Here is the latest Michigan news from The Associated Press at 6:40 a.m. EST
DETROIT (AP) — A judge says she’ll wait until January before deciding whether to give preliminary approval to a $641 million settlement in a lawsuit by Flint, Michigan, residents. They were exposed to water contaminated with lead and bacteria. Federal Judge Judith Levy says Flint residents will still get a chance to give their opinion if preliminary approval is granted. Most of the money is coming from the state of Michigan. Regulators in then-Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration allowed Flint to use the Flint River for water without treating it to reduce corrosion. As a result, lead in old pipes broke off and flowed through taps.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Congress has approved a five-year extension of a program designed to deal with long-term environmental injuries to the Great Lakes. The U.S. Senate voted unanimously Sunday to continue the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, as the House did earlier this year. The bill requires President Donald Trump’s signature to take effect. It calls for gradually boosting the program’s annual funding from $300 million to $475 million by 2026. The program focuses on long-term problems such as toxic pollution, invasive species, loss of wildlife habitat and runoff that feeds harmful algae. Projects have taken place in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says Detroit’s chief financial officer will become Michigan budget director. Dave Massaron will start Jan. 4. Chris Kolb is resigning to become vice president for government relations at the University of Michigan. Massaron says he’s “ready and eager” to work with Whitmer and the Legislature. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says Massaron put the city on a stable financial path.
HOUGHTON LAKE, Mich. (AP) — A popular northern Michigan festival is switching to a February weekend because of coronavirus restrictions. Tip-Up Town USA in Houghton Lake promotes itself as Michigan’s longest-running winter festival, with a polar bear dip, snowmobile drag racing, ice fishing contest and more in Roscommon County. The Jan. 16-17 dates have been switched to Feb. 27-28 because of restrictions on attendance at outdoor events. Tip-Up Town began in 1950, according to the local Chamber of Commerce.