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

SEVERE WEATHER-MICHIGAN

Severe storms spawn tornado in Michigan, hail, flooding

NEW LOTHROP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say severe thunderstorms that moved across Michigan spawned at least one tornado that damaged some structures and knocked down trees.

The National Weather Service says the tornado touched down Thursday night near the Shiawassee County community of New Lothrop, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) northwest of Detroit.

No injuries were reported.

WEYI-TV reports two garages and two barns were damaged or destroyed. A storm survey Friday was to determine the intensity of the tornado.

The storms also hit other parts of the state. Flooding and hail were reported in parts of western and central Michigan. High winds also were felt.

NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING

Police: Shooting outside Michigan nightclub leaves 3 injured

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say an early-morning shooting outside a nightclub near the campus of Western Michigan University left three people injured.

Kalamazoo Public Safety says officers responded about 1:20 a.m. Friday to reports of gunfire and found a large crowd, including two people with apparent gunshot wounds. They say another person showed up at a hospital with a gunshot wound. All three were reported to be in stable condition.

Investigators didn’t immediately say what may have led to the shooting. They say a male suspect in a yellow Chevrolet Camaro was seen leaving the area immediately afterward. He was being sought.

The shooting prompted Western Michigan University’s Department of Public Safety to warn people to exercise caution while in the area.

CHURCH WORKER-SEX ASSAULTS

Former church worker convicted in sexual assault case

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A former church worker has been convicted in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a teenage altar boy at a suburban Detroit church.

Oakland County Circuit Court says 66-year-old Hurmiz Ishak was found guilty Thursday of one count of criminal sexual conduct and acquitted of two others. Sentencing is Sept. 27.

Defense attorney Jalal Dallo argued there was a lack of evidence and said the allegations were fabricated.

Police say the boy’s parents reported alleged assaults last year to a priest at St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in Troy.

The St. Thomas the Apostle Chaldean Catholic Eparchy says church officials contacted authorities as soon as they were told. The church says Ishak served as a sacristan, opening and closing the church, as well as a subdeacon, assisting at services.

SANTA’S WORKSHOP-ARSON

Generous elves will revive Santa’s Workshop in UP after fire

(Information from: The Mining Journal, http://www.miningjournal.net)

ISHPEMING, Mich. (AP) — Santa’s Workshop in the Upper Peninsula will be rebuilt after a devastating fire, thanks to the generosity of the public, especially a former Ishpeming resident with warm childhood memories.

The Mining Journal reports that Tim Easterwood offered to pay the full cost of rebuilding the small structure. He hopes the community’s response might turn the unknown arsonist “in the right direction.”

Authorities say a fire last weekend probably was intentionally set. The workshop has been open in Ishpeming on weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas, giving families a place to visit Santa Claus. Holiday decorations stored inside the building were also destroyed.

High school and college students will rebuild the workshop and trailer. Brett Anttila, a longtime workshop volunteer, says “it’s going to be bigger and better.”

___

BREWERY DEAL

Spanish brewer taking control of Michigan-based Founders

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s largest brewery is being sold to a Spanish partner.

Founders Brewing in Grand Rapids has informed state regulators that Mahou San Miguel Group will have a 90% stake in the brewer by January.

Mahou San Miguel, based in Madrid, acquired a 30% stake in Founders in 2014. Founders says Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers, who co-founded the brewery in 1997, will each retain a 5% share and “have no intention of leaving.”

In a written statement Thursday, Founders says it has “enjoyed an excellent relationship with Mahou Group.” Founders’ beers include All Day IPA, Breakfast Stout and Centennial IPA. It also produces seasonal beers.

MICHIGAN BUDGET-ROADS

Dem: 45-cent tax hike is dead, other options must be in mix

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A top Democratic lawmaker says Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed 45-cents-a-gallon fuel tax increase is dead, and proposals such as raising the corporate income tax and taxing heavy trucks must be in the mix.

House Minority Leader Christine Greig said Thursday that with majority Republicans vehemently opposing the 45-cent plan, there are alternative ways to raise revenue without having to increase the gas tax by as much.

Whitmer, a Democrat, has defended her plan while saying she is open to alternatives, adding that Republicans have yet to propose a viable alternative.

Greig says the important thing is to generate $2.5 billion to fix the roads.

FORD RECALL

Ford recalls 550K vehicles for seat strength problem

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling more than 550,000 trucks and SUVs in North America because seat backs may not properly restrain people in a crash.

The recall covers certain 2018 through 2020 F-150 pickups, 2019 and 2020 Super Duty trucks, 2018 and 2019 Explorer SUVs, and 2019 and 2020 Expedition SUVs. All have manual driver or front passenger seat-back recliner mechanisms.

Also included are some 2020 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator SUVs with rear seats with manual seat-back mechanisms.

Ford says the trucks may not have a third pawl needed for seat strength, increasing the risk of injury in a crash. Ford says it doesn’t know of any crashes or injuries.

Dealers will inspect seat structures and replace them if needed. Most are expected to pass. Owners will be notified starting Oct. 7.

LAWMAKER CHARGED-MICHIGAN

‘Disgrace’: Michigan House urges indicted lawmaker to resign

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan House has approved a resolution urging Rep. Larry Inman to resign as he faces federal charges over an alleged scheme to trade votes for campaign money.

The Republican from the Traverse City area, who was indicted in May, has refused to step down after being kicked out of the Republican caucus and losing his committee assignments.

The resolution, which passed 98-8 Thursday, says Inman’s conduct and statements since the indictment have “drawn ridicule and disgrace” to the House, and have shaken the public’s trust and confidence in the legislative body.

Inman’s attorney, Christopher Cooke, says the vote is “one more punitive action taken before Representative Inman has had a full opportunity to air his side of the story.”

DEPORTED IRAQI-DEATH

Body of deported Iraqi national returning to US for burial

DETROIT (AP) — The body of a 41-year-old Iraqi man who died in Baghdad after being deported from the U.S. for committing multiple crimes is being returned to the Detroit area for burial.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Andy Levin, of Michigan, announced Thursday that Jimmy Aldaoud’s body was in transit and was expected to arrive Friday. Aldaoud, who came to the U.S. as an infant and lived in the Detroit area, was deported in June.

Levin says Aldaoud had diabetes as well as schizophrenia and other mental health issues. He spoke no Arabic and had no family in Iraq.

A private funeral is planned for next week. Levin says the Chaldean Community Foundation is covering the costs of repatriating Aldaoud’s body.

He was among hundreds of Iraqi nationals who were arrested to enforce deportation orders.

SOLDIER SLAIN-CONVICTION

Woman gets life in ambush slaying of soldier husband

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — The wife of a U.S. Army sergeant from Michigan who was convicted of plotting to kill her husband has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Twenty-two-year-old Kemia Hassel learned her punishment Thursday. A Berrien County jury found her guilty of murder last month in the death of Sgt. Tyrone Hassel III. The 23-year-old was fatally shot in an ambush on New Year’s Eve while visiting family in St. Joseph Township.

Kemia Hassel chose not to speak at the sentencing hearing.

Prosecutors argued at trial that she planned her husband’s death so she could continue a romantic relationship with 24-year-old Jeremy Cuellar. All three were soldiers stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia.

Cuellar has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and faces a minimum sentence of 65 years in prison.