State Roundup

Bay City

Competency hearing ordered in St u pak threat case

BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) -- A judge has ordered a mental-competency hearing for a Michigan man accused of threatening a congressman.

Bay City federal Judge Thomas Ludington says he recently received a report on Russell Hesch's mental health. Without disclosing the contents, he ordered a magistrate judge on Monday to determine if the 74-year-old West Branch man is competent to stand trial.

A hearing date wasn't immediately set.

Hesch was charged last year with writing a letter that threatened to paint the Mackinac (MAK'-in-aw) Bridge with Bart Stupak's blood because he voted for a health care law. Stupak represented northern Michigan in Congress at the time but since retired.

If Hesch is declared competent, his lawyers still could raise an insanity defense at trial.


Detroit-area man charged in environmental protest

MESICK, Mich. (AP) -- A Detroit-area man has been charged with damaging logging equipment as part of an environmental protest more than 10 years ago in northern Michigan.

Federal prosecutors in Grand Rapids recently unsealed an indictment against 30-year-old Jesse Waters of St. Clair Shores, who is accused of setting fire to logging equipment and a flatbed trailer near Mesick (ME'-sick) in Wexford County in late 1999 or early 2000.

The indictment says other people painted a message, "Log in Hell!" Waters appeared in Grand Rapids federal court on Monday on charges of conspiracy and arson. A message seeking comment was left with his lawyer.

Environmental activists Frank Ambrose and Marie Mason have admitted roles in the Mesick incident. They are in prison for a string of acts, including arson at Michigan State University.

Walled Lake

Suburban medical marijuana facility searched

WALLED LAKE, Mich. (AP) -- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has searched a medical marijuana facility in suburban Detroit as part of an ongoing investigation.

DEA special agent Rich Isaacson tells the Detroit Free Press and WWJ-AM that a sealed federal search warrant was executed Tuedsay at Caregivers of America in Walled Lake.

A message seeking comment was left by The Associated Press on Tuesday at a listing for the office.

Michigan voters agreed in 2008 to legalize the use of marijuana in treating some health problems. But some facilities and growing operations have been raided.

Law enforcement officials have panned the law as poorly written, and an appeals court judge has called it a "maze." The American Civil Liberties Union is suing cities over anti-marijuana policies.


City could change burglary alarm response

DETROIT (AP) -- Detroit police are considering a proposal to not respond to most burglar alarms at homes and businesses unless a crime in progress has been verified by an alarm company or a 911 caller -- a plan aimed at freeing up more officers to respond to other emergencies.

The plan was pitched Monday to a City Council committee, the Detroit Free Press reported. It also would require residents to register alarms with the city for a fee, much like some suburban communities require. Anyone who doesn't register an alarm faces a $100 fine if police respond to a false call.

Council members are expected to continue debating the issue next week.

The city averages more than 15,000 burglaries a year, but less than 1 percent of the more than 60,000 burglar alarms that sound each year in Detroit are credible, Police Cmdr. Todd Bettison told the committee. He said the proposal will free up police to respond to actual emergencies.

"This will help our department provide better services to our residents," he said.

Exceptions to the proposed crime-in-progress verification would be made for people who hit a panic button on their alarm or if they call 911 and say they feel they are in danger, the newspaper reported.

Some alarm companies argued that police should respond to all alarms.

"What happens when you have an alarm to keep your house safe but no one is home to verify a burglary?" asked Dennis Best, owner of Detroit-based Best Electric & Security. "That is the responsibility of police."


$6M project wo u ld connect Holla n d, Wyoming water

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) -- A $6 million project would connect the water systems of the cities of Holland and Wyoming to deal with potential shortages in either community.

The Grand Rapids Press reports the Holland Board of Public Works on Monday approved an agreement that would result in construction of a 4.5-mile-long pipeline in Ottawa County's Park Township.

The 30-inch pipeline would connect the Holland water treatment plant with Wyoming's treatment facility. The plan still needs approval from the Holland City Council.

If approved, the project could be completed next year.


Suspect arrested in 2000 death of Mich. woman

CORUNNA, Mich. (AP) -- Authorities say they've arrested a suspect in the death of a 20-year-old woman whose body was found in Shiawassee County more than a decade ago.

The Argus-Press of Owosso and The Flint Journal report the suspect in the death of Rachel Mary Scott of Lennon was expected to be arraigned on Tuesday in Corunna.

The suspect's name wasn't immediately released.

Scott's body was found July 20, 2000 in Vernon Township by family friends following a search that included extensive efforts by law enforcement. She had been reported missing July 8, 2000, two days after leaving home to visit friends in the nearby village of Vernon, about 60 miles northwest of Detroit.

A cause of death wasn't previously disclosed but the case was treated by investigators as a possible homicide.


Senator wants to name Michigan highway for Ingram

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- A Michigan senator is trying again to name a stretch of Michigan highway for Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram.

Democratic Sen. John Gleason of Flushing said Tuesday he doesn't want to name the highway for Ingram because of his success as an Alabama tailback, but for his educational achievements. The Flint Southwestern Academy graduate will get his college degree a year early.

Gleason's bill would name a stretch of M-21 that runs through the middle of Flint the "Mark V. Ingram II Freeway."

A previous effort passed the Senate last November but failed to pass the House. This year's measure hasn't been voted on by either chamber.

Republican Sen. Mike Kowall of Oakland County's White Lake Township says Ingram's academic achievements should be celebrated with the highway naming.

Published: Wed, Apr 13, 2011