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

FATAL CRASH-MICHIGAN

3 dead, 5 injured after crash in Michigan

DELTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say three people have died after their minivan was struck by another vehicle when the driver stopped to help a motorist.

The crash happened Tuesday night along westbound Interstate 496 in Eaton County’s Delta Township, near Lansing.

The victims were all from Lansing: 59-year-old Kelly McNamara, 66-year-old Linda Foote and 57-year-old Kevin Trusty. The sheriff’s department says five people were injured in the three-vehicle crash.

Spokeswoman Jerri Nesbitt says investigators believe the minivan was hit when the driver was moving the van to help jump-start another vehicle. The driver was treated at a hospital and released.

Nesbitt says weather probably wasn’t a factor but some people were not wearing seat belts.

ATTORNEY GENERAL’S RACE-MARIJUANA

In shift, Democrat Miles supports marijuana legalization

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A former federal prosecutor who is running to be Michigan’s next attorney general says he is taking a “stronger stance” on marijuana legalization, backing a ballot measure that would legalize the drug for recreational purposes.

Pat Miles issued a statement Wednesday.

Until now, he had not said if he supports the ballot initiative, saying it is up to the voters but that he would enforce the people’s will.

Miles is locked in a battle with lawyer Dana Nessel for the Democratic nomination, which will be decided at a party convention in April. Also running is Bill Noakes.

Miles’ previous refusal to state his position on the ballot proposal had angered some liberals.

STORE MANAGER SLAIN-DETROIT

Man gets probation in auto parts store manager slaying

DETROIT (AP) — A man charged in connection with the slaying of a 69-year-old Detroit auto parts store manager has been sentenced to 2½ years’ probation.

Leviticus Butler appeared Wednesday in Wayne County Circuit Court. He pleaded guilty in January to being an accessory after the fact in the Nov. 1 death of James Haller Jr. at an O’Reilly store on Detroit’s west side.

Surveillance video shows two women running from the store after Haller was shot once in the head.

WDIV-TV reports that the 39-year-old Butler was accused of helping one of two women charged in the case evade police.

Shawnta Anderson is charged with murder, armed robbery and using a firearm during a felony. Eboni McEwen-Ross is charged with murder and armed robbery. Their trial is scheduled to start in May.

SCHOOL THREATS-TIPS

Record number of tips on school threats received in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Attorney General Bill Schuette says tips about safety threats in Michigan schools set a record in February with 670 reports.

Schuette says there were 119 tips about planned school attacks last month, compared to 146 in all of 2017. Suicide threats were the most-reported tip at 127.

It’s the first update on OK2SAY since the Parkland, Florida, school shooting on Feb. 14. The previous record for tips was 560 last October.

Students can make confidential tips to the state through phone, text message, email or a website. Schuette said Wednesday that “students are engaged … more than ever” in a program that has saved lives.

Tips are screened by staff at the Michigan State Police and shared with local police, schools and others, if necessary.

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Online: www.ok2say.com

JOB INTERVIEW ORDINANCES

Bill OK’d to ban cities from regulating job interviews

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Legislation that would prohibit municipalities from regulating what information employers must request, require or exclude during job interviews is nearing the desk of Gov. Rick Snyder.

The Republican-controlled House passed the bill Wednesday on a party-line vote. It cleared the GOP-led Senate months ago.

State law already prohibits local rules on what information is required or excluded in job applications. But business groups say the legislation is needed to head off any future efforts to restrict the interview process itself, even if no local governments in Michigan are currently considering such ordinances.

Supporters say the local bans enacted in other states are one way to help close the wage gap between men and women.

TEEN HEROIN DEATH

Pair sentenced to 15 years in prison for teen’s overdose

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) — Two people have been sentenced to at least 15 years in prison for providing the heroin that killed a 16-year-old girl.

Macomb County Judge Edward Servitto says supplying heroin and fentanyl was similar to handing Sirena Lawson a loaded handgun. Donald McCoy and Leslie Metcalfe were convicted in January, a year after the teen’s death.

They will be eligible for parole after serving 15 years in prison.

Metcalfe and McCoy apologized in court Wednesday. McCoy says he’s “fought the disease of addiction.”

The overdose occurred at Metcalfe’s mobile home in Warren. Police say Lawson contacted Metcalfe in search of drugs. Metcalfe then asked McCoy to go to Detroit to buy heroin.

Lawson’s boyfriend survived an overdose.

TRANSGENDER FIRING

Court rules in favor of fired transgender funeral director

DETROIT (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of a woman who said she was illegally fired by a Detroit-area funeral home after disclosing she was transitioning from male to female and dressed as a woman.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Home in Garden City discriminated against director Aimee Stephens by firing her in 2013. The decision returns the case to a federal judge who had dismissed the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The EEOC learned the funeral home provided clothing to male workers dealing with the public but not females.

The appellate judges say it was reasonable for the EEOC to investigate and discover the “seemingly discriminatory clothing-allowance policy.”

FUNERAL HOME VIOLATIONS-PETOSKEY

State suspends funeral home’s license after violations found

PETOSKEY, Mich. (AP) — The state has shut down a northern Michigan funeral home after an inspection found unsanitary conditions in an embalming room, human cremated remains stored alongside those of animals and other violations.

Michigan’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs office says Wednesday that the mortuary science establishment license of the Charles G. Parks Funeral Home in Petoskey has been suspended. The suspension becomes effective Friday.

The individual mortuary science license of owner Charles Guy Parks, Jr. also was suspended.

The state says embalmed bodies also were found in an unrefrigerated garage and that at least $4,935 for prepaid funeral goods or services was not put into escrow.

Parks told The Associated Press Wednesday that he had no comment on the license suspensions or the state investigation.

Petoskey is northeast of Traverse City.

GUNS-SNYDER

Snyder is studying ‘best practices’ to stop school shootings

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder says his administration is studying “best practices” across the U.S. to combat gun violence in the wake of shootings at a Florida high school and at Central Michigan University.

The Republican governor hopes to make a proposal “relatively soon.”

He reiterates his support for “red flag” legislation that would let law enforcement or family members go to court to seek the removal of guns from dangerous people, “as long as it’s done with due process.” Snyder appears less open, however, to increasing Michigan’s minimum age to buy guns. It’s now age 18.

Snyder spoke to reporters Tuesday after signing a bill to upgrade 911 systems.

Numerous gun-related proposals are percolating in the Republican-led Legislature, such as arming trained teachers and potentially boosting funding for school security.