Man accused in plot against Michigan Gov. Whitmer rips judge, faults FBI for using undercover informants

DETROIT — Barry Croft, the accused bombmaker for a group charged with plotting to kidnap and kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, criticized the federal judge handling his case on the eve of a key court hearing that will decide which evidence will be shown to jurors. Croft faulted the fairness of U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker and called for the impeachment of prejudiced judges during a wide-ranging phone call Friday from the Newaygo County Jail to "The Free Men Report," a YouTube show by self-described "pro-liberty activists." During the wide-ranging interview, Croft, 46, of Bear, Delaware, denied ...

IN OTHER NEWS: Trump associate George Nader pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy to defraud the US government

Trump associate George Nader pleaded guilty to felony www.youtube.com

University of Michigan board fires President Mark Schlissel

The University of Michigan Board of Regents said Saturday it fired President Mark Schlissel after an investigation found inappropriate conduct with an employee. The investigation began following an anonymous complaint on Dec. 8. "After an investigation, we learned that Dr. Schlissel, over a period of years, used his University email account to communicate with that subordinate in a manner inconsistent with the dignity and reputation of the University," according to a statement posted on the board's website. The board released numerous emails showing an exchange with one person dating back to 2...

Support for Trump in Michigan dips -- creating a crunch for GOP

LANSING, Mich. — Only 31% of likely Michigan voters now say they have favorable views of former President Donald Trump, nearly a year after he left office, but Republicans continue to heavily support him, according to a Detroit News-WDIV poll. The numbers reveal the crossroads facing GOP candidates in the battleground state, where Trump's endorsement could help in the August primary election but cause problems in the November general election. Republicans who focus too heavily on Trump will create risks for themselves based on the survey's results, said Richard Czuba, founder of the Lansing-ba...

FBI hid recording devices in key fobs during Whitmer kidnap investigation

DETROIT — FBI agents infiltrated an alleged plot to kidnap and hurt Gov. Gretchen Whitmer by hiding recording devices in key fobs that captured conversations among undercover informants and accused plotters, according to a court filing late Monday. A defense lawyer for one of the accused ringleaders, Potterville resident Adam Fox, 38, argued conversations captured by the spy gadget will prove there was no conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer and that the government entrapped five men awaiting trial in a case that has focused attention on violent extremism in Michigan. Defense lawyers are fighting to p...

Judge issues split decision on lawsuits for Flint water engineering firms

DETROIT — A federal judge ruled Monday that several engineering firms involved in studying Flint's tainted water system can't be held liable for one aspect of allegations in a civil lawsuit but can for another portion. U.S. District Judge Judith Levy weighed in on the case brought by attorneys for four unnamed children in a professional negligence suit against Veolia North America LLC, Veolia North America Inc. and Veolia Water North America Operating Services LLC, Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam Inc., Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam, P.C. and the Leo A. Daly Company "for harms arising out of the Fl...

Oxford school leaders let teen gunman accelerate 'murderous rampage,' lawsuit claims

DETROIT — Survivors of the mass shooting at Oxford High School filed an updated $100 million lawsuit late Friday accusing the superintendent, principal and others of gross negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and failing to prevent the massacre. The 107-page lawsuit added 11 new counts against school officials in the wake of new information that has emerged in the five weeks since investigators say 15-year-old sophomore Ethan Crumbley shot and killed four fellow students at Oxford High School and wounded seven others, including a teacher. He faces four counts of first-degre...

Details emerge of what Crumbleys did before arrests, including cash withdrawals

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. — Friday's bond hearing for James and Jennifer Crumbley revealed the most extended chronicle yet on how the two spent their time between the Nov. 30 shooting at Oxford High School and their capture on Dec. 4 inside a Detroit warehouse. The details came to light as 52-3 District Court Judge Julie Nicholson denied the request from the Crumbleys' attorneys to lower their $500,000 individual bonds to $100,000. They are being held in jail on four charges each of involuntary manslaughter after their son was accused of killing four classmates and wounding seven other people at ...

Ethan Crumbley's parents denied reduction in $500K bond

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. — James and Jennifer Crumbley lost their bid Friday to lower their $500,000 individual bonds on charges of involuntary manslaughter after their son was accused of killing four classmates at Oxford High School. 52-3 District Court Judge Julie Nicholson denied the request, citing the parent's ties to family in Florida, the seriousness of the alleged crimes and their flight to "an abandoned building" in Detroit. During the 25-minute hearing, defense attorney Mariell Lehman requested that lower the bonds for both Crumbleys be lowered to $100,000. She said the Crumbleys would...

Chrysler to go all-electric by 2028, target millennial women

The Chrysler brand will abandon gas-powered vehicles for a bigger, all-electric lineup with SUVs by 2028 in its attempt to stave off demise at the end of the decade. The Stellantis NV make on Wednesday will give a greater glimpse into that future during the CES trade show in Las Vegas. It's set to detail more about the sleek, electric Airflow five-passenger concept crossover offering a 350-to-400-mile range, according to the automaker — its first look at a new vision designed with millennial female customers in mind. Buyers shouldn't expect a production model of the Airflow just yet, though. T...

Michigan's first gentleman tests positive for COVID, Whitmer isolating pending test results

DETROIT — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test after her husband, First Gentleman Marc Mallory, tested positive for the virus earlier Tuesday. Whitmer's office said Mallory tested positive for the virus "after feeling under the weather." Whitmer tested negative for the virus after taking a rapid test but is awaiting the results of a PCR. "Like so many families around the country, the governor and her husband took extra precautions to limit contact with others to stay safe over the holidays as they celebrated Christmas with their immediate family members in Michigan,...

Michigan House launches safety task force after Oxford High School shooting

DETROIT — A bipartisan task force in the Michigan House will study safety in schools and policy solutions it hopes will help prevent further violence in the wake of the Nov. 30 Oxford High School shooting. The eight-member task force will look at practical ways to improve safety protocols at schools as well as ways to assess and improve student mental health. The committee hopes to have recommendations within the first few months of 2022. "Outside of Oxford, I think everyone can see just the tremendous increase in demand for school mental health help," said Rep. Luke Meerman, a Coopersville Re...

Detroit sees 5% drop in homicides in 2021 while other large cities endure more violent year

DETROIT — While cities across the country in 2021 set records for homicides or recorded sharp increases, killings in Detroit dropped slightly, according to preliminary police department statistics. There were 309 criminal homicides in Detroit in 2021, a 5% decrease from 324 the previous year, according to preliminary data released to The Detroit News. Nonfatal shootings fell to 1,065 in 2021, a 9% reduction from the previous year, according to the data. "With the level of violent crime we're still seeing, we're not going to sit here and say this is great, and start bragging about our stats," D...

After 3 years detained in Russia, Paul Whelan has 'lost everything,' family says

On the three-year anniversary of Paul Whelan's detention in Russia, U.S. lawmakers and relatives of the Novi resident reiterated their pleas for his freedom. The 51-year-old former security executive has been in custody in Russia since his arrest at a Moscow hotel in December 2018. He is serving a 16-year sentence of hard labor at a prison camp in Mordovia after being convicted last year in a secret trial on espionage charges that he's vehemently denied. David Whelan, in a Tuesday statement, argued that his brother's freedom and his life were stolen by the Federal Security Services. "Now Paul ...

Mich. redistricting panel headed into final vote amid continued concerns over minority districts

Michigan's Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission on Tuesday will begin what could be a days-long process of approving the final electoral maps for voting districts for the Michigan House, state Senate and U.S. House. The electoral maps, which will be voted on in Lansing, will govern the state's elections for the next decade and, as currently drawn, could pit veteran lawmakers against each other in 2022. The vote comes after months of public hearings and feedback, map-drawing and comments for and against the new districts. Whichever maps the 13-member panel picks, the last three standin...

Multiple Michigan Republicans contacted by US House's Jan. 6 committee

LANSING, Mich. — The U.S. House committee that's investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection has contacted at least five officials in Michigan, including three Republicans. The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol appears to be exploring interactions between some Michigan Republicans and former President Donald Trump's White House, said two sources who were contacted but declined to be identified because of the uncertain and ongoing nature of the probe. It's unclear exactly how many Michigan officials have received requests from the Democrat-led committ...