Saginaw Happy's Pizza owner indicted for alleged scheme to defraud credit card companies
SAGINAW (CCN) — The owner of a Happy's Pizza franchise in Saginaw has been indicted by a grand jury in Bay City on fraud charges. Court records indicate that Jason Trew, 33, faces up to 30 years in prison, if convicted, on 10 federal counts that accuse him of using his merchant terminal in a scheme to defraud American Express, Blue Pay Payment and Priority Systems.
Former Wayne County assistant prosecutor killed with family in horrible Colorado car accident
GROSSE POINTE (CCN) — A Grosse Pointe family was killed in a Saturday accident while on vacation in Colorado. They were killed in a crash on I-76 near Sterling, Colordao, during a snowy night with low visibility and black ice, according to authorities. The Detroit News reported that the family van hit a semi and went underneath, shearing off the roof of their van. Killed were 48-year-old couple Christian and Thomas Toth and their children who were ages 11 and 8. Christian Toth was a lawyer who formerly worked as an assistant prosecutor at Wayne County and for Ford Motor Company.
Two Ohio women killed, 4 hurt by wrong-way driver in head-on crash on US 23 near Ann Arbor
WHITMORE LAKE (CCN) — A wrong-way driver caused a double fatality in an horrific accident Sunday near Ann Arbor on U.S. 23. Two Ohio women were killed and four others were hospitalized in the crash that was caused by a 74-year-old man driving a Chevy Bolt northbound in the southbound lane of U.S. 23 in Whitmore Lake, near Ann Arbor, according to a press release by the Michigan State Police. The wrong-way driver struck a Ford Fusion with three occupants and two of them were killed. A Chevy Silverado and a Chevy Equinox were also involved in the four-vehicle crash. The press release said the accident is under investigation.
Troy City Council to consider releasing secret report on city manager fired after recent arrest
TROY (CCN) — The Troy City Council will consider releasing a secret report on its former city manager at Monday's meeting. The council voted 4-3 in August of 2016 not to release the confidential report that exposed what were described at the time as "ethical and management breaches" by Brian Kischnick. He was fired last month by unanimous vote of council members after he was arrested on a domestic assault charge. The Detroit Free Press has reported that a 28-year-old woman city employee was the victim of the alleged attack. She is described by the Free Press as a "drinking companion" of Kischnick.
Kischnick, 50, is one of the highest paid city managers in the State of Michigan at $215,000 per year. He kept his job after the August 2016 report was conducted for the council by an attorney who is a retired law enforcement official.
Deacon at Catholic church in St. Clair Shores under investigation for allegedly misusing parish $$
ST. CLAIR SHORES (CCN) — The deacon at a Catholic church in St. Clair Shores is under investigation by the Macomb County Sheriff's Department for allegedly misusing parish funds. The news was reported to church members by a letter sent Saturday to parish members.
Michael Bolton documentary film 'American Dream: Detroit' to be presented at 450 theaters on May 15 as special one-night event
DETROIT (CCN) — Grammy Award winning singer Michael Bolton's film about Detroit will have a special one-night screening event on May 15 at 450 theaters across the country. The film is a documentary about Detroit that began five years ago after Bolton's hit album known as "Ain't No Mountain High Enough: A Tribute to Hitsville USA."
The film honors the legacy of Detroit while looking at the new generation of entrepreneurs driving the city's resurgence. Billionaire developer Dan Gilbert has an appearance in the film with legendary Mo-Town greats Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson and Alice Cooper and legendary Hollywood figures Francis Ford Coppola and Jerry Bruckheimer who were born in Detroit. Tickets go on sale for the special one-night screening on April 11 at Bolton's web site.
Vice President Mike Pence to deliver commencement speech on May 12 at Hillsdale College
HILLSDALE (CCN) — United States Vice President Mike Pence will deliver the commencement address this year at Hillsdale College, according to an announcement today by college officials. The graduation ceremony at the southern Michigan campus will be on May 12.
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MSU players get break on plea deal for felony counts to 'seduce and debauch' unmarried woman; Check of Webster's worries this columnist!
Three former football players for the Michigan State Spartans have pleaded guilty to an obscure state law that makes it a felony crime to "seduce and debauch any unmarried woman." The penalty is five years in prison, and I'm on my way to turn myself in for questioning before word gets out that this columnist / radio show host could be on a post office wanted list.
I'm pretty good with words, but I had to check Websters for a definition of "debauch." Websters says the verb means to "destroy or debase the moral purity of or to corrupt." The statute of limitations has me covered on bothering any unmarried women because I've been a happily married guy for some time.
The noun usage of "debauch" has me concerned, however, because it's defined as a "bout of excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures, especially eating and drinking." My wife and my daughter each have some unmarried female friends who have fed me within the past seven years, so I could be in some trouble because I've been known to seduce a good meal or two out of them.. Click Here to Read More
Former aspiring female sports journalist files lawsuit alleging 3 MSU basketball players took turns raping her in 2015 incident
EAST LANSING (CCN) — The Michigan State University campus was rocked by another scandal Monday when a federal court lawsuit was filed by a woman who alleges that three of the school's basketball players took turns raping her in 2015. The lawsuit says the incident took place on MSU's campus after the team returned home home following its 2015 loss in the Final Four to Duke. The woman, then an aspiring sports journalist, alleges in the lawsuit that she went to a MSU counselor to report the rape but was discouraged from reporting it to police. The victim is referred to in the lawsuit as "Jane Doe" and the three MSU basketball players are referred to as John Doe 1, John Doe 2 and John Doe 3.
Michigan Deptment of Education chief deputy superintendent's podcast offers strategy to make our state top 10 within 10 years
LANSING (CCN) — A podcast posted Monday by the Michigan Department of Education outlines a plan to make Michigan a top 10 education state in the USA within 10 years. The podcast is presented by Chief Deputy Superintendent Sheila Alles who shares the state's strategy to build community coalitions with educators at all levels, families, job providers and students to provide opportunity and economic growth across our state. The "Top 10 in 10 Years" strategic plan is presented on the Michigan Department of Education's web site.
Missing in Michigan event to be staged on May 5 by State Police
LIVONIA (CCN) — The Michigan State Police will be hosting a "Missing in Michigan" event on May 5 in Livonia to help resolve missing persons cases. The event is an effort to raise awareness of the more than 4,300 missing persons in our state, according to a press release from the MSP's Biometrics & Identification Division.
Families and friends affected by the disappearance of a loved one and the organizations that work to bring them home will gather at Madonna University in Livonia from 1 pm until 5 pm. Family members are encouraged to bring at least two biological relatives of the missing loved one (to provide family reference samples) and any police reports, x-rays or other identifying documents to update law enforcement digital databases. New this year, will be the availability of fingerprinting and photographing for enrollment in the state's new Vulnerable or Impaired Person (VIP) program.
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Court documents show $66,000 collected by FBI from ex Macomb County official Marrocco's former right-hand man Dino Bucci
MACOMB TWP. (CCN) — The Detroit News has reported that court documents filed in an on-going corruption case indicate that a former right-hand man of Macomb County official Anthony Marrocco gave $66,000 to FBI agents. It happened on Feb. 14 and could signal that Dino Bucci is cooperating in the case against his former boss, according to the Detroit News story.
Marrocco is the former Macomb County Public Works Commissioner who was indicted last year for allegedly demanding bribes from business owners who wanted government construction contracts.
Bucci, 68, worked for Marrocco and still serves on the Macomb Township Board of Trustees despite being indicted in December. Bucci was charged with multiple felony counts for alleged bribery, extortion, fraud, theft and money laundering. The FBI used wire taps on his cell phone and a so-called "burner" phone to capture Bucci extorting engineering contractors for Marrocco, forcing Macomb County employees to drive his child to school and to plow snow at his home, according to sealed wiretap documents obtained by the Detroit News.
The FBI corruption case investigation has included indictments against elected officials and businessmen across Macomb County, including long-time Detroit area towing company titan Gasper Fiore and former trash company empire executives Chuck RIzzo Sr., and Chuck Rizzo Jr. The Rizzos formerly owned Rizzo Environmental that had garbage contracts in 30 Metro Detroit area communities and briefly picked up garbage in the City of Flint during 2016.
14-year-old boy in Port Huron arrested after posting on NFL star's Instagram about threat of conducting school shooting
PORT HURON (CCN) — A 14-year-old boy in Port Huron was arrested Wednesday after posting a school threat on the Instagram account of a pro football player. An IP address was used by police to track down the student at his home, according to a story in the Port Huron Times Herald. The story went viral with all major media outlets reporting it, including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel and the New York Times.
Police told the Port Huron Times Herald that the suspect admitted to posting the threat on the Instagram account of New England Patriots star Julian Edelman. The star wide receiver had his representative alert police in Boston after a follower posted: “Dude, there is a kid in your comment section says hes going to shoot up a school, i think you should alert the authority.” Edelman, was visiting former teammate Danny Amendola in Texas when the post was made and said he immediately thought about the recent school shooting tragedy in Parkland, Florida.
The post by the Port Huron student said:"I'm going to shoot my school up watch the news." He could now spend up to four years in prison on a felony charge of a false report of a threat of terrorism.
CMU student accused of killing parents found incompetent to stand trial, according to report
MOUNT PLEASANT (CCN) — A Detroit News report says an attorney for the Central Michigan University student accused of killing his parents at a campus dorm room said his client has been found incompetent to stand trial in the case. James Davis Jr., 19, will receive mental health treatment after a competency exam, according to court-appointed attorney Joshua Blanchard. Davis was arrested after a 16-hour manhunt and was charged with two counts of open murder for allegedly shooting his parents when they came from Illinois to pick him up for spring break. Davis had been hospitalized the previous night after erratic behavior believed to be because he was using drugs.
Sandy Pensler campaign to beat Stabenow for U.S. Senate adds 3 major endorsements on Monday
WHITE CLOUD (CCN) — Sandy Pensler revealed that his campaign for the United States Senate will announce three major endorsements during the Newaygo County Lincoln Day Dinner Monday night at The Shack Lakeside Log Lodge in White Cloud. Pensler will be the keynote speaker at the event for Newaygo County Republicans.
Pensler's bid to win the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held by Debbie Stabenow has added endorsements from Chuck Yob, Jon Bumstead and Diane Schindlbeck, according to a statement from the Pensler campaign. "They understand the importance of nominating a candidate who can take the fight to Debbie Stabenow, and support of our message of putting Michigan first," Pensler said.
Yob, a former Republican National Committeeman, said about his decision to endorse Pensler: “I’ve been involved in Republican politics and campaigns in Michigan for many years. I understand how damaging it is to have career politician Debbie Stabenow represent our state as US Senator for so long. Sandy Pensler is hands down the best Republican candidate we’ve ever had in Michigan to defeat her. He has the resources to execute a successful campaign, and a plan to create jobs and put Michigan first that will resonate with voters. Republicans worked hard two years ago to elect Donald Trump, and Newaygo County was one of his top counties in Michigan, with 67.1 percent of the vote going to him in the general election. I hope my fellow Republicans in Newaygo County will work just as hard in 2018 to elect Sandy Pensler Michigan’s next US Senator.”
Schindlbeck is the co-founder of the Michigan Trump Republicans who said she "dropped everything" to assist in getting Trump elected and sees the same kind of motivation to help Pensler. She said she was inspired by Trump's "experience as a businessman and dedication to shaking things up in Washington, D.C."
Schindlbeck said, "Two years later, I’m dedicating my time to help elect another businessman and political outsider to join President Trump in Washington, D.C. Sandy Pensler has what it takes to defeat Debbie Stabenow and is fully committed to putting the interests of Michigan first.”
Bumstead, a former State Representative, recalled that he, too, was among the first in Michigan to get behind Trump. “I was one of the first elected officials in Michigan to endorse Donald Trump before the 2016 primary," Bumstead said. "As a small business owner, I knew Donald Trump would be the best choice for our economy. Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with Sandy Pensler about his plan for Michigan’s economic future. He is committed to reducing burdensome regulations and taxes on business owners, creating an economic environment that will attract more businesses to Michigan and allow for the existing ones to prosper. Sandy Pensler has the experience and knowledge Michigan needs in its next US Senator."
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State Police investigating Detroit shooting of 56-year-old suspect after exchange of gun fire with police after violent crime spree
DETROIT (CCN) — The Michigan State Police is investigating after police shot and killed a 56-year-old man after a violent crime spree. The deceased suspect was identified as Allan Farris of Detroit and he was named as the lone suspect in a violent overnight crime spree during a 10-hour ordeal that spanned nearly 20 miles of Metro Detroit area communities.
Farris is accused of exchanging gunfire with police after a home invasion, attempted home invasion, two carjackings, a kidnapping, two attempted carjackings and two shooting incidents that left two women injured, incluidng one who was an undercover MSP trooper.
A State Police press release said Farris was found deceased following an exchange of gunfire with members of the MSP Emergency Support Team. The MSP is the lead investigating agency with detectives from the Secure Cities Partnership Major Case Unit and First District Investigative Response Team assigned to assist with the investigation.
The crime spree began at about 9 pm Tuesday with the report of an attempted carjacking and shooting near Joy Road and Morton Taylor Roads in Canton. A female victim is in good condition at a Detroit hospital, according to police.
A report of an attempted home invasion and shots fired followed at 9:05 pm in Canton with no injuries reported in that incident. A report came into 911 10 minutes later of a home invasion, shooting and carjacking in Canton that left another female victim hospitalized in good condition.
Police then tracked Farris to the Northville area in the stolen vehicle. Police say he refused to stop, crashed and fled on foot.
Another report of a carjacking came minutes later in Northville Township when Farris allegedly kidnapped a female victim. She was dropped off in Highland Park and was hospitalized after the incident, and was listed by police in good condition.
Another attempted carjacking in the City of Detroit of an undercover MSP trooper came at 3:30 am when gunfire was exchanged. MSP troopers found Farris hiding behind a garage at 7:20 am when gunfire was again exchanged, this time killing Farris, according to MSP officials.
Hazel Park Raceway closing down after nearly 70 years of operation; 90 people lose jobs
HAZEL PARK (CCN) — Hazel Park Raceway is closing, according to a message on its web site Thursday. The track, which opened in 1949, converted back to thoroughbred racing after the 2014 season and improved attendance during the past three seasons. Harness racing events had been operated there since 1985.
The web site message said: "We want to express our heartfelt appreciation to our employees, visitors, supporters and long-standing community partners." A press release blamed financial troubles on changes in the gaming industry that have impacted horse racing across the state. Tracks in Swartz Creek and Mount Pleasant have also closed in recent years.
The Hazel Park Raceway venue in Oakland County employed 90 people.
The company's press release said a deal has been reached to sell its assets.
Deputy Superintendent Sheila Alles
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23-year-old armed with knives shot and killed by Police in Troy
TROY (CCN) — A 23-year-old man armed with multiple knives was shot and killed by Troy Police Monday, according to multiple Detroit media outlets quoting a Troy Police Department spokesman. The shooting came after family members called 911 to report that they had locked themselves inside bedrooms of their house after the 23-year-old starting screaming and becoming violent.
It was the fourth domestic violence visit by Troy police to the house since last July, according to Troy police who said it was the first time one of their officers had shot anyone in more than two decades.