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State Briefs

By the Associated Press • Dec 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Coast Guard says 2 vessels freed from ice on St. Marys River

SAULT STE. MARIE (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard said ice-breaking ships have freed two vessels that were stuck in the St. Marys River.

Coast Guard officials said Thursday that the cutter Biscayne Bay freed one vessel from the up-bound channel Middle Neebish Channel where it became stuck in the ice on Wednesday.

The Canadian Coast Guard ship Samuel Risley was able to assist a vessel that got stuck in the down-bound channel near Sawmill Point early Thursday.

The U.S. Coast Guard said 12 vessels were delayed by the stuck ships.

The 140-foot Biscayne Bay also helped free a freighter Tuesday near Neebish Island, southeast of Sault Ste. Marie.

The St. Marys River is along the eastern edge of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Man found shot to death in marijuana dispensary, police say

DETROIT (AP) — A 28-year-old man has been shot to death inside a marijuana dispensary on Detroit's west side during an apparent robbery.

The man's body was found Wednesday evening behind a counter. Investigators said the cash register was open and contained no money.

Police told WDIV-TV that a license for the dispensary could not be found. WWJ-AM reported that the building doesn't have exterior signs that say a marijuana dispensary is inside.

No arrests have been made.

Two ‘explorers’ arrested after breaking into vacant school building

PONTIAC (AP) — Two Macomb County men have been arrested after breaking into a vacant Pontiac school.

The Oakland County Sheriff's Office said deputies went to the school Thursday morning when interior alarms went off shortly after midnight.

Deputies found a broken window on the first floor. A 17-year-old from Macomb Township and 21-year-old from Eastpointe were found on the roof.

The men indicated to deputies that they were "explorers" of abandoned buildings. One of the men had written his Instagram user-name on a blackboard in the school.

They are charged with breaking and entering and trespassing.

Police said the school has been closed for years, but is privately owned.

Kalamazoo man pleads guilty in slaying of elderly neighbor

KALAMAZOO (AP) — A southwestern Michigan man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the beating death of his elderly neighbor.

Todd Maneke's plea agreement came Wednesday in Kalamazoo County Circuit Court and calls for a prison sentence of 15-20 years, the Grand Rapids Press reported.

Alfred Minka was found dead in August 2013 on the floor of his Kalamazoo apartment. Forensics experts testified that the 88-year-old Minka had been hit in the back of the head several times with a hammer or similar object.

Maneke was on trial in September, but a judge declared a mistrial because she learned several jurors had researched the case outside of what was presented in court.

Maneke's new trial was scheduled to start next month.

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