Grand Haven Tribune: State Briefs

State Briefs

Associated Press • Jun 21, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Here’s what’s making news across Michigan today:

Man sentenced for threatening call to Sen. Booker's office

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — A Western Michigan man has been sentenced to 15 months of confinement after pleading guilty to making a threatening phone call last October to presidential hopeful Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.

U.S. District Judge Janet Neff also ordered 52-year-old Rick Simmons of Kentwood to spend two years on supervised release and to pay a $2,000 fine Thursday.

Federal prosecutors say Simmons admitted to leaving a profane voice mail message at Booker's Camden, N.J. office that included a threat to point a gun at Booker's face and put "guns a blazin."

Booker is seeking the Democratic nomination for president.

Detroit Zoo to temporarily close penguin center for repairs

ROYAL OAK (AP) — The Detroit Zoo says its $30 million Polk Penguin Conservation Center will close for several months to fix faulty waterproofing.

The Royal Oak-based zoo said Thursday the 33,000-square-foot center, which opened in April 2016, will close Sept. 9 and reopen next June. Officials say repairs are needed because about 9 gallons of water are seeping into the facility and being pumped out daily.

Both the zoo and the contractor, the joint venture of DeMaria/Wharton-Smith, say the contractor will make the necessary repairs. Zoo officials filed a lawsuit but a settlement was reached.

A statement released by the joint venture says the leakage was due to work performed by subcontractors.

The zoo's 75 penguins will live in the former Penguinarium during repairs, but it won't be open to visitors.

Man convicted of killing girlfriend, shooting at cops

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — A man who admits killing his girlfriend before exchanging gunfire with officers on a Grand Rapids freeway has been convicted of first-degree murder.

A Kent County jury returned the verdict Thursday after a brief trial. There was no dispute that Adam Nolin fatally shot Tia Randall at her home in Wyoming, near Grand Rapids, last September. But his lawyer insisted that Nolin "just snapped" and acted impulsively, not with premeditation.

The 33-year-old Nolin called his mother after the shooting. She, in turn, alerted authorities in the Grand Rapids area. Prosecutors said Nolin was upset because Randall was interested in another man.

After the shooting, police chased Nolin on U.S. 131. He shot at officers and was struck by a patrol car.

Nolin was also convicted of crimes related to the shootout.

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