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State Briefs

• Apr 25, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Family Fitness forced to pay $220,000 for customer violations

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM-TV) — Family Fitness will be forced to pay $220,000 in fines for violating the Consumer Protection Act.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the settlement Wednesday.

The ruling comes from complaints filed in 2017. A class-action lawsuit was also filed for alleged violations of the Consumer Protection Act.

Most of the money from the settlement will go to customers affected by the company's business practices. The payments will be made over the next three years, according to Nessel's office. Anyone who has filed a complaint against Family Fitness will receive information on the claims process in the next few months.

There are 12 Family Fitness locations in West Michigan.

Truck blows tire, crashes through suburban Detroit home

MACOMB TWP. (AP) — An unoccupied suburban Detroit home suffered major structural damage when a semi-truck barreled through it after one of its tires blew out.

The Macomb County Sheriff's Office said the truck also damaged several headstones Wednesday afternoon before coming to a stop in a Macomb Township cemetery.

The semi's driver lost control of the vehicle at about 4 p.m. while traveling west on 26 Mile Road, northeast of Detroit. The truck crossed the road's eastbound lanes and hit a pickup truck before crashing into the house. Deputies said both drivers were wearing seat belts and neither suffered major injuries.

The crash is under investigation.

Prosecutor had evidence but comments spoil conviction, court says

JACKSON (AP) — A prosecutor's provocative comments about a man charged with dealing heroin have spoiled the conviction in Jackson County.

The Michigan appeals court this week ordered a new trial for Keante Kiya, who was sentenced to eight years in prison. The court cited statements by assistant prosecutor Jake Dickerson during his remarks to the jury.

Dickerson said Kiya was selling "poison on our streets to make money." He described him as a "dealer of death," and he urged jurors to do something about the Jackson-area's heroin crisis.

The appeals court says the prosecutor "took special care to deliberately arouse" the emotions of jurors. Judges Michael Kelly and Deborah Servitto called it "manifestly improper." Judge Mark Boonstra disagreed, saying a new trial wasn't necessary, even if some statements were inappropriate.

Top court visits school to hear arguments in arrest dispute

EAST GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has taken another field trip, visiting a school to hear arguments in a case and expose students to the justice system.

Hundreds of students from Grand Rapids-area schools watched the arguments and later asked questions Wednesday at East Grand Rapids High School.

The case involved a woman who was arrested at her Kent County home for a crash that involved only her car 90 minutes earlier. The Supreme Court is exploring whether the Constitution allows police to compel a person to leave their home as part of a warrantless arrest.

Kent County Judge Mark Trusock said having the Supreme Court in town was an "amazing opportunity" for the students.

Saplings apparently stolen from school; replacements planted

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Officials said 10 fruit tree saplings that were to be planted by students at a school in southern Michigan to celebrate Earth Day were apparently stolen before they could be put in the ground.

The Battle Creek Enquirer reported the trees that cost about $200 had been placed outside Battle Creek Montessori Academy in Springfield on Friday in preparation for Monday's scheduled planting. When Jessica Eldridge, the head of the school, and others went out to get them they were gone.

As word of the apparent theft spread, parents and businesses donated money and replacement trees. Those trees were planted Monday.

Eldridge said that they anticipate the school "will have a really good orchard in a few years." Students will learn to care for the trees and eventually harvest fruit.

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