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GREAT LAKES-HIGH WATER
Rising Great Lakes erode shorelines, create uncertainty
(Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org)
DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Rapidly rising water levels in the Great Lakes are damaging shorelines and creating uncertainty for lakeshore residents.
The city of Duluth has dealt with three major storms on Lake Superior in less than two years, with the latest hitting last October. Duluth’s construction project supervisor, Mike LeBeau, tells Minnesota Public Radio News high water levels are making the storms even more destructive. Duluth officials estimate total damage from the three storms at nearly $30 million.
Around the Great Lakes, beaches have disappeared, docks are submerged and lakeshore is eroding. Lake levels began rising rapidly in 2014. This summer, Lakes Erie and Ontario reached their highest levels ever recorded — thanks to months of abnormally wet weather — and Lake Superior has set new monthly records.
But the higher lake levels are a boon for the shipping industry, which was complaining about record low water levels only six years ago. Deeper water allows ships to carry more cargo.
Longtime Oakland County chief L. Brooks Patterson dies at 80
DETROIT (AP) — A spokesman says longtime Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has died at his suburban Detroit home months after announcing he had pancreatic cancer.
Spokesman Bill Mullan said the 80-year-old Patterson died Saturday at his Independence Township home. He was halfway through a seventh term leading the affluent county, but said in March he would not seek re-election next year.
He had been Oakland County’s chief since 1993 and served as its prosecutor from 1973 to 1988. In 1972, he served as attorney for a group opposing a federal judge’s order for school busing integration.
The outspoken Patterson had a history of verbally sparring with other regional leaders, especially those in Detroit. He apologized last year after saying he’d rather join the Ku Klux Klan than a group of CEOs he had accused of snatching business from Oakland County to benefit Detroit.
Patterson’s daughter Mary Warner said in a statement her father “was a courageous fighter.”
Indiana casinos looking for jump on Midwest sports betting
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana casinos are racing ahead with preparations to launch legalized sports betting in early September, looking to seize an advantage over competitors in neighboring states where such wagers aren’t yet allowed.
A new state law approved this spring allows betting to start Sept. 1 on professional and collegiate sports.
All of Indiana’s 13 casinos and three off-track betting parlors are gearing up for on-site sports wagering. Most say they want to start taking bets before the NFL season starts Sept. 5. They are also working to launch online betting apps but it those might not become available until later in the fall.
Caesars’ regional president, Dan Nita, says the company hopes to gain an advantage with a quick start and to attract gamblers to its Hammond casino before Illinois launches sports betting.
PHYSICS FACILITY-MICHIGAN STATE
Michigan State nuclear research facility set to open in 2021
(Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com)
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The director of Michigan State University’s $765 million nuclear research facility says it should open in 2021.
The Lansing State Journal reports that the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams will be used to study the short-lived particles produced as charged beams collide with a target. The findings could have implications in understanding how matter formed in the universe and in fields including national security and medicine.
Laboratory Director Thomas Glasmacher says it is 92% complete.
Engineers installed the first of three pieces of the linear accelerator, which will fire the particle beams. Glasmacher says the second piece will be installed by next summer.
The U.S. Department of Energy contributed $635.5 million to the project. The state gave $94.5 million, and the university paid $35 million.
More than $34M in FAA grants going to 4 Michigan airports
ROMULUS, Mich. (AP) — Four Michigan airports will share in more than $34 million in federal grants.
The U.S. Department of Transportation says Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, southwest of Detroit, will receive more than $21 million for runway construction.
About $11 million will go to the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids for apron rehabilitation. The Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport will get just over $1.5 million to conduct an environmental study. The Alpena County Regional Airport will use $527,000 to buy snow removal equipment.
The grants are part of $478 million most recently awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration to airports across the United States for infrastructure projects. It’s the fourth allotment of more than $3 billion in Airport Improvement Program funding.
SCRAP TIRE CLEANUPS
Michigan offers grants for scrap tire removal projects
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — State grants are available to help Michigan property owners get rid of scrap tires.
The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy says scrap tires pose a fire risk. They’re also a health hazard because they are ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
They can be collected, processed and used for a variety of purposes, including road pavement, energy production and numerous manufactured products.
The scrap tire cleanup grant program gives priority to locations where tires accumulated prior to Jan. 1, 1991, as well as collection sites that pose an imminent threat to public health, safety or the environment.
Local governments and nonprofit organizations are also eligible for funding to support cleanup days and roadside tire removals.
The grant application deadline is Aug. 30.
4 victims of fatal crash in southwestern Michigan identified
BUCHANAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Officials have identified the four people who were killed when another car ran a stop sign at a high rate of speed and slammed into their vehicle in southwestern Michigan’s Berrien County.
The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office identified the driver who was killed as 66-year-old Robert Klint of Sawyer. The passengers who died have been identified as 60-year-old Melissa Klint of Sawyer, 22-year-old Landyn Klint of Sawyer and 52-year-old Virginia resident Kent Williamson.
In a news release, the sheriff’s department says that after the driver and passenger of the other vehicle were treated at South Bend Memorial Hospital, investigators believe that alcohol and speed were factors in Friday’s crash. The names of the driver and passenger have not been released.
Impeachment summer? August town halls may decide next steps
WASHINGTON (AP) — At a town hall in New Jersey, freshman Democratic Rep. Andy Kim came face to face with impeachment fervor. “Do your job!” shouted one voter.
Several states away, a woman held up a copy of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and told Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin she hoped she would put the House “over the top to start an impeachment inquiry.”
And in Virginia, newcomer Rep. Abigail Spanberger encountered voters with questions, if not resolve, about impeaching President Donald Trump.
None of the lawmakers support impeachment. But these freshman lawmakers, and others like them, will likely decide when, if ever, House Democrats start formal impeachment efforts.
With half the House Democrats now in favor of beginning an inquiry, the pressure will only mount on the holdouts during the August recess.
Man charged in theft of cellphone from courtroom bench
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) — A cellphone left unattended on a courtroom bench proved too enticing a target for a suburban Detroit man appearing before the judge on another matter.
The Macomb County prosecutor’s office says Friday that the man was waiting to be sentenced in June in Macomb Circuit Court for a 2017 traffic case when he saw the phone on the bench in front of him.
He sat down beside the phone, placed his hat atop it before sliding the phone into his pocket.
The phone’s owner returned and asked a courtroom deputy for assistance when he saw it had been removed. The deputy reviewed the courtroom’s video feed which recorded the theft.
The Eastpointe man is charged with larceny in a building in connection with the stolen phone.
Bill would expand health care options for Native veterans
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A bill introduced in Congress would expand health care options for Native American veterans.
New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall and California Rep. Ro Khanna announced the bill Friday. A bipartisan group of lawmakers has signed on as co-sponsors.
The measure would allow the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to reimburse about three dozen health care facilities in 20 states for services provided to Native veterans in urban areas. California leads in the number of urban Indian health centers.
A reimbursement system already exists for about 185 hospitals and clinics run by the federal Indian Health Service or by tribes in more remote areas. Udall’s office says those agreements helped more than 9,300 Native veterans last year.
Census figures show about three-quarters of Native Americans live in urban areas.
This story corrects the number of states to 20, not 19.