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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Feb 6, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Two fishermen dead after fall through ice in Saginaw Bay

FAIRHAVEN TWP. (AP) — Authorities said two fishermen have been found dead after they fell through ice on Saginaw Bay.

The Huron County Sheriff's Department said it responded Sunday after a person reported that he'd received a voicemail from a friend who reported falling through the ice off of Fairhaven Township, about 100 miles north of Detroit.

The department said an ATV and ice fishing shanty were found in water roughly 4 feet deep. The bodies of 73-year-old Dennis Shaw of Fowlerville and 69-year-old Willard Slider of Caro were found nearby.

Police said the call for help appears to have been made at about 9:30 a.m. Sunday, but the voicemail didn't arrive until about 2:30 p.m.

Authorities are urging people to use caution on unpredictable ice.

Man sent to prison for Michigan crash that killed fire chief

KALAMAZOO (AP) — A 24-year-old man who pleaded guilty to reckless driving in connection with a freeway crash that killed a fire chief in southern Michigan has been sentenced to 3½ to 15 years in prison.

Brandon Clevenger of Battle Creek learned his punishment Monday in a Kalamazoo courtroom and said he accepted "full responsibility."

Investigators said Clevenger was driving nearly 90 mph and was distracted by his cellphone just before striking a median wall last June. His vehicle crossed lanes of I-94 in Comstock Township.

Comstock Township Fire Chief Edward Switalski died after being struck as he responded to another crash.

Switalski worked for more than three decades at Pleasantview Fire District in suburban Chicago before becoming Comstock Township chief in 2013.

Court again overturns 41-year sentence in fireman's death

DETROIT (AP) — Nearly 10 years later, the sentence in a fatal arson that killed a Detroit firefighter still is unresolved.

The Michigan appeals court last week sent the case back to Wayne County court. When Mario Willis is sentenced for a third time, it will be handled by a different judge.

Willis twice was sentenced to at least 41 years in prison for a fire that killed Detroit firefighter Walt Harris in 2008. The appeals court said Judge Michael Callahan again failed to adequately explain why he exceeded the sentencing guidelines.

Willis was convicted of second-degree murder. He was accused of paying a handyman $20 to burn down an abandoned house. The roof collapsed on Harris while he was fighting the fire.

Willis has remained in prison during appeals.

West Michigan family with 13 sons expecting next child in April

ROCKFORD (AP) — A Rockford couple with 13 sons is expecting a 14th child in April, but they’re waiting until birth to learn the sex.

Jay and Kateri Schwandt said adding another child to their large family won't be too big of a logistic change or financial burden, WOOD-TV reported. Kateri Schwandt said she's used to large families, as one of 14 children herself.

"If you have three, it's the same as having 10 at this point, if you ask me," she said. "It's just more chaos, more noise. It's nothing we're not used to at this point."

Like with their last few children, the couple have decided against learning the baby's sex before the birth.

"I would love to have a girl, but I just don't think it's in the cards," Jay Schwandt said.

This will likely be their last child, he added.

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