Ex-Muskegon County Habitat for Humanity director charged with embezzling

MUSKEGON (WZZM-TV) — The former director of Muskegon County Habitat for Humanity is accused of embezzling from the nonprofit and using the funds on himself and his family.

The Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office charged Andrew Mann, 35, with embezzlement from a nonprofit organization, a 10-year felony.

Allegedly, while Mann was its executive director, he took more than $20,000 from the program and spent some of the money on a family trip to Disney World.

That organization is now Solid Rock Housing Support, which issued the followed statement: "We are working with local authorities to recover damages and are seeking to recoup Andrew's unauthorized charges to creditors. We tightened our procedures and chain of accountability to ensure that this isolated incident never happens again."

Mann is scheduled for a preliminary examination next week in Muskegon County District Court. 

Man gets 100 years in prison for killing, dismembering woman

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — A West Michigan man convicted of killing and dismembering a former Grand Haven resident was sentenced Thursday to at least 100 years in prison after the victim's mother carrying her daughter's cremains shouted at him: "You threw her out like trash."

Jared Chance, 30, had turned down a plea deal that would have made him eligible for parole after 31 years. Instead, he chose to go to trial last month and was found guilty of second-degree murder and other crimes.

Ashley Young's torso was found in December 2018 in the basement of Chance's Grand Rapids rental home. Other remains of the 31-year-old woman haven't been found.

Chance and Young knew each other and were last seen together at a Grand Rapids bar in late November.

"Jared Chance, I hate you. I want to rip you limb from limb and discard you, just like you did to Ashley," her mother, Kristine Young, said while giving a victim impact statement. Holding the box of cremains, Young said, "If I want a hug, I have to hug a box."

The 100-year minimum sentence exceeded state guidelines and will be appealed. But Kent County Judge Mark Trusock said the guidelines don't account for the "level of brutality" in Young's death.

Chance declined to speak in court. His attorney, Andrew Rodenhouse, had argued during trial that no one really knows how Young died.

Fugitive returned to Detroit to face kidnapping, rape charge

DETROIT (AP) — A man who had been on a federal "most wanted" list for nearly a decade has been returned to Michigan after his arrest in Mexico for the 2007 kidnapping and rape of a 10-year-old Detroit girl.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said Corey Gaston was arraigned Thursday in Detroit.

Gaston, 41, was arrested last week near Guadalajara. Authorities have said Gaston was on bond when he failed to show up for his 2008 trial.

Gaston was placed on the U.S. Marshals' 15 Most Wanted list in 2011. The Marshals service said Mexican authorities took him into custody.

The prosecutor's office said Thursday it requested that Gaston be jailed without bond. But Judge Prentis Edwards set bond at $250,000 cash and ordered Gaston to wear a GPS tether in case he posts bond.

Gaston's next court date is Oct. 16.

Truck driver indicted on murder charge in fatal crash

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky grand jury has indicted a Michigan man on murder charges stemming from a fatal car crash in September.

News outlets reported that 45-year-old Jerry Elder Jr. of Flint was indicted by a Franklin County grand jury on one count of murder, first-degree and second-degree assault, and two counts of felony wanton endangerment.

A Kentucky State Police statement says Elder crashed his fully loaded tractor-trailer into two passenger vehicles because he was distracted by a video playing on his cellphone. It says the cellphone was mounted on his dashboard. Police said Elder didn't slow down while driving through a construction zone.

The crash killed 61-year-old Jeffrey Curtis and left the other driver with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Elder was originally charged with manslaughter.

Line for pot licenses forms way early in 1 West Michigan township

MUSKEGON TWP. (AP) — A line has formed outside a West Michigan government building more than a week before local officials start accepting applications for recreational marijuana licenses.

Several people formed a line Wednesday outside the Muskegon Township Hall, bringing chairs and blankets with them. Township trustees approved an ordinance allowing recreational marijuana businesses to open there.

But Muskegon Township Supervisor Jennifer Hodges told WOOD-TV that only seven licenses are available and they'll be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis for applicants meeting all requirements.

Everyone in Wednesday's line was getting paid by a business to hold their spot in line. Bill Gillikin said he spent his time sitting in the line just "getting caught up on some things."

Michigan voters legalized marijuana for recreational purposes last fall, a decade after approving medical marijuana.

State probes Detroit-area hospital's 7 Legionnaires cases

MOUNT CLEMENS (AP) — State health officials are investigating after seven people treated at a suburban Detroit hospital were diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says it's working with the Macomb County Health Department to investigate the illnesses at McLaren Macomb Hospital in Mount Clemens.

The departments say six of the seven Legionnaires' cases have been reported at the hospital since mid-September. Both agencies are investigating the source of the disease and whether there are more infected people.

The hospital is cooperating with the investigation and plans to increase water testing to look for any signs of the Legionella bacteria that causes the illness.

Legionnaire's is a flu-like illness contracted when infected water vapor is inhaled. The elderly and people with weakened immune systems can be particularly susceptible.

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