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Teen killed while walking to bus stop in Ottawa County
HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Police say a teenager was struck by a vehicle and killed while walking to a school bus stop in western Michigan’s Ottawa County. The 16-year-old girl attended West Ottawa High School. The sheriff’s office says she was walking west along a street when she was struck by a vehicle traveling east around 7:15 a.m Wednesday. The driver told deputies that she didn’t see the teen until the time of impact.
Indiana county might ease up on marijuana possession
CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — A northwestern Indiana county near Michigan and Illinois is proposing to ease the penalties for marijuana possession. Supporters say it makes sense after Michigan and Illinois legalized pot use. The Lake County Council endorsed an ordinance Tuesday that would give sheriff’s deputies the discretion to write tickets for possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana. Additional votes still would be necessary. The ordinance wouldn’t apply to cities or towns in Lake County. County Council President Ted Bilski says officials must be “fiscally responsible.” He says there wouldn’t be enough room in jail for pot offenders.
Motel hit with major fire on day it closed due to nuisances
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — Fire caused severe damage at a Battle Creek motel on the same day that the property was closing for 90 days due to allegations of drug dealing and other illegal activity. Authorities said no one was hurt in the fire Tuesday night at the Econo Lodge motel. Fire Chief Brian Sturdivant told the Battle Creek Enquirer that firefighters used water for more than two hours. Sturdivant says there’s a “high degree of suspicion” about the cause of the fire. It remains under investigation.
Michigan townships, company reach deal over contamination
PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Two western Michigan townships have reached a tentative settlement with a footwear company in a federal lawsuit over contaminated water. The tentative deal announced Tuesday between Plainfield and Algoma townships and Wolverine World Wide calls for the company to pay $69.5 million toward extending a municipal water system to about 1,000 homes. Those homes with private wells north of Grand Rapids _ near where Wolverine dumped hazardous waste decades ago _ have been affected by the contamination. The chemicals known collectively as PFAS were long used in scores of industrial applications, don’t break down easily and can migrate from soil to groundwater. Some studies have suggested the chemicals can be harmful to human health.
Jury: Lawmaker didn’t lie to FBI, hung on 2 other charges
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A federal jury in western Michigan has cleared a Republican state lawmaker of lying to federal authorities but was hung on two other charges against him. The Detroit News reports jurors Tuesday found Rep. Larry Inman not guilty of lying to the FBI but could not reach a verdict on charges of attempted extortion and soliciting a bribe. Inman, from Williamsburg in the Traverse City area, had been accused of urging union officials in 2018 to round up $30,000 in campaign contributions per legislator to protect a law setting higher wages on state-financed construction projects. Colleagues in the Michigan Legislature asked earlier this year that he resign, but Inman declined.
Michigan House supports 10% raise for Supreme Court justices
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Supreme Court justices would get a 10% raise under a measure that has won initial legislative approval. The state House backed the increase by voice vote Tuesday. The raise was recommended by a state commission that considers the compensation of justices and other elected officials. Supporters say the pay hike is needed because otherwise state Court of Appeals judges will soon make more than justices who sit on Michigan’s highest court. Justices make nearly $165,000 a year. Their pay would rise by 5% in 2021 and 5% in 2022. Their salary would be more than $181,000.
Michigan Legislature OKs restoring over half of vetoed funds
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Republican-led Michigan Legislature has voted to restore more than half of the state funding that was vetoed during a budget impasse. The move Tuesday largely resolves a monthslong stalemate. Lawmakers and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer could address what to do with more than $370 million in unallocated funds in the new year. The main bill includes a new provision allowing lawmakers to reverse any department fund transfers, if Whitmer makes any related to the legislation. She calls the spending bills an “important step forward for Michigan.”
Michigan Senate panel OKs sports betting, online gambling
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan would legalize sports betting and internet gambling under bills that lawmakers plan to send to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer by week’s end. A state Senate panel unanimously passed most of the package Tuesday, setting the stage for final votes Wednesday. The tax on sports wagering receipts after winnings are paid out would be 8.4%. The tax on internet poker and other online games would range between 20% and 28%. Most of the new revenue would go to Michigan’s fund for public schools. Some would help permanently fund compensation for firefighters who get cancer on the job.
Amid climate change concern, GM rolls out big new Chevy SUVs
MILFORD, Mich. (AP) — Global concerns about climate change are not stopping General Motors from making large SUVs for U.S. drivers. GM on Tuesday rolled out the next generation of its big truck-based SUVs with more space and features. They’re also heavier with only a small improvement in gas mileage. The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban will come out in the middle of next year. They’ll be longer and weigh more, because customer research showed a need for more interior space. But environmentalists say GM and other automakers spend billions on advertising to convince people to buy the thirsty and highly profitable trucks and SUVs.
Emails show contractor was worried about Flint’s water
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Emails show senior employees at an engineering company hired by Flint were concerned about lead in the city’s water but didn’t go public in 2015. The Guardian and MLive.com say the emails turned up as part of a lawsuit against Veolia North America by the Michigan attorney general’s office. Veolia is accused of failing to help Flint and state regulators avert the water crisis when Flint used water from the Flint River in 2014 and 2015. In response, Veolia says officials are “trying to create a corporate villain where one does not exist.” Veolia says analyzing corrosive water for lead wasn’t part of its job.