State Roundup


Union wins round in dispute tied to Right to Work 
TAYLOR, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit-area school district has won a key decision in a dispute over an unusual labor deal that was struck before the state’s Right to Work law began last year.
Three teachers in Taylor are challenging a 10-year agreement that forces teachers to pay dues or a service fee to a union. The deal between the district and the Taylor Federation of Teachers was made last year, shortly before a new Michigan law made union membership voluntary in various industries.
An administrative law judge is recommending that the Michigan Employment Relations Commission dismiss the complaint. Julia Stern says there’s nothing illegal about Taylor and the union reaching a deal before the new law began in late March.
The teachers are represented by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation in Midland.

Iron Mountain
Police chase of Wis. teen ends with Mich. crash 
IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (AP) — Police say a 15-year-old Wisconsin boy driving a stolen vehicle rammed a Michigan State Police vehicle, causing a crash that injured him and two troopers.
Michigan State Police say they were notified Monday morning by Wisconsin authorities that the stolen vehicle was headed into Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Iron Mountain police chased the vehicle through the Michigan city’s downtown and state troopers also pursued the vehicle.
Police say the boy hit the trooper’s vehicle in Dickinson County’s Breitung Township, near Iron Mountain.
The troopers and the boy were taken to a hospital, where they were treated for what were described by police as minor injuries.
The boy was being held and is expected to face charges.
Area musicians welcome to enter $10,000 contest 
DETROIT (AP) — Vocalists and instrumentalists from the Detroit area have until Feb. 1 to enter a $10,000 competition designed to showcase the region’s young musical talent.
The arts and youth development nonprofit Sphinx Organization is hosting its second annual Sphinx Stars: Detroit contest.
It’s open to musicians ages 18 and under from Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties.
Entrants must submit a three- to five-minute video audition. Those who are unable to make a video due to lack of access to technology can contact the Sphinx office to make audition arrangements.
There’s a $15 application fee, which can be waived by submitting an email request.
Nine finalists will be chosen to perform live on the Sphinx Stars: Detroit finale, to be aired in the spring on Detroit Public Television.
Grand Rapids
Strangler throws reading table at sentencing judge 
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A man who strangled his girlfriend to keep her from implicating him in a stabbing threw a reading table Monday at a judge who’d just sentenced him to 50 to 100 years in prison.
Jahleel Hoskins killed 26-year-old Latrice Maze, a mother of five, to prevent her from telling police about a non-fatal stabbing, according to Grand Rapids authorities. She disappeared in March, and her body has never been found.
Hoskins, 26, was in the middle of his trial in Kent County Circuit Court when he accepted a deal and pleaded guilty Dec. 11 to second-degree murder. He’d been charged with an open murder count, and the deal let him avoid the risk of being convicted of first-degree murder, which carries mandatory life imprisonment without parole. He already is serving 25 to 75 years for the stabbing.
Before the sentencing, Maze’s mother, Wanda Rose, told the court that she has tried to explain to her grandchildren about their mom’s disappearance. Rose said shortly after her daughter went missing, Hoskins joined searches and vigils in honor of Maze.
“After you killed her, you had a party in her house,” Rose said. “What kind of person are you?”
Hoskins also spoke before the sentencing, making a weepy apology to Maze’s family and saying he didn’t mean to kill her. He told Judge James R. Redford that he deeply loved Maze, reported.
“Before this happened, everybody looked at me as a good person,” Hoskins said. “In the blink of an eye, I’m a monster.”
Redford told Hoskins that he made the crime worse by dumping Maze’s body in the garbage for likely incineration. That denied the family the chance for a funeral and burial, the judge said before issuing the sentence.
Hearing that he would spend at least a half-century behind bars, the handcuffed prisoner threw a reading table toward Redford’s bench and lumbered forward until court deputies dragged him from the courtroom, his face contorted in anger. Hoskins then started screaming at the victim’s family.
No injuries were reported.