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State Briefs

by the associated press • Jun 28, 2019 at 8:00 AM

2 from Ottawa County-based mission injured in small plane crash

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — A small plane crashed in Guatemala on Thursday seriously injuring two U.S. missionaries on board, Guatemalan authorities and their U.S.-based group said.

The plane took off from Quiche department bound for Guatemala City's international airport when it went down in Chimaltenango department, about 20 miles from the capital, according to Guatemala's aviation authority.

Paradise Bound Ministries of Zeeland, in Michigan’s Ottawa County, identified the men as Luke Sullivan, its aviation director, and Bruce Van Fleet, a visiting missionary pilot. The aviation authority said Sullivan is 28 and Van Fleet is 32.

Brad Lanser, president of Paradise Bound's ministry board, said Sullivan is from Texas, but he's not sure what state Van Fleet is from. He added that Sullivan had gone down to Guatemala earlier this month to fly pastors to small villages.

"We're telling everyone we speak to to pray for these guys," Lanser said.

Paradise Bound said in a brief message online that "their condition is very serious."

Army vet gets 12 years in prison for fight with deputy

HOWELL (AP) — An Army combat veteran has been sentenced to at least 12 years in prison for fighting with a Michigan sheriff's deputy and other crimes in a wild incident last fall.

Albert Smith says he has a mental illness but feels that people want to lock him up instead of offering help.

Smith, 36, rammed other vehicles on U.S. 23 and fled when police tried to stop him. Investigators say he crashed his van, fought with Deputy Mike Mueller and tried to steal the patrol car.

Smith said his "mindset shifted from here to Iraq," where he served with the Army. Defense lawyer Mark Scharrer said Smith suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Smith will be eligible for parole after 12 years. The Livingston Daily Press & Argus said Smith's maximum prison sentence is 25 years.

Mueller now is a state lawmaker.

3rd Republican enter races against congressman from West Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS TWP. (AP) — A third Republican is challenging U.S. Rep. Justin Amash for his congressional seat in West Michigan.

First-term state Rep. Lynn Afendoulis announced her candidacy Thursday. She said she is running to ensure the continuation of America's revival, not to work "against it." The 60-year-old Grand Rapids Township resident spent 25 years working with and for Universal Forest Products and once was a newspaper reporter.

Amash is the only Republican member of Congress to accuse President Donald Trump of impeachable conduct.

Also running are state Rep. Jim Lower and military veteran Tom Norton.

Amash, who was elected in 2010 and has filed for re-election, has not faced a primary challenge since 2014.

Plans move ahead for site of shuttered Muskegon state prison

MUSKEGON (AP) — Plans are moving forward to redevelop the site of a shuttered prison in West Michigan.

The Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority on Wednesday announced the sale of the former West Shoreline Correctional Facility to the City of Muskegon for redevelopment.

The facility opened in 1987 and closed in 2018. City officials are discussing plans for the 60-acre property, but it could become part of the existing Port City Industrial Park.

The Michigan Department of Corrections closed the prison due to a decline in the state's prison population. The facility had 1,245 prisoners and 174 employees.

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