State Roundup

Warren
Judge orders city to allow atheist’s ‘reason station’

WARREN, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the city of Warren to allow an atheist man to set up an informational booth similar to those run by churches.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Hluchaniuk ruled Monday that everyone should have the same access to city hall. Since the facility welcomes prayer stations, he said the proposed “reason station” also must be allowed to operate on the same terms.
The Detroit Free Press reports a lawsuit was filed on behalf of Warren resident Douglas Marshall last summer after his request to set up a reason station in city hall was denied. Mayor James Fouts rejected the application because he feared it could create conflict in city hall.
The city also must pay the American Civil Liberties Union $100,000 for costs and attorney fees.

Flint
Mother, daughter plead in fake substitute case

WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A woman accused of trying to pose as her mother to work as a Detroit-area substitute teacher faces sentencing next month along with her mom.
Twenty-four-year-old Dayonlynn Bell and 44-year-old Donna Farley pleaded no contest Monday to charges of false pretenses in 51st District Court. The Flint women face up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Sentencing is March 16. A no contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.
Authorities say Bell used her mother’s teacher identification while pretending to be a substitute at Riverside Elementary School in Waterford Township.
Authorities say Bell told them that she impersonated her mother because Farley didn’t want to miss an appointment. Police say the women later told authorities that they needed money.

Saginaw
Inmate, 51, pleads guilty in cellmate slaying

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — A 51-year-old man already in a Michigan prison for a 1991 slaying faces sentencing in April for killing his cellmate.
The Saginaw News reports Steven D. Sandison pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder in the Oct. 29 death of 67-year-old Theodore Dyer at Saginaw Correctional Facility near Saginaw.
Dyer, who was from Grand Haven, was serving 25-50 years for first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Sandison says he killed Dyer because the man was a child molester and Dyer wouldn’t stop talking about the case. Sandison says he hit Dyer and wrapped a cord around his neck.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 8.
Sandison earlier was transferred to another prison, where he is serving a sentence of life behind bars without parole for an October 1991 killing in Wayne County.

Lansing
Approves ex-golf course land sale for development

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Lansing City Council has approved the sale of part of the former Red Cedar Golf Course for use in a planned $276 million housing, retail and restaurant development.
The Lansing State Journal reports that Monday’s vote means officials can close on the sale of about 30 acres to Ferguson/Continental Lansing LLC for $7.1 million.
Council members also approved a comprehensive development agreement for the property. The “Red Cedar Renaissance” project calls for a 10-story hotel as well as housing geared toward college students, professionals and retirees.
The city plans to keep 22 acres of the former golf course near the Red Cedar River for use as a park. Proceeds from the sale will be used in part to improve facilities in the park portion of the former golf course.

Hastings
Deadly fungal disease confirmed in rattlesnakes

HASTINGS, Mich. (AP) — A group of scientists says eastern massasauga rattlesnakes in three parts of Michigan have been found with a skin disease that can be deadly for the reptiles.
The Grand Rapids Press reports Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Barry County says genetic analysis was used to determine that five of the snakes from a sampling of 100 have snake fungal disease. It institute is among the sites where infected snakes were found.
Snakes near Grayling and Cassopolis also were found with the fungal disease.
It causes swelling, crusty scabs or open wounds.
Researchers are monitoring the disease, which can be carried by a number of snake species.
Scientists in 2013 used diagnostic testing to identify two other cases of snake fungal disease in Michigan. Both snakes died from the disease.

Highland Twp.
Police arrest teen, after school threat

HIGHLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say they have arrested a 14-year-old Michigan boy after he made threats he was going to “shoot up” his suburban Detroit high school.
The boy appeared Monday for a hearing before Oakland County court Referee Karla Mallett, who ordered him held without bond in juvenile detention on a terrorism threat charge. His next court date is March 9.
The Oakland County sheriff’s department says the boy threatened to make an attack at Milford High School.
A news release says police received a complaint on a social media site that the teen said “he was going to shoot up” the school, comparing his plans to the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Colorado.
Investigators say authorities removed multiple firearms from his Highland Township home.

Big Rapids
Alumnus donates $5M to FSU pharmacy school

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Ferris State University says an alumnus has donated $5 million for its College of Pharmacy, the largest in the Big Rapids school’s history.
The university announced the gift Monday, saying it will fund scholarships, an endowed chair for medical informatics and other activities.
The gift comes from Phil and Jocelyn Hagerman as well as the Hagerman Foundation.
Phil Hagerman is chairman and chief executive of Flint-based Diplomat Pharmacy Inc. He and several members of his family are Ferris alumni.
Hagerman says he wants the pharmacy industry to recognize the important role Ferris has played in his personal and professional success.
The school is renaming its pharmacy facility the Hagerman Pharmacy Building.
Founded in 1884 as Big Rapids Industrial School, Ferris State has about 15,000 students.

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