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Long-dead woman found in Kalamazoo apartment


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) -- The public safety department is investigating the death of a woman whose body was found in a Kalamazoo apartment Thursday night.

Officers responded to the 1300 block of Mills St. on a report of woman dead on a couch in the living room. Officers discovered Jessica Hart, 36, had died well before their arrival.

The cause of death is currently under investigation, but foul play is not suspected.

Anyone with information on this investigation is urged to contact Kalamazoo Public Safety at (269) 337-8994, Silent Observer at (269) 343-2100, or www.kalamazoosilentobserver.com.

Kalamazoo man sentenced for beating girlfriend with puppy


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) -- A 51-year-old man has been sentenced to six months in jail after authorities say he beat his girlfriend with a two-week-old puppy, causing the animal's death.

Timothy Tucker also was sentenced Tuesday to four years of probation and entry into the Swift and Sure Sanctions Program. He was ordered to pay state fees and restitution.

Tucker pleaded guilty in December to third-offense domestic violence as a second-time habitual offender. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports one count of killing/torturing animals was dismissed was part of a plea deal.

According to court documents, Tucker punched his girlfriend in the face in November, and then repeatedly struck her with the couple's puppy.

Tucker will receive credit for 68 days he's already served in jail.


Kalamazoo woman dies in crash


KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. (WZZM) - A 51-year-old Kalamazoo woman is dead after a traffic crash Tuesday morning.

The Kalamazoo County Sheriff's office reports that the woman was driving north on Sprinkle Road north of E. Michigan when she lost control of her vehicle and crossed the center line. Her vehicle was hit by another vehicle heading south.

The woman was killed in the crash. The driver of the 2nd vehicle was also hurt and was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The crash remains under investigation.


Elderly driver dies in I-94 crash


PAW PAW TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- An elderly driver from Portage is dead after a crash on I-94 Monday night.

The incident happened at about 11:30 p.m. on eastbound I-94 in Paw Paw Township.

Michigan State Police say Eugene Howard, 83, was traveling slowly on the interstate when a semi struck his vehicle from behind. Howard's car went off the road into deep snow on the south side of the highway.

Witnesses who came to the aid of Howard told police he was slumped into the passenger side of the vehicle and may have been suffering a medical emergency that happened prior to the crash. Troopers attempted CPR on Howard until ambulances arrived.

Police are still investigating the crash; they say alcohol or drug use by either driver is not a suspected cause.


Upton: I-94 needs review after pileup


GALESBURG, Mich. (AP) - Lawmakers say a 193-vehicle pileup in Michigan that killed one man and closed a stretch of Interstate 94 for two days should prompt a review of whether the stretch of roadway needs upgrades.

Republican Congressman Rep. Fred of Michigan tells the Kalamazoo Gazette it "begs the question of what can be done" to improve what he calls "the Bermuda Triangle of Kalamazoo County."

Upton says I-94 needs to be widened from four to six lanes through eastern Kalamazoo County.

Republican state Sen. Margaret O'Brien of Portage, however, says she doesn't know whether widening is the answer.

Michigan Department of Transportation spokesman Nick Schirripa says that speed and driver behavior in whiteout snow conditions are to blame in Friday morning's chain reaction crashes. He says roadway width isn't an issue.


Buddy and Max most popular local dog names of 2014


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) -- Move over Lassie and Ribsy, the Kalamazoo County Treasurer's office says Buddy and Max top the list of most popular dog names in Kalamazoo County for 2014.

In addition to Buddy and Max, Lucy, Daisy and Bella round out the top five most popular licensed dog names. Below is a list of the top 20 dog names in Kalamazoo County:

  1. Buddy
  2. Max
  3. Lucy
  4. Daisy
  5. Bella
  6. Molly
  7. Sadie
  8. Zoey
  9. Maggie
  10. Lilly
  11. Bailey
  12. Charlie
  13. Sophie
  14. Riley
  15. Toby
  16. Roxy
  17. Chloe
  18. Abbie
  19. Gracie
  20. Cocoa

My Town: Team of reconstructionists deployed to scene of deadly pileup

My Town: Team of reconstructionists deployed to scene of deadly pileup

KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich.—Crash reconstructionists from across the state are being deployed to Kalamazoo County, to help Michigan State Police piece together how a deadly 193 vehicle pileup began.

Jean Larocque, 57, of Quebec, Canada was killed in the series of crashes on Interstate 94 near Galesburg, which began around 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 9.   Approximately two-dozen other people were injured in the crashes, which happened during white-out conditions on the highway.  Two firefighters and a tow truck driver were also injured while trying to put out vehicle fires.   Vehicles involved in the crash were taken to McDonalds Towing in Kalamazoo.

RELATED: Investigators release recordings of 911 calls from deadly pileup