GAS STATION ATTACK
Man charged in gas station stabbing, robbery
DETROIT (AP) - A 27-year-old Detroit man is charged in the stabbing and robbery of a 64-year-old customer inside a northwest side gas station.
The Wayne County prosecutor's office says Maurice Abraham was arraigned Friday in 36th District Court on armed robbery, assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to do great bodily harm and two counts of resisting arrest charges.
His bond was set at $1 million.
Surveillance video showed Saturday's attack and at least two witnesses who stood by without intervening.
The video broadcast by area TV stations shows the attacker waiting outside the gas station before confronting the victim. The man was repeatedly punched and stabbed.
Autopsy: Suburban Detroit woman strangled
GROSSE POINTE PARK, Mich. (AP) - The death of suburban Detroit woman found dead in a Grosse Pointe Park duplex has been ruled a homicide.
Wayne County medical examiner's office spokeswoman Sarah Bazzi says an autopsy has determined the woman was strangled.
The woman's boyfriend found her body Thursday in a room at his home. She also lived in Grosse Pointe Park.
Her name was not released.
Man arrested after apparent firebombing attempt
GROSSE POINTE PARK, Mich. (AP) - A 20-year-old suburban Detroit man has been arrested after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the Grosse Pointe Park home of Art Van Furniture Corp. president Gary Van Elslander.
Police located the Grosse Pointe Park resident while searching the neighborhood after someone inside the home heard a smoke alarm about 3:30 a.m. and called authorities.
The device contained a flammable liquid. It damaged a kitchen window and started a fire that was put out before firefighters arrived. Van Elslander, his wife and other family members were at home at the time.
Van Elslander is the son of Art Van Furniture founder Art Van Elslander. The company is based in the Detroit suburb of Warren.
LANDLADY FIRE SLAYING
Guilty verdict in slaying of W. Michigan landlady
HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A West Michigan jury has found a man guilty of murder in the slaying of his 53-year-old landlady, who was set on fire after complaining about his loud music.
Davanh Phouangphet's (DA'-vehn FUNG-fet) was convicted Friday in Ottawa County Circuit Court of first-degree premeditated murder.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 28.
Phanh Kim Le died in January 2012 from burns sustained a few days earlier at the house in Holland Township, west of Grand Rapids.
Police said an accelerant was poured on Le and lit.
Thong Phouangphet has said his 32-year-old brother and Le argued, and the landlady told him to move his music to another part of the house or be evicted.
Assistant prosecutor Karen Miedema told the jury that Davanh Phouangphet didn't want to hear Le's "voice anymore."
RECREATION FUNDS THEFT-KENTWOOD
Ex-employee charged in recreation funds theft
KENTWOOD, Mich. (AP) - A former Kentwood city employee has been charged as part of a probe into the embezzlement of recreation department funds.
MLive.com reports that 47-year-old Deborah Salmon has been arraigned in Kentwood District Court. She waived a probable cause hearing Thursday.
Court records show at least $139,000 was taken. The stolen money was applied to credit cards and bank debit cards.
Mayor Richard Clanton says Friday in a release that the thefts appear to date back to 2005.
The 15-year recreation department worker was placed on unpaid administrative leave in March and later fired.
Clanton says the city hopes to recover the losses. Kentwood is just outside Grand Rapids in West Michigan.
The Associated Press left a telephone message Friday afternoon seeking comment from Salmon.
AP Interview: Calley says Brazil key for Michigan
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan's lieutenant governor says Brazil and its growing middle class are key opportunities for Michigan companies looking to do business internationally.
Brian Calley told The Associated Press on Friday that the goal of his 6-day trade trip to the South American country is connecting small- to medium-sized Michigan businesses with potential partners in Brazil. Calley and a delegation of economic development and business officials are due to get back Saturday.
The international trade mission is Calley's third, all taken recently.
He says as the Brazilian middle class grows, the country has "virtually a demand for everything." Calley says key sectors to focus on are steel, beef production, aerospace and the auto industry.
Calley has personal ties to Brazil. His grandparents were missionaries there, and his father was born in Brazil.
Arab International Festival postponed until 2014
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) - A Detroit area street festival has been postponed for a year to allow organizers to focus on a move to a new location at a Dearborn park.
Arab International Festival director Fay Beydoun says more time was needed to make sure a "quality event" is put together in 2014.
The 18-year-old festival is held each June by the American Arab Chamber of Commerce. It is designed to enhance cultural awareness and promote businesses in the area. Dearborn has large Arab-American and Muslim populations.
Last year, a number of Christian missionaries picketed and one brought a pig's head to the event.
Dearborn officials have said the city will pay an undisclosed amount of money to Christian missionaries arrested in 2010 at the festival. The missionaries later were acquitted.
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