Here is the latest Michigan news from The Associated Press at 11:40 a.m. EST

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — U.S. factories have been cranking out goods at a rate that is remarkably close to normal, despite the ongoing spread of the coronavirus. Yet with cases rising in many states, people who run factories are wondering if production can keep up until most of the country gets vaccinated. For the most part, safeguards put in place after the initial wave of the virus appear to have prevented the kinds of large outbreaks that sickened hundreds of workers and forced automakers, meat processors and other businesses to halt production last spring. But industry and union officials say workers live in communities where the virus is surging, making it difficult to stop infections inside the factories.

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan’s largest county says it quickly exhausted $500 payments for roughly 12,000 people whose work has been disrupted by coronavirus restrictions. The recipients worked at restaurants or fitness and entertainment venues whose operations have been limited to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Wayne County Economic Development Department received enough applications in less than two weeks to fulfill the $6 million budget. County Executive Warren Evans says the money won’t fix everything. But Evans says he wanted to get money to people in need.    

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (AP) — The Republican chair of a county canvassing board in Michigan who initially refused to certify local election results that favored Democrat Joe Biden over President Donald Trump says Thursday that she doesn’t know a woman charged with sending her threatening text messages. Wayne County Canvasser Monica Palmer told reporters outside her attorney’s office in Farmington Hills, Michigan, that she still fears for her family’s safety following the arrest of 23-year-old Katelyn Jones. Federal authorities charged Jones with making a threat of violence. Jones has ties to Olivet, Michigan, but the FBI said she sent the threats from Epping, New Hampshire, where she was staying with her mother, and she was arrested there.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — An 82-year-old man has been killed and a 77-year-old woman injured after the van they were in crashed into a pharmacy in Ann Arbor. reports that part of the van was lodged inside the Walgreens store Wednesday afternoon. Otis Jones, the driver, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Authorities said it took rescue crews about 45 minutes to remove Rose Jones from the van. Two people inside the store suffered minor injuries.