State Roundup

Shiawassee Queen riverboat sold for $50, dismantled

CHESANING, Mich. (AP) - A riverboat that for years was as symbol of the Saginaw County community of Chesaning and its popular summer music festival has been sold for $50 and dismantled.

Chesaning lawyer Kent Greenfelder, who bought the 70-foot Shiawassee Queen in June, told The Saginaw News ( ) that he had hoped to renovate the boat and rent it for parties and weddings. However, the boat was too dilapidated.

Greenfelder said he had most of the three-level riverboat dismantled and hopes to sell the remaining platform, which floats on large pontoons.

"I had no choice but to take it down to where it is," he said. "It's basically a barge now. If it's not able to stay where it's at now, it couldn't exist over the winter. Basically, I was tasked with getting rid of it."

The Chesaning Showboat Festival started in 1937. Marci King, executive director of the Chesaning Chamber of Commerce, said the festival had used several boats over the years to take people to and from shows before the event went out of business in 2013.

After the festival folded, the Chesaning Chamber of Commerce was left with the remnants of a once thriving event, including the Shiawassee Queen. Greenfelder said the chamber contacted him to bid on the boat, which he had tried to purchase a few years ago.

FBI chief moving to Washington Field Office

DETROIT (AP) - Special Agent in charge of the FBI in Detroit Paul Abbate has been promoted to assistant director in charge of the bureau's field office in Washington.

The FBI announced the move on its website.

Abbate has run the FBI's Detroit Division since October 2013 after a stint as special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office, Counterterrorism Division. He also served as temporary on-scene commander in Libya.

The FBI says Abbate joined the bureau in 1996 as a special agent assigned to the New York Field Office. He was transferred in 2003 to the Counterterrorism Division's Iraq Unit as supervisory special agent. Abbate was deployed to Iraq two years later as senior FBI liaison officer to the Defense department.

He also has led counterterrorism operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

1 in 5 Michigan lawmakers lack college degree

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - One out of every five Michigan lawmakers doesn't have a formal degree in higher education.

The finding comes through research by The Detroit News. Those without degrees include state Sen. Tom Casperson, who is in his second term in the Senate after serving three terms in the state House.

The Republican from Escanaba says life experience "is as deeply as important" as higher education. Casperson started working in his father's log trucking business when he was 11, and owned the business before starting in politics.

Eastern Michigan University professor Ed Sidlow says lawmakers without college degrees can be at a disadvantage, saying the experience helps people think systematically.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 34 percent of Americans age 25 to 29 had a bachelor's degree in 2014, up from 23 percent in 1990.

Generous online donors back paralyzed pair

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - Online donations are pouring in for two brothers from Kalamazoo who were paralyzed in accidents eight months apart.

As of late Sunday, an account on the website GoFundMe had raised about $51,400 to help pay for expenses for Adam and Matt Chaffee.

Eight months ago, Matt Chaffee was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident, and his brother cared for him. Adam Chaffee, a senior at Western Michigan University, injured his spinal cord in a swimming accident late last month, and he's in stable condition at Bronson Methodist Hospital.

Factory from the1800s to be made into housing

JONESVILLE, Mich. (AP) - An old factory in southern Michigan that produced wagons, cars and even parts for Barbie dolls is getting a new life as an apartment building.

The old Kiddie Brush and Toy factory in Jonesville has been quiet since the 1970s. But by next spring, the owners hope to have nearly 50 housing units with one or two bedrooms, about 50 miles southeast of Battle Creek.

"We've been looking forward to this for a long time," City Manager Jeff Gray told the Hillsdale Daily News.

The four-story brick building has been around since the late 1800s. It produced wagons, carriages, sleighs and cars before it was turned into a toy factory. Besides Barbie parts, it also made the Suzy Goose line of housekeeping toys.

Published: Tue, Aug 04, 2015