Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker portrait
Wikimedia Commons

A western Michigan man has been sentenced to 15 months of confinement after pleading guilty to making a threatening phone call last October to presidential hopeful Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.

U.S. District Judge Janet Neff also ordered 52-year-old Rick Simmons of Kentwood to spend two years on supervised release and to pay a $2,000 fine Thursday.

Federal prosecutors say Simmons admitted to leaving a profane voice mail message at Booker's Camden, N.J. office that included a threat to point a gun at Booker's face and put "guns a blazin."

Scales of Justice
Tim Evanson via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

A man who admits killing his girlfriend before exchanging gunfire with officers on a Grand Rapids freeway has been convicted of first-degree murder.

A Kent County jury returned the verdict Thursday after a brief trial. There was no dispute that Adam Nolin fatally shot Tia Randall at her home in Wyoming, near Grand Rapids, last September. But his lawyer insisted that Nolin "just snapped" and acted impulsively, not with premeditation.

gavel
succo via Pixabay | CC BY 2.0 / Pixabay.com

A judge says the Michigan parole board needs to take another look at a woman who has spent 30 years in prison for the deaths of residents at a nursing home.

Catherine Wood last year was granted parole. But Kent County Judge Joe Rossi says the board didn't properly assess the risk to the public if Wood is released. He also cited other reasons for a review Thursday. She remains in custody.

Aretha Franklin photo
Wikimedia Commons

The Michigan Legislature is honoring the late Queen of Soul with a highway designation.

The state Senate voted 32-5 on Thursday to designate a portion of M-10 in Detroit as the "Aretha L. Franklin Memorial Highway." Franklin died in Detroit last year after battling pancreatic cancer.

The legislation will soon go to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her expected signature.

Supporters say dedicating a portion of the highway is a way to honor the musical and cultural icon, who grew up in Detroit and learned the gospel fundamentals at New Bethel Baptist Church.

Gretchen Whitmer campaign photo
gretchenwhitmer.com

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says her administration's proposal to close Benton Harbor's high schools was no "ultimatum," and state and local officials are entering a period in which there will be a lot of negotiation and research after the school board rejected the plan.

The Democrat said Wednesday that "getting it right is the most important thing." Under the proposal, Benton Harbor high school students would attend school in surrounding districts starting in 2020, while K-8 schools would remain open.

Petition form photo
Wikipedia

Groups backing two anti-abortion ballot drives in Michigan are poised to begin gathering signatures after clearing procedural steps.

The bipartisan Board of State Canvassers on Tuesday approved 100-word summaries that will appear atop the petitions. They also OK'd the petition forms.

Nicholas Colvin head shot photo
Colvinformichigan.com

A former staffer for President Barack Obama is running for the U.S. House seat held by Republican Justin Amash of Michigan.

Nick Colvin, an Ionia native, announced his candidacy Tuesday for the 3rd Congressional District, which includes Grand Rapids, Battle Creek and surrounding areas. He joins Democrat Doug Booth in the race.

Colvin, a lawyer, was an aide to Obama when he was a senator and worked in the Obama White House on a team that tackled the auto industry rescue, health care law and confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

Scales of Justice
Tim Evanson via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

The family of an 11-year-old boy riding a minibike who was fatally struck by a sheriff's deputy in southern Michigan has filed a lawsuit seeking $25 million. The Battle Creek Enquirer reports the lawsuit filed this month by the estate of Norman Hood Jr. and his parents lists Calhoun County and the unnamed deputy as defendants. The Associated Press left a message seeking comment Wednesday from the county.

marijuana leaf
pixabay.com

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is among 18 governors to sign a letter urging Congress to open the U.S. banking system to the legal marijuana industry. In the letter written Friday and released Monday, 18 governors say the cash-only environment is a threat to public safety and a burden for governments that tax and regulate marijuana businesses.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, says in a written statement that states are seeking a "real solution to a real problem."

Straits of Mackinac
Gregory Varnum via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

Enbridge says it's moving ahead with collecting rock and soil samples in the Straits of Mackinac while preparing for a court battle with Michigan's governor over a planned oil pipeline tunnel there.

The Canadian company received a permit in January to do preliminary sampling in the channel linking Lakes Huron and Michigan. That was before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered state agencies to stop implementing an agreement between Enbridge and former Gov. Rick Snyder to build the tunnel.

Enbridge has asked the Michigan Court of Claims to rule on the legality of that deal.

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