Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
Michigan Rep. Mitchell won’t seek 3rd term in Congress
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Second-term Republican Rep. Paul Mitchell of Michigan won’t seek re-election to Congress in 2020.
Mitchell announced his plan in tearful remarks on the House floor Wednesday. Politico first reported the decision.
He says it’s time to focus on his family, which includes a 9-year-old son. He also expressed frustration, saying “rhetoric overwhelms policy, and politics consumes much of the oxygen” in Washington.
Mitchell last week criticized President Donald Trump for saying four Democratic congresswoman of color should “go back” to the countries they came from.
The 62-year-old Mitchell was first elected in 2016 to the 10th Congressional District, which includes Michigan’s rural Thumb region and portions of suburban Detroit’s Macomb County. The district’s voters heavily backed Trump in 2016, and Republicans should have no problem holding the seat in 2020.
GAS STATION SHOOTING
Detroit police: Clerk shoots at chip thief, hits bystander
DETROIT (AP) — Police say a Detroit gas station clerk who was apparently trying to shoot a potato chip thief ended up wounding a bystander instead.
Police say a young man was shot in the chest Tuesday night at the gas station on the city’s west side. At the same time, a different person was trying to leave without paying for several bags of potato chips. Police say the clerk fired through the gas station’s glass door at the alleged thief.
The wounded man was taken to a hospital in temporary serious condition. Police say they detained both the suspected thief and the clerk.
The case is expected to be reviewed by prosecutors for possible charges.
ELECTION 2020-BLACK VOTERS
Black voters say they won’t forget Trump’s racist tweets
DETROIT (AP) — Dozens of black leaders, activists and voters in pivotal swing states in next year’s presidential election say they won’t forget President Donald Trump’s racist tweets about four congresswomen of color
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s annual NAACP convention in Detroit, they say they are as motivated by Trump’s attacks on the congresswomen as some of Trump’s supporters, but in opposition to his reelection.
Black turnout in 2016 was down about 7 percentage points compared to 2012, the last election with Barack Obama on the ticket.
A Wisconsin state representative from Milwaukee who is black, David Bowen, says incidents like Trump’s racist tweets will remind people that four more years with Trump as president won’t benefit the country or black people.
Democratic candidates for president will be speaking at the NAACP gathering.
CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST-DETROIT
Statue of slain civil right activist dedicated in Detroit
DETROIT (AP) — A statue of a civil rights activist who was slain in Alabama during a 1965 voting rights march has been dedicated at the Detroit park that bears her name.
The statue unveiled Tuesday shows Viola Liuzzo walking barefoot — with shoes in one hand — and a Ku Klux Klan hood on the ground behind her. Sculptor Austen Brantley, who memorialized the white activist from Detroit, says Liuzzo’s life “tells us … to take action in our community and our nation.”
Liuzzo, a 39-year-old mother of five, drove from Detroit to Alabama to join 25,000 others in support of a march led by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. She was driving fellow activists between Montgomery and Selma when she was fatally shot by Ku Klux Klan members in another car.
Power restoration work wrapping up after storms hit Michigan
DETROIT (AP) — Crews are wrapping restoring electricity after severe storms over two days knocked out power to more than 800,000 Michigan homes and businesses.
Detroit-based DTE Energy says about 14,000 customers still lacked power Wednesday morning after a weekend of storms that came amid dangerously hot weather that eventually eased. The utility says most remaining outages involve severe damage and some are in areas that aren’t easily accessible.
DTE expects power to be fully restored by the end of Wednesday. Roughly 600,000 customers were in the dark at the peak. Customers who’ve been without power for 120 hours or longer may be eligible for a $25 reliability credit .
Jackson, Michigan-based Consumers Energy’s outage map showed only a few outages Wednesday. The number affected was as high as 220,000 due to the storms.
BENTON HARBOR SCHOOLS
Benton Harbor school board sending new plan to governor
(Information from: The Herald-Palladium, http://www.heraldpalladium.com)
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A southwestern Michigan school board has approved a new plan to improve the struggling district that will go to the governor’s office for review.
The Benton Harbor Area Schools board voted Tuesday night on the plan, which would last at least four years.
The Herald-Palladium reports the plan would pay down the district’s at least $16 million in debt with help from the state and raise student achievement. School officials intend to use the plan as a starting point during mediation with state officials in the coming weeks.
The school board previously rejected plans by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her office, including one that would have increased teacher compensation. Whitmer drew opposition when she sent the Benton Harbor school board a proposal that could close its high school .
Michigan attorney general opposes dropping wolf protection
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is opposing a federal plan to drop gray wolves from the endangered species list.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the wolf has recovered in the Lower 48 states and no longer needs federal protection. More than 5,000 live in the contiguous U.S., including roughly 660 in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
The service wants to turn management of the species over to the states.
In comments submitted recently, Nessel says the Fish and Wildlife Service has tried repeatedly to remove wolves from the protected list without providing adequate justification.
She says eliminating the federal shield would lead to renewed hunting and could imperil the species.
Wolves in the Lower 48 were hunted, trapped and poisoned to near-extinction before legal protection was granted in the 1970s.
Midwest officials gather in Wisconsin to discuss CWD
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wildlife officials from around the Midwest are converging in Wisconsin to discuss chronic wasting disease.
The two-day conference is set to begin Wednesday at Madison’s Monona Terrace convention center. It’s slated to conclude Thursday afternoon.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is hosting the event. Officials from the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Wisconsin DNR, the Minnesota DNR and the Michigan DNR are scheduled to attend. They plan to discuss the latest research on CWD and how to better manage the disease. The conference will conclude with recommendations for improvement.
CWD attacks deer’s brains, causing them to grow thin, act abnormally and eventually die.
Judge: Teens in fatal rock-throwing will get adult sentences
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Four teens who pleaded guilty to throwing a rock from an expressway overpass in 2017 that caused the death of a 32-year-old man will be sentenced as adults.
Genesee Circuit Judge Joseph J. Farah on Tuesday ruled lawyers for 18-year-old Mark A. Sekelsky, 16-year-old Trevor A. Gray, 17-year-old Mikadyn M. Payne and 17-year-old Alexzander S. Miller have until Aug. 20 to withdraw their guilty pleas.
Kenneth White of Mt. Morris was riding in a van when a rock smashed through a van windshield on Interstate 75 in Vienna Township, 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Detroit.
Kyle Anger, who was accused of throwing the rock that hit the van, pleaded guilty in October to second-degree murder. He was not in court Tuesday.
In his ruling, Farah pointed to social media messages that included discussions by the teens about getting tear-drop tattoos after reports surfaced that White died.
Clinics will show people how to expunge criminal records
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court says some counties in mid-Michigan and the northern Lower Peninsula are holding clinics to inform people about expunging criminal convictions.
There will be a clinic Friday at the Gratiot County court from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., followed by similar events next week in Wexford, Kalkaska, Otsego and Crawford counties. Judges and lawyers will explain the process and can help people start applications.
Some convictions can be set aside under certain conditions. Someone can be eligible if five years have passed since the sentence was ordered or served. Traffic offenses, such as drunken driving, don’t count, and there are other exceptions.
Prosecutors are given an opportunity to oppose an application for expungement. A judge also has discretion to approve or reject it.