State Roundup


Snyder says Mich. shouldn't be right-to-work state

DETROIT (AP) -- Gov. Rick Snyder still maintains he doesn't want Michigan to become a right-to-work state.

The Republican governor told a caller on WJR radio's Frank Beckmann Show Monday that he doesn't want to repeat the experiences of Wisconsin and Ohio, where anti-union measures have been extremely divisive.

Ohio voters last month threw out tough new laws limiting public workers' collective bargaining rights, and Wisconsin's governor faces a recall effort after pushing through similar changes.

Snyder says Michigan has taken steps to encourage job growth that will be more useful than a right-to-work law, such as significantly cutting business taxes effective Jan. 1.

He adds many of the new jobs being created in Michigan aren't in unionized industries anyway.

He didn't say if he'd veto a right-to-work measure, calling the question "hypothetical."

Fort Gratiot Township

Marker dedicated detailing 1971 water tunnel blast

FORT GRATIOT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- A Michigan Historic Commission marker has been dedicated that details a 1971 water tunnel explosion that killed 22 men.

The Times Herald of Port Huron reports a ceremony was held Sunday at Fort Gratiot County Park, about 55 miles northeast of Detroit.

A bronze statue of a tunnel worker was unveiled in 2007 at the park in St. Clair County's Fort Gratiot Township, which overlooks Lake Huron. It sits on a granite pedestal inscribed with the names of the victims and a description of the tragedy.

The Lake Huron Water Supply Project was started in 1968 to build a new water intake for the cities of Detroit and Flint.


1987 SW Mich. double-slaying gets new look

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) -- Detectives have been searching through case files and interviewing relatives of a southwestern Michigan couple who were found slain in their home in 1987, hoping for a break in the unsolved case.

The investigation into the slayings of Gail and Rick Brink was moved this summer to the Ottawa County's cold case team's priority spot, The Holland Sentinel reported Sunday. Two senior detectives are working full-time on the case.

Investigators have interviewed family members and are searching through files for any leads. No arrests have been made. Sheriff Gary Rosema said he wants to see whether answers will be found in the case, which has remained open.

"It creates an opportunity for them to dispense a really quality focus at this time," Rosema said. "The fact remains that this was pretty alarming to the community."

Gail and Rick Brink were found dead in November 1987, at their home in Park Township, near Holland. Gail Park was 22, and she was found in bed. Rick Brink was 28, and he was found in his vehicle. They were last seen at a wedding reception.

Authorities believe they were killed Nov. 21, 1987, two days before their bodies were found. There was no forced entry into their home, and nothing was stolen. A .22-caliber gun believed to be used in the killings was never recovered.

After 24 years, family members said they want justice to be served in the case. Gail's mother Dorothea Wyngarden, 80, of Holland, said she has faith that someday investigators will find the person or people responsible for the deaths.

"I keep hoping that they will," she says. "I would try my best, if they had a trial, to be there."

Rick Brink worked at Trendway Corp., an office-furniture maker, and his wife worked at Donnelly Corp., an auto-parts manufacturer. Police had considered the possibility that the Brinks were mistaken for other people. They also investigated the victims' backgrounds.

Behavioral experts from the FBI and the state police were consulted.


West Michigan could get new underwater preserve

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) -- An area that includes a collection of Lake Michigan shipwrecks could become Michigan's newest underwater preserve.

The Muskegon Chronicle reported Sunday that the West Michigan Underwater Preserve proposal is under consideration. If approved, it could become the 13th area in Michigan's underwater preserve system.

The proposed preserve would cover about 345 square miles and include 12 identified shipwrecks. It would stretch from a point between Holland and Grand Haven in southwestern Michigan to the Ludington area in West Michigan, and extend four miles off shore.

The area includes shipwrecks such as the Henry Cort near Muskegon and the William B. Davock near Pentwater.

Published: Tue, Dec 13, 2011