Traverse City Record-Eagle

February 24, 2013

Michigan in Brief: 02/24/2013


---- — 2 men ordered to pay in vandalism

CASSOPOLIS — Two men have been sentenced to jail and ordered to pay nearly $17,000 in restitution for damaging dozens of headstones and monuments at a southwestern Michigan cemetery.

Cass County Circuit Judge Michael Dodge on Friday sentenced 23-year-old Clayton Warren of Marcellus to 270 days in jail, two years of probation and 200 hours of community service, with credit for 69 days already served. Nineteen-year-old Enos Butrick of Dowagiac received the same sentence, with credit for 81 days served.

Both men apologized for vandalizing Riverside Cemetery in Dowagiac in December.

They were ordered to share in $16,984 worth of restitution for the 76 headstones and monuments they damaged.

Dodge told Butrick “it’s difficult for most people to understand why you would do something like this.”

Man to be evaluated in deputy attack

IRON MOUNTAIN — A 74-year-old man charged with stabbing a sheriff’s deputy in the back at an Upper Peninsula ski jump tournament has been ordered to undergo a competency evaluation.

Andrew Michael Bray appeared in Dickinson County District Court on Friday.

The Norway resident faces a charge of assault with intent to murder.

Authorities say Bray attacked a sheriff’s deputy during the Continental Cup Ski Jumping Tournament at Pine Mountain on Feb. 10. The resort is in Breitung Township, near Iron Mountain.

The injured deputy was treated at the scene.

Bray is being held on $1 million bond.

Defense lawyer Dan Jaspen says his client’s history “indicates a long-standing treatment for psychiatric issues.”

The next hearing date hasn’t been scheduled.

‘Repeal right to work’ site launched

LANSING — A Michigan Democratic lawmaker is taking steps aimed at repealing the contentious right-to-work law.

Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood of Taylor launched a website this week in an effort to drive a take-down of the law signed in December by GOP Gov. Rick Snyder.

Hopgood says the website will inform the public and give “them a voice this time around.” It features a countdown until March 27, the day the law is expected to go into effect. Visitors can also sign a petition.

Hopgood has introduced two bills to repeal the law, which prohibits forcing workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.

Critics call the law union-busting. Supporters say it offers workers choice and freedom.

Ice fishing shanty removal deadlines

LANSING — Deadlines are approaching for anglers to remove shanties from ice-covered waters.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says structures on Lake St. Clair must go by sunset on Sunday.

Other deadlines include midnight on March 1 for the southern Lower Peninsula, and midnight of March 15 for the northern Lower Peninsula and waters along the Michigan-Wisconsin boundary.

For the remainder of the Upper Peninsula, it’s midnight on March 31.

After the mandatory removal dates, ice shanties may still be used but must be removed daily.

Owners whose shanties fall through the ice could get up to 30 days in jail and be fined up to $500. If a government agency has to retrieve a shanty, the owner could be required to reimburse three times the cost.

Man killed in snowmobile accident

BURT LAKE — A Livonia man has been killed in a snowmobile accident in northern Lower Michigan.

The Cheboygan County sheriff’s department says Robert Bennett hit a pressure crack on Burt Lake during a snowstorm on Friday. The 56-year-old lost control of the snowmobile, which rolled over and ejected him.

According to authorities, Bennett was taken to McLaren Hospital in Petoskey where he died.

Detroit church raising funds for African school

DETROIT — A Detroit church is set to host a fundraising event for a school in Ghana.

The African and African-American Expo is to take place Saturday at Greater Grace Temple.

It’s to feature tastes of African and African-American food as well as vendors offering everything from clothing to art.

The event is sponsored by the International Missions Ministry of Greater Grace Temple. The ministry has established more than 100 churches in Ghana, as well as the David Ellis School in Liberia.

The African and African-American Expo is part of an ongoing fundraising effort aimed at building a school for children in economically struggling Ghana.