10.31.14:  Michigan, US officials differ on homeless figures


DETROIT (AP) — Federal and state officials differ on the number of people in Michigan they say are homeless.


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said Thursday the number of homeless in the state is up 700 from last year to 12,227.


Michigan officials say the number is nearly eight times as high, with a total of 92,341.


HUD came up with its number by using “point in time” counts that measured the homeless on one night in late January.


Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness executive director Eric Hufnagel tells the News the federal government’s method vastly undercounts the number of homeless.


Despite the discrepancy, both sets of officials say improvements are being made that will help reduce the number of homeless locally and nationwide.

10.31.14:  Aquinas College dedicates athletic building


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Aquinas College has opened a 70,000-square-foot athletic building that includes a 200-meter indoor track and turf field in Grand Rapids.


The building was dedicated Thursday. It completes the college’s $14 million athletic complex, which also includes a fitness center that opened in 2010.


Alumnus Greg Alksnis and his family donated $1.5 million to the latest project. It includes athletic space for all the college’s 25 varsity teams as well as intramural teams. It also has rooms for academic classes.


Local elementary schools will use the space in the winter.


10.31.14:  Michigan lawmakers consider STEM certification


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers are considering approving a certification for high school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.


The new legislation outlines the requirements for a possible certification on high school diplomas, including six credits of math and six credits of science.


Republican state Sen. John Proos of St. Joseph introduced the bills and says the certifications would help students succeed in competitive job markets.


Michigan STEM Partnership Board of Directors chairman Paul Agosta says state officials need to ensure students can apply practical learning to college study or the work place.


Republican state Rep. Amanda Price of Park Township plans to introduce matching bills in the House. She says certifications would send the message to employers that science and math education is a primary focus in Michigan.


10.31.14:  Appeal hearing set in Michigan’s ‘Baby Kate’ case


LUDINGTON, Mich. (AP) — A hearing is set for December on prosecutors’ appeal of the dismissal of a murder charge against a northern Lower Peninsula man accused of killing his missing infant daughter.


The hearing date of Dec. 5 was set Thursday. Arguments will be held in Mason County Circuit Court.


State and county prosecutors are appealing District Judge Peter Wadel’s September ruling that threw out an open murder charge against 24-year-old Sean Phillips.


Katherine Phillips disappeared in 2011 in the Ludington area, about 80 miles northwest of Grand Rapids.


Phillips already is serving 10 to 15 years in prison for unlawful imprisonment in the disappearance of the girl widely known as “Baby Kate.”


Her body remains missing. Wadel says there isn’t enough evidence she’s dead.

10.31.14:   Bombs at marketplaces near Baghdad kill 9 people


BAGHDAD (AP) — At least nine people have been killed in bombing attacks near Baghdad today. Iraqi officials say bombs went off in two markets, also wounding a total of 24 people.


Iraq is embroiled in its worst crisis since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops.



10.31.14:  Recovery to begin after Wichita plane crash


WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Crews in Kansas will begin recovering the bodies of the four people killed when a small plane crashed into a building at the airport in Wichita.


A federal investigator says the pilot reported a problem with the aircraft’s left engine soon after taking off from the airport yesterday morning.


The dead are believed to be the pilot and three people who were in a flight simulator inside the building the plane hit.


10.31.14:  Gas ready to drop below $3 for 1st time in 4 years


NEW YORK (AP) — The average price of gasoline in the U.S. hit $3 a gallon today, and should soon drop below the benchmark for the first time since December 2010.


AAA says the price at the pump fell 33 cents in October, thanks mainly to plunging oil prices.


Many happy drivers have taken to social media to post pictures of gas station signs with prices of $2.99 or lower.


Drivers in South Carolina and Tennessee are paying the lowest prices, with an average of $2.75 a gallon.

10.31.14:  Pistons fall to the Timberwolves


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Thaddeus Young scored 19 points and hit a big 3-pointer with 90 seconds to play to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 97-91 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night.


Nikola Pekovic had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Ricky Rubio added 11 points, eight assists and seven boards for the Timberwolves in their home opener.


Caron Butler scored 24 points and D.J. Augustin had 20 points and six assists for the Pistons, who have opened the season with two straight losses on the road under first-year coach Stan Van Gundy.


Andre Drummond had 11 points and 12 rebounds, but he was limited in the second half by foul trouble and the Timberwolves held off a late charge from Butler and the Pistons.

10.30.14:  Kelloggsville High School students make threat


Wyoming Police are investigating a threatening statement reportedly made by a couple of Kelloggsville High School students.

Witnesses say a female student told a classmate that she and another student were planning to harm other students during a school assembly and that there was a list of intended targets.

No evidence was found that would indicate the pair planned to carry out the threat.


The Wyoming Public Safety Department still is taking the situation seriously.  No word yet on the consequences for the two students.

10.30.14:  Alert issued after robbery at Western Michigan


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A campus alert has been issued after an armed robbery at Western Michigan University.


The Kalamazoo school says in a statement posted on its website that no one was injured in the robbery, which took place about 9 p.m. Wednesday between Sangren Hall and Sindecuse Health Center.


The school says two students were approached by two males and one of the males showed a revolver tucked in his pants. The students ran and the suspects fled, taking with them a red and black backpack belonging to one of the students. The suspects are being sought by police.


People are being urged to be cautious and to avoid walking alone. Tips are being sought by the school’s Department of Public Safety.