State Roundup

Traverse City

Authorities say Michigan woman neglected horses

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- A northwestern Lower Peninsula woman has been charged with neglect after authorities say several horses on her property were starved.

The 86th District Court in Traverse City says 39-year-old Danelle Round was arraigned Tuesday and returns to court Jan. 26. The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports she is charged with abandoning or being cruel to animals.

The court said Wednesday morning that she didn't have a lawyer on record. There wasn't a working telephone listing under her name.

Authorities say two malnourished horses had to be euthanized after police and a veterinarian inspected Round's property in Grand Traverse County's Fife Lake Township, and five others were taken away to receive care.

Investigators went to the property roughly 18 miles southeast of Traverse City following a complaint from a neighbor.


Authorities have person of interest in 2010 deaths

NILES, Mich. (AP) -- Authorities say they have a person of interest in a 2010 double homicide in southwestern Michigan.

The South Bend (Ind.) Tribune reported Tuesday that the Michigan attorney general's office is handling the investigation into the deaths of 39-year-old Carolyn Tarwacki and her 42-year-old husband John Tarwacki.

No charges have been filed and the person of interest wasn't being identified.

The Tarwackis were killed Feb. 5, 2010, at their home in Cass County's Howard Township, near Niles.

They worked in Stevensville at Quinlan & Fabish Music Co., formerly known as Blessing Music Co. They supplied instruments, gear and maintenance contracts to music educators throughout Berrien and Cass counties.


Judge: Planned Parenthood may open new clinic

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) -- A Michigan judge has ruled that Planned Parenthood may open a clinic in suburban Detroit that had been fought by abortion opponents.

Oakland County Circuit Court Judge James Alexander in Pontiac on Tuesday ruled that Planned Parenthood may build and operate a medical office on property in Auburn Hills that was purchased in 2010.

Alexander says it was a property case, not an abortion case.

A nearby property owner had sought to have Alexander enforce a covenant that the owner believed barred a medical facility.

Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan has said it hasn't determined what services would be provided at the clinic.

Abortion opponents say they'll fight any efforts to permit the procedures from being performed at the facility.


Michigan ministers sue to stop US hate-crime law

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati is taking up the claim of three Michigan ministers that a federal hate crime law infringes on their First Amendment rights and should be declared unconstitutional.

Oral arguments were scheduled Wednesday.

The law expands federal hate crimes to those committed against people because of sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

The ministers say they could be targeted for their sermons against gay behavior. The law's supporters say it's aimed at acts of violence, not speech by clergy.

A lower court judge dismissed the lawsuit last year.

The ministers are Jim Combs of Waterford, Rene Ouellette (oo-LET') of Bridgeport and Levon Yuille (YOOL) of Ypsilanti. Another plaintiff is Gary Glenn, head of the American Family Association of Michigan.


Man pleads guilty in 2001 slaying at credit union

DETROIT (AP) -- A man has pleaded guilty just as he was about to go on trial in the 2001 fatal shooting of an armored-truck courier who was stocking ATMs at a Dearborn credit union.

Jury selection was to get under way Tuesday for the murder trial in federal court in Detroit.

Instead, 43-year-old Norman Duncan entered a guilty plea to murder in the death of Norman Stephens. The government wanted to pursue the death penalty but dropped it last year.

The 30-year-old father of six was shot in the back while already wounded outside Dearborn Federal Credit Union. Duncan wasn't accused of pulling the trigger.

Duncan admitted to Judge Victoria Roberts on Tuesday that he was taking part in a robbery that led to Stephens' death.

Grand Rapids

Man jailed in couple's '88 slaying

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- Western Michigan authorities are holding a 42-year-old man as a suspect in the 1988 gun slayings of a Canadian couple at their South Texas trailer home.

Authorities say DNA evidence led to the charges against Arturo Almaguer.

Police say 70-year-old Evan and 65-year-old Wilda Squire were gunned down in their seasonal trailer home Nov. 13, 1988 in Weslaco, Texas. Police say several intruders entered the home while the couple slept.

Almaguer has been in the Kent County jail since Dec. 27. The Grand Rapids Press says he's being held on burglary and probation violation charges, as well as murder charges.

The McAllen (Texas) Monitor says officials made the DNA match after Almaguer was arrested in Grand Rapids.

The couple were from Minnedosa, Manitoba, about 120 miles west-northwest of Winnipeg.

Fruitport Twp.

Stranger, firefighter, newscast help dog get home

FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- A lost dog that can hardly walk or see is home after more than a month because of a stranger, a fire and television news.

The 13-year-old dog named Sadie turned up on television station WZZM on Monday, being filmed receiving oxygen from firefighter in Muskegon County's Fruitport Township after being rescued from a burning home.

Sadie's owner Marie Tejchma and her son saw the footage, compared it with online news photos and confirmed it was their missing dog, The Muskegon Chronicle reported.

The fire department helped connect Tejchma with Sara Puente, who found the wandering dog with no ID tags. Nobody recognized Sadie in the area, so Puente brought her home.

Puente, her daughter, Sadie and other animals escaped the blaze, which is believed to have started in the laundry room and caused about $15,000 in damage.

Tejchma said she forgot to make sure Sadie was inside her home back on Nov. 19, when she and her husband were leaving for the day. The dog apparently couldn't find her way home after trying to follow the car.

Tejchma said she's grateful that Puente opened her home to an old dog.

"Who in their right mind would pick up a blind, deaf, lame dog?" Tejchma said.

Published: Thu, Jan 12, 2012