State Roundup

Grand Rapids
Non-discrimination policy may add sexual orientation

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - A city in western Michigan may add sexual orientation and gender identity to an existing non-discrimination ordinance on housing and employment.

City leaders in East Grand Rapids on Monday supported the amendment and a March 16 second reading is planned where it could be approved.

Mayor Amna Seibold says it "will ensure there is no discrimination."

East Grand Rapids leaders expressed disappointment that state lawmakers failed to pass legislation on the issue. Part of the proposed ordinance was modeled after similar measures in other Michigan cities.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has called for legislative discussion to amend the state's civil rights law to prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in employment, housing and places open to the public, but bills died last session.

Roscommon
Police: Boy, 10, runs over brother in stolen car

ROSCOMMON, Mich. (AP) - Authorities say a 9-year-old boy was hospitalized after his 10-year-old brother apparently ran him over with a stolen car in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula.

TV stations WWTV and WPBN report the Roscommon County sheriff's department responded early Sunday after a woman called to report her sons had broken into a car dealership and driven cars in the lot.

The boys were turned over to their parents, but deputies were called to the boys' home several hours later after the 9-year-old got pinned under a car. Deputies say the boys returned to the Roscommon dealership, stole cars from the lot and drove around Roscommon.

The department says one ended up in a snow bank and the other in the boys' yard. The boy was freed and airlifted to a Flint hospital.

St. Joseph
Former teacher gets probation in illicit photos case

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) - A former southwestern Michigan middle school teacher accused of taking cellphone pictures of a student's underwear has been sentenced to five years of probation.

The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph reports 37-year-old Aaron Badger was sentenced Monday. Berrien County Trial Court Judge Arthur Cotter told him that his behavior was "stunning" and an inexcusable violation of trust.

Badger apologized to his former students and the community.

Badger pleaded guilty in January to surveilling an unclothed person or in their underwear, a felony offense that carries a penalty of up to two years in prison. Other felony charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement.

Badger taught social studies at New Buffalo Middle School. He was charged as the result of complaints last year from a female student and resigned.

Wyoming
Officers acted in self-defense, says county prosecutor

WYOMING, Mich. (AP) - A prosecutor has determined two police officers acted in self-defense during a fatal shootout with a suspect in a Grand Rapids suburb.

The Grand Rapids Press reports Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth issued an opinion Monday on the Jan. 29 incident involving Alan James of Wyoming. Officers from the Wyoming and Kentwood police departments were responding to a domestic complaint when James started firing shots.

Forsyth said the two officers in question acted appropriately because the suspect's actions placed them in imminent danger of death of great bodily harm.

The officers fired 11 shots at James after he pointed a gun at them. He had already wounded Wyoming police officer Frank Hartuniewicz and fired shots at two other officers.

James died nine days later at a hospital.

Published: Wed, Mar 04, 2015

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