Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
Isle Royale moose population surges during wolf decline
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Moose are thriving at Isle Royale National Park, but many trees are paying a heavy price.
A report released Tuesday estimates there are 2,060 moose at the wilderness park in northwestern Lake Superior. That’s the highest number since 1995, when the population exceeded 2,400. The population fell to about 500 over the next two years because of harsh winters and a shortage of food.
One reason for the moose boom is the near disappearance of the wolves that prey on them. For several years, only two remained. But officials began relocating wolves from the mainland to the park last fall, and they now total 15.
Michigan Technological University scientist Rolf Peterson says balsam fir trees are in bad shape on the island’s western side because moose feast on them.
US soldier from Michigan dies in noncombat incident in Syria
LINCOLN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The military says a 28-year-old U.S. soldier from suburban Detroit has died of wounds sustained from a noncombat incident in Syria.
The Defense Department says Private First Class Michael A. Thomason of Lincoln Park died Monday in Kobani. Details of the incident weren’t immediately released.
Amber Martinez tells WJBK-TV that her brother joined the Army so he could “help people” and “protect people who can’t protect themselves.”
Martinez says her family was told Thomason died in a shooting. She says she last spoke with him a few days earlier and he was supposed to be on patrol at the time of his death.
Thomason was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
CHARTER BUS CRASH
Injuries in Michigan bus crash worse than initially thought
HARTLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say injuries from the weekend crash of a charter bus carrying Michigan middle school students returning from a Chicago-area music trip included a broken neck and broken ribs.
The Livingston County sheriff’s office initially believed injuries were relatively minor from the Saturday night crash on an Interstate 96 ramp in Howell Township, about 45 miles (73 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. The department said Monday, however, that some of the 17 people taken to hospitals had serious injuries.
The bus carrying more than 40 Hartland Middle School students, teachers and chaperones went off the roadway and tipped over. Other injuries included a collapsed lung and a broken hand.
The investigation into the cause continues this week with interviews of passengers. The Livingston County prosecutor’s office will review the results.
Overall sales weakness weighs on GM in 1st quarter
Americans paid more for some General Motors vehicles in the first quarter, but overall sales declined and the automaker are short of expectations.
GM said Tuesday that it delivered more than 665,000 vehicles in the U.S. with the highest average prices for any first quarter in its history. Sales of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light-duty trucks rose 20% year from a year ago, priced nearly $5,800 higher than models they replaced.
But overall vehicle sales in the U.S. dropped. In the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region, vehicle sales declined to 947,000 from 1.1 billion.
GM earned $2.12 billion, or $1.48 per share, or $1.41 when adjusted. Analysts polled by FactSet expected $1.69 per share.
Revenue totaled $34.88 billion. Wall Street expected $35.22 billion.
Lake Ontario shipwreck hunters write book on discoveries
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Three western New York-based shipwreck hunters who have discovered some of the most significant historic wrecks in the Great Lakes have written a book about their explorations.
“Shipwrecks of Lake Ontario: A Journey of Discovery” was written by Jim Kennard, of Fairport, Roland Stevens, of Pultneyville, and Roger Pawlowski, of Gates.
The trio’s book chronicles their discovery of more than two dozen shipwrecks in Lake Ontario. Many of the sunken ships were connected to other parts of the Great Lakes region, including Ohio, Michigan and Illinois.
The team’s most significant discovery came in 2008, when it found the wreck of HMS Ontario, a British warship that sank in 1780 during the Revolutionary War.
Proceeds from sales of the book will benefit the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, Ohio.
This story has been corrected to show Pawlowski’s hometown is Gates instead of Rochester.
Funeral plans set for civil rights icon Judge Damon Keith
DETROIT (AP) — Funeral arrangements have been set in Detroit for prominent Judge Damon J. Keith , who was a figure in the civil rights movement.
A public visitation is scheduled from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. May 11 at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
A funeral service is set for 10 a.m. May 13 at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit. The service will be livestreamed to the Community Arts Building at Wayne State University. Interment will follow at Roseland Park Cemetery in Berkley.
Keith, who was remembered as a legal trailblazer, died Sunday at age 96 in Detroit. He served more than 50 years in the federal courts, and before his death still heard cases about four times a year at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.
Hello, spring: Winning guess is worth $1,508 in ice contest
NEGAUNEE, Mich. (AP) — Someone who must know something about Upper Peninsula weather has won $1,508 for guessing when old mining equipment would break completely through melting ice.
The Teal Lake Melt-Down came to an official close Friday when the metal structure was completely submerged on the lake in Negaunee. Contestants had up to March 31 to buy a $5 ticket and guess when the headframe would sink.
The winning entry was only 49 minutes from the actual time. The winner’s name wasn’t immediately released.
The third annual event was a fundraiser held by the Negaunee Lions Club. Half of the ticket revenue goes to the winner.
A sheriff’s department dive team will recover the structure from Team Lake as part of a training exercise.
Woman gets 25-70 years for sexual conduct with infant
(Information from: Battle Creek Enquirer, http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com)
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — A southern Michigan woman involved in a child pornography ring has been sentenced to 25 to 70 years in prison after pleading no contest to the criminal sexual conduct of an infant girl.
The Battle Creek Enquirer reports 33-year-old Talia Furman of Springfield apologized to the court Monday in Calhoun County. A no contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt, but is treated as such for sentencing.
Furman and her boyfriend, 32-year-old Matthew Toole of Battle Creek, were arrested last year on charges. He’s been sentenced to two consecutive sentences of 25-70 years after pleading no contest to two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. They’re also among several people charged with conspiring to kidnap and kill a child in Branch County.
FLINT WATER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Flint water prosecutor says ‘I gave everything’
DETROIT (AP) — A lawyer ousted as special prosecutor in the investigation over Flint’s lead-tainted water says the complex cases were handled with professional care.
Todd Flood says, “I walk away knowing that I gave everything I had to give.”
The Michigan attorney general’s office says Flood was dismissed on April 16. Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud says evidence was not properly pursued “from the onset of this investigation.” Her staff told a judge last week that 23 boxes of evidence were discovered in the basement of a state building.
Flood didn’t address that in his written statement. He declined to comment further.
Seven people have pleaded no contest to misdemeanors in an investigation of how Flint’s water became contaminated with lead as well as a related outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. Charges are pending against eight others.