Southwest Michigan Today: Friday July 12, 2019

Jul 12, 2019

Credit Courtesy photo / Steve Keto

The Michigan Supreme Court says prosecutors in two Allegan County cases relied on expert testimony, rather than specific evidence to win convictions. Tests show no arsenic at a WMU construction site. Could remains found near Sturgis be a Revolutionary War veteran? 

(MPRN) The Michigan Supreme Court says expert testimony on how often children lie about sexual abuse cannot be used to convict a defendant of the crime. The state Supreme Court says prosecutors cannot turn sexual abuse trials into credibility contests -- using expert testimony on how often children lie about being victimized. The court says prosecutors need to rely on physical evidence specific to each case to win convictions, not general studies that show children rarely lie about being victims of sexual abuse. The court’s rulings to reverse convictions in two cases from Allegan County were unanimous, and say the defendants are entitled to new trials.

Erosion from a Western Michigan University construction site polluted a Kalamazoo nature preserve last month, but it doesn’t appear to have caused an arsenic problem. That’s the tentative conclusion of Kalamazoo environmental firm Kieser and Associates, after taking samples at the Asylum Lake Preserve. Soil from the site where Western is building a research park washed into the Preserve during an exceptionally heavy rain last month. The construction site was previously an apple orchard that used arsenic as a pesticide. Kieser and Associates says it’s still waiting on some results, but so far tests do not show worrisome levels of arsenic or other heavy metals in the affected parts of the Preserve. The firm says phosphorus from the erosion has caused an algae bloom at the lake but it’s not expected to last.

(Interlochen Public Radio) Prosecutors want to delay the trial of Representative Larry Inman by 30 days. Inman is a Republican from the Traverse City Area. Prosecutors want more time to prepare for his trial on charges of extortion, soliciting a bribe and lying to the FBI. Last month… Inman announced he is suffering from the long term use of pain medication. Inman’s attorney Chris Cooke says prosecutors have had plenty of time to prepare their case. Cooke says they want the trial wrapped up by the fall when Inman could return to the State House. Inman has plead not guilty to all charges. A judge will consider the request for a delay at a hearing next week.

(MPRN) Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined 20 other attorneys general from across the U.S. to ask a court to force the federal government to keep children safe in immigration detention centers. Nessel has joined more than two dozen lawsuits and opposition letters since she started in January. The subjects range from an opposition to the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile, the telecom companies to funding President Trump’s border wall. And she’s pulled the state out of multiple lawsuits joined by her Republican predecessor. The most recent legal action asks a federal court to intervene in facilities housing immigrant children. The brief says media reports detail, quote – “deplorable and inhumane conditions.”

(MLive) One of the skeletons found near Sturgis this week could be the remains of a veteran of the War of Independence. MLive says that's according to an analysis by the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. It says some of the bones could be those of David Randall. He died in Sturgis in 1835, years after fighting the British during the Revolutionary War. Crews digging a water retention pond found the remains of three adults and two children on Tuesday. DNA tests could determine if one of them is Randall.

(WDET) The state health department says summer is prime time for Legionnaire’s disease. There’s been a slight increase in the number of cases statewide this year. The bacteria that cause it thrive in places where warm, stagnant water collects in hotels and other large buildings. Health department spokeswoman Lynn Sutfin says people who have symptoms like coughing, fever, or pneumonia should try to remember where they might have been exposed to water vapor or mist. So far this year, Sutfin says Michigan has had 140 confirmed cases of Legionnaire’s disease and Pontiac fever – a milder respiratory illness caused by the same bacteria. More than a third of those cases were in the Detroit area.

In baseball, Kalamazoo swept a double header with a pair of walk off wins over Kenosha. The Growlers defeated the Kingfish 4-3 in both games Thursday. The two teams will play again Friday night at Homer Stryker Field.

Battle Creek snapped a three game losing streak with a 3-2 win over Kokomo Thursday night. The Bombers will host the Jackrabbits again Friday night at C.O. Brown Stadium.