State Roundup

Pontiac

Teacher sues district, says students trampled her

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) -- A suburban Detroit teacher who claims students trampled her during an event last year has filed a lawsuit against the Walled Lake school district.

Eleni Anastos claims in her lawsuit seeking in excess of $25,000 that she was knocked down "helpless and prostrate" by a "stampede" of students celebrating a victory during the October Field Day event at Walled Lake Western High School.

The Detroit News says Anastos also is suing a former student, claiming he "savagely attacked" and "stomped on her and kicked her violently."

The lawsuit claims Anastos was diagnosed with a herniated disc, a cervical sprain, multiple bruises and abrasions and post-traumatic stress disorder

Anastos remains employed by the district.

Spokeswoman Judy Evola says district officials have "no reason to believe a 'trampling' incident took place."

Traverse City

Police seek driver who struck pregnant cyclist

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- A pregnant woman is convinced she was targeted last month when a hit-and-run driver struck her in Traverse City, knocking her from her bike and breaking her leg in multiple spots.

After being struck, Kylee Bonne said the driver of the large, black vehicle immediately sped away, leaving her curled up in a ball on Ninth Street.

Bonne said she heard the vehicle slow behind her on June 28. Then, the unthinkable.

"As soon as I turned around, I heard it accelerate and it veered toward me," Bonne, who was nearly six months pregnant at the time, told the Traverse City Record-Eagle. Her unborn baby was not injured.

Bonne, 30, of Traverse City, is convinced the driver hit her on purpose. She rode a "highly visible" bright pink bike and hugged the side of the road, she said.

"I've played it over in my head a million times, and I just can't see any way it was an accident," Bonne said. "There were no other cars on the street, and I was easily avoidable."

Police continue to search for the driver, but need tips. Police say a crash with a bike may not leave identifiable marks on a vehicle.

"Usually the damage is very minimal," Traverse City Police Capt. Steve Morgan said. "There's not a lot to look for."

Bonne could have been hurt much worse or killed, Morgan said, and her baby could have been injured or killed. It's upsetting that the person left the scene after the collision, he said.

"That's the basis of making it a felony to leave the scene when an injury occurs or you believe an injury occurs," he said. "It is a very serious offense."

Bonne hopes the suspect is apprehended.

"It's such an awful thing to do. I just can't picture it going through someone's head," she said. "Obviously, I want whoever it is caught, just to get that psycho off the road."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Traverse City Police at 231-995-5152 or Silent Observer at 231-947-TIPS.

Ohio

Mom pleads in Ohio crash that killed 2 children

ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) -- A Detroit mother has pleaded guilty in the traffic deaths of two of her children as she dozed off while driving 88 to 103 mph on the Ohio Turnpike in 2009.

Thirty-two-year-old Setita Patrick pleaded guilty Tuesday in Elyria to aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, speeding and other charges.

Judge James Burge says he intends to sentence her to probation. He encouraged her to rebuild her life and says people are praying for her.

She sideswiped a car and crashed, killing her 10-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son and injuring a 5-month-old son.

Her attorney says she fell asleep at the wheel because she was exhausted from working three jobs.

Investigators say her license had been suspended a dozen times and she should not have been driving.

Flint

Man pays $500 to bogus landlord in suspected scam

FLINT, Mich. (AP) -- Flint police says a man who thought he was paying a $500 deposit on a rental home he'd found online, instead was scammed by a woman who didn't own the property.

MLive.com reports Wednesday that the man told Flint police he found the house listed on Craigslist.org and contacted who he thought was the landlord.

He says a woman showed him the house, and after signing what she called a rental agreement, the victim paid her $500 and prepared to move into the home.

As he was moving into the house on July 20, the victim told police that a maintenance man arrived and a conversation ensued. The victim says he now believes he was defrauded by the woman, who does not own the property.

Lansing

Report: Mich. lags in measures of child well-being

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- A report says Michigan lags many other states in measures of child well-being.

The assessment comes in the 2012 Kids Count rankings released Wednesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The report says Michigan ranks 32nd among the 50 states in child well-being. It's ranked among the 10 worst when it comes to the percent of children living in high-poverty areas and for children living in families where no parent has a full-time, year-round job.

Jane Zehnder-Merrell is Kids Count in Michigan project director at the Michigan League for Human Services. She says the report reflects "troubling trends."

Michigan has ranked 30th in the past two Kids Count reports.

One bright spot, according to the report's authors, is that most Michigan children are covered by health insurance.

Published: Thu, Jul 26, 2012

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