Southwest Michigan Today: Monday March 12, 2018

Mar 12, 2018

The state Senate moves legislation designed to prevent sexual abuse in the wake of the scandal at Michigan State University. A Kalamazoo church says it will offer sanctuary to a woman facing deportation. WMU softball ends its Florida trip with the Broncos' eighth straight win. The K-Wings move back into their division's final playoff spot. 

The state Senate plans to take up legislation reacting to the case of serial sex offender Larry Nassar. He’s the former Michigan State University sports doctor convicted of multiple charges of sexually assaulting young patients. The bills would do things like change the statute of limitations in criminal and civil sexual assault cases. They would also require coaches and trainers to report suspicions of abuse to authorities. Republican Senator Margaret O’Brien of Portage has led the charge on the legislation. She says they clarified some definitions and made sure that employers would be required to tell employees if they are legally required to report suspected abuse.

Michigan’s “OK-2-SAY” program received a record number of tips detailing threats against schools in February. Officials from the state Attorney General’s Office say there were about 700 tips sent to the dispatch headquarters. Of those… 119 were threats made against schools. Attorney General Bill Schuette's spokesperson Andrea Bitely says when students submit a report Michigan State Police troopers trained to work with children follow up to learn more details about the threat. She says the department then may reach out to local law enforcement community mental health officials…or the school involved.

Leaders of a Kalamazoo church say they will provide sanctuary for a woman facing deportation. A news conference is scheduled for Monday morning at First Congregational church. The group Michigan United says the 62 year old woman is from Pakistan. The church says it plans to protect the woman from Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Officials in northern Michigan’s largest school district will meet Monday night for the superintendent’s annual performance evaluation. That comes amidst allegations of gender-based discrimination against Traverse City Area Public Schools Superintendent Paul Soma. On Saturday … the school board held a special meeting to discuss complaints of bullying and intimidation. More than 60 people came to the meeting … mostly to show support for Soma – who denies the allegations. The school board will decide if they plan to renew Soma’s contract. Otherwise, it will expire at the end of June. (Interlochen Public Radio

Western Michigan concluded its 12 game spring softball trip with a 3-1 win over Rider. The Broncos won their last eight games in Florida to improve to 13-10 overall. Western will play its home opener on Wednesday with a double header against Fort Wayne.

In hockey, Kalamazoo won at Fort Wayne Sunday 6-3. The win puts the K-Wings ahead of Kansas City for the fourth and final playoff spot in the ECHL’s Central Division. Kalamazoo will host Brampton on Tuesday.