News@noon: Carrie Fisher, '97 champs, Fraser
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, and the year has taken another star: Carrie Fisher, known to the world as Princess Leia of “Star Wars,” died Tuesday at 60, four days after falling ill aboard an airline flight. Media reports said the actress had suffered a heart attack.
Fisher's name has been added to a lengthy list of notable 2016 deaths, from pop music giants David Bowie and Prince to sports legends Muhammad Ali and Gordie Howe.
- Hundreds gathered last night to celebrate the sixth annual "Menorah in the D" at Campus Martius. On the fourth night of Hanukkah, a 26-foot-tall steel and glass representative of the candelabrum blazed to life against the darkened skyline.
- Strong sales during the holiday season have Michigan retailers confident that consumers will continue to spend through the first of the new year.
- The 1997 Red Wings champion team was back in town yesterday to reminisce about the historic day they brought Lord Stanley home to Detroit after a 42-year drought. Players also toured Little Caesars Arena.
- Michigan State University men's basketball rallied for a nail-biter win Tuesday night in overtime, topping Minnesota, 75-74, in its Big Ten opener.
Speaking of hockey...
- The Red Wings fell to last place in their division after a 4-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
- Since he was in town, former coach Scotty Bowman weighed in on the Wings' woes: The team lacks key ingredients needed to win, he says.
Michigan State Police have released age-progression images of Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton, who vanished during the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday. Their father, John Skelton, is serving 10 to 15 years in prison after pleading no contest to unlawful imprisonment, but he denies ever harming his sons.
Mentally ill, in jail
The number of mentally ill prisoners is growing in Michigan, prompting officials to pledge attention to the problem. The number of prisoners classified as having a mental illness has risen from 8,213 inmates in 2012 to 9,395 inmates this year — a 14 percent increase, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections.
What to do about Fraser
- A massive sinkhole that emerged over the weekend as result of a leaky sewer line between Utica and Hayes has raised questions of whether the infrastructure in the area is being properly maintained.
No drivers needed
- Ford Motor Co. plans to triple the number of autonomous test vehicles in its fleet in 2017, the company announced Wednesday.
- The standalone "Star Wars" film dominated the holiday box office, out-performing all competition including the animated animal musical “Sing,” the Jennifer Lawrence-Chris Pratt space tale “Passengers," and the R-rated comedy “Why Him?”
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