SOS: Technology will shorten lines
DETROIT — The Michigan secretary of state’s office soon will allow customers at some of its branches to be in line without actually being in line.
A new system called MI-TIME Line will launch soon at 10 of the busiest locations, allowing customers to schedule appointments and virtually get in line via home computer, phone or text message, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced Wednesday.
Customers at those branches who use the system can be called or texted when it’s their turn. Those without mobile phones can stop by the office, check in at a MI-TIME Line kiosk and head out to run errands while they wait.
“We all lead busy lives, and we know that our customers’ time is important,” Johnson said in a statement. “Spend the time you save shopping nearby, running errands or being with family. We’ll let you know when it’s almost your turn.”
The system had a “soft launch” last week at branches in Flint and Lansing. It will debut in the coming weeks in Macomb County’s Clinton Township, Detroit, Livonia and Pontiac, and later in Southfield, Taylor and Troy.
The 10 offices that will be using the new system together handle more than 2 million transactions per year.
2 men convicted of murder in shooting
SAGINAW — A jury has convicted two men of first-degree murder in the drive-by shooting of a 6-year-old girl during a revenge attack on a man.
The Saginaw County jury reached the verdicts Wednesday in the trial of 24-year-old Michael D. Lawrence and 22-year-old Rico A. Saldana.
Lay’la Jones was killed Aug. 29, 2012, in Saginaw. Authorities say the men were targeting a man for an earlier killing.
Judge Darnell Jackson will sentence Lawrence and Saldana to the mandatory life in prison without possibility of parole at a future date.
No role for creditors in considering art
DETROIT — A judge overseeing Detroit’s bankruptcy has rejected a request from creditors who want a role in deciding what to do with the city’s valuable art collection.
Federal Judge Steven Rhodes says he lacks authority to appoint a committee.
Creditors filed a request two months ago to have a say in the appraisal of art and any potential way to make money from it. Since then, foundations have pledged more than $300 million to prevent any sale and shore up Detroit pensions.
Separately, Gov. Rick Snyder has talked to state lawmakers about the state chipping in.
Christie’s auction house has appraised about 2,800 pieces of art, saying they’re worth $454 million to $867 million.
Rhodes says there will be opportunities later to argue over what to do with art, if anything.