Here is the latest Michigan news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. EST
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard says it has launched ice-breaking operations in the western Great Lakes. Officials announced Wednesday they have started what they call “Operation Taconite” in Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, as well as northern Lake Huron, Georgian Bay, Green Bay, the Straits of Mackinac and St. Marys River. The effort responds to expanding ice in commercial ports. Ice-breaking is done for several reasons, including search and rescue, flood control or to serve vessels or communities in need. Operation Taconite is one of two ice-breaking operations on the Great Lakes.
DETROIT (AP) — Michigan officials say tests performed near where construction aggregate material spilled into the Detroit River have found the water meets all quality standards. The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy said Wednesday that samples were taken upstream and downstream from the Detroit Bulk Storage site, as well as in front of the property in southwest Detroit. They say contaminant levels were not detectable or well below water quality standards. The release of crushed limestone happened Nov. 26 when part of a seawall collapsed. The department says The Great Lakes Water Authority and city of Wyandotte, which have drinking water intakes several miles downstream, are conducting their own water tests.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Drivers under age 18 would be prohibited from using cellphones except for emergencies under a bill advancing in Michigan’s Legislature. The state now bars drivers with a learner’s or intermediate permit from using a phone while operating a motor vehicle. The legislation cleared the House on Wednesday. The measure would also eliminate an exception that lets those with the graduated level one and two licenses use a voice-activated phone system in the car. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer supports the bill and is urging the Senate to pass it after it returns to session in January.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The leader of the Michigan House says an indicted lawmaker will continue to have no committee assignments or staff under his watch after a jury acquitted him of lying to the FBI and deadlocked on attempted extortion and bribery charges. A spokesman for House Speaker Lee Chatfield said Wednesday that “nothing has changed” with the status of Rep. Larry Inman. Inman was charged in May with seeking a bribe from a labor union in exchange for a vote to not overturn Michigan’s prevailing wage law. Inman and Chatfield, both Republicans, met Wednesday, a day after the trial concluded.