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Detroit pension fund supports 4.5 percent cut

DETROIT (AP) - Trustees who oversee a Detroit pension fund have voted in favor of a 4.5 percent cut for thousands of retirees.

Trustees meeting Wednesday supported a deal reached Tuesday between negotiators and the city of Detroit. It's part of the city's plan to eventually emerge from bankruptcy.

The General Retirement System covers retirees outside of the police and fire departments.

Besides a pension cut, retirees will be asked to give up annual cost-of-living payments. Retirees and Detroit's active employees who qualify for a pension will vote.

Pension fund spokeswoman Tina Bassett says it's the "best possible deal." Detroit says cuts are necessary because the fund is underfunded.

Police and fire retirees are covered by a different pension fund. They would see only a modest reduction in annual inflation payments.


Detroit still needs $350M from state lawmakers

DETROIT (AP) - Pressure is building for Michigan lawmakers to commit $350 million to Detroit pensions after the bankrupt city reached tentative agreements with pension funds and a retiree group.

The deals are tied to Detroit getting money from the state over 20 years, along with $466 million in private money, all to shore up pensions.

Retired police and firefighters would see smaller cost-of-living payments. Other city retirees would see a 4.5 percent pension cut. The $816 million vanishes if retirees don't vote in favor in the weeks ahead.

Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger says deals reached Tuesday are important. But he tells The Associated Press that persuading lawmakers to approve the money soon is difficult because of concerns in the Legislature.

Republicans control the House and Senate.


Board seeks return of some duties to Pontiac mayor

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) - A board appointed to help guide Pontiac from state oversight to local control wants to transfer budget and some other responsibilities from a city administrator to the mayor.

The Pontiac Receivership Transition Advisory Board has approved an amendment Wednesday that also would move the responsibility for the city's pensions and retirement benefits to the mayor's office and make the deputy mayor's job full-time.

Michigan's Treasury Department says Treasurer Kevin Clinton is expected to approve the amendment when it is officially submitted.

Governor Rick Snyder announced in August the appointment of the transition board. The Oakland County city has been under state oversight and run by an emergency manager since 2009.

Snyder says Pontiac officials "have demonstrated the collaboration and coordination necessary to assume additional authority."


Fermi 2 nuclear plant shuts for fix to transformer

FRENCHTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - DTE Energy Company says it's shut down the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant to replace one of the two main transformers.

The plant is along Lake Erie in Monroe County's Frenchtown Township.

Spokesman Guy Cerullo tells the Monroe News that the transformer wasn't working properly after the restart from a February refueling shutdown. He says the new shutdown began Wednesday morning.

The shutdown occurred as crews were bringing the plant back online after the refueling. DTE says its employees will install a spare transformer that's on hand at the plant.

Cerullo says that due to competitive reasons DTE won't disclose how long the shutdown is expected to last.

Fermi 2 first went online in 1988 and has a capacity of 1,100 megawatts.


Michigan: $600,000 mishandled by funeral director

STANDISH, Mich. (AP) - State Attorney General Bill Schuette says he's brought embezzlement charges against a northern Michigan funeral home operator in connection with mishandled payments for future funerals.

Schuette says in a release that an audit found 68-year-old Richard Weishuhn (wy-ZOON') of Standish didn't submit required yearly reports or maintain escrow accounts for $600,000 from 174 funeral contracts.

Weishuhn was arraigned Wednesday in Standish District Court and freed on a $25,000 personal bond. He owns R.O. Savage Funeral Chapel in the Arenac County community, about 25 miles north of Bay City.

A message left at the funeral home's phone was answered by David Ramsay of Lee-Ramsay and Rivertown funeral homes. Ramsay says Weishuhn is out of business and doesn't want to comment on the case.


Bicyclist, 62, struck and killed by motorist

WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A 62-year-old Pontiac man has been hit by a vehicle and killed while bicycling in Oakland County.

Waterford Township police say the man was crossing Telegraph Road in the crosswalk about 3 p.m. Wednesday when he was struck by the vehicle driven by a 65-year-old Monroe woman.

The driver was not injured.

Police were trying Wednesday afternoon to contact relatives of the victim. The accident remains under investigation.


Man's body found on Lake Michigan beach identified

LUDINGTON, Mich. (AP) - The frozen body of a man found on a remote Lake Michigan beach has been identified as a missing Wisconsin resident.

Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole confirmed Wednesday that the body belonged to 48-year-old Allen Townsend of Sheboygan.

Townsend last was seen in November in Wisconsin. Authorities believe his body drifted across the lake to western Michigan.

An autopsy was performed, but a cause of death has yet to be determined.

Three bicyclists found the body Tuesday night along the shoreline about 3 miles north of Big Point Sable Lighthouse. The lighthouse is located north of Ludington.

Cole has said the body may have been on the beach for months.

No foul play is suspected.


Woman sentenced in death of infant daughter

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan woman who lost custody of her other children has been sentenced to at least two years in prison for involuntary manslaughter in the death of her infant.

Jackson County Circuit Judge John McBain on Wednesday sentenced 31-year-old Amanda Redman to two to five years behind bars in the death of her daughter, Amillia. The Jackson Citizen Patriot reports Redman earlier pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Amillia was found dead in her home in Jackson County's Blackman Township on April 2nd, 2013. Authorities say Redman awoke following a night of drinking to find the baby beneath her chest on the sofa. The cause of death was determined to be suffocation.

Amillia was Redman's seventh child. Rights to her other children were terminated in cases dating back to 2001.

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