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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Jul 21, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Kayaker's body found in Lake Michigan nearly 2 years later

BEULAH (AP) — Authorities in northern Michigan believe they've found the body of a kayaker who went missing nearly two years ago.

Volunteers with high-tech equipment discovered a body Thursday in deep water in Lake Michigan's Platte Bay. Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel told MLive.com "they're the heroes."

In 2016, Tyler Spink of Kalkaska was paddling with a friend on Labor Day when their kayaks capsized. They had started at the mouth of the Platte River in Benzie County. Spink's friend was rescued, but the 21-year-old disappeared below the surface.

Bruce's Legacy is a Wisconsin-based group of volunteers that helps families of drowning victims. It's named for Black River Falls firefighter Bruce Cormican, who died in 1995 while searching for a drowning victim.

Keith Cormican credited Spink's mother, Kelly, for not "giving up."

Western Michigan official resigns after harassment investigation

KALAMAZOO (AP) — A high-ranking official at Western Michigan University resigned after a sexual-harassment investigation.

Documents released Friday by WMU said there is "sufficient evidence" to support a finding of harassment against Tim Terrentine. He resigned July 9 as vice president of development and alumni relations.

No details were released. WMU spokeswoman Paula Davis said the allegations didn't involve students.

Terrentine couldn't be reached for comment. No home phone number is listed.

In his resignation letter, Terrentine thanked the university for an opportunity to work there for two years. The letter made no reference to the allegations.

Terrentine's salary was $286,000. He has two degrees from WMU.

'Jeopardy!' winner from Michigan gets probation for sneaking into emails

ADRIAN (AP) — A seven-time "Jeopardy!" winner who taught history at a Michigan college was put on probation Friday for going into the email accounts of professors, administrators and students.

"I am sorry for all the pain I have caused," said Stephanie Jass, 48, who must return to court after serving a year of probation for unauthorized computer access.

Police said Jass logged into other email accounts without permission over a four-day period after Adrian College reset passwords and assigned everyone the same temporary password. She had a document that listed "comments and problems" of faculty members.

"Nations fear this type of behavior," Lenawee County Judge Margaret Noe said. "I can't even imagine the level of the college's embarrassment."

Jass' seven-episode "Jeopardy!" winning streak in 2012 was a record at the time for a female contestant. In 2014, Jass performed at Croswell Opera House in Adrian, singing songs and sharing stories about the TV game show.

Another professor who blew the whistle on Jass told police she believed Jass was downloading emails to gain leverage over others.

Task force aims to catch suspected Michigan serial arsonist

BAY CITY (AP) — A new task force and increased law enforcement patrols are part of an effort to catch a suspected serial arsonist in Michigan.

Bay County Sheriff Troy R. Cunningham said authorities formed the Arson Task Force in part to help consolidate their efforts.

The Bay City Times reported that since April 7 there have been 10 vehicle arsons reported in Bay County, including four in Hampton Township and six in Portsmouth Township. Each involved a vehicle parked near a residence. In one case, fire spread to a home in Portsmouth Township.

A sheriff's fire investigator is leading the task force. The Bay City and Hampton Township police departments are involved along with Michigan State Police.

Truck driver convicted in Michigan crash that left 3 dead

HOWELL (AP) — A truck driver has been convicted in connection with a multi-vehicle crash that killed three people on U.S. 23 in southeastern Michigan.

A jury this week found Gary Bryce Erard of Snover guilty of three misdemeanor counts of moving violation causing death in the April 23, 2017, crash.

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 27 in a Livingston County courtroom. He faces up to a year behind bars.

Erard, 62, has said there's nothing he could say or do to bring peace to the victims' families.

He earlier pleaded no contest to the charges, but withdrew his plea and opted for trial after a judge sentenced him to six months in jail.

Authorities said Erard failed to stop as he approached traffic that was stopped in a construction area in Livingston County.

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