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Supreme Court pitch next for man convicted of jury tampering

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A man charged with a crime for distributing pamphlets outside a western Michigan courthouse will ask the state Supreme Court to review his conviction for jury tampering.

Keith Wood’s misdemeanor conviction in Mecosta County was affirmed last week by the appeals court in a 2-1 decision. His attorney, David Kallman, says he’ll “definitely” ask Michigan’s highest court to take the case. There’s no guarantee.

In 2015, Wood distributed pamphlets that told potential jurors they could choose their conscience over the law when coming up with a verdict. He was accused of trying to influence a case involving a man who had a wetlands dispute with a state agency.

But the wetlands case ended with a plea deal and didn’t go to trial. A jury was never picked.


Washtenaw County probation officer pleads guilty to lying

(Information from: The Ann Arbor News,

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A Washtenaw County probation officer who was charged two years ago with lying to investigators about the shooting death of a 20-year-old man in Ypsilanti has formally resigned from her job and pleaded guilty.

The Ann Arbor News reports Sarah Stein quit her job last week before she pleaded guilty on Friday to a felony count of lying to a peace officer and a misdemeanor count of lying to a peace officer. In exchange for her plea, prosecutors agreed to dismiss three felony counts of lying to a peace officer.

Stein is scheduled for sentencing Feb. 5.

The 40-year-old Stein was charged after an investigation revealed that she’d lied about a former juvenile probationer who is now in prison for the 2015 gang-related slaying in Ypsilanti of 20-year-old Keandre Duff.



Online tools deployed to detect Great Lakes invasive species

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A program designed to keep policymakers up to speed on threats to the Great Lakes has created online tools to support early detection of exotic species.

Blue Accounting is an initiative led by the Great Lakes Commission and The Nature Conservancy, with help from other government agencies and private organizations.

They’ve developed a “watch list” of species poised to invade the lakes, along with priority surveillance locations and guidelines for monitoring the waters for signs of unwanted fish, plants and invertebrates.

An interactive, GIS-based tool let users explore the data behind risk calculations for locations across the Great Lakes watershed.

Using Blue Accounting’s site prioritization tool, officials can understand how local conditions affect levels of risk for species invasions and decide how to deploy resources where they’re most needed.


Jewelry case’s shatterproof glass thwarts would-be robbers

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A brazen daylight robbery turned into a bizarre bungle as would-be robbers were thwarted by shatterproof glass at a jewelry store near Grand Rapids. reports that two men entered a Jared Galleria of Jewelry store Saturday during business hours with several employees and customers present.

They wore hoods and what were described as ski masks.

Grandville police Sgt. Christine Merryweather says the men used a hammer to try to smash a jewelry case but could not penetrate the shatterproof glass.

They then fled the scene in a dark SUV.


Teen killer of girl seeks parole despite life sentence

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A man who was 16 when he killed a 13-year-old girl in 1986 is pleading for a second chance. reports that Christopher Machacek was sentenced in 1988 to life in prison without parole for the shooting death of Mary Ann Hulbert.

Mary Ann told Machacek on Dec. 30, 1986 that she might be pregnant with his child. Machacek panicked and shot her with a semi-automatic rifle.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that no-parole life sentences for juveniles are cruel and unusual punishment. The Washtenaw County hearing before Judge Darlene O’Brien is to determine whether Machacek “exhibits such irretrievable depravity that rehabilitation is impossible.”

Assistant county prosecutor Anthony Kendrick says Machacek’s admission of culpability is self-serving.

The hearing continues this week.


Teen artists can apply for week-long stay at Isle Royale

HOUGHTON, Mich. (AP) — Young artists interested in developing their talent through a wilderness experience can apply for the Teen Artist Exploration program at Isle Royale National Park.

Two youths will be selected for 2019. Each will spend a week at the Lake Superior park next summer.

They will explore their chosen art form, go hiking and canoeing or take boat tours. An artistic mentor will provide coaching.

Housing will be provided at the park’s Rock Harbor Lodge.

Participants are required to donate a piece of artwork representative of their stay at Isle Royale.

Applications will be accepted from Jan. 2 through Feb. 16. More information is available on the park’s website .


Detroit Zoo opens new habitat for red pandas, rope bridge

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Zoo has opened a new habitat for red pandas.

The Holtzman Wildlife Foundation Red Panda Forest made its debut this month at the zoo in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak. It’s designed to provide a larger and more stimulating naturalistic environment for the pandas. And it seeks to help teach people more about the animals.

The zoo is home to three red pandas. A $500,000 gift from the Holtzman Wildlife Foundation helped fund the roughly $800,000 project.

The habitat has been expanded and features a flowing stream, a larger pathway through the habitat and misting areas to cool the red pandas in the summer. A new rope bridge extends 80 feet (24 meters) through the trees and provides new views of the animals for zoo visitors.


Michigan man celebrates Christmas with wife in nursing home

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) — A 90-year-old Michigan man dressed up as Santa and brought Christmas to a local nursing home so his wife could celebrate the holidays.

The Lansing State Journal reports that Don West sang carols as a guitarist strummed along during a holiday party at Golden Days II Adult Foster Care in Charlotte.

His wife, Jackie West, has been in the home since she suffered her first stroke in 2017.

The couple met at a dance more than 60 years ago. Don West says they still love to dance and pretend to do so while she’s lying in bed.

Don West hasn’t missed a day visiting his wife and plans to spend an even longer visit with her on Christmas Day.

He says they’ve had a great life “and it’s still going.”


MSU museum exhibit to tell story of Nassar abuse survivors

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Hundreds of women who say they were sexually assaulted by now-imprisoned former sports doctor Larry Nassar will be featured in a new exhibit at Michigan State University.

WKAR-AM reports the exhibition will feature teal bows that were tied to trees around campus as a reminder of the survivors. Teal represents support for sexual assault survivors.

The Detroit News reports the exhibit will also show poetry, signs, T-shirts and other teal items Nassar victims and their supporters adopted as the community faced the scandal. Nassar was sentenced to decades in prison for abusing girls and women while he was a sports doctor, including while he was at Michigan State.


For more stories on Larry Nassar and the fallout from his years of sexual abuse of young women and girls: