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(ST. CLAIR COUNTY) -- Governor Rick Snyder says that criminal justice agencies across the state will receive $6.4 million in federal grants to strengthen anti-drug and crime fighting efforts. The funding is made possible through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program and the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for State Prisoners Program. Byrne JAG funds support all aspects of the criminal justice system and those agencies receiving funding will have until September 30, 2013 to spend their awards. Locally, the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department will receive $50,000 through the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program. The Port Huron Police Department has been awarded a $50,000 Byrne JAG grant for Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety. Byrne grants are named in honor of New York City Police Department Officer Edward Byrne, who was fatally shot by drug traffickers in 1988.

Tuesday, 02 October 2012 11:25

Injured soldier returns home

(VASSAR) -- A soldier will visit his Michigan hometown this week for the first time since losing all four limbs while fighting in Afghanistan. Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, his wife, Kelsey, and their 1-year-old daughter, Chloe, will be the Grand Marshals of Vassar High School's homecoming parade on Thursday. Travis Mills also is expected to address the crowd before the football game begins Friday night. The 25-year-old Vassar native was hurt when he dropped a bag on an improvised explosive device April 10 during his third deployment to Afghanistan. He's one of only a few servicemen to lose all four limbs in combat during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and survive. Mills says in a Web-posted message that he "can't wait to see everyone" in Vassar.

Tuesday, 02 October 2012 11:23

Motorcyclist leads cops on a 31-mile chase

(AREA) -- Sanilac County Sheriff Garry Biniecki says a 31-mile pursuit of a fleeing motorcyclist ended with his arrest in St. Clair County on Monday afternoon. The incident began when Deputy Todd Laming attempted to stop the suspect on Sheridan Line Road in Elk Township. The motorcyclist was a 38-year old Warren man who refused to stop. The pursuit went on a number of gravel roads around the Village of Peck before turning east on M-90. Croswell Police Chief Dave Hall, who was working in the area, picked up the chase and it continued east through Croswell and Lexington, where the suspect turned south on M-25. He was then followed south on M-25 into St. Clair County and turned west on Carrington Road and was observed turning into a driveway where he was arrested by St.Clair County Sheriff''s deputies. He is lodged in the Sanilac County Jail awaiting arraignment on a number of charges, including fleeing and eluding, driving while license suspended, and several outstanding bench warrants. Bond was set at $10,000 cash. Sanilac deputies were assisted by the Croswell, Brown City, and Lexington police departments and St. Clair County Sheriff's deputies.

(AREA) -- A judge has ordered an end to a strike by workers at the Detroit regional water department. Federal Judge Sean Cox issued a sweeping order Monday that stops the strike and bars anyone affiliated with the union from obstructing operations. The 950-member union went on strike Sunday to protest plans to eliminate most jobs through privatization or other steps. The workers belong to Local 207 of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees. Proposed job cuts in the Detroit water system follow an April agreement between Bing and Republican Governor Rick Snyder to head off a state takeover of the city's finances because of persistent budget deficits. The Detroit water department serves about 4 million people in southeastern Michigan. Local areas served include Burtchville and Greenwood Townships in St. Clair County and Mayfield Township, the cities of Lapeer, Imlay City and Almont in Lapeer County.

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. (AP) - A national organization has asked the city of Frankenmuth to take down a 55-foot cross erected in the late 1970s in a public park. MLive.com reports that Washington D.C.-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State first sent a letter seeking the cross' removal from Cross Park to the city in July. A response is expected by the end of this week. The organization says the cross in the park across from Bronner's Christmas Wonderland violates the U.S. Constitution. MLive reports that the Frankenmuth Parks and Recreation website states the white cross "is a tribute to the religious background of the Frankenmuth community." Frankenmuth is represented by the Ann Arbor-based Thomas More Law Center.

(HURON COUNTY) -- A 47-year old Bad Axe man remains jailed on a $100,000 cash bond following two extensive drug raids that started Friday night and ended early Saturday. According to Huron County Sheriff Kelly Hanson, months of investigation into illegal bath salts led to the search warrants conducted at the Maple Lane Discount Store at 950 N. VanDyke Street and a residence at 1030 Beech Street, both in the city of Bad Axe. Deputies, assisted by Bad Axe Police, seized records, documents, packaging and manufacturing materials, computers, cash and other related materials from the business Friday. While attempting to search the house, officers contacted the Drug Enforcement Agency due to the large amounts of hazardous materials. Through the night and into Saturday morning, DEA crew members, outfitted with respirators and safety suits, removed large quantities of acetone, butane, caffeine anhydrous, and other unknown chemicals. Large amounts of a finished product that resembled bath salts were also taken, some already packaged for distribution. Sheriff Hanson stated that a significant amount of lab testing will be done to determine what was being produced inside the residence. The Bad Axe man was arrested during a traffic stop, minutes before the first search warrant took place. He faces a number of felony counts, including unlawful manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to deliver, as the investigation continues.

PICTURED: Huron County Sheriff Kelly Hanson

Monday, 01 October 2012 10:31

Snover area man injured in farming accident


(WATERTOWN TOWNSHIP) -- A 35-year old Snover man was seriously injured Saturday when both of his legs became caught in a beet harvester. The incident took place just prior to 3:30 p.m. in a field off of Watertown Road west of Johnson Road in Sanilac County's Watertown Township. Sheriff's deputies say that Christopher Warczinsky's legs were freed just before Sanilac EMS and the Sandusky Fire Department arrived on scene. Warczinsky had been working with Henry Stoutenburg and Travis Mitchell to fix a problem with the beet harvester when the machine took off, throwing Warczinsky into the harvester and pinning him. The Snover man was transported to McKenzie Health System in Sandusky and later transferred by ambulance to Saginaw Covenant Medical Center for further treatment.

Monday, 01 October 2012 10:19

Schultz crowned Miss Michigan USA

(PORT HURON) -- The young woman crowned Miss Michigan USA says she's "excited to represent the state of Michigan." Jaclyn Schultz will compete in the Miss USA pageant in 2013. Reports say that Miss Wyandotte USA Schultz pumped her fist when learning she had won Saturday night's Miss Michigan USA pageant in Port Huron. Miss Mason County Teen USA Ruby King was crowned Miss Michigan Teen USA. Melissa Pitchford is executive director for Miss Michigan USA and Miss Michigan Teen USA. She says 70 women competed for Miss Michigan USA and 40 girls competed for Miss Michigan Teen USA. Contestants competed in swimsuit and evening gown competitions and answered questions on stage.

(AREA) -- Organizers of Grand Rapids' sprawling ArtPrize international art show and competition have announced the ten finalists for the $560,000 in prize money. The annual art competition began September 19. This year's installment features entries from 1,517 artists from 56 countries and 45 states. The works are on display at 161 venues across downtown Grand Rapids. The winners include Dennis Harris of Marlette, whose work "The Chase" is on display at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. The finalists are the top vote-getters in the first round of online balloting by 41,000 people. Round 2 ends at 11:59 p.m. Thursday. 

(NORTH BRANCH) -- Nebraska authorities are investigating a one-vehicle rollover crash on Interstate 80 that killed a woman and injured a Lapeer County man. The Hall County Sheriff's office says the crash was reported around 5:30 a.m. Sunday about five miles east of the Grand Island exit. Authorities say it appears that 30-year-old Matthew Beasley of North Branch overcorrected after the 2002 Toyota Four Runner he was driving entered the median. The SUV rolled several times before coming to rest on its roof. The sheriff's office says 31-year-old Jennifer Foster, of Shelby Township, Michigan was thrown from the SUV and killed. Beasley was seriously injured and taken to a Grand Island hospital. His two daughters, ages 2 and 3, were properly restrained and unhurt. The children were in state care until family members arrived to Nebraska.

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