State Roundup


Governor to hold online town hall Thursday

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Gov. Rick Snyder plans to hold an online town hall with Michigan residents a day after giving his second State of the State address.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday. It will be streamed live on Facebook on the governor's Rick for Michigan page.

Residents can submit questions in advance at the state website. They also can post questions on the governor's Facebook wall or send a message on Twitter to the governor at (at)onetoughnerd using the hash tag, (hash)AskGovSnyder.

Questions also can be submitted through Facebook and Twitter once the town hall meeting has started.

Snyder will deliver his State of the State address to lawmakers, top administration officials and others at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Capitol.


Man plans fundraising Kilimanjaro climb

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) -- A Michigan man plans to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as part of an effort to raise money for an organization that provides services to low-income families.

Mike Balian, an attorney who lives in Lake Orion, plans to make the climb Feb. 20-27 in Tanzania, Lighthouse of Oakland County Inc. said. It comes after Balian started trying to get into better physical shape about a year ago.

"I did it because I have younger kids ... and I wanted them to realize that it doesn't matter how old you are -- you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to," Balian, 50, said in a statement. "But it will also benefit me physically, mentally and spiritually."

Balian hopes to raise at least $5,000. The climb is expected to include five days climbing up and three days coming down.

"I am a Michigan guy and an Oakland County guy, and I wanted to work with a charity that could benefit my neighbors and those I live with and work around," Balian said.

The Pontiac-based organization's President and CEO John Ziraldo said Balian's efforts are truly appreciated. Ziraldo said the fundraiser will help people that Lighthouse serves become more self-sufficient.


DMC to break ground on $78-million 'Heart Hospital'

DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Medical Center is breaking ground on a $78-million cardiology complex.

DMC president and chief executive Michael Duggan and Cardiovascular Institute President Theodore Schreiber are scheduled to attend Tuesday's ceremonies north of downtown Detroit.

The five-story DMC Heart Hospital will provide state-of-the-art facilities for cardiac treatment, research and heart disease prevention. Officials say the project will transform cardiac care across the state and the Midwest.

DMC operates a number of facilities, including Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Receiving Hospital, Harper University Hospital and Sinai-Grace Hospital. The system has more than 2,000 licensed beds and 3,000 affiliated physicians.

Grand Haven

90 days for woman who got aid for fake cancer

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) -- A western Michigan woman has received a 90-day jail sentence for collecting thousands of dollars in charity while pretending to have cancer.

Thirty-two-year-old Elizabeth A. Smith of Holland Township was sentenced Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven. Judge Edward Post also ordered her to perform 50 hours of community service and pay $4,350 in restitution and lawyer's fees.

The Holland Sentinel and The Grand Rapids Press say authorities investigated after Smith's employer raised issues about her health claims.

Police say she collected $8,000 to $10,000 from a charity fundraiser.

Last month, she pleaded guilty to obtaining between $1,000 and $20,000 under false pretenses.

Before the sentencing, Smith told the judge she'd "never been in trouble before" and had been someone "everyone looked up to."


Michigan man pleads no contest in dragging death

CARO, Mich. (AP) -- A Michigan man facing charges in the death of a teen who was run over and dragged beneath a car for almost a block has pleaded no contest in the case.

The Huron Daily Tribune of Bad Axe reports 18-year-old Cody Kalis of Unionville entered the plea on Friday to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death. Sentencing was scheduled for Jan. 31.

Kalis' case had been scheduled for trial this week in Tuscola County Circuit Court.

Kalis had faced charges of open murder and manslaughter with a motor vehicle. He was 17 when accused in the March hit-and-run death of 16-year-old Zachary Harp.

Police say Kalis hit Harp with his vehicle intentionally in Gagetown, about 90 miles north of Detroit.

Brady Township

Body found in SW Mich. IDed as 1 of 2 missing men

BRADY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- A body found in southwestern Michigan in October has been identified as that of one of two missing men linked to a man authorities say was found with a bloody mattress in the back of a pickup truck.

The Kalamazoo Gazette and the Battle Creek Enquirer report authorities announced Monday that the body found in Kalamazoo County's Brady Township was that of 33-year-old Michael VanBuskirk of Battle Creek.

Harold Ordway faces a weapons charge after authorities say they found a gun following the minor Sept. 2 accident near Plainwell.

Authorities were investigating the 41-year-old's possible involvement in the disappearance VanBuskirk and 53-year-old Paul Atchley, who also had lived with Ordway and hasn't been seen since August.

Defense lawyer Thomas Clement said in an email Tuesday no other charges are pending.

Published: Wed, Jan 18, 2012