Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 1, 2012

Michigan in Brief: 12/01/2012


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Snyder starts energy saving program

NORTHVILLE — Gov. Rick Snyder has announced a statewide initiative that he says encourages businesses to save money through energy efficient upgrades.

Snyder launched the Michigan Saves Business Energy Financing Program during a visit to a Hiller's location in Northville on Friday.

The governor says the program "helps businesses save on costs, creates good-paying jobs and moves us toward a greener energy future." The goal of the initiative is to help Michigan businesses reduce costs by providing low-interest financing for energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems, insulation, refrigeration and equipment.

Under the plan, businesses would make the upgrades with the help of authorized contractors and financing of $2,000 to $150,000 with lending partner Ervin Leasing and capital provider Bank of Ann Arbor.

State sues Troy to force mayoral election

TROY — The state has filed a lawsuit against Troy to compel the Detroit suburb to hold a mayoral election.

The Detroit News says the move came after the city didn't comply with a deadline for agreeing to hold an election in February.

In the lawsuit filed in Oakland County, the Michigan secretary of state's office asks a judge to force City Clerk Aileen Bittner to hold the election and prevent the city from taking actions that would prevent it.

Bittner says she'll meet Monday with city officials to discuss the suit.

According to, City Attorney Lori Grigg Bluhm says Michigan law is ambiguous on whether a city should follow charter rules or state statutes when replacing a removed official.

Troy residents voted Nov. 6 to remove Janice Daniels from office.

Woman sentenced in embezzlement case

BAY CITY — A woman has been sentenced to seven to 20 years in prison for embezzling more than $400,000 from customers of her Bay County funeral home business.

Bay County Circuit Judge Joseph Sheeran sentenced Erica Kaznowski on Friday. The 41-year-old was found guilty in early October of six counts of conversion of prepaid funeral services as well as counts of racketeering and conducting a criminal enterprise.

Sheeran also ordered Kaznowski to pay $463,000 in restitution to victims and insurance companies.

Assistant Attorney General Denise Hart said during trial that Kaznowski embezzled $436,000 from 89 customers from 2005 to 2011 while she managed a funeral home's two locations in Bay City and Hampton Township.

According to, family members of Kaznowski's victims addressed her during Friday's sentencing hearing with sharp words.