May 22, 2014
MICHIGAN
State House passes Detroit spending bill

Michigan’s Republican-led House approved spending $195 million to help prevent steep cuts in Detroit retiree pensions and the sale of valuable art, a measure that would link the state with a broader deal designed to end the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history.

By a bipartisan 74-36 vote, the chamber approved legislation Thursday contributing state funds to join $466 million in commitments from 12 foundations and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The House passed 11 bills, which now go to the GOP-controlled Senate. The plan has the support of Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and legislative leaders, but its passage has been no sure bet in the bailout-averse, GOP-controlled legislature.

— Associated Press

MISSISSIPPI
Two more arrests in Cochran photo case

Authorities in Mississippi say they have arrested two more suspects, including a tea party official, in the investigation of photos taken of the ailing wife of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss).

Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest says Mark Mayfield, a member of the board of the Central Mississippi Tea Party, and Richard Sager of Laurel were arrested Thursday. Conservative blogger Clayton Thomas Kelly, 28 of Pearl, was arrested last week on allegations that he took the photos of Rose Cochran without her permission at the nursing home where she’s lived for 13 years.

Kelly is charged with exploitation, filming without permission and conspiracy. Sager is charged with evidence tampering and conspiracy. Mayfield is charged with conspiracy. All appeared in Madison City Court Thursday.

— Associated Press

CALIFORNIA
Suspect charged in abduction of girl

A California man accused of abducting a 15-year-old girl and holding her captive for a decade was charged on Thursday with rape and kidnapping, even as his lawyer suggested the young woman went with him willingly and was treated “like a queen.”

Police say the woman, now 25, told detectives she endured a decade of physical and sexual abuse after being abducted by her mother’s live-in boyfriend, Isidro Garcia, from the family’s suburban Santa Ana home in 2004. The woman, who has not been publicly identified, was forced into marriage in 2007 and later bore his child, a daughter, in 2012, police said.

Garcia, 41, made a brief court appearance in Orange County Superior Court on Thursday. He was ordered held on $1 million bail but did not enter a plea and was ordered back to court in June.

— Associated Press

Fox News anchor arrested: A Fox News weekend anchor who was arrested after he allegedly became combative with police at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport may have taken a drug that didn’t mix well with alcohol, a police report released Thursday suggests. Gregg Jarrett, 59, was arrested Wednesday after police were called to a restaurant in the airport terminal on a report of a customer who was “acting very intoxicated,” the report said.

Gates confirmed as Boy Scouts president: Former defense secretary Robert Gates was confirmed Thursday as the Boy Scouts of America’s new president, taking over the youth organization as it debates its policy toward gays. The group’s national council voted to approve Gates for the volunteer role at the organization’s annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn. Gates, 70, was announced as incoming president in October.

Couples challenge gay-marriage ban in S. Dakota: Six couples have filed a federal lawsuit to block South Dakota’s ban on same-sex marriage, leaving North Dakota as the only state in the country with an unchallenged ban. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Sioux Falls. On Wednesday, four couples challenged Montana’s ban. The lawsuits mean cases are currently pending in 30 states with gay marriage bans. Judges have overturned several of those bans since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year.

— From news services

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