Judge allows photos of dismembered corpse at Kent County trial

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — Photos of a West Michigan woman’s mutilated body can be used as evidence in the trial of a man charged in her slaying and dismemberment.

A Kent County judge made the ruling at a hearing Friday.

Defense attorneys argued the photos have no value as evidence and would be used only to sway the jury against Jared Chance, 29. Prosecutors said the photos show how much work was put into hiding the slaying of 31-year-old Ashley Young.

Young’s torso was found Dec. 2, 2018, in the basement of Chance’s Grand Rapids rental home. The Oshtemo Township woman last was seen alive Nov. 29.

Chance is charged with murder, mutilation of a body, concealing a death and tampering with evidence. His trial is expected to start Sept. 9 in Grand Rapids.

Plans move ahead for cleanup around former Michigan tannery

ROCKFORD (AP) — Federal officials say excavators will soon be used to remove contaminated soil and buried leather from the former Wolverine World Wide tannery site in West Michigan.

The Grand Rapids Press reported that a popular stretch of the White Pine Trail will be closed in Rockford for the work and excavations in Belmont also are planned to remove soil and waste. Contractors also plan to remove contaminated sediments at two spots in the Rogue River.

Wolverine is paying for the cleanup work that’s being completed this fall.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier ordered contaminated sediment and soil be excavated after finding high pollution levels where the shoemaker once operated.

Police seize hedgehogs, kangaroos, fox from 'bootleg' zoo

ROMULUS (AP) — Suburban Detroit police say they've seized more than 300 hedgehogs and other animals that were being kept by what they're calling a "bootleg zookeeper."

The Romulus Police Department said it also rescued six Flemish giant rabbits, three large iguanas, two kangaroos, a peacock, an Arctic fox and a 16-foot, 200-pound reticulated python Thursday from a building on one of the city's main roads.

Police said they were acting on a call from a concerned resident.

They said the animals have been turned over to experts who can properly take care of them, and they're questioning a suspect.

Michigan AG to review police questioning of man over staring

ROYAL OAK (AP) — Michigan's attorney general has ordered an investigation of police in suburban Detroit who questioned a black man when a woman claimed he was staring at her.

Dana Nessel said Friday that her civil rights division will review the conduct of Royal Oak police following the Tuesday incident.

The police department has apologized, saying the encounter with 20-year-old Devin Myers should have been "very short" and the officer "had no legal right" to demand his identification. The probationary officer will receive additional training, and a supervisor has been disciplined.

The woman called 911 and reported feeling uncomfortable after a man circled her vehicle. Myers told WXYZ-TV he had parked his car and was walking to a restaurant when he was stopped.

Vice President Pence planning Detroit, Indianapolis trips

DETROIT (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence will be heading to the Midwest in the coming weeks, with speeches planned in Detroit and Indianapolis.

The Detroit Economic Club says Pence will speak to the organization Monday at the MotorCity Casino Hotel during an event rescheduled from earlier this month.

The former Indiana governor will then speak Aug. 28 during the American Legion's national convention in Indianapolis. He also addressed the military veterans group last year during its convention in Minneapolis.

Pence's office said he will travel Sept. 3-6 to Europe, with stops planned in Iceland, the United Kingdom and Ireland. The trip comes as new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is trying to negotiate a new deal for leaving the European Union at the end of October.

Oil smeared to cleanse negativity amid infighting, official says

PONTIAC (AP) — An official says a suburban Detroit government staffer who was apparently distressed by political infighting poured a substance described as olive oil on furniture and doorways at county officials' meeting spaces in an attempt to push out bad energy.

Oakland County Sheriff's Office deputies responded Wednesday after it was discovered that the employee put oil on audience and board member seats in the county commissioners' auditorium in Pontiac, as well as on door handles and seats in a committee room.

Undersheriff Mike McCabe said the ritual was apparently meant to cleanse negativity. The employee's name wasn't immediately released.

McCabe said there doesn't appear to be criminal intent.

Political infighting follows this month's death of longtime Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and comes amid wrangling about who'll succeed him.

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