State Roundup

 Detroit

DIA annou­n­c­es more donors in Detroit bankruptcy 
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Institute of Arts says it is just 20 percent shy of its goal to raise $100 million to prevent the sale of art in Detroit’s bankruptcy and help city pensioners.
The museum made the announcement Wednesday while disclosing nearly $27 million in new donations from a group of companies and foundations, including $10 million from Roger Penske and Penske Corp.
It says it has total pledges so far of about $80 million. The state of Michigan, the museum and foundations have together agreed to give $816 million to the so-called grand bargain.
It’s all part of Detroit’s bankruptcy restructuring plan. The money will be available only if retirees and city workers vote in favor of pension cuts. The results will be announced Monday.

Grosse Pointe Park
Reputed Detroit mob boss Jack W. Tocco dies at 87 
GROSSE POINTE PARK, Mich. (AP) — Reputed Detroit mob boss Jack W. Tocco, who was convicted of racketeering in 1998 in a federal crackdown on organized crime, has died. He was 87.
Tocco, who said he fought his entire life to clear his name, died Monday at home in the Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe Park, according to Bagnasco & Calcaterra Funeral Home, which is handling arrangements. A cause of death wasn’t released.
Tocco, whose family had a linen business, grew up in suburban Detroit and repeatedly proclaimed his innocence. He was convicted of racketeering and conspiracy to commit extortion in 1998. He served nearly three years behind bars in the case and paid $950,000 to the government.
Attorney James Bellanca Jr., whose firm represents Tocco, said he learned of Tocco’s death from his family. In an email, he said Tocco lived his life “under the scrutiny of the government and the subject of public accusation.” He said Tocco tried to clear his name.
“Individuals familiar with his conviction in 1998 believe it was based more on the reputation that had been created for him than any evidence of wrongdoing presented against him at trial,” Bellanca said. “He served his sentence quietly and with the same dignity he lived his life.”
A federal jury in 1998 convicted Tocco of taking part in a 30-year racketeering conspiracy that included loan-sharking, illegal gambling, obstruction of justice and attempts to gain hidden interests in Nevada casinos. The FBI labeled him the Detroit crime family’s boss in an organizational chart released in 1990.
Tocco was included in a 1996 indictment targeting alleged organized crime figures in Detroit. At a news conference about the case at the time, FBI Special Agent Joseph Martinolich Jr., who headed the Detroit office, said: “Here in Detroit, we believe we’ve driven a stake through the heart of La Cosa Nostra.”
Tocco initially was sentenced to one year and a day, but that sentence was later invalidated by the appeals court after the government argued the penalty was too lenient. In 2000, a federal judge in Detroit imposed a new sentence of 34 months.
Tocco, who completed his 34-month sentence, that year thanked relatives and friends for their support and criticized former associates who testified against him.
“All my adult life, I’ve been fighting to clear my name,” he said at a court hearing. “And I will continue that fight to clear my name until the time I die.”
 
Lansing
Lawmaker plans bill to reinstate fireworks ban 
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A lawmaker is planning to introduce legislation this week that would reverse Michigan’s decision to legalize louder, more powerful fireworks.
State Sen. Glenn Anderson says the 2011 law was a “monumental mistake” and he heard countless complaints after the July 4th holiday. The Westland Democrat’s bill would reinstate Michigan’s ban on commercial-grade fireworks.
In response to complaints, the Legislature last year gave local governments power to restrict the use of fireworks on the day before, during and after a national holiday. But Anderson says municipalities have struggled to do so, and police departments can’t address noise and safety problems.
The law’s defenders say it’s meant no more clandestine trips out of state. 

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