Local Updates from ABC News Radio for Detroit.


Michigan Announces Plan to Help Fund Green Laboratory Practices

(LANSING, Mich.) -- The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced on Thursday a program to help Michigan institutions develop sustainable laboratory practices.

The department says that funding through the Michigan Green Labs Initiative will be available to help institutions minimize the environmental impact of their lab organizations. The project is funded federally by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is supported by a number of universities across Michigan.

Eligible organizations include universities, local governments and tribal governments. Grants up to $10,000 will be offered following a proposal with clear detail as to how the money will be spent and at least 50 percent of funding coming from the applicant.

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Man in Porch Shooting Trial Claims He Shot Teen by Mistake

(DETROIT) -- The man accused of fatally shooting Renisha McBride told police he didn't know his gun was loaded and said he shot the unarmed teen by accident, according to a recording played to jurors Thursday.

Theodore Wafer said he heard a "consistent knocking on the door" and when he opened the door, "the gun discharged."

"I didn't know there was a round in there," he said. "I don't get it. Who's knocking on your door at 4:30 in the morning?"

Wafer, 54, who is white, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of McBride, 19, who is black, after she showed up on his porch in Dearborn Heights the morning of Nov. 2, 2013.

Defense attorneys are trying to prove investigators mishandled-- or waited too long to collect - evidence in the days after the shooting, in an effort to show it is unclear what McBride's intentions were on Wafer's porch that night.

Under a 2006 Michigan self-defense law, a homeowner has the right to use force during a break-in. Otherwise, a person must prove his or her life was in danger.

The jury of seven men and seven women, including two alternates, will decide the case. Four of the jurors are black.

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Ex-Prosecutor Allegedly Hired Hitman to Take Out Rival

(DETROIT) -- A former prosecutor turned defense attorney is behind bars, accused of trying to hire a hitman to take out a rival attorney.

Police say Clarence Gomery, 59, offered a man $20,000, plus another $1,000 to buy a gun to kill his target, Chris Cooke. But instead of shooting Cooke, the prospective hitman turned Gomery in to authorities.

Cooke says he is "eternally grateful" that Gomery's alleged plot was foiled.

"I think God intervened to a degree, and there was a very ethical person who came forward," Cooke said.

Prosecutors allege that Gomery targeted Cooke because he was representing another man who was suing Gomery over a real estate deal.

Gomery's attorneys have argued that the married father and grandfather is not a financial flight risk because he's declared bankruptcy.

Gomery also had no prior criminal history.

But Judge Michael Stepka called the facts of the case "significant and disturbing," and set the bail at $5 million.

"I'm concerned for the safety of the public. I'm concerned for Mr. Cooke," Stepka said.

Cooke said he is looking for the judicial system to run its course. "I believe the right thing will occur, and the system will do its job," he said.

If convicted on the solicitation of murder charge, Gomery could face a possible life sentence.

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Snyder: Vote to Cut Pensions a 'Sacrifice' to Help Detroit, Michigan

(LANSING, Mich.) -- Earlier this week Detroit retirees and active employees voted to accept pension cuts as part of a plan to help Detroit move out of bankruptcy, a vote that Gov. Rick Snyder says shows that "Detroit continues to move forward."

Snyder said that the vote, results of which were released on Tuesday, is "an important step in the process of resolving Detroit's bankruptcy as quickly as possible." He called the vote a "sacrifice" that will help the city and the state.

"This vote is recognition that all of Michigan has pulled together to support our state's largest, and iconic, city and the people who work to protect and provide services to its residents," Snyder added.

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GM's Second Quarter Profit Down 85% from Last Year

(DETROIT) -- Earnings for General Motors took a big hit in the second quarter because of costs related to its numerous recalls.

GM's second quarter profit was down 85% from last year. The company said it made a net income of $190 million, or 11 cents per share, compared to $1.2 billion, or 75 cents a share, in the second quarter of 2013.

But this won't necessarily come as a surprise to Wall Street. GM predicted it would take a big hit from its many recalls. In all, those costs added up to $1.5 billion.

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