(AREA) -- Starting Wednesday night, Michigan State Police troopers will be patrolling Michigan roads as part of the nationwide Operation C.A.R.E. traffic safety initiative and nearly 100 police agencies in 20 counties will be conducting extra patrols for the duration of the Thanksgiving travel period, ensuring motorists are driving safe and sober. Locally, stepped up enforcement will be seen in St. Clair County. The official Thanksgiving travel period begins at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 21 and runs through midnight on Sunday, November 25. Typically, the night before Thanksgiving is known as the busiest bar night of the year. Last year 166 people were arrested for alcohol-related offenses between 6 p.m. Wednesday and 4 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. Seven fatal traffic crashes resulted in seven deaths during the Thanksgiving holiday period.
(IMLAY TOWNSHIP) -- An Imlay Township home was destroyed by fire early Monday morning. The 4-alarm fire on Wheeling Road was reported by a neighbor at 1:38 a.m. The caller informed dispatch that flames could be seen coming from the roof. The Imlay City, Goodland Township, Mussey Township and Attica Township Fire Departments were sent to the scene. Heavy fog and zero visibility hampered response times. Fire crews determined that the homeowners were not home at the time of the blaze. The house, its contents, a tractor and a car inside the garage were lost. Imlay City Fire Chief Kip Reaves says early indications show the fire started near the garage area. The Michigan State Police Fire Investigation Unit has been called to assist in determining an exact cause. Approximately 40 fire fighters were on scene and 40,000 gallons of water was used to extinguish the blaze. No injuries were reported.
(PORT HURON) -- A Port Huron man says he wants a cheeseburger, fries and a Coke after winning his freedom following nearly 10 years in prison in a rape case. James Grissom was released from custody Monday after a St. Clair County judge dismissed the case at the request of prosecutors. He was convicted in 2003, but authorities later learned that the alleged victim had lied about similar attacks in California. Grissom was granted a new trial based on that discovery, but prosecutor Michael Wendling instead dropped the case, saying a conviction was unlikely. Grissom says he sat in prison for nearly 10 years for something he didn't do. He was convicted of raping a woman in a Meijer store parking lot in St. Clair County, despite no physical evidence. The victim didn't report the assault for a year.
(LAPEER COUNTY) -- Pavement work on I-69 and M-53 in Lapeer County is finished. Patching wrapped up in mid-October on westbound I-69 from the Lapeer/St. Clair county line to M-24; crews then began work on M-53 over I-69. In addition to patching work, the project included pavement and joint repairs, grinding and sealing. According to Linda Burchell, Davison Transportation Service Center Manager, the work wrapped up right on schedule. While all lanes on I-69 and M-53 are now open, motorists are reminded that they may encounter a few moving single-lane closures to allow for pavement marking work. The $3.5 million project will increase safety by improving the overall condition of the highway. Patching work on eastbound I-69 from the Lapeer/St. Clair county line to M-24 is scheduled in 2013.
(CARO) -- The Caro Police Department reports that a report of an attempted child abduction, which allegedly occurred from Schall School in Caro last week is false. The was no attempt to abduct any child. Police say the claim was investigated by the Caro Police Department and found to be false.
(PORT HURON) -- A Port Huron judge has dropped a rape case against a man who has spent nearly a decade in prison. James Grissom was shaking Monday as St. Clair County Judge Cynthia Lane granted the prosecutor's request to dismiss the case rather than hold a second trial. The decision means he'll go free. The 54-year-old Grissom has maintained his innocence since he was arrested in 2003 for an alleged sexual assault in a Meijer parking lot in St. Clair County. He was convicted despite a lack of physical evidence and sentenced to 15-35 years behind bars. While Grissom was in prison, new evidence emerged in California that the woman had lied about assaults that were similar to the Michigan incident. Appellate attorney Christine Pagac says it all "came down to her credibility." The prosecutor acknowledges he couldn't win a second trial.
(AREA) -- A new generation of Michigan farmers, poised to take their place alongside their elders, face each other November 28 at Michigan Farm Bureau's 2012 Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids. Young farmers age 18 to 35 will face off in five contests geared toward measuring their agricultural involvement, leadership, achievements, diplomacy, public speaking presence and knowledge of agricultural issues. Vying for the Excellence in Agriculture Award will be Jeremy and Stevie Lynn Glaspie from the Tuscola County Farm Bureau. The award recognizes young farmers, either individuals or married couples, who do not derive the majority of their income from a personally owned agricultural operation, but who actively contribute to and grow through their involvement in Farm Bureau and agriculture. The winner will receive a prize package from Burnips Equipment Co., $500 from Ford, and a prize from the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee. In addition, the winner will have the opportunity to compete for the national Young Farmer and Rancher Excellence in Agriculture Award at the AFBF 2013 annual in Nashville.
(FRANKENMUTH) -- What else is there to say but "prost" when Frankenmuth Brewery celebrates its 150th anniversary and offers up a limited-edition dark beer for the occasion? The German toast is welcome Monday, when the brewery in the Bavarian-themed Saginaw County community bottles Frankenmuth Dark. The brew includes some of a 50-year-old batch of the beer that originated in the 1940's. The brewery says it will file and number 1,862 bottles to commemorate its founding year. Some will be sold at the brewery starting Tuesday and the remaining bottles will be available at retailers early next month. The Frankenmuth Brewery was established in 1862. It was destroyed by a tornado in 1996, reopened in 2002 and was closed again in 2006. The brewery was bought in 2009 and reopened the same year.
(LAPEER COUNTY) -- Lapeer County Sheriff's deputies have arrested the 24-year old Mayville man wanted for assault with intent to murder after allegedly attacking his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend. Thursday around 4:15 p.m. a motorist called authorities after spotting an individual matching the description of Jesse James Carey, walking along M-53 north of Bowers Road in Lapeer County's Goodland Township. Deputies confirmed the fugitive's identity and placed him into custody without incident. Carey remains lodged in Lapeer County jail. He had additional outstanding warrants for separate incidents out of Tuscola and Lapeer counties. The attack took place Sunday, November 11 when Carey allegedly ambushed the 24-year old Silverwood man along Marlette Road, striking him multiple times with an object. Carey then took off on foot. According to police, the Silverwood man's condition is improving and he was successfully removed from life support this week.
(LAPEER) -- A jury has convicted a 43-year-old Sandusky man of felony murder and home invasion in the 2006 slaying of an 86-year-old Lapeer County woman. Frank Choate faces a mandatory term of life in prison without parole when he is sentenced January 14. Defense attorney David Brown says Choate maintains his innocence. An appeal is planned following Friday's verdict in a Lapeer County courtroom. Police found 86-year old Marie Warren beaten to death on October 1, 2006, in Deerfield Township. Her fingers and thumbs had been cut off. Choate was charged in 2011 with home invasion and other charges, and the murder charge was added later. Authorities say the break in the case happened when DNA from the crime scene was matched with a sample from Choate in the Michigan Department of Corrections criminal DNA registry.