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Michael Talbot retiring from appeals court; judge since ’78

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The chief judge at the Michigan Court of Appeals is retiring after 40 years on the bench.

Michael Talbot got his start in 1978 as a Detroit-area judge appointed by Gov. William Milliken. After 20 years, he was promoted to the appeals court by Gov. John Engler and won a series of elections.

Talbot said Monday he’s stepping down on April 25. Gov. Rick Snyder will get an opportunity to pick a successor.

While serving on the appeals court, Talbot also was credited with cleaning up Detroit’s 36th District Court in 2013 and 2014. The court had many problems, from budget overruns to some employees who had little direction.

Talbot lately has been overseeing compensation cases filed by people who were wrongly convicted of crimes.


Detroit officers arraigned on neglect of duty charges

DETROIT (AP) — Two Detroit police officers have been arraigned on charges alleging they failed to respond after a vehicle they were chasing crashed.

Wayne County prosecutors say 26-year-old Stephen Heid and 28-year-old Ronald Cadez were arraigned Monday on charges of willful neglect of duty. Both received $5,000 personal bonds.

Prosecutors say the officers were chasing a vehicle on Oct. 9, but failed to notify dispatchers of the chase or that the vehicle collided with another. Authorities say the officers left the scene instead of responding to the crash.

The driver of the car allegedly being chased was 19-year-old Jerry Bradford Jr. of Detroit. He died of his injuries at a hospital.

Both officers are suspended without pay. Neither officer has a published phone number.


Kalamazoo city officials to consider future of park fountain

(Information from: Kalamazoo Gazette,

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — Officials in a southwestern Michigan city could decide whether a monument featuring a European settler with a weapon in his hand towering over a Native American should be removed from a park.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that Kalamazoo city commissioners are to meet Monday night to consider plans for the Fountain of the Pioneers in Bronson Park.

Some residents say the piece is racist, while others argue that it’s a work of art that can teach people about history.

City Manager Jim Ritsema has said the fountain near the city’s downtown should be removed and a new plan developed for the park.

The newspaper reports that commissioners are to consider removing the monument and its two reflecting pools and seeking a new location for the fountain’s artistic elements.



County to get elevation data to determine flooding patterns

(Information from: Midland Daily News,

MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) — Midland County commissioners have signed a deal with the state to access elevation data to help determine flooding patterns.

The Midland Daily News reports that the county will be able to use the Michigan Statewide Authoritative Imagery and LIDAR program.

Midland’s Geographic Information Center Director Chris Cantrell says the airborne system sends pulses of lasers down and collects the returns. The data was collected last fall.

He says the need for elevation data becomes more significant in Midland County because it is more difficult to determine slopes in flatter areas.

Cantrell adds that “in a county that is as flat as Midland, it’s important to see where the water can go.”

Midland County, the county road commission and the city of Midland are to split the program’s nearly $14,000 cost.



Michigan opioid crisis contributes to increased organ donors

(Information from: The Detroit News,

DETROIT (AP) — Organs from people who died from opioid overdose helped fuel an increase in organ donations in Michigan last year.

The Detroit News reports that overdose victims are often younger than typical donors and can have healthy organs despite their addictions.

Gift of Life Michigan is the state’s federally designated organ and tissue recovery program. The program says Michigan had 320 donors last year, a 26 percent increase from the 254 donors in 2014. More than 50 of last year’s donors died by drug overdose, an increase from 20 in 2014.

Technology improvements have also allowed for better disease detection, which makes more organs available for transplantation. Improved procedures at transplant centers and organ procurement organizations have ensured more potential donors and their families have the opportunity to contribute.



Michigan couple sues township over swingers club opening

(Information from: Detroit Free Press,

DETROIT (AP) — A couple has filed a federal lawsuit against a southern Michigan township for blocking the opening of their swingers club.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Kent and Angie Tyler’s lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit alleges Summit Township officials have used legal barriers to stop their business from opening. The couple describes the proposed spot as a “private membership adult couples social club.”

Township officials wrote a letter to the Tylers saying their business doesn’t meet the community’s definition of a club or lodge.

The couple’s lawyer, Fred Lucas, says sex wouldn’t have been allowed at the club. Lucas says the club would’ve been a place for adults to mingle.

Trustee Bob DuBois says the township has already spent about $80,000 in attorney’s fees to block the club’s opening.



County official to meet with business leaders in Japan

(Information from: The Oakland Press,

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — Oakland County Management and Budget Director Laurie Van Pelt is spending this week in Japan to connect with business leaders in that country.

The Oakland Press of Pontiac reports Monday that Van Pelt will remain in Japan until Saturday as part of the 2018 Japanese American Leadership Delegation program. The weeklong trip is dedicated to building people-to-people connections with Japanese leaders.

She and other members of the program are to visit Tokyo for meetings with the prime minister, foreign minister and top business executives.

Van Pelt calls the trip “an historic opportunity to make Oakland County’s connection with Japan even stronger.”

The newspaper reports that Japanese auto supplier Denso invested $75 million last year into an expansion of the company’s facility in Southfield, north of Detroit.



Safety awareness campaign to focus on roofing industry falls

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A worker safety awareness campaign hopes to reduce deaths from falls in Michigan’s roofing industry.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s “Stop Falls. Save Lives” effort is continuing into its second year.

The agency says the campaign seeks to educate employers and workers about fall hazards. It says falls are preventable with continued training, appropriate equipment and diligent safety awareness in the workplace or job site.

Officials say eight people in Michigan died last year from falls related to roofing activities, compared to four such fatalities in 2016.

MIOSHA field staff is expected to closely observe residential and commercial roofing activities in the coming year. On-the-spot inspections will be initiated if any serious hazards are observed.


AAA Michigan: Statewide average gas prices rise 3 cents

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says gas prices statewide have risen by about 3 cents per gallon in the past week.

The Dearborn-based auto club says early Monday that the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline was about $2.53 per gallon. Prices are about 11 cents more than at the same point last year.

Michigan’s lowest average price was about $2.50 per gallon in the Flint area. The highest was about $2.62 per gallon in the Marquette area. AAA says it’s the fifth consecutive week that the Marquette area had the highest average.

Metro Detroit’s average daily gas price was about $2.51 per gallon, about 6 cents more than last week’s average.

AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel prices at 2,800 gas stations across the state.




Yemeni immigrants focus on future in US amid war back home

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — People from Yemen have recently begun to see long-term futures in the U.S. and are making their culture part of their businesses.

It’s partly a result of the normal socio-economic evolution among first- and second-generation immigrants. But it’s also driven by protracted war, poverty and famine back home.

Ibrahim Alhasbani (IH’-bruh-heem ahl-hahs-BAH’-nee) left Yemen a few years ago and now owns a cafe in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn. He shares Yemen’s centuries-old coffee tradition and makes his coffee made from beans harvested on his family’s farm in Yemen.

He’s part of a new wave of Yemeni entrepreneurs.

Yemeni have been coming to the U.S. for more than a century, but in recent years they have been planting stronger roots, raising their profile and looking outward.