(SEBEWAING) -- Huron County Sheriff's deputies assisted the Sebewaing Police Department during a drug raid Friday morning in the Village of Sebewaing. Seized from the home at 225 E. Sebewaing Street was several baggies of marijuana and an unknown suspicious white powder that was sent to the Michigan State Police Crime Lab for analysis. The warrant was the result of illegal drug activity reported at the home. A man renting the house was cooperative with authorities and official charges are being sought by the Huron County Prosecutor's Office. Sheriff Kelly Hanson urges residents to report illegal drug activity to local authorities or the Sheriff's Office at 989-269-6500. Callers wishing to remain anonymous my call the confidential tip line at 989-269-2861.
(AKRON TOWNSHIP) -- Authorities have recovered the body of a Reese man who was a passenger on an airboat that capsized on the Saginaw Bay Saturday night. The Coast Guard got word of the overturned boat in the Lake Huron bay shortly before 8 p.m. The victim, 39-year old Jason King was found in 8-9 feet of water, about 5 miles west of Cottage Drive Sunday around 4:30 p.m. by the Huron County Sheriff's Department Dive Team. The rescued driver, 51-year old Gary Godfrey of Banister, Michigan told deputies that he was operating his 14' aluminum flat bottom airboat across the ice and hit a patch of open water. The front of the boat dove down into the water and both men were ejected. King attempted to swim for the ice, while Banister stayed with the boat after attempting to swim to shore. The accident happened about five miles from Fish Point, which is southwest of Sebewaing in Tuscola County's Akron Township. The Coast Guard says a helicopter and rescue boat got help from Tuscola and Huron County crews and pulled Banister from the capsized boat. He was taken to McLaren Regional Hospital for treatment. Authorities say alcohol was not a factor in the incident.
(BAD AXE) -- A former Signature Bank employee has been sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $186,000 in restitution to the bank during sentencing Thursday in U.S. District Court in Bay City. Officials say Jill Buchholz of Pigeon was charged with one felony count of theft/embezzlement/misapplication by a bank officer after an investigation showed she had embezzled more than $200,000 from the bank between 2009 and 2011. She plead guilty to the charge. Bank executives began investigating the suspected embezzlement in July 2011 and immediately reported it to authorities. An outside consultant helped review the files. Buchholz began cooperating only after the bank's internal control process discovered the fraud and local law enforcement, along with the FBI began investigating. The accounts of approximately 20 bank customers were the subject of fraudulent activity and all customers involved were notified of the issue. No Signature Bank deposit customer incurred any financial loss as a result of this criminal activity and no loan customers have been required to pay any amounts contrary to their loan agreements or pay any amounts improperly credited as a result of the fraud. Signature Bank President and CEO Robert Thomas says they were disheartened that a former employee abused the trust that customers and coworkers placed in her. He added that with the help of an outside forensic accountant, the bank evaluated their internal processes and procedures to ensure that the proper safeguards are in place. No other bank employees were involved in the fraud. As the investigation continued, the bank met with each affected customer to inform them of the situation. Thomas says the bank's deposits are federally insured and the bank also carries special insurance to protect it against fraud and dishonesty by employees.
(PORT HURON) -- A high speed chase through St. Clair County ended with the arrest of three suspects Wednesday afternoon and the discovery of a meth lab. Several law enforcement agencies were involved in the chase, which reached speeds near 100 mph at times. Captain Jeff Baker of the Port Huron Police Department says the incident began around 3:30 p.m. when an officer attempted to stop a vehicle near Electric Avenue and 10th Street. One of the passengers was wanted for three outstanding felony warrants. The chase ensued south on Electric Avenue into Marysville, St. Clair and Marine City. Officers say the vehicle changed direction in Marine City and headed north back towards Port Huron. The driver of the vehicle lost control at the intersection of Military and Reid Streets and was stopped by a Marysville Police cruiser. There were no injuries reported. 32-year old Peter Gross was arraigned on charges of larceny in a building, assault with a dangerous weapon and second offense domestic violence stemming from an incident that took place earlier in the week. Gross was arraigned on new charges Friday of operating/maintaining a meth lab, possession of methamphetamine and resisting and obstructing officers. His bond was set at $15,000 on the outstanding felony charges and $50,000 on the new charges. 30-year old Teresa Monzo was arraigned on charges of operating/maintaining a meth lab, third-degree fleeing and eluding, and driving with a suspended license. Her bond was set at $50,000. The third suspect, 28-year old Lucas Bartley, was arraigned on a charge of operating/maintaining a meth lab. His bond was set at $25,000. Preliminary exams have been set for March 12.
(AREA) -- Michigan corn producers have approved a referendum to continue the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan, increasing the utilization of Michigan corn through market development, education, and research. It will continue for an additional five years, beginning March 1 this year, ending February 28, 2018. The current assessment rate is one cent per bushel. A total of 1,964 valid ballots were cast in the referendum. Eighty-five percent of the producers voted yes and fifteen percent voted no. For the program to be renewed, more than 50 percent of the producer votes cast, representing more than 50 percent of the total number of bushels represented on the cast ballots, must have approved it. The program was last approved in 2008, and by law, must be renewed every five years.
(ARGYLE TOWNSHIP) -- Michigan State Police from the Caro Post say the suspect wanted in connection with two stolen vehicles and fleeing police in the Thumb was located in El Paso, Texas and fatally shot. Back on January 17, troopers were dispatched to a residence in Sanilac County after a report of a fugitive staying in an apartment in Argyle Township. When authorities attempted to make contact with the parole absconder, he fled on foot and then in a stolen vehicle. The stolen car was later located on the edge of the Minden Swamp where it was stuck in the mud. The MSP Aviation Unit was called to assist after police learned the man had fled into the swamp. The suspect, 48-year old Daniel J. Meyers of Charlotte, Michigan was never found and able to take a second vehicle before leaving the state. Troopers were later contacted by the MSP Hastings Post and informed that Meyers was a suspect in an armed robbery that had taken place in the area. On Thursday, February 28, Troopers from the Caro Post spoke with Meyers over the phone and tried to convince him to turn himself into authorities in Texas. Meyers refused commenting that he was not going back to prison. El Paso Police were contacted and located Meyers, who fled on foot before initiating a gun fight with police and Border Patrol officers. Meyers was shot and killed. The incident remains under investigation by the El Paso Police Department and the FBI.
(AREA) -- The state House recently approved legislation to help make sure all Michigan veterans receive the benefits and discounts they deserve. The bill, co-sponsored by 81st District State Representative Dan Lauwers, creates a special designation on Michigan driver's licenses for all veterans. According to Representative Lauwers, the ultimate goal is to make sure all Michigan veterans get the benefits they wholeheartedly deserve. As an extra safeguard to ensure veterans are receiving their benefits, the Secretary of State's office will also provide the application information to Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The House approved similar legislation placing the designation on Michigan identification cards. The legislation now heads to the Senate for consideration. The 81st House District covers most of St. Clair County.
(TUSCOLA COUNTY) -- Two people were injured in a two-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon at the intersection of VanBuren and Saginaw Roads in Tuscola County's Denmark Township. Sheriff's deputies say the crash took place around 3 p.m. when a vehicle driven by 18-year old Lynz Hayward of Caro, stopped at the intersection heading south on VanBuren and proceeded through, striking a vehicle driven by 20-year old Chelsea Ellis of Sandusky. The Ellis vehicle was traveling east on Saginaw Road. Deputies say both drivers were taken to area hospitals for treatment of their injuries.
(PORT HURON TOWNSHIP) -- Three St. Clair County men remain jailed after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars in copper wire. Sheriff's deputies say the break-in and theft of the copper wire from Xtreme Powerline on Dove Road took place during the nighttime hours Wednesday. Deputies and officers from the Major Crimes Unit set up surveillance at the business the following night, believing those responsible would return to pick up wire they had stacked outside the business's fence. The suspects did return and were observed loading the copper wire into a pickup truck. Authorities arrested the three suspects shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday during a traffic stop. The wire was valued at $15,000. During arraignment, 23-year old Oramel Burnham IV of Port Huron Township, 22-year old Dennis Zultak of Kimball Township and 40-year old Brian Hall of Port Huron were charged with one count of larceny over $1,000 but less than $20,000 and one count of conspiracy to commit larceny. Hall was also charged with fourth offense habitual offender. Hall is being held on a $50,000 cash bond, Burnham is jailed on a $20,000 cash bond and Zultak is being held on a $10,000 cash bond. Preliminary hearings were set for March 12th in 72nd District Court.
(HURON COUNTY) -- Three Huron County communities along Lake Huron have been selected for harbor dredging funding. State Representative Terry Brown of Pigeon says the Caseville Municipal Harbor will receive $630,000 and the Harbor Beach Municipal Marina and Port Austin State Harbor will each receive $700,000. Representative Brown says that with lake levels at historic lows, he is glad the state has recognized the situation and allocated the funds to make dredging possible. According to the DNR and the Michigan State Waterways Commission, the more than 800,000 registered boats in the state generate billions of dollars in economic activity and more than 51,000 jobs. Lake Huron's water level is 16 inches lower than it was a year ago and harbor dredging is necessary for boats to continue entering and leaving public harbors and marinas.