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Woman sentenced in Michigan's largest illegal asbestos case


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Kalamazoo woman who oversaw salvage operations at a mothballed Consumers Energy plant was sentenced to three years' probation and ordered to pay restitution for what the government says may be the largest illegal asbestos release in Michigan.

Luanne LaBrie was sentenced in U.S. District Court for violating the federal Clean Air Act in a salvage operation at Consumers Energy's former Morrow plant on East Michigan Avenue in Kalamazoo County's Comstock Township.

She also was convicted of failing to file tax returns on more than $1.7 million earned by scrapping metal from the closed facility.

Couple injured in crash on I-94


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) - A couple from Paw Paw is in serious condition after an accident in a construction zone on I-94. Investigators say the 93 year old driver was travelling West near Sprinkle Rd.

He failed to move over for the construction zone and hit a concrete barrier. The crash sent his car into the air, landing in the traffic lane, where it was hit by a pick up.

The 93 year old driver and his 92 year old wife were both taken to area hospitals with serious injuries. The four people in the truck were not injured in the crash.


Missing WMU student found dead on Norwegian mountain


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Western Michigan University student visiting Norway amid a break during a study abroad program has been found dead.

The body of Dallas Rauker, a 21-year-old man from Lawton, Mich., was found Sunday morning on the Reinebringen mountain in the Lofoten Islands region, according to Norwegian media.

Western Michigan University spokeswoman Cheryl Roland confirmed Rauker's death.

Rauker was a senior at the university, majoring in integrated supply management and minoring in business, Roland said. He was attending Hogeschool Utrecht in the Netherlands as part of a study abroad program associated with WMU's Haenicke Institute for Global Education.

Woman rescued from balcony in Kalamazoo fire


KALAMAZOO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Fire crews are looking into an apartment fire near Kalamazoo.

Police say a large fire broke out just before 10:30 Saturday night at Country Meadows Apartments on Sunnyside Drive, south of Gull Road. That's east of Kalamazoo.
Officials tell us no one was seriously hurt but one woman did have to be rescued from her balcony.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


Police: Reported robbery on WMU campus


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) -- Western Michigan University officials are asking the campus community to use caution following a reported robbery early Saturday.

The robbery, as witnessed by another person, occurred around 3 a.m. Saturday near the Burnhams residence hall, according to a university news release. Police say two teenage males demanded a wallet from the visiting victim. 

A weapon was reportedly spotted on the suspects. 

People are asked to call campus police at 269-387-5555 if they witness any suspicious activity.


Flags ordered at half-staff for Master Sgt. Greg Kuhse


LANSING, Mich. (WZZM) -- Governor Rick Snyder is ordering U.S. and Michigan flags to fly at half-staff on Monday, to honor a West Michigan airman killed in Afghanistan.

U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Gregory Kuhse, of Kalamazoo, died in a British helicopter crash earlier this month.

The 38-year-old was a 1995 graduate of Comstock High School.

The Governor says "Kuhse died honorably, defending his country and our state."

His funeral is Saturday.


Fire damaged office building in Oshtemo Township


OSHTEMO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) - Firefighters from multiple departments fought a fire at an office building Tuesday afternoon in Oshtemo Township.

The fire burned the upper level of the building in the 5900 block of West Main, near Club View Drive and Lodge Lane. The building houses a Farmers Insurance office as well as other offices.

WZZM 13 News does not have any information right now about any injuries.

Several neighboring fire departments were called in to assist the Oshtemo Township Fire Department.