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Macomb County launches unmanned aerial vehicle unit

MOUNT CLEMENS (AP) — The Macomb County sheriff’s office has launched a new unmanned aerial vehicle unit consisting of four drones.

Officials say the drones are able to search for missing persons and be used in rescues, barricaded gunmen and hostage situations as well as with traffic crash and crime scene investigations.

They are equipped with high-resolution cameras that can capture both aerial photos and video. One unit has a thermal imaging camera which can be used to search for someone in a wooded area or water.

The $26,000 cost of the four drones was paid from police forfeiture funds.

Two sheriff’s deputies currently have Federal Aviation Administration remote pilot certificates and more will be trained.

Police find $63K in ceiling at home of priest accused of theft

WILLIAMSTON (AP) — State police say they discovered $63,000 hidden above ceiling tiles in the home of a Michigan priest accused of embezzling millions.

The search was conducted Tuesday at the Rev. Jonathan Wehrle’s luxury home in Williamston. Police say money was in $2,000 bundles secured with cash bands that said, “For Deposit Only-St. Martha Parish.”

Wehrle is charged with six counts of embezzling $100,000 or more from St. Martha Church in Okemos. He lived at a property worth more than $1 million. Trial is scheduled for Aug. 13.

Authorities have seized $1.1 million from Wehrle, although auditors say more than $5 million is missing. Nolan has said a bishop allowed Wehrle to use church funds for a home.

Poison parsnip causes severe burns, blisters on woman’s legs

ESSEX, Vt. (AP) — A woman was left with severe burns and blisters on her legs after encountering an invasive species of plant in Vermont.

Charlotte Murphy says she developed painful blisters overnight after brushing against poison parsnip. Murphy says the blisters got so bad she had to go to the hospital to see a burn specialist.

The Essex woman learned her injuries were comparable to second-degree burns and were caused by the invasive plant.

David Grass of the Vermont Department of Health says the sap in the parsnip has a chemical reaction with the sun that causes accelerated burns. He says people should wear long pants and sleeves while in tall grass.

Murphy says she hopes her experience helps educate people.

Governor to hold office hours at the beach

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s governor says she’s holding summer office hours at the beach.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo held her first session this week at Scarborough State Beach in Narragansett. She was joined by members of her Office of Constituent Services to help connect residents with various services.

Raimondo says she looks forward to hosting office hours and hearing directly from residents at some of the state’s most popular destinations. 

She plans to go to East Matunuck State Beach on July 23 and Lincoln Woods State Park on Aug. 3.



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