State Roundup


City to host big conference on vacant properties
DETROIT (AP) — People representing government, business and nonprofits from around the country are expected in Detroit next year to discuss issues related to vacant properties.
The Flint-based Center for Community Progress says in a statement the sixth national “Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference” will take place May 19-21. It’s scheduled for the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center and is expected to draw 700 to 1,000 people.
The theme is “Beyond Blight: Building a Bold Movement,” exploring the latest tools to combat vacancy and move beyond neighborhood blight. 
Buena Vista Twp
Authorities: Man crushed at steel plant has died
BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a 31-year-old worker has died after being crushed at a steel plant near Saginaw.
The Saginaw News reports crews responded about 9:45 p.m. Monday to Peerless Steel in Saginaw County’s Buena Vista Township and the man was dead at the scene.
Police say the man was crushed when a load of 3,100 pounds of steel rods shifted and pinned him against a steel shelf. Buena Vista Township Acting Chief of Police Sean Waterman says the man was loading the rods onto a trailer at the time.
Peerless Steel says it’s cooperating with police during the investigation.

Cancer doc wants trial moved from the Detroit area
DETROIT (AP) — A cancer specialist accused of fraud is returning to court to learn if his trial will be moved out of southeastern Michigan.
Attorneys for Dr. Farid Fata say publicity about the case has poisoned the jury pool. They say the allegations are well-known and widely believed long before a trial.
Federal Judge Paul Borman is holding a court hearing Tuesday in Detroit.
The Oakland County doctor is charged with committing fraud to enrich himself through health insurance programs. The government says some patients were repeatedly exposed to powerful drugs despite having no cancer. He denies it.
In a separate matter, lawyer Christopher Andreoff wants the public to pay for his defense of Fata. He says Fata has run out of money to pay him. 

Davison Twp
60-pound tortoise home after days slowly on the lam
DAVISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 60-pound runaway tortoise is back home in Michigan after disappearing for several days and making it about a half-mile during that time.
The Flint Journal reports the pet named Franklin strayed Thursday from his home in Genesee County’s Davison Township and was found on Sunday.
Owner Chris Breuhan says family members walked his 10-acre property and started putting up flyers to see whether anyone had spotted Franklin. It turns out that the man who found him saw one of the flyers, and Franklin was brought back home.
Breuhan says he was concerned that Franklin might get run over by a vehicle in the rural area, which is roughly 50 miles northwest of Detroit.
“Nothing will eat him,” Breuhan said, noting that: “He’s too big.” 
Project closing stretch of I-96 right on schedule
LIVONIA, Mich. (AP) — A major freeway construction project in the Detroit area that’s requiring motorists to take detours until October is on schedule.
The Detroit News reports Tuesday that the update comes despite a delayed start due to prolonged wintry weather.
The work has disrupted the commutes of those who typically use I-96. According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, the shutdown has forced an estimated 140,000 drivers to seek alternate routes, such as I-94, I-696 or the Lodge Freeway.
Grand Rapids 
Tigers return to John Ball Zoo after five years
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Tigers have returned to the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids after a five-year absence.
The three big cats were on display Monday for a donor party and will be available for viewing by the general public on June 14.
The Grand Rapids Press says the zoo last had a tiger on exhibit in 2009. That was before a lone female was relocated to a zoo in North Dakota.
The three new tigers recently arrived. They’ll comprise John Ball Zoo’s upcoming Tigers of the Realm exhibit.