Mich. Senate votes to authorize sale of building
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Republican-led Michigan Senate has voted to authorize the potential sale of a downtown Lansing building that houses senators' offices.
Legislation approved 22-14 Wednesday would let the Senate secretary convey the state-owned Farnum Building for fair market value, with proceeds going to the Senate to acquire or lease office space.
The state bought the building near the Capitol for $3 million in 1978. The building was recently appraised at $5.4 million.
A top Republican backer of the bill headed to the House says the building has asbestos issues and needs updated security and other renovations. A developer could buy the building and lease it to the Senate, or senators might move elsewhere downtown.
A top Democrat questions if the sale will be transparent.
EL PASO-MISSING FAMILY
El Paso mom back in Texas amid dead baby case
EL PASO, Texas (AP) - A West Texas woman has been extradited from Michigan on parole violation charges amid the investigation of a baby found dead in the New Mexico desert.
Authorities have said the body is believed to be Jenna Farrey's 5-month-old son, Jackson. El Paso County jail records show she was being held without bond Wednesday over a child abandonment conviction with another son.
The search began for the family after Fort Bliss soldier Jeffrey Farrey missed work. Authorities on Nov. 17 located Farrey, his wife and their toddler son in Escanaba, Mich.
Farrey remains jailed on a charge of injury to a child by omission. He was extradited Nov. 20, the same day authorities found the body. A family attorney has said the autopsy will likely show the baby died of malnutrition.
Author, journalism professor Roat dies at 67
LUDINGTON, Mich. (AP) - Author and retired journalism professor Ronald Clair Roat has died at his Ludington home in western Michigan. He was 67.
The Ludington Daily News (http://bit.ly/1jlYZMj ) reports that Roat died Thanksgiving Day of natural causes.
His mystery novels include "Close Softly the Doors" and "A Still and Icy Silence."
Roat told the newspaper in 2008 that he liked to read books that taught him something, made him think and swept "the mental cobwebs away."
He taught at the University of Southern Indiana, retiring in 2007. He worked at the Lansing State Journal and Dayton Daily News.
The Ludington High graduate earned a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and a master's from Oregon State University.
Roat is survived by his mother, a daughter and two grandchildren.
Police ID man killed in Kalamazoo club shooting
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - Kalamazoo police have released the name of a 30-year-old man who died from a head wound he sustained in a weekend shooting attack outside a night club that also left a teenage girl injured.
The attack happened about 12:30 a.m. Saturday near the Fire Historical & Cultural Arts Collaborative.
Kalamazoo Public Safety Capt. Victor Ledbetter said in an email Wednesday that Jeffery O. Pratt died Sunday.
Police say a 17-year-old girl was hit in the arm. There's no immediate word on her condition.
So far, police haven't announced any charges or suspects in the shootings. They're asking for public help in solving the case.
COLLEGE GRAD GOAL
Initiative aims to boost US college graduate ranks
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Twenty U.S. communities have been chosen as the first partners in a national initiative aimed at increasing the ranks of college graduates.
The Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation on Wednesday promised as much as $200,000 to the communities over three years. The foundation's goal is to raise the percentage of Americans with college degrees from 38 percent to 60 percent by 2025.
In several communities, the Lumina support will boost existing efforts like Louisville, Ky.'s 55,000 Degrees program and Say Yes in Syracuse and Buffalo.
Also chosen were Albuquerque, N.M.; Boston; Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Columbus and Fort Wayne, Ind.; Greensboro, N.C.; Houston and San Antonio, Texas; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Memphis, Tenn.; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pa.; Providence, R.I.; Quad Cities, Iowa/Ill.; Santa Ana, Calif. and South Seattle, Wash.
More security planned after EMU student shot
YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) - Management of an off-campus apartment complex where an Eastern Michigan University student was shot in the shoulder says it plans to step up security.
Gina Cowart, vice president of investor relations and corporate marketing for American Campus Communities, said in a statement to The Ann Arbor News that they are "focused on collaborating with our community partners to address crime."
Destinee Leapheart says she thought she was going to die after awakening to a popping noise and shoulder pain about 1:40 a.m. Tuesday. She was treated at a hospital.
The apartment is in the Peninsular Place complex, where two killings have been reported in the past year. One of the deaths was that of 23-year-old Eastern Michigan student Julia Niswender, whose December 2012 bathtub drowning was ruled a homicide.
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