Jury convicts funeral director of embezzlement
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 19 May 2014 21:48
IONIA, Mich. (AP) — A jury in western Michigan has found the ex-owner of Ionia County funeral homes guilty on all counts in a case that accuses him of creating false death certificates and stealing about $500,000.

Michigan Assistant Attorney General Denise Hart says checks were written to the personal business account of Marti Schrauben after he submitted dozen of claims to insurance companies for people who were alive.

On Monday, an Ionia County Circuit Court jury found the 40-year-old guilty of 26 counts that include embezzlement, racketeering and forgery.

Building unions OK giving to Detroit retiree costs
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 19 May 2014 21:47
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Mediators in Detroit's federal bankruptcy case say building trade unions agree to contribute to a fund to cover retirees' benefits.

Republican state House Speaker Jase Bolger of Marshall made union contributions to the pensions a condition for state aid, designed to protect the Detroit Institute of Arts' collection from sale to cover the costs.

U.S. District Court mediators issued a statement Monday saying the Michigan Building and Constructions Trades council "will be participating in the so-called 'grand bargain'" by contributing an undisclosed amount to retiree health costs.

Michigan lawmakers step up fight against nuke dump
Written by JOHN FLESHER, AP Environmental Writer   
Monday, 19 May 2014 21:45
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A group of Michigan legislators announced measures Monday that would increase pressure on Canada not to let a power company bury waste from nuclear plants less than a mile from Lake Huron.

Included in the legislative package to be introduced this week are resolutions seeking intervention by the International Joint Commission, which advises both nations on issues involving the Great Lakes and other boundary waters, and the Great Lakes Commission, an agency representing the eight states and two Canadian provinces within the watershed.

Neither could veto the plan by Ontario Power Generation to entomb radioactive waste in rock chambers 2,230 feet below the earth's surface near Kincardine, Ontario — unless both federal governments ask the IJC for a binding opinion. Otherwise, Canada has the final say. But the two commissions could turn up the political heat.

Plans in works for agricultural museum in Michigan
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 19 May 2014 21:47
BLISSFIELD, Mich. (AP) — A new agricultural museum in Michigan would include a collection of 6,000 farm toys as well as displays on the history of agriculture and agriculture technology, organizers said.

Rhode Island-based architect Friedrich St. Florian, who designed the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., showed a design concept last week for the Agricultural Awareness and Preservation Museum, The Daily Telegram of Adrian reported (http://bit.ly/1hXaWoC ).

St. Florian said he was inspired by barns in the design for the 30,000-square-foot museum, which would be built in Blissfield, about 55 miles southwest of Detroit. He said the design was obvious and he wanted to use a structure that was a versatile and flexible part of the family farm.

South Bend councilman's photo won't bring charge
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 19 May 2014 21:11
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A special prosecutor says he won't file criminal charges against a South Bend Common Council member for posting obscene material on his Facebook page.

Kosciusko County Prosecutor Daniel Hampton said in a report released Monday that Henry Davis Jr. didn't understand he was breaking the law, so he "lacked the requisite criminal intent" to be charged.

Some city residents complained in January when Davis posted an explicit photo of a naked man and a dog with a link to a blog that said Congress had legalized sex between humans and animals for members of the military.

Hampton noted that Davis expressed his disgust with the content of the photo and that some people who complained of Davis' actions also linked to the obscene material.

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