Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. EDT


Michigan prisons bar lipstick kisses on mail, homemade cards

(Information from: Detroit Free Press,

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — New rules at the Michigan Department of Corrections ban inmates from receiving mail with homemade greeting cards, perfume or lipstick kisses.

The rules going into effect Oct. 1 also require mail to be written in blue or black ink or lead pencil. The policy also forbid stickers, including address labels.

Department spokeswoman Holly Kramer tells the Detroit Free Press the rules are aimed at banning contraband from entering prisons. She says drugs can be circulated in thin strips and concealed under a sticker or other items.

Doug Tjapkes is president of Humanity for Prisoners in Grand Haven. He says inmates and their families oppose the new rules.

Brenda Bradley of Novi has sent perfume-scented letters to an imprisoned friend. She says such personal touches are a “basic human right.”



GOP campaign operative encourages Kid Rock to run for Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of a super PAC aligned with Senate GOP leadership is encouraging performer Kid Rock to run for Senate against Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

The comments from Steven Law on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program Friday were surprising. Law insisted he was quite serious, saying his group would be “very interested” in a Kid Rock candidacy.

Kid Rock has made some moves to consider the race, including creating a campaign website. Law pointed to a recent poll in which the entertainer trailed Stabenow by eight points, saying it’s “not a bad place to start.”

Law said he hadn’t spoken with Kid Rock, whose given name is Robert James Ritchie. But he said that despite the entertainer’s redneck image, “He’s a pretty smart guy.”


Michigan reverses 70 percent of fraud cases, to refund $21M

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The state of Michigan says it has reversed 70 percent of unemployment benefit fraud cases and is refunding $20.8 million after people were wrongly accused of collecting excessive benefits.

The Unemployment Insurance Agency announced the results of a review Friday. It reviewed more than 62,000 cases for people who were assessed a fraud penalty and did not seek an appeal. About 44,000 cases were reversed.

Michigan has been under fire for a computer system that wrongly churned out cases of fraud. Last month, it dropped criminal charges against 186 people.

Over a two-year period, Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration mostly relied on the computer system to flag thousands of people. They were hit with penalties, wage garnishments and lost tax refunds — before the state admitted it was wrong.


Michigan civil rights agency condemns ‘no foreigners’ sign

(Information from: Lansing State Journal,

MASON, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Department of Civil Rights has opened a complaint against a man whose front-yard sign advertising the sale of his home indicates he won’t sell to foreigners.

The sign in front of Iraq veteran James Prater’s home in Mason says “Terms No foreigners Iraq vet” next to “For Sale by Owner.”

The civil rights department says the sign violates state and federal laws against discrimination based on national origin.

The Lansing State Journal reported Friday that department spokeswoman Vicki Levengood says the agency filed the complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Prater said in a previous interview he hasn’t discriminated against anyone because he’s had no offers.



3 arrested in Detroit drive-by that killed 14-year-old girl

DETROIT (AP) — Three men have been arrested in the slaying of a 14-year-old girl and wounding of her 17-year-old brother and another person during a drive-by shooting in Detroit.

The Wayne County prosecutor’s office says 19-year-old Robert H. Moore faces first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder, using a firearm during a felony and other charges.

Prosecutors also say 24-year-old Dwayne Sharpe and 19-year-old Anthony Rodgers face first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder and other charges.

Shots were fired into the living room of a northeast Detroit home about 10:40 p.m. on Aug. 3.

The girl was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Moore and Sharpe were arraigned Thursday. Rodgers was expected to be arraigned Friday.

They face Aug. 23 probable cause conferences and Aug. 30 preliminary examinations.


Man arraigned after police chase, standoff that shut freeway

(Information from: Monroe News,

LUNA PIER, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit-area man whose refusal to surrender to police following a long car chase forced the closure of a freeway in southeastern Michigan has appeared in court.

The Monroe News reports that 37-year-old Juan Colon was arraigned Friday on gun, resisting arrest and fleeing police charges.

Colon was arrested late Thursday morning on Interstate 75 near Luna Pier, just north of the Ohio state line, following a chase that started near the Detroit suburb of Pontiac.

Police stopped the vehicle, but said the driver refused to surrender and might harm himself or others. They negotiated with him for several hours.

State police say that during the chase the man used Facebook live to make threats toward officers. The freeway shutdown snarled traffic in the area.



GM’s Maven will provide cars to students at USC

LOS ANGELES (AP) — General Motors Co.’s Maven rental car service is moving onto college campuses.

Maven says it has struck a deal to be the exclusive car-sharing provider for the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Maven is parking 18 vehicles on campus that students can rent for $5 per hour using the company’s app. That’s cheaper than Maven’s usual starting rate of $8.

Students can use some of the cars for side gigs like ride-hailing with Lyft or delivering food.

The company is also providing one car for use by college administrators. As with its other locations, Maven is paying for the parking spaces on campus.

GM started Maven more than a year ago. It offers hourly and daily rental cars in 17 North American cities.


Man electrocuted after apparently stepping on live wire

DETROIT (AP) — A man has been electrocuted after apparently stepping on a live electrical line in an east side Detroit alley.

A nearby resident smelled something burning and called police after finding the man’s body about 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Police say the wire was wrapped around the man’s body. He was not immediately identified.

The alley reportedly is overgrown with weeds.


Latest: Judge orders Brit suspect in killing back to Chicago

CHICAGO (AP) — An Oxford University financial officer accused in the fatal stabbing of a Chicago man has agreed to return to Illinois to face charges.

Andrew Warren acknowledged during a San Francisco court hearing Friday that he is the suspect being sought by authorities in Cook County, Illinois.

Warren surrendered peacefully in San Francisco last week after being on the run for eight days with Wyndham Lathem, a former Northwestern University microbiologist.

Warren and Lathem face first-degree murder charges in the brutal stabbing of Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau. The 26-year-old hair stylist’s body was found July 27 in Lathem’s Chicago apartment.

Authorities have not revealed any motive in the killing.

Warren is a 56-year-old British national. He arrived in the U.S. days before the killing. Warren wore an orange jumpsuit during Friday’s hearing, and he appeared unshaven after six days in jail.


Tip leads police to body in northern Michigan shallow grave

HALE, Mich. (AP) — Police say a tip from an arrested woman led them to the body of a suspected homicide victim in a shallow grave behind a northern Michigan home.

State police say the body was unearthed Thursday night. The identity hasn’t been confirmed, but investigators say the remains likely are those of a 72-year-old man who lived at the home in Hale and hadn’t been seen for a few weeks. Police didn’t say how he may have been killed.

The dig began after police this week responded to a domestic violence report at another Iosco County home. Police say they arrested a woman and, while they took her to jail, she brought up a homicide and gave troopers the Hale home’s address.

Police arrested a 20-year-old man as the investigation continued.