Congratulations Donna Trigger of Port Sanilac, winner of the 14 karat yellow gold, 1/2 karat diamond ring courtesy of Gem and Diamond Specialist of Imlay City and Robin Gonzales of Lexington, winner of the 39" TV courtesy of Best Buy! Both Donna and Robin claimed their prizes at the WMIC/WTGV studios on Christmas Eve. Thanks to all who called in and emailed the station to participate in the giveaways! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Listen for future giveaways!
(TUSCOLA COUNTY) -- The final inspection is complete for the Tuscola County jail's remodeling project, which added a total of 11 new beds to the facility, bringing the total number to 97. Tuscola County Sheriff Lee Teschendorf says the project will ease overcrowding and save taxpayer dollars by housing more inmates locally. Work started during the summer and the additional beds are expected to save approximately $90,000 a year in housing out inmates and transportation costs. Reports say the original section of the jail was built in 1965 with several remodels through the years. The most recent addition to the building was done in 1996.
(AREA) -- More than 200,000 Michigan residents remain without power after a weekend ice storm blacked out close to a half-million homes and businesses across the state. The wintry blast hit Saturday night, and three utilities said about 251,000 of their customers still are without service. The utilities have said it would take days before most power was restored because of the difficulty of working around ice-broken lines. DTE Energy said this afternoon that work continues to restore service to 55,000 blacked-out customers out of about 150,000 affected since the storm hit. DTE says around 25,000 customers in Lapeer County are still without power, 1,115 in Tuscola County, around 1,650 in Sanilac County and 100 in St. Clair County.
(AREA) -- The Michigan State Police Caro Post will have extra patrols on local roadways during the Christmas and New Year's holidays in an effort to improve traffic safety during this heavily traveled time of the year. Beginning Monday, December 23 and continuing through Sunday, January 5, the Caro post will have extra troopers on the roads in Huron, Sanilac, and Tuscola counties. The aim is to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities linked to dangerous driving.
(HURON COUNTY) -- The Huron County mother accused in the death of her 23-month old son was found not guilty on all counts last Friday. It took the jury over 5-hours to deliberate in the case against 30-year old Jennifer Emerick of Sheridan Township. Emerick was charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and first-degree child abuse following the death of Donavin Cochrane on December 29, 2011. The trial lasted for 3-days and the jury delivered their verdict just before 11 p.m. last Friday. Emerick was then released from her bond. Prosecutors argued that Emerick asphyxiated her son with a pillow, while the defense countered that the death was accidental. Donavin died just days before his 2nd birthday.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A federal appeals court has issued a stay of a judge's ruling that could lead to parole for prisoners convicted of murders committed when they were under 18. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said Monday that the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati delayed implementation of Ann Arbor U.S. District Judge John Corbett O'Meara's order that the state start the parole review process for about 360 inmates. The judge says the prisoners deserve to benefit from a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down mandatory no-parole sentences for teens. Schuette says the decision shouldn't apply retroactively. Michigan's law for first-degree murder imposes a mandatory sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole. It doesn't include an exception for killers who are under 18.
(SANILAC COUNTY) -- A steady diet of freezing rain and cold temperatures means parts of the country socked by a weekend storm will be covered with ice through Christmas and beyond. Hundreds of thousands of people from Michigan to Maine remain without power today after the storm that dropped up to 2 inches of ice in some places. Michigan's largest utilities say it will be days before most of those blacked out get their power back. The City of Brown City in Sanilac County was hit hard by the power outages from the weekend storm. Mayor Christine Lee is asking residents to refrain from flushing toilets and putting water in drains until further notice because the power outage has affected the lift-station. DTE Energy says that around 3,500 customers in Sanilac County are still without power. There are around 2,000 out in Tuscola County and Lapeer County was the hardest hit with around 30,000 customers still offline.
Thumb Electric Coop has 3,800 customers with out power. Both DTE and Thumb Electric have brought in out-of-state line crews to assist in the restoration efforts. DTE spokesman Scott Simons says about 138,000 customers have been impacted by the storm since Saturday evening and crews have restored power to about 55,000 customers. It is anticipated the majority of the outages will be restored by late today with most of the remaining outages restored by late Tuesday, Christmas Eve.
Sanilac County Emergency Manager and Sandusky Fire Chief Todd Hillman reminds residents to place generators outside of their homes. Also, homes not equipped with a disconnect-those residents should shut off the main breaker to the house to avoid back feed. Please leave trees and branches alone and don't attempt to knock off the ice and if you see a downed power line, keep away and report it to authorities. Sanilac County fire departments responded to 189 calls after the storm late Saturday and into Sunday.
(PORT HURON) -- The sentencing for an Oregon woman who pleaded guilty to dumping her mother's body at a Port Huron Township thrift store has been rescheduled. 49-year old Kelly Rhodes had been charged with murder, but last month pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter, fourth-degree vulnerable adult abuse, and removing a dead body without permission of a medical examiner. Authorities believe neglect had a role in the death of 89-year-old Mary Grenia of Salem, Oregon, last March. Grenia died inside a truck at a truck stop after she and Rhodes were turned away from entering Canada on the Blue Water Bridge. An autopsy revealed heart and lung disease but no sign of trauma. Rhodes is scheduled to be sentenced on January 2 at 10 a.m. in St. Clair County court.
(RILEY TOWNSHIP) -- A 22-year-old St. Clair County man was struck by a pickup truck and killed while helping a friend remove her car from a ditch. The St. Clair County Sheriff's Office says the victim, Nicholas William Hunsaker, was in the ditch along Bordman and Riley Center Roads in Riley Township around 5:45 a.m. Saturday when the pickup driver swerved to avoid his truck which was parked in the roadway with its headlights on. The 25-year-old driver of the pickup told police that he was blinded by the lights of the victim's truck, which he believed was in his lane. He said he swerved into the ditch to avoid a head-on collision. Police say Hunsaker was trying to hook a chain to his friend's car after she lost control earlier and slid into the ditch. Neither the 20-year old Port Huron woman or the 25-year old Emmett man were injured. Deputies say alcohol was not a factor in the crash.
(AREA) -- State Representative Paul Muxlow of Brown City says a road improvement project is planned that will improve safety along the Interstate 94 business loop. A special legislative allocation to improve Michigan's roads and bridges will be used for the $1 million project. The funding will be used to improve intersection safety on the business loop between Military Street and Water Street. As part of the fiscal year 2014 budget, the Legislature created the special fund using $230 million in existing state revenue. One-half of the funds were available for appropriation on October 1 and the other half could be appropriated for roads next year. The funding is in addition to $121.3 million from the state General Fund used to fully match available federal transportation funds.