State Roundup

 Lansing

Survey: Mich. seat belt use holds steady in 2013 
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Officials say seat belt use among Michigan motorists is holding relatively steady from a year ago.
The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning on Wednesday released results of a Wayne State University Transportation Research Group survey conducted over the summer. For the second consecutive year, it found 93 percent of drivers and front seat passengers buckled up.
According to the findings, the state says there was an overall marginal decrease of 0.6 percent from 2012 in the statewide seat belt use rate.

Battle Creek
Activists: Kellogg can save tigers by dropping palm oil 
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — Activists are planning a rally at Kellogg Co. headquarters in Battle Creek to urge the cereal giant to stop using palm oil in its products.
Much of the world’s palm oil comes from Indonesia, where rain forests are being destroyed for new plantations. The forests provide hunting grounds for the Sumatran tiger, which is on the verge of extinction. Only about 400 are believed to remain.
A group called the Forest Heroes Campaign is leading the demonstration Wednesday. They say they’ll deliver thousands of petitions and letters to Kellogg in a giant cereal bowl. Among the participants will be activists dressed as Kellogg’s mascot, Tony the Tiger.
The petitions ask Kellogg to stop using palm oil and not to deal with companies that destroy Sumatran tiger habitat.

Cleon Township
Officials probe Manistee Co. bear poaching incident
CLEON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — State officials are investigating the shooting death of a female black bear in Michigan’s northwestern Lower Peninsula as a case of poaching.
The state Department of Natural Resources says conservation officers were called to investigate the shotgun killing of the bear near a hunting blind on public land in Manistee County’s Cleon Township, located southwest of Traverse City. It was shot about 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
The DNR says three bear cubs are believed to have been orphaned as a result of the killing.
The shooting happened during firearms deer season. Conservation officers are seeking tips from the public and are seeking to interview a male who was spotted at the scene. 
 
Marysville
Feds must return $136K to Thumb restaurant owners 
MARYSVILLE, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the government to return $136,000 to the owners of a Chinese restaurant in the Port Huron area.
Judge Sean Cox says the government missed a deadline to file the case in court.
The money was seized last year by the Internal Revenue Service. The owners of China Lite restaurant in Marysville were accused of making bank deposits of less than $10,000 to avoid mandatory reporting to the government.
The owners denied any wrongdoing, and no charges have been filed. The owners made a claim to get the money back. That triggered a 90-day deadline for the government to file the case in court, but the deadline was missed by a day.
The case isn’t over: Taxpayers could be ordered to pay $58,000 in legal fees.
 
Mount Clemens
Woman gets jail for her spag­hetti bomb bank heist  
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) — A woman who used cans of spaghetti sauce to simulate a bomb when she robbed a suburban Detroit bank has been sentenced at least four years, five months in prison.
Police say 53-year-old parole absconder Ophelia A. Neal robbed a Fifth Third Bank branch on April 6 in Macomb County’s Clinton Township. It’s about 15 miles north-northeast of Detroit.
Neal pleaded guilty Oct. 7 to bank robbery and explosives charges. 

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