Here is the latest Michigan news from The Associated Press at 11:40 a.m. EST
DETROIT (AP) — Three crashes involving Teslas last month that killed three people have increased scrutiny of the company’s Autopilot driving system. This comes just months before Tesla CEO Elon Musk has planned to put fully self-driving cars on the streets. Tesla has said repeatedly that its Autopilot system is designed only to assist drivers, who must still pay attention and be ready to intervene at all times. But experts and safety advocates say a string of crashes raises serious questions about whether drivers have become too reliant on Tesla’s technology and whether the company does enough to ensure that drivers keep paying attention.
NILES, Mich. (AP) — A man who died after falling from a kayak into a southwestern Michigan river during a New Year’s Day excursion with friends has been identified as an Indiana man. Niles police say 40-year-old Jean Claude Mutabazi of South Bend was pronounced dead Wednesday after being pulled from the St. Joseph River. Police say Mutabazi was kayaking Wednesday morning with three other men, two of whom also fell into the river and were treated for exposure to cold. All four men were wearing personal flotation devices. Police said Mutabazi was still wearing his when he was found trapped under a log.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The total of unfunded Superfund projects is seeing its biggest backup in years. The Environmental Protection Agency released figures over the holidays showing that 34 projects to clean up the nation’s most polluted sites stalled last year for lack of money. That’s nearly three times the number in 2016, the last year of the Obama administration. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler calls the Superfund program a priority for President Donald Trump. An EPA spokeswoman did not directly respond when asked why the administration had sought to cut congressional funding for EPA and Superfund given the growing clean-up backlog.
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) — The holiday break has been extended for students in an Upper Peninsula school district. Sault Ste. Marie canceled classes Thursday and Friday but opened the high school so area residents could charge their phones _ and recharge themselves _ during a multiday power outage. The high school is open for warmth, showers and lunch. Superintendent Tim Hall says Sault Ste. Marie schools have power. But he says it would put “undue stress” on families without electricity to get their kids to school. The district covers 308 square miles. Rain, ice and snow brought down power lines and hundreds of trees in the region.