3.10.17:   Sentence upheld in $2M embezzlement from credit union




NORTON SHORES, Mich. (AP) — An appeals court won’t upset a 6½-year prison sentence for a woman who stole nearly $2 million from a western Michigan credit union.

Kathryn Sue Simmerman worked her way up from teller to chief executive at Shoreline Federal Credit Union in Norton Shores, near Muskegon, before the embezzlement was discovered in 2014.

Her lawyers argued that Simmerman’s sentencing guidelines were too high. But a federal appeals court said Thursday that the enhancements were appropriate.

The court says Simmerman’s embezzlement threatened the health of the credit union. The court says the amount of money was equal to 86 percent of Shoreline’s earnings over its 62-year history.


2.15.17:  Rumor the German shepherd wins best in show at Westminster




NEW YORK (AP) — Rumor the German shepherd is the best dog around, winning best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club at New York’s Madison Square Garden. A year ago, Rumor lost out in the very same arena to a German shorthaired pointer.

She came out of retirement to win Tuesday night’s show.


1-26-17 March for Life

Hundreds of pro-life supporters here in West Michigan are on their way to Washington DC.

The 44th annual March for Life is taking place tomorrow.  It’s a somber and peaceful demonstration in light of the millions killed through abortion.  Marchers say they come out to not only speak out against abortion but also to remind those considering or going through that process that they are loved and there are alternatives.

If you would like more information, please visit Right to Life of Michigan or Grand Rapids Right to Life.

1-25-17 Non-Custodial Father to Face Additional Charges

Mark Alan Saporita-Fargo could be looking at unlawful imprisonment charges after taking his 2-year old across the state without permission.

Saporita-Fargo was picked up in Monroe County after a person recognized him from a broadcast description.  Saporita-Fargo had an unsupervised visit with his daughter Hailey Hunter-Rose on Monday and was supposed to return her to Muskegon County.  However, it appears he took off with the girl and another person.  Investigators have speculated he may have been trying to leave the state.

Saporita-Fargo was supposed to be in court on Tuesday to face criminal sexual assault charges.

1-24-17 Missing 2-Year Old Believed to be With Non-Custodial Father

Mason and Oceana County Sheriff’s have put out an alert to locate a missing two year old girl.

Hailey Hunter-Rose Fargo was last seen with her biological father, who does not have custody of the child. Mark Alan Saporita-Fargo is a 47-year-old white male, 6’1, and weighs 200 pounds.  He may be driving a black, Ford Taurus.

Investigators say Hailey and Mark were on an unsupervised visitation and were supposed to return Monday afternoon.  The pair did not return to the foster home in Muskegon where Hailey is staying.  Mark Fargo faces multiple charges and is supposed to be in court this week.

If you happen to see this pair, please contact your local authorities.

1.12.17:  Deceased Michigan woman, 21, becomes hand transplant donor




NORTON SHORES, Mich. (AP) — A Norton Shores woman who died in September has become the first hand transplant donor for Michigan’s federally designated organ and tissue donation program.

The Detroit News reports that 21-year-old Shayna Sturtevant died after developing a brain abscess stemming from an ear infection. She was a registered eye, organ and tissue donor.

MLive reports that Sturtevant’s parents granted special permission necessary for the hand transplant to go forward. Sturtevant’s kidneys, lungs, pancreas and liver were also donated for transplants.

Officials from Gift of Life say the transplant was successful, but that the organization doesn’t release details about recipients.

According to United Network for Organ Sharing, 30 people have received hand transplants, including 18 single-hand transplants and 12 double-hand transplants, in the United States since 1999.


1.2.17:  One of Chicago’s bloodiest years 




CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago has ended 2016 with 762 homicides — the most in two decades.

Data released by the Chicago Police Department also shows 1,100 more shootings in 2016 than the year before.

Police recovered 8,300 illegal guns in 2016, a 20 percent increase from the previous year.


12-29-16 State Police Not Giving Up on Missing Boys

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State Police have released age-progression images of three brothers who vanished during the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday. The images released last week were created by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and depict how brothers Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton might appear today. The boys were last seen more than six years ago at their father’s home in Morenci near the Michigan-Ohio border.

12-21-16 Still Searching for Missing Kentwood Man

Police are still searching for a missing Kentwood man who walked away from his home earlier this month.  Willie Crawford has dementia and may not be able to find his way back home.  He’s reportedly been spotted in Grand Rapids and the Wyoming area.  He’s a black male, about 6’0 ” and 150 lbs. He has a full gray beard, gray/black hair and brown eyes. Mr. Crawford was last seen wearing a black leather jacket, blue jeans, brown hiking boots and a black baseball hat.  If you spot someone matching that description, please call 911.


Willie Crawford

Willie Crawford – Missing from Kentwood

12.15.16:  Trial ordered for suspect in slaying of gas station clerk




MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — A judge has ordered a man to stand trial on murder and kidnapping charges in the 2013 disappearance of a gas station clerk in western Michigan.

Judge Raymond Kostrzewa ordered the trial for 46-year-old Jeffrey Willis of Muskegon Township, ruling Tuesday there’s enough evidence to show 25-year-old Jessica Heeringa is dead. She disappeared April 26, 2013, from her job in Norton Shores, near Muskegon. Her body hasn’t been found.

The ruling came on the fourth day of a preliminary hearing in which prosecutors must prove there’s enough evidence and probable cause for the case to move to circuit court.

Willis also is facing charges in the fatal shooting of a 36-year-old jogger in 2014 and the April attempted abduction of a teenage girl.