Here is the latest Michigan news from The Associated Press at 6:40 a.m. EST
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Legislature has approved changes to Michigan’s sex offender registry after federal courts declared the current policy unconstitutional. The new rules would change aspects of registering and eliminate bans on registrants living or being within 1,000 feet of schools. It also would give an offender seven days to register upon conviction. Individuals would have to report changes in phone numbers and vehicle information. Certain offenders would be required to report all online communication or social media handles. The American Civil Liberties Union is urging Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to veto the legislation.
UNDATED (AP) — Health departments are asking people who test positive for the coronavirus to warn friends, family and co-workers themselves. Health officials say do-it-yourself tracing is not ideal, but with infections and hospitalizations soaring nationwide, it’s likely the most effective way to reach people who may be at risk. Health officials say it’s taking too long before tracers learn of positive tests. What’s more, many people won’t pick up the phone or refuse to answer questions when tracers call. Sometimes, there are simply too many positive tests to call everyone. Officials fear transmission will only get worse as people gather for the holidays.
DETROIT (AP) — In prisons around the country, COVID-19 outbreaks have followed transfers of prisoners or prison workers. Nearly all of the 25 state prison systems and the federal Bureau of Prisons that responded to a survey conducted by The Marshall Project and The Associated Press say they had reduced or limited the number of prisoners they moved due to the pandemic. Eight states halted the practice except in special circumstances. The reductions were keeping in line with medical guidelines. But most of those states lifted their restrictions by September and few prison systems heeded the earlier lessons as the pandemic worsened this winter, worrying families of prisoners and correctional officers.
CASSOPOLIS, Mich. (AP) — A regional education agency named for former U.S. Sen. Lewis Cass is dropping the name. Trustees last week voted unanimously to change the name of the Cass Intermediate School District in southwestern Michigan. A new name will be selected in January. Cass, who died in 1866, was a U.S. senator as well as governor of Michigan before it became a state. He also owned slaves and removed Native Americans from tribal lands while in President Andrew Jackson’s administration. The Cass ISD provides special education and career technical education coordination to school districts in Cass County and parts of three other counties. Superintendent Brent Holcomb says the name change is an “opportunity to show some grace” in a diverse community.