Michigan News -- Hoekstra joins Bachmann in House Tea Party Caucus

Michigan news rundown
July 21, 2010 12:58:20 AM PDT
U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra is joining Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann as a founding member of the House Tea Party Caucus in a move that could help his Michigan gubernatorial bid.GOVERNOR'S RACE-HOEKSTRA
Hoekstra joins Bachmann in House Tea Party Caucus

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra is joining Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann as a founding member of the House Tea Party Caucus in a move that could help his Michigan gubernatorial bid. Hoekstra campaign spokesman John Truscott said Tuesday that a lot of people in the conservative movement "have a great deal of respect for Michele Bachmann." Bachmann is a frequent Fox News guest and has been a vocal spokeswoman for the Tea Party movement, whose supporters could play a role in the outcome of Michigan's Aug. 3 Republican primary. Truscott says joining with Bachmann will help Hoekstra show that GOP rival Mike Cox's attacks on Hoekstra for not being fiscally conservative "are just not accurate." Hoekstra began running a new round of TV ads Tuesday.

GOVERNOR'S RACE-ENDORSEMENTS
Michigan gubernatorial candidates win endorsements

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan League of Conservation Voters is endorsing both Republican Rick Snyder and Democrat Virg Bernero in the Michigan governor's race. The nonpartisan environmental group said Tuesday that it's the first time it has ever endorsed a Republican running for governor. Bernero also was endorsed Tuesday by two other environmental groups, Michigan Clean Water Action and the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter. Bernero's Democratic rival, Andy Dillon, beefed up his Detroit endorsements by winning the backing of The Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and the Fannie Lou Hamer Political Action Committee. Candidates are hoping the endorsements bring voters and donations to their campaigns in the two weeks before the Aug. 3 primary election.

US HOUSE-3RD DISTRICT-AD
Anti-tax group funds ad against Sen. Bill Hardiman

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - An anti-tax group is running a TV ad against 3rd District Republican congressional candidate Bill Hardiman. The 15-second ad was released Tuesday by Club for Growth, which has endorsed state Rep. Justin Amash in the five-way GOP race. The ad will air throughout the district. It calls Hardiman "pro-tax" and "not what we need in Congress." It displays his picture next to that of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Hardiman says in a statement that he has a long record of cutting taxes as a state senator, Kentwood mayor and city commissioner. He criticized Club for Growth's "slash and burn tactics." Republican U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers of Grand Rapids is retiring, leaving the 3rd District seat open.

RAPE SHIELD LAW
US court will take another look at Mich. rape case

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - In a rare decision, an entire federal appeals court will revisit a Michigan case to determine whether the sex life of an alleged rape victim can be fair game for the defense at trial. In a 2-1 ruling in February, an appeals panel said Lewis Gagne's rights were violated when an Ingham County judge excluded some evidence. The full 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out that decision Tuesday and said it will rehear the case. Chief Judge Alice Batchelder believes the earlier ruling could have threatened rape-shield laws in Michigan and other states. Gagne was sentenced in 2001 to up to 45 years in prison for first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He claimed he had consensual group sex with the woman. He was not allowed to tell jurors about an earlier act.

OAKLAND-TUITION
Oakland University approves tuition increase

ROCHESTER, Mich. (AP) - Oakland University says its 2010-11 tuition will increase 5.76 percent for undergraduate students and slightly more for graduate students. Officials at the suburban Detroit university approved the increases Tuesday. For full-time undergraduates, tuition will go up by $18 per credit hour to $9,716. The 5.77 percent hike approved for graduate students will increase tuition by $30 a credit hour to $12,972. The school says it's boosting financial aid by $4.8 million, or 24.8 percent. The increase provides a 53 percent discount to more than half of Oakland's undergraduate students. The Rochester-based public university has about 19,000 students.

FATAL FIRE-FLINT TOWNSHIP
Boy dies in Flint Twp. apartment building fire

FLINT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Authorities say a 5-year-old boy died in an early morning fire that swept through a Flint Township apartment building. Fire Chief John Ringwelski said Tuesday evening the cause of the blaze at the Sunridge apartment building was under investigation. Township police identified the victim as Kadric Johnson. Ringwelski says attempts to rescue the boy were hampered by the intensity of the fire, the collapse of part of the unit and broken gas lines. He said brick walls had started to fall. No other injuries were reported. Witnesses said several people jumped from the building to escape the fire in the township that neighbors Flint and is about 50 miles northwest of Detroit. Six of the 14 apartments were destroyed. Two more were damaged.

GIRL DEAD-FOSTER CARE
Foster care provider faces charge in child's death

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - A foster care provider is being held in the Kent County Jail after a 5-year-old girl in her care died in a local hospital. The Grand Rapids Press and television stations WOOD and WWMT reported Tuesday that Emily Marie Meno died Saturday. Hospital staff contacted authorities Friday when the girl was brought in. WOOD-TV says the woman was awaiting arraignment on a charge of open murder. The girl had been placed in her care through a Christian services organization. The Associated Press left messages Tuesday afternoon with the sheriff's department and prosecutor's office.

DETROIT AIRPORT-SECURITY BREACH
Exam ordered for man who bypassed airport security

DETROIT (AP) - An Ohio man arrested after walking through a passenger-screening checkpoint at Detroit Metropolitan Airport has been ordered to take a psychiatric examination. The Detroit News reported Tuesday that Wayne County Circuit Judge Carole Youngblood ordered tests for Kaylan Policherla. He is accused of bypassing the checkpoint on Feb. 8 without a boarding pass and is charged with violating federal security requirements. Prosecutors also charged him with resisting and obstructing a police officer. The Bryan, Ohio, man was shot with a stun gun when officers said he didn't obey their commands. Part of the airport terminal was evacuated. Attorney William Hill said Tuesday he would argue an insanity defense for Policherla. --- Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/

JAIL ESCAPE-HOUGHTON
Inmate missing from Houghton County Jail

HOUGHTON, Mich. (AP) - Police say a 23-year-old man has escaped from the Houghton County Jail. Keith Harri of Calumet was reported missing Tuesday afternoon. The Daily Mining Gazette of Houghton says he is charged with breaking and entering and with receiving and concealing stolen property. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Aug. 2 in district court. He was in jail on a probation violation from a burglary case. Police say Harri is 5 feet 9 inches tall and has short blond hair. He was wearing an orange jumpsuit. --- Information from: Daily Mining Gazette of Houghton, http://www.mininggazette.com

DETROIT-TV CRIME SERIES
'Detroit 1-8-7' begins production in Motor City

DETROIT (AP) - Production is under way in Detroit on a crime drama that will air on ABC. The network says production on "Detroit 1-8-7" began Tuesday. The first episode will premiere Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 10 p.m. after the "Dancing with the Stars" results show. The show follows a single homicide unit in Detroit and is being shot on location in the area. "Detroit 1-8-7" stars Michael Imperioli and James McDaniel as detectives. Imperioli played Christopher on the award-winning HBO mafia drama "The Sopranos" and Detective Ray Carling on ABC's "Life on Mars." McDaniel is known for his portrayal of Lt. Arthur Fancy on "NYPD Blue."