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George Perles, citing health, resigns as MSU trustee
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — George Perles has resigned as a member of Michigan State University’s governing board after nearly 12 years, citing his age and health.
Perles was a former Michigan State football coach and athletic director before winning election as a trustee in 2006. A Democrat, he was re-elected to an eight-year term in 2014.
The 84-year-old Perles has Parkinson’s disease, and he says the consequences “continue to grow.” In a statement dated Wednesday, he says he and wife Sally “need to make our life smaller as we age and consider our quality of life.”
Brian Breslin, chairman of the Michigan State board, suggested Gov. Rick Snyder would name a replacement and not leave it to the next governor, Gretchen Whitmer.
In September, a woman alleged that Perles covered up a rape allegation against sports doctor Larry Nassar when Perles was athletic director in 1992. Pat Perles called it a “fabrication” and insisted his father had never met the woman.
Boy could avoid prison in sister’s accidental fatal shooting
(Information from: The Muskegon Chronicle, http://www.mlive.com/muskegon)
MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — A 16-year-old boy could avoid a lengthy prison sentence for the accidental fatal shooting of his 14-year-old sister at their home in western Michigan.
The teen was charged as an adult in juvenile court following the Aug. 20 shooting in Muskegon Heights. The Muskegon Chronicle reports, however, that Muskegon County Probate Court Judge Kathy Hoogstra sentenced him Wednesday as a juvenile to at least a year in a residential treatment facility.
The teen in October pleaded no contest to second-degree murder. If he successfully completes probation, he’ll avoid a 13-year prison sentence and the charge would be reduced to manslaughter.
Police say the boy was playing with a handgun when it discharged, shooting his sister in the back. The Associated Press isn’t naming the girl to avoid identifying her brother.
Woman enters plea in August crash that killed 9-year-old
PETOSKEY, Mich. (AP) — A woman is awaiting sentencing after entering a plea in a crash that killed a 9-year-old who was walking his bike with his mother along a road in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula.
Thirty-seven-year-old Holley Hibbler of Petoskey pleaded no contest Wednesday in an agreement with prosecutors to one count of reckless driving causing death. A no contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing. The charge is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
The crash happened the morning of Aug. 8 in Emmet County’s Springvale Township. Authorities say Hibbler hit Sharon Myers and her son Samuel as they walked their bikes. The boy was taken to a hospital, where he died, and his mother was injured. Hibbler wasn’t injured in the crash.
Bills to ease upgrade to 5G wireless systems go to governor
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Bills designed to ease upgrades to 5G wireless systems in Michigan are heading toward Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk.
The Senate will enroll the legislation Thursday, a day after it was passed by the House.
The bills would create streamlined regulations, including fees, to install a dense network of smaller, lower-powered cells on telephone poles and other infrastructure in public rights of way. They are backed by wireless providers and business groups but opposed by municipalities who say they interfere with their right to recover costs. Other opponents worry about the health effects of the technology.
5G systems are the fifth generation of wireless technology.
AT&T Michigan President David Lewis says installing small cells will enable faster wireless internet speeds and provide more capacity for things like streaming music or videos.
Medical marijuana shops may be able to buy from caregivers
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Medical marijuana shops that have trouble buying pot from licensed growers may get a reprieve from regulators as a new regulatory system gets off the ground.
The state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs proposed Wednesday that dispensaries be able to briefly source their marijuana product through caregivers instead of licensed growers, under certain conditions. Each registered caregiver has been supplying a limited number of patients since voters legalized medical marijuana a decade ago.
Under the nascent licensing system, growers can sell marijuana to provisioning centers, which in turn can distribute to patients. But growers have not produced enough product initially.
A licensing board will consider the department’s recommendation next week.
Licensees could sell marijuana products received from caregivers through January, while growers could buy products from caregivers through February.
ASIAN CARP-GREAT LAKES
Cost of keeping Asian carp from Great Lakes nearly triples
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A federal plan to prevent Asian carp from establishing themselves in the Great Lakes has gotten considerably more expensive.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week released its final strategy for placing technological roadblocks to the invasive fish at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Illinois, a choke point between the carp-infested Illinois River and Lake Michigan.
The price tag is nearly $778 million, which is nearly three times the $275 million that the Corps estimated in a 2017 draft version.
Officials say further study during the past year showed that features such as a specially designed vessel channel, noisemakers and a water-flushing lock would cost more than originally believed.
After a public comment period, the Corps expects to send the plan to Congress in February.
FIRST RESPONDERS AWARDS-DETROIT
Detroit police, firefighters honored for life-saving efforts
DETROIT (AP) — First responders in Detroit will be recognized during an annual awards ceremony for efforts that resulted in saving the lives of residents or fellow police officers and firefighters.
The Detroit Public Safety Foundation says that 23 police officers, eight firefighters and one paramedic will receive the Medal of Valor Thursday at the Above and Beyond ceremony. Seven Purple Heart medals also will be awarded — four posthumously.
A Medical Merit Award also will be awarded to a paramedic.
Fifteen police officers are being honored with the Medal of Valor for their efforts during a February standoff with a gunman who killed his girlfriend and two other women. Two of the officers were wounded before the gunman fatally shot himself.
Two other officers will be honored for talking a man out of taking his own life.
Trump tests presidential limits by threat to General Motors
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is testing the limits of his presidential authority and political muscle by threatening to slash all federal subsidies to General Motors because of its planned job cuts in the U.S.
Trump unloaded on Twitter on Tuesday, a day after GM announced it would shutter five plants and slash 14,000 jobs in North America. Many of the job cuts would affect the Midwest, the politically crucial region where the president promised a manufacturing rebirth.
He tweeted: “Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland. Nothing being closed in Mexico & China.”
He says his administration is “looking at cutting all GM subsidies, including for electric cars.”
Not just jobs riding on fate of GM plant after Trump promise
LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — The fate of a General Motors assembly plant in Ohio is being closely watched in what’s become a high-stakes decision for workers and political leaders all the way up to President Donald Trump.
GM is cutting 14,000 workers in North America and looking at closing five factories as part of a massive restructuring announced this week.
Among the factories targeted is its Lordstown plant, where GM says production of the Chevy Cruze will stop in March.
The plant is a focal point because Trump pledged to supporters at a rally near Lordstown last year that manufacturing jobs would be coming back to the area.
On Tuesday, the president tweeted that he’s “very disappointed” with GM, and he threatened to cut off the automaker’s subsidies.
US calls China’s tariffs on American autos ‘egregious’
WASHINGTON (AP) — Three days before a U.S.-China summit, the top U.S. trade official is blasting Beijing for imposing “egregious” taxes on American-made cars.
In a statement Wednesday, U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer complained that China slaps 40 percent tariffs on U.S. auto imports — more than the 15 percent tariffs it imposes on other countries and the 27.5 percent U.S. tax on Chinese auto imports.
Lighthizer said the president had directed him to “examine all available tools to equalize the tariffs applied to automobiles.”
The statement comes before a dinner meeting Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. The two leaders are expected to seek a resolution to a trade dispute between their countries that has shaken financial markets and threatened the global economy.