Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT


Michigan governor signs overhaul to cut high auto premiums

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed into law an overhaul of Michigan’s car insurance system that will let drivers forego unlimited medical benefits to cover crash injuries.

The Democratic governor signed the bill Thursday at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s policy conference on Mackinac Island. She was joined by lawmakers and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

Whitmer says it’s a “historic day” because the cost of auto insurance will go down.

Michigan has the country’s highest average premiums.

Whitmer says the law — which will begin to take effect in July 2020 — will lower personal injury protection rates, give people choices and ban insurers from using discriminatory non-driving factors to set rates. She says the bipartisan deal provides momentum for other initiatives such as fixing the roads and closing a skills gap.


Child dies after falling into above-ground pool in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a young child has died after falling into an above-ground swimming pool at a mid-Michigan home.

The Lansing State Journal reports police say the 15-month-old boy was found Wednesday and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The child’s name wasn’t immediately released. WILX-TV reports an autopsy was planned for Thursday.

The apparent drowning is under investigation, but Lansing police Sgt. Lee McCallister says the death is believed to be accidental.


Michigan judge reassigned amid allegations of abuse cover-up

DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan family court judge has been reassigned amid allegations she covered up evidence that her 11-year-old grandson was being beaten by his father.

Wayne County family court Judge Tracy Green has said she’s “done nothing wrong” and denies the allegations. Chief Wayne County Judge Timothy Kenny said Wednesday he’s taken Green off the abuse and neglect docket until cases of parental rights termination and criminal child abuse involving her 31-year-old son are resolved.

WJBK-TV reported Green’s grandson testified in March that the judge covered bruises on his face with makeup before he went to school. Green denied seeing bruises or covering them up.

The Detroit News reports Green for now will hear only juvenile delinquency cases. Kenny said he met with Green and she agreed with the docket change.


Companies to get grants to boost Michigan investments, jobs

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Strategic Fund is supporting three development projects with performance-based grants to bring investment and jobs to the state.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. says auto supplier Webasto Roof Systems will receive $350,000 to help expand its operations to a site in Auburn Hills. The expansion is expected to create 55 jobs and generate $40 million in total capital investment.

Record Box will use a $415,000 grant to help redevelop a Battle Creek building to add commercial, office and hospitality uses. A $1.8 million total capital investment and 23 new jobs are expected.

And a $220,682 grant has been approved for D-Town Grand which plans to rehabilitate a vacant Detroit building for commercial and residential use. The project is expected to generate $1.1 million in total capital investment.


Commission OKs design for river fish sorting project

DETROIT (AP) — The Great Lakes Fishery Commission has selected the final design for a project intended to allow removal of dams from rivers without letting exotic species migrate upstream.

The “FishPass ” initiative will take place on the Boardman River in Traverse City, Michigan, which is undergoing a restoration program that includes removal of several dams .

At the site of the last dam to be removed, a barrier will be installed to prevent parasitic sea lamprey from swimming upriver and attacking native fish. The mechanism also will include a channel where fish-sorting techniques and technologies will be tested.

The goal will be to block the path of unwanted fish while letting the others continue upstream. A second channel will allow recreation and normal water flow.

The commission approved the design Wednesday in Detroit.


Drink up: Best Michigan water is down to the final 5

NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — When it comes to Michigan water, it’s the Upper Peninsula against the Lower Peninsula.

Negaunee Township, near Marquette, has been declared the home of the best-tasting water in the U.P. by the Michigan section of the American Water Works Association.

Township water supervisor Russ Williams can’t resist the opportunity to brag a bit. He says the regional award confirms what he already knew about the community’s water, which is pumped from wells.

The Mining Journal says Negaunee Township’s water will be judged in September against water from four communities in the Lower Peninsula: Jackson, Lowell, Tekonsha and Mancelona. One of the five will be declared the state champion.


Nessel will move to shut pipeline in June if no resolution

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says she will move next month to decommission a Great Lakes oil pipeline if the state’s governor cannot resolve the issue with operator Enbridge.

The Democrat made her comments in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s policy conference on Mackinac Island, near where Line 5 runs under the waterway connecting Lakes Michigan and Huron.

Nessel says there are a number of legal avenues at her disposal.

Nessel says she wants to “act quickly because every day that Line 5 continues to run is a day that our state is in great peril.”

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said she’s open to still building a tunnel for the pipeline proposed by her predecessor. Her administration is talking with Enbridge.


Michigan delegation to visit Illinois as part of carp fight

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s congressional delegation will travel to Illinois this summer to see a crucial choke point in a waterway between an Asian carp-infested river and Lake Michigan.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Rep. Fred Upton and other delegation members announced the trip on Wednesday at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference.

The Army Corps of Engineers last week sent Congress a $778 million plan to install noisemakers, electric cables and other devices at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Illinois, about 40 miles from Lake Michigan. Delegation members say they are committed to securing funding to stop the carp “menace.”

Other priorities this year include combatting contaminants known as PFAS and investing in water infrastructure.


Deputy’s non-use of siren, lights examined in fatal crash

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan sheriff says a deputy’s decision not to activate his vehicle’s overhead lights and siren prior to fatally striking an 11-year-old boy on a minibike will be part of an internal review.

Calhoun County Sheriff Matt Saxton said Wednesday that the review will determine whether the deputy complied with department policy.

Saxton said the minibike was “not made for roadway use” and the boy wasn’t wearing a helmet when he was hit about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday in Battle Creek. He added that the patrol car and minibike were westbound on a four-lane street when it appears the bike turned left at an intersection into the car’s path.

State police will review footage from the car’s in-dash camera and deputy’s bodycam.

The deputy was responding to a reported burglary.


The Latest: Ill. Senate OKs legal pot after home grow shift

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Restrictions on home cultivation have helped marijuana legalization win Illinois Senate approval.

The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 38-17 Wednesday to allow recreational use of marijuana like 10 other states. The Illinois proposal allows those 21 and older to have up to one ounce (30 grams).

Chicago Democratic Sen. Heather Steans originally proposed allowing anyone to keep five plants in their homes. Steans’ final version allows only the 65,000 Illinois patients qualified for the medical-cannabis law to grow their own.

So-called home grow rules have proved troublesome in other states. States with legalized recreational use have different home grow rules.

Opponents say home grow encourages black-market sales. Proponents argue that if businesses can sell it, they should be able to grow it.

The Illinois measure heads to the House for consideration.