Detroit doctors facing life in prison for a genital cutting of two young girls as part of a religious tradition. A press release from the U.S. District Court said the two doctors will still face other less serious charges related to the mutilation act for members of a small Indian Muslim sect known as the Dawoodi Bohra. They have a mosque in Farmington Hills.

   U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled Sunday night that a felony charge against each doctor of conspiracy to transport a minor "with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity" should be dismissed as defense attorneys argued in contending the religious act does not "meet the definition for sexual activity."

   Dr. Jumana Nagarwala and Dr. Fakhruddin Attar are among eight defendants charged in the federal case against the small Indian Muslim sect that has long practiced female circumcision as a religious rite of passage that involves only a minor "nick." The other six defendants in the case include four mothers accused of allowing their daughters to have the procedure. Dr. Attar’s wife was also charged for allegedly holding the hands of the girls during the procedures and lying to investigators about the mutilations.

   A 1996 federal genital mutilation law carries a five-year prison sentence but Michigan Governor RIck Snyder signed a series of bills into law last July to stiffen penalties under Michigan law. The main bill makes it a felony punishable by up to 15 years in state prison. The eight defendants in the current federal case couldn't be charged under the new state law because their actions allegedly took place before July.


Northern Michigan mother under arrest in death of second infant in last 5 years; She faces life

   ALANSON (CCN) — The Petoskey News-Review reported Monday that a northern Michigan woman has been charged with murder in the death of her second infant in five years. Lisa Rae Bryan, 32, has been charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and obstruction of justice in the November 2016 death of infant daughter Isabella Powrozek in Emmet County. The Alanson woman faces up to life in prison, if convicted.

   The newspaper reported that a police report says Bryan changed her statement multiple times when questioned about her daughter's death and admitted holding the infant close to her chest while sleeping in a bed with the child. She was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in 2011 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and served 15 months after the death of another infant child.


North American Auto Show kicks off this week at Cobo Hall in Detroit with more than 5,000 media members for preview days

   DETROIT (CCN) — More than 5,000 media members from around the world will converge on Cobo Hall in Detroit Sunday, Monday and Tuesday for the annual press preview events to kick off the North American International Auto Show. The so-called "Oscars" of the auto industry features auto makers unveiling new vehicles and making technology announcements while handing out the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year awards.

   A $110 ticket for Wednesday and Thursday can allow automotive industry professionals to connect and share insights with more than 40,000 of their peers representing more than 2,200 companies from around the world. This annual two-day event brings together key individuals responsible for the cutting-edge products, technologies and services on display this week at the North American International Auto Show. The doors open Wednesday from noon until 9 pm and Thursday's event is from 7 am until 9 p.m.

   Friday's annual Charity Preview event is $400 per person from 7 pm until 9 pm, and ticket buyers can attend the "After 9" event for free with a 9 pm performance by the Four Tops to be followed by a 10 pm performance by Your Generation in Concert. The Charity Preview event has generated more than $112 million for southeastern Michigan children's charities, including more than $41 million during the past 10 years alone.

   The event opens to the general public this weekend on Saturday and Sunday, and continues daily through next weekend. Tickets are priced at $14 for adults, $7 for seniors ages 65 and older and $7 for children between the ages of 7 and 12. Children under age 6 are free if with a parent or guardian. Cobo Hall is open Saturday form 9 am until 10 pm and Sunday from 9 am until 7 pm, then 9 am until 10 pm Monday through next Saturday, and 9 am until 7 pm next Sunday.


State Department of Treasury reminds taxpayers that federal tax cuts enacted earlier this year don't apply to 2017 tax returns 

   LANSING (CCN) — A press release from the Michigan Department of Treasury reminds taxpayers that the 2017 tax year will not be affected by federal tax cuts enacted earlier this year. Michigan's income tax filing season begins on Jan. 29 with returns due by April 17. The deadlines are the same as the federal deadlines for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

   “The new federal tax law does not affect the 2017 tax year,” said Deputy State Treasurer Glenn White, head of Treasury’s Tax Administration Group. “Please continue to file your income tax returns as you have in previous years.” White said any changes to tax laws will be experienced during the 2018 tax year and next year’s state income tax filing season.

   Taxpayers are encouraged to gather tax-related documents and update their home addresses with current and former employers so W-2s and other financial documents can be mailed to the correct address. Incorrect addresses typically lead to information being mailed to the wrong location and could cause delays when filing tax returns.

   When tax season opens, taxpayers can e-file their state tax returns instead of mailing a paper return. To learn more, go to www.mifastfile.org.

   Later this month, forms and instructions may be viewed and downloaded from www.michigan.gov/taxes. In addition, commonly used forms will continue to be available at Treasury offices, most public libraries, northern Michigan post offices and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services county offices.

   All state income tax returns must be e-filed or postmarked by April 17, 2018. For the benefit and convenience of taxpayers, both the beginning and end of the state income tax filing season are the same as the Internal Revenue Service.

   To learn more about the state of Michigan’s state income tax, go to
 www.michigan.gov/incometax. Federal tax information is available at www.irs.gov.





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​​MSU sloppy but survives on road as Illinios proves Big Ten doesn't allow any contenders to enjoy easy night  

  The Michigan State Spartans played well enough to win on the road against an opponent that hasn't won a Big Ten Conference game in eight attempts so far this season. They turned the ball over 25 times, yet shot the lights out (68.2 percent which is the best ever by an Illinois opponent at its State Farm Center) to beat an upset-minded Illini squad that was energized by 13,3552 rowdy fans.

   Miles Bridges scored 17 points before halftime when he didn't miss a shot. He finished 11-of-13 from the field and took a cue from Coach Tom Izzo's recent edict to be more selfish. It's Izzo's worst advice in an illustrious career.

   You can't depend on one star player to win the NCAA championship. Illinois hasn't won a Big Ten game, and there were times before halftime that it seemed like an upset was on the horizon. Click Here to Read More


My AM Advantage

​​​Michigan nips Maryland 68-67 to keep Big 10 hoops hopes alive on two free throws with 1.2 ticks left by Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman 

  ANN ARBOR (CCN) — ​The Michigan Wolverines won in dramatic fashion Monday night at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor when Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman swished two free throws with 1.2 seconds left to keep their Big 10 Conference basketball title hopes alive. Michigan's 68-67 victory over Maryland had plenty of drama. 

   The Wolverines fell behind by 14 points, trailed by 10 points at halftime, used a flurry of 3-balls to go ahead in the second half, then blew a 66-61 lead that had touched off a premature victory celebration when sophomore Zavier Simpson scored on a brilliant drive for a layup with 25 seconds remaining. Maryland answered with back-to-back 3-pointers to grab the lead.

   After Simpson later missed two free throws, Maryland drove the floor for a go-ahead 3-pointer by Kevin Huerter to build a 67-66 lead with 3.2 seconds left.

​   Coach John Beilein drew up a last-ditch effort play by inserting freshman into the lineup to inbound the ball from underneath Michigan's basket. Livers sizzled a laser pass inside half court to Abdur-Rahkman on the run and he took two dribbles to drive toward Maryland's hoop when fouled as he threw up an under-handed desperation shot.

   Abdur-Rahkman, shooting at better than 92 percent from the free throw stripes this season, calmly stepped to the line and knocked down both free throws. The game-tying and game-winning points made a hero out of the senior star who also reached a milestone by running his career point total to 1,000 during four years under Beilein.

 The 23rd-ranked University of Michigan men's basketball team overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to take down the Maryland Terrapins in dramatic fashion, 68-67, on Monday night (Jan. 15) at Crisler Center. It was a special night for senior  as he sealed the win for the Maize and Blue with two free throws with 1.2 seconds left to reach 1,000 career points exactly.

Nine Michigan players scored in the win, including double figures from junior Moritz Wagner (18) and freshman Jordan Poole (11). Wagner recorded his fourth double-double of the season, grabbing 11 rebounds, and matched his career high in three-pointers (4). 


​​​ Unranked Michigan Wolverines go to East Lansing with Big 10 hoops title hopes on the line against No. 4 ranked Michigan State Spartans

  EAST LANSING (CCN) — The Michigan Wolverines go to East Lansing Saturday for a noon showdown against arch rival Michigan State with a capacity crowd and national TV audience looking on. Coach John Beilein's unranked Wolverines are coming off a heart-breaking 70-69 loss to the Purdue Boilermakers in Ann Arbor Tuesday night while MSU is coming off its two worst basketball games of the season.

   MSU went into Columbus on Sunday with the No. 1 ranking in the college basketball world but dropped to No. 4 after suffering a crushing 80-64 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes. They then needed overtime to expose of lowly Rutgers at home on Thursday night when winning 76-72 against a team that is now 1-4 in Big Ten Conference play.

​   MSU is 4-1 in Big Ten action where Ohio State and Purdue share first place with 5-0 starts. UM fell to 3-2 after Tuesday's controversial loss to Purdue.  Click Here to Read More 


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February 10, 2018

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