Here is the latest Michigan news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. EDT
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says movie theaters and other entertainment venues can reopen in two weeks after nearly seven months of closure during the coronavirus pandemic. She has lifted a cap so more people can attend funerals and other indoor events. The governor also issued an order Friday requiring K-5 students to wear masks in classrooms beginning Oct. 5. Indoor cinemas, performance venues, arcades, bingo halls, bowling centers, indoor climbing facilities and trampoline parks are among the places that can open starting Oct. 9.
DETROIT (AP) — The Republican Party is suing to try to overturn a decision that lets Michigan count certain absentee ballots up to 14 days after the Nov. 3 election. The state and national GOP say existing law should be honored. Michigan usually cuts off absentee ballots when polls close on Election Day. But a judge is concerned about chronic mail delays because of the coronavirus. Judge Cynthia Stephens last week said ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 can be counted if received within 14 days of the election. The Republican Party also is challenging another part of Stephens’ order, which allows someone to return another voter’s absentee ballot close to the election.
ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. (AP) — A man accused of striking and killing a highway worker on Interstate 94 has been charged with two felonies. Martin Smith of Harper Woods appeared in court on charges related to the hit-and-run death of Zach Morisette, who worked for the Macomb County road department. The 26-year-old Morisette was hit Monday while working on I-94 near Nine Mile Road. State police said investigators discovered the vehicle before Smith turned himself in Wednesday. In Eaton County, 40-year-old Jeremy Zeitz was struck and killed Thursday while working on Sherwood Highway over Interstate 69.
DETROIT (AP) — A $200,000 verdict in an excessive force case against a Detroit-area police officer has been reduced to no more than $50,000. A federal appeals court says the awarding of punitive damages was puzzling because the same jury gave just $1 to Nikos Kidis in compensatory damages for his encounter with a Warren officer. Kidis sued Officer John Moran for what happened on a day of heavy drinking at a Labor Day festival. Kidis hit another vehicle and fled on foot. Kidis says Moran punched and choked him when he finally caught him. A jury said Kidis’ rights were violated but that excessive force wasn’t the proximate cause of his injuries.