High winds, not tornadoes, blamed for Michigan storm damage
GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — The National Weather Service says high winds, not tornadoes, are believed to have caused storm damage earlier this week in Michigan.
Crews made the determination after surveying storm damage Thursday in Grand Rapids and surrounding Kent County.
No injuries were reported in the storms Wednesday. Utilities restored power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses that lost electrical service Wednesday due to downed trees and power lines.
More severe thunderstorms moved across Michigan on Friday, causing heavy rain and some flooding.
Judge sides with UP farmer battling state over swine
BARAGA (AP) — A judge has sided with a farmer in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula who has battled state regulators for seven years over the pigs he raises.
Circuit Judge Charles Goodman ruled Thursday the Michigan Department of Natural Resources had failed to prove that Roger Turunen’s pigs were covered by a 2010 order banning Eurasian boars and other exotic swine.
The DNR says the sharp-tusked animals are escaping from farms and hunting ranches and damaging crops and the environment.
Turunen contends his Baraga County hogs are not Russian boars, but domestic animals derived from heritage breeds.
Goodman ruled the DNR failed to show what characteristics made Turunen’s pigs illegal and that the invasive species order was vague.
DNR spokesman Ed Golder declined comment Friday, saying the department had not yet received the judge’s order.
Judge dismisses suit by ex-principal who lost job over gift
CASCO TWP. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a former Michigan school principal who says his rights were violated when he was forced out of his job for giving a wooden penis as a gift that he said was based on an inside joke.
John Stanton sued Superintendent Leonard Woodside after he says he was forced to resign in 2017 at Anchor Bay High School in St. Clair County. Stanton said the female security guard who got the gift wasn’t upset as officials claimed.
The Detroit News reported Judge Linda Parker said Stanton failed to request a “name-clearing” hearing from the district.
The Associated Press sent an email seeking comment from Stanton’s lawyer. Woodside’s lawyer was happy with this week’s decision.
The item was reportedly confiscated from a student.
3 teens charged with murder in Detroit-area woman’s slaying
DEARBORN (AP) — Three teens have been charged with murder and armed robbery in the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old woman in suburban Detroit.
Prosecutors say Jamel Philson, 17; Demaurio Dismuke, 14; and a 13-year-old boy were arraigned Friday.
Prosecutors allege Dismuke robbed and shot Saja Aljanabi last Friday night as she sat in a car in Dearborn. It’s alleged that minutes earlier the 13-year-old was holding a gun during the robbery of a 49-year-old woman. A shot also was fired at a 56-year-old man following Aljanabi’s shooting.
Dismuke is being charged as an adult and also is charged with assault with intent to murder. He and the 13-year-old also face gun charges.
The 13-year-old is adult designated, meaning he can be sentenced as a juvenile or adult, or given a blended sentence if convicted.
Ex-Michigan pastor enters plea deal in child porn case
PORT HURON (AP) — A former Michigan pastor who authorities say coerced underage girls to engage in sex acts online has pleaded guilty to producing child pornography.
Jack Woodburn, 64, entered the plea deal with prosecutors this week in U.S. District Court, the Times Herald of Port Huron reported. He faces 15-30 years in prison when sentenced Jan. 8.
Defense lawyer Gerry Mason said Woodburn has been cooperative.
Woodburn is a licensed counselor. He was an associate pastor in Port Huron before retiring in 2018.
Charges were brought after investigators interviewed at 13-year-old girl from Texas, who recalled talking to someone online claiming to be 15. She told investigators the individual asked for sexually explicit photos.
Authorities traced the purported 15-year-old’s IP address, which identifies a computer’s location, back to Woodburn’s Burtchville Township home.