DETROIT (AP) - Prosecutors want a judge to set a $9 million bond in the case of a Detroit-area cancer specialist accused of intentionally misdiagnosing patients. A magistrate judge said Dr. Farid Fata could be released from jail under strict conditions. But the U.S. attorney's office is appealing, saying Fata may flee the country. In a filing Monday, prosecutors say they want the current $170,000 bond increased to $9 million and that it come from a "legitimate, and not illegitimate, source." In his filing, defense lawyer Christopher Andreoff requests "a reasonable cash bond that" Fata can post. Detroit federal Judge Sean Cox will hold a hearing Tuesday. The government says Fata ripped off Medicare for millions by giving chemotherapy to patients who didn't need it and diagnosing cancer when the illness wasn't apparent. Fata owned Michigan Hematology Oncology, which has offices in Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Lapeer, Sterling Heights, Troy and Oak Park. The government says the clinics billed $35 million to Medicare over 2-years.
(CASEVILLE TOWNSHIP) -- A 24-year old Bad Axe man was struck and killed in Caseville Township Saturday night. Huron County Sheriff Kelly Hanson says deputies were sent to Caseville Road near Woodhill Drive shortly before 11 p.m. An investigation showed that the victim, Robert Boyce, was walking and somehow entered into the path of a Dodge Caravan, which was traveling north along Caseville Road. The driver of the van, a 29-year old Livonia man, and his seven passengers informed police that they never saw Boyce enter the roadway until it was too late. Boyce was pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported. An investigation into the mishap continues.
(TUSCOLA COUNTY) -- A 52-year old Flint man was killed in a multi-vehicle crash Sunday afternoon around 4:40 p.m. along M-15 near Birch Run Road in Tuscola County's Millington Township. Deputies say the incident began when a vehicle driven by 65-year old Charles Dickinson of Davison was attempting to make a left turn into a private driveway on northbound M-15 and was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by 18-year old Jason Smith of Millington. The impact forced the Dickinson vehicle into the southbound lane, into the path of two motorcycles. The first motorcycle driven by the victim, Byron Fritcher, was struck by the car. According to deputies, Fritcher was killed instantly. His wife, 49-year old Maria Fritcher, was driving her motorcycle and attempted to avoid the collision and struck her husband's bike causing her to lose control. Maria suffered serious injuries and was taken to a Flint area hospital for treatment. Smith and Dickinson were also transported to Flint hospitals for treatment. Deputies say the victim was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and alcohol does not appear to have been a factor. Investigators learned that the Fritcher's were visiting friends and riding their motorcycles, celebrating their 22nd wedding anniversary.
(HURON COUNTY) -- Huron County Sheriff's Marine deputies were able to help a distressed sailboat operator after a concerned citizen reported watching the sailboat off shore of Port Austin appearing to be having trouble in rough waters. Port Austin Police were sent to investigate from shore just before 9 p.m. Friday, while the Sheriff's Marine Division headed out in the water. Due to dark conditions, deputies used the department's thermo imaging FLIR system to located the 17' sailboat about 3.5 miles west-northwest of Port Austin. The sailboat's operator and sole occupant, Daniel Deacons of Kinde, advised deputies that he was having trouble in the rough water and the conditions had worsened with waves reaching 4-feet. The sailboat was towed to Port Austin without incident and no injuries were reported.
(ST. CLAIR COUNTY) -- State Representative Kevin Daley of Lum, Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, will be on hand at a public town hall meeting in St. Clair County on Tuesday, August 13 to discuss Michigan's agriculture industry. The town hall is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Lewis Farms, 5570 North Road in North Street. Marty and Charlie Lewis are 4th and 5th generation sugar beet and cattle farmers. State Representative Dan Lauwers of Brockway Township says the town hall in his District is a great opportunity for local farmers to hear the latest news on agriculture policy being considered at the Capitol. Representative Daley, along with other House Ag Committee members, are traveling the state this summer to meet with farmers. Agriculture contributes more than $70 billion annually to Michigan's economy, making it the second largest industry in the state.
(PORT HURON) -- Thousands of people could turn out for this weekend's Port Huron Float Down. Starting around 1 p.m. Sunday, people in tubes and rafts will hop into the water at Lighthouse Beach in Port Huron and float down the St. Clair River to Chrysler Beach in Marysville. Cody Kimball, who runs a website about the event, says he's expecting between 2,500 and 3,000 people. St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon is warning participants about using flimsy rafts. He also says people should bring paddles. That's important if winds push participants across the river toward Canada. Waterways will be closed to motor vessels. The U.S. Coast Guard, the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department and other agencies will be on hand for the event.
(AREA) -- The value of agricultural land in Michigan shot up almost 13 percent in the past year, averaging $4,800 per acre according to numbers released this week by the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service Great Lakes Regional Office. The Lakes States region-comprised of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota-averaged $4,660 per acre, an increase of 11.5 percent from 2012.
The increase marks at least the third straight year of strengthening values, outpacing the other Lakes States and far ahead of the $2,900 national average.
Pasture land in Michigan is valued at $2,700 per acre, an eight percent increase from last year and Michigan's cropland value increased 15 percent from 2012 to $4,600 per acre, comparing favorably to the $4,000 per acre national average.
(SANDUSKY) -- State Representative Paul Muxlow of Brown City will host a family cookout at Doerr Field in Sandusky on Saturday, August 17. Hot dogs, hamburgers and side dishes will be provided for the event, which will be held from 4-7 p.m. at the park located on West Speaker Street. Muxlow says the cookout is a fun opportunity for families to spend a Saturday evening together and also gives residents in the 83rd House District a chance to let him know what's on their minds and how government can help their family succeed. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by calling 810-537-1031 or 810-346-2131. You may also send an email to lhfaulconer-at-yahoo.com
(PIGEON) -- In an effort to stem the tide of copper thefts in the state, Representative Terry Brown of Pigeon has co-sponsored legislation to place stricter regulations on scrap metal dealers and scrap iron and metal processors and place tougher penalties on certain entities caught buying or selling stolen copper cable. The effort was jump started after Representative Brown learned that copper cable was stolen from an ITC substation in Sigel Township recently. The bi-partisan package of legislation would be known as the Scrap Metal Regulatory Act and strengthens the previously enacted law Brown sponsored in 2008. If enacted, the bills will require stricter record-keeping and reporting by scrap metal dealers and impose stiffer penalties for failure to do so.
(AREA) -- William Weston, a Saginaw native, has been appointed by the Michigan Department of Human Services as the new Director for St. Clair and Sanilac counties, effective August 19. Weston is a 17-year veteran of DHS and has most recently been acting director for Roscommon, Iosco and Ogemaw counties. Mr. Weston started his career in Saginaw County and worked in both adult and children's services programs. He previously worked in Child Welfare Field Operations as a division director and led the Data Driven Decision-making Project from 2011 to 2012. During this project, Weston led the creation and implementation of the Infoview child welfare data reports currently available for use by DHS staff statewide. He replaces acting director Deborah Walbecq.