Local Updates from ABC News Radio for Grand Rapids.


Two Kawkawlin Men Sentenced to Jail, $4K Fine in Duck Poaching Case

(LANSING, Mich.) -- Two Kawkawlin men have been ordered to pay over $4,000 each in restitution and have been sentenced to five days in jail for being over the bag limit for redhead ducks.

Travis Vennix, 22, and Timothy Diehl, 22, both Kawkawlin, Mich., admitted to shooting 20 redhead ducks while hunting in October, over the bag limit of two per hunter, according to conservation officers with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The pair was waterfowl hunting on Oct. 13 when they encountered a DNR conservation officer who was checking waterfowl hunters at the Pine River boating access site in Arenac County.

Authorities noted they were acting nervous, and discovered the following day the two hid additional ducks underneath a boat dock.

In addition to their fines, restitution and jail time, both had their hunting privileges for the remainder of 2014 revoked, along with the next three calendar years.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Rep.-Elect Debbie Dingell on What Her Husband John Is Not Telling Her

(WASHINGTON) -- Rep.-elect Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, is no stranger to the halls of the Congress. Her husband, the 88-year-old dean of the House, Rep. John Dingell, has served on the Hill since 1955.

But now, Rep.-elect Dingell, 61, is set to take on the U.S. Congress herself -- representing her retiring husband’s old district in the 114th Congress.

On the campaign trail, she said, the two were careful to maintain a “concrete wall.”

“I needed to earn the respect of everybody in the 12th and have them to get to know me,” she told ABC News’ Jeff Zeleny.

Asked if her husband would act as an adviser during her tenure, Dingell told ABC, “I think that he’s really afraid to give me advice -- and I hope he gets over that.”

Rep.-elect Dingell, who just chose her new office last week, said she’ll likely use her husband’s desk. It also belonged to Dingell’s father, Rep. John Dingell Sr., who served in the House for 22 years.

“If I could have the desk that the man who authored Social Security and the man who sat in the chair and helped author Medicare and the Civil Rights Act [used], maybe it’ll inspire and help me to do good things while I’m here," Dingell said.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Gov. Snyder Continues to Pitch Michigan During China Trip

(GUANGZHOU, China) -- Michigan’s top executive continued to make the case while visiting China that the state remains a great place to live, work, do business, and visit.

Gov. Rick Snyder met with business executives, government officials, tourism operators, and media from Shengyang and Guangzhou over the weekend and on Monday.

He started the weekend with a meeting of executives from a leading Chinese machine tooling company to discuss possible investment in Michigan, stressing the potential Michigan offers for additional business cooperation and investment opportunities.

“With 70 percent of global automotive research and development happening here in Michigan, and our strong manufacturing base, talent and business-friendly environment, there is no better place in North America for Chinese companies to expand than in Michigan,” Snyder said in a statement. “We are already seeing significant Chinese investment in Michigan, but this is just the beginning of what we have to offer the China market.”

Snyder hosted a tourism forum in Guangzhou on Sunday with travel operators and media to continue promoting the “Pure Michigan brand” into the Chinese tourism market.

The governor and his delegation will travel next to Shanghai, China’s largest city with 24 million residents on the central coast.

This is Synder’s fourth trip to China since being governor and his administration's eleventh investment mission since taking office in January 2011.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Winter Weather Records Set in Grand Rapids

(GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.) -- A pair of winter weather records were set in Grand Rapids in the wake of this week's snow storm.

According to the National Weather Service, the 28.4 inches that have accumulated in Grand Rapids this month tops the record of 28.2 inches in November 1895. With nine days left in the month, there's a chance that record could climb even further.

Also, on Friday morning, the National Weather Service reported a record-low temperature for the date. The 10 degree weather Friday claimed the record from 1987's 14 degrees.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Gov. Snyder Orders Flags at Half-Staff After Death of Carroll Newton

(LANSING, Mich.) -- Gov. Rick Snyder ordered all U.S. flags within the Michigan Capitol Complex and on all state buildings lowered to half-staff Thursday in honor of former state Rep. Carroll Newton. He died on Nov. 16 at age 96.

"Carrol's dedication to both his community and our state helped lay a strong foundation to keep Michigan moving forward today," Snyder said.

Newton was first elected to the state House in 1955, serving for 10 years. He then served as an assistant auditor general and chief deputy state treasurer, before serving 10 years on the Berry County Board of Supervisors.

A funeral service was held Thursday morning. Flags will return to full-staff on Friday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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