State Roundup

Evidence sticks in cocaine case against man, 88

DETROIT (AP) — A judge has refused to throw out evidence against an 88-year-old Indiana man who was stopped in southeastern Michigan with more than 200 pounds of cocaine.
Leo Sharp of Michigan City was pulled over in Washtenaw County in 2011, based on a tip to state police by federal drug agents. Sharp’s attorney said the drug seizure was illegal because authorities had no probable cause to stop him. But Detroit federal Judge Nancy Edmunds recently ruled in favor of the government.
A trooper says Sharp was upset when the drugs were discovered and declared, “Just kill me and let me leave this planet.” Sharp later said he was forced at gunpoint to transport the cocaine. But agents say he was not a reluctant drug mule. Trial is set for October.

Bill would ease some penalties for pot possession

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A bill recently introduced in the Michigan House would lessen penalties for residents caught with small amounts of marijuana.
Democratic Rep. Jeff Irwin of Ann Arbor’s legislation would make possession of one ounce or less of marijuana a civil infraction. Fines would be based on whether it’s the first, second or third violation.
Currently, possessing pot can lead to misdemeanor charges with heavy fines and jail time.
Irwin says in a statement that Michigan spends more than $300 million a year arresting and imprisoning marijuana offenders. He says the state’s policies aimed at preventing marijuana use aren’t working.
The bill is also backed by two House Republicans. The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

Officials: Road, utility damage could reach $1M

HOWELL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Officials say road and utility damage believed to have been caused by Enbridge Energy during work on a Michigan oil pipeline replacement project could reach $1 million.
The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus of Howell reports Monday the estimate comes from Mike Craine, the Livingston County Road Commission’s managing director.
Howell Township and county road officials say they believe workers breached water and sewer lines while installing pipeline during the project.
At the time, crews were boring under a roadway. The water line released 150,000 gallons of water. The utility-line accident created sinkholes on the roadway, about 45 miles northwest of Detroit.
Enbridge spokesman Jason Manshum says the company hasn’t determined what caused the line breaks or who is responsible to pay for fixing them.

State plans to fix 2 misspelled signs on Interstate 94 

DETROIT (AP) — State officials plan to correct two big signs along westbound Interstate 94 that misspell the name of a Detroit roadway.
Neal Rubin, a columnist with The Detroit News, reports Monday that Conner Avenue is misspelled as “Connor” on two signs along the freeway in Detroit.
The Michigan Department of Transportation is on the case. Traffic safety and operations engineer Eric Mueller says replacements were being made.
The misspelled markers are part of a current replacement project, and the error apparently came at MDOT’s sign shop in Lansing.

Former mayor Archer to receive Japanese honor

DETROIT (AP) — Former Detroit mayor and state Supreme Court justice Dennis Archer will be honored for his contributions in strengthening ties between the United States and Japan.
The Consulate General of Japan office in Detroit announced Monday that Archer has been chosen to receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon.
Japan says Archer’s recognition of social and economic contributions made by the Japanese business community in the Detroit area, promotion of understanding and goodwill between the two countries and participation in international conferences in Japan were considered in his selection.
The conferment ceremony is scheduled for June 3 in Detroit.
Archer served as Detroit mayor from 1994 to 2001. He was on the Michigan Supreme Court from 1986 to 1990.?