BC Snow Emergency

A snow emergency continues today in Battle Creek, as crews work to clear as much as a foot and a half of snow off city streets.  City officials say it could be Thursday night before all of the city’s 300 miles of streets are cleared.

Obama Lakes Initiative

President Barack Obama's proposed 2016 budget seeks a $50 million cut in a multi-year program to clean up theGreat Lakes.  The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative focuses on the lakes' most serious long-term ecological challenges such as invasive species and toxic pollution.

Girl Defends Herself

Authorities say an 11-year-old girl pointed a shotgun to scare off a man invading her home inMichigan's rural Thumb.LapeerCountysheriff's Detective Sgt. Jason Parks calls her a "very brave girl" who "held her composure" and helped investigators catch the 53-year-old intruder. She was alone in theNorthBranchTownshiphome Friday afternoon when the break-in occurred and hid inside a bathroom closet.

Sports Ref Attack Bill

A Michigan Senate committee today will consider a measure to crack down on people who attack sports officials in the state.  The measure follows last year's death of a soccer referee in Livonia after he was punched by an angry player he had ejected during a match.   Senate Democrat Morris Hood of Detroit is sponsoring the two-bill package that would create a new felony class punishable by up to three years in prison for anyone who assaults, batters or encourages another person to assault a referee or coach. Under the bill, even encouraging an assault on social media could a crime.

Whooping Cough

Area doctors are urging people to get their whooping cough vaccination after a sharp increase in cases.  InKentCounty, there have been six cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, in January. In contrast, there were only 14 cases through all of 2014.

Whooping cough has been on the rise nationally. Doctors say not getting the vaccination for the illness, which is typically more serious for babies and young children than for adolescents and adults, can be dangerous.

Jeep Recall

Jeep is recalling more than 228,000 SUVs worldwide to fix a software problem that can cause side air bags to inflate for no reason.  The recall covers Jeep Cherokees from the 2014 and 2015 model years.  Fiat Chrysler, which makes Jeeps, says there have been a small number of inadvertent air bag deployments. Dealers will recalibrate the software to change the threshold for inflating the air bags.  The problem is the latest in a string of auto industry troubles with air bags.

Mail Carrier Charged

AnAlleganCountymail carrier is being accused of throwing mail away.  James Harris is facing a federal charge of desertion of mail.  According to court documents Harris threw more than 400 pieces of mail away at a gas station back in December.

Kellogg Arena to Ask for More Funding

Battle CreekCitycommissioners tonight will consider a revised deficit-reduction plan for Kellogg Arena that’s three years longer than originally hoped.   The goal is to have the facility in the black by the end of 2018 and erase a deficit of more than $115,000.

Beginning Farmers Project

MichiganStateUniversityhas received a $750,000 federal grant to help train and support new farmers.  MSU’s project will bring together key organizations and provide tools and support for beginning and disadvantaged farmers.  The grant also will develop training programs for Hispanic farmers.  The funding, which comes through U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Grant program, will benefit hundreds of farmers and help boost the local economy.

Anti-Tax Proposal

A Saginaw-area businessman has created a ballot committee to oppose a proposed increase inMichigan's sales tax to boost spending on roads, schools and local governments. Paul Mitchell says he formed the Coalition against Higher Taxes and Special Interest Deals. He says much of the extra revenue that would be raised by a one percentage-point hike in the six percent sales tax wouldn't go to road repairs.

Hill Appearance Cancelled

Professor Anita Hill has had to cancel her appearance inKalamazooscheduled for tonight, because of the weather. Hill is the attorney and college professor who accused U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his court confirmation. Hill was to speak at Chenery Auditorium. She was slated to be the first speaker in a new Western Michigan University lecture series "Raise Your Voice," which is designed to empower young women in the community.

New Trial

A federal appeals court says a fired lawyer for the state of Michigan should not be granted a new trial in a defamation lawsuit filed by a gay former University of Michigan student government president. The decision released today also reduced the jury's award to Chris Armstrong by $1 million to $3.5 million. Andrew Shirvell was fired as assistant attorney general in 2010 for an anti-gay campaign against Armstrong.

 

Dearborn/Germany-New Ford Focus

Ford Motor Company is unveiling is all new-Focus R-S high-performance road car in Europe Tuesday.  Omar Odeh of Ford says the Focus R-S will be their first-ever global model, built exclusively in Germany and imported to North America and worldwide by 2016. He says biggest change in the third generation Focus is All-Wheel-Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring, which adds power to a wheel on the outside of a corner, effectively assisting the front wheels in turning the car which improves corning stability, turn-in, handling, chassis responsiveness, and virtually eliminates understeer. It will be paired with a powerful 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that will provide unparalleled performance in the segment.  The Focus R-S is one of 12 new Ford Performance vehicles being unveiled by 2020.   Aggressive functional design inside and out makes Focus R-S the most powerful production Focus ever, with highly capable performance on both road and track.

Benton Harbor-Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

A wrongful termination lawsuit against Cornerstone Alliance in Benton Harbor is headed to trial in November 2015.  Reyna Price of Coloma filed the lawsuit in August 2014, alleging the economic development organization discriminated against her because of time she needed to care for her disabled seven-year-old daughter. She contends in the filing that while her daughter's care needed her to leave the office for emergency situations or on short notice, it never interfered with her work as a Resource Development Coordinator for the Alliance's Small Business Services team. Price sued on the grounds that her firing violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. Cornerstone argues that the organization is not an "employer" as defined by the ADA, and they had legitimate reasons for the dismissal.  Price says when Cornerstone Alliance brought in new management in 2013, she was told she needed to eat, sleep, and breathe economic development 24/7 and "stop acting like a victim." The case will be heard in federal court in Grand Rapids.

Ice Rescues

The U.S. Coast Guard says an alarmingly high number of Great Lakes ice rescues since Saturday is prompting a reminder of the risk of venturing out onto the ice and of the importance of taking appropriate safety precautions.  Coast Guard rescuers attribute the high number in part to a milder winter and environmental conditions like "the devil's blanket." Master Chief Petty Officer Terry Lathrop, officer in charge of Station Saginaw, home of the National Ice Rescue School, says their nickname for heavy snow cover is the devil's blanket, because it covers up visual signs of thin ice and also insulates the water and ice underneath, which prevents new ice from forming in cold temperatures.

Other common reasons people find themselves in trouble on the ice are lack of familiarization with the area and a failure to check weather forecasts before going out.

The Coast Guard also encourages ice enthusiasts to reach out to local response agencies, snowmobile clubs and ice-fishing bait shops to inquire about ice conditions before heading out.

Auburn Hills-Naked Man

Second to the significant snowfall, it’s the talk of metro Detroit.  A birthday suit and a cowboy hat were all a 53-year old Bloomfield Hills man was wearing when he was spotted strolling along a snow-covered I-75 through Auburn Hills on Sunday. According to Police Lt. Carimir Miarka, after the man’s vehicle slid off the highway, he hopped out and began walking against traffic while shedding his clothes.  Miarka said the man appeared confused. He was taken to a local hospital for a mental examination, and no citations were issued.  The man’s name has not been released.