Wolverine tannery neighbors threaten suit to force cleanup

Oct 16, 2017

Residents who live near an old leather tannery waste dump in Belmont are threatening to sue Wolverine World Wide to force it to clean up the site. Attorneys for 40 residents near the long-forgotten dump sent Wolverine a notice of intent to sue on Friday.

Ex-MLB baseball player Chad Curtis ordered to pay $1.8M

Oct 13, 2017

A federal judge has ordered former Major League Baseball player Chad Curtis to pay $1.8 million to a young woman who accused him of inappropriately touching her when he was a volunteer coach at a western Michigan high school. U.S. District Judge Janet Neff said Thursday that Curtis "shattered" the trust the victim placed in Curtis. The woman testified she lost all of her friends soon after she accused Curtis. 

Deal ends legal challenge over tourism room tax

Oct 13, 2017
gavel and law book
SalFalko via Flickr | CC BY 3.0 /

A tourism bureau in northern Michigan will stop collecting a room tax from two inns after a lawsuit challenged whether the levy was legal. The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation says a judge dismissed the case after Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitors Bureau said it would stop assessing the fee against Sylvan Inn and Lakeshore Inn in Glen Arbor. 

The lawsuit could have had broad consequences for tourism promotion programs around Michigan. More than 50 tourism agencies collect a room tax. But the judge didn't rule on whether it violated the First Amendment.

Western Michigan man sentenced after 2 rape convictions

Oct 12, 2017

A West Michigan man has been sentenced to 24-51 years in prison for drugging and raping two women. Thirty-two-year-old Larry Stiff learned his sentence Tuesday after a Muskegon County jury last month convicted him of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving incapacitated victims. He received the sentence for each of the counts and will serve the sentences at the same time. 

The Muskegon Chronicle reports four women testified their drinks were drugged before they were sexually assaulted. Two others said they were drugged but managed to escape being assaulted.

2 reach plea deals in death of woman outside nursing home

Oct 12, 2017

Two women charged in the death of an 85-year-old woman who was found in cold weather outside an assisted living center in western Michigan have reached plea deals in the case. Denise Filcek on Wednesday entered a plea to a charge of intentionally placing false information on a chart involving medical records. Authorities say she was responsible for making bed checks. She told the judge, however, she didn't check on everyone. 

The Michigan Supreme Court is set to hear a high-profile case about a man who fatally shot a woman who banged on his door following a late-night car crash in suburban Detroit. Ted Wafer was convicted of second-degree murder after shooting 19-year-old Renisha McBride on his Dearborn Heights porch in 2013. The issue for the Supreme Court on Thursday is jury instructions.

police crime scene tape
Tony Webster via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 /

Kent County Prosecutors have brought charges against a woman responsible for killing an elderly woman and critically injuring her husband while driving drunk. Kristina Joyce Ryl, 34, is charged with operating while intoxicated causing death, reckless driving causing death, and other charges. Authorities say Joy Gillette, 75, and her husband John, 77, were walking on the evening of August 23rd, when Ryl struck the elderly couple and their two dogs with her vehicle.

medicine pill bottles
David K via Flickr | CC BY 2.0 /

A former police sergeant in Michigan who admitted to abusing prescription drugs he collected from several police agencies through pill take-back programs has reached a plea deal in the case. The Flint Journal reports 45-year-old ex-Burton officer Shawn Duncanson was arraigned Tuesday in Genesee County District Court and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of willful neglect of duty and use of a controlled substance. 

A judge has heard arguments challenging a Michigan city's decision to keep an apple grower away from its seasonal market because of his views on gay marriage. In defense, East Lansing attorney Michael Bogren says the city doesn't want a vendor who discriminates.

A former youth pastor who admitted to sexually abusing a young boy in western Michigan a decade ago has been sentenced to 3 1/2 to 15 years in prison. WOOD-TV reports 31-year-old Daniel Hoffman learned his punishment on Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Court. He earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. Authorities say Hoffman was being treated at a hospital for mental health issues last year when he told a nurse about the abuse.