macomb county | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

macomb county

Macomb Township Board of Trustees

A former Macomb County politician is facing up to ten years behind bars after pleading guilty to federal theft and extortion charges.

Dino Bucci was former Macomb County Public Works Director Anthony Marrocco’s right-hand man for more than 20 years. And he was an elected Macomb Township trustee.

Judge's gavel
Pixabay.com

Macomb County Circuit Court judges have picked a prosecutor’s office veteran to fill in as county prosecutor.

The circuit court bench met via Zoom on Wednesday, and chose Jean Cloud as interim prosecutor to replace resigned former prosecutor Eric Smith.

Macomb County video screen shot

The Macomb County Public Works Commissioner is suing manufacturers of disposable wipes that claim they are flushable. Commissioner Candice Miller says if you flush disposable wipes down the toilet, they can damage sewer pumps and clog sewer pipes.

Macomb County had a problem with a "fatberg" which was caused by fat congealing with so-called flushable wipes and the combination clogged a major sewer pipe.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Macomb County is putting plans to build a new jail—and ask voters to fund it—on hold because of COVID-19.

Plans to either renovate the jail or build a new one have been in the works for years. County officials say the current facility is outdated, and dangerous for both inmates and staff.

Michigan State Police

Macomb County’s prosecutor resigned Monday after being criminally charged earlier this month.

Eric Smith is facing up to 20 years in prison for his alleged role in a scheme to embezzle $600,000 from drug and alcohol forfeiture funds.

SMART Bus
Mysid / Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Wayne, Oakland, and Washtenaw counties hope that some proposed changes to state law will pave the way for an expanded regional transit system in southeast Michigan—minus Macomb County, for now.

The proposal involves changes to the state’s Municipal Partnership Act, which allows local government units to form partnerships for the purpose of funding and offering services such as transit. They would allow the three counties to create a regional entity that could levy and collect taxes to fund expanded regional transit.

Detroit Institute of Arts
Maia C/Flickr

The Detroit Institute of Arts is asking officials in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne County to put a renewal of the museum’s millage on the March 2020 ballot. This request comes earlier than expected: the millage was first passed in 2012, and it was not set to lapse until 2022.


 

 

Updated September 10, 6:45 p.m.: A state sex crimes prosecutor is now the one under criminal investigation.

On Thursday, the Michigan State Police notified the state Attorney General that Assistant Attorney General Brian Kolodziej “had allegedly engaged in an intimate relationship with one of the victims” in a high-profile sexual assault case involving Central Michigan University students.

Kolodziej resigned on Friday after admitting to the relationship, which he says began in April of 2019 and continued through August.  

Marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

 

 

Today on Stateside, the use of long-term, uncertified substitute teachers has increased tenfold in the past five years. We talk to the Bridge Magazine reporter who broke this story about what it means for the state's neediest students. Plus, documents from a federal court case offer a rare look at how dark money influences Lansing lawmakers. 

Michigan Supreme Court
Subterranean / Wikimedia Commons

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Macomb County retirees’ benefits can be altered.

A class-action lawsuit against the county involved 16,000 unionized Macomb County retirees. The majority opinion says Macomb County's collective-bargaining agreements did not give the plaintiffs the right to unalterable and lifetime retirement health care benefits.

Macomb County Jail

Two Macomb County corrections deputies face charges for crimes they allegedly committed in the county jail.

The Macomb County Sheriff’s Department says Deputy James Stanley faces two counts of assault and battery for two incidents involving uncooperative inmates being placed in restraint chairs.

SMART Bus
Mysid / Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Michigan taxpayer group has filed for a recount of a bus tax proposal in Macomb County. 

This month voters narrowly renewed a millage to help fund the region's bus system, known as SMART, through the year 2021.

A map outlining the proposed transit master plan for Metro Detroit.
Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan

 


Regional transit will not make it onto the ballot in Detroit and surrounding counties this November. 

The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan proposed a millage for Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, and Macomb counties, but leaders from Oakland and Macomb County have refused to support it. 

Andy Meisner is the Oakland County Treasurer and Brad Williams is the Detroit Regional Chamber's VP for Government Relations. Both joined Stateside’s Lester Graham to discuss where the region goes from here. 

drone in woods
pixabay

The Macomb County sheriff's office has launched a new unmanned aerial vehicle unit with four drones.

Officials say the drones are able to search for missing persons and be used in rescues, hostage situations, traffic crashes and crime scene investigations.

They are equipped with high-resolution cameras that can capture both aerial photos and video.

One unit has a thermal imaging camera, which can be used to search for someone in a wooded area or water.

A group of Sae Jong Campers
Sae Jong Camp

 


Summer camp means many things to campers, outdoor fun or just a chance to get away from parents and siblings.

For kids who come to Sae Jong Camp on Higgins Lake, it is also chance to be with others who share their heritage.

Sae Jong Camp is the nation's oldest continuously running Korean-American overnight summer camp.

It's held each year at Camp Westminster in Roscommon drawing campers from all around the country. This year marks the 44th anniversary of Sae Jong Camp.

Michigan Trump supporters
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Stanley Greenberg wants to know what makes the white, working class voters of Macomb County tick.

In 1985, the long-time Democratic pollster and strategist did a now-classic study of "Reagan Democrats" -- the white voters, mostly auto workers, who went for John Kennedy by 63% in 1960 and then Ronald Reagan by 66% in 1984.

Michigan State University sign
Michigan State University

There are now more than 300 women and girls who claim former sports doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused them, according to their civil suit attorneys. This week Michigan State University and the victim’s attorneys returned to mediation to try to come up with a settlement.

pile of one dollar bills
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) - A rogue trash hauler who bribed public officials to protect his business in suburban Detroit has been sentenced to 5 1/2 years in federal prison.

Chuck Rizzo paid off officials in Macomb County and also stole $900,000 from the company, formerly known as Rizzo Environmental Services, when it was controlled by out-of-state investors.

Rizzo was sentenced Monday in federal court in Port Huron. He says, "I have let many people down."

Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger
Macomb Daily

Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger took office in January 2017, and there's been non-stop drama surrounding her ever since.

That drama hit a new high Tuesday when a judge ordered Spranger to be removed from her post.

Taking her place will be Kathy Brower, a long-time Macomb County employee. A judge appointed her temporary acting county clerk today.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Lansing needs to step up and provide adequate roads funding or else tell local governments they’re on their own, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said Monday.

Hackel blasted the Michigan Legislature’s 2015 “fix” that raised fuel taxes and driver registration fees, but generates far too little revenue for the state’s actual infrastructure needs. He made those remarks as Macomb unveiled a new online resource about county road conditions, and what it will cost to fix them.

net_efekt / Flickr

Heavy pothole damage is being reported on many major roads in Macomb County. Those include Garfield, Hayes, Romeo Plank, Metro Parkway, 10 Mile Road, Ryan, Dequindre, and particularly Mound Rd.

Tire shops in the area have been overwhelmed with repair calls for damaged wheels, tires, and suspensions, and many drivers are reporting multiple cars pulled over along the roadsides.

Macomb County awarded site for new Great Lakes Nature Center

Feb 13, 2018
Wikimedia

The Detroit Zoological Society announced Tuesday that waterfront locations are being considered in Macomb County along Lake St. Clair and the Clinton River for a new Great Lakes Nature Center.

The center will be focus on the water and wildlife of the Great Lakes, including fish, habitats for "native amphibians, reptiles, turtles, small mammals, shorebirds and birds of prey", and a butterfly garden. 

COURTESY OF PENNI JOHNSON

He was born April 29th, 1976. His parents named him James Dean Fuson.

James’ mom died when he was seven, and his dad left the picture after that. His maternal grandparents, Delores and Wallace Bach, raised him alongside his aunt, Penni, in southwest Detroit.

In the beginning, he called them Granny and Pee Wee. Then teenage self-consciousness got the better of him, and he switched to Grandma and Gramps.

Spranger before she was elected as Macomb County Clerk.
Macomb Daily

Here’s a pop quiz for you. What’s the name of your county clerk?

County clerks play a critical role in keeping government operations on track, but they’re not usually in the spotlight. That is, unless you live in Macomb County. Since taking office this year, Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger has been caught up in one controversy after another. 

Former Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A judge has found Macomb County clerk Karen Spranger in contempt of court.

Circuit Court Judge Richard Caretti ruled Spranger violated a court order. Among other things, the preliminary injunction and a subsequent temporary restraining order prevent her from harassing or retaliating against employees who file grievances, or engage in union activities.

Former Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A court hearing Wednesday highlighted ongoing dysfunction in the Macomb County clerk’s office.

Clerk Karen Spranger represented herself in a case brought by her employees who are members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Spranger is accused of violating a court order preventing her from harassing or retaliating against union employees who file grievances or engage in union business.

injured piggy bank
Ken Teegardin / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The state's savings account wouldn't last long if there was another economic downturn. That's according to new analysis from the Citizens Research Council.

The independent government watchdog says Michigan's "rainy day" fund is slowly recovering after it was drained during the Great Recession, but the state is still unprepared for a new downturn.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss what needs to happen to get Michigan's piggy bank back in shape.

Dino Bucci
Macomb Township Board of Trustees

The federal government has dropped its biggest, highest-profile indictment yet in the sprawling Macomb County corruption investigation.

Dino Bucci, 58, was a Macomb Township trustee for 16 years until this past December. He was also a manager with the county’s Department of Public Works, and well-known as longtime former Public Works Commissioner Anthony Marrocco’s close associate.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Macomb County Commissioners are turning to a rather obscure state law to help them get the county clerk's office back on track, and possibly remove County Clerk Karen Spranger.

The commissioners hope this state law will force Spranger to answer questions about the way she's running her office, and about the many problems that have piled up since the Republican clerk took office in January.

Macomb County Commissioner Leon Drolet joined Stateside today to give us the latest.

scales of justice
North Charleston / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The former head of a garbage hauling company pleaded guilty Thursday to playing a central role in Macomb County’s widespread corruption scandal.

Chuck Rizzo was the CEO of Rizzo Environmental Services, which had garbage service contracts with a number of Macomb County communities.

Rizzo admitted in federal court that he conspired to bribe two local officials, in Clinton and Macomb Townships, to get and maintain favorable contracts for the company.

Pages