State Roundup

Grand Haven Twp.: Gun range closed amid concerns over stray bullets
GRAND HAVEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A gun range in West Michigan has been closed as authorities investigate reports that stray bullets may have wounded one person and hit homes about a half-mile away.

The North Ottawa Rod and Gun Club closed its range in Grand Haven Township last week, the Grand Haven Tribune and The Grand Rapids Press reported. Authorities began their investigation after a bullet on Thursday hit the arm of a man working at a home in the area about 30 miles northwest of Grand Rapids.

On Monday, dozens of area residents turned out at the club’s board meeting to voice their concerns about the gun range. Board president Mark Welch said the club’s rifle and pistol range will be closed until further notice. Its trap and skeet shooting areas could reopen Wednesday.

Welch told neighbors that the club’s “paramount concern” is the safety of its members and the community.

Ottawa County Undersheriff Greg Steigenga said it’s believed that at least 10 incidents of wayward rounds striking structures have surfaced. At the time the man was hit Thursday, Grand Valley State University police were getting firearms training at the range.

“We have drawn some correlations, but I can’t talk about any specifics,” Steigenga said.

The sheriff’s department plans to wrap up its investigation this week, and will forward its findings to the Ottawa County prosecutor for review.

Dottie Barnes, a spokeswoman for Allendale-based Grand Valley State University, said Tuesday that school officials would not comment because the investigation had not been completed.

At Monday’s meeting, some homeowners expressed frustration.

“Until changes are made, I don’t think anybody is going to feel comfortable or safe,” said Rachel Twa, who discovered a bullet in sand next to her damaged house last Thursday. She and her neighbors plan to bring up the issue with the township board next week.

Jeremey Wilder said he discovered a bullet hole in siding above the garage door about six months ago and thought it was from one of his children using a slingshot. Once he heard about the man being injured at a neighbor’s house, he found a bullet under the siding.

Ann Arbor: Michigan’s 2012 opener vs. Alabama worth $4.7M
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A contract indicates that Michigan football’s 2012 season opener against Alabama at Cowboys Stadium is expected to be a $4.7 million payday for the Wolverines.

AnnArbor.com on Monday published details of the contract among ESPN, Cowboys Stadium and the University of Michigan. It obtained a copy of the contract for the Sept. 1 game in Arlington, Texas, through a Freedom of Information Act request.

In addition to $4.7 million, the University of Michigan will get 200 tickets, two luxury boxes and one field-level suite.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon says the trip to Texas is a “historic occasion” for the school that will give the team a huge broadcast audience.

Brandon says the game is seen as “almost as a preseason bowl game experience” by the University of Michigan.

Dearborn Heights: Mich. communities use 4-day workweek to cut costs
DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) — Some Michigan communities are imposing Friday shutdowns of municipal offices as part of cost-cutting efforts in the face of tighter budgets.

The Detroit News reports that Dearborn Heights began operating on a four-day workweek last month to help stave off a deficit. Municipalities including Hazel Park, Wixom and Bloomfield and Oakland townships switched to four-day schedules a few years ago.

The Detroit suburbs of Ferndale and Clawson also use a four-day workweek.

Dearborn Heights Mayor Dan Paletko said the city is asking all 218 employees to take a10 percent wage reduction to spare $1.3 million. He says that about 115 workers agreed to Friday furloughs to meet that goal. The city faces a predicted $5 million budget shortfall.

Clinton Twp.: Man charged in rape, robbery of Michigan woman, 80
CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A convicted burglar has been charged in the rape and robbery of an 80-year-old woman in her apartment at a senior citizens complex in suburban Detroit.

The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens reports 29-year-old William Porter III of Sterling Heights choked back tears as he was arraigned Monday in 41B District Court. Bond was set at $1 million, and Harrison could face life in prison.

In court, Harrison apologized to the judge, saying: “I don’t know what I was thinking.” A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Oct. 17.

He was arrested last week. Police said they recovered $3,000 worth of jewelry that belongs to the woman. She was attacked Sept. 13 at the Heritage Estates complex in Clinton Township.

Harrison was on probation at the time of his arrest.

Detroit: Man, 21, faces trial in fatal shooting of girl, 3
DETROIT (AP) — A 21-year-old man has been ordered to stand trial for first-degree murder on accusations he fired shots into a home and killed a 3-year-old Detroit girl.

A judge in Detroit’s 36th District Court ruled Monday that there’s enough evidence to try Devin Taylor on the murder charge, as well as on three counts of assault with intent to murder.

Authorities say Taylor fired shots July 10 into the house in retaliation for an earlier altercation involving neighbors. One passed through a wall and struck Aarie Berry in the head.

Police Officer Derrick Maye testified Monday that Taylor admitted getting an AK-47 assault rifle from another man and then shooting up the building.
Authorities say at least 30 bullets hit the building.

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