Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 20, 2012

Michigan in Brief: 10/20/2012


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Man charged after deer antlers seized

OWOSSO TOWNSHIP — A 51-year-old Michigan man faces charges related to poaching deer and turkey.

The Shiawassee County sheriff's office says Brian Birchmeier was arraigned Friday on 125 misdemeanor counts.

Birchmeier of Owosso Township is charged with 115 counts of taking or possessing deer over the legal limit and seven counts of taking turkey without a permit. He also is charged with illegal baiting.

A state conservation officer found a number of antlers and illegal bait piles earlier this month at Birchmeier's home, about 70 miles northwest of Detroit.

More than 170 antlers, as well as shoulder mounts, crossbows and turkey beards were seized.

Birchmeier could face more than $120,000 in reimbursement payments and up to 90 days in jail.

The Associated Press could not reach Birchmeier on Friday for comment.

Deaths in Michigan rise to 6 in outbreak

LANSING — Officials have added another Michigan death to the national meningitis outbreak.

At least six Michigan residents have died among the 49 stricken with fungal meningitis. The latest is a 79-year-old woman from Oakland County. The illness has been linked to contaminated steroids made at an East Coast pharmacy and shipped to a handful of Michigan clinics.

The Michigan Department of Community Health says there have been four abscesses and a joint infection, in addition to the meningitis cases.

The most important factor determining who gets sick seems to be how much fungus was contaminating a vial of medication. The steroids were injected to relieve back and neck pain.

Feds probe reports that Jeep Patriots stall

DETROIT — U.S. government safety regulators are investigating complaints that engines on Jeep Patriot SUVs can stall without warning at highway speeds.

The problem caused one crash in which two people were hurt, according to documents posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

The investigation affects about 112,000 Patriots from the 2011 and 2012 model years that were sold in the U.S. Chrysler Group LLC, the maker of Jeeps, sold another 18,000 in Canada.

NHTSA said Friday that it received a dozen complaints about stalling. Ten of the incidents occurred while the Jeeps were going 65 miles per hour or faster. In eight cases the Patriots could not be restarted and had to be towed.