4 found slain in Detroit home
DETROIT — Four people were found shot to death in a Detroit home, authorities said Wednesday, padding the city's homicide total that already has surpassed last year's.
Officers discovered the bodies of a teenage boy, two men and woman Tuesday night at a home in an east-side neighborhood. Investigators believed the killings were drug-related, police spokeswoman Yvette Walker said.
The Wayne County medical examiner's office identified the victims Wednesday as Shawn Bender, 16; Janetta Harris, 22; Jason Koester, 28; and Dyrelle Davis, 34. Harris died of multiple gunshot wounds, while the other three were shot in the head, according to the office.
House panel approves Blues overhaul
LANSING — A House panel has approved a proposal to end Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's tax-exempt status and transform it from a charitable trust to customer-owned nonprofit.
House Insurance Committee Chairman Pete Lund says a twice-postponed hearing Wednesday came after lawmakers ironed out most concerns with the legislation. The vote sends the bill to the House floor.
The legislation passed the Republican-controlled Senate in October.
Supporters say it modernizes the insurer and allows it to be taxed and regulated as its competitors. Critics counter it short-shrifts the elderly and reduces oversight of a company controlling 70 percent of the market.
Soldier from Mich. dies at Fort Benning
VASSAR — Officials say a 31-year-old soldier originally from Michigan who was deployed once to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan has died of a heart condition at Fort Benning, Ga.
Hanlin Funeral Home says Sgt. 1st Class Jacob Schlereth of Opelika, Ala., died Nov. 27 at the base.
Schlereth was born in Saginaw and previously lived in Vassar, about 70 miles northwest of Detroit. He was a 1999 graduate of Vassar High School.
He spent most of his military career at Fort Campbell, Ky., and more recently was stationed at Fort Benning as a reconnaissance instructor.
His wife Margaret tells Mlive.com that soldiers he deployed with "looked up to him," some calling him "Papa Bear."
Schlereth had received two bronze stars, among other honors. Survivors include his wife and son Caleb.