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State Briefs

By the Associated Press • Sep 30, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Husband of top US education official tapped for FAA board

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' husband has been appointed to the top civilian panel advising the Federal Aviation Administration.

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced Thursday that Dick DeVos is one of seven new members on the Management Advisory Council. The 13-member group advises the FAA's senior management on policy, spending, long-term planning and regulatory matters.

Dick DeVos played a large role in improving Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Michigan. He led a group of business leaders who worked to convince Southwest Airlines to offer routes out of the Grand Rapids airport, an accomplishment credited with spurring passenger growth and lowering airfares.

The DeVoses also founded the West Michigan Aviation Academy, a charter school at the airport that prepares students for careers in the aviation industry.

Dick DeVos is the former president of direct sales giant Amway, which his father co-founded. He is currently the CEO of The Windquest Group, a Grand Rapids-based holding company.

Appointees to the FAA advisory board voluntarily serve three-year terms and are expected to retain their public and private sector roles. The group meets quarterly.

State to allow multiple marijuana grower licenses per spot

LANSING (AP) — The state of Michigan intends to allow large marijuana growers to apply for and be granted multiple licenses in a single location.

The Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation, which is implementing medical marijuana regulations under a new state law, said the guidance issued Thursday is advisory and subject to change. The state intends to let potential licensees apply for multiple "stacked" class C grow licenses.

The class C license will allow growers to grow up to 1,500 marijuana plants.

A five-tiered licensing system is being developed under a 2016 law that further regulates medical marijuana. It will impose a new 3 percent tax on provisioning centers and establish licenses to grow, process, sell, transport or test marijuana.

The state will accept license applications starting Dec. 15.

Remains found in Grand River identified as man missing since 2005

AURELIUS TWP. (AP) — Remains found earlier this year in the Grand River near Lansing have been identified as belonging to 28-year-old Leon Lockwood, who was reported missing in 2005.

Authorities said Friday that DNA testing was used to make the identification.

Lockwood's remains have been found on other occasions in or near mid-Michigan waterways. His death is being investigated as a homicide.

A human bone was found in August in Ingham County’s Aurelius Township. In 2006, Lockwood's skull and jawbone were found on a bank of the Grand River. Other body parts were found in June 2005 in the Red Cedar River near Webberville.

The Lansing State Journal reported that court records indicate authorities believe Lockwood was involved in a marijuana growing operation and that a forensic analysis of his skull found a bullet hole.

Woman, ex-beau convicted of 1992 murders of her 2 kids

PAW PAW (AP) — A southwestern Michigan woman and her ex-boyfriend have been found guilty of murder in connection with the deaths of her two young children in an apartment fire nearly 25 years ago.

Krysta McFadden was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder and first-degree felony murder, and Clint Dunning was convicted of two counts of felony murder, WWMT-TV reported.

The two were tried together with separate juries. Both verdicts were announced Friday.

Investigators said McFadden and Dunning intentionally set fire to their apartment in Van Buren County's Geneva Township in November 1992, resulting in the deaths of McFadden's children, 5-year-old Amber Rainey and 3-year-old Robert Rainey.

Defense attorneys said a fire investigator reported there was no proof the fire was arson and said neither defendant planned to kill the children.

Indiana court weighs Lake Michigan beachfront access case

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's highest court is weighing whether landowners along the state's slice of Lake Michigan must allow the public access to the beach.

The Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday in the case involving a Long Beach, Indiana, couple. Don and Bobbie Gunderson's attorney argued that the lake's 45-mile Indiana beachfront extends to the water's edge and landowners have the right to limit who uses the beaches abutting their properties.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported the state's attorney argued that Indiana owns the land between the ordinary high water mark and the water, effectively the beach itself, and maintains it as a public trust for all Hoosiers to enjoy.

Four of the five justices heard Thursday's arguments. Justice Geoffrey Slaughter is not participating because he has relatives who own lakefront property.

Indiana woman charged in tainted breast milk case arrested

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana woman accused of trying to kill her infant niece by putting pain relief medication in a bottle of breast milk has been arrested in Michigan.

The U.S. Marshals Service said Friday that a task force apprehended Sarai Rodriguez-Miranda, 19, on Thursday in Bay City. The Fort Wayne woman was awaiting extradition Friday to Indiana. She was charged Monday with attempted murder.

Court documents say her mother found text messages in January that her daughter had exchanged with her boyfriend. One allegedly describes mixing crushed pills into breast milk.

Rodriguez-Miranda was allegedly angry that her brother, his fiancee and their daughter had been staying with her and her mother.

The 11-week-old baby wasn't injured. Court documents say the milk contained the equivalent of nine Excedrin tablets or capsules, enough to kill an adult.

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