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


Grand Rapids selected for lead pipe replacement grant

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan city has been selected to receive a $5.1 million federal water infrastructure improvement grant to help pay for lead service line replacement. The Environmental Protection Agency says the funding also will support public engagement in Grand Rapids on the risks of lead in drinking water. Both goals are part of the city’s strategic plan. The grant will help fund 1,700 lead service line replacements in the coming years, in addition to 603 replacements currently planned in Grand Rapids’ fiscal year 2021 budget. Since 2017, the city has replaced more than 1,500 lead service lines during construction projects and through emergency leak replacements.


Flint boy, 3, killed as home is sprayed with gunfire

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Police in Flint are trying to solve the slaying of a 3-year-old boy who was sleeping near a window when his home was peppered with gunfire. Messiah Williams was shot in the head Friday night. Police Chief Terence Green says investigators believe it was a targeted shooting. Messiah’s father says the gunmen might have been trying to hurt a live-in babysitter. Messiah was the youngest of four boys. Green is urging the gunmen to show remorse and step forward. The police chief says, “We’re coming for you.”


Microsoft to host virtual open house on remote learning

DETROIT (AP) — Microsoft will host a virtual open house designed to address the needs of teachers, other educators, students and families navigating remote learning. The free event is scheduled Nov. 7 and offers more than 30 workshops, seminars and presentations. Students, educators and parents from the Detroit area are expected to join participants from across the U.S., Canada and Europe. Sessions will cover educational and accessibility tools to create an inclusive classroom, new ways for effective virtual communication, tips for maintaining school and work and life balance, and guides for improving physical and mental health during remote learning.


Detroit developing plan for easier traverse of city streets

DETROIT (AP) — The city of Detroit is developing a transportation plan to make it easier and safer for residents to walk, bike, drive or ride along city streets. Public input is being sought for the plan dubbed “Streets for People.” The city says the plan is expected to be completed within the next 12 months. It seeks to knit together diverse neighborhoods, prioritize safety of the most vulnerable road users, and identify clear implementation and design strategies for roadway improvement. A series of virtual community engagement meetings, a text campaign and surveys will be held over the next several months.


Some Michigan sheriffs won’t enforce open carry ban at polls

BEULAH, Mich. (AP) — Some sheriffs say they won’t enforce Michigan’s top elections official’s ban on openly carrying guns near polling places on Election Day. The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel says Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s guidance is “illegal” and she doesn’t have the authority to make laws. Benson sent the guidance to clerks earlier this month, days after members of two anti-government paramilitary groups were charged with taking part in plotting the kidnapping of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Some elections officials and voter rights experts have been concerned about violence at the polls.


Michigan is an outlier in electing university boards

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — As Michigan voters look at their ballot in November they will have the unique option to elect three university governance boards. As the only state to put public university leadership roles on a statewide ballot, controversial leadership has been in the spotlight recently. Public universities’ decisions are center stage nationally due to the number of campus coronavirus cases, but in Michigan, leadership during scandals also has caused discussion at the universities and in the Legislature about possible changes to the status quo. The process of electing these boards is partisan — candidates for the three boards are selected through party conventions who run for eight-year terms. 


Northern Michigan vineyards expect solid grape crop in 2020

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Vineyard managers say a solid grape crop is expected this year in northern Michigan. Black Star Farms head winemaker and managing partner for operations Lee Lutes says that “the fruit itself, for the most part, has been exceptional.” Black Star expects to wrap up its grape harvest around the first week in November. Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery on Old Mission Peninsula, near Traverse City, is on track to finish picking around the middle of November. Brys vintner Coenraad Stassen says the fruit is just starting to ripen to where they feel comfortable to pick it.


Servicewomen killed in Alabama plane crash identified

FOLEY, Ala. (AP) — Authorities have identified the two service members who were killed when their plane crashed in a residential Alabama neighborhood. U.S. Coast Guard Ensign Morgan Garrett and U.S. Navy Lt. Rhiannon Ross were on a routine training flight Friday out of Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Florida when their plane crashed in Foley, Alabama. The T-6B Texan II aircraft crashed around 5 p.m. Friday. No one was injured on the ground. Garrett was a student aviator for the Coast Guard. She was identified by the superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Ross was later identified by the Navy.


Michigan water trails receive recreation designations

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Two water trails in Michigan have been given national recreation designations that are expected to increase public access to outdoor opportunities. The Flint River Water Trail is 73 miles long and the Shiawassee River Water Trail is 88 miles long. The U.S. Interior Department says they are among 30 new national recreation trails designated in 25 states, adding more than 1,275 miles to the National Trails System. Hiking and biking advocates say the new designations will enhance recreational opportunities across the U.S.


UP universities competing to see who’s No. 1 in flu shots

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) — College students in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are rolling up their sleeves for a trophy — and hopefully better health. Four schools are competing to see which one has the highest percentage of students and staff getting a flu shot. The ongoing results are updated online. The Center for Rural Health at Northern Michigan University says the winning school will receive a trophy and bragging rights. The schools are Northern Michigan, Michigan Tech University, Finlandia University and Lake Superior State University.