State Roundup


Crews work to restore power in Mich. after winds

DETROIT (AP) -- Crews are working to restore power to homes and businesses after winds gusting to 55 miles per hour left at least 202,000 without electrical service.

Utilities say Tuesday morning about 38,000 customers were without power across the state.

DTE Energy Co. says that about 31,000 of its 106,000 electrical customers that lost power due to Monday's winds are without service early Tuesday. And CMS Energy Corp. says that about 7,000 of its 96,000 affected Consumers Energy customers are powerless as of Tuesday morning.

The winds caused the death of a woman when a tree hit her van in Van Buren County's Bloomingdale Township.

Elsewhere, the Lansing State Journal reports winds toppled a tree Monday onto a second-grader during recess at DeWitt's Schavey Road Elementary. She was recovering at a hospital.


Sanilac Co. man charged in death of 4-month-old

CROSWELL, Mich. (AP) -- A 24-year-old Sanilac County man has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his 4-month-old son, who had been hospitalized in Detroit with severe head trauma.

The Times Herald of Port Huron reports Robert Droelle is due back in court later this month after being arrested and arraigned Monday. Jordan Droelle died April 9 after being on life support since being flown by helicopter April 2 to Children's Hospital of Michigan.

The District Court in Sandusky says Tuesday that Droelle has requested a court-appointed attorney. A preliminary examination is April 24.

Grand Rapids

Michigan man fights extradition in 2001 slaying

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- A West Michigan man suspected in the 2001 killing of his pregnant wife is fighting a request for extradition to Mexico.

The Grand Rapids Press reports Jose Luis Castillo is due in federal court in Grand Rapids on Thursday for a hearing on a complaint against him. He's accused in the killing and beheading of Maria Elena Mata Hernandez.

U.S. prosecutors want the extradition request moved ahead for a final decision.

Defense lawyer Donald Garthe said his client, who is serving eight to 15 years in prison for third-degree sexual assault in southwestern Michigan's Berrien County, denies killing his wife. He noted that the complaint names "Jose Luis Castillo" as the suspect, while his client's name is Raul Luis Castillo Jr.

The government says he uses both names.


Detroit police warn about online meet-up dangers

DETROIT (AP) -- Detroit police are issuing a warning about the potential dangers of using online social networking to arrange in-person meetings with strangers.

The department says three meetings between men and women in Detroit arranged via the social networking site MocoSpace during the past year led to sexual assaults. Investigators say two women were assaulted in the same vacant Detroit home on different days. A suspect is charged in that case.

And last week, the department says a woman who agreed to meet a man in the parking lot of a bar after communicating via the site was assaulted.

Ann Arbor

U-M plans $163M update to old

hospital facilities

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- The University of Michigan plans a $163 million conversion of the old C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital facilities in downtown Ann Arbor. reports Tuesday that the site will become an extension of the university's general hospital. Plans call for adding an eight-suite operating room, 95 general patient care beds and 25 intensive care beds used primarily for neuroscience programs to the old facilities.

Patients and services from C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital moved in December to new facilities after a five-year, $754 million construction project.


Ex-inmates lose ruling over cash from abuse case

DETROIT (AP) -- A judge says six former Michigan prison inmates who are due $3.5 million in an abuse lawsuit against the state must pay most of the money to private financiers who advanced them cash.

The Detroit Free Press reports U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith on Monday ruled that the women owe $3.1 million to Money for Lawsuits, or MFL. A magistrate ruled earlier this year that there was nothing illegal about the about 4 percent monthly compounded interest rate that was charged.

The women's attorney, Ralph Sirlin, plans to appeal.

David Plunkett, an attorney for MFL, said the ruling upheld a "legally valid contract."

The six women were part of a lawsuit alleging widespread abuse in Michigan prisons by male guards who were accused of raping, groping and peeking at inmates.


Union president announces fight

vs. manager law

FLINT, Mich. (AP) -- The president of a union representing Flint's firefighters says he plans to fight against the state's law governing the role of emergency financial managers.

Trent Farnsworth, president of Flint Firefighters Local 352, told The Flint Journal Monday he'll be "fighting from this day on" against the law. Farnsworth's comments came as he said 69 firefighters voted to approve contract concessions in a deal with Flint's state-appointed emergency manager.

Farnsworth says 21 voted against the deal, which includes a 20 percent cut in overall compensation.

Earlier this month, the emergency manager Michael Brown announced a tentative agreement on some potential concessions with the firefighters' union.


State lawmakers return; budget

is high priority

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan lawmakers are headed back to the state Capitol after a two-week spring break, with the state budget remaining their top priority.

Legislative sessions resume Tuesday. Lawmakers say they hope to wrap up a spending plan for the fiscal year that starts in October.

There are some differences between developing budget plans from Republican lawmakers who hold the majority in the state Legislature and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's initial budget proposal.

Some Republicans want to spend less than Snyder proposed on the state prison system and some other state departments. They say they worry that state revenues won't come in as high as state economists projected.


Wayne St. plans $90M biomedical research facility

DETROIT (AP) -- Wayne State University plans to build an about $90 million biomedical research facility at the edge of its Detroit campus.

The Detroit Free Press reports Tuesday that the school hopes to use $30 million from the state along with its own money to renovate one building and tear down another.

The state says its share is included in a budget proposal from Gov. Rick Snyder, based on recommendations made during the previous administration. The Legislature still needs to approve the plan.

Published: Wed, Apr 18, 2012


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