Local News Archives

Judge Ends Challenges To Parole Rules, Sentences For Teens

From the Associated Press — A judge has rejected constitutional challenges to how Michigan sentences teens convicted of first-degree murder, ending seven years of litigation. Since 2010, federal Judge John Corbett O’Meara has made a series of decisions, some favoring so-called juvenile lifers who were given no-parole sentences when they were under 18. But some rulings were stopped by an appeals court. O’Meara closed the case Tuesday, noting that Michigan law has greatly changed because of decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court. No-parole sentences for teenagers still are possible but they’re not mandatory. O’Meara says judges can consider the “factors of youth” when they sentence teens. Attorney Deborah LaBelle had urged O’Meara to strike the law as unconstitutional. She says no-parole sentences are supposed to be rare, but prosecutors still are trying to keep more than 200 inmates behind bars for life at new hearings.. ...Read Full Story

Blossomtime Pageant Tickets Go On Sale This Month

Tickets to this year’s Blossomtime Pageants will go on sale this month. The public sale begins on February 14. This year’s theme is “If it starts with B, it must be Blossomtime,” and the pageants will be held next month. Tickets are $20.00 and you can get them by calling the Blossomtime office or stopping there. The big event will be at Lake Michigan College’s Mendel Center.. ...Read Full Story

Latest Ann Arbor Hunt Results In 96 Deer Killed

From the Associated Press — Ann Arbor officials say 96 deer have been killed this year as part of the city’s deer management efforts. The Ann Arbor News reports that sharpshooting as part of the city’s second-annual deer cull ended this week and all parks and nature areas that were
closed during the hunt that started Jan. 30 are now back to their normal operating hours. The deer were hunted at designated parks and nature areas and University of Michigan properties, including Nichols Arboretum and near North Campus. A state permit allowed killing up to 100 deer, plus sterilizing up to 80. Veterinarians sterilized 54. Sharpshooters killed 63 deer during last year’s hunt. In 2015, city officials decided that the deer culling program would be for four years to help deal with deer overpopulation.. ...Read Full Story

Kids Allegedly Kidnapped By Parents Found Safe

A parental kidnapping in Benton Harbor is under investigation by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies accuse 34-year-old Scottie Hall and 27-year-old Courtney Gibson of taking their two children against a court order, and fleeing to Indiana last evening. The children, 12-year-old Hailey Hall and 8-year-old Scottie Hall, Jr. were found safe today in Indiana. A court order had put them into protective custody and foster care just a few hours before they were taken. The sheriff’s department has not indicated the reasons for that court ruling.. ...Read Full Story