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Prosecutors: Story of man urinating on black girl made up
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Prosecutors say charges have been dropped against a man accused of urinating on a 5-year-old black girl in western Michigan because children made up the story.
The Kent County Prosecutor’s Office said Friday the charges were dropped after authorities determined the children made up the story “to avoid trouble.” It says one child urinated on another child and they concocted the story.
The girl’s parents called Grand Rapids police on Wednesday evening and reported that a roughly 60-year-old white man had urinated on her and called her a racial slur about 20 minutes earlier. Police say they canvased the neighborhood and identified as suspect, who was taken into custody after he arrived at his home.
Police said at the time another 5-year-old and two 7-year-old children witnessed what happened.
Man pleads guilty after son, 3, accidentally shot himself
DETROIT (AP) — Prosecutors say a Detroit man has pleaded guilty to child abuse and weapons charges stemming from his 3-year-old son picking up a loaded gun and accidentally shooting and wounding himself.
The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said Friday that Melvin Cooley Cline III entered the plea Friday and is scheduled to be sentenced September 13.
The boy was rushed to a hospital May 8 and treated for stomach wounds. Police said his parents initially reported the shot came from outside the home, but investigators knocked down that story.
The prosecutor’s office says Cline was arguing with the child’s mother when the boy picked up the gun in the living room.
Bill Clinton, Smokey Robinson to speak at Franklin funeral
NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton, Smokey Robinson, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Cicely Tyson will be among the speakers at Aretha Franklin’s funeral next week.
Franklin’s rep, Gwendolyn Quinn, says other speakers will include former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, music mogul Clive Davis, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Bishop T.D. Jakes.
Clinton and the Queen of Soul were longtime friends. She sang at both of his inaugurations. Robinson and Franklin grew up together in Detroit.
Franklin died last Thursday of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. Her funeral will be held in Detroit at Greater Grace Temple next Friday.
The Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. will deliver the eulogy. He is pastor of Salem Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Flu strain identified as sickening 120 at Michigan meeting
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Health officials have identified a flu strain that sickened about 120 people from at least 25 states who attended a convention in Grand Rapids.
The Kent County Health Department and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said Friday that results obtained from Michigan residents confirms three positive cases of Influenza A (H1N1), also known as swine flu.
They say tests conducted by agencies in other states also have also confirmed the H1N1 strain that emerged in 2009 and has been circulating ever since. It has been part of the flu vaccine since 2010.
The Kent County agency says the people who were sickened attended the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association convention at DeVos Place from Aug. 14-17.
Most people who get the flu recover in a few days.
Mississippi factory moves, investing $9.5M and hiring 250
FLOWERS, Miss. (AP) — A commercial kitchen equipment company will relocate a factory in Mississippi, investing $9.5 million and creating 250 jobs.
Unified Brands, a unit of Dover Corp. of Downers Grove, Illinois, made the announcement Friday.
The company says it will rent an industrial park building near Vicksburg, relocating 175 employees now in Byram and increasing total employment to 425.
Unified Brands says it will shift work to Mississippi from Oklahoma and Michigan.
Mississippi Development Authority spokeswoman Tammy Craft says the state will give $2.1 million to relocate equipment and $250,000 for worker training. Local governments will give $200,000. Craft says local governments will offer property tax breaks, but projected value isn’t yet available.
Unified Brands says it will start Warren County production in January. The company isn’t announcing worker pay rates.
Detroit police arrest 2 teens in firefighter’s slaying
DETROIT (AP) — Detroit police say two 18-year-old men have been arrested in the fatal shooting of an off-duty Detroit firefighter.
Capt. Michael McGinnis says a second suspect in the slaying of 29-year-old Jack Wiley Jr. was arrested Friday in Detroit, a day after the first arrest occurred in Dearborn. Neither of their names has been released.
McGinnis says the second man arrested is believed to have been an acquaintance of Wiley.
A motive for the slaying hasn’t been released.
A relative found Wiley dead Tuesday in his Detroit house. His car had been stolen, but was recovered a few hours after police were called to the scene.
Wiley was the son of a firefighter and had been with the Detroit department for four years.
Formerly fugitive deadbeat sentenced, ordered to pay $534K
(Information from: Kalamazoo Gazette, http://www.mlive.com/kalamazoo)
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A man who was wanted for nearly 20 years for not paying child support in southwestern Michigan has been sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $534,000 in restitution.
The Kalamazoo Gazette reports Joseph Stroup also was sentenced in Grand Rapids federal court this week to one year of supervised release. The 65-year-old Stroup pleaded guilty in May.
Stroup was known as Joop Cousteau before his arrest earlier this year in Canada after a restaurateur found him on a U.S. government website that listed “wanted deadbeats.” The government says his overdue support for four children in Van Buren County exceeded $500,000.
Stroup was ordered to pay child support during a 1989 divorce. Investigators say he fled, despite selling an internet business for more than $2 million.
Matt Morgan wins ballot spot in congressional race
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A retired Marine Corps officer who is seeking a seat in Congress will get a November ballot spot after a successful write-in campaign.
Matt Morgan, a Democrat from Traverse City, is running against Republican U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman. The Board of State Canvassers said Friday that Morgan had enough write-in votes in the Aug. 7 primary election to qualify for the general election.
Morgan calls it a win for voters in northern Michigan’s 1st District. His name wasn’t listed on the primary ballot because of a technicality. Morgan had listed a post office box on his nominating petitions.
The district includes 32 counties in the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula.
Wind, high wave warnings posted for Lake Michigan beaches
GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — The National Weather Service is warning swimmers about risky weekend conditions at some of the Michigan’s most popular Lake Michigan beaches.
Swimmers are likely to find high waves, possible rip currents and strong winds, from Friday through Saturday afternoon, especially at beaches from Ottawa to Mason counties.
The weather service is specifically pointing at Grand Haven State Park in Grand Haven and Pere Marquette State Park in Muskegon. High waves will cover piers.
Water hazards are also posted from Manistee north to Leelanau counties.
1 Michigan resident dies from West Nile virus; 8 cases
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — At least one person has died from West Nile virus in Michigan.
The state health department says there have been eight human cases so far this year, including five in Wayne County.
Michigan’s chief medical executive, Dr. Eden Wells, says West Nile is a threat until the weather cools off. The virus is passed through bites from infected mosquitoes.
Older people are vulnerable, especially if they have other health problems. Most people who become infected will not develop any symptoms, but some become sick three to 15 days after exposure.