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News Update For Friday, 3/30/12
An Upper Michigan man accused of buying and hiding more than 4,000 pounds of explosives has withdrawn his guilty plea in the case. M-Live reports that records from U.S. District Court in Marquette show John Francis Lechner’s request was granted Wednesday. The 64-year-old from Sault Ste. Marie is expected to face trial. Lechner had earlier reached a deal with prosecutors. In exchange for his February plea to an explosives possession charge, four other counts were being dismissed. Lechner was arrested in September after an informant told Chippewa County sheriff’s officials Lechner had requested help moving a large quantity of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil. Authorities did not accuse him of plotting to detonate the mixture.
Tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot keeps growing and growing! Lottery officials say it’s now at a staggering 540-million dollars due to increase ticket sales caused by mega millions insanity! It’s the largest official lottery jackpot in u-s history. The previous record jackpot in the mega millions game was $390 million on March 6, 2007, split by two winners in New Jersey and Georgia. Lottery spokeswoman Andi Brancato says the record jackpot is a surprise, especially after ticket prices were raised for Powerball to try to get those prizes larger. Brancato says it’s not out of the question that if ticket sales remain strong the jackpot could be raised again. She says if you want to avoid a line at your lottery retailer, buy your ticket early. Ticket sales close at 10:45 tonight with the drawing is at 11 p.m. Mega millions is played in Michigan and 41 other states, the District of Columbia and the U-S Virgin Islands.
The Department of Natural Resources says the smelt are running around the state. With the warm spring weather, anglers should be aware that smelt dipping is open on all waters at this time and anglers can take 2 gallons daily. Smelt can be taken by hook/line, hand nets or dip nets. For more information on fishing and where the smelt are running in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.