Snowmobile crashes claim lives
CHERRY GROVE TOWNSHIP — Authorities say two men have died after separate snowmobile crashes in the same township in northwestern Lower Michigan.
MLive.com reports a 51-year-old man died Friday night at a hospital after crashing in Wexford County’s Cherry Grove Township, near Cadillac. Earlier in the day, a 61-year-old man died at the scene of his crash.
Authorities say both snowmobilers struck trees along backwoods trails.
Man critically hurt in 3-story fall
GRAND RAPIDS — Authorities in Grand Rapids say a 20-year-old man has been critically injured after falling from a third-story window.
Police say he was attending a party early Saturday morning in an apartment. Witnesses told detectives that he sat on the sill of an open dining-room window, leaned back and fell onto a concrete slab.
Investigators say he was taken to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries. They also say alcohol was a factor in the accident.
Police say he has been identified but aren’t releasing his name.
Student-led vigil honors firefighter
MATTAWAN — A firefighter who suffered a fatal heart attack while responding to a southwestern Michigan blaze was remembered at a vigil organized by students at his former high school who sought to create an event “that wasn’t so sad.”
About 50 mourners attended the vigil Friday night outside Mattawan High School for 22-year-old Nathan Fruin, who joined the fire department after graduating in 2009.
Fruin was riding in a support vehicle west of Kalamazoo in Van Buren County when he fell ill. The driver pulled to the roadside and summoned help. Fruin died Feb. 26 at a hospital after complaining of chest pains.
Report issued after train accidents
NILES — Federal officials say railroad accidents last year in Michigan and Illinois were caused by workers not following required safety precautions.
The National Transportation Safety Board said Friday that both the Feb. 28 accident in Madison, Ill., and the Oct. 21 accident near the southwestern Michigan city of Niles involved signal maintenance operations. It issued recommendations to address the improper use of jumper wires during maintenance and repairs.
A motorist died in Illinois after her vehicle collided with an Amtrak train. Officials say the gate arms were up and warning lights were deactivated.
Another Amtrak train derailed in Michigan, and investigators say the train was on the wrong track due to a reversed switch. Fourteen people were injured.
The Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Railroad Administration have 90 days to respond.
Race Card Project comes to U-M
ANN ARBOR — University of Michigan says it’s the first university to take part in a project aimed at fostering conversations about race.
The Race Card Project will be introduced Tuesday on the Ann Arbor campus along with its creator, Michele Norris. The African-American journalist developed the project during a sabbatical from National Public Radio.
The project gathers participants’ six-word descriptions about their views on race, ethnicity and cultural identity. The responses are written on postcards or online forms.
Cards will be distributed to students at several campus locations.
Norris will meet with students, faculty and staff and plans to return April 18, when the filled-out race cards will be displayed on campus. She also plans to conduct a town-hall meeting on race on that day.
Detroit Zoo to host clothing drive
ROYAL OAK — The Salvation Army plans to collect clothing and household goods at the Detroit Zoo this weekend and next.
Goods and used but usable clothing can be dropped off at a Salvation Army truck in the front parking lot of the zoo in Royal Oak on both Saturday and Sunday. The drive also will be held March 16-17.
A tax receipt will be available on request at the time of donation.
Donations can be made without paying for admission or parking at the zoo.
Donations to the Salvation Army’s thrift stores generate funding for the Southeast Michigan Adult Rehabilitation Center, which offers a program that provides food, shelter, education and counseling services to those re-establishing their lives free from alcohol and chemical dependencies.