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KIDNAPPING-GUILTY PLEA

Man who kidnapped, assaulted woman gets life sentence

CHICAGO (AP) — A Michigan man who pleaded guilty to kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman after burglarizing her suburban Chicago home has been sentenced to life in prison.

In addition to the life sentence, Carleous Clay received an additional 10-year term for attempting to take a prison caseworker hostage inside the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.

In a July plea agreement, Clay of Holland, Michigan admitted he broke into a Lansing, Illinois, home in September 2015 and stole several items. When he returned later that night to steal more items the woman was home. Clay kidnapped the woman and drove her to Munster, Indiana, where he withdrew $140 from her bank account, then sexually assaulted her. Clay later strangled the woman and tried to set her on fire.

Prosecutors say the woman survived but suffered permanent injuries.

DISMEMBERED BODY

Michigan man to stand trial in slaying, dismemberment

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A 29-year-old western Michigan man will stand trial in a woman’s slaying and dismemberment.

Jared Chance was bound over Friday to Kent County Circuit Court following testimony in a district court hearing. He is charged with murder, mutilation of a body, concealing a death and tampering with evidence in the death of 31-year-old Ashley Young of Oshtemo Township, southeast of Grand Rapids.

Young’s torso was found Dec. 2 in the basement of Chance’s Grand Rapids rental home. She was last seen alive on Nov. 29.

A forensic pathologist testified the body appeared to have been cut with an electric saw.

Chance’s 76-year-old father, James, and his 63-year-old mother, Barbara, will stand trial on perjury and accessory after the fact charges. They are accused of not informing police about what happened .

MICHIGAN SCHOOL-GUN

10-year-old charged after taking gun to mid-Michigan school

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A 10-year-old boy is facing charges after taking a loaded handgun to his mid-Michigan school.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said Friday the boy is charged with two felonies, carrying a concealed weapon and felonious assault, and a misdemeanor charge of having a weapon in a weapons-free zone.

Leyton tells WJRT-TV the handgun was stolen, but it’s unclear where the boy got it.

Police say the boy made fellow students at Eagle’s Nest Academy in Flint aware that he had the gun Thursday morning, and one of them took it to administrators in the school’s office. No one was injured.

The boy’s in custody at the Genesee County Regional Detention Center, located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Detroit.

TEACHER CHARGED-SEXUAL ASSAULTS

Michigan teacher charged in sex case involving 2 students

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A 26-year-old former suburban Detroit teacher has been charged with six counts of criminal sexual conduct involving two teenage boys, ages 16 and 17.

Kathryn Houghtaling was arraigned Friday in Rochester Hills District Court. She has been fired from her job at Rochester High School, north of Detroit.

Authorities say the incidents took place at a home and in a vehicle in November and December.

Houghtaling was a special education teacher for one of the students. Defense attorney Zachary Glaza said in court Friday that the student was assigned to Houghtaling’s classroom due to a reading deficiency.

Houghtaling of Sterling Heights was jailed on a $200,000 bond. She returns to court Jan. 24 for a probable cause conference and Jan. 30 for a preliminary examination.

DETROIT RECORDING STUDIO

Historic music recording studio in Detroit bought by state

DETROIT (AP) — A historic Detroit music studio where stars such as Aretha Franklin and Miles Davis recorded has been bought by the state to preserve the building during a freeway project.

Michigan’s Transportation department says Friday that United Sound Systems will be relocated to an adjacent parking lot to allow more distance from proposed retaining walls along Interstate 94.

The studio produced the first single for the Tamla Records label which later became Berry Gordy’s Motown Records. It closed in the mid-2000s and was targeted for demolition in 2013 under a plan to widen I-94.

The state spent $1.7 million from the freeway project’s right of way funds for the building, lot and studio equipment.

The building will remain inside a historical district. Transportation officials say they will work to sell it after it’s moved.

DETROIT MUSEUM-FUTURE

Plan seeks to link Detroit cultural institutions

DETROIT (AP) — Design options will soon be revealed for a plan that seeks to link nearly a dozen major institutions in Detroit and make the area more walkable.

The Detroit News reports that the Detroit Institute of Arts and nonprofit Midtown Detroit Inc. are spearheading the project. The effort seeks to redesign the area around the institute and create pedestrian spaces connecting to other nearby institutions, including Wayne State University, the main Detroit Public Library and the Detroit Historical Museum.

The Detroit Institute of Arts launched the project design competition. Three finalist teams will unveil their designs at the institute on Jan. 23. The winning design will be selected in the spring.

Organizers say the project could cost between $75 million to $85 million. Foundations, grants and corporations will fund it.

BAKER COLLEGE-CONSOLIDATION

Baker College plans to close some sites in consolidation

(Information from: The Flint Journal, http://www.mlive.com/flint)

FLINT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Baker College plans to close several of its Michigan campuses as part of a consolidation effort that’s designed to strengthen its future educational offerings.

The Flint Journal reports the school said Thursday it plans to close its Flint Township campus by the end of August 2020 and move operations to its Owosso campus. The newspaper says Baker College also plans to move operations from Allen Park, Auburn Hills, and Clinton Township to a flagship Detroit-area location.

A school statement says: “Brick-and-mortar campuses are not obsolete but evolving.” It says the school “will be able to combine resources and student bodies resulting in a more focused, streamlined enterprise for the next century.” Affected students will get scholarship packages.

Baker College traces its roots back more than 100 years to Flint.

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DTE ENERGY-METERS

DTE replacing 7,500 meters in deal with regulators

DETROIT (AP) — DTE Energy says it will replace 7,500 high-tech electricity meters to ensure they’re not transmitting information against the wishes of customers.

The so-called smart meters have been installed across DTE’s service territory in southeastern Michigan. They allow the utility to collect electricity usage without sending someone to each home. But some customers with the new meter are willing to pay roughly $10 a month to have someone read it.

Spokesman Pete Ternes says DTE found 12 percent of meters on the opt-out list were still transmitting data. The utility told state regulators it will replace all 7,500 meters this year and ensure they don’t have transmitting equipment inside.

The deal was part of a recent settlement with regulators over problems with shut-offs. Ternes says the meters were a separate issue.

GENERAL MOTORS-FORECAST

GM raises 2018 forecast, predicts stronger 2019 earnings

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors strengthened its pretax profit estimate for 2018 and predicted even stronger performance for 2019 as it executives made a presentation to investors on Friday.

CEO Mary Barra also says the company doesn’t foresee any further job cuts through 2020. Last year GM announced plans to close five North American factories and lay off 14,000 salaried and blue-collar workers.

The company predicts 2018 pretax profits will be higher than the $5.80 to $6.20 range it forecast in the third quarter. For 2019, it expects that to increase to $6.50 to $7.

The rosy profit forecast comes despite declining sales for the company in the U.S. and slowing sales in China. GM also plans to exit several car lines in the U.S. in the coming year.