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

SEVERE WEATHER-INDIANA

High winds knock out power in parts of Indiana, Michigan

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Strong wind gusts from remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobal have knocked out power to about 13,000 homes and businesses in northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. Indiana Michigan Power says about 9,400 of its Indiana customers in the South Bend and Elkhart areas were without service late Tuesday. About 3,600 customers in Michigan also lost power. The utility says crews have restored service to all but about 4,000 customers. WOOD-TV reports that Hopkins Village President Terry Weik was taking down flower baskets from his porch Tuesday south of Grand Rapids, Michigan, when the tree in front of his home started to fall toward him. It punched through the home’s roof. No one was hurt.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN

Nursing homes eye visitors — if virus testing if expanded

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The leader of a nursing home group says expanded coronavirus testing is crucial to reopening the facilities to visitors, saying Michigan may be close to relaxing restrictions in a phased way. Melissa Samuel, president and CEO of the Health Care Association of Michigan, told lawmakers Tuesday that some initial “baseline” testing of all residents and staff is underway with help from the Michigan National Guard. But it is not complete, and there is not yet resolution on how to pay for ongoing testing or its frequency. Samuel says nursing homes recognize the difficulties of visitation prohibitions for family and residents.

AP-US-MICHIGAN-PIPELINE

Federal court upholds Enbridge’s Great Lakes spill plans

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A federal court has sided with pipeline company Enbridge in a dispute over plans to deal with a potential oil spill in Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week overruled a judge who had found that a federal agency wrongly approved Enbridge’s plans. The judge agreed with the National Wildlife Federation that the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration should have considered risks to endangered species and required an environmental impact statement. But in a 2-1 ruling, the appeals panel said the agency had correctly based its approval of the plans on criteria in the Clean Water Act. 

AP-US-MALL-DEAL-SCRAPPED

Another major mall deal implodes as pandemic shakes retail

NEW YORK (AP) — The nation’s biggest mall owner is backing out of a $3.6 billion deal to buy a major rival as the coronavirus pandemic shakes the retail economy. It is the second major retail deal signed just before the pandemic began to spread in the U.S. that has crumbled. Last month, a deal to sell Victoria’s Secret to a private equity group fell apart. Simon Property Group said it would buy Taubman Centers in early February, just weeks before the CDC said a California patient was being treated for coronavirus, the first known case in the U.S.

MICHIGAN-FLOOD

Michigan sues dam owner, seeks compensation for destruction

DETROIT (AP) — The state of Michigan has filed a lawsuit against the owner of two dams, seeking fines for the destruction of natural resources as well as “gross mismanagement” that preceded a devastating flood in Midland County. Attorney General Dana Nessel and Liesl Clark, Michigan’s top environmental regulator, say blame for the May 19 flood falls squarely on Boyce Hydro Power. At least 150 homes were destroyed and thousands of people were forced to flee. The Edenville dam failed during a steady rain, draining Wixom Lake and unleashing the Tittabawassee River. A local group was attempting to acquire the dam and make repairs before disaster struck.

VOTER ROLLS-MICHIGAN

Republican sues to force Michigan to purge ineligible voters

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A lawsuit alleges that 16 Michigan counties have abnormally high voter registration rates because state and local election officials are not doing enough to remove ineligible people from the rolls. Republican Tony Daunt’s complaint in Grand Rapids federal court — filed Tuesday — alleges that inaccurate voter lists will undermine the integrity of the 2020 election by letting ineligible people vote unless names are purged. The defendants include Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and 16 county clerks. Actual reports of voting fraud remain extremely rare. Benson’s spokesman says the suit uses “debunked claims and bad statistics.”

TAX BREAK-RECORDS

Appeals court: State can keep a lid on tax credit details

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan appeals court has rejected an effort to cast light on significant state tax credits granted to General Motors by the state. The court said state law allows the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to withhold certain information about tax credits when presented with a public records request. Some information was released in January in an unrelated action while the appeal was pending. The public records lawsuit was filed by Detroit activist David Sole. His attorney, Jerome Goldberg, said a favorable opinion from the appeals court could have opened the door to learning about tax credits extended to other businesses. Goldberg says, “People have a right to know about it.” 

WATER SAFETY-DROWNINGS

Officials emphasize safety after 2 drown in Lake Michigan

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — Authorities in western Michigan say the weekend drownings of a 6-year-old boy and a teenager in Lake Michigan underscore the importance of water safety as temperatures rise. MLive.com reports that staff at Holland State Park on Saturday tried to warn beachgoers that water conditions were dangerous. “Some folks take it seriously and call their loved ones out of the water, and others continue doing what they’re doing,” said Sean Mulligan, unit supervisor for the park. The bodies of 6 year-old Iain Rowe and 17-year-old Christian Ngabo were found after both went missing in separate incidents in the lake. 

AP-US-FORD-VOLKSWAGEN

Ford, VW to collaborate on vans, pickup, electric vehicle

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford and Volkswagen will work together to develop a small city van, a larger cargo van, a small pickup truck and an electric vehicle as part of their global alliance announced last year.The companies on Wednesday announced some details of what the venture will yield, with the city van created by VW and a 1-ton cargo van engineered by Ford to be sold by both companies.Also, VW will make a small pickup built on the underpinnings of Ford’s Ranger, and Ford will build an electric vehicle for Europe based on VW’s modular design, the companies said.The automakers announced the alliance last July amid a string of industry partnerships designed to share the costs of developing new technologies.

AMERICA PROTESTS-DETROIT

Protest group discusses reforms with Detroit officials

DETROIT (AP) — A group protesting police brutality and the death of George Floyd has presented reforms to Detroit’s mayor and police chief that include defunding the city’s police department. An organizer with the newly formed Detroit Will Breathe says the group’s list of 23 demands were discussed Tuesday without reaching any deals with city officials. Nakia Wallace told The Detroit News that “there are no future plans for next steps.” The newspaper says Mayor Mike Duggan deferred questions about the meeting to the protest group. The group also lists demilitarizing the police department and ending its use of facial recognition software as top priorities.