5.25.15:  5-year-old in critical condition



(Mlive)– The status of a 5-year-old boy is unknown after he was pulled unresponsive from a swimming pool Sunday evening.

Kentwood police and fire crews responded to the Wingate apartment complex around 7:20 p.m. Upon arrival, paramedics began performing CPR on the child in an attempt to resuscitate him.

He was transported to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, where his condition was not yet known, Kentwood Police Sgt. Bryan Litwin said. His identity has not been released.

The pool is situated behind an apartment building, secured by fencing, and only is accessible by using a house key to get through a gated entry, residents say. Police believe the 5-year-old and his 9-year-old brother jumped over the fence to enter the pool.

Litwin said the older brother hopped over the fence to seek help when the youngest was in trouble. Residents ran over to the pool and assisted in getting the young boy out.

The pool had been secured for the season, only to be opened again in a matter of days at the least, Litwin said.

Resident Vanessa Brown has lived at the complex for several years and said she’s never heard of anyone having problems at the pool. Her grandson and the boy played together in the past.

It is not yet known whether the brothers live in the area. Police say their father and grandmother, however, are residents.

5.25.15:  Lake Michigan fishing charters hang on despite challenges



MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) — Indiana charter operators on Lake Michigan say they’re hanging on despite facing growing challenges including declining numbers of fish and higher fuel costs.

Carl “Fuzzy” Stopczynski of South Bend has been chartering boats for 25 years. He says “a lot of older guys are dropping out” because of obstacles including rising fuel costs.

John Warren of Cedar Lake has been running fishing charters for only a year, but has seen the fish stocks decline occur during his 15 years of fishing Lake Michigan. He says “invasive species are decimating the fisheries slowly but surely.”

Brian Breidert, an Indiana Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist in Michigan City, agreed the “lake productivity has declined significantly over time.” However, he says there’s still fishing opportunities.


5.25.15:  Search commences for state of Michigan’s Christmas tree



LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The planting season has begun, and so has the planning season for Michigan’s next Christmas tree.

The Department of Technology, Management and Budget has announced that it’s looking for a 65-foot spruce or fir and is taking nominations. The tree that’s selected will be cut down and displayed on the front lawn of the Capitol starting in November.

A tree-lighting takes place as part of the annual Silver Bells in the City celebration.

The state works with the Michigan Association of Timbermen and Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association to bring the tree to Lansing. Trees have come from across the state, including as close to Lansing as Grand Ledge. Last year’s tree came from Kingsford in the Upper Peninsula.

Nominations are requested by July 15th.


5.25.15:  Journalism students aim to dispel myths about veterans



DETROIT (AP) — A new book says wishing living U.S. military veterans a “Happy Memorial Day” might be well-intentioned but misses the mark on an occasion meant for remembering those who lost their lives.

“100 Questions and Answers About Veterans,” was researched and written by a Michigan State University journalism class with assistance from former servicemen and women.

Course instructor Joe Grimm says “veterans are distinct cultural group” and deserved a guide that could dispel myths and misunderstandings about them.

Grimm’s previous classes have written books about Hispanics and Latinos, Native Americans, East Asians and Muslim Americans.

The book’s foreword was written by J.R. Martinez, a wounded veteran, actor, motivational speaker and “Dancing with the Stars” champion.



5.25.15:  Recreational boaters could get Coast Guard inspections



DETROIT (AP) — If your Memorial Day weekend plans include boating on the Great Lakes, be prepared for a visit from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Coast Guard crews routinely board vessels to inspect safety equipment. They also might stop kayaks, canoes and personal watercraft if they consider it necessary.

Officials say the typical boarding of a recreational vessel takes less than 30 minutes. It often will go faster if the boater has received a free Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel safety check and earned a decal.

Teams inspect items such as life jackets, visual distress signals such as flares, sound-producing devices, fire extinguishers and other required safety equipment.

They also check the vessel’s original registration paperwork and government-issued identification.

5.25.15:  Mackinac meeting to focus on roads, schools, urban revival



LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The architects of Detroit’s bankruptcy case, a presidential historian and Michigan’s business and political elite will participate this week in the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual policy conference on Mackinac Island.

It’s a chance for more than 1,500 people to hear from national experts and engage in discussions about struggling schools, Detroit and what to do about deteriorating roads weeks after voters defeated a lawmaker-proposed infrastructure plan.

The three-day meeting at the historic Grand Hotel starts Wednesday and will be organized around three “pillars” — attracting and retaining talented workers, revitalizing cities and uniting state leaders around shared values.

Gov. Rick Snyder will again have a prominent speaking role. So will Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford. At least half of the Legislature typically attends.


5.25.15:  Pressure cooker in suspicious DC vehicle destroyed



WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman says a bomb squad safely destroyed a pressure cooker found in an unattended vehicle parked on the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol and the vehicle’s owner was found and arrested.

Police Lt. Kimberly A. Schneider says Capitol Police officers on routine patrol spotted the parked, unoccupied vehicle on a street on the mall west of the Capitol around 5 p.m. Sunday.

Schneider says the bomb squad destroyed “items of concern in the vehicle including the pressure cooker” around 7:45 p.m. after temporarily closing off the area on the long Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Schneider says the vehicle’s owner was found and identified as Israel Shimeles of the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia. Shimeles was arrested and charged with “operating after revocation.”

5.25.15:  Tokyo shrugs off quake



TOKYO (AP) — There’s no apparent damage or injuries in Tokyo after a magnitude-5.5 earthquake.

Officials say office high-rises swayed and trains temporarily came to an automatic stop but resumed running in about 10 minutes after tracks were inspected.

Overall daily routine was barely interrupted.

Japan is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone nations and is also among the best prepared.


5.25.15:  More rain today for areas damaged by storms



SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) —More rain is forecast for today in an area of the U.S. where storms caused severe flooding and spawned tornadoes over the weekend.

A twister damaged a Houston apartment complex and caused flooding that forced at least 2,000 people to evacuate.

The storms also are blamed for three deaths — two in Oklahoma and one in Texas. Among the worst-affected communities are San Marcos, Texas and nearby Wimberley, where emergency officials say up to 400 homes were destroyed and three people are missing.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott plans to visit the area today.



5.25.15:  Americans mark Memorial Day



UNDATED (AP) — Americans are marking Memorial Day today. President Barack Obama is hosting a breakfast this morning with organizations that support military family and families of the fallen. Then Obama will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, followed by remarks at Arlington National Cemetery.

In the Afghan capital Kabul, General John Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, placed a wreath at a monument, remembering American military personnel killed in action over the last 14 years. Campbell said, “We also remember the more than 1,100 coalition fallen who have also lost their lives fighting for a common cause to build a more stable, secure Afghanistan, as we also protect our homelands.”


Motorcycles filled the streets of Washington D.C. Sunday.  Thousands gathered to take part in the Rolling Thunder “Ride for Freedom” which honors military veterans and members of the military missing in action.


President Obama has asked that we fly our flags at half-staff today in observance of Memorial Day.  They are to be displayed at half-staff until noon and at full-staff from moon to sunset.