DETROIT BANKRUPTCY-ISLAND PARK
Belle Isle begins transition toward state park
DETROIT (AP) - About three-dozen groups are committing time, talent and in some cases money to improving Belle Isle as the Detroit River park transitions from city to state control.
Officials from Detroit, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Belle Isle Conservancy will discuss the partnerships Tuesday.
DNR Director Keith Creagh (kray) says crews already are identifying and cutting down dead and diseased trees, grinding fallen logs and clearing brush from island paths. His department begins managing Belle Isle in mid-February under a 30-year lease approved last month.
The deal will save the bankrupt city about $6 million annually. Michigan's budget sets aside $2.5 million to manage the park.
Vehicles must have an $11 annual state park pass to enter. Enforcement of the fee will be gradually phased in next year.
LAND LINE DEREGULATION
Police chiefs, sheriffs oppose land line measure
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan police chiefs and sheriffs are opposing legislation to ease phone companies' ability to discontinue traditional land line service starting in 2017.
The bill that cleared the Senate overwhelmingly last week could win quick House approval this week before legislators adjourn for the year.
Law enforcement authorities on Monday said the measure puts seniors and rural residents at risk during emergencies because Internet-based land lines and cellphones are less reliable. The AARP says the legislation wrongly puts the onus on customers to ask regulators to ensure they have a reliable alternative.
Phone companies support the legislation as a way to streamline regulations and free up money to spend on more cell towers and updated fiber optic networks instead of traditional land lines that fewer and fewer customers are using.
Mich. bill designed to protect late-night clerks
NORTON SHORES, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan legislator has announced a bill to require gas stations and convenience stores that stay open between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. to have two employees working or to install security cameras.
The bill unveiled Monday in western Michigan comes after the April disappearance of a 26-year-old woman from her job at a Norton Shores gas station. Jessica Heeringa's mother and law enforcement attended the news conference.
Heeringa disappeared before she was set to close the station. Police say there was no indication of a robbery.
Democratic Rep. Collene LaMonte of Montague detailed her bill that could be called "Jessica's Law."
The gas station had no security cameras, leaving authorities without potential clues.
Police: Woman apparently beaten to death at home
WARREN, Mich. (AP) - Police in suburban Detroit say the body of a 25-year-old woman who apparently was beaten to death has been found in the home she was renting.
Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green tells The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens that the woman may have been attacked by someone she was familiar with, since there's indication of robbery.
Police say that Shalisa L. O'Dell was found lying on her living room floor.
Police were called to the home around midday Sunday after a relative caring for the woman's 2-year-old son entered the home after not hearing for her for two days.
Green says police have some leads in the case but are seeking tips from the public.
Man charged with woman's murder faces trial
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - A man who authorities say strangled his girlfriend to keep the mother of five from implicating him in a stabbing is facing trial.
The Grand Rapids Press reports testimony is expected to begin Tuesday in the case against 26-year-old Jahleel Hoskins.
Authorities say Hoskins strangled 26-year-old Latrice Maze to prevent her from telling police about the stabbing. Relatives reported Maze missing March 20, and her remains haven't been found.
In November, a judge sentenced Hoskins to 25-75 years in prison in the earlier attack. A jury found Hoskins guilty of assault with intent to do great bodily harm for attacking Kenneth Harris in a parking lot Feb. 19. Hoskins also was convicted of perjury.
NAKED MAN-OFFICERS HURT
Naked man fights officers, sending 3 to hospital
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Lansing-area authorities say a naked man who was wandering around a street fought with police officers, sending three of them to the hospital.
WILX-TV says police in Ingham County's Meridian Township got a call Sunday of the naked man in a neighborhood. Police say the men fought with officers, three of whom were treated at a hospital and released.
Police say the man also was hospitalized and remains in custody while authorities consider criminal charges.
MICHIGAN STATE-ROWDY CROWDS
Dozens of fires, 15 arrests in East Lansing
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - East Lansing police say at least 15 people were arrested during a rowdy celebration of Michigan State's victory over Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game.
The police department's weekend report says 12 people were students and one was an alumnus. East Lansing police say there were at least 57 fires, especially in a neighborhood of apartments just off the eastern edge of campus.
The Lansing State Journal posted video online showing thousands of revelers cheering loudly as a couch was tossed on a fire. The street scenes early Sunday occurred after the Spartans defeated the Buckeyes and earned a Rose Bowl bid.
Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon says the behavior is disappointing. Miles away in Ypsilanti, police reported two couch fires related to the game.
LEAFY GRAND RAPIDS
Group gives $189,000 toward leafier Grand Rapids
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - A Grand Rapids parks group has received an $189,000 grant to help make the western Michigan city a leafier place.
MLive.com says the Grand Rapids Community Foundation is trying to help the city reach the goal of having a 40 percent tree canopy.
The grant goes to Friends of Grand Rapids Parks to help the nonprofit's Urban Forest Project promote tree planting on private property.
Two years ago, the community foundation gave Friends of Grand Rapids Parks a $254,000 to help launch the Urban Forest Project. Foundation Vice President Marcia Rapp says the new grant will help the project recruit more citizen foresters and provide more community education and training.
Grand Rapids now has an estimated 1.6 million trees and a canopy covering about 34.6 percent of the city.
GRAND VALLEY ST-DONATION
Philanthropist makes $1M donation to GVSU center
ALLENDALE, Mich. (AP) - Philanthropist Ralph Hauenstein is donating $1 million to Grand Valley State University's Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies.
The Allendale school said in a statement posted Monday on its website that the gift will help enhance and expand academic and event-based learning opportunities.
Hauenstein made the initial investment to begin the center, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Its goal is to teach ethical leadership skills to future leaders while engaging students and the community in conversations about history, politics and the greater civic good.
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