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Member since: Mon Apr 20, 2015, 05:44 PM
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Washtenaw County issues two-week stay home order for U-M students

Yet the football team and other varsity sports are exempted from the county orders.

"Washtenaw County has issued a two-week stay at home order as it tries to curb a sharp uptick in cases at the University of Michigan.

The order is for U-M undergraduate students effective immediately and continuing through Nov. 3 at 7 a.m.

Under the order, undergraduate students must remain in their residence, unless attending class, accessing dining services, or carrying out approved work that cannot be done remotely. Students who wish to return to a primary residence may do so only if they have completed U-M’s procedures for leaving campus safely.

Undergrad student Noah Garfinkel agreed.

"This was going to happen eventually and the university invited students back to campus anyway. The university has done a good job of mitigating the spread at least up until now but it should not be shocking that 18- to 22-year-olds did not follow all of the rules," he said. "The other disappointing aspect of the order is it now affects my campus life and could stop me from doing activities that were safe. I had been attending small outdoor MRun practices, which I can no longer attend. These were held outdoors with 10 people. No one had contracted the virus from these practices. These can no longer be held. As the editor-in-chief of the Michigan Review, it is still unclear whether or not I can access the Michigan Review office in the Michigan League. I was by myself and wore a mask.

"I also find it ridiculous that varsity sports are excluded from this order. It is beyond me why student-athletes who do not get paid are allowed to travel while we are not. It is also frustrating as a club athlete that they can also practice while we cannot. It is not only unfair it is unjust to force these athletes to play for someone else's profit."

Madelyn VerVaecke, who graduates in 2021, said she's relieved by the order.

"As someone working in grocery stores and has taking this thing seriously since March, this order comes as a relief. Reading the testimonials from my fellow students about the reality of testing and the handling of those having tested positive, we’ve needed this for a long time. I’m hoping this order puts pressure on the university to act like the “leader and best” it’s branded itself as, because right now, we’re the university who chose football over the safety and well-being of not only us the students, but every single person who comes into contact with us."


It isnt as clear cut as you might believe

California is the state with the highest cost of living, other than Hawaii and DC. After California is New York and Oregon.

The maximum benefit in California is $450. Examples of states that pay more than California are ;

Massachusetts $823
Connecticut $650
North Dakota $647
Utah $560
Wyoming $508
Iowa $591
Oregon $648

For comparison, other higher cost of living states pay these amounts;

Hawaii $648
New York $504
D.C. $425

Feds: Michigan unemployment contractor part of $2 million fraud scheme

Lansing — A contract employee of Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency has been charged after allegedly taking part in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider says.

Amid record jobless filings in Michigan, Brandi Hawkins, 39, of Detroit allegedly used her "insider access" at the agency "to fraudulently release payment on hundreds of fraudulent claims," according an announcement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

She then used the "proceeds" of her crime to purchase high-end handbags and luxury goods, the announcement added.

According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Hawkins worked with outside actors who entered numerous false claims into the state's unemployment system. Hawkins released payment on the claims, leading to the fraudulent disbursement of more than $2 million, the complaint says. Authorities seized more than $200,000 in cash from her residence, according to the Department of Justice.

Hawkins was assigned to work as an unemployment insurance examine in April. She was terminated June 17, according to the complaint. But the complaint says the state's fraud investigation unit reviewed the audit logs for Hawkins's user account and determined that she continued to remotely access state systems after "her termination and was actively 'discarding' fraud-stops and releasing payment on hundreds of fraudulent claims until early July 2020."

Among the items authorities seized from her residence was "the Microsoft Surface tablet provided to her by her employer," the complaint says.


$1.2 million bail for driver that hit 2 Seattle protesters

A judge on Monday set a $1.2 million bail for the man accused of driving a Jaguar on to a closed Seattle freeway and hitting two protesters, killing one and seriously injuring the other.

Dawit Kelete, who is Black, drove the car around vehicles that were parked on Interstate 5 to protect a group of Black Femme March demonstrators, part of the Black Lives Matter movement protesting racial inequality and police violence. The car hit two people and sped away about 1:40 a.m. Saturday, police said.

Over the weekend, a judge found probable cause to hold Kelete on an investigation of vehicular assault.But the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has yet to file charges against Kelete. It says it's waiting for additional required information from the State Patrol.“A charging decision is expected by Wednesday afternoon,” spokesman Casey McNerthney said.

Kelete's lawyer, John Henry Browne, said the crash was a “horrible, horrible accident” and was not intentional.“There's absolutely nothing political about this case whatsoever,” Browne told The Associated Press. “My client is in tears. He's very remorseful. He feels tremendous guilt.” Kelete is originally from Eritrea and is a U.S. citizen, Browne said. He lives with his family in Seattle, and they’re very religious, he said. Kelete was the owner of the Jaguar XJL and was alone in the car, according to a Washington State Patrol report submitted to the court late Saturday.


What is Gov Whitmer's involvement regarding the protests in Detroit and other cities?

I haven't seen or heard much of anything from her about it.

I'm sure she has been engaged, just haven't seen anything reported in the Detroit newspapers.

2 suspects in Flint dollar store slaying caught

"Two men sought in the fatal shooting of a Flint dollar store security guard have been arrested, Genesee County authorities said Friday evening.

During a news conference, county Prosecutor David Leyton said Larry Teague, 44, was arrested Thursday near a motel in Houston, and Ramonyea Bishop, 23, was taken into custody Friday afternoon at an apartment in Bay City.

Both men, along with Sharmel Teague, Teague's wife and Bishop's mother, are charged with first-degree murder and other crimes in the May 1 shooting of Calvin Munerlyn, 43, at the Family Dollar store at 877 E. Fifth Ave. Munerlyn was shot after he told the daughter of Sharmel Teague that she couldn't enter the store without a protective mask, as required by executive orders designed to combat the spread of COVID-19. Then he denied service to Teague, who was wearing a mask, when she allegedly began yelling at him. Teague, 45, then contacted her husband and son, who went to the store and killed Munerlyn, prosecutors allege.

Leyton said two other people were arrested in Houston and charged with helping Teague flee to Texas and elude police: Laura Ann Mitchell, 44, and Terrence Devon Findley, 43. According to the prosecutor, Mitchell and Findley rented a car in Michigan, drove Teague to Texas, bought him clothing at a WalMart and rented him a motel room. Leyton said he charged both with obstruction of justice, harboring a felon, and accessory after the fact to a felony, plus a count of lying to a police officer against Mitchell.

The district attorney of Harris County, Texas, has charged both with hindering apprehension of a murder suspect, Leyton said.

In addition, Bishop’s sister Brya Shatonia Bishop, 24, has been charged with tampering with evidence, lying to police and being an accessory to a felony after the fact. Authorities allege she hampered police efforts to find her brother and Larry Teague."


Sister of suspect in fatal shooting of Flint dollar store guard charged

"The sister of one of the suspects wanted in last week's fatal shooting of a Flint dollar store security guard was charged Thursday with three felonies, authorities said.

Brya Shatonia Bishop, 24, has been charged with tampering with evidence, lying to police and being an accessory to a felony after the fact, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said.

He said Bishop is in police custody and is awaiting arraignment on the charges. Tampering with evidence is a 10-year felony, lying to police is a 4-year felony and being an accessory after the fact is a 5-year felony. Leyton said Bishop is accused of interfering with the police's ongoing efforts to arrest Ramonyea Bishop, 23, and Larry Teague, 44, the two men accused in the Friday slaying of the security guard. Brya and Ramonyea Bishop are siblings.

"Brya Bishops' attempts to shield family members will not be tolerated and we will likewise hold anyone else involved in offering shelter and assistance to Larry Teague or Ramonyea Bishop accountable under the law," Leyton said in a statement. Both Ramonyea Bishop and Teague remain at large. The prosecutor said police continue to search for the two men."


Detroit cops fight violence spike, social distancing violations with depleted manpower

Detroit — A recent rise in shootings and murders has prompted the city's depleted police force to "refocus on eradicating violence," while also scrambling to enforce rampant violations of the governor's social distancing order, chief James Craig said Wednesday.

From April 1 through Tuesday, there were eight homicides and 27 nonfatal shootings in Detroit, according to police department data. Last year, the city averaged about five homicides and 15 shootings per week. Year-to-date, there have been 67 criminal homicides in Detroit — a 68% increase over this time last year — and 173 nonfatal shootings, up 37%

Meanwhile, as police try to quell the violence, they're also dealing with Detroiters who are violating Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's order prohibiting crowds from gathering. In the past three weeks, Detroit cops have responded to nearly 2,000 reports of people congregating for basketball games, parties and barbecues.

The increased police workload comes as nearly 20% of Detroit's 2,200 officers are quarantined amid a COVID-19 outbreak that includes the chief, who is recovering at home after testing positive for the virus two weeks ago.Since April 4, Detroit police have gone to 1,976 "special attention" runs about reported violations, issued 545 warnings, broke up nine parties, including five barbecues, and issued 129 citations in 92 locations where five or more people congregated. On Tuesday, police issued 74 warnings and 35 citations in 11 locations.

"I've made a commitment that there would be no disruption of service, and first and foremost, we want to make sure we're responding to emergencies," Craig said. "We're continuing to fight that fight, and we won't relent"At the same time, we have to do enforcement where we're getting large numbers of people congregating."

City officials removed basketball hoops from city parks to prevent people from playing, but Detroiters are using their own portable hoops, Craig said. (Tuesday) officers responded to a gas station, where someone had set up a hoop, and a number of young people had converged," he said. "Many of these young people need to understand that this is serious. People are dying, and this virus does not discriminate. Even if you're asymptomatic, you could give it to someone you love, and it could cost them their life."


Former UAW President Gary Jones charged in embezzlement scheme

Source: Detroit News

Federal prosecutors Thursday charged former United Auto Workers President Gary Jones with embezzling more than $1 million, according to a criminal filing that indicates he will plead guilty and cooperate with an investigation that could lead to the government seizing control of one of the nation's most powerful unions.

Jones is the highest-ranking UAW official charged during a years-long crackdown on corruption within the U.S. auto industry that has produced 13 convictions and revealed labor leaders and auto executives broke federal labor laws, stole union funds and received bribes. The investigation has pushed the UAW to the brink of a federal takeover being considered by prosecutors to root out pervasive corruption.

Jones, 63, was charged in a criminal information, which indicates a guilty plea is imminent, following months of increasing pressure from investigators. The investigators are armed with bank records and cooperation from several Jones aides who admitted helping embezzle money from rank-and-file workers that was spent on personal luxuries, including private villas, lavish travel, food, liquor and golf.

“Jones is a guy who contributed to taking down the union and now he may cooperate in a process that saves the union from its leadership,” said Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan business professor.

Read more: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/2020/03/05/former-uaw-president-gary-jones-charged-embezzlement-scheme/4940018002/

Feds slap 'racketeering' label on 2 ex-UAW presidents

Source: Detroit News

Detroit — Federal prosecutors for the first time Monday referred to former United Auto Workers presidents Gary Jones and Dennis Williams as members of a racketeering enterprise, a move legal experts say signals the government's interest in pursuing a takeover of one of the nation's largest and most powerful unions.

The label, included in a new criminal filing against former UAW Region 5 Director Vance Pearson, also signals that the government is considering filing federal racketeering charges against people implicated in a scheme that embezzled more than $1.5 million in union funds, according to sources familiar with the investigation. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.

In charging Pearson with embezzlement conspiracy, prosecutors accused the former labor leader of embezzling money and committing other crimes "in aid of a racketeering enterprise." That is the government's first public reference to racketeering — a term often associated with organized crime — during a nearly three-year prosecution of UAW officials involved in corruption.
Prosecutors used the label two months after U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said government oversight of the UAW is a possible solution to reforming a union plagued by what his team of prosecutors has called a culture of corruption among senior leadership. Prosecutors could seize control by filing a civil racketeering lawsuit, a move that could cost the union tens of millions of dollars, impose prolonged federal oversight and involve replacing labor leaders.

The criminal filing Monday also opens the possibility of pursuing criminal racketeering charges against members of the "racketeering enterprise," sources said. Those members, according to the government, include Pearson and at least six others, including Missouri-based UAW official Edward "Nick" Robinson and five UAW officials who are referred to by pseudonyms in federal court filings.

Read more: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/2020/01/06/feds-hit-uaw-official-vance-pearson-new-charge-likely-plea-deal-looms/2822865001/
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