(CROSWELL) -- The former Cros-Lex Middle School Secretary accused of embezzling more than $40,000 from student fundraisers is scheduled to appear for arraignment in Sanilac County Circuit Court Monday, October 1 at 1:30 p.m. 39-year old Cheryl Francis waived her Tuesday preliminary exam during a pre-exam conference September 18. The Croswell woman has been charged with three counts of embezzling more than $1,000 but less than $20,000. Each count carries a maximum prison term of 5-years or a $10,000 fine. Authorities say the alleged theft occurred over a 3-year period. Francis's $1,000 personal recognizance bond was continued.
(LAMOTTE TOWNSHIP) -- The body of a Decker man was recovered from a pond on Moore Road east of Germania in Sanilac County's Lamotte Township. Sheriff's deputies say the victim, 57-year old Robert Earl Baer, was found by a passing motorist Tuesday evening around 7 p.m. The Sanilac County Dive Team and Lamotte Township Fire Department assisted with the recovery. According to Sgt. Darrin Siemen, an initial investigation at the scene revealed an accidental drowning; however, an autopsy will take place Wednesday afternoon to rule out any foul play. The incident remains under investigation and alcohol is believed to be a factor.
(KIMBALL TOWNSHIP) -- St. Clair County authorities are searching for two suspects wanted in connection to an armed robbery in Kimball Township Tuesday night. Two men were able to escape harm after being held up at gun point outside the home on North Bartlett Road. Sheriff Tim Donnellon says the 34-year old homeowner heard his dogs barking shortly before 11 p.m. When he went outside, he was confronted by two African American men, one wearing a hood and the other wearing a stocking cap. One of the suspects had what appeared to be an automatic rifle and ordered the homeowner to the ground. The other suspect attempted to tie the man up with duct tape. The homeowner's friend, a 33-year old Port Huron man, was able to get to a vehicle and call 9-1-1. When deputies arrived, the suspects had fled in a midsize car, possibly red in color. The homeowner informed police that he had a marijuana caregiver card and was growing marijuana on the property. He explained that several plants had been stolen sometime Monday night and the two suspects had demanded marijuana from him, but did not steal anything before they left. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the St. Clair County Sheriff's Office Detective Bureau at 810-987-1711.
(AREA) -- Michigan's multistate lottery winners could remain anonymous under a measure approved by the state Senate. The Senate passed the legislation Tuesday by a 35-2 vote. It goes to the House. The bill would prohibit the disclosure unless the winner agrees to it in writing. Michigan Lottery officials are authorized to disclose a multistate game winner's identity. Supporters say winners should be allowed keep their privacy. Lottery officials say few states require anonymity and identifying winners is important to show people win prizes. The Senate Fiscal Agency says the legislation if enacted into law would likely decrease media coverage and the promotional impact of prizes. That would indirectly reduce contributions to the School Aid Fund. The lottery contributed more than $727 million to the fund during the last fiscal year.
(AREA) -- Thumb BioEnergy LLC recently became the second producer in the nation to be listed on the Genscape RIN Integrity Network, passing a rigorous audit process. Genscape is the leading global provider of energy information for commodity and financial markets. Thumb BioEnergy collects used cooking oil from 300 restaurants and delis in the Thumb and Mid-Michigan and converts it into biodiesel used for farming, heating, and other applications requiring diesel fuel. There are plant operations in Applegate and Sandusky. Sandusky City Manager David Faber says the city is excited for the future of the company, which moved its operations to the Industrial Park in 2011 to double production capacity from 50,000 gallons to more than 100,000 gallons. Used cooking oil is collected from various business partners in Applegate, Bad Axe, Brown City, Caro, Carsonville, Cass City, Croswell, Deckerville, Elkton, Fairgrove, Kimball Township, Kingston, Lexington, Marlette, Peck, Port Sanilac, Sandusky, Sebewaing, Ubly, and Yale. Thumb BioEnergy is committed to building a local alternative energy economy by producing affordable clean fuels for the communities of Sanilac and surrounding counties that offer opportunities for community development and local jobs. Producing the clean-burning fuel enhances the local economy, while lowering dependence on foreign oil.
(AREA) -- Authorities in Michigan say an insect-spread deer disease has spread to at least 24 counties. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan State University announced new figures Monday on confirmed cases of the illness. It's called EHD and is untreatable. The virus causes extensive internal bleeding and is transmitted by a type of biting fly called a midge. The disease is on the rise nationwide because of hot, dry weather. The DNR and Michigan State say they've confirmed 4,217 deer deaths in 24 counties. They say they expect that farmers harvesting crops and hunters taking to the field will find more dead deer. No cases of EHD have been detected in the Thumb-Sanilac, Huron, St. Clair, Tuscola, and Lapeer counties; however, one case was found in Saginaw County this month.
(LAPEER) -- The Michigan gas station that sold last month's $337 million Powerball jackpot-winning ticket is getting ready to collect its bonus. The Michigan Lottery says its Commissioner M. Scott Bowen will present the owners of the Sunoco gas station in Lapeer with a $50,000 ceremonial check. An event is planned for Wednesday at the gas station. Donald Lawson, a father of two from Lapeer, earlier claimed the Powerball prize from the August 15 drawing. The lump-sum, $224.6 million payment worked out to $158.7 million, after taxes. The jackpot was the third largest in the game's history.
(LAPEER TOWNSHIP) -- An 84-year old Brown City man was seriously injured Friday after driving into a stopped vehicle on I-69 near Morris Road in Lapeer Township. State Police from the Lapeer Post report that Motor Carrier Officer Dan McNeil had made a traffic stop on a pickup for a registration violation at that location. The truck was pulling an extended trailer loaded with metal framing and sheet metal. Both the pickup and patrol vehicle were parked on the shoulder of the freeway out of the eastbound lane of traffic. Troopers say the officer was seated inside his vehicle when the small GMC pickup driven by John Bell of Brown City, narrowly missed the patrol vehicle and drove into the back of the trailer. Bell was freed from his vehicle and transported to Lapeer Regional Hospital for treatment. Neither Officer McNeil nor the occupant of the pickup truck were injured. Troopers say alcohol was not a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation.