The jury in the trial of a Marquette County man accused of beating a man to death in April of last year handed down it’s verdict yesterday. After approximately two hours of deliberations, the jury found 38-year-old Thomas Hyttinen of Ishpeming not guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 43-year-old Carl Mercer of Negaunee. The charge was punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The alleged assault occurred at Hyttinen’s apartment in Ishpeming last April. Hyttinen had claimed the incident was a case of self-defense after the fight between the two men began after a night out drinking.
Governor Rick Snyder today signed legislation requiring the Department of Environmental Quality to extend permit processing deadlines at the request of the applicant. Senate Bill 744 requires the DEQ to allow an additional period of 120 days to a year for a permit to be processed, if requested by the applicant. According to a statement from the Governor’s office, the flexibility in the review time allows applicants to resolve issues including property disputes, off-site impacts, zoning regulation disputes and project design plans. The extended review period will avoid unnecessary denials of permits. Snyder added “this opens up the lines of communication between the DEQ and permit applicants with diverse needs”. The bill is now Public Act 164 of 2012.
Officials with Michigan Tech University in Houghton say a budget for the coming fiscal year is the main item on the agenda of a special meeting of the University’s Board of Control next week. Tuition for the 2012-13 academic year is slated to be set at the meeting, scheduled for 10:00 am on Thursday, June 21st, at the Advanced Technology Development Complex in Houghton. The Board did not act on a budget during its regularly scheduled April meeting because the Legislature had not yet passed higher education appropriations for the coming year.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expanding its investigation of fires in certain models of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The government began their investigation in August of 2010 and focused on three million Grand Cherokee models built between 1993 and 2004. The NTHSA is now adding another two million vehicles which include 1993 to 2001 Jeep Cherokee and 2002 to 2007 Jeep Liberty vehicles. The fires happened in rear end collisions and investigators are focusing on the placement of the fuel tank. Chrysler released a statement denying the vehicles pose a risk but did acknowledge that the Grand Cherokee has had more reports of rear vehicle fires than their competitors.