State Roundup


Spielberg to join Detroit Symphony at benefit concert
DETROIT (AP) — Director Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams will join the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for a special benefit concert on June 14.
Williams will conduct the DSO as it performs selections from some of his most popular scores, including “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter,” “Jaws,” “E.T.,” “Indiana Jones,” “Schindler’s List” and more.
Spielberg will join Williams to host the second half of the evening. He’ll present selections from his decades-long artistic collaboration with Williams, including selected film clips projected on an oversized screen above the orchestra.
Tickets will be available starting April 14 for the concert, which will benefit the Detroit Symphony. Both Spielberg and Williams are donating their services for the event.
Williams last conducted the DSO in 2008.
Convict ac­cused of assault against U.S. prosecutor
DETROIT (AP) — Authorities say a Flint-area man convicted in a fraud scheme attacked a federal prosecutor during a court appearance in Detroit.
Ronnie Duke fled in June after being sentenced to 13 years in prison for his role in a wide-ranging mortgage fraud. The 46-year-old from Fenton was arrested in Saline Monday morning, more than eight months after failing to surrender to prison officials.
U.S. District Court spokesman Rod Hansen says Duke assaulted a female prosecutor when he made an appearance in federal court Monday afternoon.
According to Hansen, Duke lunged at the woman following his arraignment.
Marshals subdued Duke, and although medical personnel were called, the prosecutor opted to take herself to an area hospital.
Duke’s former lawyer, Harold Gurewitz, says he hasn’t heard from Duke since he fled last year.
Massive copper chunk could be taken from park 
MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) — A massive piece of copper that’s a popular draw for school kids and tourists at a park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula could be removed if a $255,000 fundraising goal isn’t met.
The 28.2-ton piece was found by two men using a metal detector in 1997, The Mining Journal of Marquette reported. It was loaned to Marquette’s Presque Isle Park in 2010, with the idea that the community would eventually buy it.
The piece found near Hancock is what’s known as glacial float copper because it was naturally formed and carried or floated along by a glacier. The piece sits on a berm across from the Superior Watershed Partnership’s office, and visitors often pose with it.
“Time is running out,” said Carl Lindquist, executive director of the partnership. “We have to raise the money this year.”
The copper piece, Lindquist said, has become a community asset.
“We see thousands of people stop every year,” Lindquist said. “It’s amazing. We talk to a lot of them and some of them, it’s one of the main reasons they’re coming to the park.”
The partnership is among those who want the copper to stay put, and the Marquette County Community Foundation has established a special fund for the effort. If the money isn’t raised, Lindquist said, the copper piece could be removed and melted down for industrial use.
The Marquette County Community Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer Gail Anthony said an original deadline for purchasing the copper passed and that the owners allowed an extension. Officials in Marquette aren’t identifying the owners of the copper piece.
It ended up in Marquette mainly due to the efforts of Upper Peninsula historian Fred Rydholm, who died in 2009 before it relocated.
“They know they can sell it on the commercial market, but they’d rather not do that,” Lindquist said of the owners. “Fred is the one who worked with them. They are also supportive of Fred’s dream for the copper. They’d like to see the money raised and save it from being smelted.”
3 to face charges in illegal killing of cougar in U.P.  
MANISTIQUE, Mich. (AP) — Prosecutors are expected to charge three men who state wildlife officials say illegally killed a cougar in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Lt. Skip Hagy tells The Bay City Times that the Schoolcraft County prosecutor’s office is bringing charges. Hagy says the Bay County men are to be arraigned March 5 in Schoolcraft County District Court.
Names of the men weren’t immediately released.
Cougars are also known as mountain lions and are classified in Michigan as an endangered species. Hagy didn’t specify what charges the men would face. The penalty for illegally killing one in Michigan is up to 90 days in jail and restitution up to $2,500.
The DNR earlier said the cougar was killed in December at a hunting camp in northeast Schoolcraft County.

Judge dismisses charges against oil line protester 
FREDONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A judge on Monday dismissed charges against a Kalamazoo man who spent 10 hours inside an oil pipeline under construction in southern Michigan.
Calhoun County Circuit Judge James Kingsley threw out charges of trespassing and obstructing police against 35-year-old Christopher Wahmhoff for the June 24, 2013, protest at an Enbridge Inc. pipeline site in Fredonia Township, near Marshall.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Matt Smith said his office will file resisting police charges against Wahmhoff, the Battle Creek Enquirer reported.
Wahmhoff’s lawyer, John Royal, said the case should not have been sent to trial because sheriff’s deputies did not order Wahmhoff to leave the pipe.
“There was never an unequivocal order that you come out forthwith,” Royal said. “The evidence failed to establish that the officer ever gave the defendant a specific command to immediately come out of the pipe. He was not ordered out of the pipe at all. He only requested him to come out.”
Kingsley agreed in January and upheld his earlier finding Monday.
The protest was part of an effort to halt the Calgary, Alberta-based company from building a new line. The site is near where an Enbridge line ruptured in 2010, spilling 800,000 gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River system and causing persisting pollution problems.
The line runs from Sarnia, Ontario, to Griffith, Ind.
Allen Park
State lawmakers look at pigeon keeping practices 
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — A dispute over homing pigeons in a Detroit suburb could lead to a change in decades-old Michigan law.
Democratic state Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood of Taylor sponsored a bill to allow municipalities to regulate pigeon-keeping practices. Hopgood tells the Detroit Free Press the bill would prevent outright bans.
Michael Morris has dozens of homing pigeons that roost in specially made lofts behind his Allen Park home. The 56-year-old loves driving the birds hundreds of miles away, then going back home to sit in a lawn chair and watch as they come back.
Neighbor Mary Ferenc says she’s tired of hosing pigeon droppings off her property.
Current law allows people to obtain permits to keep pigeons if they can prove housing is clean and orderly.
Man dies after attacking woman, burning house 
HANCOCK, Mich. (AP) — Upper Peninsula authorities say a man died after assaulting his girlfriend and setting his house on fire.
The attack happened about 5 p.m. Friday in Hancock.
Police Chief Mike Beaudoin says the man assaulted his girlfriend before starting the blaze.
The Daily Mining Gazette of Houghton says that Houghton County Sheriff’s Department deputies entered the house with shields and found the man and woman.
Authorities say emergency crews took both to Portage Health. Beaudoin says the woman was bleeding from a head injury.
Police haven’t identified the man or woman. The Associated Press left a phone message Monday seeking information on the cause of the man’s death from the county medical examiner, Dr. Dawn Nulf.