Our network

Power plant asbestos debacle brings new charges for woman


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) - A Kalamazoo woman already in trouble for salvaging an asbestos-laden power plant without proper safeguards can add tax troubles to the list.

A misdemeanor complaint filed this week alleges LuAnne LaBrie failed to file timely tax returns on more than $1.7 million she earned as part of the salvage operation in 2011 and 2012.

The income is tied to what LaBrie earned salvaging materials at a decommissioned Consumers Energy plant in Kalamazoo County's Comstock Township. She filed the tardy tax returns last year.

As part of a plea agreement presented today, LaBrie acknowledges she failed to disclose what she earned from the salvage operation. In exchange for her plea, the U.S. Attorney's Office has agreed not to charge her with filing false tax returns.

She faces a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Community Sponsors

Dorms at WMU to get liaison police officers


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - Western Michigan University's police department plans to assign liaison officers to dorms following crimes on or near campus this school year.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports the plans from the Department of Public Safety come after the Western Student Association requested the presence of officers. Taylor Hall, a student who helped write the resolution, says one of the reasons for the request was crime.

There have been two armed robberies on campus this school year, one reported in October and another one this month. Another armed robbery occurred in September at the university-owned Asylum Lake Preserve, where a man was robbed of a cellphone.

Public Safety Chief Scott Merlo says having officers in and around the dorms will allow them to build relationships and trust with students.


My Town: Community to debate waste collection changes in Portage Feb. 18

My Town: Community to debate waste collection changes in Portage Feb. 18
align="CENTER">-----NEWS RELEASE--- align="LEFT"> The Portage City Council is considering a change to the city collection programs, including the Fall Leaf Collection, Spring Cleanup and Quarterly Curbside Brush Collection programs, to allow for collection of these items along private roads by the City of Portage. Currently, these programs are not available to those residential properties located adjacent to private roads.

My Town Kalamazoo: Marti Hearron's final gift to WMU establishes a fine arts professorship

My Town Kalamazoo: Marti Hearron's final gift to WMU establishes a fine arts professorship

----NEWS RELEASE---

After decades of joyfully supporting the fine arts and students at Western Michigan University, the late Martha "Marti" Hearron of Kalamazoo made one final major gift to be revealed only after her death.

Hearron, a renowned biostatistician for the Upjohn Co., died Nov. 29. Her estate included a $2 million gift to WMU that will establish the Arthur E. and Martha S. Hearron College of Fine Arts Distinguished Professorship. It also will provide funding for some of her favorite arts programs as well as endow a new Medallion Scholarship for students in the fine arts.

The gift, and the fact that the endowed professorship is the first in College of Fine Arts history, were announced Feb. 5 by Dean Daniel Guyette at the college's annual Dance Advocacy Award ceremony that was part of the Winter Gala Dance Concert.

Community Sponsors

My Town: Local military family honored by Eckrich and country music star Randy Houser

My Town: Local military family honored by Eckrich and country music star Randy Houser

-----NEWS RELEASE---

Thanks to Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, James Jackson and his family were honored by chart-topping, platinum-selling country music star Randy Houser Tuesday night at his performance at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. as part of Luke Bryan's That's My Kind of Night Tour. 

My Town Kalamazoo: WMU senior named a finalist in international trombone competition

My Town Kalamazoo: WMU senior named a finalist in international trombone competition

----NEWS RELEASE---

 A Western Michigan University senior has been named a finalist in an elite international trombone competition and is headed to Spain.

Evan Clifton, of Howell, Michigan, has been named a finalist in the Donald Yaxley Bass Trombone Competition and will travel to Valencia, Spain, in July to compete for a 2,000 euro gift certificate toward a new trombone at the 2015 International Trombone Festival.

Man arrested for setting Kzoo woman on fire


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) - A Kalamazoo man is in custody for dousing a woman in rubbing alcohol and setting her on fire.

The incident happened early Friday morning in a residence in the 900 block of Douglas. Public Safety officers were called to the residence at about 2:00am requesting an ambulance for a woman with burns.

The suspect had fled the scene, but was found and arrested in the 700 block of Mabel Street.

Investigators say that the suspect and victim live together and they had been involved in an argument and fight in the evening. The suspect doused her in rubbing alcohol and set her on fire. She was able to put the fire out by removing her shirt, but suffered burns to her torso, face and hair. She is listed in stable condition.

The suspect, 52, is in custody for Assault with Intent to Murder. His name will be released pending his arraignment.