Briefs 11/29/12

NW Staff

State News

The DNR has announced three cougar sightings in the U.P. this week, one of which was found in northern Marquette County and the other two near the Wisconsin border of Menominee County. All three sightings were taken by trail cameras on private property. According to DNR biologist Adam Bump, the increase in cougar sightings in past months can be accredited to the prominence of trail cameras and cooperation of the public in reporting cougar sightings, but also in the populations of transient cougars that are moving to eastern regions of the country in search of new territory. While cougars are native to Michigan, they are an endangered species and their numbers in the Upper Peninsula remain at less than 40.

National News

President Barack Obama said on Wednesday, Nov. 28, that he hopes to achieve an agreement with the U.S. Congress to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for those who earn under $250,000 prior to Christmas. Republicans in Congress want the Bush tax cuts to be extended, but also include those who earn $250,000 and above. Some Republicans, such as Rep. Tom Cole R-Okla., have made the argument that extending the tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans can still be a victory for their party and a nod to the former president. However, other Republicans, such as Republican House Speaker John Boehner, said half of the two percent of highest-earners are small business owners and raising their taxes will hurt small businesses and the economy.

International News

Maria Santos Gorrostieta, former mayor of Tiquicheo in the Mexican state of Michoacan, was assassinated in November. Since 2009, there have been at least three efforts to attempt to murder Gorrostieta. Last week Mexican officials found her body with her hands bound. Investigators said there was evidence showing she was struck in the back of the head. It was reported that she was kidnapped earlier this month while taking her daughter to school. The first attempted assassination of Gorrostieta resulted in the death of her husband and the next left her with bullet scars. CNN reported that Michoacan is an area of highly contested rival drug cartels, as well as smaller organized crime groups. It was reported that over the course of the multiple assassination attempts, the former mayor never sought protection from authorities.

Weird News

An Ohio woman has been put on probation for one year after breaking into a home, cleaning it and then leaving the owners a bill for $75 along with her phone number. Susan Warren, a 53-year-old woman, was sentenced Monday, Nov. 24 after she pleaded guilty for attempted burglary. Along with one year of probation, Warren must also do 20 hours of community service as part of her sentence. Warren told authorities that she “wanted something to do,” so she broke into the Westlake house, washed dishes, took out the trash, vacuumed and dusted before leaving the owners a bill written on a napkin. According to Warren, she owns a cleaning business and said she had broken into homes to clean previously.