State Roundup

Medical marijuana facility partners with rap celebrity

OTISVILLE, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan medical marijuana facility is partnering with a member of the Grammy-winning rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to cultivate and distribute a new strain of medical marijuana.
The Green Oasis and Stanley “Flesh-N-Bone” Howse have agreed to work together on “Phifty Caliber Kush,” which they say has a noticeable floral taste and is an effective pain reliever.
The Flint-area dispensary’s owner, Anthony Butler, calls the new pot strain “the best of the best.”
Flesh-n-Bone Global executive Michael “Tony B.” Bernardi tells The Flint Journal that Howse hopes the product can provide relief for any qualified, verified patient.
In addition to distributing “Phifty Caliber Kush,” The Green Oasis could begin selling merchandise and possibly host a visit from Howse.
Michigan voters approved marijuana for some chronic medical conditions in 2008.

Cities wonder if new levy for public safety will stand

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan cities say they want to make sure of the legality of a levy that would help them replace revenue lost from a cut in business taxes.
A law signed late last year gradually phases out hundreds of millions in taxes that Michigan businesses annually pay on equipment. The plan is dependent on voter approval in 2014.
Local governments could be reimbursed 100 percent of lost revenue that’s spent on police, fire, jail and ambulance services. Local officials said this week they’re worried that the assessment on businesses to make up for lost funding may not be legal because such levies typically pay for specific projects like street repairs — not general police spending.
The Michigan Municipal League says it’s working with the Snyder administration and others on the issue.

Settlement over race-based note included money

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Documents show a Michigan hospital agreed to pay an undisclosed amount of money as part of a settlement following an accusation that it agreed to a man’s request that no black nurses care for his newborn.
The settlement agreement was released Tuesday by Hurley Medical Center in Flint following a request from The Flint Journal.
The suit was filed by nurse Tonya Battle, who alleged a note was posted on an assignment clipboard reading, “No African American nurse to take care of baby.”
She says it was later removed, but that black nurses weren’t assigned to the baby’s care. Battle and the hospital say the father showed Battle’s supervisor a swastika tattoo.
Some other nurses joined the suit. Settlement terms weren’t released when the settlement was announced last month.

Williston, N.D.
Bond set at $1M for suspect in ND stabbing homicide

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Bond has been set at $1 million for a Michigan man accused of stabbing to death his friend and roommate at an oil field crew camp in western North Dakota.
Thirty-one-year-old Ryan Anderson is charged with murdering 32-year-old Christopher King after an alcohol-fueled dispute early Sunday, and attempted murder for allegedly trying to stab another man. Authorities say Anderson and King were longtime friends who moved from Michigan to work in North Dakota’s oil fields.
The Forum reports that Anderson appeared in court Tuesday without an attorney. Court documents do not list an attorney for him.
The Williston Herald reports that court documents indicate King and others at the crew camp intervened in a fight between Anderson and his girlfriend early Sunday, and Anderson allegedly stabbed King four times.

Williamstown Twp.
Woman’s effort to keep farm animals draws supporters

WILLIAMSTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A woman’s effort to keep goats, chickens, pot belly pigs and rabbits on her mid-Michigan property is drawing support from online donors.
Thirty-six-year-old Jessica Hudson tells the Lansing State Journal for a story Thursday that $12,000 has been pledged to support her legal dispute with Ingham County’s Williamstown Township. She says the Right to Farm Act should protect her.
The dispute began last year. The township board voted this month to take legal action to force the removal of the animals from her 1.5-acre Sweet Peas Farm. The board cited a township ordinance that prohibits farm animals in an area zoned for single-family homes.
Hudson, her husband and her five children, ages 2 to 11, moved from nearby Lansing in order to keep farm animals on their property.

Sheriff’s deputy gets $200K in breast pumping case

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A county board has approved a roughly $200,000 settlement with a southwestern Michigan sheriff’s deputy who said a sergeant videotaped her while she was in a private office pumping breast milk for her newborn.
The Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a payment of about $130,000 to the employee and her spouse, plus $69,000 in attorney fees, reported. There’s no lawsuit in the case and the agreement followed meetings with a mediator.
Thom Canny, the county’s corporation counsel, declined to identify the employee or her job title. A request in December for a special prosecutor to review whether criminal charges are merited in the case identified her as a deputy.
No charges have been announced in the case.
The sergeant involved has since resigned from the sheriff’s office, Canny said. Neither the sergeant nor anyone else in the sheriff’s office viewed the videotape, he said.
The sergeant “contends it was an accidental taping,” Canny said.
The settlement aims to protect the woman’s privacy. As part of the agreement, she also will get eight lost days of sick time and the sheriff’s office will have to provide a comfortable, private area for women to nurse — regardless of whether they are employees, Canny said.
Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller has denied that the woman’s privacy was invaded. Fuller has agreed to schedule employee training on sexual harassment issues, something that was already was in the works before the deputy’s case arose, Canny said.

Ann Arbor
Michigan files $3.1M tax lien against Google

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Treasury Department has filed a $3.1 million tax lien against Google Inc., which has an advertising sales office in Ann Arbor.
The Lansing State Journal reports  that the lien includes two Michigan business tax assessments for $1.7 million and $1.4 million. The notice was signed Nov. 27 by Deputy Treasurer Richard Darling and recorded by the Ingham County Register of Deeds office Jan. 18.
The lien listed the Internet search company’s California address and provided no additional information.
Michigan Treasury spokesman Terry Stanton says the department “cannot publicly discuss or otherwise disclose information about particular liens.”
Matt Kallman, Google’s communications and public affairs manager, said in an email that the Mountain View, Calif.-based company isn’t commenting on the lien.