Here is the latest Michigan news from The Associated Press at 4:40 p.m. EDT

DETROIT (AP) — The government says dozens of federal agents and deputy marshals have been specially assigned to combat gun violence and catch fugitives in Detroit. Authorities say the effort is to reduce crime, not interfere with protests against racism or excessive force by police. U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider says federal troops are not patrolling Detroit streets. Schneider says it’s irresponsible to suggest that the government wants to squash lawful protest in Michigan. Earlier this week, police Chief James Craig said violence was rising in the city. More than 500 guns were seized in a recent four-week period.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan High School Athletic Association says competition can begin Aug. 19 and 21 for golf, tennis and cross country, but it has held off on allowing the start of football, volleyball and soccer games during the coronavirus pandemic. The group said Wednesday it will make decisions about competition timelines for football, volleyball and soccer by Aug. 20. The MHSAA’s representative council voted to cancel scrimmages in all fall sports and limited the number of teams that can compete in regular-season tournaments, invitationals and other multi-team events.

DETROIT (AP) — Flint residents whose health and homes were harmed by lead-contaminated water have scored a legal milestone. The Michigan Supreme Court said Wednesday that they can proceed with a lawsuit against public officials for the disastrous decisions that caused the scandal. The court’s opinion is a key procedural step in long-running litigation that now will return to the Court of Claims. The court says Flint residents can pursue a claim of diminished property values and a violation of bodily integrity. Justice Richard Bernstein says the case raises “some of the most disturbing allegations of malfeasance by government actors in Michigan’s history.”

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s secretary of state says a sharp increase in the number of people voting by mail because of the pandemic could slow vote counting in the August primary and November general election. Jocelyn Benson said Wednesday that nearly 2 million registered voters have requested a mail-in ballot for the Aug. 4 primary. Just over a million people cast ballots by mail in the 2016 general election. She says local election clerks are asking for more time to process what they expect will be a large influx of absentee ballots. Currently, clerks cannot begin counting absentee ballots until 7 a.m. on Election Day.