Students and area residents with impending court cases: The trials of MSU student Albert Robinson and nonstudents Roy Holt and Joel Hamlar will begin May 10 with jury selection.
Arrest warrants were issued Tuesday for 11 students accused of a money laundering conspiracy as part of an organized fraud scheme against the MSU Federal Credit Union, MSU police said. Police also are seeking warrants for four more students on similar charges. Money laundering is disguising illegally obtained money in a financial system, such as a bank, and conspiring to do so is a 20-year felony.
Police and university officials hope to start a university chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD, to get students involved in prevention and education activities. "It's one thing for the police to talk about the dangers; it's another thing to hear it from your peers," MSU police Inspector Kelly Beck said. East Lansing police Chief Tom Wibert said he hopes to establish a student organization with police officers as resources. Wibert and Beck met with Mary Ann Bair, the MADD Michigan program director, earlier this month to discuss starting a UMADD chapter at MSU. Bair could not be reached for comment. When Wibert became police chief last May, he said he made drunken driving prevention a priority.
There have been three reported cases of prowlers in East Lansing neighborhoods in the past three weeks, police said. A 20-year-old Tecumseh man was arrested for prowling and disorderly conduct when caught opening the screen to a basement window at a house on Michigan Avenue at 5:30 a.m.
Firefighters were able to extinguish a fire that spread over part of an Okemos house, yard and surrounding forest Tuesday afternoon. There were no injuries and the fire was under control within 50 minutes, said Meridian Township Fire Department Battalion Chief Rocky Larner. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and property owners would not comment. Larner said he did not know an estimated amount of damage. While firefighters secured the house and surrounding area, tankers carrying thousands of gallons of water waited at the end of the long driveway in case more water was needed. Since the rural area doesn't have fire hydrants, volunteers from the Ingham County Tanker Task Force will haul as much as 30,000 gallons of water to the scene of a fire, said Don Gailey. Gailey organized the task force more than 10 years ago. He waited in a large red tanker truck, which holds 3,000 gallons, in case more water was needed Tuesday afternoon. Gailey, a retired Mason resident who's been a volunteer fireman for nearly 50 years, organized the task force after realizing the need for organization at a large fire about 15 years ago. There were tankers before, he said, but they weren't organized.