State Briefs

Associated Press • Sep 13, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Former youth pastor gets prison in decade-old abuse case

GRAND HAVEN (AP) — A former youth pastor who admitted to sexually abusing a young boy in Ottawa County a decade ago has been sentenced to 3½ to 15 years in prison.

Daniel Hoffman, 31, learned his punishment on Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Court, WOOD-TV reported. He earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Authorities said Hoffman was being treated at a hospital for mental health issues last year when he told a nurse about the abuse. The victim, a former neighbor of Hoffman in Jenison who is now an adult, told detectives that it happened between 2003 and 2008. Hoffman was charged in May.

Since the period when the alleged abused took place, Hoffman worked in a school district and as a church’s youth minister.

Michigan House votes to continue 0.08 drunken driving limit

LANSING (AP) — Legislation moving forward in Michigan's Legislature would continue the state's 0.08 blood-alcohol limit for drunken driving until 2023.

The limit is set to return to 0.10 in 2018, putting federal funding at risk unless lawmakers act.

Legislators first moved to the 0.08 blood-alcohol level in 2003 but have twice put a sunset provision in the law so the issue is revisited.

The House approved the bills 106-1 Tuesday. The legislation next goes to the Senate for consideration.

One of the sponsors, Republican Rep. Klint Kesto of Commerce Township in Oakland County, said "our roads are becoming safer every year with the 0.08 standard," and allowing the limit to rise to 0.10 would send a "dangerous message."

Michigan Guard pulls back troops planned for Irma response

LANSING (AP) — The Michigan National Guard is pulling back troops being sent to Florida after being told they weren't needed for Hurricane Irma recovery efforts.

Some Michigan troops had already departed for Florida when a Guard official said the decision was made Tuesday to turn them around. Lt. Col. Dawn Dancer said Florida officials decided they didn't need additional Guard troops from around the country.

The Michigan Guard had planned to send about 1,000 members to Florida.

Dancer said Michigan Guard leaders are monitoring Irma-related troubles in other states and will be ready to send troops elsewhere if needed.

Feedback sought on plan to keep Asian carp from Great Lakes

MUSKEGON (AP) — Federal officials are hosting three public meetings this week to get feedback on a plan to prevent Asian carp from slipping into the Great Lakes and threatening native fish species.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a proposal in August to block the invasive fish at a lock-and-dam complex in Joliet, Illinois, a choke point between the carp-infested Illinois River and Lake Michigan. The $275 million dollar plan includes measures such as installing underwater sound equipment and electric barriers.

The first hearing took place Monday in Chicago. The second is scheduled for Thursday at Muskegon Community College in Muskegon, and the third will be Sept. 18 at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Illinois.

The meetings are being broadcast live on the Army Corps of Engineers' Rock Island District Facebook page.

High-tech weather buoy placed near Lake Superior lighthouse

MARQUETTE (AP) — A high-tech weather buoy has been installed near a Lake Superior lighthouse that's considered one of the most remote in North America.

Stannard Rock Light rests on a shallow reef 45 miles north of Marquette. It's an ideal location for Great Lakes weather and climate research.

Scientists from the Superior Watershed Partnership and Lentic Environmental Services recently deployed the new buoy about a mile from the lighthouse. It will provide data on wave height, water temperature, wind speed and other variables.

The data will be transmitted via satellite and posted to websites including the Great Lakes Observing System and the National Data Buoy Center.

Scientist John Lenters said weather data has been gathered at the lighthouse for years. But the new buoy will tell mariners more about wave conditions.

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