Saturday, May 28, 2011

Irony: Wave of criminal activity hits Sterling Heights after 'safest city' designation

On the heels of being named the safest city in Michigan, Sterling Heights experienced a series of serious and unique crimes last week.
Not only was it ironic, it also created a busy day for the department’s PR official who already was saddled with duties for a special event.
At 5:40 p.m. Wednesday, a 33-year-old male resident allegedly robbed the 7-Eleven store at Plumbrook and Schoenherr, also stealing the cashier’s vehicle. Three hours later he crashed the car nearby and fled to his home, where police waited for him.
Meanwhile, at about 11 p.m. a knife-wielding 47-year-old female resident was shot and wounded by a cop when she charged two officers inside her home, police say. Coppers responded to a call that the woman was suicidal and possibly overdoing on drugs. She was subsequently charged with attempted murder.
At 3:30 a.m. Thursday, special-unit cops forced their way into the alleged armed robber and carjacker’s home and found him hiding under a rug in the basement.
Department spokesman Luke Riley not only stayed up late to follow the turn of events, he arrived to work early to write a couple of press releases for the media.
At the same time, he had to prepare for the department’s annual awards ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday in the city council chambers.
Getting two hours sleep didn’t seem to faze veteran cop, who decided to look on the bright side.
“I didn’t mind,” he said. “I’d rather be busy. The day goes by faster.”
The Insider never likes to sound jaded, but it also creates a measure of job security, no?

Tsunami aftershocks felt in Macomb

The reverberations of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March are being felt today at the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office.
As Memorial Day weekend ignites the summer boating season, Marine Division Commander Lt. Brian Barlog is still trying to obtain leases for two personal watercraft for his deputies and reserve officers to use for patrolling Lake St. Clair and its contributories. But none are yet available as he has to compete with other law enforcement agencies for the limited supply of small vessels manufactured by companies such as Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Honda, which have slowed production due to the twin disasters.
“We’re hoping we can get them in a couple of weeks,” Barlog said Friday.
Barlog said the delay has slightly hampered but certainly not put a stop to enforcement since the division has a half-dozen other boats. But those smaller watercraft may prevent some probing into the nooks and crannies of the local waterways.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Woman causes car accident by shaving nether regions on the highway

We all know the dangers of texting and driving, but a Florida woman put a new wrinkle in the concept of distracted time behind the wheel when she caused a wreck by shaving her, um, nether regions in the car on the way to a date.
Notably, her ex-husband was the passenger and he tried to hold the wheel while she sped down the highway. He must also have been distracted because he somehow lost his grip and a collision ensued.
This is the stuff comedy dreams are made of.
Columnist Celia Riverbank at the Star News Online has a hilarious take on the incident. Read her account here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Local reporter says he spent time with the governator, his wife, mistress and the kids. Cozy night?

The Insider lives in a glass house. Therefore, he doesn't throw stones. But the story of former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger fathering a child with a housekeeper who gave birth at roughly the same time as his famous Kennedy cousin wife Maria Shriver is something that begs for an eyebrow raised in judgment.
Oh no, he didn't.
As shocking as this tale was, the Insider was startled again when local news pundit Charlie LeDuff of Fox 2 fame, who fashions himself a kind of swaggering gonzo journalist in the mold of the dearly departed Hunter S. Thompson, came out with a tale of himself eating a stale dinner with the governator, his wife, the mistress, and the kids.
The Insider never casts aspersions at fellow ink-stained wretches, but let's just say LeDuff has never met a story he thinks couldn't be improved by making himself a character in it. And that character is endlessly fascinating. To him. But if you wade through the desperate attempts at self aggrandizing, part of a fascinating story unfolds.
LeDuff says he was covering Schwarzenegger for the LA Times when he and his wife were invited to watch the Golden Globes with the famous family.
Long story short: Maria was in sweat pants, the menu was "warmed over taquitos, nachos and hot dogs," LeDuff says, and the "well endowed" reported mistress Mildred Baena sat in on the festivities from a stool perched behind the couch. 
The governor, whose kingdom incidentally included San Francisco and Hollywood,  allegedly mocked a starlet during the broadcast by saying of her dress, "Look at her! Some queer told her she looks good in that but her t--s look like s--t!”
There are no details of the day beyond that (read LeDuff's report here) but the Insider can't stop dreaming up captions for the imaginary Christmas card picture snapped that day.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Today's lesson: Never leave valuables around a man nicknamed 'Neck'

Country-rocker JoCaine’s smile turned upside down last weekend after a successful CD release concert at the Hayloft in downtown Mount Clemens.
Turns out someone stole “a lot of money” from JoCaine’s band van that was parked in the lot in front of the club on Main Street sometime while he was inside performing songs from his new CD, “American Made.”
On his Facebook page, JoCaine said he suspected a former longtime assistant he knew from his days back in Hazel Park broke into the van and snatched the cash during the show.
The thief hasn’t been seen since.
He named the suspected thief online but since we’re not into being sued when we can help it, we’re only going to reference the suspect’s nickname, which is “Neck.”
Now, the Insider hates to say “I told you so,” but a couple of things strike us about this tale.
First, we’d say never leave a large amount of money in a van decked out with red-white-and-blue streamers and painted images on the outside, attracting a lot of attention.
Secondly, it’s probably not a good idea to trust a fellow everyone knows as “Neck.”

Friday, May 6, 2011

Instead of Jessie’s girl, Springfield should wish for a clean record before Stars & Stripes

Is there a curse on the Stars & Stripes festival? It appears to be the case – and the voodoo doll used in the curse making ceremony must’ve been made up with Aqua Net hair and pleather pants.
For the second year in a row, the aging rocker set to highlight the Macomb County event has been arrested for a DUI pre-performance.
A few days after festival promoters announced 1980s rocker Rick Springfield would be on the Stars & Stripes lineup for 2011, the 61-year-old “Jessie’s Girl” singer was arrested in Malibu on suspicion of driving under the influence.
That was reminiscent of last year when Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil was nabbed for drunk driving in Las Vegas about a month before his appearance at Stars & Stripes. He ended up serving a jail stint after appearing in Macomb County.
Stars & Stripes spokeswoman Aimee Spencer says there is no curse of bad luck for these guys, adding the arrests were mere coincidences. She says Springfield’s management assures the promoters that he will be able to travel to Mount Clemens for the July 1 show.
Spencer said Joe Nieporte of Funfest Productions, promoters of the festival, knew the similarities would not escape The Insider.
“Joe said you’d be calling about this,” she laughed. “We’ve been assured everything is still a go from Rick’s people. He’ll be here.”

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hackel tries to avoid Insider; Effort proves to be futile

Newspaper reporters can be a mischievous bunch. 
Here's a case in point: When a Macomb Daily staffer sat down the other day for an interview with County Executive Mark Hackel, Deputy County Executive Mark Deldin and county Board of Commissioners Chair Kathy Vosburg, the location of choice was Vosburg's office in downtown Mount Clemens. 
Vosburg has decorated her glass-top conference table with a number of drawings in crayon and pencil by her pre-school-age grandchildren. The drawings, tucked under the glass, were quite apparent as the interview was about to begin.
Vosburg started to explain that her young grandchildren were the artists responsible for the pictures when the reporter chimed in: "I thought you were going to say that the commissioners drew them."
Hackel couldn't suppress a chuckle and said: "I'm glad you said that, not me. If I had said that I, for sure, would have ended up in The Insider."
Mr. Executive, sometimes it's not what you say, it's what you don't say.

Past ‘haunts’ ex-prosecutor turned defense attorney

Barrister Bob Merrelli didn’t expect that his past as an assistant Macomb County prosecutor would come back to bite him as quickly as it did in his new role as a criminal defense attorney.
In his first appointed case assignment, he recognized a familiar name – his own -- on the document that details the charges.
Merrelli as part of his administrative duties in the prosecutors’ office, approved the warrant for his new client, who was charged with relatively minor drug offenses.
“It was hilarious,” Merrelli laughed. “My past is haunting me.”
His client, however, “didn’t think it was very funny,” Merrelli said in the county courthouse as he filled out paperwork to pass on the case.
Poor guy, he’s just trying to earn a living -- on both sides of the same profession.