Michigan

flickr.com

An agency that investigates how federal blight demolition funds are used plans to look into why the cost of tearing down vacant houses rose by thousands of dollars in Michigan and Ohio.

The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program - TARP - says the average cost of razing a house in Michigan increased from about $9,200 to $17,600.

In Ohio, the cost rose from about $9,200 to $15,000.

The agency says Wednesday in a report that Michigan's costs dropped about 38 percent last year following an audit.

consumersenergy.com

A utility company in Michigan has selected a development firm to demolish and redevelop two of its former coal-fired power plants.

Consumers Energy filed a request Tuesday for the sale of its 248-acre J.R. Whiting plant in southeast Michigan and its 115-acre B.C. Cobb plant in Muskegon to Forsite Development.

The final purchase is contingent on approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission, which has 180 days to make a decision.

wikicommons / Famartin

Michigan has identified rural highways where the speed limit will rise to 75 mph as soon as next week.

The state on Wednesday announced 600 miles where the limits will increase from 70 mph to 75 mph, and 900 miles where they will go from 55 mph to 65 mph.

The first freeways to see 75 mph limits by mid-May will be Interstate 75 between Bay City and Sault Ste. Marie, stretches of U.S. 127 between the Lansing and Grayling areas, and U.S. 131 between the Grand Rapids and Cadillac areas.

https://abdulformichigan.com/about.html

Michigan’s gubernatorial election is more than a year away, but the half-dozen or more candidates are traveling the state trying to earn your support. One of the democratic candidates visited Grand Rapids over the weekend.

ArtPrize / artprize.org

An international art competition in western Michigan has announced that it's changing its voting structure as it gears up for its ninth year.

ArtPrize held its annual Premiere Event on Thursday to prepare for ArtPrize Nine's Sept. 20 kickoff.

Jaenell Woods, the organization's communications manager, says voting is done in two rounds.

The first narrows the entries down to 20 chosen by the public and 20 by an expert jury.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will co-host a conference on developing eco-friendly infrastructure projects.

Organizers say it will be the first conference focused on using green infrastructure across the landscape with a primary goal of protecting surface waters in the Great Lakes region.

The event is scheduled for May 31 through June 2 at Cobo Center in Detroit.

GRPD badge
Grand Rapids Police Department / grcity.us

Police have arrested three demonstrators after a Grand Rapids protest against federal immigration policy blocked traffic.

MLive reports about 40 people participated in the protest Thursday that at one point blocked traffic near the Gerald R. Ford Federal Building in downtown Grand Rapids.

Police say that after issuing several warnings, they arrested two men aged 64 and 40 and a 49-year-old woman for impeding traffic and resisting and obstructing.

They say the remaining protesters continued to a nearby plaza without further incident.

succo via Pixabay | CC BY 2.0 / Pixabay.com

A judge ignored the terms of a plea agreement and sentenced a former FBI agent to jail for shooting at a police officer outside a Michigan fitness club.

Judge Dennis Leiber told 35-year-old Ruben Hernandez of North Las Vegas, Nevada, that anyone who shoots at a law enforcement officer is going to jail. He sentenced Hernandez Thursday to 135 days.

Hernandez pleaded no contest to felonious assault. A no-contest plea isn't an admission of guilt, but is treated as one in sentencing.

Prosecutors recommended no jail time.

Pictures of money via Flickr | CC BY 2.0 / Flickr.com

A suspended western Michigan school teacher has been arraigned on an embezzlement charge for allegedly pawning more than $28,000 in computers and overhead projectors stolen from his school over 5 1/2 years. 

Thirty-eight-year-old Anthony J. Marsiglia of Grand Rapids was freed on bond following his court appearance Wednesday.

Kent County Sheriff's Deputy William Marks wrote in an arrest affidavit that after officers confronted Marsiglia, he admitting stealing and pawning the equipment.

Courthouse
Tim Evanson via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

Legislation that would restrict state courts from enforcing foreign laws has been introduced in Michigan.

The bill proposed Thursday doesn't mention Sharia law that's used in some parts of the Islamic world, but says judges can't apply foreign laws if doing so would violate state or federal constitutional rights.

Pages