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News and quick-hit commentary from around mid-Michigan ... from the Morning Sun.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Community Memorial Stadium getting facelift

Outtakes from my photo shoot at Community Memorial Stadium, where a volunteer staff of mostly coaches and teachers from MPHS are tearing it to pieces.

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MPHS teacher/coach "Demolition" Denny LaFleur uses a sledge hammer to bash the boards loose in the press box.

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Ted McIntyre, MPHS assistant football coach, pushes a plank over the edge of the press box.

Now, I never got to go inside the press box before today. I'd always spent all my time on the sidelines, where the action is. But apparently the press box, gutted and slowly being pried apart, was a vast improvement over its previous condition.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Burdick to reinstate charges

UPDATE: Isabella County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Burdick says he'll seek reinstatement of the charges against former CMU running back Spencer Lewis.

Appeals court: Admit Lewis statement

In an opinion released this morning, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that Isabella County Trial Court Judge William Ervin was wrong when he threw out critical evidence against former Central Michigan University football player Spencer Lewis in the Demarcus Graham case.
Lewis told a polygraph operator that he struck Demarcus Graham, the Flint man who died from a beating on the street outside a downtown Mount Pleasant student bar. Lewis had been charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and assault with intent to do great bodily harm.
Isabella County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Burdick dropped the charges when Ervin threw out the evidence, but said he would reinstate the charges if the appeals court ruled the evidence could be heard by a jury.
Burdick hasn't announced his decision.

Friday, December 08, 2006

More on Natives and unions

Interlochen Public Radio's Linda Stephan does an admirable job of looking at the issue of unionization, sovereignty and labor law in this audio report. She looks at it from the viewpoint of the Sault Tribe and the Grand Traverse Tribe.
It's available here.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Teamsters on the reservation

The Teamsters Union is in the process of trying to organize workers at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort. Local 486 from Saginaw has been quietly working with employees since spring; it now is going public with its drive.
One union organizer says that with layoffs, cuts in hours and benefits, Tribal employees are fertile ground for organizing.
The big question: does Tribal sovereignty trump the National Labor Relations Act? The Teamsters say they won't wait around to find out.