State Roundup

Grand Traverse
Governors urge 94-year-oldman's extradition

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - The governors of Wyoming and Michigan are trying to speed up extradition of a 94-year-old Michigan man investigators say molested children at a Wyoming youth camp decades ago.

Bill Bricker faces three counts in Wyoming of taking immoral acts with a child. Two men and one woman claim Bricker molested them when they were children at the Teton Valley Ranch Camp in the 1960s and 1980s, Teton County sheriff's officials allege.

Bricker was a volunteer at the camp at the time. Now, citing his age and failing health, Bricker's attorneys are fighting his extradition to Wyoming.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead formally asked Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder earlier this month to order Bricker to Wyoming to stand trial. As of Wednesday, a governor's warrant issued by Snyder on Dec. 16 hadn't been acted on by representatives of the Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reports.

"The subject is now expected to be arrested, arraigned and ordered extradited back to Wyoming," said Snyder spokesman Dave Murray said.

Grand Traverse County sheriff's officials didn't immediately return messages Saturday.

Bricker was arrested in September and still can be brought to trial in Teton County because Wyoming doesn't have a statute of limitations for charges of immoral acts with a child. Lawyers representing Bricker have said he is in hospice care and a trip to Wyoming could be fatal to their client.

On Dec. 4, a Michigan judge ordered that Bricker complete an evaluation to determine his competency to appear in court. The following day, Mead sent a formal letter with the requisite legal paperwork asking Snyder to intervene.

Bricker volunteered for the camp for more than 50 years while it was located in Kelly in Jackson Hole. He quit volunteering in 2001, soon after the camp moved to Dubois under new management.

Traverse City
Maher to app­ear at Traverse City comedy fest

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Bill Maher is among the headliners for the Traverse City Winter Comedy Arts Festival, a project of documentary filmmaker Michael Moore that's scheduled for Feb. 13-14 in Traverse City.

Moore announced Maher's appearance on Saturday, saying that the HBO series host "will bring his incisive brand of political satire" to the northern Michigan event.

Moore says Maher is donating his appearance at the festival, "even paying his own way ... because he wants to help out" the event and the region.

Also appearing at the festival is Doug Benson, an actor and host of the podcast "Doug Loves Movies."

The festival will take place at The State Theatre, The City Opera House, The Old Town Playhouse, The Insight Gallery and Horizon Books.

Rochester Hills
Oakland University surpasses 100k graduates mark

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) - A Detroit-area college that was founded as an extension of Michigan State University and once was what an administrator called "a no-name school" has surpassed 100,000 graduates.

Oakland University marked the milestone this month during its winter commencement ceremony. It corresponds with expanding enrollment and construction across its 1,400-acre campus that straddles Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills, The Oakland Press reported Friday.

The school, which opened in 1957, has about 20,000 students. Recent additions to campus include a new engineering building, medical school, more student housing and carillon clock tower.

Jean Ann Miller, director of the Center for Student Activities and Leadership Development, said Oakland retains its "small school feeling" despite the rising profile. She added there's a growing pride among graduates as amenities and academic programs grow.

"It's not a no-name school anymore," said Miller, a university alumna and longtime employee. "They walk in and can't realize it's the same place."

Oakland also has elevated its stature through sports. The school made the transition to Division I beginning in 1997 and its men's basketball team has made several appearances in the NCAA tournament.

The university said it now has alumni in all 50 states and about 700 outside the U.S. Education, sales, operations and engineering are the top employment fields, and Chrysler, whose U.S. headquarters is nearby, is the largest of employer of Oakland graduates.

Harbor Springs
Stretch of Lake Michigan shoreto be protected

HARBOR SPRINGS, Mich. (AP) - An anonymous donor has helped a northern Michigan conservancy buy a large, undeveloped stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline.

The Petoskey News-Review reports this week that the Little Traverse Conservancy has closed on the deal that includes roughly 2,400 feet of shoreline between Harbor Springs and Cross Village in the northwestern Lower Peninsula.

The deal also includes 2,300 feet along what's called the Tunnel of Trees.

Conservancy director Tom Bailey says his organization has raised all but $250,000 of its $1.8 million goal. The remainder will complete the acquisition and pay the mortgage coming due next year.

Bailey tells The Associated Press it was the largest piece of privately owned lake frontage in the area. He adds that its steep, forested sand dunes are fragile and will benefit from protection.

It will become a publicly accessible nature preserve.

Published: Tue, Dec 30, 2014