Utility investigating after house explodes in Pontiac

Associated Press • Feb 4, 2019 at 8:00 AM

PONTIAC — Consumers Energy says a customer's house in Oakland County has been destroyed by an explosion.

An injured man was taken to a hospital Saturday night.

The explosion occurred at a house in Pontiac. Consumers Energy says a natural gas leak in the area was found and repaired, but the cause of the leak remains under investigation. The utility says the area is safe for residents and businesses.

The man's condition was not known.

Community service, apology ordered for damaging UP statue

MARQUETTE — A man has been ordered to perform community service and write an apology for damaging the statue of a longtime beloved figure in Marquette in the Upper Peninsula.

The late Phil Niemisto was known around Marquette for washing windows downtown. There's a tiny park named for him, and a statue of him sitting on a bench.

But police in September discovered that the statue was damaged. A hat on Niemisto's head was removed. TV station WLUC reports that 22-year-old James Vermeulen must complete 40 hours of community service and write an apology to the Marquette Downtown Development Authority.

The statue has been damaged at least three times.

Shoplifting suspect threw stolen gun before chase, arrest

KALAMAZOO – A 32-year-old Kalamazoo man was arrested on multiple charges Saturday including retail fraud, resisting arrest and possessing a stolen firearm, among others, according to the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.

The shoplifting occurred around 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at the D&W Fresh Market grocery store 2103 Parkview Ave., according to a news release issued by the department.

The suspect has not been identified and is awaiting arraignment on charges of retail fraud, resisting arrest and obstructing, carrying a concealed weapon, felon in possessions of a firearm, home invasion and receiving and concealing.

Officers responded on Saturday afternoon to D&W Fresh Market on a report of a shoplifting in progress. Officers attempted to detain the suspect in the store, but he broke free, discarded a firearm and fled on foot, the release reads.

The firearm was found to be stolen, officers added.

Officers chased the suspect a block away to Logan Avenue in Kalamazoo’s Oakwood neighborhood but lost sight of him. A search of the area with the assistance of a K-9 unit determined that the suspect was inside a home in the 2200 block of Logan Avenue.

Police secured the residence with assistance from Kalamazoo Metropolitan SWAT and the suspect was taken into custody without incident or injury, the release reads.

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