Inmates sentenced to life in prison as juveniles get chance at parole

By JASON KRAFT
Capital News Service
LANSING – A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that juveniles sentenced to life in prison should be guaranteed a shot at parole came three months too late for one Michigan man. Stephen Osterhout of Gaylord saw no end to his lifelong imprisonment, according to longtime friend Linda Day. He took his life behind bars this past October. The Jan. 26 court ruling means that about 350 inmates in Michigan serving life sentences without parole for crimes they committed as juveniles could get a chance at parole.

Criminal probes of Southwest Michigan farm fraud continue

By ERIC FREEDMAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — A Southwest Michigan grain farmer has been sentenced to prison for cheating the federal government of almost $525,000 through fraudulent crop insurance claims and misuse of marketing assistance loans. U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney ordered Leonard “Lenny” Kolberg Jr., who owned Kolberg Farms in Bangor, Van Buren County, to serve a year and a day behind bars. He had faced a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Maloney also assessed $99,641 in restitution to the government, representing the unpaid loan balance. Court documents in the Kolberg case — some of them sealed — suggest a broader investigation into farm fraud is underway by the Inspector General’s Office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.