State Roundup

Hospital debuts patient gown with more coverage

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit hospital has a new patient gown that aims to offer a little more style, comfort and — perhaps most importantly — rear coverage for patients.
Resembling a wrap-around robe, the gown closes in the back and front and is made of a thicker, cotton and polyester blend than a typical gown to keep patients warmer. It has three snaps, instead of ties, to close it, and it’s accessible for IVs and other medical lines.
“A simple change can have a large impact on the patients’ stay at a hospital,” said Michael Forbes, a product designer at the Henry Ford Innovation Institute and graduate of the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
The new gown is being used on several inpatient floors at Henry Ford Hospital after about two years of work on its design, the hospital said.
The gown was developed by the Henry Ford Innovation Institute in collaboration with the College for Creative Studies. The “No. 1 goal was to close the backside of the gown,” Forbes said in a statement Monday, and officials hope to license the design to an existing manufacturer.

Grand Haven
Shipwrecks being revealed by low lakes identified

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — Researchers have identified three shipwrecks found exposed in West Michigan waters by lower Great Lakes levels. reports Holland-based Michigan Shipwreck Research Association on Monday said one is the L.L. Barth, a 160-foot-long, iron-clad wooden vessel. The shipwreck is located near Grand Haven’s Harbor Island, along with a barge and a 50-foot tug boat named Liberty.
The vessels once were hidden beneath the water, but low lake levels made them visible to onlookers.
The three shipwrecks join five other deteriorating structures discovered by the association in the past year as a result of low water levels. In December, the group discovered the Aurora, a 290-foot wooden steamer, along with four other vessels at Harbor Island.

2 militia members sue authorities over 2010 raids

DETROIT (AP) — Two members of a Michigan-based militia acquitted last year of plotting to overthrow the U.S. government have filed a federal lawsuit against three FBI agents and a state police trooper.
Michael Meeks of Manchester and Thomas Piatek of Whiting, Ind., say their constitutional rights were violated during raids on their homes in 2010.
The two Hutaree (hoo-TAR’-ee) members as well as three members of Meeks’ family filed the lawsuit late last month in U.S. District Court in Detroit.
The Detroit Free Press reports the plaintiffs are seeking at least $25,000 in damages for each of the suit’s 16 counts.
Both FBI spokesman Simon Shaykhet and Michigan State Police spokeswoman Tiffany Brown said Tuesday they had no comment.

Michigan criminal justice agencies receive $1.2M

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Criminal justice agencies across Michigan are getting $1.2 million in federal grants to strengthen anti-drug and crime-fighting efforts.
The funding was announced Tuesday by Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan State Police. The grants come from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program and are focused on technology enhancements.
Agencies receiving funding have until July 31 to spend the money. A list of awards is posted online.
Byrne JAG grants are named in honor of New York City police Officer Edward Byrne, who was fatally shot in 1988 on orders from a drug dealer.

$10,000 reward offered in death of EMU student

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — A $10,000 reward is being offered for information in the case of a 23-year-old Eastern Michigan University student whose December death was ruled a homicide.
The family of Julia Niswender told that the reward is being offered by Duvall Group Investigations PLLC, whose owner is a family friend. Kim Turnquist, Niswender’s mother, said that the family hasn’t hired the private investigator.
“We are confident that the (Ypsilanti) Police Department will find justice for Julia and my family,” Turnquist said.
Niswender was a Monroe native and was an undergraduate at the Ypsilanti school. Her body was found in her bedroom Dec. 11 at an apartment across the street from the campus police station in Ypsilanti. Her death is under investigation by police.
“We are just really hoping that this helps spread the word and helps catch whoever did this as soon as possible,” said Niswender’s twin sister Jennifer.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Michigan State Police or the Ypsilanti Police Department.

Key defendant in mortgage fraud case sentenced

DETROIT (AP) — A key defendant in a case involving wide-ranging mortgage fraud with losses around $100 million has been sentenced to 13 years in prison.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Detroit says 45-year-old Ronnie Duke of Fenton also was ordered Monday to pay a $1 million fine and $94 million in restitution.
The Detroit News reports Duke told a federal judge that he had “no one to blame” for his “own greed and stupidity” that led him to turn to mortgage fraud. Duke spoke of a life “so reckless” that led him to spend money on hot rods, sports cars and a helicopter.
Authorities say the fraud lasted four years until summer 2007 and involved more than 450 loans and 100 straw buyers. Fifteen others previously have been sentenced in the case.