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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • May 10, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Federal agency to monitor water levels near Nestle well

EVART (AP) — A federal agency will measure water levels in the area of Michigan's Osceola County where Nestle pumps groundwater to bottle and sell under its Ice Mountain brand.

Nestle Waters North America says it asked the U.S. Geological Survey to monitor groundwater and surface water conditions in Twin Creek and Chippewa Creek near the company's production well.

The company received a state permit last year to boost the volume it removes from 250 to 400 gallons per minute. An environmental group and a Native American tribe are challenging the permit. A hearing before a state administrative law judge is scheduled to begin May 20.

Nestle official Arlene Anderson-Vincent said the USGS measurements will provide third-party data, which the agency will collect and publish in real time on a federal website.

Sheriff who knew missing woman in '88 says a dig is planned

CHARLEVOIX (AP) — A northern Michigan sheriff who wants to solve the case of a missing woman has a personal connection: They worked together at a restaurant when Victoria Salisz disappeared in 1988.

"She was a kind, sweet lady — the prototypical grandma," said Charlevoix County Sheriff Chuck Vondra, who was a teenager clearing tables at Pippin's in Boyne City while Salisz, 69, was a waitress.

Thirty-one years later, Salisz's disappearance still hasn't been solved, but Vondra said investigators haven't given up. A dig in the area is planned for later this month, and state police helped out last week by using a drone to take photos of her former property in Boyne Falls.

Vondra doesn't want to disclose every detail, but he told The Associated Press that people who were in prison with a potential suspect have been interviewed. DNA also has been collected from family members.

"I pulled the case off the shelf a year ago," said Vondra, who was the undersheriff before being elected sheriff in 2016. "You want to give closure to anyone who needs it.”

Immigrant siblings enter plea deals in dairy co-worker death

SANDUSKY (AP) — Two siblings who immigration authorities say were in the U.S. illegally are awaiting sentencing after entering plea agreements during their murder trial in the slaying of a Michigan dairy farm co-worker.

The Times Herald of Port Huron reported Francisca Vargas-Castillo and Leobardo Torres-Castillo pleaded guilty last week in Sanilac County Circuit Court. Vargas-Castillo pleaded to charges including second-degree murder, while Torres-Castillo pleaded to charges including assault. Sentencing is June 26.

The body of 42-year-old Brica Flores-Rivera was found Sept. 1, 2018, in Sanilac County’s Buel Township. Witnesses testified last year that Vargas-Castillo beat and stabbed Flores-Rivera, and she allegedly believed Flores-Rivera was trying to poison her children and seduce her husband.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said all three were from Mexico.

Wind-driven water causes flooding along western Lake Erie

BERLIN TWP. (AP) — Wind-driven water caused more flooding in southeastern Michigan along western Lake Erie following recent rainfall that contributed to high water levels in the Great Lakes.

Firefighters in Monroe County's Berlin Township used a boat to reach those stranded at homes by high water near Lake Erie. In nearby Frenchtown Township, pumps were used to clear roadways.

A lakeshore flood warning was in effect Thursday morning along the lake as well as near Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, Lake Huron and the Detroit River.

Flooding continued in Algonac and on Harsens Island along the St. Clair River. The weather conditions come as other parts of the Midwest face flooding.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last week announced a state of emergency in Wayne County, which includes Detroit, following flooding.

Passenger in car that crashed while fleeing police dies

WEST BLOOMFIELD TWP. (AP) — A second person has died after the car she was in crashed while speeding away from police in suburban Detroit.

The Oakland County medical examiner's office said Thursday that a 24-year-old woman identified as Jazmene Shavonne Glynn of Warren suffered blunt-force injuries and was pronounced dead Wednesday night.

West Bloomfield Township police said 36-year-old Mathew Lee Mercado of Waterford Township was pronounced dead at a hospital after the crash early Wednesday morning northwest of Detroit.

Mercado was driving the car when police in Farmington Hills tried to stop it for a traffic violation. The police department said the officer stopped pursuing the vehicle, which crashed shortly afterward in nearby West Bloomfield Township.

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