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Local Updates from ABC News Radio for Grand Rapids.

Friday
Sep192014

Man Going to Federal Prison for Child Sex Trafficking

(GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.) -- A Grand Rapids man will serve 30 years in federal prison for child sex trafficking.

Eddie Allen Jackson, 31, was sentenced on Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney's office reports.

In the summer of 2012, Jackson allegedly recruited teenage girls ages 14 to 16 to work for him as prostitutes. The girls were in 8th, 9th, and 10th grades at the time.

At the sentencing, the judge said Jackson's victims were "stripped of innocence and decency that these girls were entitled to have."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep182014

University of Michigan Among Top Public Universities in the US

(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) -- The University of Michigan has ranked among the top universities in the country.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan is at the 23rd spot on a new list released by QS World University Rankings.

Michigan moved one spot down the list from last year.

The University of California, Berkeley, is the only other public university in the top 30, at the 27th spot.

The rankings are reportedly based on academic and employer reputation, student/faculty ratio, citations per faculty, proportion of international faculty, and proportion of international students.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep172014

Detroit Police Officer Faces New Trial in Girl's 2010 Shooting Death

(DETROIT) -- A Detroit police officer is preparing to stand trial for the second time in the shooting death of a 7-year-old girl, an incident videotaped by a reality TV crew.

Joseph Weekley is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the May 2010 shooting of Aiyana Stanley-Jones.

The incident was videotaped for the A&E reality show The First 48, with Detroit police serving a warrant to a murder suspect.

The first trial last year ended in a hung jury. Weekley maintained it was all a tragic accident and he has pleaded not guilty, just as he did in his 2013 trial.

Aiyana was sleeping on the couch. Weekley has testified that the girl's grandmother, Mertilla Jones, hit his submachine gun, coming down on it with her arm, causing him to accidentally fire. Aiyana was shot in the head.

Weekley's supervisor, Lt. Donald Johnson, told jurors in 2013 that Weekley was devastated following the shooting.

"He was just throwing up and crying and shaking, and just sporadic, 'Why did she hit my gun?'" Johnson said.

Jones insisted that she never went for Weekley's gun.

Geoffrey Fieger, the family's attorney, said police mishandled the situation and were performing for the TV cameras when Aiyana was killed. "They knew they were being photographed for a TV show. So, they like to show all their cowboys-and-Indians, tough-guy military look," he said.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep162014

Seven-Year-Old Girl in Critical Condition After Shooting

(DETROIT) -- A 7-year-old girl was listed in critical condition Monday after she was shot in Detroit on Sunday.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the girl was riding her bicycle when she was shot from a passing car.

A man in one car was reportedly chasing a man in another car after an argument over a dice game.

One man, a 22-year-old, has been arrested. Police are still looking for another suspect.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep152014

GM's Faulty Ignition Switches Linked to 19 Deaths

(NEW YORK) -- The number of people who’ve died in connection to GM's failed ignition switch and are eligible for compensation is higher than the automaker's initial estimate and will likely increase further, according to independent administrators handling the claims process.

GM had previously estimated that at least 13 deaths resulted from its defective ignition switches, but Ken Feinberg, who’s the independent administrator of GM's compensation program, and his deputy administrator, Camille Biros, on Monday said 19 deaths are eligible for a claim.

"That’s only our first report," Biros told ABC News. "This is an ongoing process."

Biros explained that the families of the 19 who died and are eligible for a claim have not yet been contacted.

The overall compensation program, which launched on Aug. 5, is open for submission until Dec. 31 through GMIgnitionCompensation.com. Biros declined to comment on whether the 13 deaths that GM counted were included in Monday's total of 19, citing the program's confidentiality.

In a statement from a GM spokesman, the company said, "We have previously said that Ken Feinberg and his team will independently determine the final number of eligible individuals, so we accept their determinations for the compensation program. What is most important is that we are doing the right thing for those who lost loved ones and for those who suffered physical injury."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio