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Top News: Man Gets Maximum Sentence for ‘Disturbing’ Assaults - and More

Here are 10 stories from the past week that had a big impact on Northern Michigan. And don’t forget to take our weekly news quiz!

1. Chippewa Co. Man Sentenced to 50 Years for Sexual Assault & Child Abuse

49-year-old Sean McInnis has been sentenced to 50 years in prison, convicted of several counts of child abuse, sexual assault and assault with a dangerous weapon. The judge handed down the maximum sentence permitted by law. He told the defendant that the victim’s testimony during the trial was the most disturbing he had ever heard.


2. DNR Officer On Leave Following Shooting at Mecosta Co. Campground

The DNR says one of their officers is on paid administrative leave while Michigan State Police investigate a shooting involving the officer. It happened Saturday, May 13 at a campground – Merrill-Gorrel County Park in Barryton, Mecosta County. The DNR says the officer was off duty, camping with family at the time of the shooting.

3. Pat Rickley Retires as Mackinac Bridge Toll Attendant After 30 Years

For three decades, Pat Rickley has been an icon at the Mackinac Bridge. The 59-year-old is a toll attendant with such a charismatic personality that once you meet him, it’s hard to forget him. This was his last week at bridge as he heads towards retirement.


4. Alpena Township Teen Who Saved His Sister From Attempted Kidnapping Shares His Experience

A Northern Michigan teen who saved his 8-year-old sister from an attempted kidnapping is speaking out about the terrifying experience. The kidnapping attempt happened last Wednesday at a home outside of the city in Alpena Township. At just 13 years old and armed with only a slingshot, a marble and a rock, this teen was able to stop a stranger who had walked into his backyard and was trying to take his little sister by force.

5. Son of Couple Who Survived the Bath School Disaster Says We Can Learn from the Past

The last day of the school year at Bath Consolidated School on May 18, 1927, turned tragic after an explosion rocked the school, killing 38 students and three adults and injuring 50. The attack was perpetrated by school board member Andrew Kehoe, who was displeased by the rising taxes brought on by the new school, and sour over losing a public election. Almost 100 years later, the Bath School disaster remains the deadliest school attack in United States history. The son of two people who survived the dynamite attack talked about what happened that day, and what we can learn from it.


6. Pollen Count is Up, Don’t Let That Get You Down

Take a deep breath of that fresh, spring air! Or maybe not if you suffer from allergies. “Spring is in the air,” but so is a high amount of pollen. Spring allergy season is between March and June across the United States, and here in Northern Michigan we are seeing pollen in full force right now from newly budded trees such as birch, ash and maple. Along with other sources of allergies like blooming flowers and weeds.

7. Mid-Michigan Honor Flight Veterans Visit National Memorials

Joy and sorrow, all in the same day as veterans from Northern and Mid-Michigan wrapped up their visit to the monuments and memorials built in their honor. Over the last day and a half, 75 veterans took part in the Mid-Michigan Honor Flight. The day began at the Marine Corps Memorial before the veterans visited the Korean and Vietnam War Memorials, the Lincoln memorial and the World War II Memorial.


8. Prestigious Northern Michigan Golf Club is Slowly Coming Back to Life

A Northern Michigan Golf Club that was built by world-renowned golf course designer Tom Doak is being rebuilt. High Pointe Golf Club in the Williamsburg area was designed by Doak and opened in 1989. The course rose to 79 on Golf Magazine’s list of top 100 golf courses in the United States. However, due to financial issues, the course closed in 2008. Now, 15 years later, High Pointe Golf Club is slowly being brought back to life, as crews broke ground last month.

9. Gift Cards for Guns: Ludington Group to Hold Assault Weapon Buyback

Gun buybacks are not a new idea, but a group in Ludington is targeting a single style of weapon. The Starfish Buyback Task Force is teaming up with the city of Ludington and hosting a gun buyback program Saturday at the police department from 1-4 p.m. The group is only accepting assault style weapons. “We can’t have that in our community,” said Task Force member Brenda Reeber.

10. ‘Put The Phone Down’ Michigan Expands Distracted Driving Laws

Put your phones down. Michigan will soon have much stricter rules against phone use while driving. Right now, texting and driving is illegal for all drivers. For teens, or people with Level 1 or 2 licenses all phone use is against the law. Now with a new bill package, that will expand to all drivers. “I can tell you that Kelsey is dancing in heaven right now,” said Bonnie Raffaele, distracted driving advocate from Sault Ste. Marie. “Because we finally got the phones at least out of the hands.”

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