State Roundup

 Saginaw

Project seeks to reduce violent crime retaliation   
SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — State police plan to team with clergy in Saginaw and Flint as part of an effort to reduce some of the negative ways people react in the wake of violent crime.
The pilot project is to begin in January and will involve a partnership between state police and clergy of all faiths in the two cities, The Saginaw News reported. It’s called “CAUTION — Community Action Team United in Our Neighborhood.”
The program, which seeks in part to decrease retaliation after crimes, could be expanded statewide if it’s successful, state police said. Another aim of the project is to increase communication among law enforcement, clergy and area residents to improve safety.
State police are seeking clergy volunteers to contact the Tri-City Post if they are in Saginaw or the Flint Post if they are in Flint. The agency hopes to form a quick-response team of clergy members to respond to crime scenes to provide a calming influence and to act as a liaison with police.
CAUTION members also will host small community meetings where law enforcement officers and members of the cities can discuss issues.
 
Pontiac
Sub teac­her in sex case to get 5 years probation 
PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A substitute teacher in suburban Detroit who was charged after authorities say he had sexual contact with a girl who was under the age of 13 has been sentenced to five years of probation.
Court records show Andrew Howell, of Farmington Hills, was sentenced Friday in Oakland County Circuit Court. He earlier pleaded no contest to an assault charge. A no contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.
The Associated Press sent a message seeking comment Monday to a lawyer for Howell.
Police and school officials said Howell was arrested in March and charged with criminal sexual conduct. The charge stemmed from what police said was an incident that occurred with a student during school hours March 19 at a Farmington Hills school.
 
Free Soil Twp.
Police: Stalker burned boyfrie­nd’s holiday decor 
FREE SOIL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — State police have arrested a 43-year-old convicted stalker they say set fire to her ex-boyfriend’s holiday decorations in the northern Lower Peninsula.
MLive.com says state police arrested the woman Saturday in Mason County’s Free Soil Township, about 15 miles northeast of Ludington.
State police say the damage from the fire reported Friday was less than $1,000.
Authorities say the Manistee County woman is on probation for stalking. It says she’s probably going to facing new charges of arson and aggravated stalking.
 
Marquette
College slogan switch unpopular with some at NMU
MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) — Northern Michigan University wants to change its slogan after 20 years but some students are not afraid to speak their minds that they do not care for a proposed new one.
The university’s interim president, David Haynes, said recently that “Fearless Minds” was a front runner in the search for an updated slogan to replace “Northern. Naturally.”
Student Devin Manges dislikes “Fearless Minds” so much that she started an online petition against it, according to The Mining Journal of Marquette.
“Our minds are probably not considerably more fearless than others,” the petition reads. “It truly is our ties to the Marquette and U.P. culture and nature that set us apart from the rest, and the brand should reflect this.”
Manges said she does not necessarily favor keeping the current slogan, but it’s better than the alternative.
“One thing that NMU really has going for it, that really sets it apart from other universities, is our connection to the Marquette culture and the environment that we’re surrounded by,” Manges said. “I think if we change that slogan, not necessarily saying that we have to keep ‘Northern. Naturally.’ but if we change it to not really reflect the environment that we’re in, I think it’s going to be a loss of identity for NMU and I don’t think that would be a very good thing.”
Downstate marketing firm Genesis has been working with the university on a new marketing campaign, Communications Director Cindy Paavola said. She cautioned that no final decision has been made on the slogan.
“We always felt we had a strong tagline that resonated with at least a certain percentage of the student population,” Paavola said. “’Northern. Naturally.’ certainly has its strengths, but it has some obvious downfalls, too.”

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