State Brief

Michigan city should be as white ‘as possible,’ council candidate says

MARYSVILLE (AP) — A Marysville City Council candidate shocked a public forum when she said she wants to keep her community white “as much as possible.”

Jean Cramer made the comment Thursday in response to a question about diversity in Marysville, a city in St. Clair County south of Port Huron and about 50 miles north of Detroit. The Times Herald in Port Huron said she’s one of five candidates running for three council seats in November.

More than 90 percent of Marysville’s 9,700-person population is white.

Cramer responded when the moderator asked candidates if Marysville should do more to attract foreign-born residents, who are boosting populations in some Great Lakes states.

“Keep Marysville a white community as much as possible,” she replied. “White. Seriously. In other words, no foreign-born, no foreign people.”

The newspaper later asked Cramer if she wanted to clarify her remarks.

“Husband and wife need to be the same race. Same thing with kids,” she said. “That’s how it’s been from the beginning of, how can I say, when God created the heaven and the earth. He created Adam and Eve at the same time. But as far as me being against blacks, no I’m not.”

Other candidates at the forum were deeply troubled. Mike Deising said: “Just checking the calendar here and making sure it’s still 2019.”

The council meeting room is named for the late Joseph Johns, who was Syrian, owned a local business and was an elected official for decades. He was the father of Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Hayman.

“I don’t even know that I can talk yet, I’m so upset and shocked,” Hayman told Cramer. “... So basically, what you’ve said is that my father and his family had no business to be in this community.”

3 young Michigan boys convicted of raping brothers ages 6, 8

BATTLE CREEK (AP) — Three boys who were 11, 12 and 13 at the time when they were charged have been convicted of raping two young brothers, ages 6 and 8.

The Battle Creek Enquirer reported a jury of four men and two women found two of the older boys guilty late Thursday of three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and the other guilty of two counts. They will be sentenced in the juvenile delinquency case Oct. 23 following a pre-sentence investigation including psychological exams on each of the boys.

The defendants, including two brothers, were charged in June 2018.

The victims told their mother they were taken to an old garage by the other boys and attacked multiple times over a month.

Defense attorneys argued the victims had been coached.

10 years in prison for accountant who stole $1M-plus

PORT HURON (AP) — An ex-convict accused of embezzling more than $1 million from a nonprofit group in Port Huron has been sentenced to at least 10 years in prison.

Richard Hartwick of Okemos was an accountant for more than a decade at Blue Water Center for Independent Living, which helps disabled people. He apologized to people in the courtroom Thursday and said, “I realize how I’ve let you down.”

Judge Michael West exceeded the recommended sentence of six years in prison, partly because he doubts the 71-year-old Hartwick will be able to repay nearly $1.5 million. Hartwick will be eligible for parole after 10 years.

The Port Huron Times Herald said Hartwick was convicted of embezzling money from a business in 2000 and served 18 months in prison.

Judges block court appearance by university president

DETROIT (AP) — A court says the University of Michigan’s president doesn’t have to become personally involved in a sexual misconduct case against a student.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked an order Friday by federal Judge Arthur Tarnow to have U-M President Mark Schlissel appear in Detroit for a conference in open court. The university has repeatedly objected, saying Tarnow is abusing his authority and other administrators can attend.

The three-judge panel says Tarnow overstepped.

A graduate student accused of sexual misconduct, identified as John Doe, is suing the university, saying his rights were violated. The school froze Doe’s undergraduate degree and academic transcript until Tarnow intervened last year.

The issue now is what process U-M will use to handle the 2017 misconduct allegation against Doe. He denies any wrongdoing.

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