Author Archives: CMU Public Radio News

Kalamazoo shooter bound over to Circuit Court

gavelKalamazoo mass shooting suspect Jason Brian Dalton has been bound over to Circuit Court for trial. That’s the result of a hearing in District Court today. Dalton had to be removed from the hearing after an outburst at a witness. He’s accused of killing six people and seriously injuring two others February 20th.

Seventeen-year-old Alexis Cornish was among those who testified today. She watched as her boyfriend and his father were shot to death at a car dealership. Cornish says she saw Dalton approach them, then pulled out a gun and started shooting:

Dalton was in court as the hearing began. But he was dragged away by officers after yelling at shooting survivor Tiana Carruthers as she testified, causing her to break down on the witness stand. She finished her testimony after a recess.

Dalton removed from courtroom following outbreak

jail imageA Kalamazoo County District judge says there’s enough evidence to send mass shooting suspect Jason Brian Dalton to trial in Circuit Court. The ruling came today (Friday) after a hearing where Dalton had to be removed after an outburst. He’s accused of fatally shooting six people and seriously wounding two more as he drove around Kalamazoo February 20. Prosecutors called several witnesses, including shooting survivor Tiana Carruthers.

As Carruthers testified, Dalton began to talk. Later he tried to stand up, causing Carruthers to break down on the witness stand.

Sheriff’s deputies dragged Dalton out of the courtroom and he watched the rest of the hearing from jail via a video link.

Governor Snyder addresses public on criminal investigation

Gov Rick SnyderGovernor Rick Snyder addressed Wednesday’s announcement on criminal charges in the Flint water crisis in an afternoon press conference.  He called investigations into wrongdoing in Flint “critically important”.

Snyder says both state employees have been suspended without pay following the criminal charges.

He says a concurrent investigation by the Michigan State Police is still ongoing.

State task force member speaks about Flint water crisis

epa logoA task force appointed by the Governor has laid most of the blame for the Flint water crisis on bad decisions by state departments like the Department of Environmental Quality.

Task force member Chris Kolb says the D-E-Q completely missed the boat when it allowed Flint not to use corrosion control for its drinking water.

The report also criticized the state’s emergency manager law, because it allowed non-elected officials to ignore public complaints about the water.

Michigan cities in financial trouble

money-coinsThe revenue prospects of Michigan city governments are bad and not getting better. That’s the message of the Michigan Municipal League, an advocacy group for cities and townships. Great Lakes Economics Consulting’s Mitch Bean spoke at a Municipal League event on Monday. Bean says Michigan’s property tax caps combined with a big drop in revenue sharing played a big role in the financial crises in cities like Flint and Detroit.

The League says state revenue sharing with cities dropped more than 50 percent between 2002 and 2012, even though state revenue grew about 30 percent in that time.

State task force puts responsibility for Flint water crisis on Michigan environmental officials

rick-snyder-mugjpg-446cf7790e6a2ea6Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has repeatedly claimed that Flint’s lead contaminated water crisis was caused by all levels of government. But today, a task force that he appointed called those claims “inappropriate official public relations efforts.”
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Bernie makes final pitch in Kalamazoo

Sanders0215-fotoAbout 3200 people turned out to hear Democratic primary candidate Bernie Sanders in Kalamazoo this morning. At the Wings Event Center, Sanders told the crowd that he’ll work to make things better for working people and students if he’s elected president. He drew cheers with proposals for a $15 minimum wage, free tuition at public universities and lower costs for prescription drugs. Sanders also called on the US to reinvest in its aging roads and water systems. He says the money to fix them could be raised by closing corporate tax loopholes.
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Kalamazoo Shooting Update

KzooProsecutorJeffGetting-presser030316The man suspected of shooting people at random in Kalamazoo nearly two weeks ago will undergo a competency exam. That’s to determine whether Jason Brian Dalton is fit to go to trial on murder, assault and weapons charges. Dalton is accused of killing six people and wounding two more as he drove around Kalamazoo February 20. Today [On Thursday], Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting said the psychiatric exam has nothing to do with whether Dalton could plead insanity if he goes to trial. It’s about his state of mind now.

An update on the results of the exam has been scheduled in court for May 10, but Getting says it’s possible it will be done before that.

Kalamazoo mass for victims of shootings

crossSt. Augustine Cathedral in Kalamazoo held a noontime mass today to pray for the victims of Saturday’s shooting. Margaret Huesa-Lords (HUE-suh) was there to honor her friend Mary Jo Nye who was killed at the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Texas Township. Huesa-Lords says she’s still in shock.
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Accused Kalamazoo killer arraigned in district court

6th Circuit Court of AppealsThe man accused of killing six people and seriously wounding two others in a mass shooting in Kalamazoo on Saturday has been arraigned in district court. Jason Brian Dalton is charged with six counts of murder. He also faces assault and felony weapons charges. Dalton, who appeared through a video feed, sat silently during the proceedings with a blank expression. Michigan State Police Detective [First Lieutenant] Chuck Christensen says Dalton has been cooperative but “stoic” when questioned by police.

In a probable cause hearing today, officials said Dalton has admitted to “taking lives.” Dalton is alleged to have driven around Kalamazoo County Saturday night, shooting people at random in three locations. His next court appearance is set for March 3.

Amish traditional lifestyle evolving and changing

Photocred_ Emily FoxAn Amish community modernizes in Michigan: Goodbye horse and buggy, hello minivans and power tools

The area around Mt. Pleasant and Clare is kind of like Michigan’s Great Plains. It’s really flat and there is a lot of land and a lot of farms and fields. If you’re driving up US-127 and need to stop for gas around the area, it wouldn’t be unusual to see an Amish man with a top hat and beard traveling by horse and buggy around town. Continue reading

Former Flint Emergency Manager fails to appear before Congress

gavelFormer Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley failed to appear before Congress for a hearing on Flint’s lead contaminated drinking water this morning (Wed).

Officials from the U-S Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Michigan officials testified in front of a congressional committee in Washington.

Representative Jason Chaffetz chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He says Earley’s invitation to appear as a witness before the committee was not optional.

We’re calling on the US Marshals to hunt him down and give him that subpoena. Today we are issuing a new subpoena. He will appear and he will be here to do a deposition later this month.

Chafettz says Congress will also issue a subpoena for Susan Hedman…the former E-P-A manager for Region Five.

He says she is also expected to appear before the committee later this month.

Detroit Public Schools emergency manager to step down

City of FlintThe controversial emergency manager of the Detroit Public Schools will step down at the end of this month.

Governor Snyder faced growing pressure to get rid of Darnell Earley.

Earley was Flint’s emergency manager, when it made the disastrous decision to start drawing drinking water from the Flint River. Continue reading