Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff Writer
The Community Coalition, a grassroots organization of Detroit residents and community activists, announced today it is throwing its full support behind Mike Duggan for Mayor. The group announced its endorsement at a large community fair on the grounds of New Bethel Baptist Church, which over the years has played an important role in the Civil Rights movement and Black political activism.
The Community Coalition was formed in the early 1990s and has been instrumental in the successful runs of several mayors, judges, state representatives, senators, county commissioners and governors. Its founder, Ernest Johnson, said the role of the Community Coalition is to carefully vet candidates looking to represent the residents of Detroit and endorse those who have the constituents’ best interests in mind. In this election, Johnson said that Duggan is the best choice to lead Detroit forward.
"When you look beyond where someone has lived and pay attention to what they have done throughout their career for Detroit, Mike Duggan is clearly the best person for the job," Johnson said. "Some people will call our endorsement a controversial choice, but it was an easy choice."
Johnson said he is committing the Coalition's resources to assist Duggan's field organization throughout the campaign.
Duggan said he has been greeted warmly by residents in every neighborhood of Detroit and is deeply appreciative of the Community Coalition's endorsement.
"There isn't an organization that is more grassroots and connected to every day Detroiters than the Community Coalition," Duggan said. "They are in the trenches every day fighting for meaningful progress that will improve the lives of all residents. I am honored they have entrusted me with their support."
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 15:03
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Amber Bogins
(CNN) -- A man accused of kidnapping and holding captive three young women in his Cleveland house for 10 years will be arraigned this week on 329 counts.
Ariel Castro, 52, was indicted Friday in a case that shocked neighbors who never suspected anything out of the ordinary was going on in the house -- and prompted Castro's daughter to call him "the most evil, vile, demonic criminal."
One charge accuses Castro of aggravated murder for purposely causing the unlawful termination of a pregnancy, authorities said. One of the young women was allegedly impregnated five times by Castro, and another bore a child fathered by him, police have said.
The indictment charges Castro with 139 counts of rape, 177 counts of kidnapping, seven counts of gross sexual imposition, three counts of felonious assault and one count of possession of criminal tools, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said in a statement.
Cop: Emotional moment when girls found 'I had no idea that little girl was his'
The charges cover only half of the 10 years the three young were held captive -- from August 2002, when the first of three women disappeared off a Cleveland street, to February 2007. The three women were freed last month after one shouted for help while Castro was gone from the house.
The prosecutor's capital review committee will consider whether the case is appropriate for seeking the death penalty once the indictment process is complete, the prosecutor's statement said.
"Today's indictments represent a first major step in the criminal justice process,'' McGinty said in a statement. "Our investigation continues, and we will present our findings to the grand jury.''
'Please don't let me go,' kidnapping victim told officers
The indictment alleges that Castro taped the legs and mouth of one woman identified as Jane Doe 2 and also chained her to a pole in the basement with a motorcycle helmet placed on her head.
Castro also allegedly used a vacuum cord around her neck during a felonious assault and chained her to inside of a van, the indictment said.
Castro allegedly used chains and tape in the basement to restrain another woman identified as Jane Doe 3, the indictment said.
Source: Michelle Knight was suspect's main 'punching bag'
The victims were earlier identified by police as Michelle Knight, abducted at age 21 in August 2002; Amanda Berry, abducted at age 16 in April 2003 and who has a 6-year-old daughter by Castro; and Georgina "Gina" DeJesus, who was 14 when kidnapped in 2004.
Jim Wooley, attorney for Berry and DeJesus, and Kathy Joseph, attorney for Michelle Knight, expressed satisfaction with the indictment.
"We have a great legal system, plus confidence and faith in the prosecutor's office and its decisions. Now, we need to stand back and let the judicial process unfold," the attorneys said in a statement.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 12:44
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by CNN
(CNN) -- Bouquets of flowers line the railing of the bridge above Bayou St. John in New Orleans.
Strangers throw rose petals into the water, or gather in circles -- hands clasped and heads bowed -- as they pray for Terrilyn Monette, a teacher missing for three months.
On Saturday, a diver with the Slidell Police Department -- volunteering to dive the waterways in the search for Monette -- found the teacher's Honda Accord in the bayou.
Inside was a decomposed body
While police believe it is that of Monette, they will await an autopsy Monday for a definite answer.
'I'm in shock'
Missing teacher's car found, body inside
Monette, 26, was last seen March 2 leaving Parlay's Dream Lounge in New Orleans, where she had been celebrating with friends her nomination for a "Teacher of the Year" award.
Monette's mother, Toni Enclade, told CNN that investigators have notified her the car has been found, but not whether the body is her daughter.
Mom: I'm in shock right now
"To know that she could have possibly been there for three months," she said, overcome with emotion.
Enclade said she does not know when she will be given a final answer.
"I can't even begin to go there right now," she said. "I'm in shock. I can't believe this. I just can't believe this."
Authorities have focused a large part of their search efforts on the waterways because Monette would have had to have driven across the bayou to get from the bar to her home.
A tireless search
In mid-March, an independent search and rescue team from Texas volunteer to comb the lagoons and waterways.
It discovered a car in the bayou, but it was later confirmed not to belong to Monette.
Family and friends of Monette put up a billboard in New Orleans and created a Facebook page, "We Love You Terrilynn Monette," to help generate tips in the search for Monette.
The diver who found the car and body, Slidell Police Officer Mark Michaud, has been "working closely with the Monette family" because of his expertise in diving recoveries, police Detective Daniel Seuzeneau said.
When Monette, of Long Beach, California, learned of the "teachNOLA" program, which sends educators to New Orleans to teach in impoverished areas, she packed her bags and headed to Louisiana.
"I always wanted to be a teacher, and what better place to teach than New Orleans, where passionate teachers are needed most?" she said in a 2011 video obtained by CNN affiliate WDSU.
In her first year of teaching second grade at Woodland West Elementary School, Monette turned one of the lowest-performing classes into one of the highest achieving.
It earned her a "Teacher of the Year" nomination in her school district.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 12:29
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by HLN, Graham Winch
HLN has covered the George Zimmerman case for more than a year now, reviewing and reporting on evidence since the very beginning.
The following documents may provide critical evidence in Zimmerman’s trial, scheduled to begin June 10.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for shooting Trayvon Martin Feb. 26, 2012. He says he shot the teenager in self-defense.
The police report
The police report in the Trayvon Martin shooting details the frantic moments when authorities arrived at the scene.
When the first officer arrived at the scene of the shooting, Zimmerman was in possession of a 9 mm handgun, was covered in grass, and was bleeding from his nose and the back of his head, according to the report.
The officer radioed that he was holding Zimmerman at gun point and that Martin was on the ground and had been shot. The report says Martin was wearing "a gray sweater, blue jeans and white/red sneakers laying face down on the ground" and had his hands underneath his body.
The probable cause affidavit [Warning: Explicit language]
The probable cause affidavit is the document that served as the basis for Zimmerman’s arrest.
The document walks through Zimmerman’s actions the night of the shooting, and how Zimmerman allegedly pursued the teenager, according to investigators.
“Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued,” reads the affidavit. “Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest. When police arrived Zimmerman admitted shooting Martin.”
The autopsy report
The autopsy report in the Trayvon Martin case says Martin died from a single gunshot wound to his chest. A toxicology report is also included in the autopsy, and it says Martin tested positive for the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, in his blood and urine.
Judge Debra Nelson has not ruled on whether evidence of Martin's THC blood levels will be admissible.
The autopsy lists Martin’s manner of death as homicide and says that he was “shot by another person.” The bullet penetrated Martin’s chest half an inch below his nipple, and there was no exit wound. The bullet pierced his lung and lodged in his heart.
Investigators examined the clothes Martin was wearing the night of the shooting, including his much-publicized hoodie.
The evidence from his clothes show:
Martin was actually wearing two sweatshirts the night he died. He was wearing a Nike sweatshirt under his Fruit of the Loom hoodie. The gunshot put holes in both sweatshirts.
The area around the gunshot had gunpowder residue and damage that was consistent with a direct shot from a short distance.
Investigators in the Zimmerman case shot a lot of photographs of the crime scene and of Zimmerman’s injuries, along with other evidence that could be critical to the trial.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 12:41
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Amber Bogins
Office will house 75 staffers and be firm's 7th office in SE Michigan
Plante Moran, one of the nation's largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms, announced Thursday it is opening an office in Detroit in the Compuware building.
"We are very pleased to be joining other businesses who have committed to the city of Detroit," said Gordon Krater, Plante Moran's managing partner. "There is an excitement and vitality about the city. Good things are happening, and we are proud to be a part of it. Plante Moran staff is spending more time downtown working with public and private sector organizations.
"Coupled with our nearly 10 percent growth in staff in southeast Michigan in the last 15 months and our need for more office space, it just makes sense to open our next office in downtown Detroit. It will also help us better attract professionals who want to be part of the urban work environment as we continue to expand our team."
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said: "This is great news for the city of Detroit. We welcome Plante Moran to its new downtown offices. This is another example of the business community's commitment to transforming our city."
The new office will house approximately 75 staff. It will occupy 15,000 square feet on the third floor of the Compuware building. The Detroit office will be the firm's seventh office in southeast Michigan.
Plante Moran's other area offices are located in Ann Arbor, Auburn Hills, Flint, Macomb and two in Southfield. The official move-in date is scheduled for the fall.
Krater mentioned a number of businesses and individuals who have led the way in Detroit's revitalization, including Dan Gilbert and Rock Ventures, Peter Karmanos Jr. and Compuware, the Ilitch and Ford families, Strategic Staffing Solutions, General Motors Co., Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Urban Science and DTE Energy.
"Plante Moran becomes the next important and credible company in the drumbeat of top-notch firms, retailers and entrepreneurs who are finding opportunity in downtown Detroit. When a leader like Plante Moran makes this kind of move, the confidence level of the business community is strengthened even further," said Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 June 2013 15:00
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