(AREA) -- St. Clair County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Wendling testified this week in support of legislation to help keep dangerous motorists off Michigan streets by ensuring immediate jail time for repeat offenders and improved communication between law enforcement agencies. Prosecutor Wendling was invited to Lansing by State Representative Dan Lauwers, who sponsored the legislation. The bills place a conditional bond on drivers who are arrested for operating under the influence of drugs, allow law enforcement to enter a pending chemical analysis and bond into the Law Enforcement Information Network, and require motorists who fail a roadside chemical sobriety exam to be given a permit license similar to a drunken driving offense.
Representative Lauwers said some medical marijuana advocates have mischaracterized the legislation, specifically as it pertains to a saliva test to detect certain drugs. The lawmaker said the new saliva test is currently untested and will not be used statewide until it is thoroughly reviewed.
The legislation was drafted after two Avoca men, Russell Ward and Koby Raymo, were killed in a head-on collision in July 2013 in St. Clair County when a pickup driver crossed the centerline and struck their vehicle. The driver's blood later tested positive for controlled substances. Lisa Bergman has been pulled over six times since 2008 for operating under the influence of drugs, and at the time of the fatal crash, she had two pending cases.
The bills remain under consideration in the House Judiciary Committee.
(AREA) -- A number of grants from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Department of Environmental Quality will benefit natural sites in the Thumb. State Representative Terry Brown of Pigeon says the DEQ awarded a $2,844 grant to the Huron County Health Department and a $1,501 grant to the Sanilac County Health Department for monitoring Lake Huron beaches. Sanilac County also received a $35,100 grant from the DNR for the Sanilac Conservation District. Brown says these grants will help local governments maintain safety and improve natural resources, so that residents can continue to enjoy the best of what Mother Nature has to offer.
(MARION TOWNSHIP) -- Reckless driving and alcohol are believed to be factors in a crash involving two Deckerville teens Thursday morning. Sanilac County Sheriff Garry Biniecki says the roll over crash took place around 7:30 a.m. on Deckerville Road near Hunt Road as the two 18-year old boys were on their way to school. Deputies say their investigation showed that the driver was driving the vehicle recklessly and traveling at a high rate of speed when he lost control, crossed the centerline, came back across the road, and entered the north ditch causing the vehicle to roll over. Both boys sustained non-life threatening injuries and were taken to Deckerville Hospital for treatment. Names of the teens involved have not been released. Deputies also believe the boys were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. Deckerville Police and Fire assisted at the scene.
(AREA) -- A former executive with Thumb Oilseed Producers Cooperative in Ubly faces prison time after being accused of causing soy flour containing salmonella bacteria to be introduced into interstate commerce. JoAnn Rutkowski pleaded not guilty during arraignment in March. She is charged with a felony count of causing the introduction of adulterated food into interstate commerce. Rutkowski remains free on bond and will stand trial July 8 in U.S. District Court in Bay City. Federal prosecutors say the crime was allegedly committed between December 2010 and January 2011 when Rutkowski was serving as the Chief Operating Officer at the cooperative. If convicted, she faces a maximum of 3-years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Reports say the cooperative filed for bankruptcy in March 2012.
(MARLETTE TOWNSHIP) -- A 12-year-old boy has pleaded guilty in the accidental fatal shooting of an 11-year-old friend who was an overnight guest at his home in the Thumb. Tyler Dunn died November 23 from a rifle shot inside a residence on Howard Road in Marlette Township. Authorities say no adult was home at the time of the shooting. The 12-year old boy pleaded guilty to carelessly discharging a firearm on April 10. Sentencing has been set for April 29. Court administrator Brian Henderson says a magistrate will decide whether the boy is sentenced as a juvenile or an adult. The 12-year-old's father faces trial May 15 on charges of possessing a firearm as a felon and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
(CROSWELL) -- The Croswell Police Department is investigating a breaking and entering that took place at a residence on E. State Street in Croswell. Authorities say the suspects entered the home through an unlocked door. Several containers of pennies were stolen along with tools. It is estimated that there was approximately $150 in pennies stolen. Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Officer Wurmlinger at the Croswell Police Department at 810-679-2200.
(PORT HURON TOWNSHIP) -- St. Clair County Drug Task Force Officers seized marijuana, drug paraphernalia, 8 firearms, and $2,500 in cash during a drug raid Tuesday night in the 900 block of 26th Street in Port Huron Township. The warrant was served around 8 p.m. following a narcotics investigation involving the sales of crack cocaine and marijuana in the area. A 33-year old woman and 35-year old man were arrested at the scene and remain jailed on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, felon in possession of firearms, maintaining a drug house and habitual offender.
(AREA) -- Seven candidates have filed their intent to run for the 84th District State Representative seat. Current Representative, Democrat Terry Brown of Pigeon, cannot run again due to term limits. The Republican candidates running in the August 5 primary include former State Representative Kurt Damrow, former Tuscola County Register of Deeds Dan Grimshaw, Marlene Jobe of Port Austin, former Bad Axe Schools Superintendent James Wencel, Dr. Edward Canfield of Sebewaing, Harbor Beach resident Curtis Boehmer, and Fairgrove Village President Tom Wassa. Richard Badger of Mayville is running on the Democratic ticket. The 84th House District serves residents in Huron and Tuscola counties.
(RUTH) -- A 58 year-old Elwell, Michigan man fell to his death Wednesday afternoon at the Ruth Cooperative Elevator Company location on Ruth Road in Huron County's Sherman Township. Sheriff Kelly Hanson says the victim, Michael Rempp, fell about 60 feet to the ground just before 2 p.m. According to a witness, Rempp accidentally fell from an opening in the tower of a feed mill leg that was in the process of being dismantled. He was working for an out-of-county contractor on the project. Efforts to resuscitate Rempp were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene by the Huron County Medical Examiner. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.
(SANDUSKY) -- The Sandusky District Library is having a "National Library Week" celebration Saturday, April 19. All children ages preschool-6th grade, who check out a book at the library between now and Friday, April 18, will receive a ticket to the party at the Sandusky McDonalds. Children with tickets will get free pancakes and a free book at the McDonalds restaurant Saturday, April 19 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Don't forget to check out a book at the Sandusky District Library to receive a ticket!