2012-08-23 / Front Page

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Weekend fire claims the home, pet of resident

MANISTIQUE – A Manistique home and pet were claimed by fire on Saturday, according to law enforcement officials. The home, at 615 Park Ave., was otherwise unoccupied at the time of the blaze.

Manistique Public Safety and volunteer firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 2:29 a.m., according to a press release from the department. At the time of arrival, the structure was fully engulfed in flames.

A power line serving the home was down, arcing high voltage electricity across a vehicle parked in the driveway. Despite this, firefighters were able to encircle the home with hose lines to eliminate the electrical hazard. The fire was deemed under control in approximately 15 minutes, and the scene was cleared at 4:30 a.m. the release states.

The home is owned by Connie Zellar of Manistique, and her son, Brad Zellar, resided in the structure. He was not present at the time of the fire, but his dog was later recovered by firefighters.

The structure remains intact but suffered heavy smoke and fire damage, and is considered a total loss.

The cause and origin of the fire remains under investigation by the Manistique Public Safety Department.

Area man enters plea agreement on charges

MANISTIQUE – A Manistique man accused of forgery and embezzlement from the Manistique Moose Lodge accepted a plea agreement on Wednesday in 11th Circuit Court.

Ray Eugene Hayford, 56, recently waved his preliminary hearing and was automatically bound over from 93rd District Court. He was originally charged with four counts of forgery, each carrying a maximum penalty of up to 14 years in prison, and one count of embezzlement over $1,000, but under $20,000, which carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

On Wednesday, Hayford plead guilty to one count of forgery, and will appear for sentencing on Oct. 25 at 10 a.m.

His arrest followed a joint investigation between the Michigan State Police – Manistique Detachment and the Schoolcraft County Sheriff’s Department.

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