State Roundup


Official: Police in village under investigation 
OAKLEY, Mich. (AP) — An official says the state wants to know whether a small Michigan village police department with a large force of reserve officers is violating any rules.
David L. Harvey, executive director of the Michigan Commission of Law Enforcement Standards, tells The Saginaw News the state wants to know whether the Saginaw County village of Oakley is violating rules governing officer licensing.
Harvey says the commission has started a joint investigation of the village, which has a population of 300 and a reserve officer force estimated at 100.
Chief Rob Reznick says the department and reserve force have done nothing wrong. He says they’ll cooperate.
Reservists donate thousands of dollars to help the village with expenses. Most are from out of town, but as reservists they’re allowed to carry weapons.
Pine River Twp.
Police: Bulldozer kills Michigan farm worker 
PINE RIVER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Michigan police are investigating the death of a man run over by an unmanned bulldozer.
Michigan State Police says 46-year-old William Courter of Alma died Monday at a Gratiot County farm from injuries sustained from the incident. Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the scene.
Police say there wasn’t an operator seated on the bulldozer when it hit Courter. Farm employees were finishing maintenance work on a barn at the time.
Courter’s mother-in-law tells the Morning Sun of Mount Pleasant that his death is a “catastrophe” for his family and 11 other families connected to the farm.
Man sentenced in beating death of 2-year-old girl 
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan man has been sentenced to more than 18 years in prison in the 2011 beating death of his 2-year-old daughter who was found with human bite marks on her body.
The Flint Journal reports 23-year-old Donovan Haynes was sentenced Monday to roughly 18 to 40 years in prison after pleading no contest to second-degree murder. A no contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt, but is treated as such for sentencing.
Before being sentenced, Haynes unsuccessfully tried to withdraw his plea.
Haynes’ attorney Elbert Hatchett says his client is “deranged” and should undergo counseling in prison.
Authorities say Haynes beat and bit his daughter, Ti’Airra Woodward. Prosecutors say she was found unresponsive in the basement of Haynes’ mother’s Flint Township home. Cause of death was internal bleeding.
Meridian Twp.
Muslim group wa­nts ass­ault investigation 
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A Muslim civil rights group is calling on Michigan authorities to investigate a reported attack on a Muslim woman as a possible hate crime.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations says three people allegedly attacked a 26-year-old woman in a shopping mall parking lot in Meridian Township on Saturday. It says they attempted to pull her dress and face veil off before knocking her down and shouting expletives at her.
The group says she was hospitalized for 36 hours for chest pain and numbness in her left arm.
A Meridian Township police officer tells the Lansing State Journal authorities responded to an assault complaint at the mall Saturday. He declined to discuss details. He says the investigation is open and no arrests had been made by Monday afternoon.
Report: State child poverty up, teen deaths down 
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The annual Kids Count survey finds child poverty rates rising during 25 years of data-gathering while fewer teens are giving birth or dying.
The report released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation says Michigan ranks 32nd in overall child well-being nationally, down one slot since last year.
Michigan’s lowest ranking was in education, where children have struggled in math, reading and graduating on time. But since 1990, the state has seen significant improvements with its children attending preschool and having a parent or guardian with a diploma.
Michigan League for Public Policy says in a statement that “good public policy” has made a difference in some areas. But it’s “not acceptable” that Michigan ranks in the bottom half of the nation and more needs to be done.
4 farms selected to produce energy for Jackson utility 
JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — Four Michigan farms have been selected to produce electricity for a utility using biodegradable material in anaerobic digesters.
Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp. announced the plans Tuesday, saying it’s a part of an effort to diversify the use of renewable energy by Consumers Energy.
The utility says Beaver Creek Farms in Coopersville, Brook View Dairy in Freeport, Green Meadow Farms in Elsie and Scenic View Dairy in Fennville were selected. They could generate electricity under contracts that collectively provide 2.6 megawatts of capacity.
Consumers Energy says that could power about 2,800 homes. The utility worked with Michigan State University and others to develop the program.
The anaerobic digesters are in addition to other renewable energy sources tapped by the utility, including wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric dams.

$5M grant to help boost middle school education 
HOUGHTON, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Technological University says a $5 million grant will help in an effort to improve middle school science education that is expected to be tested in several school districts.
The Houghton school on Monday announced the three-year grant from the Midland-based Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.
The foundation has funded the Michigan Science Teaching and Assessment Reform program, or Mi-STAR, to develop a model for changing middle-school education in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. It will include coming up with a new STEM curriculum.
Several other universities are among those involved. A pilot project is expected to take place in several school districts, including Midland, Grand Rapids and Eaton Rapids as well as the Public Schools of Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw and Houghton-Portage Township Schools.