LLR Pages

Friday, May 9, 2008

Autopsy Results from Richard and Brenda Kowalski's Bodies Sealed

Autopy results that were completed after an examination of Richard and Brenda Kowalski, the slain Osceola couple and brother of suspect Jerome Kowalksi, are now sealed. According to Channel 4 WDIV, the results of the autopsy won't be released.

Here's the article in question:

Autopsy Conducted On Slain Couple

POSTED: 5:02 pm EDT May 6, 2008
UPDATED: 6:40 pm EDT May 6, 2008

LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. -- Police are not releasing the results of an autopsy conducted on an Oceola Township couple that was found dead Thursday.

Police said the one of the couple's sons went to check on his mother, Brenda Kowalski, 58, and stepfather, Richard, 65, at their home in the 5400 block of Lyngre Drive Thursday afternoon because he had not heard from them in a couple of days and found them both dead in the kitchen.

Police are staying tight-lipped and are not releasing any details of the autopsy or if they are investigating a murder/ suicide or a double homicide.

Neighbors told Local 4 they think the couple was shot to death because investigators asked whether they heard any gunshots in the area.

Neighbors said they were not aware of any personal or money problems and the couple always seemed happy.

Detectives said there was no sign of forced entry.

The home is in Livingston County, about 45 miles northwest of Detroit.

Restauranteurs Now Steamed Over Michigan's Impending Smoking Ban

Apparently a large number of restauranteurs all over the state of Michigan are up in arms over the soon-to-be-passed statewide smoking ban.

Here's the Detroit Free Press piece in its entirety:

May 9, 2008

Restaurateurs steamed up over smoking ban

By Kristofer Karol

Restaurateurs are popping off at legislators after the state Senate approved a bill Thursday that would ban smoking in bars, restaurants and workplaces.

The bill now heads back to the House, where it's all but expected to pass, and then it will be good-bye to smoking in many Michigan establishments.

'We have no rights,' Hamburg Pub owner Mike Mills said. 'I know it's not a healthy thing to be smoking, but who are they to tell us? It's like them telling us how much to sell our hamburgers or beer for.

'I'm all for whatever we can do to raise Cain with it.'

Mills estimates 75 percent of his clientele smokes and that he doesn't know what he's going to do to keep his customers, especially in a down economy.

Brenda Sears, manager of Lucky's Pub in Fowlerville, estimates that virtually her entire clientele smokes and that 'very few' people ever come in and ask for a non-smoking area.

'I believe it's going to hurt the business, especially if it's more of a bar-type atmosphere,' Sears said. Ninety-nine percent of the people like to smoke when they're drinking.'

Some restaurateurs say their colleagues are overreacting.

Sharon Kisak, co-owner of the Yum Yum Tree in Brighton, voluntarily made her restaurant smoke-free in 1993. It was the first restaurant in the county to do so.

'I had customers say if you do it, you will not see us again and there were some we didn't see again, but more said we'll come because it is smoke free,' Kisak said.

'(It was) maybe three months where business dropped, but then it came up again. As word got out you couldn't smoke, the non-smokers came here.'

Craig Heath, owner of Brighton Bar & Grill in Brighton, also made the switch to a smoke-free establishment in November 2006.

While he made the change, he still doesn't support the smoking ban.

'Overall, I think it has been the right thing for Brighton Bar & Grill, but that doesn't mean it's the right thing for all restaurants,' Heath said.

'Some are complete bars, some are bars that have food, some are restaurants that have some alcohol — there's all different kinds of restaurants with or without alcohol.'

State Reps. Chris Ward, R-Genoa Township, and Joe Hune, R-Hamburg Township, said they will oppose the bill when it is up for a vote in the House.

'This is yet another good way to drive businesses out of the state,' Hune said. 'Who am I to tell the Bloated Goat in Fowlerville how to run their business?'

Ward said he voted against the measure before and he will again.

'I just don't understand why the market can't sort this out,' Ward said. 'It's all well and good until it's your bad habit they go after.'

While business owners are noticeably upset with the bill, Cleary's Kevin Cleary offered a silver lining.

'Everybody's got to play by the same rules,' Cleary said, adding it's not just the Howell establishment's business that would be affected.

David Beauchamp, owner of Champ's Pub in Brighton, said he has already taken a proactive approach with smoking, including adding state-of-the-art ventilation filters.

The last thing he needs, he noted, is more regulation from the state.

'This is like my family room,' Beauchamp said, 'and I should be able to run it the way, within the law, I see fit.'

Jerome Kowalski Now Charged With Murder of Brother and Sister-in-law

Jerome Kowalski, the man who was placed under arrest under suspicion of murder of his brother Richard and his wife (Jerome's sister-in-law) Brenda, has been charged with the crime of shooting and killing them in the kitchen of their home in Oceola Township in Livingston County.

As of this moment, Kowalski has been arraigned "on two counts of felony murder and one count felony firearm" in the murders and has been placed "under suicide watch" at the Livingston County jail. Interestingly enough, his bond has been denied, and a preliminary exam has been scheduled for next Tuesday. After all, he has been deemed "a person of interestfrom the beginning," as noted by one of the Michigan State Police detectives who is involved in the investigation.

What's even a red-flag raiser is that "neither the contents of the note nor a motive of the crime" have been disclosed. However, what's even MORE of a red-flag raiser is that law enforcement officials, while publicly not saying that they have a murder weapon, apparently have not found the murder weapon that was allegedly used in the crime. Oh, and let's not forget: they don't even have any other suspects on their radar.

As I noted before, the state had insufficient evidence to prove that Kowalski committed the crimes. However, now it's becoming clearer that the evidence it has on him is purely circumstantial. If Kowalski is to be charged with murder, where's the murder weapon? Did the weapon happen to have his fingerprints on it? Did or did he not have an alibi in this matter? Those are paramount questions in order to determine whether or not Kowalski is to be charged of a crime that he may have committed.

The charges pending against Kowalski is purely circumstantial at best. However, I feel the state will hound him and crucify him for a crime that he may not have committed.

Michiganders' Reaction to Smoking Ban

Apparently there is a statewide reaction to the looming smoking ban that will dominate Michigan. Some Michiganders, according to several Michigan news reports, are for the ban; others are worried about it.

Here are a few samples of the responses from people who reacted to the ban:

Chef-owner Mary Brady of Diamond Jim Brady's in Novi declared her restaurant smoke-free on Jan. 1 and said the results have been 'extremely positive' and that employees 'absolutely love it.'

She lost a couple of regular customers, she said, 'but I will say we got more people in than people we lost.'

But Brady then has a shift in tone of her attitude when he admits the following:

But in a reflection of the mixed feelings within the industry, she said that she agrees with the MRA's opposition to the ban.

The association wants the decision left up to individual owners and is especially unhappy about possible exemptions to the rules for American Indian-run casinos.

'I agree with their position. There are so many government mandates, this is just one more,' Brady said. 'And what about sports bars, where people go to smoke and drink and watch TV?

'I felt good that I could make the choice on my own ... and somebody didn't hold an ax over my head.'

The piece even reveals that other restauranteurs have been overwhelmingly relieved upon hearing news of the ban:

Co-owner Chris Johnston said he felt that he had no choice but to permit smoking, even though he dislikes it, when he and his partners opened the Emory, an attractive restaurant and bar on Woodward Avenue in Ferndale two years ago.

'Because we have mouths to feed and employees to take care of, it would have been too risky a move' not to allow it, he said. 'We're not a major chain with deep pockets. We have to do what will keep the place open.'

These people just don't get it.

If an individual owner wants to prohibit smoking on his establishment because his customers are demanding that the vice shouldn't be allowed on the premises, then the owner should be responding to market demand for his customers' business and making the decision to ban smoking on his property. After all, this is consistent with the libertarian principle of private property rights. It's his right, and he should do what is necessary to please his customers.

But when the state gets involved and decides a one-size-fits-all policy for everyone else, then it effectively destroys private property rights by making it illegal for owners to decide whether to keep the vice in his establishment. That's wrong, considering government is SUPPOSED to be protecting private property rights and not destroying them.

Besides, this is a form of state-mandated discrimination imposed upon the cigarette-smoking populace. Not only that, it's a subsidized state-mandated discrimination. How about equal protection under the law? Isn't that what we were supposed to have? No, wait, according to the collectivists, we need, "Equal treatment under the law." Translation: special rights for one group, but no equal rights for the other.

This is all done in the name of political correctness in the state, which has run amuck. So much for the socialist doctrine of "No discrimination!" in our society. This is government-approved discrimination -- not to mention socialism -- in its own worst form.

Or, as some would prefer to call it, Nanny Statism. You pick the word.