Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
Retiring justice says Supreme Court service was a ‘blessing’
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Stephen Markman has heard his last round of cases after 21 years as a justice on the Michigan Supreme Court. The 71-year-old Markman is retiring but can still participate in opinions and orders through December. Before hearing five cases Thursday, Chief Justice Bridget McCormack recognized Markman’s public service. He was a judge at the Michigan appeals court, U.S. attorney in Detroit and deputy attorney general in Washington. Markman says it’s “been a blessing” to serve on the Supreme Court. In October, Markman wrote the 4-3 opinion that struck down Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders related to the coronavirus.
Michigan governor seeks shutdown of Great Lakes oil pipeline
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is taking legal action to force the shutdown of a pipeline that carries oil beneath the channel linking Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Whitmer’s office notified Enbridge Inc. on Friday that it will revoke the easement granted in 1953 that allowed the Canadian company to run its Line 5 across the Straits of Mackinac. Her legal counsel says the move results from a persistent pattern of noncompliance with conditions for safely operating the line. Michigan’s attorney general filed a lawsuit to carry out Whitmer’s order to stop the flow of oil within 180 days. Enbridge says there is “no credible basis” for Whitmer’s action.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTHVILLE RESTAURANTS
Michigan suburb builds heated areas for businesses in winter
NORTHVILLE, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit suburb has partnered with a local business owner to build heated stands and pods to help restaurants and shops get through the winter amid the coronavirus pandemic. MLive.com reports that the Northville Downtown Development Authority and Manfred Schon, owner of data company Up2Go, has unveiled its “Heat in the Street” experience. German-born Schon says he wanted to help Northville businesses during the winter months with outdoor dining and shopping like he had back home. The stands and pods will be up in coming days and weeks, and they will be up until early March.
Man admits he killed deer with hammer after video surfaces
POTTERVILLE, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a man admitted that he killed a deer with a hammer in Eaton County after video of the incident was posted on social media. The Department of Natural Resources says the 23-year-old man from Potterville was located Wednesday night, about an hour after an off-duty conservation officer was told about the video. The suspect claimed he was trying to ease the deer’s misery after a car-deer crash. The man surrendered the partially butchered deer. The Eaton County prosecutor will review the case for possible charges.
MICHIGAN GOVERNOR-KIDNAPPING PLOT
Bond greatly reduced for man linked to Whitmer kidnap plot
JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A judge has reduced bond to $150,000 for a man accused of allowing his property to be used by an anti-government group plotting to kidnap Michigan’s governor. Joseph Morrison is described as the commander of the Wolverine Watchmen. He’s been in custody in Jackson County for more than five weeks. Judge Michael Klaeren says the $10 million bond was too high. Klaeren reduced it and set conditions if Morrison is released, including a GPS tether. Authorities allege members of paramilitary groups took part in plotting the kidnapping of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Six men are charged in federal court. Morrison is among eight others who are charged in state court.
GOP leaders in 4 states quash dubious Trump bid on electors
Republican leaders in four critical states won by President-elect Joe Biden say they won’t participate in a legally dubious scheme to flip their state’s electors to vote for President Donald Trump. Their comments effectively shut down a half-baked plot some Republicans floated as a last chance to keep Trump in the White House. State GOP lawmakers in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have all said they would not intervene in the selection of electors, who ultimately cast the votes that secure a candidate’s victory. Several noted that such a move would violate state law and a vote of the people.
2 more Michigan lawmakers test positive for virus amid surge
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — At least two more Michigan legislators have tested positive as the coronavirus continues surging to record heights, including one who attended Senate session and committee hearings on Thursday. That was same day the House canceled votes due to infections among members. Those with COVID-19 include Sen. Kim LaSata and Rep. Ann Bollin, both Republicans. Another Republican, Rep. Scott VanSingel, confirmed Thursday he was recovering from the virus. Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, a Democrat, announced his infection last week. All told, at least seven lawmakers have tested positive this year while an eighth died from a suspected case.
Judge refuses to stop certification of Detroit-area votes
DETROIT (AP) — A judge has refused to stop certification of Detroit-area election results. Wayne County Judge Timothy Kenny said Friday that allegations of absentee ballot fraud in Detroit were “not credible.” It’s the third time that a judge has refused to intervene in steps that are necessary to bless the Michigan results. Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump by 146,000 votes. The lawsuit claims Republican challengers were removed from the TCF Center in Detroit while absentee ballots were being processed. The court filing also alleges that ballots were backdated, signatures on ballot envelopes weren’t verified and other irregularities. Election officials deny it.
Michigan officer on leave after rough arrest of suspect
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A police officer in Michigan’s capital has been placed on leave after video shows an aggressive arrest of an assault suspect who pleaded “I can’t breathe.” The incident involved at least five Lansing officers who pinned the 25-year-old man to the ground Tuesday night and ordered him to stop resisting. Lansing police spokesman Robert Merritt says officers were responding to a report of a street fight involving five or six people. Merritt says a Taser was used and officers “delivered strikes.” The man was arrested, taken to a hospital for an evaluation and then transported to a police lockup.
Federal fugitive captured after nearly 50 years on the run
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The FBI says a man who was serving a life sentence for murder when he escaped custody while attending his grandmother’s funeral nearly 50 years ago has been captured in Michigan. Leonard Rayne Moses was 16 when he was convicted in the 1968 killing of Mary Amplo during civil unrest in Pittsburgh over the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Moses escaped custody in 1971. The FBI says he’d been living under an assumed name in Michigan. Moses was charged with stealing pills from a pharmacy earlier this year and the FBI said Friday the fingerprints from that arrest came back a match.