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December 9, 2017
Embattled Congressman John Conyers steps down after 53 years amidst firestorm of sexual harassment allegations by seven
DETROIT (CCN) — His great-nephew let the cat out of the bag before a 10:15 am radio appearance Tuesday on a Detroit Christian station by telling the New York TImes John Conyers was stepping down amidst a firestorm of sexual harassment allegations. Congressman Conyers called the Mildred Gaddis Show on WPZR 107.7 FM from a hospital bed to announce he had decided to retire after a 53-year career in Washington, and he endorsed his son (John Conyers III) to succeed him in office.
Ian Conyers, who told the New York Times his uncle would retire on the night before the press conference, won a seat in the state legislature last year and declared he will run for the Detroit seat in the U.S.House of Representatives. He became the youngest state senator in Michigan history at age 27.
His great uncle is 88 and told the radio program he felt there was no way to "get due process" after seven victims have now come forward to make allegations that he sexually harassed them. The latest one told the Detroit Free Press that the congressman invited her to church, put his hand on her leg and then ran his hand under her skirt.
Two 20-year felony counts reduced to misdemeanor plea? Flint water crisis investigation not turning out to be so swell for state taxpayers
Daughtery Johnson is lucky I'm not king. He has admitted to his part in helping to poison an entire city. It's a crime that deserves punishment closer to life in prison in my book. Maybe the death penalty would be in order if I could make the laws in Michigan.
Johnson walked out of a Flint court room Tuesday knowing he is no longer looking at two 20-year felony charges for his part in a water crisis scandal that may have killed 100 people. The official count is 12 who died in Genesee County during 2014 and 2015 because of Legionairres' Disease which includes pneumonia-like symptoms. An extra 100 or so people died because of pneumonia during that same period, but we're to believe it was all just a coincidence. Click Here to Read More
Click above to hear Thursday's Morning Gazette Radio Show with award-winning investigative reporter Mike Killbreath. He serves as a watchdog over your tax dollars and spreads a little Metro Flint Pride every weekday live from 8-9 am on CCNRADIO.net.
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Flint Powers Catholic wins state championship in Division 3 soccer
COMSTOCK PARK (CCN) — Flint Powers Catholic has added more state championship hardware to its trophy case Saturday when the boys' soccer team beat Ludington 4-2 to win the Division 3 state title. The victory by the Chargers avenged a loss to Ludington in the 2016 state championship game. Garret Delamielleure scored twice in the first half and Dominic Ruth added a header goal to build a 3-1 lead at halftime. Connor Boerman added the final goal on a penalty kick in the 16th minute as Flint Powers finished off a post-season run that saw the Chargers outscore their opponents by an impressive 37-2 margin. Powers won 1-0 on Friday in the state semifinals over Detroit Country Day in a shootout.
Click above to hear Thursday's episode for The Daily Gazette Sports Night Show with Executive Editor Mike Killbreath and his team of Sports Writers at The Daily Gazette. The one-hour program airs every weeknight at 6 o'clock, and often includes an opportunity for listeners to call and voice their opinions on the latest sports world topics.
City Councilman Herbert Winfrey has enough votes to be elected President of the Flint City Council at Monday's 7:30 pm meeting, according to The Daily Gazette.
Herbert Winfrey has votes to beat out Eric Mays Monday as next president of Flint City Council
FLINT (CCN) — The Daily Gazette has learned that Herbert Winfrey left Monday's noon swearing in ceremony with enough votes to return to Flint City Hall at 7:30 pm and become president of the Flint City Council for at least the next year. The new council will elect its president as its first order of business during the 7:30 pm meeting after taking their oath of office at Monday's noon meeting.
Winfrey was promoted as the best pick over the weekend by Kate Fields — one of the other three incumbents re-elected last week by voters as they went to the polls to choose representatives in all nine of the city's wards. Fields won in the 4th Ward and Winfrey in the 6th Ward.
Supporters of Councilman Eric Mays to be named as president told The Daily Gazette they had seven votes counted for him until a weekend e-mail campaign was led by Fields. She sent e-mails to residents with links to video clips of Mays while insisting it isn't the kind of behavior that should take place at Flint City Hall. She urged residents to call their council representatives and demand that they don't vote for Mays.
Dozens of posts were also made on social media by Mays enemies who showed off what appeared to be a drunken Mays celebrating his election victory at a stripper club with two women sitting on his lap.
"It was some nasty stuff," Mays said. "But we have come to expect that kind of behavior from Kate Fields. I'm gonna call Winfrey the new Kerry Nelson and I'm gonna call (Monica) Galloway our new Jackie Poplar."
Mays added that Fields appealed to the "ego" of Winfrey by "offering to support him if he would go against me." He said newly-elected 3rd Ward Councilman Santio Guerra changed his vote "because they offered him the Vice President role" and Mays said he was extremely disappointed to learn he had lost support from Galloway and newly-elected 9th Ward Councilwoman Eva Worthing.
Voters ousted incumbents Nelson, Poplar and Wantwaz Davis while long-time 9th Ward Councilman Scott Kincaid left his council position to run for mayor. All lost with strong union support from the Greater Flint AFL-CIO Labor Council and all but Davis were endorsed by the UAW's CAP Council. Kincaid, who had served 32 years as 9th Ward councilman, lost by a landslide in the recall election for Mayor Dr. Karen Weaver. She had more votes than Kincaid and all 17 others on the ballot combined.
"Galloway and Eva Worthing would not have won without support from the mayor," Mays said. "Then they start right off flipping on Mays for president. I say you better keep an eye on them. They have already headed for the Kate Fields camp. She wants them to go with Winfrey, and they're following her."
Mays says Worthing called him to let him know she was going back on her word to him. "She called and wanted to know if it was okay to withdraw her support from me," Mays said. "I guess she wanted my blessing or something. I told her to do whatever she wants, but cautioned that she's not getting off to a very good start to her political career."
Implosion putters out; Pontiac Silverdome still standing despite attempt to bring it down with explosives on Sunday morning
PONTIAC (CCN) — A scheduled implosion to demolish the Pontiac Silverdome didn't work Sunday morning, signalling open season on letting the jokes begin for fans of the Detroit Lions. Mike Killbreath immediately penned in his My AM Advantage Editor's Notebook column, "Hey, anybody who knows about the history of the Detroit Lions at the Pontiac Silverdome, knows full well that a late collapse is always imminent." Click Here to Read More
Four masked men tie up pair inside Holly area home; $7,200 cash taken, 63-year-old man kicked repeatedly in ribs
INDEPENDENCE TWP. (CCN) — The Oakland Press reported Sunday that the Oakland County Sheriff's Department says four masked men broke into an Independence Township home early Thursday morning, tied up a couple at gunpoint, doused them with gasoline, repeatedly kicked a 63-year-old man in the ribs, demanded money and threatened to set the house on fire before eventually getting away with $7,200 in cash that was stashed in a closet.
The 63-year-old man lives in Holly and was at the home of his 64-year-old girlfriend, according to the Oakland Press story. The masked men, who the Oakland County Sheriff's Department report said were possibly Middle Eastern, wore ski masks and may have driven away in a white van.
The victim told police the attack may have been related to a medical marijuana dispensary business he previously owned.
Couple walking dog discover body of dead 63-year-old man on Davison Country Club golf course; No foul play suspected
DAVISON TWP. (CCN) — A couple walking their dog discovered a dead man Sunday morning on Davison Country Club's golf course. MLive quoted Davison Township Police Lt. Gerald Harris as saying no foul play was suspected.
Police did not immediately release the identity of the 63-year-old man because relatives had not yet been notified, but said he lived near the golf course.
Davison Country Club was closed for about four hours as Davison Township Police Department investigated the scene with help from the Genesee County Sheriff's Department and State Police.
Dr. Reginald Kirkland stepping down as director at Flint charter school International Academy
FLINT (CCN) — A letter to parents on Thursday revealed that Dr. Reginald Kirkland has stepped down as director at International Academy of Flint. The letter was posted on the charter school's web site and indicated that Dr. Kirkland's resignation was effective on Nov. 17. Traci Cornier will return to the role she previously held at International Academy before becoming the Executive Director for SABIS that operates the Flint charter school.
The letter told parents: "The IAF Board of Directors and SABIS have determined that it is in the best interest of the school to ask (Cormier) to step into the role of IAF Director and oversee the school's operations for the foreseeable future. We look forward to working closely with Ms. Cormier and wish her all the best in her reclaimed role."
Free Press says former city utilities director to plead guilty in exchange for his testimony on others in Flint water crisis cases
The Detroit Free Press reported in its online edition Monday that a former City of Flint utilities director is expected to plead guilty in a deal with prosecutors on the Flint water crisis scandal. The Detroit newspaper reported that Daugherty Johnson of Flushing agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and cooperate with State Attorney General Bill Schuette's investigative team.
Johnson, 49, would become the third defendant to reach a plea deal in the scandal. He faces two 20-year felony counts — one for conspiracy and one for false pretenses. The Detroit Free Press reported that Daughtery would plead no contest on Tuesday to a misdemeanor before Genesee County 67th District Court Judge Nathaniel Perry. Click Here to Read More
Controversial City Councilman Eric Mays poised to become next president of Flint City Council? Not if Kate Fields gets her way!
FLINT (CCN) — Controversial City Councilman Eric Mays is poised to become the next president of Flint City Council as one political enemy tries to mount an "anti Mays" campaign. WFLT AM 1420 radio talk show host A.C. Dumas revealed that Councillwoman Kate FIelds sent an e-mail urging council members to choose anyone except Mays.
He was the top vote getter at last week's Flint City Council election which brought five new faces to the council chambers at Flint City Hall. Mays was the biggest winner among candidates in all nine wards with a landslide victory in his re-election bid as the 1st Ward representative.
Mays has made no secret about wanting to replace Kerry Nelson as the council president. Click Here to Read More
Flint City Council swearing in ceremony set for noon Monday; President to be elected at 7:30 with vote on police contract
FLINT (CCN) — Four incumbents will join five newcomers Monday at noon for a swearing in ceremony inside the 3rd floor council chambers at Flint City Hall. They will take their official oath of office from Flint City Clerk Inez Brown and be allowed an opportunity to speak to voters who elected them to four-year terms last week at Tuesday's election.
The new council group will then meet for the first time at 7:30 pm to determine leadership roles, and to elect their president to a one-year term. The new council will also immediately face difficult decisions on a permanent drinking water source and a proposed new contract for police officers. Flint Police Officers Association President Kevin Smith announced a landslide vote by his membership to approve the city administration's proposed contract that gives officers a 3 percent annual raise for three consecutive years. Smith said it has been 10 years since non command personnel has been able to get a contract which now needs only approval by the city council.
Morning Gazette Radio Show hosts investigator, daughter of cook on famous Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald 1975 tragedy
FLINT TWP. (CCN) — Flint Township's Roscoe Clark has spent more than a decade investigating the tragic sinking of the giant freighter made famous by a Gordon Lightfoot song, "The Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald." Clark appeared on Friday's Morning Gazette Radio Show to talk about the 1975 sinking of the most tragic accident ever on one of the Great Lakes. Appearing with Clark was Pam Johnson, who is the daughter of the ship's cook on that final voyage. You can listen to one of the replays of the show at 9 am, 10 am or 11 am by clicking on the blue button at right on your PC or laptop, or by scrolling down on your smart phone or mobile device. A podcast will be added to The Daily Gazette after 9 pm.
Repeat offender rapist to face judge for sentencing on Dec. 2 after reaching plea bargain deal
FLINT (CCN) — A Flint man reached an 11th hour plea bargain deal with Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton's office Wednesday to avoid a jury trial that could have resulted in a life sentence in prison. Prosecutor Leyton announced that 48-year-old Lamont James pleaded guilty to six felonies in connection with the September 2010 rape of a 17-year-old female he admits attacking while she walked alone on Walter Street in the City of Flint.
James reached the guilty plea just before the scheduled start of his trial. Prosecutor Leyton said Jame pleaded no contest to a kidnapping charge, three counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct, stalking a minor and extortion and acknowledged his status as a habitual offender. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month on Dec. 4.
Police reports and evidence presented by the Genesee County Prosecutor's office revealed that James attacked his victim in the middle of the day. James admitted jumping out of his truck, chasing her across the street, grabbing her and then dragging her back to his vehicle where the passenger side door handle had been removed. James admitted that he then drove to a deserted park and sexually assaulted his teen-age victim.
The teen-ager managed to escape after the assault, immediately called 911 and was transported to Hurley Regional Medical Center.
Prosecutor Leyton said a sexual assault kit exam had been performed, but the evidence collected at Hurley was never tested until last year when the Flint Police Department received a grant through the federal Sexual Assault Kit Initiative to test all of its untested rape kits. Once the evidence was tested, a link to Lamont James was established based on a prior kidnapping and rape in a 1993 when James was convicted and sent to prison. He served 13 years before getting an early release.
“There is an old saying that says the wheels of justice sometimes turn slowly and this may be one of those examples,” said Prosecutor Leyton. “The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grant has allowed my office to partner with the City of Flint Police Department and the YWCA victim advocates to see justice through on some cold cases that may never have been prosecuted. I especially want to acknowledge the work of Flint Police detective Mona Patterson, YWCA victim advocate Jessica Weathersby, and my assistant prosecutor (Jennifer Janetsky) and the brave testimony and cooperation of our victim for seeing this case all the way through to a just conviction."
Prosecutor Leyton noted that there have been more than 300 sexual assault kits tested so far with more pending. He said James became the fifth man to be charged and convicted based on the testing of kits since the program was initiated about a year ago.
Supreme Court hears beginning arguments as public school employees across Michigan fight to win '3% case' against governor
LANSING (CCN) — Lawyers began arguments on Wednesday in Lansing for the union representing Michigan's school employees who are trying to get $555 million back from Governor Rick Snyder in front of the Michigan Supreme Court.
Attorneys representing the Michigan Education Association (MEA) called on the justices to side with public school employees as oral arguments began on the long-running “3 percent” case where the state leaders decided to take money out of the paychecks of school employees between 2010 and 2012. Click Here to Read More
MEA president blasts proposed legislation in State Senate to allow concealed weapons in Michigan's school buildings
LANSING (CCN) — A bill under consideration in the State Senate to allow concealed weapons inside Michigan school buildings and on school grounds was blasted Tuesday by Michigan Education Association President Paula Herbart.
“MEA strongly opposes this legislation for the safety of students and school employees alike," Herbart said. "Education and parent groups have joined us in opposing this misguided legislation because they too understand that the answer to gun violence is not more guns in schools — in fact, that’s a recipe for disaster. The only people who should be allowed to carry firearms in public schools are police officers and school security personnel, period."
Herbart said the Republican-led state legislature hasn't consulted experts about the issues. “Once again, legislators have failed to ask professional educators, who are the experts on the frontlines, if they think this is a good idea," Herbart said. "Had they done that, this legislation would never have seen the light of day. Instead of these bills, the legislature should simply close the controversial loophole allowing open-carry in schools and make gun-free zones truly gun free.”
Morning Gazette Radio Show offers endorsements Monday with nasty campaign attacks getting bushel of rotten apples!
CCN Radio's Morning Gazette Radio Show offered its recommendations for listeners during a special "Monday Endorsement Show" on the day before election day. Host Mike Killbreath offered his picks in the various elections and his recommendations on various ballot proposals around the Metro Flint area.
He said key leaders at the Flint Area Chamber of Commerce were called on to offer advice. Click Here to Read More
Daily Gazette Sports Night Show adds former NFL star Chris Wilson and his coaching buddy Fisher to analyze Detroit Lions
The Daily Gazette Sports Night Show has added former NFL star Chris Wilson and his Flint Jaguars coaching buddy Trace Fisher to analyze the Detroit Lions for listeners. Wilson became head coach of the Jaguars this season after ending his Canadian Football League career following a five-year stint as a defensive end star with the Washington Redskins of the NFL. He's a former Flint Northern great who made the Redskins as a non-drafted player after playing at Northwood University in Midland. Fisher, who left Powers Catholic's coaching staff to join WIlson's staff this year, is a former Grand Blanc Bobcats star who played at Wayne State University.
Auburn's associate head coach already fired according to press release after federal indictments unsealed in basketball scandal
AUBURN, ALABAMA (CCN) — An associate head basketball coach at Auburn University has been fired, according to an announcement by university officials on Wednesday. The press release revealed that Chuck Person, who had been suspended without pay after he was indicted in September, was fired on Oct. 18.
Person was indicted Tuesday in New York City's U.S. District Court with seven others on charges of federal bribery, conspiracy and fraud charges as part of an on-going FBI investigation into what officials have described as the "criminal influence of money on coaches and student-athletes."
Long-time Louisville Cardinals Coach RIck Pitinio was fired on Oct. 16 after news of the scandal implicated his program. University officials at Louisville also fired Athletic Director Tom Jurich on the same day.
A tweet Wednesday from NBC News reporter Tom Winter reported that things have become worse for Pitino after the U.S. Attorney's Office revealed more details about the case when indictments were unsealed. Winter said the FBI has now alleged that Pitino was "Coach-2" earlier named as one who "had knowledge of and directed payments to players."
The Montgomery Advertiser obtained the 27-page federal indictment Tuesday night against Person and co-defendant Rashan Michel and reported that Auburn officials told the newspaper that Person "is no longer an employee. As such, this is in the hands of the criminal justice system."
The criminal complaint alleges that Person and Michel conspired to obtain $91,500 from a cooperating FBI witness over a 10-month period and Person agreed to "use his official influence" over Auburn players to steer them to sign with specific financial consultants and buy suits from Michel who is a former NBA official who founded Thompson Bespoke Clothing. Michel's company is a high-end men's clothing company based in Atlanta which has become a tailor-to-the-stars with custom-made suits for college players on draft night events for both the NFL and the NBA. The indictment says Person allegedly used part of the $91,500 in bribes to steer Auburn players to Pittsburgh financial adviser Marty Blazer when they turn pro. The indictment unsealed o Wednesday alleges that Person told Blazer he gave $18,500 to the families of two Auburn players.
The Montgomery Adviser reported that the players are center Austin Wiley and forward Daniel Purifoy, according to The Montgomery Advertiser.
Auburn Coach Bruce Pearl announced after the indictments were unsealed that he is indefinitely holding out 6-foot-11 sophomore center Austin Wiley and 6-foot-7 sophomore forward Danjel Purifoy, citing only "potential eligibility issues."hours before Auburn's only exhibition game last week, a 100-95 loss to Division II Barry University.
Michel and Person are required to release "any and all property, real and personal, that constitutes or is derived from proceeds traceable to the commission of said offenses, including but not limited to a sum of money in United States currency representing the amount of proceeds traceable to the commission of said offenses."
Person was released on $100,000 bond last month after making an appearance in U.S. District Court in New York. If found guilty of the charges, Person faces a maximum sentence of 80 years in federal prison.
Person, 53, played in the NBA after becoming Auburn's all-time leading scorer. He was placed on suspension without pay following his Sept. 26 arrest on charges of bribery conspiracy, solicitation of bribes and gratuities, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and travel act conspiracy.
"Chuck Person in describing his influence over one of his players put it this way, 'He listens to one person, that is me,'" said Joon H. Kim, acting United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. "Chuck Person also said that his players trusted and looked up to him because he coached Kobe Bryant and worked for Phil Jackson."
Aattorney Theresa Trzaskoma said Tuesday that Person didn't commit any crimes. The indefinite suspension of Wiley and Purifoy came
“We're still not in a position where we can determine their eligibility yet so therefore, out of caution, they weren't eligible to play,” Pearl said following the exhibition loss on Thursday. “It's indefinite. It could be short or it could be longer. We don't know.”
Part of the $91.500 received by Person allegedly includes Person saying on camera to uncover agents bribes that he paid bribes of $11,000 and $7,500 to family members of two Tigers in order to steer them toward financial advisers. Person also allowed for meetings to take place between the mothers of the players and the people Person was working with in the alleged scheme.
Person was about to begin fourth season at Auburn and has been a mainstay in the major rebuilding project under Pearl. The Brantley native was promoted to associate head coach in May 2015 after spending his first season as an assistant coach.
Person, who played alongside fellow Auburn and NBA greats Charles Barkley and Chris Morris, is the all-time scoring leader in Auburn history with 2,311 points in 126 games — without the 3-point shot. His 18.3-point career average is sixth in school history. He is also the school record holder for field goals made (1,017), field goals attempted (1,899) and is third in total rebounds (940).
While in the NBA, Person played for and was on the coaching staffs of some of the greatest coaches in the history of basketball including Jackson, Gregg Popovich, Jack Ramsay and Rick Carlisle.
Kyle Zimmerman out as football coach at Davison; School mum
DAVISON (CCN) — The Morning Gazette Radio Show reported Tuesday that Kyle Zimmerman is out as leader of the football program at Davison High School despite taking the team to the state playoffs all three seasons as head coach. Davision Athletic Director David Beamer did not respond to messages left by The Morning Gazette Radio Show and Zimmerman did not return a telephone call to confirm or deny what multiple sources have told the radio program.
Zimmerman led the Cardinals to an 8-1 regular season record this season after a perfect 9-0 campaign a year ago. He led Davison to a 5-4 record and a state playoff berth in his second season after guiding the Cardinals to a 4-5 record in his first season. Zimmerman won a Genesee Area Conference Blue Division title at Bentley in 2008 before taking a job at Notre Dame Prep where he won three Catholic League championships in a row and made the state playoffs four times. He previously served as an assistant coach with successful programs at Montrose and Marine City.
Click above to hear the latest breaking news from around the Metro Flint area, as well as from around the state, national and world scenes.
New Flint City Council to do third day behind closed doors on long term drinking water decision
FLINT (CCN) — The new Flint City Council will meet for a third straight day behind closed doors in an attempt to make a decision on their community's long-term drinking water source. A federal judge had threatened to hold the council in contempt of court after refusing to go along with Mayor Dr. Karen Weaver's recommendation to sign a 30-year extension with Detroit-based Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA), but didn't do so after a 30-day extension was worked out between the city and GLWA before the Nov. 7 elections. Five new members were elected to the nine-member council on Nov. 7 and U.S. District Court Judge David Lawson has given until Monday to come up with a plan. They met several hours in executive session on Wednesday after also going behind closed doors to talk about the water contract at their initial meeting on Monday which went more than 6 1/2 hours when ending after 2 am on Tuesday.
Click above to hear a promo for the all-new Michigan Sports Zone Show featuring former NFL star Chris Wilson, his Flint coaching buddy and former college football player Trace Fisher, and award-winning sports columnist Mike Killbreath. They talk sports every Saturday from 11 am until 1 pm on show that's syndicated statewide on various networks and internet-based platforms.
Click above to hear the last episode for The Daily Gazette Sports Weekend Show with Mike Killbreath. He's an award-winning sports columnist with a long history of championship ways in the local Flint area coaching ranks of baseball, basketball, ice hockey and roller hockey. He counts 5 state championships along with numerous regional, league and tournament championships. Mike's 3-hour tour through the world of sports every Saturday is the longest running local sports show on local radio.
The Daily Gazette
Dead woman found inside Flint home in usually quiet south side 'Berry Patch' neighborhood
FLINT (CCN) — A woman was found dead inside a City of Flint home in the usually quiet "Berry Patch Neighborhood" on Wednesday at about 2 pm. A 911 call indicated that the body was found inside a home in the 1300 block of Pinehurst Avenue, between Blackberry Avenue and Tuxedo Avenue.
MLive reported that Flint police Detective Tyrone Booth confirmed the incident is being investigated as a suspicious death and said an autopsy would be performed by the Genesee County Medical Examiner's Office to try and determine the cause of death. The woman's name has not been released by police and there are no known suspects at this time.
Anyone with information about the case can call the Flint Police Department at (810) 237-6900 or report a tip anonymously for a possible reward by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-422-JAIL (5245) or via e-mail by going online at www.P3tips.com.
It's the third woman found dead at her home in recent days around the Metro Flint area. A Burton woman was beaten to death last week and found inside her Clayward address while a Genesee Township woman was found dead in her yard.
Nemesis of newly-elected Flint City Councilman gets letter threatening legal action if he doesn't 'cease and desist'
FLINT (CCN) — A campaign nemesis of newly-elected Flint City Councilman L. Allan Griggs has been hit with a lawsuit threat. Bobby Johnson turned to Facebook Saturday to reveal that he had received a letter from Councilman Griggs. He posted a copy of what was mailed to him by Troy attorney Robert Yonkers on behalf of the new councilman.
Councilman Griggs, who hasn’t yet been an office a full month, has not responded to a request for comment about the letter. The letter by attorney Yonkers was written on behalf of the councilman and his wife, Dr. Diana Phillips. She is a chemistry professor at Kettering University in Flint. Griggs owned a successful business in Oklahoma before choosing the City of Flint as his retirement home 12 years ago. Click Here to Read More
MSU recruit ruled ineligible for entire season after transfer to play for defending Class A state champ Clarkston in boys' hoops
CLARKSTON (CCN) — A top basketball transfer for the Clarkston Wolves has been ruled ineligible by the Michigan High School Athletic Association. The defending state champions of the Class A boys' division a year ago used a key transfer player last season from Ohio in a similar situation, but Macomb Dakota officials cried foul after Thomas Kithier moved to Clarkston in time for fall classes. Kithier is a 6-foot-9 forward who has signed with Coach Tom Izzo to play on a scholarship with the Michigan State Spartans next year.
Ohio's Taylor Currie, who has been recruited by the Michigan Wolverines and Wisconsin Badgers, played alongside Clarkston star Foster Loyer in AAU ball over the previous summer before last year's transfer to Clarkston for his junior season. Kithier was a teammate of Loyer on All-Ohio Red's AAU team this past summer.
Kithier played at Macomb Dakota during his freshman, sophomore and senior seasons. Loyer was a first-team all-state selection a year ago when leading Clarkston to a 27-1 record and its first state championship in school history. The Wolves also receive a boost last season from another transfer player from up M-15 in Davison — Dylan Alderson.
A news release from Clarkston Community Schools said Thursday that the MHSAA found the Kithier family was in violation of the state’s "athletic-motivated" transfer rule.
Currie was allowed to play by moving to Clarkston before classes started a year ago, which is generally the way eligibility is obtained immediately for anyone changing schools. The difference between the two transfers, according to MHSAA officials, is that Currie's Ohio school didn't complain while Macomb Dakota school officials lodged a complaint about Kithier leaving their program.
The news release by Clarkston officials also noted that the MHSAA investigation came as a result of complaints filed by Macomb Dakota after school officials there refused to sign Kithier’s educational transfer form which would have granted immediate eligibility for him to play basketball at Clarkston.
Officials at Clarkston appealed the decision, but the news release revealed that he MHSAA Executive Committee ruled last week that Kithier’s transfer was athletically motivated. The team opened the season on Tuesday with a 65-55 victory at Wayne Memorial and plays Flint Carman-Ainsworth on Friday night in its second game.
MHSAA Communications Director John Johnson said Kithier and Loyer playing together as AAU ball teammates violated Section 9(e)(7) of the MHSAA handbook regulating athletically motivated transfers. The rule describes "athletically motivated" transfers as follows: “The student seeks to participate with teammates or coaches with whom he/she participated in non-school competition during the preceding 12 months.”
“It’s the cornerstone of the decision,” Johnson told the Detroit Free Press.
Macomb Dakota Coach Paul Tocco declined to comment when the Detroit Free Press tried to get a comment from him about the decision to refuse to sign Kithier's educational transfer form. Tocco told the Free Press the "matter was in the hand of Dakota administrators." The Free Press reported that it was unable to reach Macomb Dakota Principal Paul Sibley or Athletic Director Mike Fusco.
Clarkston Coach Dan Fife said in his school's news release that he felt the Kithier family properly followed guidelines set forth for immediate eligibility when moving into a district, saying: “That is what occurred in this case, and yet, I find myself in the position (for the first time in 35 years) of having to defend the integrity of my player, the Clarkston basketball program, and myself as a coach. The MHSAA does not have a handle on transfers, and they’re making an example of Thomas.”
The Kithier family also commented in the news release, saying, “Our move to Clarkston was a private family decision and one that we did not take lightly. We watched as our son’s school environment grew increasingly intolerable for him over two years, and we knew that staying at Macomb Dakota High School was not in his best interest. We researched several Michigan schools, and found Clarkston’s outstanding culture and academic curriculum to be a great fit for Thomas’ needs and future goals. Thomas is thriving socially and academically at Clarkston High School, but as a lifelong student-athlete, he is heartbroken to be denied the opportunity to participate in sports. We followed the rules, and our one and only motivation for transferring to Clarkston was to surround our son with a supportive community that sees him as a multifaceted human being, not a commodity.”
The statement from Clarkston High School Principal Gary Kaul was as follows: “Thomas and his family found themselves in an academic situation he could not benefit from and a toxic cultural environment that was untenable and unhealthy. By blocking this transfer, Dakota administration demonstrated that they do not have Thomas’ best interest in mind.”
Rod Rock, who is superintendent of schools at Clarkston's district added: “As superintendent, I will not tolerate injustice, prejudice, or arbitrarily limiting students. We will not impose adult decisions that hamper long-term achievements upon them. We will stand up for every student, in every case. Just as we expect our Wolves to fight until the final whistle on the playing field, in the arena, in the classroom, and when battling life’s obstacles, we will fight for Thomas Kithier — he’s our kid.”
What's also raising eyebrows about the decision by administrators at Macomb Dakota is the fact that two current University of Detroit Mercy basketball stars transferred to Dakota to finish their prep careers. Jermaine Jackson Jr., left Mt. Clemens High School after his sophomore season and Jack Ballantyne left Warren De La Salle to play his senior year last season at Dakota.
Red Wings end 7-game losing skid by beating Winnipeg Jets Tuesday 5-1 in return to home ice
DETROIT (CCN) — The Detroit Red Wings beat one of the NHL's best teams Tuesday night in their return home to Little Caesars Arena in Downtown Detroit to end a seven-game losing streak with a 5-1 triumph over the Winnipeg Jets.
The Jets, who are 17-7-4 on the season, were a red-hot 9-2-1 during their last 12 games.
Gustav Nyquist scored twice and assisted on another goal to lead the way as Detroit climbed to within one victory of the .500 mark with an 11-12-5 record. They had lost three times in overtime during their seven-game losing skid.
"We needed to win a game, so this feels great," Nyquist told reporters afterward. "We need a lot more of these to make up for that streak though."
Coach Jeff Blashill told the media in the post-game press conference, "Our leaders did a good job of setting the tone early tonight. We had four lines playing well from the start of the game, and that's huge for us. We've spent a lot of time playing on our heels lately, and I thought we made them play on their heels tonight."
Darren Helm, who scored one of Detroit's other goals, pointed out that Detroit fans helped the team play with lots of passion Tuesday. "I don't think we've played with a lot of passion the last couple games, so we wanted to show more intensity," Helm said. "We wanted to get pucks in deep, go hard on the forecheck and take away their space."
Justin Abdelkader and David Booth produced the other goals for Detroit which also got strong goaltending from Jimmy Howard. He made 25 saves against the Jets after teams had scorched him for a 4.88 goals against pace during the losing streak, including giving up five goals in relief Saturday night when Detroit lost 10-1 in Montreal to the Candiens.
Patrik Laine scored Winnipeg's only goal against Howard in the second period to get the Jets within 2-1 before Detroit pumped in three final period goals to pull away.
The Red Wings are now idle until Saturday when they host the St. Louis Blues in a 1 pm matinee game at Little Caesars Arena.
Red Wings deal 25-year-old center Scott Wilson to Sabres for 5th round draft choice in 2019
DETROIT (CCN) — Scott Wilson's career as a member of the Detroit Red Wings lasted only 17 games. He was traded Tuesday to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a 5th round draft choice in the 2019 NHL draft. Wilson was a minus-one with no points this season. The 25-year-old center, who will become a restricted free agent at the end of the season, came to Detroit from the Pittsburgh Penguins in October when traded for Riley Sheahan.
Wilson was a 7th round draft pick by the Penguins in the 2011 NHL draft and played in PIttsburgh under Buffalo's current General Manager — Jason Botterill. His 106 NHL games since 2014 also included 20 games as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Red Wings will likely call up Tyler Bertuzzi or Matt Puempel from their Triple-A affiliate in the American Hockey League at Grand Rapids. Bertuzzi is a rugged left winger who played 7 games with the Red Wings a year ago. He has 5 goals and 4 assists for 9 points in 12 games with the Griffins after a pre-season injury had him on the sidelines at the start of the year. Puempel, who was acquired Oct. 21 from the New York Rangers for defenseman Ryan Sproul, leads the Griffins in scoring this season with 8 goals and 12 assists for 20 points. He's a seventh year pro who has played 79 NHL games with the Rangers and Ottawa Senators. Also a left winger, Puempel has produced only 10 goals and 5 assists for 15 career points during parts of four NHL seasons.
Anthony Dirrell wins technical decision over Denis Douglin in return to Flint for first boxing match here since 2011 fight
FLINT (CCN) — Fight night at Flint's Dort Federal Credit Union Arena was a huge success at the box office. More than 3,000 fans showed up Friday nihgt for a 10-fight card that was highlighted by Flint's Anthony Dirrell taking on Denis Douglin. He won by a technical decision because he was ahead on every judge's scorecard when the referee stopped the fight because of an accidental headbutt that caused a gashing wound to spew blood next to Dirrell's eye in the 6th round of their scheduled 10-round bout.
Dirrell, a former super middle weight champion of the world, improved to 31-1-1 on his career. Dirrell, who had 24 knockouts coming in, dominated all six rounds of the fight with Douglin. The lefty from New Jersey desperately needed to win. At 20-5 on his career coming in, Douglin was coming off a loss to David Benavidez.
Dirrell, 33, is hoping for another title shot.
Friday's fight was DIrrell's first in Flint since 2011 when he performed outside at Atwood Stadium.
Detroit Lions need to rally to beat lowly Cleveland Browns to keep NFC North Division title hopes alive as Vikings, Packers win
DETROIT (CCN) — The Detroit Lions rallied from a 24-17 deficit with a late third quarter touchdown and two more in the fourth quarter to beat the lowly Cleveland Browns 38-24 in front of a sellout crowd Sunday afternoon at Ford Field in Detroit. Quarterback Matthew Stafford passed for 192 yards in the second half after a slow start against the winless Browns who fell to 0-9. Detroit improved to 5-4 in the NFC's North Division where the Minnesota Vikings went to 7-2 after beating the Washington Redskins on Sunday. The Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears to stay tied with the Lions at 5-4.
Stafford, who was 17 of 26 for 249 yards on the day, drilled a game-tying 8-yard TD pass to Theo Riddick late in the third quarter before connecting with Eric Ebron on a go-ahead 29-yard TD pass early in the fourth quarter. He hooked up on a screen pass to Golden Tate with 4:36 to go that Tate rambled 40 yards up the middle with for a game-clinching score.
Other stars for the Lions included Jamal Agnew, the NFL's leading punt return man, with returns of 29 yards and 49 yards, Nevin Lawson with a 44-yard run to paydirt after scooping up a fumble, Ameer Abdullah rushed for 54 yards including an 8-yard TD scamper and Darius Slay had an interception in the end zone.
Rookie Luke Kennard powers Pistons to sweep of 5-game homestand at Little Caesars Arena 112-103 over Miami Heat
DETROIT (CCN) — Rookie Luke Kennard hit key buckets in the fourth quarter Sunday night to power the Detroit Pistons to a 112-103 victory over the Miami Heat. The victory gave the Pistons a five-game sweep of their homestand at Little Caesars Arena. They're now 10-3 for second place behind the 12-2 Boston Celtics in the NBA's Eastern Conference where they lead the Milwaukee Bucks by 3 1/2 games and the Cleveland Cavaliers by 4 games in the Central Division.
Kennard, Detroit's first round draft choice out of Duke, made his first big splash after recently returning from a stint in the minors with Detroit's G-League affiliate in Grand Rapids. Kennard scored 14 points off the bench on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers. He also grabbed five rebounds and passed out three assists. His jumper gave the Pistons a 91-86 lead and Kennard added a runner in the lane and a 3-ball on back-to-back trips to spark a 6-0 run that built a 99-92 lead after Miami cut the margin to 93-92.
Tobias Harris led the PIstons overall with a 25-point night that featured 5-of-8 shooting behind the 3-point arc. Avery Bradley added 24 points, Reggie Jackson scored 17 points and Andre Drummond scored 8 points to go with spearing 17 rebounds.