State Roundup

Procession to honor Conn. shooting victims

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A procession of emergency vehicles is planned across Michigan next month in honor of Connecticut school shooting victims.
Each vehicle will have the name, birthday and date of death for 20 children killed Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, The Flint Journal reported. The Jan. 5 procession aims to raise money for funeral expenses and a memorial.
“We basically want to give our communities a chance to mourn because it was a shock to us all,” said Steven Major, president of Arrowhead Police Emergency Vehicle Equipment in Flint, who also organized a drive to help Hurricane Sandy victims.
The procession is scheduled to head north starting at 8 a.m. from the Michigan Welcome Center on Interstate 75 near the Ohio border.
The route is expected to take the procession through cities including Detroit, Flint, Madison Heights, Royal Oak, Troy, Pontiac, Flint, Lansing, Saginaw, Bay City, Gaylord, Petoskey, Mackinac City and St. Ignace. It will end with a vigil in Sault Ste. Marie.
“It’s basically a memorial ride to give people a chance to mourn the children who passed,” Major said.
Authorities say the horrific events began when 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his mother, Nancy, at their home, and then took her car and some of her guns to the nearby school, where he broke in and opened fire, killing 20 children and six adults before shooting himself.

WMU may change emergency alert system on campus

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — Western Michigan University officials say they’re looking at campus security measures in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting as well as recent issues with its emergency alert system.
The WMU Alert System is designed to quickly send thousands of automated calls to students in the event of an emergency.
The Kalamazoo school says it twice activated the system when armed robberies recently occurred on campus, but received mixed reviews regarding its effectiveness.
And the fatal shootings of 20 students and six staff members Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., prompted Western Michigan President John Dunn to re-examine campus safety.
In an interview Tuesday with the Kalamazoo Gazette and WMUK-FM, Dunn said the school plans to change its emergency system vendor and is considering expanding its police force.

Snyder signs bills about veterans, prescriptions

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation aimed at helping military veterans gain employment in the electrician and plumbing fields.
The governor’s office announced Wednesday that Snyder signed measures to require experience gained through military service to be taken into account when being considered for licenses in those fields.
Snyder also has signed legislation that would allow collection and redistribution of prescription medication. The measures aim to allow medical facilities to donate unused drugs for distribution to needy patients. Most other states have enacted similar laws.
Snyder also signed legislation requiring all state agencies to post online any information related to the expenditure of tax dollars.

Cold case team  to probe 2001 murder at zoo 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A cold case team has been formed to investigate the death of a woman who was shot as she walked with her 5-year-old daughter toward the entrance of a Michigan zoo in 2001.
Bernita White was shot once by a high-powered rifle from about 100 yards away on the afternoon of June 23, 2001, at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing.
Michigan State Police announced Tuesday they’re assisting Lansing police in the probe. The cold case team is reviewing all case files and evidence.
Detective Sgt. Lisa Gee-Cram says she hopes “re-exposure to the news media and to social networks will generate new leads.”
White was a 41-year-old computer engineer. Police say she was attending a birthday party with family members at the zoo.
Police ask that tips be sent to (517) 290-9950, or

2 sentenced in double slaying in West Michigan

LUDINGTON, Mich. (AP) — A West Michigan man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for fatally shooting his sister and strangling her friend with a belt has been sentenced to 46 to 65 years in prison.
The Ludington Daily News reports Patrick Bentley was sentenced Tuesday in Mason County Circuit Court in Ludington. He also received two years in prison for a felony firearm charge.
Co-defendant Lashawn Whipple was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison. She pleaded guilty in September to second-degree murder and other charges.n