MICHIGAN GOVERNOR-KIDNAPPING PLOT
Feds seek delay in sentencing man in Whitmer kidnap plot
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Prosecutors are asking a judge to postpone the June 8 sentencing of a man who pleaded guilty to conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The government says Kaleb Franks is expected to testify again at the second trial of Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. It’s a signal that prosecutors aren’t giving up. A jury in April couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict for Fox and Croft but acquitted Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta. Franks’ cooperation with the government could earn him a shorter sentence. Franks and Ty Garbin admitted roles in a scheme to kidnap Whitmer. But lawyers for the others said any plot was driven by undercover agents and FBI informants.
Group: Michigan Legislature should put term limits on ballot
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A group gathering signatures to change Michigan’s term limits law is urging the Legislature to put the initiative on the ballot, saying it would give voters more time to assess the proposal. Voters for Transparency and Term Limits wants to amend the state constitution to shorten legislative term limits to 12 years from 14 but let lawmakers serve the entire time in one chamber. The coalition of business, labor and political leaders has two paths to advance the measure to a fall vote: submitting signatures by July 11 or persuading legislators to place it on the ballot by Sept. 9.
Woman wanted in double slaying is found dead in woods
INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A woman suspected of killing her boyfriend and a brother over the weekend has been found dead in a wooded area in southeastern Michigan. The Oakland County sheriff's office says 22-year-old Ruby Taverner shot herself. Investigators were looking for Taverner after the fatal shooting of Ray Muscat and Bishop Taverner at an apartment building in Independence Township. Sheriff Mike Bouchard says the investigation now will turn to why the men were killed. Muscat and Bishop Taverner were shot early Sunday.
14-year sentence for engineer in China trade secrets case
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A chemical engineer has been sentenced to 14 years in prison over what prosecutors say was a scheme to steal trade secrets about materials used in cans for soda and other drinks to benefit the Chinese government and a Chinese company. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Xiaorong “Shannon” You of Lansing, Michigan, was sentenced Monday by a federal judge in Greeneville, Tennessee, after a jury convicted her last month of charges that include possession of stolen trade secrets and economic espionage. Prosecutors say You accessed secrets about BPA-free internal coatings of beverage cans while working at Coca-Cola in Atlanta and Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, Tennessee. They say the trade secrets cost major chemical companies nearly $120 million to develop.
Flint residents get extension to file claims over bad water
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A judge has granted a seven-week extension to file claims for a share of $626 million settlement over Flint’s lead-contaminated water. Federal Judge Judith Levy approved a request to stretch the May 12 deadline to June 30. Levy says some people have had a hard time gathering certain documents. The state of Michigan, Flint and other parties were sued over the failure to properly treat corrosive water from the Flint River before it flowed through pipes in 2014-15. The settlement covers Flint children who were exposed to the water, adults who can show an injury, certain business owners and anyone who paid water bills. About 80% of the deal is earmarked for kids.
Trial starts for driver who ran down Times Square tourists
NEW YORK (AP) — The man behind the wheel of the car that barreled through crowds of pedestrians in New York City’s Times Square, killing a woman and injuring 22 other people, is finally on trial five years later. A jury heard opening statements Monday in the case of Richard Rojas, a 31-year-old U.S. Navy veteran who told police after his arrest that he had been smoking marijuana laced with the hallucinogenic drug PCP before plowing through helpless tourists in the Manhattan landmark known as “the crossroads of the world.” Eighteen-year-old Alyssa Elsman of Michigan was killed. Rojas pleaded not guilty in 2017.
WOMAN IN WHEELCHAIR-CRASH
Woman in wheelchair struck, killed while crossing road
ROYALTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 39-year-old woman has been struck and killed by a vehicle while trying to cross a southwestern Michigan road in a wheelchair. The Berrien County sheriff's office says Emily Rudman was hit about 10:30 p.m. Saturday on M-139 in Royalton Township. Rudman, of Royalton Township, nearly was struck by a car heading northbound before she was hit by a southbound vehicle. She was pronounced dead at a hospital. No arrests were made. The sheriff's office says the driver of the vehicle that struck Rudman was cooperating with investigators. Royalton Township is southwest of Grand Rapids.
Michigan looks to fix the state's affordable housing problem
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Members of the Resilient Homes Michigan coalition are looking to attract workers back to the state and modernize rental properties for low-income families to live in homes with clean air and nontoxic materials by proposing $1.6 billion in state spending. Around 320,000 renting households in Michigan have incomes at or below 30% of the median income for their area. The National Low Income Housing Coalition says that of those households, 71% spend more than half their income on rent, leaving little money remaining for other costs for life. The coalition is asking the Legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to approve the spending.
The Associated Press