Daily Briefs . . .

$3.2M in grants to help people in Michigan find, keep homes


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded more than $3.2 million in grants to help people in Michigan find housing, make better informed choices about housing and keep their homes.

The housing counseling grants announced Tuesday include $2.3 million to Farmington Hills-based nonprofit credit counseling agency GreenPath. Other funding recipients include the Grand Rapids Urban League, Oakland County Housing Counseling in Pontiac and the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency in Traverse City.

A full list of recipients is posted online.

HUD officials say home ownership is the primary way families begin to build wealth. The federal department says Michigan’s home ownership rate is nearly 73 percent. HUD published research last fall that found counseling improves the home-buying and -ownership process.
 

Man convicted of killing neighbor while she cleared snow


GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan man accused of killing his neighbor while she cleared snow has been found guilty of first-degree murder.

Wendell Popejoy is set to be sentenced on Nov. 5. Popejoy faces a mandatory life prison term without the possibility of parole for the December 2017 killing of Sheila Bonge.

The jury in Ottawa County Circuit Court deliberated nearly three hours Monday before reaching its verdict.

Police say Bonge was shot while clearing snow from an easement that she and neighbors used to get to their driveways in Crockery Township.

Members of her family found her body under snowfall down a hill behind Popejoy’s house. He shot her in the back of the head then pushed her body down the hill on a sled.

After his arrest, Popejoy told police that Bonge was a “nuisance to the neighborhood” and the killing was a “snap decision.”

 

Detroit-area health CEO pleads guilty in health fraud scheme
 

DETROIT (AP) — A former Detroit-area health care company CEO has pleaded guilty in an investigation into what federal authorities describe as scheme to illegally distribute controlled substances to drug addicts and others.

The Justice Department says 38-year-old Mashiyat Rashid of West Bloomfield, who led the Tri-County Wellness Group of medical providers in Michigan and Ohio, pleaded guilty Monday to charges including conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud. Prosecutors say he paid kickbacks to obtain patients and solicited bribes for physicians to refer Medicare beneficiaries.

Rashid agreed to forfeit more than $51 million as part of his plea agreement. Sentencing is April 11.
 

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