Monthly Archives: April 2017

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**Update**Cleveland murder suspect Steve Stephens kills himself after pursuit

Category : Wanted

Update: 4/18/17 12:00pm

Cleveland (CNN)[Breaking news update at 11:52 a.m. ET]

Steve Stephens, the Cleveland murder suspect accused of posting video of the killing on Facebook, was found Tuesday in Erie County, Pennsylvania, state police said on Twitter.
“After a brief pursuit, Stephens shot and killed himself,” Pennsylvania State Police said.

Associated Press Article

CLEVELAND (AP) — In a rambling video, Steve Stephens said, “I snapped, I just snapped.” But as the manhunt dragged on Monday for the man accused of posting Facebook footage of himself killing a retiree, police were unable to explain what set him off.

“Only Steve knows that,” Cleveland police Chief Calvin Williams said as authorities posted a $50,000 reward for Stephens’ capture in the shooting of Robert Godwin Sr., a 74-year-old former foundry worker.

“He could be nearby. He could be far away or anywhere in between,” FBI agent Stephen Anthony said on Day 2 of the manhunt for Steve Stephens, a 37-year-old job counselor for teens and young adults.

Police said Stephens killed Robert Godwin Sr., a 74-year-old former foundry worker, on Sunday.

Investigators said that Godwin was the only victim so far linked to Stephens, despite the suspect’s claim in a separate video on Facebook that he killed over a dozen people.

Officers searched dozens of places around the city and spoke with the suspect by cellphone, police said.

In the video, Stephens blamed a former girlfriend he had lived with, saying he woke up last week and “couldn’t take it anymore.” But in a statement Monday, the woman shed little light on what might have gone wrong and said Stephens was good to her and her children.

As for the shooting victim, Godwin appeared to have been selected at random, gunned down while picking up aluminum cans Sunday afternoon after spending Easter with some of his children.

A manhunt that started in Cleveland’s gritty east side expanded rapidly into a nationwide search for Stephens, a 37-year-old job counselor who worked with teens and young adults, police said.

“He could be nearby. He could be far away or anywhere in between,” FBI agent Stephen Anthony said.

Authorities also warned people in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan to be alert for Stephens. Law enforcement officials said his cellphone signal was last detected on Sunday afternoon in Erie, Pennsylvania, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Cleveland.
Police reported getting dozens and dozens of tips, and nine schools in Philadelphia were locked down Monday while authorities investigated possible sightings of Stephens. But they said there was no sign he was actually there.

Some of those who know Stephens described him as pleasant and kind, while some said he had a gambling problem. He filed for bankruptcy two years ago.

In another video posted to Facebook, Stephens said that he gambled away everything and that he and his girlfriend had planned to marry but didn’t, without saying why.

“He got along with everybody, so it’s just unbelievable what happened,” said Alexis Lee, a friend who saw Stephens last week.

The police chief said: “We are not going to pinpoint a specific thing and say this is what triggered this, because we don’t know.”

Godwin’s daughter said he was killed while collecting cans in a plastic shopping bag.

“Not because he needed the money, it was just something he did,” said 52-year-old Debbie Godwin. “That’s all he was doing. He wasn’t harming anyone.”

She said her father, who had 10 children, was a gentle man with nothing mean about him.

Dozens of family, friends and community members gathered Monday evening in Cleveland for a vigil to remember Godwin. They hugged and comforted each other, while urging an end to the violence on their city streets.

In the shooting video, Stephens told Godwin a woman’s name and said, “She’s the reason that this is about to happen to you.” The victim did not seem to recognize the woman’s name. The gunman then pointed a weapon at Godwin, who shielded his face with the plastic bag.

The woman Stephens spoke of, Joy Lane, said in a text to CBS that “we had been in a relationship for several years. I am sorry that all of this has happened.” She said Stephens was “a nice guy” who was generous to everyone.

The video of the killing was on Facebook for about three hours before it was taken down.

Investigators said that Godwin was the only victim so far linked to Stephens, despite his claim in a separate video on Facebook that he killed more than a dozen people.

Detectives spoke with Stephens on Sunday by cellphone and tried to persuade him to surrender, police said.

Stephens worked at Beech Brook, a social services agency in suburban Cleveland that deals with vulnerable young people. He helped them gain job skills and find employment, said Beech Brook spokeswoman Nancy Kortemeyer.

An extensive background check before he was hired turned up nothing worrisome, she said.

Stephens filed for bankruptcy in January 2015. His attorney at the time, Trent Binger, said Monday that he remembered Stephens discussing gambling problems.

“He was an easy client to deal with,” Binger said. “Always respectful to me … well-mannered.”


Associated Press reporters Dake Kang and Delano Massey in Cleveland and John Seewer in Toledo contributed to this report.


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Statewide Tornado Drill – 1pm EST, April 19, 2017

Category : Severe Weather

Statewide Tornado Drill

Save the Date: 2017 Statewide Tornado Drill

(Source: MSP)
With Michigan’s 2017 Severe Weather Awareness Week scheduled from April 16-22, local and state emergency management officials are asking Michiganders to take action to prepare by participating in a statewide tornado drill at 1:00 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

Government agencies, organizations, families and individuals are encouraged to be a part of this statewide preparedness activity, but are not required to do so. Nearly all state of Michigan facilities will be participating.

While tornadoes can occur during any time of the year, they are especially common during the late spring and early summer months. As one of nature’s most violent storms, they can devastate homes and property in just seconds.

The average lead time for tornadoes to develop is 10 to 15 minutes, which means citizens need to be ready to react quickly when a warning is issued. By taking a few extra steps and participating in the statewide tornado drill, citizens and businesses will be ready well in advance if a tornado ever occurs.

In the event of severe weather, the statewide tornado drill will be postponed until 1:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 20, 2017.

To learn more about tornado safety, read the Tornado Safety Packet

About Severe Weather Awareness Week

Severe Weather Awareness Week is sponsored by the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division and Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness (MCSWA) to educate the public about the dangers of tornadoes and other severe weather events, including the precautions that can be taken to save lives and protect families. The MCSWA was formed in 1991 to encourage Michigan residents to be prepared in the event of severe weather. To learn more about the committee, go to

Public Service Announcements

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“Zero Tolerance” Dogs at Large

Category : Enforcement

Due to recent events and several dogs at large complaints, the Bangor Police Department now has a “Zero Tolerance” policy in regards to Dogs at Large.

Dog at Large Definition:
An animal is always regarded as being “at large” when it is off its owner’s premises, without a leash, and without a person to control the animal.

Owners of dogs found at large will be subject to a citation up to a misdemeanor.

-Chief Simpson

Michigan Law – Animals at Large:
433.12 Animals running at large prohibited; violation as misdemeanor.

Sec. 2. (1) An animal shall not run at large in this state.
(2) The owner of an animal shall not permit or enable his animal to run at large in this state.
(3) A person other than the owner of an animal shall not wilfully and knowingly enable an animal to run at large in this state.
(4) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor. History: 1976, Act 328, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.

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U Drive. U Text. U PAY!

Category : Enforcement

(Source: Van Buren 911 Dispatch)

Van Buren County is Ready to Crack Down on Texting-Law Violators. During Third National Texting Enforcement Crackdown
Michigan Law Enforcement Joins National Anti-Texting Effort to Save Lives.

During April, law enforcement officers will be stepping up patrols for motorists who text while driving. The national U Drive. U Text. U Pay. High-visibility enforcement campaign has two goals: conduct enforcement of anti-texting laws and advertise these efforts with media and social media outreach to make drivers aware of the enforcement and encourage them to obey the law.

“Driving and texting is not only dangerous and irresponsible – it’s illegal,” said Sheriff Daniel E. Abbott. “Drivers who break our state’s texting law will be stopped and cited.

Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it involves the three main types of distraction:

* Visual – taking your eyes off the road.
* Manual – taking your hands off the wheel.
* Cognitive – taking your mind off the task of driving.

Michigan’s texting law prohibits drivers from reading, manually typing or sending a text message while driving. Violating the texting law can be costly. Drivers convicted of a first offense can be fined $100; subsequent offenses are $200.

Distracted driving statistics paint a grim picture. In 2014, an estimated 3,179 people were killed nationwide and an additional 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

According to a 2014 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, the risk of a crash or near-crash among novice drivers increased with the performance of many secondary tasks, including texting and dialing cell phones.

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**Update**911 caller helps stop possible drunk driver in Bangor

Category : Crime

(News Channel 3 – WWMT)

Police are crediting a Bangor man for helping them track down a drunk driver. 26-year-old Shakara Nichols-Johnson was arrested on Friday March 31st for allegedly driving drunk. Newschannel 3 spoke to the man who called 911 dispatchers.

Lucas Koenig was driving westbound on M43 near Bangor last Friday when he saw a car driving erratically. He says it was swerving back and forth and nearly hit his car and other vehicles.


“She crossed the center line. They swerved around her. She came back across behind us almost clipping us,” Koenig said.


Koenig said someone needed to act to get that driver off the road, so he called 911. Police later identified the driver as Nichols-Johnson, and inside the car with her was a four-year-old girl.

“Told [dispatchers] that there was something seriously wrong. She almost hit two vehicles at that point already, and I didn’t think she was going to make it into Bangor without hitting somebody head on,” said Koenig.

Koenig knows the Bangor area well, so as he followed Nichols-Johnson he clearly communicated to dispatch where they were, what car she was driving, and what she looked like.

He said, “So we were able to maintain visual on her until the Bangor Police intercepted her at Speedway.”

At the Speedway gas station Bangor Police administered a breathalyzer test and say Nichols-Johnson was above the legal limit. Chief Tommy Simpson says the public can learn from Koenig’s actions.

“I feel like anybody in that situation, if you see something like that, you need to report it,” Koenig said.

Nichols-Johnson was arrested and charged with operating while intoxicated with a child under 16 in the car. She was also driving on a suspended license.

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Drunk Driving Arrest – 4yr old in car

Category : Crime

(Click Here for News Channel 3 post and video)

Bangor, MI (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – A Kalamazoo County woman is in jail accused of driving drunk with a 4-year-old in the car.

Newschannel 3’s Christine VanTimmeren reports from Van Buren County, where the suspect is still in custody.

Not only do police say 26-year-old Shakara Nichols-Johnson was intoxicated… But the 4-year-old girl in the car was not in a car seat. Nichols-Johnson is sitting in the Van Buren County jail after being arrested on March 31.

Bangor Police said 911 calls started coming in just before 2 p.m. about a woman driving erratically on M-43 toward Bangor.

Bangor Police Chief Tommy Simpson said, “The calls were the person was driving at excessive speeds, nearly running off the road. Running people off the road.”

According to the police report, witnesses said Nichols-Johnson crossed the center line and almost hit an oncoming vehicle.

Witnesses followed her to the Speedway Gas Station where police caught up and found a 4-year-old girl asleep in the back seat of the car.

Simpson said, “She wakes up to an officer, that’s got to be scary.”

Police said that Nichols-Johnson agreed to field sobriety tests and a breath test and she blew just over the legal limit.

Initially, police said she gave them a fake name and said she was the girl’s mom, but it was later determined she was not the girl’s mom and police took the 4-year-old from the scene. Police later determined the Nichols-Johnson was the girl’s step-mother.

Simpson said, “She was taken to our city hall where our city manager and city clerk took care of her while we handled this.”

Simpson said all of that is a very dangerous combination for her and the 4-year-old girl.

He said, “Busy highway, heavy traffic, mixed with alcohol and who knows what else and an unrestrained 4-year-old.”

Police said Nichols-Johnson initially gave a false name, doesn’t have a valid driver’s license and has three outstanding warrants out of Kalamazoo County. She is being held in the Van Buren County jail on bond.

Simpson credits the witnesses who called 911 and followed Nichols-Johnson for possibly saving lives.

He said, “And then once we were there got in contact with us and giving us the full information that really helped out.”

-News Channel 3

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Join us at Bangor’s Springtime Community Picnic!

Category : Community , PayItForward

Come meet the Officers and let your kids checkout our Police Cars.

Tons of activities!
(All FREE)
Free Burgers and Hotdogs fresh off of the grill!
Movie at Dark
Check the link out for more info…
Contact us if you would like to volunteer or Sponsor the Picnic!
-We are looking for people to help provide tortilla chips & salsa!

Sponsored by:
Bangor Apple Festival
Bangor Community Fire Department
Bangor Public Schools
Bangor Vikings Club
Bangor Police Department
Harding’s Friendly Market
City of Bangor
Pride Care