Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
VIRUS OUTBREAK-RESTAURANT HOAX
Ludington restaurant suffered after busboy lied about virus
LUDINGTON, Mich. (AP) — A northern Michigan restaurant lost thousands of dollars in sales after a busboy said he had COVID-19, but the employee simply wanted a day off and lied. David Hritco is manager of Timbers Seafood and Steakhouse in Ludington. Hritco says it’s “heartbreaking.” The restaurant closed Friday and Saturday. The timing was terrible for the restaurant, which is trying to recover during the peak summer season after months of being closed. Hritco says the employee confessed to the lie Saturday night. The manager says it’s now a matter for Ludington police.
Federal aid helps Michigan fill $2.2B hole; more sought
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers will return to session to pass a multibillion-dollar plan to resolve the deficit caused by the coronavirus shutdown — with a mix of spending cuts, a drawdown of the state’s savings and a big influx of federal rescue aid. The framework of the deal was announced three weeks ago by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republican legislative leaders. But now negotiators are ironing out specifics in hopes of patching the remaining $2.2 billion budget hole this week before turning their attention to another major shortfall in the fiscal year that starts in October.
DETROIT SHOOTING-THREE DEAD
3 dead, 1 wounded in overnight shooting at Detroit eatery
DETROIT (AP) — Detroit police say a suspect is in custody after three men were killed and a fourth was wounded in an overnight shooting at a restaurant on the city’s west side. Detroit Police Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood tells the Detroit Free Press that the suspect was in custody in late Sunday’s shooting at A. Eagle’s Coney Island. But she offered no additional details about that person or the four shooting victims. Kirkwood also did not offer a motive for the slayings, saying only that it was still being investigated. Sunday’s shooting was among a string of violent crimes in Detroit over the weekend.
Michigan college holds in-person graduation despite order
HILLSDALE, Mich. (AP) — A politically-connected conservative college in southern Michigan has defied warnings from state and public health officials by holding an in-person graduation ceremony. The Detroit News reports Hillsdale College held graduation Saturday evening. The college had expected more than 2,000 people. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel had called the celebration amid restrictions on public gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic illegal. COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in recent days. University officials say graduation is an important milestone and safety precautions were taken, including wearing masks. More than 73,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Michigan.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS
Wayne County receives $7.5M to assist small businesses
DETROIT (AP) — Wayne County has received $7.5 million to assist small businesses suffering through the coronavirus pandemic. The small business grants from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. are through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The funding is in addition to $50 million in small business readiness grants Wayne County allocated to small businesses about two weeks ago. The county is expanding its small business grant program and has started a second phase of applications through Aug. 5. The county says applications will be processed in batches on a first-come, first-served basis.
Cancer doctor’s victims get restitution years after sentence
DETROIT (AP) — More than $4 million has been distributed to hundreds of people who were victims of a Detroit-area doctor’s bogus diagnoses. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says restitution from Farid Fata was recently completed for his former patients, five years after Fata was sentenced to 45 years in prison. Fata poisoned patients through needless cancer treatments that wrecked their health and, in some cases, contributed to their death. More than 600 people filed claims for out-of-pocket expenses, such as co-payments and funeral expenses. It was a long process that involved the government, an outside contractor and judges at U.S. District Court.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-DETROIT CASINOS
Detroit, its casinos see revenues drop due to virus closures
DETROIT (AP) — Revenue from Detroit’s three casinos has plummeted nearly 60% so far this year as the gambling halls’ months-long closure in response to the coronavirus pandemic continues. The decline also is leaving the city without a major source of tax revenue. The Detroit News reports that MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Greektown Casino have struggled to book revenue during the state-mandated closures. In turn, the city is seeing less casino wagering taxes this year. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in March ordered casinos closed along with gyms, bars and theaters in an effort to slow down the rate of virus infection.
Abandoned row houses being renovated in Detroit neighborhood
DETROIT (AP) — An abandoned multifamily building in southwest Detroit is being renovated into a dozen modern housing units as part of Mayor Mike Duggan’s plan to improve city neighborhoods. The development is in Detroit’s Hubbard Farms neighborhood. When completed, three of the units in the Murray-Hubbard Farms will be offered as affordable housing. The $4.5 million project is expected to be completed next spring. The original building of row houses was built about a century ago and long has been an eyesore. The project is receiving financing from the Detroit Neighborhoods Fund through Capital Impact Partners and the Strategic Neighborhood Fund through Invest Detroit.
DETROIT COUNCILMAN-MISCONDUCT CHARGE
Detroit councilman Leland charged with misconduct in office
DETROIT (AP) — A prosecutor says a Detroit city councilman has been charged with misconduct in office for allegedly accepting monetary payments to influence how he voted. Gabe Leland was charged Friday by the Monroe County Prosecutor’s office, which alleges that he accepted the payments between Jan. 1, 2017, and Jan. 31, 2018. Prosecutor Michael Roehrig says the charging document alleges that Leland “accepted payments of money to influence his vote on certain city matters over the course of his employment as a city councilman.” The felony charge comes a month before the scheduled start of Leland’s trial in federal court on bribery charges.
14 hours later, Trump says he is ‘saddened’ by Lewis’ death
WASHINGTON (AP) — Fourteen hours passed before President Donald Trump took to Twitter to acknowledge the death of civil rights icon congressman John Lewis. In the meantime, Trump retweeted old missives excoriating former Vice President Joe Biden and lashed out at his former national security adviser and niece for writing tell-all books about him. Trump also went golfing in northern Virginia. As Trump returned to the White House, he offered his and the first lady’s condolences in a two-sentence Twitter message. By that point all four living former U.S. presidents, Vice President Mike Pence and scores of lawmakers had publicly remarked on the passing of the lawmaker.