BC-MI–Michigan News Digest 1:30 pm, MI

Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up today in Michigan. Questions about today’s coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-Detroit bureau at 800-642-4125 or 313-259-0650 or apmichigan@ap.org. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories, digests and digest advisories will keep you up to date. All times are Eastern.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

TOP STORIES:

XGR–MICHIGAN BUDGET

LANSING _ House Republicans on Thursday unveiled a budget plan that would dedicate Michigan’s 6% sales tax on motor fuel to road construction, which they said could avoid a 45-cents-a-gallon gasoline and diesel tax increase proposed by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The bill, which won initial party-line approval from a subcommittee, was opposed by Democrats who said it would not raise nearly enough to fix the roads and would hurt schools and municipalities that now get much of the sales tax revenue assessed at the pump. By David Eggert. SENT: 290 words. UPCOMING: 500 words.

ELECTION 2020-SENATE-MICHIGAN

LANSING — Republican businessman John James of Michigan announced Thursday that he will challenge first-term Democratic U.S. Sen. Gary Peters in 2020 in a key state for President Donald Trump’s re-election chances. James, a 37-year-old African American combat veteran and CEO of an automotive logistics company in Detroit, lost to longtime Sen. Debbie Stabenow last year . But he did better than expected, considering he was a political unknown initially and the race was never prioritized as a battleground by the national GOP in what was a successful year for Michigan Democrats. By David Eggert. AP Photos. SENT: 670 words.

AROUND THE STATE:

FARMERS MARKET-HEMP

GRAND RAPIDS _ A Michigan farmer is petitioning a Grand Rapids farmers market to reverse its decision banning the sale of hemp-related products. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words.

GRAVEL SHORTAGE-MICHIGAN

LANSING — Records show Michigan transportation officials took direction from a lobbying group for the sand and gravel industry when commissioning a 2016 study that determined the state is running out of gravel to rebuild its roads. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 350 words. AP Photos pursuing.

TONY WATCH-AIN’T TOO PROUD

NEW YORK — For Jeremy Pope, the idea of playing one of The Temptations was a daunting proposition. Thankfully, he got some advice and help from an original Temptation. During rehearsals for the jukebox musical “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations,” Otis Williams, the last original member, arrived to give his support. “He just gave me the biggest hug and he said, ‘You got it. You got it.’ And he invited us to his hotel room, and we sat there for I think five hours and we just, he just told stories and talked,” Pope said. While doing his research, which included listening to the band’s entire catalog and speaking to civil rights activist U.S. Rep. John Lewis, Pope made an important connection. By John Carucci. SENT: 410 words. AP Photos. AP Video.

BUSINESS:

CHRYSLER-RENAULT

MILAN — Fiat Chrysler’s surprise decision to withdraw a merger offer with French carmaker Renault stunned the industry, collapsing Thursday on fundamental differences over when Renault’s long-time alliance partner, Nissan, would be brought in. The merger plan, which had sought to create the world’s third-largest automaker, had been viewed positively across the industry since it was announced last week. And it appeared to be a done-deal when the Renault board met for a second day in Paris on Wednesday evening. But Fiat Chrysler Chairman John Elkann decided to withdraw the offer as the Renault board meeting entered the early morning hours after the French government – Renault’s top shareholder with a 15% stake – asked for more time to seek Nissan’s blessing. By Colleen Barry, Lori Hinnant and Angela Charleton. AP Photos. SENT: 890 words.

BRITAIN-FORD

LONDON — A Ford engine plant in Wales that employs 1,700 people is “economically unsustainable” and will close next year, the carmaker announced Thursday. The company blamed declining sales of gasoline engines and the end of a contract with Jaguar Land Rover for the closure, due in September 2020. SENT: 390 words.

IN BRIEF:

_POLICE SHOOTING-DETROIT: Authorities say a man has died in a shootout with a Wayne State University police officer in Detroit.

_BENTON HARBOR SCHOOLS: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is giving a southwestern Michigan school board a little more time to develop a plan to keep the district’s high school open.

_YOUTH PASTOR CHARGED: Authorities say a youth pastor at a mid-Michigan church inappropriately touched a teenage girl and sought sex acts from her over the course of two years.

_LAWMAKER CHARGED-MICHIGAN: A Michigan lawmaker who was charged in an alleged scheme to trade votes for campaign money says he’s seeking treatment for his long-term use of prescription painkillers.

_SCHOOL-ROOF COLLAPSE: A roof has collapsed into a classroom at a school in the Grand Rapids area, less than a week after students were dismissed for summer.

_MICHIGAN STATE-PASCOT-PARADES: Michigan State University says the school’s Sparty mascot will no longer participate in most parades due to concerns about heat stroke or other health issues for those wearing the costume.

_BENTON HARBOR SCHOOLS: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is giving a southwestern Michigan school board a little more time to develop a plan to keep the district’s high school open.

_COLLEGE DEMOCRATS-VOTING: Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says her office will take steps to promote college-age voting to resolve a lawsuit in which young Democrats challenged two laws they say discourage them from participating in elections.

_BALLOT DRIVES-MICHIGAN: Michigan’s Republican-led House and Senate are suing to preserve a law that makes it harder to qualify proposals for the statewide ballot.

_ANIMAL CONTROL-GUNS: The head of animal control in the Flint area wants his officers to carry guns.

_BARRY COUNTY-CLEANUPS: Western Michigan’s Barry County will receive $300,000 in federal funds for cleanup of abandoned industrial and commercial properties.

_CONVERSION THERAPY-HUNTINGTON WOODS: The Detroit suburb of Huntington Woods says it has become the first city in Michigan to ban gay conversion therapy, which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

SPORTS:

BBA–RAYS-TIGERS

DETROIT _ Daniel Norris starts for the Tigers in this series finale. The Rays appear likely to use Ryne Stanek as an opener. By Baseball Writer Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 1:10 p.m. ET.

FBN–LIONS-KEARSE

ALLEN PARK— The Detroit Lions have signed receiver Jermaine Kearse. Kearse was added to the roster and Jordan Smallwood was released on Detroit’s third and final day of mandatory minicamp Thursday. By AP Sports Writer Larry Lage. SENT: 130 words. Will be updated.

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