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Judge could consider handwriting expert for Franklin’s will

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A judge is expected to consider a request for a handwriting expert to examine wills discovered in couch cushions after Aretha Franklin’s death.

A hearing is scheduled Tuesday in Oakland County Probate Court, north of Detroit.

A handwritten 2014 document shows Franklin apparently wanted her son, Kecalf Franklin, to serve as the representative of her estate, which might be worth millions.

But lawyers for Franklin’s estate have said “there is no basis” to believe Kecalf Franklin has those skills.

After Franklin’s death last August her heirs agreed to put the estate in the hands of Franklin’s niece, Sabrina Owens, who is a university administrator. Attorneys for Theodore White II said in a court filing that White should be named co-executor, along with Owens.

White and Owens’ names appeared in a 2010 handwritten will, but were crossed out in the 2014 document.


Former union official sentenced in federal corruption probe

DETROIT (AP) — A former United Auto Workers vice president has been sentenced to 15 months in prison in a scheme that funneled cash from a job training center in Detroit toward personal uses.

Norwood Jewell appeared Monday in U.S. District Court in Detroit. He is the highest ranking labor official charged and the eighth person sentenced in the ongoing investigation into illegal payoffs to UAW officials.

The center was financed by Fiat Chrysler. Former Fiat Chrysler executive Al Iacobelli is serving a 5½-year prison sentence .

The 61-year-old Jewell pleaded guilty in April. His plea agreement listed $60,000 in meals and golf paid with training center credit cards. Credit cards also were used for more than $40,000 in purchases for Jewell and others.

The UAW says in a statement that Jewell’s sentencing “speaks for itself.”


Developer prevails in fight over Detroit suburb development

(Information from: Detroit Free Press,

GROSSE POINTE SHORES, Mich. (AP) — A developer has prevailed in a dispute with residents of an upscale Detroit suburb over how many luxury homes should occupy a sizable portion of land in the community.

An eight-bedroom 1940s mansion formerly sat on the 8 acres (3.2 hectares) in question in Grosse Pointe Shores.

The Detroit Free Press reports scores of trees have been removed after developer Richard Russell recently got the green light from the Michigan Court of Appeals. He can build 16 houses, not the 18 he proposed. Area residents wanted no more than six homes on the last big open tract of land in Grosse Pointe Shores.

Russell says he’s ready to break ground on the first home following the court ruling. Opponents had worried about traffic congestion, public safety and property values.



Detroit police precincts to celebrate National Night Out

DETROIT (AP) — Police precincts in Detroit have scheduled a number of community-building events as part of the annual National Night Out observance.

The 2nd Police Precinct will feature a petting farm, pony rides, games and health wellness checks beginning at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Other precincts are hosting events that include bounce houses for children, mobile libraries, live music, food and other games.

National Night Out is designed to enhance relationships between residents and law enforcement while bringing back a sense of community.

Nationwide, thousands of communities plan to hold neighborhood block parties, festivals, cookouts, safety demonstrations and seminars for National Night Out. It’s held annually on the first Tuesday in August.


Ironwood man identified as pilot in UP plane crash

(Information from: WLUC-TV,

CARP LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities have identified a pilot who died after a small plane crashed in a remote area of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

WLUC-TV reports Ontonagon County officials have identified the pilot as 36-year-old Jack Maccani of Ironwood. He was pronounced dead at the crash scene.

Cellphone location data helped locate the plane in a remote area of Carp Lake Township.

A search began Saturday after the plane departed from the Gogebic County Airport but didn’t arrive as scheduled at the Ontonagon Airport.

The NTSB said Saturday night that it’s investigating the crash of the Piper PA-28 in Ontonagon.



Whitmer orders flags lowered for mass shooting victims

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags be lowered to honor the victims of the weekend mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Whitmer said Sunday the flags should be displayed at half-staff on all state buildings, grounds and facilities until sunset on Thursday. She also encourages local governments, businesses, residents and others to do the same.

In all, 29 people were killed and about 50 injured in less than 24 hours.

Whitmer called gun violence “a public health crisis” requiring “action to make sure firearms don’t end up in the hands of someone who wants to hurt themselves or others.”


Services set for Oakland County chief L. Brooks Patterson

WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The public is invited to attend a viewing, visitation and funeral for longtime Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.

The viewing is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon in the conference center of the L. Brooks Patterson Building in Waterford Township and visitation is set for Wednesday and Thursday at Woodside Bible Church in Troy.

The funeral is scheduled for Thursday afternoon at the church. The burial will be private.

The 80-year-old Patterson died Saturday at his Independence Township home, months after announcing he had pancreatic cancer. He was halfway through a seventh term leading the affluent county, but said he would not seek re-election next year.


AAA: Michigan gas prices fall 10 cents to $2.75 per gallon

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says average gas prices statewide have fallen 10 cents from a week ago to about $2.75 per gallon.

The Dearborn-based auto club said Monday the average price for self-serve regular unleaded is about 17 cents less than a year ago. It adds prices could continue to drop if demand remains low.

The state’s highest average was in the Ann Arbor and Detroit areas at around $2.85. The lowest price was in the Traverse City area at roughly $2.62 per gallon.

AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel prices at 2,800 gas stations across the state.




Transit agencies get federal grants for electric buses

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Department of Transportation and the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation will receive $2.6 million in grants to buy up to six electric buses and charging infrastructure.

Funding is through a federal transit grant program. The award offers each agency opportunities to partner with DTE Electric and all-electric bus manufacturer Proterra.

The agencies submitted a joint application in March for funding to replace older and mileage-eligible diesel buses with all-electric buses.

The new buses are expected to hit the streets in 2021.


Organizations get grants to promote accurate Census count

DETROIT (AP) — Nearly $1 million in grants have been awarded to Detroit-area organizations seeking to promote and support a fair and accurate 2020 U.S. Census count.

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan says the grants range from $7,000 to $75,000. Funding runs through August 2020.

The foundation’s Southeast Michigan Counts is a strategic effort to foster regional participation in the 2020 census. It says organizations receiving funding will work to promote awareness and action by historically undercounted populations such as communities of color, low-income households, immigrants and young children.

Foundation President Mariam C. Noland says accurate census counts are essential for federal funds that support education, infrastructure and services for communities.

The foundation is a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations.