News Update for Tuesday, April 17, 2012

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Great Lakes Radio Marquette - Upper Peninsula News

Authorities in Gwinn say a mail scam is being reported in the area.  According to a statement from the Forsyth Police Department, a blanket mailing is circulating in the community with regards to the “Gwinn Police Memorial Service” seeking funding via the mail.  According to Police Chief Tim Rector, the Forsyth Police Department is not seeking funds via the mail service, nor have they ever sought funds for a Police Memorial Service. The mailing is fraudulent and anyone receiving such a request should ignore it and throw it away.

A tax day protest against U-S Congressman Dan Benishek is being held today in Marquette.  The protest march will begin at 1-pm at the U-S Post Office on Washington Street and will make it’s way to Congressman Benishek’s Marquette Office at 307 South Front Street.  According to a release from the American Federation of State, Community and Municipal Employees Union, the march is being held to protest Benishek’s votes supporting corporate loopholes and tax cuts.  The march to Benishek’s office will culminate with the submission of a list of concerns to the Congressman.

Two unrelated cases of child sex abuse are headed to trial in Houghton County.  27-year-old Joshua Adkins of Laurium is charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of second degree C-S-C stemming from an alleged incident in March involving an 11-year old girl.  He faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the more serious charge.  The 15-year old sister of 25-year-old Robert Moilanen of Lake Linden previously testified in a preliminary hearing that her brother abused her while she was between the ages of 5 and 8 years old.  Moilanen is charged with three counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of 2nd degree C-S-C. He also faces 25 years to life in prison.  The trials for both cases will take place in late May or early June.

Alger County authorities say a 14-year-old Munising girl has confessed to writing a false bomb threat on a bathroom wall yesterday at Munising High School. The message was discovered at the school around 10:45 yesterday morning and the school was put into a shelter secure mode lockdown. Authorities searched the building and after finding no suspicious items or any explosives, the school was reopened just before 1-pm. The 14-year-old girl was identified by investigators and she confessed to writing the threat on the wall to police. Making a false bomb threat is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a $2000.00 fine.

A Federal Appeals Court in Cincinnati has rejected the appeals of a man and woman from Marquette who were convicted in 2010 on an extortion charge. Scott Sippola and Alison Coss were sentenced to four years in prison for the attempted extortion of $680,000 from actor John Stamos. A three-judge panel rejected their challenge to the sentence yesterday and also dismissed an argument that the sentence should have been reduced because the pair accepted responsibility for the crime. Sippola and Coss were charged with conspiracy and using e-mail to threaten the reputation of an individual in their attempted extortion of Stamos. They claimed to have pictures of the actor with strippers and using cocaine that they would go public with unless he paid the money. FBI investigators say the photos did not exist.

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