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Man killed in Kalamazoo County crash on I-94


KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. (WZZM) -- A 49-year-old man is dead after an accident on I-94 late Thursday night.

It happened just before 10:30 near mile marker 86. Deputies say the man was in front of his own car, which was in the outside westbound lane of the freeway.

Another vehicle hit the man's car, which caused it to hit the man, killing him. Comstock and Galesburg crews responded to the crash. They attempted to save the man's life but were unsuccessful.

If you have any information on the crash, you're asked to call Kalamazoo County Sheriff's deputies at (269) 383-8748 or Silent Observer at (269) 343-2100.

3 steal jewelry from elderly Kalamazoo woman


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) -- Police in Kalamazoo are looking for three people who stole jewelry from an elderly woman.

The three men posed as contractors Tuesday, telling the woman her roof needed to be repaired. They then went through her bedroom and stole several pieces of jewelry. One of the items most valuable to the victim was a wedding ring that was given to her in 1945.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety at 269-337-8994 or Silent Observer at 269-343-2100.


WB I-94 in Battle Creek reopens after crash; 2 hurt


BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- Two people were seriously injured in a crash between a sport-utility vehicle and a semi truck Tuesday morning on I-94 just west of M-66 interchange, Michigan State Police said.

The crash occurred about 11 a.m.; two medical helicopters were brought in to transport the two people who were in the SUV, troopers said.

The occupants of the SUV were on their way to attend to a friend who was in a disabled vehicle on the shoulder of the freeway, troopers said. When the driver saw the car, he attempted to merge from the passing lane to the right lane and the vehicle was struck by a semi, they said.

Kalamazoo AFSCME leader sentenced for fraud


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) -- A former worker at Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital caught taking funds from a worker's union will avoid jail, but must repay more than $23,000 pilfered from her co-workers over a 21-month span.

During an appearance in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, Tiffany Fawn Randle was ordered to pay $23,727 in restitution. Judge Janet T. Neff on Monday also placed Randle on supervised release for two years. She had faced up to 30 years in prison.

She was indicted in July for defrauding Tower Family Credit Union while serving as secretary/treasurer of AFSCME Local 652, which represents workers at Michigan's largest mental health institution.

Randle, 47, cashed checks by forging the name of Local 652's vice president, federal court documents show. The money was used for her own personal benefit, the government charged in its July indictment.

Police seek man who hit, partially blinded woman


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) -- Police are looking for your help to identify a man involved in an aggravated assault that left one woman partially blind.

The incident occurred on Oct. 25 at the downtown Marathon gas station in Kalamazoo.

The suspect got into a fight with the woman's husband before striking her in the head. She lost sight in one of her eyes because of her injuries.

If you have any information, please call Kalamazoo police at (269) 337-8994 or Silent Observer at (269) 343-2100.


Woman, 20, may not face charges in man's stabbing death


COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- A 20-year-old woman may not face any charges after a domestic dispute that lead to a man's death in Kalamazoo County.

Sheriff's responded to a domestic violence fight around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. The incident occurred at a home on Carter Street. Upon arrival, deputies found David Leonard Degoede Jr., 35, dead inside the home.

Police immediately took the woman into custody on open murder charges. After prosecutors reviewed the incident, they decided to temporarily deny charges pending further investigation.

This is a developing story.

Kzoo Promise marks 10th anniversary; other cities follow


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) -- Ten years ago, it forever changed higher-education funding in Kalamazoo. On Tuesday morning, a major event kicked off the Kalamazoo Promise anniversary celebration. The program which provides Kalamazoo students with free college tuition.

WZZM 13 is looking at how it's been an example for some other communities.

Community leaders from around the country registered for the anniversary event at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo. Many of them have started programs similar to the Kalamazoo Promise, with some further along than others. However, for all of them, it's about investing in education.

A decade on from Kalamazoo's launch, there are thank you's from schools, neighborhoods, and of course, real people like Tinashe Chaponda.