Traverse City Record-Eagle

January 9, 2013

Michigan in Brief: 01/09/2013


---- —

Snyder signs cellphone ban for novice drivers

LANSING — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation prohibiting novice drivers from using a cellphone while behind the wheel.

The bill applies to holders of Level 1 licenses, who must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or another driver at least 21 years old. It also covers Level 2 licenses, which allow driving alone with limits on hours and carrying of young passengers.

It exempts drivers with full privileges.

Snyder signed the bill Tuesday in Lansing and was joined by the family of Kelsey Raffaele, a 17-year-old from the Upper Peninsula who was killed in a crash while chatting on her cellphone. Her mom pushed for "Kelsey's Law."

Snyder says the law is "very personal" to him because he also has a daughter named Kelsey who recently got her driver's license.

Small plane lands on Upper Peninsula road

ESCANABA — A small plane has made an emergency landing on a road in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, nearly missing a pickup truck that went into a ditch to avoid the aircraft.

The single-engine plane landed Monday night in Escanaba, near the campus of Bay College. WLUC-TV says no injuries were reported.

The Daily Press of Escanaba reported pilot Steve Atkins and passenger Donald Poe were forced to land after the plane's engine lost power. The men from Gladstone were en route to Escanaba from Houghton, where they attended a Civil Air Patrol meeting.

Atkins says he tried to make it to Delta County Airport, but landed on the road because he knew he wouldn't make it that far.

Atkins credits practice landings he performed in training for making the safe landing.

Authorities end search for Mackinac jumper

ST. IGNACE — Authorities have suspended their search for a person believed to have jumped from the Mackinac Bridge.

State police at the St. Ignace post got a report of a jumper on New Year's Eve and found an abandoned car parked on the five-mile bridge, which links the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan.

State police said Tuesday they aren't releasing the name of the person who jumped and say the active search has ended.

The Evening News of Sault Ste. Marie said the U.S. Coast Guard sent a 25-foot response boat, the 140-foot icebreaker Mobile Bay and a helicopter.

Takeover decision could come Friday

DETROIT — A review team scrutinizing Detroit's poor finances could make a recommendation this week that will help determine whether there's a state takeover of the city, Mayor Dave Bing said Tuesday.

Snyder appointed the team last month after Detroit was slow to fulfill promises to the state in a deal that allowed the city to avoid having an emergency manager take over its finances.

Snyder to pitch road plan in State of State

LANSING — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder plans to propose a more detailed plan to boost spending to maintain roads in next week's State of the State address.

Transportation funding is high on the Republican governor's agenda for 2013. His previous calls for an additional $1.4 billion a year for roads and bridges stalled in the Legislature.

Organizations supporting more transportation funding say the gap between what's spent to maintain roads and the amount of money needed to properly do the job grows every year.

Snyder in 2011 called for replacing the 19-cents-per-gallon tax on gasoline with a tax on the wholesale price of fuel.