State Roundup

 Port Huron

15-ton scul­pture of sturgeon draws visitor attention 
PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) — A 15-ton steel sculpture of a sturgeon is drawing attention along the new $6 million Blue Water River Walk in Port Huron.
The Community Foundation of St. Clair County installed the sculpture of the fish, the Times Herald of Port Huron reported. They are among the better-known types of fish in the St. Clair River and also live in waters including the Great Lakes.
“The sculpture fits into the story that we are trying tell along the river,” said Randy Maiers, community foundation president. “We are trying to tell the story of the rebirth of a shoreline and the restoration of a habitat.”
Lou Rodriquez, of South Haven, says it took him three months to complete the sturgeon sculpture.
“I wanted to give the sculpture movement in order for it to look natural, so I curved the steel,” Rodriquez said. “I wanted it to have a life-like appeal.”
The $10,000 sculpture was funded by private donations and commissioned specifically for the river walk, which officially opens Saturday. “Sugar, the Iron Horse,” a sculpture to the south of the sturgeon, cost $15,000 and also was paid for through private donations.
“The sturgeon is one of the most famous Great Lakes fish and the steel it’s made out of fits with our industrial heritage,” Maiers said. “The iron horse fits into the story because is it made of industrial debris. That is the history of the site of the river walk.”
Names for the sturgeon sculpture are being solicited on the Community Foundation’s Facebook page. More sculptures could be added in 2015, along with a fishing pier. Events on Saturday include kite flying and a kayak demonstration, as well as guided tours.
“We still have a lot we want to do to the river walk,” Maiers said. “But we want to celebrate what we have done.”
Man is sentenced for killing aged 80 former stepfather 
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A Flint man has been sentenced to 40 to 75 years in prison for killing his 80-year-old former stepfather.
The Flint Journal reports 54-year-old Sampson Edward Marks was sentenced Tuesday in Genesee Circuit Court after he earlier pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the April 18, 2013, death of Sammie McBroom.
Marks was initially charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery after McBroom was found dead in a home on the city’s north side.
Flint police say McBroom, who was Marks’ former stepfather through a previous marriage, died from blunt-force trauma to the head. State records show he was paroled July 10, 2012, and was under state supervision at the time of McBroom’s death.
Ann Arbor
Trial rescheduled in slaying of EMU football player
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A judge has rescheduled the trial of two Detroit men charged in the robbery and fatal shooting of Eastern Michigan University football player Demarius Reed.
Judge Donald Shelton moved the trial date in Washtenaw County for Kristopher Pratt and Ed Thomas, both 20, to July 21. It had been set for June 23.
The Ann Arbor News reports that Shelton said he met with attorneys in his chambers to discuss the scheduling, but no reason for the change was given in open court.
Pratt and Thomas are charged with open murder and armed robbery.
Reed, of Chicago, was killed Oct. 18 at his off-campus apartment building. Police said Reed’s wallet and cellphone were taken.
The 20-year-old was a wide receiver on the football team.
Marks served time in prison for multiple convictions, including breaking and entering.
Former teacher charged in sexual assault case 
ARMADA, Mich. (AP) — A former southeastern Michigan science teacher is charged with sexual assault after authorities say he had a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old student.
The Macomb County prosecutor’s office announced charges Wednesday against Robert Yaek including first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Police and prosecutors say the 25-year-old had a series of sexual encounters with the student between February and May in a rented house in Armada, where he taught, and a school closet. Prosecutors say Yaek also sent explicit photographs of himself to the girl’s cellphone.
The Associated Press left a message seeking comment Wednesday at telephone listing for Yaek.
The prosecutor’s office says Yaek has resigned from Armada Area Schools. He’s due in court this week for arraignment on the charges in 42-1 District Court in Romeo.
Armed moviegoer faces sentencing for his CIA badge 
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A man who carried a loaded gun and wore body armor while seeing a movie near Flint faces sentencing for a phony CIA identification badge.
Cassidy Delavergne is scheduled to appear Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Flint, where he earlier pleaded guilty to having the badge.
He had a permit to carry a concealed weapon and wasn’t charged with a gun crime.
His attorney has said Delavergne wore a CIA badge around his neck because he was watching the movie “Red 2” at Trillium theater in Grand Blanc Township. Theater management has said he wasn’t threatening anyone. “Red 2” is an action comedy involving a retired agent and his team of operatives.
Family besieged by thousands of bees living in tree
SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — A Saginaw family is being besieged by tens of thousands of bees living in a maple tree at their home.
Toby Sewell, owner of J&T Beekeepers, tells The Saginaw News that he estimates 60,000 to 70,000 bees were living in the tree.
Crystal Parker says the bees swarmed Sunday above her home. “Saying there were a lot of bees would be an understatement,” she says.
Sewell says he’s dealt with past problems with big bee colonies and says he’s got a plan to get the bees out of the neighborhood about 85 miles northwest of Detroit. He’ll build a beehive replica, seal off all but one entrance to the inside of the tree and lure bees into the replica.
He says the bees will be moved to another location.
Steps at state Capitol building getting overhaul 
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The steps at the east entrance to the state Capitol building in Lansing are being closed for the summer so crews can refurbish them and add ice-melting technology.
Renovations began last month and should be finished by Sept. 1, the Lansing State Journal reported. Crews are replacing the limestone steps and will install a heating loop underneath the steps and nearby sidewalks to melt ice during the winter.
The steps are a popular spot for photos among tourists, wedding parties and others. Matt White, assistant director of Capitol facility operations, said the heating system will eliminate the need for chemical de-icers that can damage the limestone.
“They were cracked and broken up,” White said. “We were going to replace them anyway, so we got the idea to put the heat circle in to preserve it.”
The steps will last longer without the use of chemical de-icers, officials said. Overall, the project is expected to cost $90,000. Steve Benkovsky, Capitol facilities director, said the money is part of $3.1 million the Legislature allocated to the building this fiscal year.
With this year’s funding, crews also have renovated the building’s air conditioning system and its heating and cooling controls. They also plan to make some roof repairs, Benkovsky said.